Thunderbolt technology (Focusrite Clarett)

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Last Alternative
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Post 18 Nov 2015

This is new to me. Or maybe not since I have an iPhone 6 but never realized.. is that what Apple cables are?

So I just bought the new Focusrite Clarett 2Pre and was trying to hook it up. I've been so excited to upgrade from my Scarlett 2i4 which I JUST boxed and posted on craigslist.. only to find PC (Windows) are not compatible with Thunderbolt cables until beginning next year. I am extremely disappointed. When I ordered it from Musician's Friend a few weeks ago, they failed to mention this thing only works with Apple. So now here I am kicking dust and setting my Scarlett back up, taking my ad down.
Sure I could buy a Thunderbolt to PC adapter but that doesn't sound very solid to me; I'd rather it be a native jack in my desktop.

On the bright side, I just talked to a Musician's Friend manager and he is sending me a free return label and guaranteed the sale price I got it for. The Clarett 2Pre is $500 but I got it on sale for $425 so next year when I upgrade my computer (yeah I REALLY want this thing) I have that price locked in. Until then, I shall focus on my album.
...but it totally sux to buy something you can't use.

Wanna know something terrible? I thought about buying a Mac just to keep this interface but that's crazy! And that's how much I spoil myself but I really should put my refund towards Christmas presents. Oh hum..
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:reason: 11+ | MacBook Pro (16”, 2021), OS Monterey, M1 Max, 4TB SSD, 64GB RAM | quality instruments & gear

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eusti
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Post 18 Nov 2015

Sorry to hear. But Thunderbolt =/ Lightning cables.

Image

D.

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eusti
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Post 18 Nov 2015

https://discussions.apple.com/thread/5978663

Don't get a Mac! I use a Mac and it's great and all, but Reason in particular runs slower on a Mac of equal specs than a PC... So, beware!

D.

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selig
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Post 18 Nov 2015

Thunderbolt and lightning use different connectors, so they're not exactly the same thing (from the angle of purchasing one).

I've just got the 2Pre for review and one disappointing thing was that they don't include a cable with it - nothing at all. Like you have an option to NOT use a cable!
Also, there are no native drivers for it like USB interfaces, and it seems you need to run their control software if you want to change the line input to an instrument (guitar) input, or switch on the "air" feature.

I'm guessing this is a Thunderbolt thing.

But damn, it sounds good - the headphone output is a good twice as loud as the interface it replaces, the 2i2. I'll compare the mic pre shortly, but it's looking good so far (despite the previously mentioned issues).
:)
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Post 18 Nov 2015

Wait.. so you have to run the software to use it? I was wondering how to turn on air and whatnot. So it's like a control panel?
Yeah I won't be getting a Mac because I prefer PC and will just upgrade it next year. It's a shame companies have to be so proprietary.
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:reason: 11+ | MacBook Pro (16”, 2021), OS Monterey, M1 Max, 4TB SSD, 64GB RAM | quality instruments & gear

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bpmorton
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Post 19 Nov 2015

Why is this thing any different (other than connectivity) than their scarlet USB devices?

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selig
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Post 19 Nov 2015

Last Alternative wrote:Wait.. so you have to run the software to use it? I was wondering how to turn on air and whatnot. So it's like a control panel?
Yeah I won't be getting a Mac because I prefer PC and will just upgrade it next year. It's a shame companies have to be so proprietary.
You don't have to run the software to use it at a basic level. I was able to record with it after download the drivers. There IS a windows driver, btw, though I'm not sure if that's what you meant by "proprietary".
:)
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selig
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Post 19 Nov 2015

bpmorton wrote:Why is this thing any different (other than connectivity) than their scarlet USB devices?
Why is it different? I don't know.

How is it different? It has MIDI, better preamps, stronger headphone output, additional inputs via Lightpipe, and "Air" feature which I've not been able to test yet (have to finish another review first).

I have both interfaces at present, will report further as I get the chance. The full review will run in a few months in Recording Magazine.
:)
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bpmorton
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Post 19 Nov 2015

Yes, my use of the English language is offensive at times!

