Interfacing Linux: Focusrite Scarlett Solo (Gen3)

The Scarlett Solo is a budget interface from Focusrite sporting USB connectivity and two preamps capable of delivering 56 dB of gain. Let’s see if it knows how to Linux. 

Where to buy:
Amazon US 
Amazon CA  
Amazon UK  


Drivers

Plug it in. You’re done. 


Pulseaudio

The Focusrite Scarlett Solo will function like any other sound device in pavucontrol.


Jack

Select the ALSA driver to connect your Focusrite Scarlett Solo to the Jack server. 


Round-trip Latency

While many kinds of audio latency metrics exist, one useful and well-understood metric is round-trip latency; the time it takes for an audio signal to enter the input of a device, get processed, and exit the output.


Testing setup

CPU AMD Ryzen 7 1700
RAM Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB
Motherboard MSI B350 Tomahawk
GPU Nvidia NVS 300
SSD Samsung 840
PSU: EVGA 600 B1
Firewire: Syba SY-PEX30016
Network: Intel i350-T4
OS: Debian Bullseye
Kernel: 5.11-rt-amd64
Desktop: NA

Focusrite Scarlett Solo: Round-trip latency @44100 Hz


Focusrite Scarlett Solo: Round-trip latency @48000HZ


Focusrite Scarlett Solo: Round-trip latency @96000HZ


Focusrite Scarlett Solo: Round-trip latency @192000HZ


Technical Specifications

  • Connectivity: USB 2.0
  • Simultaneous I/O: 2 x 2
  • Preamps: 1 x mic, 1 x instrument 
  • Gain Range: 56 dB
  • Phantom Power: Yes
  • A/D Resolution: Up to 24-bit/192kHz
  • Analog Inputs: 1 x XLR (mic), 1 x 1/4″ (Hi-Z)
  • Analog Outputs: 2 x 1/4″ TRS
  • Headphones: 1 x 1/4″
  • USB: 1 x Type USB-C
  • Bus Powered: Yes
  • Power Supply: USB bus powered

Verdict

The Scarlett Solo does everything it claims on the tin. It’s a perfectly serviceable budget USB interface. It’s only crime is costing more than the Behringer U-Phoria UMC204HD.

Focusrite Scarlett Solo (3rd Gen)

8.5 out of 10

One of the best performing mic preamps the Scarlett range has ever seen, now with switchable air Mode to give your recordings a brighter and more open sound.

Stability
8/10
Ease of Use
10/10
Look & Feel
9/10
Price
7/10

Pros

Easy to use

No drivers to install

56dB preamps

Cons

No MIDI

No hardware inserts

No line level inputs

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