When it comes to making music often the first steps are the hardest. And while it might not cost that much to buy enough equipment to start banging out tracks, these days there is a bewildering choice of equipment on offer. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a studio in a box available with everything needed to get started making music included from a brand name that is known and trusted within the industry? This is a question that has clearly been raised in the not-too-distant-past over at Focusrite’s London HQ and has been answered with the release of their Scarlett Studio package.
Focusrite have an enviable reputation for producing high-end studio equipment and more recently, their budget range of products aimed at project studios and DJs has managed to balance quality and price, gaining much praise. The Scarlett package continues this price-conscious approach and is aimed squarely at those making music on a budget or brand-new to the game.
Included within the Scarlett Studio package are Cubase 6 LE to create, record and mix tracks, a Scarlett 2i2 audio interface, HP60 headphones and a CM25 microphone, a stand attachment cradle and XLR cable for the microphone and a USB cable, so no other purchases are required to connect everything together and start making music. Also included in the Scarlett Studio box is the Focusrite Scarlett Plug-in Suite consisting of a compressor, reverb, EQ and gate, all of which are extremely high quality professional studio tools; in addition, Novation’s Bass Station plug-in is included. And just to make sure that owners of the Scarlett Studio package have all their music-making bases covered, sample content from Loopmasters — such as drum loops, sound effects and more — can be downloaded from their website.
Each of the components of this package has been carefully selected to provide studio-quality equipment and software, ensuring professional results with the least amount of hassle. The Scarlett 2i2 audio interface provides two outputs as well as two individual inputs, which employ Focusrite’s ‘award-winning’ pre-amps. Other nice touches to be found on the audio interface include halo rings around the input gain knobs to show when the signal is too hot, phantom power for microphones that require this, and a headphone monitor output.
The CM25 microphone is a compact condenser microphone, perfect for recording vocals, acoustic instruments or even guitar amp cabinets, and the HP60 headphones compliment the package perfectly by providing a reference quality response that is uncoloured and flat, to allow accurate monitoring of mixing and recording with minimum spill. In keeping with the professional, studio-quality ethos, the software provided is high-end, with Cubase 6 LE and Focusrite’s plug-in suite being more than capable of producing world-class sounds.
While the Scarlett Studio package covers most of the bases and strictly speaking has everything required to make music, bar a computer, there are a few additional items that will make life in the studio a lot more productive. The first thing newcomers will need is a set of studio monitor speakers, followed by a MIDI keyboard and finally, a microphone stand to round off a completely serviceable project studio set-up, but of course these items can be purchased one at a time, as and when the budget allows.
The Scarlett Studio package manages to get everything right by providing good quality components at a very reasonable cost. Combined with a laptop, this package is also a great solution for creating music on the move, as the components are the right size and weight to take on the road and can be neatly packed into their original box, taking up very little room indeed. This package from Focusrite could really be the easiest way to start making music, especially when taking into consideration the very reasonable price.
And as an added bonus we have one Scarlett package to give away to one budding producer. Simply send in an email with your details to email@example.com, explaining why you deserve such a bundle of joy.
The Focusrite Scarlett Studio package is now available from Focusrite for £199.99
|Ease of use||8.0|
|Value for money||8.0|
High quality soundcard, complete with Focusrite’s award-winning pre-amps as well as a microphone and reference-quality studio headphones.
A small table-top microphone stand would have been nice to really complete the package.
Focusrite have come very close to providing a complete studio in a box, and at this price, it is hard to think of an easier or better way for those new to making music to get started.
Copyright Thrust Publishing Ltd. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.djmag.com as the source.