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selig
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Post 19 Nov 2015

bpmorton wrote:Yes, my use of the English language is offensive at times!
I meant to harm in my comment, apologies if it came off harsh in any way!
:)
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Post 19 Nov 2015

Focusrite told me yesterday they're still beta testing the Windows drivers and it won't work on anything besides Apple/Mac until beginning next year.
I just returned it today and will upgrade my motherboard and get the Clarett again as soon as it's ready for Windows. Major tease to have in my hands but couldn't use it.

Obviously I haven't tried the Clarett yet but I have to say I'm disappointed it needs its own power supply. The Scarlett uses the same cable to draw power AND input/output from the computer so that part is pretty lame with this new one. I guess it needs more juice than the Scarlett. More than the average computer can give? Doesn't make sense though since the average desktop power supply is anywhere from 200-500W nowadays. Mine is 500. Far more than one ever needs.
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ScuzzyEye
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Post 19 Nov 2015

Last Alternative wrote:Obviously I haven't tried the Clarett yet but I have to say I'm disappointed it needs its own power supply. The Scarlett uses the same cable to draw power AND input/output from the computer so that part is pretty lame with this new one. I guess it needs more juice than the Scarlett.
That's interesting. Thunderbolt ports can also provide more power than USB. So you'd think it'd end up as a wash.

EDIT: I take that back. I just looked at the specs, and current TB only has a couple Watts to spare, less than USB.

Thunderbolt 4, will have 100 W.
Last edited by ScuzzyEye on 19 Nov 2015, edited 1 time in total.

Ostermilk
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Post 19 Nov 2015

You don't need Thunderbolt on a PC you have direct access to the PCIe bus and plenty of audio interfaces to suit.

It seems mad to me to emulate something you HAVE to do on a Mac on something where Thunderbolt isn't actually needed. It's probably why you won't find many people bothering with Thunderbolt interfaces on a PC. It can be done but why would you.

The logical thing to ask yourself is what is different about this pre compared to their other interfaces because I can tell you that being Thunderbolt enabled of itself isn't going to benefit the pre-amp being used.

Take this as an example, bear in mind this is for a UAD DSP enabled card which like rrequires more bandwidth then the device you chose yet it's running over USB?
What is the difference between Apollo Twin USB and the existing Apollo Twin Thunderbolt?

Apollo Twin USB works exclusively on Windows, Apollo Twin Thunderbolt works exclusively on Macs. Both Apollo Twin versions have the same feature set in terms of I/O, sonic performance and general functionality.
Whether an interface is Thunderbolt or not is of no direct benefit or concern to an end user it is an option that hardware vendors can use to develop competetive products. The key is that a product performs to your requirements and kicks ass doing so, whether it runs on PCIe, Thunderbolt, FW, USB is a secondary concern.

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bpmorton
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Post 19 Nov 2015

selig wrote:
bpmorton wrote:Yes, my use of the English language is offensive at times!
I meant to harm in my comment, apologies if it came off harsh in any way!
:)
no offense taken. :puf_smile: So I keep on reading all these rave reviews of the Preamps in the scarlet but now the new box is somehow better. LOL I'd love to see a blind shootout test of this stuff or possibly a shootout like Keyboard Magazine did for samplers back in the late 80's and again in 1994.

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selig
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Post 19 Nov 2015

bpmorton wrote:
selig wrote:
bpmorton wrote:Yes, my use of the English language is offensive at times!
I meant to harm in my comment, apologies if it came off harsh in any way!
:)
no offense taken. :puf_smile: So I keep on reading all these rave reviews of the Preamps in the scarlet but now the new box is somehow better. LOL I'd love to see a blind shootout test of this stuff or possibly a shootout like Keyboard Magazine did for samplers back in the late 80's and again in 1994.
I'll post some quick files if I get the chance comparing the 2i2 and 2Pre. I've got an acoustic guitar here, but when I get back to my studio in Utah I may be able to record additional instruments (but probably won't have the 2i2 with me). I will also have a large selection of output mic preamps including a focusrite ISA series, API, Vintech, UA, and more. Stay tuned.
:)
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