In this guide, we’re going to explain what the air button does on the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio interface. We will also make some recommendations on when to use and and when to avoid using it. 

Quick Answer: The Air Button on the Scarlett 2i2 provides your input (microphone or instrument) with a boost in the upper frequencies to improve the brightness and clarity of your input. The air mode will also add a little bit of analog harmonic distortion to emulate the classic microphone preamps that we’ve grown to love. 

Scarlett 2i2 Audio Interface Pricing:

What Does The Air Button Do?

Focusrite ISA 110 Microphone Preamp
Focusrite ISA 110 Microphone Preamp

The air button on the Focusrite Scarlette 2i2 audio interface is designed to emulate the ISA 110 Preamps from the famous Focusrite Studio Consoles.

These legendary microphone preamps are featured in many hit songs produced by legendary studios. 

But… What does that mean for you?

You will notice two things when your turn on the air button:

  • Boost of high frequencies – This will give your input more clarity
  • Analog harmonic distortion – To emulate classic preamps that we all love

When To Use The Air Button

If you’re listening to a microphone or line level input that you think sounds “dark”, “muddy”, or otherwise “unclear”, then we recommend using the air button. 

Some common examples of when you should use the air button:

  • Dark Sounding Microphone: Like the Shure SM7B
  • Snare Drums: If you need additional clarity
  • Acoustic Guitar: If you want extra coloration and tone

When To Avoid The Air Button

The air button shouldn’t be used on every input source. We recommend leaving the button off by default and only turning it on when you have a specific tone that you’re trying to achieve.

It’s important to remember that the air button is a “destructive change”. This means that if you turn it on, the tone/frequency/distortion will be captured with your input source and you will never be able to undo the harmonic distortion or frequency boost. You can try to EQ some of the frequencies after the fact, but you will always notice some evidence of it in your recording. 

Air Button Demo

For a demo of the air button, please watch the video at the top of the page. 

Scarlett 2i2 Air Button FAQ

What Does The Air Button Do?

The Air button on the Scarlett 2i2 will increase the upper frequencies giving an “airy” feeling and adding analog distortion to emulate Focusrite ISA 110 Preamps from Focusrite Studio Consoles.

Does The Air Button Work On XLR Inputs

Yes, the air button will work on the XLR inputs of the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 to add more clarity for the vocals or instruments that you are recording.

Does The Air Button Work On 1/4″ Inputs

Yes, the air button will work with 1/4″ inputs of the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, so you can add more clarity to your instrument or line-level inputs if desired.

Should I Use The Air Button?

The air button is useful to improve the clarity of your input. You can turn it on if you want more clarity and presence.

What Does Scarlett 2i2 Air Button Do? | Pricing

What Does Scarlett 2i2 Air Button Do? | Topics

  • 0:00 – Introduction
  • 0:23 – What does the air button do?
  • 0:57 – When to use the air button
  • 1:30 – When to avoid the air button
  • 2:27 – Air button demo
  • 3:23 – Final Thoughts