In terms of material, shielded balanced cables offer more protection from interference. In fact, you may have noticed that it’s absolutely devoid of any knobs and/or sliders. The ideal user is singer-songwriter and beat producer/composer who simply wants the ability to connect a microphone and instrument like a synth or guitar to their DAW. However, it is … Many users have found the feature impressive. Again, even if that’s not enough, there is the option to expand to S/PDIF inputs and outputs. And as it fits on your desk, it’s small enough to take up a small space, as well as  carry with you wherever you need it. This article was originally written late 2017, but as of the date of this comment, the products and reviews were updated in February of this year. If the sound signal is far too low, the preamp will raise it up enough for the amplifier to work its magic. Rackmounted Thunderbolt interface with 8 mic preamps, 2 headphone connectors, and a total of 8 analog ins and 10 analog outs. 15 Best Audio Interfaces for Home Studio – At a Glance, Ideal user: Beatmaker/composer, recording, mixing and mastering engineer, Ideal user: Singer-songwriter, beatmaker/composer, podcaster, Ideal user: Producers of small bands, recording and mixing engineers, Ideal user: Singer-songwriter, beatmaker/composer, mixing and mastering engineer, Ideal user: Home studio producer, singer-songwriter, audiophile, Ideal user: Home studio producer, audiophile, Ideal user: Producer/recording engineer for a small band, mixing engineer, Ideal user: iPad / iOS musicians, singer-songwriters, and podcasters, Ideal user: Singer-songwriter, beatmaker/composer, audiophiles, Ideal user: Singer-songwriter, beatmaker/composer, mixing and mastering engineer, podcaster, Ideal user: Home studio producer, recording, or mixing engineer for a band, podcasters, Ideal user: Home studio producer, recording/mixing engineer for a band, podcasters, Ideal user: Home studio producer/recording/mixing engineer for a band, mastering engineer, Ideal user: Producer/recording/mixing engineer for a band, mastering engineer, synchronizes multiple digital sources or devices, What’s New in Reason 10 – Find out all the New Features of Propellerhead Reason 10, The Essential VST Plugins In Your Digital Audio Workstation. On top of that there is +48V phantom power onboard. It’s like having an integrated DI Box. Audio interfaces also greatly reduce latency, and help out tremendously if you have a weaker laptop or PC sound system. Desktop Thunderbolt interface with 2 mic preamps, 1 headphone connector, and 2 analog inputs with 2 analog outputs. There are two types of digital connectors usually found on an audio interface: An ADAT optical connector is a port which allows up to eight simultaneous inputs and outputs at the same time at high sample ratings. Some may still like getting the “extra package,” like software, plugins, and sounds (even if they don’t end up using them). , Hi Rob thanks for commenting. It offers one of the highest quality and power you can get from an audio interface, and you won’t run out of connections. Offering eight mic preamps, double optical ins/outs (16 channels), S/PDIF in/out, word clock in/out, and two Thunderbolt ports, plus the ability to connect a second Ensemble, this unit can be the heart of your fully featured home studio. You can even connect it to an iPad 2 via the Camera Connection Kit. Able to deftly handle up to 94 channels of I/O, the RME Fireface UFX+ is a power-packed audio interface. You’ll also be better off relying on your DAW’s meters for accurate gain-staging. But it can be used as a controller for your DAW. Owners of the Element 24 are also very pleased with its build-quality. Bottom-line, the Audient iD4 is a wonderful and beautiful looking audio interface. Thanks for the tip, also! As long as you’ve got your laptop with you, you’ll be making music with the Onyx Producer wherever you go. As I mentioned earlier, the inability to mix monitors and headphones independently has also disappointed some users. But maybe what’s more valuable, is the onboard DSP mixer software (dspMixFx). Thunderbolt is quickly becoming the new industry-standard and it’s more affordable than ever. First, make sure your monitors are indeed functioning properly. A similar solution is utilized by the AudioBox iOne, Studio 26c, and Studio 68c. MOTU has long been known for producing audio recording equipment that delivers quality results, and it has clearly outdone itself with the 1248. This can be disappointing for producers using older hardware, but most have looked past this. FireWire is still going strong, some users, like you, still rely on it because they have older Mac systems. I’ve used Apogee and Avid interfaces in the past and this is just as good for me. You can