Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 USB Audio Interface (Gen 3) Review
In this comprehensive review, we explore the design, performance, and features of the Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 USB Audio Interface (Gen 3).
Table Of Contents
2. Design and Build Quality
3. Features and Specifications
From podcasters and musicians to content creators and audio professionals, the need for high-quality audio interfaces is paramount. The Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 USB Audio Interface (Gen 3) is one such product that seeks to meet this demand.
The Scarlett 4i4 Gen 3 is a third iteration of the popular Scarlett lineup by Focusrite. It features four analog inputs, four analog outputs, MIDI I/O, four microphone preamps with Air mode as well as balanced line inputs.
Notably, it possesses an incredibly sleek design that sets it apart from other audio interfaces in its league. This review aims to provide an in-depth look at the device's capabilities and its suitability for different use cases.
Explanation of the Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 USB Audio Interface (Gen 3)
The Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 interface comes equipped with two microphone/line/instrument inputs on the front panel and two line-level inputs on the rear panel. Additionally, it has four unbalanced RCA outputs along with two TRS monitor outputs suitable for connecting studio monitors or headphones.
The microphone preamps are designed around Class-A circuitry which provides excellent sound quality without adding noise or distortion to your recordings. Furthermore, Air mode adds a nice top-end sparkle that replicates vintage ISA mic pres and enhances vocal recordings.
The interface provides a sample rate of up to192kHz and bit depth of up to24 bits ensuring clean recordings free from digital artifacts or distortion. This makes it ideal for recording instruments like guitars or drums since they produce harmonics that require wide frequency response range.
Purpose of Review
The purpose of this review is twofold: First, we aim to provide an unbiased perspective on the strengths and weaknesses of the Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 USB Audio Interface. Second, we want to help potential buyers determine if this interface meets their needs and whether it's worth the investment. This review is suitable for musicians, podcasters, content creators as well as audio professionals who require an interface that delivers high-quality audio recordings.
Brief Overview of What Will Be Covered in The Review
In this review, we'll delve into different aspects of the Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 USB Audio Interface (Gen 3). In particular, we'll evaluate its design and build quality, features and specifications, performance as well as software integration. We'll also provide our final thoughts on its suitability for different use cases and recommend who should invest in it.
2. Design and Build Quality
The design and build quality of the Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 USB Audio Interface (Gen 3) is one of its standout features. The device has a sleek and modern appearance, with a matte black finish that looks great on any desk or studio setup. Its compact size allows for easy transportation when needed, making it a fantastic option for mobile recording.
Physical Appearance of the Device
The Scarlett 4i4 boasts an elegant black metal chassis that combines durability with style. The front panel features two combination XLR/¼ inch inputs, along with two headphone jacks and several control knobs for adjusting input levels, headphone volume, monitor mix and direct monitoring settings.
On the backside of the device are an additional pair of line-level inputs for connecting instruments or other external audio sources. There is also a set of monitor outputs which can be used to connect studio monitors or headphones, as well as MIDI in/out ports for controlling external hardware synths or controllers.
Materials Used in Construction
The materials used in constructing the Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 USB Audio Interface (Gen 3) are top-notch. The metal casing feels robust and sturdy, providing ample protection against damage from knocks or drops. The buttons on the device have a solid feel to them, while still being easy to press when needed.
The XLR/¼ inch combo jacks on the front panel are made from high-quality materials that ensure excellent signal integrity when recording vocals or instruments through them. This results in clean recordings that accurately represent the sound being recorded without any unwanted noise or distortion.
Durability and Sturdiness of the Device
In addition to its attractive appearance and high-quality construction materials, another key factor in the durability of the Scarlett 4i4 is its compact size. Despite being small and lightweight, the device feels robust and sturdy, making it an excellent choice for musicians or content creators who need a reliable audio interface that can handle frequent use and transportation. Overall, the design and build quality of the Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 USB Audio Interface (Gen 3) is impressive.
From its sleek appearance to its high-quality materials, this device is built to last. Its compact size makes it easy to transport without sacrificing durability or sturdiness, making it an excellent option for anyone in need of a reliable and high-quality audio interface.
3. Features and Specifications
When it comes to buying an audio interface, features and specifications are the backbone of your decision. The Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 USB Audio Interface (Gen 3) is a well-designed device with plenty of features to make it stand out from the competition. This section will cover some of the key features of the device.
Number and type of inputs and outputs
One of the most important considerations when choosing an audio interface is how many inputs and outputs it has. The Scarlett 4i4 has a total of four inputs, two XLR microphone preamp inputs, two Line/Instrument inputs, and four balanced 1/4" TRS outputs. The two mic preamp inputs are equipped with switchable +48V phantom power for use with condenser microphones.
Additionally, each input has a dedicated gain control knob, which makes it easy to adjust levels on the fly. The line/instrument input also includes its own gain control knob for quick adjustments.
The four balanced outputs can be used to connect studio monitors or headphones. Each output is controlled by its own independent volume knob on the front panel.
Sample rate and bit depth
The Scarlett 4i4 supports sample rates up to 192kHz at 24-bit depth, which is higher than most other interfaces in its price range. This means that you can record and playback high-quality audio with exceptional clarity – perfect for professional-level recording sessions.
Compatibility with different operating systems
The Scarlett 4i4 is compatible with a wide variety of operating systems including Windows 10 (64-bit), macOS Mojave (10.14), macOS High Sierra (10.13), iOS (with Apple Camera Connection Kit), and even with Linux. This makes it a versatile audio interface that can be used by almost anyone regardless of their operating system preferences.
Additionally, the Scarlett 4i4 is compatible with a number of popular DAWs including Ableton Live, Pro Tools, Logic Pro X and more. This means that you can use it with the software you’re already familiar with, making the transition to this new hardware easier than ever before.
Overall, the Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 USB Audio Interface (Gen 3) is an impressive device that offers plenty of features and specifications for its price range. Whether you’re a musician, podcaster or content creator, this interface has everything you need to take your recordings to the next level.
Sound Quality Produced by the Device
The Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 USB Audio Interface (Gen 3) is designed to deliver high-quality sound with its preamps and AD/DA converters. The preamps are known for their low noise and high gain, which makes them ideal for recording instruments and vocals. The AD/DA converters allow for a clear and accurate representation of sound, making it a great choice for audio production.
During testing, we found that the sound quality produced by the device was exceptional. The recordings were clear and had a good amount of depth to them.
We recorded both vocals and guitar, and both sounded great. The vocals had a warm tone to them, while the guitar had plenty of detail in its sound.
Latency can be an issue when recording audio with any interface. It refers to the amount of time it takes for your input signal to be converted into digital data that is then processed by your computer or DAW. If there is too much latency, it can make playing instruments or singing difficult.
We tested the Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 USB Audio Interface (Gen 3) with different DAWs and found that there were no significant latency issues. In fact, we were able to record without any noticeable lag or delay.
Ease of Use
The Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 USB Audio Interface (Gen 3) is very easy to use, even for beginners who are new to audio production. The device has simple controls that allow you to adjust levels quickly and easily.
The front panel features two combination XLR/TRS inputs along with two line inputs as well as independent gain controls on each channel making it easy to handle multiple inputs at once. Additionally, there is an “Air” button on each mic preamp which adds brightness and clarity to vocal recordings.
This feature is useful for recording crisp and detailed vocals without having to spend a lot of time EQing them. Overall, we found that the Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 USB Audio Interface (Gen 3) was very user-friendly and intuitive.
The performance of the Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 USB Audio Interface (Gen 3) is exceptional. The sound quality produced by the device is top-notch, with clear and accurate recordings that have plenty of depth and warmth. There were no significant latency issues when recording with different DAWs, allowing for smooth vocal or instrumental performances.
Plus, the device’s ease-of-use makes it a great choice for beginners who are just getting started in audio production. Overall, we highly recommend the Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 USB Audio Interface (Gen 3) for musicians, podcasters, or content creators looking to achieve high-quality recordings without breaking the bank.
Compatibility with different DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations)
One of the most important aspects to consider when purchasing an audio interface is its compatibility with different DAWs. The Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 USB Audio Interface (Gen 3) is compatible with a wide range of DAWs, including Ableton Live, Pro Tools, Logic Pro X, Cubase, and more.
This compatibility ensures that users can seamlessly integrate the device into their workflow without any issues or complications. For example, if you’re using Ableton Live as your primary DAW, the Scarlett 4i4 will work flawlessly with it.
You can easily connect your microphones or instruments to the inputs on the interface and route them directly into Ableton for recording or mixing. The device also features MIDI I/O ports which allow for easy connection to external MIDI controllers.
