Among audio devices today we will look on external studio sound card Focusrite Scarlett Solo. It is designed for analogue audio recording on semi-professional studio level. Its front panel has : microphone XLR input with Focusrite preamplifier, +48 V phantom power switch and amplification level control; instrumental/linear 6.3 mm TRS jack ( 1/4″ ) input, instrumental/linear switch and signal amplification level control; 6.3 mm TRS jack ( 1/4″ ) output for monitor headphones, Direct Monitor mode switch and headphones volume level control. Its back panel has : 2 analogue linear RCA outputs; USB port, through which it communicates with computer and receives power from it; and Kensington Lock slot. Card works with 44.1, 48, 88.2 and 96 kHz sampling rates and 24 bits precision.
Microphone input has following characteristics : 106 dB dynamic range, -125 dB noise volume level; instrumental input : 106 dB dynamic range, -109 dB noise level; linear input : 106 dB dynamic range and -98 dB noise level; linear outputs : 106 dB dynamic range, -97 dB noise level; and monitor headphones output has 106 dB dynamic range. Body of card is produced from aluminum and has beautiful maroon color. Drivers are released for card for Windows XP and newer and Mac OS X and newer operating systems, which allow it to work with modern DAWs : Ableton Live, Steinberg Cubase, FL Studio, Cackewalk Sonar, REAPER, Avid Pro Tools and others. Card is supplied with following software : DAW Ableton Live Lite, Focusrite Scarlett plugins package, Novation Bass Station plugin and 1 GB of Loopmasters sounds samples. Package contains : Focusrite Scarlett Solo sound card itself, USB cable, optical disks with drivers and software and user’s guide. In principle : it is a good middle-level sound card with more or less optimal price for its functionality; it has good dynamic range and noise level characteristics of analogue inputs and outputs. But, there is need to note, that for 125 USD ( card’s price at the middle of Autumn 2015 ) there is ability to buy more functional card or there is ability to buy card with similar functionality for smaller price. Also : it has no MIDI and digital inputs and outputs, but this can be solved with additional cheap internal or external audio card with such ports.