Focusrite introduces interfaces with extremely low latency

At NAMM 2015 Focusrite has introduced its new Clarett Thunderbolt interfaces with extremely low latency: below 1ms!

To get a great sound out of a great sounding microphone you will need a great pre-amp. And for recording guitar you will need an audio interface with low latency. Focusrite thinks their new models covers both issues.


At NAMM 2015 Focusrite has introduced its new Clarett Thunderbolt interfaces with extremely low latency: below 1ms! It comes in 4 different models, but all models come with new Clarett preamps + a classic ISA design switch. And they are all expandable over an ADAT connection.

I do wonder though how the extremely low latency relates to CPU usage. My current Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 interface (USB 2) can handle 128 samples in Ableton and Reason but only when doing very simple projects with really just a few tracks and without any complex virtual processing going on. I am wondering how the Clarett will handle this. Below 1ms sounds great, but I am more interested in the safe setting here. Hopefully that safe setting will be something like below 6 ms even on very demanding tracks/projects!

There is something I felt was missing compared to my current Scarlett 2i4 interface: the pad switch. I always have the pad switch ON when recording an electric guitar or bass guitar. The pad switch adds more headroom to the input signal. Without it I am overdriving the input and ruining any digital recording with lots of audio clipping. Maybe Focusrite has removed this switch on the Clarett models and added headroom to the input level.

Not sure if it can work on bus power, probably not since all models contain a connector for a power adapter on the back panel.

Would love to try the smallest model the Clarrett 2Pre as soon as it is available.

Sound On Sound did a NAMM show preview:


Focusrite do a whole load of interfaces that offer endless hazards for many – buyer beware.

They either fail to inform buyers that certain models don’t have this or that, or they simply ignore calls for support.

Take their Saffire Firewire range, for example; did you know that the Firewire portals on these models are all Firewire 400, but the supplied cable is 400 to 800? This means that if your pc has a Firewire 400 portal that you will have to purchase either a 400 to 400 cable or an adapter.

Furthermore, did you know that if the Firewire 400 on your pc doesn’t have the correct chipset, you will have to purchase a suitable card before your Saffire will operate? A suitable card will set you back “around £40.00”..
This ‘unsuitable chipset’ information can be found in the bowels of the Focusrite website – you’d have to spend a lot of time finding it.

Yes, their products have great qualities – when they operate. Their forums are choc-full of issues with their lack of attention to detail and disregard for the paying customer.

Oh, yes, I’d forgotten this article was about latency issues.. (or was it headroom and distortion issues?)

Buyer beware…

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.