Microphone Not Working On Focusrite Scarlett? (6 Fixes)

The Focusrite Scarlett is a powerful and popular audio interface that’s great for recording vocals and other instruments.

But what if your microphone isn’t working?

Don’t worry, in this article, we’ll dive into 6 Fixes to get your microphone working in no time!

man recording voice in professional audio studio

Make Sure to Check Mic Cable and Phantom Power

Sometimes the most straightforward solutions can be the best.

When it comes to microphone issues with your Focusrite Scarlett interface, it’s no different!

If you’re stuck with your microphone not working with your Focusrite Scarlett, here are the steps to cover some basic fixes before moving on to any that are more complicated:

Check The Microphone Itself: Firstly, you can try using the microphone with a different device or interface to see if it works. This will help you determine if the issue is with the microphone itself or the Focusrite Scarlett.

Try A Different Cable: Another useful step is to try a different XLR cable to connect your microphone to the Scarlett. If the microphone works with the new cable, it’s possible that the original cable was faulty.

Check The Input Gain: It’s also important to check the input gain on the Scarlett to ensure that it’s turned up enough to detect the microphone signal. You can adjust this by using the gain knob on the front of the interface.

Check The Input Selection: Additionally, make sure that the input selection on the Scarlett is set to the correct input channel for your microphone. You can easily change this using the “Input Select” button on the front of the interface.

Check The Phantom Power: Finally, if your microphone requires phantom power to function, be sure to check that the phantom power switch on the Scarlett is turned on. This switch is usually labeled as “+48V” or “Phantom Power”.

It’s important to check what kind of microphone you’re using, as different microphones have alternative ways of set up and usage.

Here are some examples of different microphones:

Dynamic (Shure SM57)

  • If you’re using a dynamic microphone, like the popular Shure SM57, you’re in luck because it doesn’t require any power to function.
  • Just plug it into your Scarlett interface and you’re good to go! Make sure to turn up the gain on the interface, and you’ll be ready to record.

Condenser (Rode NT1)

  • On the other hand, if you’re using a condenser microphone, like the Rode NT1 (a popular affordable condenser microphone), you’ll need to provide power to the mic for it to work.
  • This is where the 48V button on your Scarlett interface comes in handy.
  • By pressing this button, you’ll give the microphone the power it needs, which is called phantom power. Once you’ve turned on phantom power, your condenser mic should be up and running.

By understanding the differences between dynamic and condenser microphones, and how they interact with your Scarlett interface, you’ll be well-equipped to make the most of your recording setup.

Please take a look at my article with solutions to common issues with Logic Pro X and Focusrite Scarlett.

Be Careful When Switching Between Different Types of Microphones

Now that we have a better understanding of the different types of microphones, it’s important to understand how to use them with a Focusrite Scarlett.

The most crucial thing to remember is to BE CAREFUL!

Exercising caution is paramount when switching from one microphone to another, as there are some potential pitfalls to watch out for – which I had to learn the hard way.

I’m here to help you understand the different types of microphones and how they interact with your setup 🙂

Let’s say you’re currently using a condenser microphone and everything seems to be working fine. However, you start to notice that the mic is picking up too much background noise, so you decide to switch to a dynamic microphone instead.

Here’s where things can get tricky.

You might not run into any issues if you’re using a balanced dynamic microphone. However, if you’re using an unbalanced dynamic mic, it could be affected by the setup.

As a general rule, it’s best to disable phantom power before unplugging any microphone. And if you’re using a condenser mic, be sure to plug it in first before enabling the 48V phantom power.

By keeping these tips in mind, you can avoid any potential issues when switching between microphones and ensure that your recordings come out sounding great.

USB Hubs Could Be the Cause of Your Issue

If you’re using a USB-powered version of the Focusrite Scarlett, it’s essential to be aware of potential issues that might come up when using a USB hub.

Here are examples of USB-powered Focusrite Scarletts:

  • Focusrite Scarlett Solo (All Generations)
  • Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (All Generations)
  • Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 (3rd Generation)

Here are some things to keep in mind:

Power Limitations: USB hubs have power limitations, so if you connect too many devices to the hub, it might not be able to provide enough power to each device.

This can lead to problems with the Scarlett, such as audio dropouts or intermittent sound.

Compatibility Issues: Some USB hubs might not be fully compatible with the Focusrite Scarlett, which can cause connectivity problems or even damage to the device.

Data Transfer Speed: The data transfer speed of a USB hub might be slower than a direct connection to your computer. This can cause latency issues or lower-quality audio recordings.

To avoid these problems, it’s best to connect the Focusrite Scarlett directly to your computer’s USB port.

If you need to use a USB hub, make sure it’s a high-quality hub that’s compatible with the Scarlett and has enough power capabilities (Powered USB hubs often offer better performance).

Also, try to limit the number of devices connected to the hub to prevent power and data transfer issues.

It’s Time For a Driver Refresh

Over time, the drivers that allow your computer to communicate with the Focusrite Scarlett can become corrupted or outdated, which can lead to problems such as audio dropouts, latency issues, or the device not being recognized by the computer at all.

