Audio Interfaces: Top 5 Picks for 2019!
Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 – Budget Audio Interface
- 2 XLR/quarter-inch inputs
- 2 quarter-inch output
- Phantom Power (+48V)
- Headphones Output with dedicated output knob
- Intuitive ring signal indicator
- Intuitive ring signal indicator
- Quality build
- USB power-driven
- Desktop use
- Compatible with most major DAWs
- Comes with a set of FX plugins included
MOTU UltraLite-mk5 Audio Interface – Semi-Professional Audio Interface
If you’re a brand new audio card, you’re most likely weighing-up features lists from every developer. Most recent cards deliver respectable audio lately. Unless you’re after a specific sound, you will return right down to a small number of options. The new UltraLite Mk4, which has only recently begun shipping, could be worth a look. It appears to supply everything the other fashionable interface will.
As a result of MOTU’s average value, they are most likely considered to be a middle ground for audio quality. Well, they’ve been very busy these last few years. Every time I’ve stumble upon a MOTU unit, the build quality and talent of the device has stunned me. Though the sound quality won’t be my preferred alternative, it’s been much better than I expected. You got to read the tech specification on MOTU’s web site for this new interface. Check the pre-amps alone, cause they are in-line with trendy expectations.
- 2+ XLR inputs with phantom power.
- digital gain control
- ability to act as a standalone utility mixer.
- wireless mixing control (no pc needed to adjust something on the fly)
- 8 channels of analog i/O
- s/pdif i/O.
- ADAT Optical i/O.
- as small as possible for airline travel & everyday carry.
- batter power would be a huge bonus.
Apogee Ensemble – Professional Audio Interface
Audio cards with Thunderbolt power are all the trend lately as a result of their wide bandwidth. It allows for low latency, and high track counts. Also, high sampling-rate recording that doesn’t stress your CPU. Apogee’s Ensemble Thunderbolt, an updated version of its previously released Ensemble interface. The new style combines the case of Thunderbolt with Apogee’s preamps and converters. Additionally as a generous choice of I/O, to form a robust and expandable studio hub.
Ensemble Thunderbolt works with any Core Audio DAW. Tested with many, including Apple Logic Pro X 10.1.1, Avid Pro Tools 11.3, and Ableton Live 9.17. Apogee has always had sensible integration with Logic, and Ensemble continues that tradition. In fact, some of the channel controls show up in Logic. Input level, phantom power on/off, highpass filter, polarity reverse, and input select. Ensemble’s performance was additionally glorious while using it live.
Universal Audio Apollo Twin MKII Duo – Best pick for Thunderbolt
Universal Audio’s Apollo Twin MkII duo builds on the success of the first Apollo Twin. In and of itself – proves to be one in all the high-end audio interfaces you’ll be able to find on the market nowadays. While this interface looks straightforward, simple is typically the most effective selection. It’s so centered that it does more than different interfaces – yet what it does it does well!The preamps provide many of the best sounds you’ll be able to find during this higher-end price range. The Thunderbolt connection and UAD-2 process mean that you’ll be able to apply a full range of plug-ins. Most importantly, track their effects in real-time. While this interface doesn’t go together with a DAW, it’s optimized to work with all major DAWs on the market. For both Macintosh and Windows.
- Everything that you liked from the original Twin (performance, latency, bundle, Unison, mixer…)
- Built-in talkback mic
- Finally available in Quad version
- Additional monitoring functions
RME Fireface UCX – Best buy!With the Fireface UCX, RME has with success made another high-end audio interface. The Fireface UCX takes up solely a half-rack space and offers 18 input and 18 output channels. It works along with your computer, as a stand-alone unit, or together with your iPad or iPad 2. It even offers multi-track recording directly onto your iPad.As expected, I used to be impressed with what I had captured after I listened back. The Fireface UCX had recorded everything with exceptional detail and clarity. Especially within the 192 kHz mode during which I used to be using it. Also, the unique character of every individual mic extremely shone through.Although it’s tough to compare exactly how clean my recordings were. I don’t have a dedicated $2000 studio preamp to match it to in my home studio. To me, they did sound crystal-clear with a very low noise floor. And dare I say it, without any extra character. But that’s a good thing…. an awfully good thing!
- 18 Inputs and outputs can be used simultaneously
- 24-Bit/192kHz AD/DA converter
- 2 Mic preamps with digitally controlled gain and individually switchable 48V phantom power
- Instrument input
- 8 x Analog I/O
- ADAT I/O
- SPDIF I/O
- 2x MIDI I/O
Knowing how to select an audio interface may be a challenge. There are many things to keep in mind, as well as budget, features, and specifications. And, maybe most significantly, the appliance. Whether you are recording yourself, a large band, a singer-songwriter, or a string section, you need an audio interface to suit your desires. Spend some time finding what best suits you. You don’t want to end up with an interface that it’s not going to fit your needs.
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