Best 5 Picks for 2019!
When making a home studio, there are many items of gear that are essential. One of the most basic ones is your selection of an audio interface.
The audio interface is the piece of gear, which is able to let you capture audio and process it onto your PC. Audio interfaces are typically named ‘soundcards’. They are available in all shapes and sizes and to suit all budgets, from beginner to skilled level.
In this article, we are going to discuss some of the most effective sound cards on the market these days. We are going to check out their worth, their price for cash, and their connectivity. We expect you’ll realize this is the most useful method to pick this item. Focus on getting the best buy for your budget.
1. Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 – Budget Audio Interface
Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 2nd gen is an external audio interface with a midrange price. For this, you will get high-quality sound and a tool that is right for guitars and vocal recording.
This card has all the options you wish for an entry-level home studio recording. There are two combi inputs and a pair of balanced outputs. A separate headphone input, convenient volume management knobs, and even “gain” indicators.
Jokes aside, this interface has been a long-run studio staple for me. It’s been utilized in each studio and live things, it’s been through plenty and it still comes out on prime.
- 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
2. MOTU UltraLite-mk5 Audio Interface – Semi-Professional Audio Interface
If you’re a brand new audio card, you’re most likely weighing-up feature 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 to stumble upon a MOTU unit, the build quality and talent of the device have 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 website 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.
3. 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, the high sampling-rate recording doesn’t stress your CPU. Apogee’s Ensemble Thunderbolt is 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.
- 24bit/192kHz crisp audio
- Extensive input/output options
- Guitar re-amping feature
- Talkback mic
- Integration with Apple software
4. 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 of 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.
- Built-in talkback mic
- Finally available in Quad version
- Additional monitoring functions
5. 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 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.
Check our eBook on Mixing Tips! If you want to get a more in-depth breakdown of those tips we share, follow our link and get the “Ultimate Mixing Tips Booklet” and up your game quickly!