Focusrite Scarlett interface with Pro Tools / First question

I just bought a Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 and as I’m installing USB drivers I read this.

“Please note that the Scarlett 2nd Gen Windows driver specified in the above accompanying article is specifically optimised for use with Pro Tools | First. If you wish to use any other DAW exclusively (i.e. NOT use Pro Tools | First), please download and use the driver specified in your user account, the Scarlett 2nd Gen download pages or alternatively please find that download HERE”

“If you wish to run multiple DAWs on your Windows PC, including Pro Tools | First, you can use the PTF optimised USB driver version outlined in the above mentioned accompanying article, however you will experience the following behaviour:”

"You many find high CPU usage at the following settings:

44.1khz: 64 and 128

88.2khz: 128 and 256

176.4khz: 256 and 512

If this disrupts your audio, causing glitches and pops, please try a different buffer size."

Does this mean if I want to install Pro Tools/ First I’m going to have all sorts of problems?

Ableton Live Lite comes with the interface also and I have Reaper installed on my computer too.

I was hoping I could try out Pro Tools but it seems like it might end up causing me more headaches.

Should I install the driver and give it a try …, or should I avoid it?

If you’re interested in using Pro Tools you could try the PFT driver and see if you are seeing high cpu usage. If you are, then just uninstall that driver and reinstall the standard driver and use another daw.

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Thanks Jay.

I ended up installing Pro Tools First but I still haven’t tried it yet.
I’m still trying to figure out the other software (plugins, Ableton 9 Lite, midi instruments, etc.).

Focusrite’s installation instructions are a big mess. I still can’t find some of my plugins in any of my DAW’s plugin folders. I’ve googled, watched youtube videos ,read all the tutorials and watched all the setup videos multiple times, yet there’s still work to be done. It’ll take some time to sort through it all but I should be able to get everything running smoothly.
So far I’ve spent 10 hours installing drivers and software, as well as doing a bit of tinkering in Reaper. At least the interface seems to be working well in Reaper.

What should I consider high CPU usage ? More than 60%, more than 80% ?
I assume I look in my Task Manager to see how high my CPU usage is, correct ?

I believe that Pro Tools has a visual DSP usage meter that would give a more accurate reading than the windows CPU usage. The DSP meter would be the final measure of when the DAW cannot handle anymore processing.

I’m not sure what constitutes a high CPU reading by Focusrite’s definition… If a DAW is using 40-50% with only a few tracks and plugins, I would consider that high.

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Thanks for that info Jay.
I didn’t know that Pro Tools has a CPU usage meter.

Don’t quote me on that. I played with PT many years ago and that’s what I remember.

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Try the “Window | System Usage” menu.


Check your CPU usage at idle, that is, when not doing anything, then open up your DAW and play back a few tracks (i’d say 8 audio tracks at most) with maybe just a few plugins, you shouldn’t see CPU usage go above 30-40% over idle.

If your CPU hovers at 5% at idle and goes up to 20% - 30% usage then that looks normal.
If it goes above 40% to 50% percent then I would say that’s pretty high.
I’m assuming you’re using a computer made anywhere in the last 3-4 years, older computers will need a bit more CPU power to accomplish the same tasks but that’s why I would also suggest to look at what your CPU usage is when you’re not doing anything.


Do you mean the Task Manager ?
I checked around my computer and didn’t find a “Window/ System Usage” menu.
I’ll look again though. Maybe I missed it somehow.

Sounds like a good plan! I’ll check that out.

Yeah, my computer is a fairly recent model. It’s has an i7-6700HQ processor.

Task Manager for Windows. I was referring to Pro Tools with “Window | System Usage” menu. In Pro Tools on the menu, go to the Window menu (confusing I know, but Pro Tools has a Window menu which shows certain windows/functions in Pro Tools) and choose System Usage. That is your CPU meter basically as seen from Pro Tools’ perspective. At least that’s what it was called in older versions, I’m not up on the latest and greatest for PT.

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Ah, I see what you mean now. I’ll check that out.

Thanks Stan!