EVO 4 Audio Interface Review: Great Budget Unit for your Portable Studio!
For individuals who work with recording tools every single day, it may be straightforward to overlook simply how overwhelming even the only studio rig can seem to the uninitiated. Even one thing so simple as recording a mic signal while returning a monitoring signal to the performer, which is second nature to seasoned engineers, may be fraught with challenges for newcomers.
There’s input gain to be set, internal connections to be bussed, to not point out the whys and wherefores of input monitoring – and all this comes earlier than you’ve even began to record your concepts. Let’s face it, if all you’re occupied with is creating music, this preamble may be one thing of a chore, irrespective of how clued-up you might be.
Many producers have tried to deal with this example by creating audio interfaces that mask the technicalities of the recording process in order that the person can give attention to the artistic course of as a substitute. In recent times, UK studio-equipment producer Audient has come out with a collection of merchandise which are easy to use however don’t compromise on the corporate’s well-deserved popularity for excellent audio quality and a spotlight to detail.
The most recent in this line, housed underneath the sub-brand EVO by Audient, is the EVO 4 and EVO 8 audio interfaces, which supply two-in/two-out and four-in/four-out configurations, respectively. Right here, we’re looking at the former.
The Evo 4 is a 2 in/2 out interface with L and R outputs to hook as much as your monitors through ¼ Jack. When it comes to mixing you’ve gotten a regular ¼ jack output for headphones in addition to a ¼ jack in for instrument recording.
The unit links to your pc through USB. For these with newer apple computer systems, it might be irritating to see the included lead is USB-C to USB-A which means an adapter may be mandatory (or a special lead) however this isn’t actually Audient’s fault.
All new Evo preamps are constructed into the field giving 58dB gain range which competes with different budget interfaces available on the market.
The controls themselves are tremendously straightforward and clear to make use of if you’ve owned an audio interface earlier than these won’t actually need explaining. On the top surrounding the volume dial, you’ll see choices for phantom power, input choose (1 & 2), and buttons to toggle between monitor mix and output volume.
Conveniently whichever button you choose lights up, with an attention-grabbing purple light for phantom power which can help remove these ‘oops’ moments of feeding 48v to a dynamic mic.
Nonetheless one of the spectacular points of Evo 4 is the auto gain function which automatically sets your input gain stage for you, eliminating the necessity to even touch a gain dial.
Smart Gain Option
Audient’s new Smart Gain characteristic is an easy strategy to make it possible for the gain setting in your input supply is suitable. Simply hit the large green Smart Gain button, hit the channel you wish to set the gain with, then hit the Smart Gain button once more. Then play or sing on the loudest stage you wish to record at and let the Evo 4 do the remaining. It takes about 6 seconds.
Build Quality Evo 4
Not like Audient’s iD range of interfaces, Evo 4 is fabricated from a fairly tactile plastic. It feels rugged enough to be thrown in your recording bag and survive simply fine. All of the buttons are properly recessed and the primary control pot/encoder feels good and stable. The chassis feels a little bit “squeezy” in places but when the trade-off is a plastic chassis to get the unit right down to the price point, I’ll take that any day over a lack of audio quality. In fact, it’s not an enormous deal but it’s not what we get from the iD vary. However, the iD range is costlier, so that you do get what you pay for.
General, we’re actually impressed with the Evo 4. Audient has got down to design a simple-to-use interface and within the process, has created an incredible sounding product with some actually distinctive options.
Presently retailing at around $120 the unit is a bit pricier than different entry-level interfaces however in our opinion, the additional cash is worth it, even in case you are simply beginning out.
We might counsel in case you are a newbie getting to grips with gain staging as it is an essential part of the recording, nonetheless, we loved this characteristic each for its performance and for the power to face up and sound checks our microphone without having to stretch with one hand to rotate a gain dial!
We’re assured the Evo 4 will grow to be daily in individuals’ home studio setups. Following hot on the heels of the 4 is the Evo 8 as well, so if you want extra inputs for recording then there’s the choice to improve for less than around $60 extra, which is accessible for shipping in June 2020.