Scarlett 18i8 1st Gen Recording

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Scarlett 18i8 1st Gen Recording

Post by BDG »

Hi, My name is Bob and my wife and I just retired last year and living in a beautiful Florence Oregon. I bought the 18i8 used and just got it installed along with Focusrite mixing software. I am a newbie with all of this and using basically for Acoustic Guitar and Voice. Will extend other instruments down the road. Anyway, I am not young guy anymore and am very confused. I have a mic set up and can see the input on the mixer but no way to record. So I found out I must have some other software, so I downloaded ableton live just from the software offered on Focusrite site. I have no idea of how the hardware the mixer and this audio software relate. I cannot get anything going except the original install of the hardware and the mix software. I have been through every video on online and just cannot get it working. Being the 1st gen of hardware may or may not be a problem, not sure. Is there anyone who can help me at least get something to work? I think once I can get a connection going I can then learn the details. Thank you all so much.

Bob
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Re: Scarlett 18i8 1st Gen Recording

Post by blinddrew »

Hi Bob, welcome to the forum. I use a first generation Scarlett 8i6 and there are plenty of other focusrite users here so hopefully we can get you up and running.
As you've figured out, there are a number of links in the chain here.
I don't use Ableton though, but hopefully other people can chip in there.
Obviously I don't know your general level of background audio knowledge so apologies if I'm teaching you to suck eggs at any point.

So you've got a mic plugged into one of the XLR inputs on the front?
Have you got phantom power switched on if the mic needs it?
Assuming that's all good then you can use the gain knob for that channel to raise the input level until you're getting the led ring flashing green when you're playing loudly.
That tells you that the signal coming into the focusrite is good.

Have you got the focusrite MixControl software installed? This is a virtual mixing desk that allows you to route signals between inputs and outputs and link stereo channels etc.
If you've already got this installed then we should see an input signal on the level meter for the channel we've set up above.
If that's working too then we know the signal is getting from the interface into the computer ok.

So the next bit is to get the signal into your Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) - in your case this is Ableton, and that's the device that actually takes care of the recording side.
Launching Ableton should (as far as I understand it) present you with a screen with 4 tracks set up, two midi and two audio. We'll ignore the midi ones for now. And look at the audio tracks in a moment.
The first thing though is to make sure that Ableton and your focusrite are talking to each other. In the jargon that means setting up your 'device'.
This video takes you through the device set-up part of things: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QtE5hjF8Hb8

Once you've done that, you can look at linking the input from your mic to the track in ableton.
This video shows the basics of creating tracks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PgM7fJMIRk
The audio tracks have a series of drop downs, one of them under a heading that says Audio From - this should give you the option to select the relevant input from your focusrite.
To check your levels you hit the record button on the track (this doesn't start recording, it just sets that track ready to record), and if we've got everything else set up right you should start seeing the levels jump up and down on that track.
Hit record in the transport controls at the top of the screen and you should be off.
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Re: Scarlett 18i8 1st Gen Recording

Post by ef37a »

Hi Bob and yes, welcome to the forum. Not to diminish Drew's very able answer, can I suggest you download and install "Audacity" for you first foray into computer recoding?

Audacity is far from being a fully featured 'DAW' and is quite limited but it is about as simple as it gets and just about everyone who has even the slightest knowledge of recording knows how it works.

Once you 'get' the basic principles you can move on to Ableton (I would however strongly suggest Reaper instead).

I trust you have installed the latest Focusrite software? It is said to be rather easier to grasp than the first issue of Mix Control. I have a Mk1 8i6 and the old software baffles me!

Dave.
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Re: Scarlett 18i8 1st Gen Recording

Post by BDG »

Hey blinddrew, thanks for the help. I went ahead and gave up with the Ableton and downloaded Pro tools First product. Like the interface a little better. So I did get input from the mic on Focusrite's mixer, and yes applied the 48v phantom power, and was able to create a track on the Pro tools for the mic test. So I have gotten a little further but ran into a playback problem. After I recorded the quick test I played back and nothing. Currently the hardware output is going to the two monitor speakers and I can hear my voice through those speakers, and it did record on a track in Pro tools. The immediate issue I have now is the playback. The input is Mic 3, and the output is set to "MON 1-2". The only other choices on the output was hp1, hp2 and SPDIF. I tried them all. Interesting though I no longer have any audio output on my computer. I thought that my computer audio output would be the monitor speakers but that's not happening either. Crap, I think I need a nap LOL .... Thanks for you time Sir!
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Re: Scarlett 18i8 1st Gen Recording

Post by BDG »

Dave, thank you, I will certainly give both products a test. Appreciate your input very much.
Kind Regards
Bob
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Re: Scarlett 18i8 1st Gen Recording

Post by BWC »

I also love both Audacity and Reaper, and echo the recommendation.
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Re: Scarlett 18i8 1st Gen Recording

Post by Eddy Deegan »

Hi Bob - welcome to the forum :wave:

I noted you said that with the pro-tools First product you got no joy when recording. I don't use pro-tools but the advice above from Drew and Dave is on point.

Personally, I'd skip Audacity and download a trial version of Reaper. Reaper is a fully featured DAW which doesn't come with a lot of additional bells and whistles that other DAWs do but the core functionality is as good as any of them and the way it works is broadly in line with the way any of the other commercial offerings do. The trial offering is not limited in any functional way; it just nags you slightly if after the trial period (which is quite generous) you've not licensed it. The cost of a personal license is also very reasonable at $60.

Co-incidentally I bought my wife a Scarlett 18i8 interface recently as she is also starting to get into the joys of recording and as such I know full well it works very well with Reaper :)

In truth the main challenge here is not so much how to use the Scarlett, more to do with how to use the DAW of choice you have installed.

Once you've installed Reaper, go to the options and select the Scarlett as your audio interface. From that point on you should be able to create a new track, select the inputs on the Scarlett you want to use and start recording.

If you have trouble at any point in the above let us know and we'll assist with getting past that issue. My wife had one or two issues initially but is now flying like a champ with it.
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Re: Scarlett 18i8 1st Gen Recording

Post by blinddrew »

One thing to check Bob, on the device set-up page (for whichever DAW you end up using), you need to make sure that the outputs are set-up correctly as well as the inputs.
So it's worth a quick double check to make sure that you've a) got some outputs selected, and b) that they're the ones you're using.
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