Focusrite Scarlett 6i6
I got a Focusrite Scarlett 6i6 audio interface from a seller on Craigslist yesterday. Its the 2nd gen model, which is the new one that has ironed out some issues from the older model. The seller listed the device as being in Stratford, CT, which is about an hour away, without traffic. After emailing, I learned that its actually at his mother’s house in Mt. Vernon, NY, behind Cross County Shopping Center – about 5 mins from my house.
So, wifey and I left Bopps with her grandparents and went to see the device. We met the seller in Mt. Vernon. He was a little older than me – maybe in his late 40s or early 50s. His name is Mike and he’s originally from Queens – he had the accent too.
His mother’s place is falling apart. Its an old Victorian house, and in the snowy dark had looked intimidating from outside. Once the door opened, I could hear my wife’s mental cringe in my head. We had to go up 3 flights to a room to see the 6i6. There were boxes and junk everywhere, the handrail finish on the staircase was partially stripped, like if paint thinner had been run in odd rivulets along it, the floors were in terrible condition, and a young, blonde woman in a bathrobe with her hair wrapped in a towel walked out of a room on the 3rd floor, ran into us going upstairs and exclaimed, “What, there are more people?!”
Later, wifey would go all HGTV on me and got to talking about the foyer, sitting room, floor-to-ceiling height stained glass picture window on one of the floors, various molding details, large room sizes, octagonal rooms and impressive ceiling height (10 or 12 feet). It has good bones, but was really hurting. She’s always looking at places and thinking about renovations (and yes, our own house really needs some). She also noticed that despite the worn condition of the entire house, all of the rooms had large-screen HDTV’s.
I’m not quite sure what was going on inside of the home, but we made our way upstairs to one of the smaller rooms, which was actually still about as big as my home office. Mike pulled the boxed 6i6 from a shelf and opened it on a table for us to see. We talked about the device and he went over some of its basic features, showing where to plug in a guitar cable or XLR cable, where the power cable and USB went, what the knobs did, and so on. The device looked brand new and I asked him why he’s selling it. He said that he needed the money and was selling some other things, like six guitars.
Apparently, he had a motorcycle accident and was selling things to pay off his bills. I sympathized with his story, because I know people who have had similar accidents and know others who have had to sell prized possessions to stay afloat. I pray that I’m never in that situation. I did note that he didn’t seem to have any injuries though. I checked the serial number on the bottom of the 6i6. Earlier in the day, Google had given me the following info, so that I’d know if I was dealing with an actual 2nd gen or a 1st gen:
Is my Focusrite Scarlett 6i6 1st gen or 2nd gen?
Applies to: Scarlett 1st Gen & 2nd Gen
If you have purchased a Scarlett interface after 1st June 2016, then you may be confused as to whether it is a 1st Gen or 2nd Gen Scarlett.
If you turn over your Scarlett unit, you should see a sticker containing a barcode on the base of the unit, below this will be a serial number, the prefix of your serial number will denote which generation Scarlett you own:
Sxxxxxxxxxxx or Txxxxxxxxxxx = 1st Gen
Vxxxxxxxxxxxx or Wxxxxxxxxxxxx = 2nd Gen
Which generation you have will determine what software and drivers appear in your user account, as well as which Downloads page you select on the Focusrite website
The one in front of me had a serial number starting with “V”, so I knew I was in the clear as far as the family tree goes. Environment aside, everything looked good. The 6i6 was in mint condition. All of the wires were intact, as were adapters for plugging it in overseas. Mike explained that we could grab all of the software online, from Focusrite’s website. I knew some of this already, from YouTube and from Shel Z’s post about her Focusrite Solo. So, I paid the man.
Once he was paid, we got to talking. He went into a 30-minute chat about growing up in Flushing and how the neighborhood had changed from Italians to Chinese and Korean, and how all of the places he knew were gone – and about how Flushing was a bigger Chinatown than the one in Manhattan (something which my Chinese coworkers have also commented on). Then he got into a bunch of other things – children growing up today who are online and away from people physically growing up with no sense of resilience and being unable to defend themselves physically and socially, pornography on the internet, an assertion that crystal meth was used historically by pregnant women and was prescribed by doctors, recording woodwind instruments and the higher price of purchasing them vs. other types of instruments, renting vs. buying instruments for children and buying woodwinds for older teens who were upgrading equipment, finding information on YouTube – I mentioned how I’d used it to fix stuff in my house and the car, he agreed about home repair stuff and then ranted a bit about using it for auto repair because apparently, he’s some kind of specialized mechanic professionally… there were other things as well, but I can’t remember it all. I was primarily concerned with stuff about the Focusrite. He did say that I should look into getting a good pair of studio monitors, and I did start researching that last night to see if its necessary.
So, we finally left, and wifey complained that she wanted to gag because the house smelled like paint thinner and Raid. It got me wondering if they’re trying to get rid of termites using the old bug spray and gasoline/kerosene method. I paid $150 for the 6i6, which is $100 less than I’ve seen anywhere online. Its actually the price I’ve seen for the 2i2, which is the model I’ve had on my Wish List at Amazon for a while, so I made out well.
Early this AM, I set up the 6i6 and configured it to work in Audacity and in Reaper. I did some test recordings in WAV and MP3. I’ll do some more testing with the Rocksmith cable for comparison and share the results later. This entire home recording process is really intriguing to me. I watched some videos and read some articles about studio monitors vs. home speaker systems, and I can see this being a whole new rabbit hole for people building home recording studios. I’m not quite at that point yet. My recording needs are very basic, and the main reason I went after an interface is so that I can record with someone else, since I’m moving in that direction for my own learning purposes.
Mike did give me his email address and phone number, so if I have questions about setting up the 6i6 and want to run anything by him, I can. He also showed me the receipt for the 6i6. It had come from Sweetwater. I mentioned that I’d only recently begun looking at them and Musician’s Friend. He had a higher opinion of Sweetwater, for their customer service and also because they were more inclined to price drops if a customer mentioned seeing something for the same price elsewhere. He’s a contact I’m not quite sure about keeping just yet. I am curious if he has a good set of studio monitors now, though…