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Best Single Channel Audio Interface – Focusrite Scarlett Solo Review

The best single channel audio interface is the Focusrite Scarlett SoloRecording music from the comfort of your own home sounds like something we would all love to get involved in. And this is now easy to do with the best single channel audio interface – no need to rent out fancy studios in order to produce your first demo.

These studios can be expensive which can limit your time to turn your music into a finished piece of art. But with the Focusrite Scarlett Solo, there’s no need to hire a recording space – and I’ll tell you all about it here.

Thanks to this interface, you can set up your own home studio in your living room. All you need to do is plug it into your laptop or computer. The Scarlett Solo is the best professional audio interface out there with a single mic input, and I’ll show you why. Are you ready to get creative?

Focusrite Scarlett Solo Audio Interface

The Focusrite Scarlett Solo is designed for convenience and ease-of-use. It’s simple to set up, so you can easily create a small studio setup in your own home. The compact and sturdy design makes it durable enough for traveling so you can take it with you wherever you go.

In 2016, Focusrite released the second generation of their Scarlett series and the improvements in quality were clear. With better sound recording and reproduction, the audio you hear back will sound incredibly crisp and clear, almost as if the voice or instrument is live right in front of you.

Focusrite Scarlett Solo 3rd Gen USB Audio Interface for Guitarists, Vocalists, Podcasters or...
  • Pro performance with great pre-amps - Achieve a brighter recording thanks to the high performing mic...
  • Get the perfect guitar and vocal take with - With two high-headroom instrument inputs to plug in...
  • Studio quality recording for your music & podcasts - Achieve pro sounding recordings with Scarlett...

The new generation of Scarlett interfaces even managed to reduce the latency, making it so much easier to record and hear yourself in real time. When you listen to the playback, you can be assured that there won’t be any awkward delays. Your recordings will sound fluid and natural.

Single Channel Interface

The Scarlett Solo is a one-input interface, meaning it has one mic preamp. It’s perfect for intimate recording sessions, where it’s just you and your instrument. Enhanced gain control means you can have loud performances, but still maintain a smooth and natural sound.

The Scarlett series of interfaces are also renowned for their internal conversion. Turning your performances into digital audio can often result in losing some of the artistic intricacies. With the Scarlett Solo, this is never an issue. The analog-to-digital and digital-to analog conversions will always be crisp, clear, and vibrant.

Focusrite’s mission was to create an audio interface that gave you simple studio quality in the comfort of your home. Once you try out the Scarlett Solo, you’ll see how well this world-famous company achieved their goal.

Who Is This Product For?

The Focusrite Scarlett Solo is targeted mainly for singer-songwriters and guitar players. The single-channel input system means you can record your sessions with ease and you can take the device wherever you go.

Even if you’d prefer a quieter, mellow sound, this interface can capture it to perfection. There’s no concern for distortion or overload with the high-quality Focusrite preamps.

Although this interface is aimed at vocalists and guitar players, it’s high quality means that it’s also ideal for songwriters. If you want to record yourself singing, you’re guaranteed that your vocal quality will remain clear and pristine in your recordings. Anyone who enjoys making music, whether it’s on an instrument or with a mic, will find this product to be more beneficial than they ever imagined.

The easy-to-use interface makes it ideal for beginners as well. Even if you’ve never recorded a demo, you’ll soon be recording at a professional level. On the other hand, if you have been recording demos for a while, the Scarlett Solo is still ideal for you, because it’s impeccable quality ensures your sound will be clear and full.

Professionals can also make full use of the additional Pro Tools Creative Pack that come with the Scarlett Solo. The more you play around with the bonus features, the easier it will become to produce your own music. These reasons all show why it’s a favorite device for many musicians around the world.

An Interface Not Just For Music

Aside from music, this device can even be used by people who make podcasts or YouTube videos. Your recorded sound will always be superb so the overall quality of your product is bound to be fantastic.

But because it only has one mic preamp, it’s not a suitable device for bands or duet singers. Here it would be more cost effective to buy an interface with at least two or four inputs. If you’re buying an interface for personal recordings, without anyone else involved, then the Scarlett Solo is extremely affordable for all the features you’re getting.

What’s Included?

