Applies to: All Products
When connecting to the combo XLR/jack inputs using a 1/4 inch jack cable on a Focusrite interface the signal cannot 'bypass the mic preamp'. The signal goes through the variable gain section of the preamp circuit, allowing you to set the input level of line-level audio sources. Due to the transparent nature of our preamps, however, this does not colour the signal.
On Clarett/Red/Scarlett 3rd Gen interfaces, we would recommend switching 'Air' mode off if you wish to get the most transparent signal possible. There is some attenuation and gain available on the line signal, which may benefit users if they are using a unit that sends a very loud or very quiet signal for their liking.
Some of our interfaces also include 1/4 inch jack (TRS) line inputs that do not pass through a variable gain circuit. These inputs instead pass through a fixed-gain line amplifier circuit.
To work out where you need to set the gain level, please see the following article which applies to both line-level and mic-level inputs: How high should I set the gain control on my interface?