Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, Great Quality in a Little Box
The Scarlett 2i2 is a small and portable audio interface that works with both Mac and PC computers, and on multiple Digital Audio Workstations (DAW, for short). The quality is very high both inside and out, with great audio recording and a robust design that should last you years.
On the front of the 2i2 you will find two combination inputs that accept microphone, instrument and line level signals. By default, the XLR is microphone level and the 6.5mm Jack can be switched for Instrument Level (Guitars, Bass, etc...) and Line Levels (Synthesizers, Tape Machines, etc...). There are two gain controls with colored rings to indicate the input signal strength, with green indicating that the level is present and healthy, orange indicating that the level is close to clipping and red indicating that the signal has clipped. Clipping a signal does not sound great, so we advise that you aim for a Green signal that rarely comes close to clipping.
There is a phantom power button to send 48 Volts to a condenser microphone, this is extremely important if you are using a condenser microphone as it will be required to power the microphone, if you are using a Ribbon microphone, then please be careful not to send 48 Volts unless it is specified in the manufacturer's guidelines.
Direct monitor controls allow for a low latency monitoring of the input signal, great for musicians that want to hear what they are recording. There is a 6.3mm Stereo Jack headphone input and directly above is the dial to increase the volume for the headphones. Direct Monitoring can be a great tool for some musicians that like to hear themselves through headphones, but if they prefer to use monitors then you will need to monitor the mix from your DAW that is sent through the Left and Right Outputs on the rear.
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