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Outputs...I don't get it. Scarlett 2i2 vs. 2i4

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by ii7-V7, Dec 13, 2015.

  1. ii7-V7


    Aug 4, 2002
    Baltimore, MD
    I know that inputs have something to do with tracking, but I really don't fully get it. Looking the Scarlett interfaces I see they have a 2i2 and a 2i4. Here's what I don't get. If I can only plug in two different inputs then why would I need 4 outputs? Is it so that the signals will be in stereo?
  2. somegeezer


    Oct 1, 2009
    2 outputs are usually going to be used for a pair of monitors. Whatever you do with other outputs is up to you. Perhaps another set of monitors. Perhaps a full surround setup with enough outputs. Perhaps outboard gear.
    Fondsdale likes this.
  3. To add to the above, it also allows you to setup a separate headphone mix for tracking.
  4. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    When you are recording, your signal can go to the computer, then on to the computer's output. This can cause a delay in hearing what is coming out the scarlet. The delay is called latency. If you are monitoring while your are recording you want zero latency. The outputs on the scarlet allow you to monitor with zero latency because the output isn't going through your computer. The scarlet outputs can be sent to a set of headphones or to a set of self powered speakers or an amp with speakers. Another option is send the signal to a recorder or mixer. More outputs allows for more routing options to different devices. It may not be an option that you need.
  5. whatizitman


    Sep 9, 2014
    The 2i4 has both balanced (1/4 inch) and unbalanced outputs (RCAs). The 2i2 only has balanced outputs. The Solo has only RCAs. All of them have headphone out. All outputs are technically L and R (stereo). What you need depends on how you will be monitoring recording and playback, or if you need an extra line out for some reason. As beans-on-toast said, you want to use the interface for monitoring to minimize latency.
  6. Ender_rpm


    Apr 18, 2004
    St. Louis MO
    Also, you could use the one set of outputs to send prerecorded track to an outboard FX, then back in through the inputs for a stereo track, all while monitoring through the other outputs.
  7. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    The 18i20 manual provides a little more detail. Worth checking out.

    As Ender_rpm said, the outputs can go to FX units. Another use of the outputs is additional headphone sends. If you are recording a band, you can have multiple assignable, based on different mixes, headphone outs.
  8. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    I need more outputs. I want to run Native Instruments Maschine live, and I'll need to be able to route the following signals to a board:
    synth bass
    synth pad
    synth lead

    That's 5 channels. If the outputs are stereo (even if I end up running the patches mono), then that's 10 outputs I'd need on the interface. I'm still sorting out how I want to rig this, but it is an example of why you'd need multiple interface outs.

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