Applies To: Scarlett 2nd Generation 6i6, 18i8, & 18i20; Scarlett 3rd Generation and Clarett Range.
Understanding Focusrite Control
Focusrite Control is the software necessary to make changes in your Focusrite hardware. This software gives you a user-friendly control surface to set the routing and recording parameters of your unit, as well as input settings. In addition to this article, you can find range-specific Focusrite Control User Guides on all relevant product download pages here.
- Functionality is different for each unit.
- A Clarett 8PreX & Scarlett 18i20 3rd generation have been used for this article.
- If Focusrite Control details “[Input]/[Output] Controls are not supported on this device”, this is normal and any controls relating to this will be on the physical unit itself.
If at any point you are lost, in the top left corner of the screen you will see File > Restore Factory Defaults. This is the setting used for the following explanations.
We have also created a video on Focusrite Control here:
This tab will show you settings related to the interface's mic, instrument, and line inputs and how they have been configured.
Below, each section is defined, and their functions explained, note some functions are specific to certain devices. For clarification, please see your products user guide here:
- Sync Light - This light should be green indicating the unit is in 'Sync' with itself or external devices, when lit Red the unit will not pass audio.
- Settings tab - This allows you to show or hide the left-hand settings pane.
- Main Alt - Indicates, and when clicked, allows you to change between two monitor pairs by routing audio to Main Outputs 1-2 or Alt Outputs 3-4 (Scarlett 18i8 3rd Gen/18i20 3rd Gen)
- Talk - This allows you to toggle Talkback on/off.
- Input Settings/Output Routing - This allows you to view your Input Settings or Output Routing tab.
- Focusrite Control version - Here you can see the Focusrite Control version you are using and, if needed, update to the latest version on our downloads page.
- Line/Inst - Switch to either 'Line' or 'Instrument' level/impedance, depending on your source type. For more information on Mic, Line, and Instrument level, click here.
- AIR - This setting modifies the input's frequency response, giving a lift in the treble frequencies. For more information, please see this video.
- Pad - When Pad is engaged, your input signal will be reduced by -10dB when being sent your DAW.
- Hardware ID - Each unit can be renamed to identify two or more of the same interface. By default, this will display the manufacturing identification number.
- Sample Rate, Clock Source, Sync Status - These controls indicate how the unit is in sync, either with your DAW (which should be automatic) or with external equipment connected via digital inputs/outputs on the interface (e.g. ADAT or S/PDIF).
- Digital I/O Mode or S/PDIF Source - This allows you to choose the digital inputs and formats you are using, more information can be found in the relevant user guide for your specific product.
- Retain 48V - This allows you to control if the phantom power option is on by default when the unit is power cycled.
- Speaker Switching - This allows you to enable single button switching between output pairs 1-2 and 3-4.
- Monitor Controls (*applicable only to select devices) - Set which outputs the 'MONITOR' knob on the front panel will control.
- Rename box - This allows you to rename your inputs up to 11 characters.
- Talkback - This allows you to choose the Talkback mic's Source as well as control the talkback mic's input level.
- Remote Devices (not shown) - If you want to control Focusrite Control remotely using Focusrite Control for iOS, compatible devices will show up here for enabling.
Settings/Input Settings - In-depth
Following down on the left side of the software, the next bubble down will show you which unit you have connected as well as which firmware is installed on your device. Below is where you will set your Sample Rate and Clock Source.
For more information on Clock Source and Sample Rate: Click Here
For more information on which Clock Source to choose: Click Here
In this case, we have a Clarett 8PreX connected with an Internal Clock Source selected and a Sample Rate of 44.1 kHz:
Some ranges also have Digital I/O and S/PDIF sources. On some units, you can choose what inputs are displayed on the front panel meters.
Following down on the left side of the software, the third bubble down will show your Monitor Controls. This section establishes what line output range the Main Monitor encoder will control. In most programs, Outputs 1 & 2 are typically the main outputs. For surround-sound monitoring, you would want all outputs on the same encoder, as shown below:
Remote Devices shows what devices can control Focusrite Control externally. Focusrite Control can be manipulated via the Focusrite Control iOS app, which can be used to sync any iOS 8.0+ device to the Focusrite Control software and control routing settings remotely. As shown below, there is one iPhone and one iPad synced to the Focusrite Control software:
For more information on Focusrite Control iOS: Click Here
The Output routing page is very similar across our interface ranges and can be found in the relevant user guides.
Output Routing - In-depth
This tab will show you your interface's outputs and what is routed to them. There are three output routing options available for each output:
- Playback (DAW) - This means only sounds being played from software will be played through your interface. Playback (DAW) 1-2 is usually the output from most software, but this can often be changed in the settings of DAWs or more advanced audio software.
- Hardware Input - Only the selected inputs on the interface will be routed to the outputs.
- Custom Mix - A user-defined combination of hardware inputs and software outputs routed.
- Simply click in the desired Output box on the left side of this window to select between options. The selected Output will show lit up while all other options are greyed out as shown below. (In this case, we have Line Output 3-4 Selected)
If Playback (DAW) is selected please note Playback 1-2 is usually the software’s default Left and Right output. (i.e. Pro Tools, iTunes)
The right side of the Output Routing tab will show the selected routing for the chosen output. If Playback (DAW) or Hardware Input is selected this will simply display the direct routing for the chosen output as shown below:
When Custom Mix is selected it will populate this screen with the output mixer for you to set the routing:
Next articles in this series:
The User Guide for Focusrite Control varies by range. Please find your product on our downloads page and the relevant Focusrite Control User guide will appear in the 'User Guides' section for your product: