A strange quirk of the audio interface market is that it’s often the budget models - such as Focusrite’s excellent fourth-generation Scarlett range - that get talked about most, possibly because they appeal directly to the large numbers of people who are at the very start of their home recording journeys.
Those in the know, though, will tell you that there are some big advantages to spending a little more on your interface, particularly if you’re a more experienced producer who’s looking to take the quality of your music to the next level.
Enter the Focusrite Clarett+, which benefits from high-quality preamps with loads of headroom. Whatever you’re recording - drums, guitars, vocals, etc - you can be sure of excellent quality, with a low chance of distortion and very little noise.
Speaking of vocals, you’ll find that you can add an extra layer of shine to them with the all-analogue Air circuitry that’s based on the classic Focusrite ISA110 preamp and EQ. Available at the press of a button, this improves transient response, which results in a warmer and more detailed sound. And, as on the original hardware, there’s also an analogue band-pass 4dB boost centred at 24kHz as well as a switch in input impedance to 2.2kΩ.
There’s also something special for guitarists: dedicated, ultra-high-impedance JFET instrument inputs with extremely wide audio bandwidth. This means that your guitar’s original tone and character are preserved as much as possible.
In fact, you can expect premium, studio-grade A-D and D-A conversion across the board, with little in the way of colouring and a lot of sonic excellence. You get 118dB of dynamic range on the mic/line inputs and 124dB on the line/monitor outputs, for example, which will help to ensure that you always get the sound you were hoping for. The high-powered headphone amps are worthy of special mention, too: they offer flat frequency response that gives you a true picture of what you’re listening to, and you can plug in headphones of pretty much any impedance without the need for a dedicated amp.
Clarett+ has you covered if you ever want to expand your setup, too, thanks to its ADAT optical input. You can add up to eight extra channels via a device such as Focusrite’s own OctoPre; unlike many other audio interfaces, including Focusrite’s own Scarlett, this is one that will grow with you as and when your requirements change.
Setting up the Clarett+ is simplicity itself thanks to its USB-C bus powering option, and a comprehensive software bundle means that you get all the tools you need to record, mix and compose in the box. The Focusrite Control software, meanwhile, means that all settings can be made on screen.
There are plenty of reasons, then, for avoiding the huge swathes of identikit audio interfaces at the lower end of the market and choosing something with a bit more heritage and quality. Clarett+ will give you what you want - a step up in performance and you can hear - without unnecessary fuss or gimmicks.
Find out more on the Focusrite website.