Here are some steps you can follow to refresh the connection between your computer and Focusrite Scarlett audio interface:

  1. First, unplug your Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 from your computer.
  2. Right-click on the Start button and select Device Manager.
  3. Look for the section labeled “Audio Inputs and Outputs”
  4. At the bottom, right-click and select “Uninstall”
  5. Confirm the deletion of the driver in the pop-up box by clicking the “Uninstall” button.
  6. Look for “Focusrite USB Audio” and delete “USB Audio Root”
  7. Go down to “Sound, videos, and game controllers”
  8. Find any items related to Focusrite and delete them.
  9. Once you’ve deleted all items related to Focusrite Scarlett, you can plug in the audio interface.

Refreshing the drivers essentially reinstalls the software that allows your computer and the audio interface to communicate properly, resolving any issues that may have arisen due to outdated or corrupted drivers.

This can help ensure that your audio interface is functioning as intended and that you can record or play back high-quality audio without any interruptions or glitches.

Windows 10 Update – Things to Check

Certain users have experienced difficulties with their microphones not working with Focusrite Scarlett after updating to Windows 10.

If you’re experiencing similar issues, don’t worry! Here’s how to make sure your microphone is properly set up on your computer – just follow these simple steps:

  1. First, press the Windows key and the letter “I” at the same time. This will open your Windows Settings.
  2. Next, click on “Privacy” and then click on “Microphone”
  3. Make sure the toggle switch for “Allow apps to access your microphone” is turned on. You can also choose which apps have access to your microphone if needed.

If you’re still experiencing issues, you can try these other options one by one.

Run the Hardware & Devices/Audio troubleshooters:

  1. To do this, type “Troubleshoot” in the Windows Start Search box and click on “Troubleshoot”
  2. Then click on “Hardware & Devices” and run the troubleshooter.
  3. Repeat this for “Playing Audio”, “Recording Audio”, and “Speech”

Check that your microphone is not disabled and is set as the default device:

  1. Type “Sound” in the Windows Start Search box and click on “Sound”
  2. Under the “Recording” tab, right-click on an empty space and select “Show disconnected devices” and “Show disabled devices”
  3. Select your microphone and click on “Properties” to make sure it is enabled.
  4. You can also check if the microphone you’re using is set as the default device.

Set up your microphone:

  1. Type “microphone” in the Windows Start Search box and click on “Set up a Microphone”
  2. Select the required type of microphone (for internal mic, select “Others”) and follow the on-screen directions to set it up.

Take actions related to your audio driver:

  1. Press the Windows key and the letter “X” at the same time, then click on “Device Manager”
  2. Under “Sound, Video & game controllers”, right-click on the entry and select “Properties”
  3. Go to the “Driver” tab and try the following:
    1. Turn off the driver if it is enabled.
    2. Uninstall the device and restart your computer to reinstall it automatically.
    3. Update the driver by clicking “Update Driver” and choosing “Browse my computer for driver software”
    4. Choose the driver and click “Next” to update.
    5. If this does not work, select “Search automatically for updated driver software” and restart your computer.
    6. Download and reinstall the driver from your computer manufacturer’s website.

If you’re still experiencing issues, you can check out other steps in the Windows guide for the microphone not working.

It’s as Simple as Plug and Play!

A lot of the time, users tend to download and install incorrect or unnecessary drivers, which get in the way of your Scarlett interface doing its thing!

(This applies to the Scarlett 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Generation ranges, Clarett USB, and Saffire 6 USB (USB 2.0)).

If you’re using a Focusrite USB 2.0+ interface with your Mac – you don’t need to install any additional drivers! Simply connect the interface to your computer and you’re good to go.

However, you still need the Control Interface native to Focusrite.

To download the control software for your interface, head to your account and click on “My Software”, or visit the Downloads section of our website.

NB: If you’ve accidentally installed an old Focusrite driver on your Mac, it could cause issues such as glitchy audio or your device only appearing as an input device with no outputs available.

Not to worry though! You can easily remove any problematic drivers by running our Class Compliant application, which you can find at the bottom of this article.

Alternatively, you can manually delete drivers by following these steps:

  1. Go to Finder.
  2. Click on “Go” at the top of the screen.
  3. Select “Computer”, then Mac HD, System, Library, and finally Extensions.
  4. In this folder, remove any files named “FocusriteUSB2Audio.kext”.
  5. Empty your trash.
  6. Restart your computer.

Please also check out my article about common sound issues with Ableton and Focusrite Scarlett. 

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, a microphone not working with the Focusrite Scarlett can be a frustrating issue, but it’s often solvable with some troubleshooting.

Make sure to check the physical connections, switch to a different cable, and adjust the settings in your recording software. It’s also important to keep your Scarlett’s drivers up-to-date and ensure that it’s receiving enough power.

There are multiple small issues and problems that one can face when experiencing “technical difficulties” as we say in the music industry. It’s important to be methodical and patient when testing different problems – make sure you don’t miss anything!

If you’re still experiencing problems, try reaching out to the Focusrite support team or consulting the user manual for further guidance. The Focusrite Support team has a great reputation within the industry for providing concise and helpful feedback while being quick with their response!

With a little persistence, you can get your microphone up and running with your Scarlett and start creating high-quality recordings in no time!


Focusrite Support and Feedback
Focusrite USB-powered interfaces