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Michael Drolet -- 2016
Home Focusrite Scarlett 2i2
USB Audio Interface


The Scarlett 2i2 USB Audio Interface provides the means for connecting microphones, musical instruments or line level audio signals to a computer running Mac OS or Windows.

The signals at the physical inputs can be routed to your audio recording software / digital audio workstation (“DAW”); similarly, the DAW’s monitor or recorded output will appear at the unit’s physical outputs.

Audio sources – mics, instruments, etc. - connected to the physical inputs can be recorded in the DAW and then routed from your DAW to the physical outputs.

The physical outputs can be connected to an amplifier and speakers, powered monitors, headphones, analogue mixer or any other analogue audio equipment that you wish to use.

Although all inputs and outputs on the Scarlett 2i2 are routed directly to and from your DAW for recording and playback, you can configure the routing within your DAW in order to meet your needs.

FRONT PANEL: Scarlett 2i2
INPUTS 1 & 2 -- Combo XLR input sockets - connect microphones, instruments (e.g., guitar) or line level signals via XLR or ¼” (6.35 mm) jacks as appropriate.
GAIN 01 and GAIN 02 -- adjust the input gain for input signals on inputs 1 and 2 respectively.
The gain controls have concentric bi-colour LED ‘rings’ to confirm signal level:
  • green indicates an input level of at least -24 dBFS (i.e., ‘signal present’),
  • red indicates the signal level is approaching 0 dBFS. (i.e., 'clipping').
48V -- phantom power switch for mic inputs - enables +48 V phantom power at the XLR contacts of both Combo connectors.
LINE/INST -- Line / Instrument level switches for each input – switches gain to suit instrument or line level signals.
MONITOR -- main monitor output level control - sets the output level at the main (rear panel) outputs 1 & 2.
USB LED -- illuminates when the unit receives USB bus power and is recognised by the host computer.
HEADPHONE level -- adjusts the output level at the front panel stereo headphone output.
HEADPHONE socket -- ¼” TRS output jack - connect your stereo headphones here.
DIRECT MONITOR -- "ON" allows zero-latency monitoring of input signal. (See note "Latency", below)

Scarlett 2i2 Rear
Kensington security lock -- secure your Scarlett 2i2 to a suitable structure if desired.
USB 2.0 port  -- Type B connector; connect to your computer with cable supplied.
LINE OUTPUTS -- 2 x ¼” (6.35 mm) TRS jack sockets; +4 dBu output level.

You will frequently hear the term “latency” used in connection with digital audio systems. In the case of the simple DAW recording application described above, latency will be the time it takes for your input signals to pass through your computer and audio software. Latency can be a problem for a performer who wishes to record while monitoring their input signals.

The Scarlett 2i2 is fitted with a “Direct Monitoring” option, which overcomes this problem. Setting the front panel “Direct Monitor” switch to ON will route your input signals directly to the Scarlett 2i2’s headphone and main monitor outputs. This enables you to hear yourself with zero latency – i.e., in “real time” – along with the computer playback.

The input signals to your computer are not affected in any way by this setting. When “Direct Monitoring” is set to ON, ensure that your DAW software is not set to route its input (what you are currently recording) to its output. If it is, you will hear yourself “twice”, with one signal audibly delayed as an echo.