play guitar with computer music thru scarlett 2i2

I just bought a 2i2 new generation focusrite scarlitt interface. I want to practice my guitar and bass with music on my computer and internet and plug my instrument into the scarlett. I heard I need a driver or some way to hear the guitar with the music so how do I do this. Can I use audacity and how do I do that. I tried the guitar through the scarlett without any driver and there is not enough gain to hear the bass or guitar without distortion at only half volume.

The second generation seems to have Zero Latency Monitoring as well as playback mixing, so it’s perfect for overdubbing/sound-on-sound. You can listen to yourself in real time (no echoes) as well as mix anything on the Audacity timeline.

It’s a little messy to set up, but once you get the swing of it, the only limit is your ability to play (and the ability of the computer to handle all those data streams).

We can’t mix directly from the internet. Audacity needs perfect control of the backing tracks in order to make the sync/timing work out. So this dance is limited to anything you can put on the timeline.

The 2i2 has two headphone volumes. The big knob controls the absolute volume but the little one next to it controls the live/playback mix. They both have to be in the right place to hear the right presentation.

Good recording and being able to hear it are different. If you get good blue waves and correct bouncing Audacity sound meters, you are probably getting a good recording whether or not you can hear it.

A common mistake is to set Audacity to play your live performance back to your headphones. That will produce a delay or echo. You must overdub while listening to the 2i2.

Many of the tricks of the 2i2 could be a result of ASIO software; for example, live effects monitoring. Audacity doesn’t directly support ASIO. That may be why it comes with ProTools.


I want to punch this idea a little. When you overdub, the computer has to manage playback of all your backing tracks absolutely perfectly and record your live performance absolutely perfectly. If anything slows down the system, you could get clicks, ticks or pops in the sound. Do Not leave Skype or other other audio program running in the background. Audio Production doesn’t need any competition for the sound channels.


I am guessing it “might” be possible to connect an appropriate cable from audio out of the Mac to one of the Scarlett inputs but I imagine that would give you mono which is probably not what you want. You want a mixer to do that.

To record the music from the internet into Audacity, which gives you a backing track to overdub against, see Tutorial - Recording Computer Playback on Mac.


connect an appropriate cable from audio out of the Mac to one of the Scarlett inputs

I agree, but you also have to avoid sending the guest’s voice back to themselves, so somehow you have to record it as a separate mix.

Putting Skype in the show can be a college-level problem.

When I did it with the mixer, I created Mix-Minus and sent that to Denise. Mix-Minus in this case is the whole world minus the Skype voice. That’s not the show mix. You can sometimes depend on Skype to manage that, but those voices tend to sound like bad cellphones.

Denise sounded like she was reclining on a sofa behind me instead of three time zones away.


There isn’t a guest here as far as I read it, just two instruments, but one instrument is the internet.


just two instruments, but one instrument is the internet.

That could just as easily have been a poorly worded question about two people playing miles apart. The assumption is that you can make the miles vanish with semi-real time actions at each location. That can be done but difficult and unstable. Anybody whose tried it realizes the work it takes for marginal or poor results.

Anybody seeking good quality split location recordings does Coordination on Skype or Phone and local recording.

I think Josh says so somewhere down the comments.

That also gives you fixed timing errors; start note and duration easily repaired in Audacity. Skype changes depending on internet variations even if you do manage to get good quality sound.