I just purchased a new 18i20 and I am hoping to reduce some of the equipment to simplify my setup. I have a Broadcasting machine with 8 HDMI inputs that I broadcast game tournaments from. This is how I would like to set things up with the Scarlet.

4 XLR Mics into the Scarlet.

Using the Scarlet Mix Control software send all of the inputs to my DAW (Ableton Live 9)

Output my DAW to the SPDIF out

Use a Cable to loop the SPDIF out jack of the 18i20 into the SPDIF in jack of the same 18i20.

Use my broadcasting software's ASIO capabilities on the same machine to take in the SPDIF signal.

Any reason why this would not work? Should I change the SPDIF clock setting on the 18i20 from internal to SPDIF?

Thank you for any help in advance.

  • What are you doing with Live in this setup? Are you trying to add other sounds to the audio besides the mics? Jan 11, 2016 at 13:27

2 Answers 2


I suggest making a line loop instead of an SPDIF loop. You can use a pair of short guitar cables for that. There won't be any noticable loss in audio quality.

I used to own an M-Audio Firewire 1824 and now have a Scarlet 18i20. I don't know the technical background but both were incapable of establishing SPDIF loops. Then I went for line loops.

Also be sure that Ableton doesn't hold the sound card exclusively.

If you are not using Ableton other than leveling the mix, you can do it so from Scarlet Mix Control and broadcast the output channel corresponding to what you hear from the PC.

  • 1
    I went with a modified version of this. I took the SPDIF and converted it to Toslink. Fed through another sound card. Works perfectly.
    – BDubbers
    Jan 11, 2016 at 19:44

You might be able to output your DAW (Ableton here) directly to your broadcasting software. Some software have this ability natively. If not, you can try Soundflower for Mac, or Jack on Windows. These programs will allow you to route one software's audio to another.

In your DAW select the routing program as the output, and in the broadcasting software, select the same routing program as the input. And then make sure it's configured correctly in the routing software.

  • I going to check this method out. I did't go with it at first but it may help me further reduce the cables
    – BDubbers
    Jan 11, 2016 at 19:44
  • Yeah, it can take a bit of time to configure. It's not difficult, but there are 3 pieces of software to configure - so that can sometimes make it confusing. But of course, as you mentioned the advantages are no extra cables.
    – Michael S
    Jan 12, 2016 at 23:43

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