How do I use my Scarlett 1st Gen / Saffire with multiple sets of monitors without the use of a switcher?

Applies to: Scarlett (6i6, 8i6 18i6 18i8, 18i20), Saffire (Pro 14, Pro 24, Pro 24 DSP, Pro 40, Liquid Saffire 56)

You can connect and switch between multiple sets of monitors off the interface without the use of a switcher on interfaces that utilize MixControl. Switching between multiple monitors will require you to control the overall volume and manually activate/de-activate which set of monitors are in use within MixControl.

First, you will want to make sure the stereo sets of outputs going to monitors are each receiving the same source. (e.g. Mix 1 > Outputs 1 and 2, Mix 1 > Outputs 3 and 4)

image showing the same source going to multiple outputs

On most of the interfaces (except the Scarlett 18i20, Saffire Pro 40, and Liquid Saffire 56), the hardware monitor control is an analog pot and will only control the level going to Line Output 1 and 2. However, volume control for multiple outputs can be done within MixControl by use of the software monitor dial with the necessary outputs set to “blue”.  You will want to have the hardware monitor knob on the interface turned all the way to max and use the software monitor dial to control the level going to the “blue” outputs.  Having one set of outputs “red” will make one set of monitors muted.

Image showing the first set of monitors active

By switching the setup and making the first set muted and the second active, you will then be able to hear audio from the second set of monitors.

Image showing the second set of monitors active

On the Scarlett 18i20, Saffire Pro 40 and Liquid Saffire 56, the hardware monitor control pot is a digital encoder and can control any number of outputs that are set to “blue” when “H/W Control” is enabled within MixControl. This means you will not need to adjust the level within MixControl as mentioned above and can still use the hardware monitor level control on the interface. However, to switch between multiple sets of monitors, you will still need to manually activate/deactivate the outputs within MixControl.

Image showing hardware control options on certain interfaces

See also:

Saffire MixControl Tutorial Part I: Creating Mixes

Saffire MixControl Tutorial Part II: Routing Audio to the Outputs

Saffire MixControl Tutorial Part III: Getting Sufficient Level from the Audio Outputs

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