also expand Sono via ADAT for tracking entire bands. The audio interface I am featuring is actually the smallest out of a group of four options. Additionally, if all you wanted is just a couple connections for mic and instrument, better options already mentioned. These analogue connectors are important factors in determining the best audio interface for home studio. Most audio interfaces come with 48v Phantom Power switches nowadays, but be sure to check and make sure that yours does if you’re using a condenser microphone. The Hosa uses all TRS inputs and outputs, so you can use XLR to TRS cables to feed it or TRS/TRS cables depending on the interface … The preamps themselves are award winning in its class and have a natural-sound to them that can handle a “hot” pick-up. Call your Sweetwater Sales Engineer at (800) 222-4700 to find the best interface for your needs. With this, you won’t run out of input/output options. The preamps on the Apollo Twin MKII DUO are really great, users note a clear, analog sounding quality that surpasses many in its class. Purchasing one of their interfaces really opens up a world of possibilities, but it will end up costing you down the line. Purchasing an external MIDI interface is always an option though. Bottom-line, the Scarlett 2i2 is one of the best audio interfaces for home studio. Being music makers ourselves, we love geeking out on all things gear. Ideal user: Singer-songwriter, beatmaker/composer, podcaster. For many users, the 1824 outperforms most other audio interfaces in its price range in every way. It rivals the performance of UA’s larger interfaces but eschews extraneous features, like 5.1 surround monitoring and +24dBu operation, for a streamlined, desktop design that will feel right at home in your studio. Audient’s console-derived mic preamps sound great on almost every source, while its JFET DI makes interfacing your guitar with amp modeling software a pleasure. M-Audio’s decision to include two headphone outputs was also a good one. The Arrow even has a dedicated Hi-Z input for your guitars and/or basses. At first glance, the Apogee Element 24 looks like a rather minimalistic audio interface. Recording guitarists have a particular set of needs, and the Audient Sono delivers. The Behringer U-phoria UMC404HD audio interface is an incredible cheap audio interface for budget home studio owners. Basically, the studio monitors are connected to the audio interface by using an optical cable with either TS, TRS or XLR connectors that are inserted in the line level output. Whether you’ve started a small music production business or just need to self-produce your band’s next release, you’ll be working with the industry-standard! Naturally, there is a headphone connector on the front for headphone monitoring. The connector is a pair of I/O 5 pin plugins. Due to the way condenser microphones are made, they require a higher charging voltage. Using a single SHARC-based processor, the Arrow is capable of running UAD plugins in real-time! When I do an update or a new post, I will definitely give more serious consideration to the new Motu devices you mentioned. Sound-wise, there is not a lot of difference between the two. The Mackie Onyx Producer can provide high-quality studio recordings and is rugged enough to handle live recording. It also has a built-in DSP with great features. The Onyx Producer is compatible with a variety of MIDI devices including synthesizers, controllers and more! Users who’ve bought it have noted a significant jump in audio quality, coming from cheaper audio interfaces they’ve owned. However, comparing your mix using more than one pair of monitors isn’t as simple as it could be. "The Core 7 is a true near-field monitor … The U-phoria UMC404HD is desktop audio interface. Even a cheap audio interface can completely open up your music making, allowing you to record instruments, monitor on studio headphones and play back your work on studio monitor … See Price @ … You can boost the number of connections via 2 pairs of optical ADAT connectors at the back for digital in/out to 18 channels in total, plus the SPDIF in/out. If you plan on transporting your device, you’ll never need to worry about damaging any knobs/sliders. The rubberized grips also get many thumbs up from reviewers. However one thing I have to disagree with about your review. If you need lots of I/O, this is a value-packed solution for any studio. It looks beautiful, sounds great, and offers a bunch of goodies. Store Hours, If you have any questions, please call us at (800) 222-4700. Customer ratings from Amazon were used to determine which audio interface controller per specification, design, and price range was the best rated and had the most ratings. 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