Ableton Live Integration
The integration between Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 USB Audio Interface (Gen 3) and Ableton Live is seamless and intuitive. When you first connect your device to your computer, Ableton Live will automatically detect it and display it in its list of available audio interfaces. Once you’ve selected the Scarlett 4i4 as your input/output device in Ableton’s preferences menu, you can start recording directly into your session by simply selecting the correct input channel on the interface.
Bundled software plugins that come with Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 USB Audio Interface (Gen 3)
In addition to its impressive hardware capabilities, the Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 USB Audio Interface (Gen 3) comes bundled with a suite of software plugins designed to enhance its functionality even further. These plugins include:
- Red2 & Red3 Plugin Suite
- Softube Time & Tone Bundle
- XLN Audio Addictive Keys
- Focusrite Plug-in Collective Membership
Red2 & Red3 Plugin Suite
The Red2 & Red3 Plugin Suite includes a set of classic EQ and compression plugins designed to emulate the iconic sound of Focusrite’s legendary hardware units. These plugins are perfect for adding warmth, character, and depth to your recordings, and can be used in a variety of different applications.
Softube Time & Tone Bundle
The Softube Time & Tone Bundle is a collection of three powerful plugins – a reverb, delay, and distortion unit – that can be used to create unique and interesting textures in your recordings. Whether you’re looking to add depth to your vocals or create complex rhythmic patterns with your drums, these plugins offer plenty of creative possibilities.
XLN Audio Addictive Keys
The XLN Audio Addictive Keys plugin is a full-featured virtual instrument that includes three different keyboard sounds – grand piano, upright piano, and electric piano – all recorded in high-quality detail. This plugin is perfect for adding realistic keyboard sounds to your recordings or for composing music entirely within your DAW.
Focusrite Plug-in Collective Membership
The Focusrite Plug-in Collective Membership provides users with exclusive access to free plugins from leading audio software developers like Arturia, Waldorf Music, Positive Grid and many more. These plugins are updated regularly so users always have new tools at their disposal. Overall the software integration on the Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 USB Audio Interface (Gen 3) is impressive as it comes bundled with essential software tools for creative audio professionals.
A Summary of all aspects covered in this review
Throughout this review, we have taken a detailed look at the Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 USB Audio Interface (Gen 3). We started by examining its physical design and build quality, followed by an in-depth analysis of its features and specifications. We then discussed its performance, particularly focusing on the quality of sound it produces and any issues with latency.
We discussed its software integration with different DAWs and the bundled plugins that come with it. In terms of design and build quality, the Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 USB Audio Interface (Gen 3) is impressive.
It has a sleek appearance and is built to last with high-quality materials. Its compact size makes it perfect for those who need a reliable audio interface on-the-go.
When it comes to features and specifications, the device offers four inputs and four outputs, making it suitable for recording multiple instruments or microphones simultaneously. The audio interface also boasts a high sample rate of up to 192kHz at 24-bit resolution.
Furthermore, it is compatible with different operating systems including Mac OS X and Windows. In terms of performance, the device delivers exceptional sound quality without any noticeable latency issues during recording sessions.
It also provides easy-to-use controls that make adjusting settings straightforward. In addition to these features, the Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 USB Audio Interface (Gen 3) comes bundled with software plugins such as Ableton Live Lite which offer additional functionality that enhances its capabilities even further.
B Final thoughts on whether or not it’s a good investment for musicians, podcasters or content creators
Given all of these factors combined together in one package,it is safe to say that Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 USB Audio Interface (Gen 3) is an excellent investment for musicians,podcasters or any content creators who wants to record audio tracks of professional-grade quality. Its impressive design and build quality, combined with its advanced features and exceptional performance, make it a game-changer in the field of audio interfaces.
C Recommendation for who this is best suited to
The Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 USB Audio Interface (Gen 3) is best suited for musicians, podcasters or content creators who need a reliable and versatile audio interface with excellent sound quality. It is also ideal for people who are always on the go because of its compact size and portability feature. With its wide range of features and software integration capabilities, this audio interface caters to both beginners and professionals alike.
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Hello, I'm Grizzly Beatz and I am an American LoFi Music Producer from Los Angeles Ca. When I am not producing music, or writing music related articles, I can usually be found exploring outdoors and national parks and spending time with my family.
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