If you want to see exactly what you’ll get in the Focusrite Scarlett Solo package, this video shows you everything that you’ll get in the box.

Each box contains:

  • The Scarlett Solo audio interface
  • USB cable to connect it to your computer or laptop
  • A wide range of extra downloadable content

Unfortunately, the box doesn’t include any studio equipment such as a mic or a pair of monitors. These will have to be purchased separately if you require them.

Best Single Channel Audio Interface - Overview of Features

Here are all of the specifications for the Scarlett Solo that you’ll want to know:

  • Sample Rates: 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4 and 192kHz
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz
  • Dynamic Range: 109dB
  • Gain Range: 50dB
  • Compatibility: Windows 7 and higher or Mac OS X 10 and higher
  • Warranty: 2-year limited warranty for manufacturing defects

Along with these technical specs, the Scarlett Solo also has a few bonus software programs that add to the experience of making music. These are:

  • Loopmasters: 2GB of sample libraries that are royalty free.
  • Pro Tools Creative Pack: 12 plug-ins that allow you to produce your music to a higher level.
  • Ableton Live Lite: A music production digital audio workstation with it’s own effects and features. An amazing piece of software. The Scarlett Solo is also the best audio interface for Ableton, or at least one of them.
  • Focusrite Plug-in Collective: Assists your music production and recording by offering tutorials on how to get the most out of your system. It even has advice and offers from well-known plug-in companies.
  • Softube Plug-ins: 4 plug-ins for delay, distortion, reverb and mastering so your music production quality can be more immaculate.
  • Focusrite Red Plug-in Suite: Enhances your music by replicating the quality of Focusrite’s Red 2 equalizer and Red 3 compressor.
  • XLN Audio Addictive Keys: You can choose one out of four keyboard instrument plug-ins, so you can add even more tonal variety to your music.


Step One: Register

In order to begin using your Focusrite Scarlett Solo, you need to register your product. You can do this by:

  1. Going to your Focusrite page
  2. Selecting your Scarlett Solo model
  3. Typing in the serial number of your device
  4. Once your device is registered, you’ll be given the option to download the additional software and plug-ins

Step Two: Download Your Programs

The first program you should focus on downloading is Ableton Live Lite. You’ll need this software to begin recording and making music. You can then download and install the remaining plug-ins onto your computer – you can do this by following the prompts on your screen.

Step Three: Plug in Your Mic or Instrument

As soon as the necessary programs are installed, you can plug your mic or instrument into the Scarlett Solo. The input on the interface allows for both jack and XLR connections – ideal for electric guitars, keyboards, and microphones. You must also connect the USB cable from your computer to the Scarlett Solo.

Step Four: Choose Your Settings

The control knobs on the interface help you control the recording levels and your studio monitor volume. The gain knobs give you control of the input volume for recording, while the direct monitor switch helps you hear your recording in real time without latency delays.

If you want to use a condenser microphone, you should make sure that the 48V phantom power is on. You can also connect headphones if you want.

Step Five: Hit Record

When you’re done recording inside the Ableton software you can listen back on your studio monitors. If you want more information on how to set up your Scarlett Solo, you can check out this video.

Alternatives to the Scarlett Solo

If you’re in a band, a single-channel audio interface might not be ideal. It may be better to buy a system with more input options. For this reason, you could get the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 or 2i4. This gives you more input options and will also make recording your entire band much easier.

A studio also needs a lot more equipment than an audio interface, so you could always consider buying the Focusrite Scarlett Solo Studio. Although it’s a bit more expensive, this bundle has everything you need to begin recording such as a condenser microphone and headphones.

Additionally, if your focus is electronic music rather than instrumental music, it might be more ideal to get the PreSonus AudioBox USB 96. This product includes Studio One software which is considered one of the best programs for electronic music production. As a result, you may be able to get more out of this interface.

Final Thoughts

Buying the Scarlett Solo from Focusrite is the first step in creating your home studio. Once you have this little device, you can spend hours playing and recording music and making demos. It’s considered the best single channel audio interface you can get, and this is clear in it’s outstanding sound quality.

Never again will you have to pay hefty fees to rent studio time. Everything you need is either on this device or is found in one of the extra software programs you get with the package. Take control of your creativity and get your music out there.