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How to create a Skype Mix with a 1st Gen Scarlett or Saffire

Applies to : Scarlett 6i6, 18i8, 18i20 + Saffire range.

For interfaces that use Focusrite Control please see this article:

How to create a Skype Mix for Scarlett 2nd Gen or Clarett/Red 

Many users want to use their Scarlett or Saffire for Live streaming programs like Skype or other VOIP programs.

Most VOIP programs are only able to send a single Mono Stream to the Internet, so they are restricted to the first input on any audio device.  Usually with a built in microphone on your computer you never notice this because even though it records in two channel the two microphones are so close to each other their signals are identical.

Some select programs may be able to address the first two Inputs and send in Stereo to the Internet, so if this is the case you can alter these settings to create a Stereo Mix rather than a Mono Mix.

You can use the Mix feature on the Scarlett and Saffire units to create a Mix Minus.  This will blend your Inputs into one Mono Signal which you can route back to Input 1 so that Skype can receive it.

On the Saffire units this method will be useful even though they have the "Loopback" feature built in.  This is because the Loopback Inputs are the last two Input Numbers on the unit.  Thus some programs like Skype will still require this method with a 1/4" cable so that you can route to Input 1.  Loopback Inputs can still be used for recording to a DAW or program that can select different Inputs.

In Scarlett MixControl choose a new Mix Tab to use in Mono, such as Mix 3.

In Mix 3 make sure Input 1 is Muted and Turned down, or just fully removed from the Mix.  This will avoid a nasty feedback loop!

Use Inputs 2 and onward for the XLR Mic Inputs or 1/4" Line Inputs or Instrument Inputs.

Then in the bottom routing area route the Mix to an Output.

Plug the TRS 1/4" cable from the Output back to Input 1.  Raise the Gain Knob to the proper level where there is a strong signal, with no clipping.  Half way is around Unity Gain.

Then set Skype to the Scarlett 18i20.

You can now use Mix 3 to Mix the live Conference.  If one person or instrument is much louder than another naturally this can be useful.

Note that in your Recording Software you can now record ALL of these Inputs, as individual channels as well as the "Live" Mono Mix in Input 1.  This is nice if you are running a Live Stream and want to do a Final Mix later, but also keep the Live Mono Mix for backup.

None of the adjustments to the channels in MixControl affect the Inputs to your recording software so you do not need to worry about turning down instruments in the Mix and getting a low level in the DAW.

This method will work for any Saffire or Scarlett with MixControl.  It does NOT include the Scarlett Solo, 2i2 and 2i4, which do not use MixControl.


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