It captures sources with top fidelity, courtesy of its transparent converters and low-jitter clock, with full 24-bit/192kHz quality. Individual level knobs and selectable-source controls make it possible to customize each headphone’s mix. Bottom-line, Focusrite Clarett 8PreX is one of the best audio interfaces on the planet. The LED ring around this knob is what indicates the current level of each selected channel and pushing the knob itself “mutes” the monitors. You can even record and play back 32 channels via a microSD card for standalone operation. XLR cables always translate into higher sound quality, so keep that in mind when choosing cables. The sound quality also earns the units high marks, particularly among users that have followed PreSonus’ product releases over the years. Need more I/O? The only downside is that it doesn’t use Thunderbolt 3, so it can’t be bus-powered. How do you make your decision? You can also expand Sono via ADAT for tracking entire bands. Any home studio owner looking for a high-end audio interface should give the RME Fireface UFX+ a serious look. Then, if you want even more than the amount of connections than the analog connectors can offer, you can connect up to 8 more inputs with the ADAT optical connector. An onboard tuner, dedicated re-amp output, and pro-grade headphone amplifier round out the AXE I/O’s impressive features. The “stripped down” concept was what gave Apogee the edge in this market. Audio interfaces also greatly reduce latency, and help out tremendously if you have a weaker laptop or PC sound system. And thanks to its 8-channel ADAT input, you’re ready for expansion. Focusrite Scarlett Solo USB Audio Interface with Pro Tools. Again, even if that’s not enough, there is the option to expand to S/PDIF inputs and outputs. Bottomline, the MOTU 1248 is admittedly a bit pricey, but there are more than a few good reasons to shell out the cash for it. Given the extremely fast performance provided by the Thunderbolt connection, many users probably won’t have a need for the onboard DSP mixer. Check out this Reddit forum discussion for more details. Yea those are good interfaces, too. You can get up to 32-bit digital audio conversion with it, which is the highest resolution provided by an audio interface on this list. And if you like it, but want more connections, there is the Apollo Twin MKII QUAD, as well as the cheaper Apollo Twin MKII SOLO available. An audio interface is used to hook up XLR microphones, MIDI keyboards, and its greatest function is to increase the overall quality of sound. This also gives you the ability to set up as many monitoring configurations as you need, perform full mixes out of the box, and incorporate racks of external effects processors. Many users have found the feature impressive. It offers one of the highest quality and power you can get from an audio interface, and you won’t run out of connections. That’s 32 channels of audio. The back is where the majority of the connections exist. An audio interface bypasses your computer system’s audio device, connecting your instruments, microphones, studio headphones, and monitors to your DAW directly. However, the Element 24 is a serious contender when it comes to compatibility. 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. The Universal Audio Apollo Twin MKII DUO audio interface is a very popular option that gets a lot of great reviews, particularly when it comes to the quality of sound you can get with it. In terms of design, this audio interface is both elegant and efficient. Additional connectors are the classic 5 pin MIDI connectors at the back for your MIDI device, and a word clock I/O connector to keep your digital signals in sync. So as you go over your requirements, consider some of these options as you read each description searching for your best audio interface for home studio. There is a reason why it is called the “Ensemble.” If you plan on running a lot of simultaneous instrument cables and microphones, you have several options of ten analog inputs to choose from. 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 … Moving forward, with the Scarlett 2i2, you can connect up to two instruments or microphones simultaneously, thanks to the combination connectors that offer 2 microphone preamps with phantom power. Sound-wise, there is not a lot of difference between the two. If you’re looking for durability, this audio interface should last you for years! Portability might be an issue unless you’ve got a power outlet. This is different from an audio signal. Although Universal Audio includes some incredible plugins, it has been said that their other plugins are quite pricey. This application is available for Mac and iOS, but if it’s not your thing, Apogee also makes a physical remote called “Control”. Since you already have independent level controls for each interface output signal path, a switchbox is all that's really required. The PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 features 2-channel 24-bit/96kHz recording in an on-the-go-sized package. Bottom-line, the Audient iD4 is a wonderful and beautiful looking audio interface. All you have to do is plug the ¼” cable into the monitor(s), and plug the other end into the headphone jack input on your laptop or pc. You can learn more about MIDI controllers from this guide. You’re limited to pretty much only the mic and instrument input, and the headphone and single monitor output channels. What I’ve mentioned, however, were just analog connectors. 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. However, this will affect both your monitors and headphones collectively. This can be disappointing for producers using older hardware, but most have looked past this. In addition to those connectors are the 2 headphone connectors, and 2 high impedance (Hi-Z) instrument line inputs at the front. The 48v switch, also known as Phantom Power, is used for condenser microphones. Get Directions | You’ll even get instant access to Waveform OEM, a full-fledged DAW (not a “lite” version). In Air mode, your vocals will “shimmer with presence and silky air” when you record them. How can you connect MIDI keyboard to an audio interface? That being said, you can still hook up a pair of studio monitors to a laptop or PC without the audio interface. If you’re eager to join the Universal Audio UAD ecosystem but haven’t known where to start, the Universal Audio Apollo x4 is the perfect point of entry. One is for instrument cable, the other is for microphone cable. In the studio, ADAT is commonly used to send all 8 channels of a multi-channel mic preamp to the audio interface. Learn More. What’s even better is the fact that they can both be controlled independently. Although they’re similar, a mixer and an audio interface play two separate key roles in audio production. These functions include input selection, HP filter, 48V Phantom Power, pad, polarity reverse and link. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Despite it being a great audio interface, there is one major downside… it utilizes the dated FireWire 400 connection mentioned. Plugging an electric guitar into an audio interface is actually quite simple. For output, you can connect two headphones and up to six line outs (3 pairs of L/R channels). For digital cables, look for high-quality shielding. It’s smaller than 2″ x 6″, plus it operates on USB bus power, so you don’t have to carry around a power supply. Desktop Thunderbolt interface with 2 mic preamps, 1 headphone connector, and 3 analog inputs with 4 analog outputs. If the sound signal is far too low, the preamp will raise it up enough for the amplifier to work its magic. Each of the audio interfaces mentioned in this post can be use by home studio owners, for the purpose of making, producing, and recording music, as well as streaming podcasts. Again, it’s highly recommended to have an audio interface for your studio monitors since you don’t get the true quality of sound from a laptop or PC sound system. Then a comparison of that against forum reviews, user testimonials, and personal experience (where applicable). One thing that seems to please M-Track Eight’s users the most is its value. The audio interface can process up to 24-bit audio resolution, and provide 192 kHz sampling. Purchasing one of their interfaces really opens up a world of possibilities, but it will end up costing you down the line. Learn how your comment data is processed. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. In terms of connections, you may not have to worry about running out of them for a while. Desktop Thunderbolt interface with 2 mic preamps, 1 headphone connector, and 2 analog inputs with 2 analog outputs. Interface is a Dutch publication, but we have translated the highlights. In fact, you can even control the interface via your iPhone with the Apogee Control iOS remote app. Well no, you do not need an audio interface to connect your monitor speakers to a laptop or computer. When I do an update or a new post, I will definitely give more serious consideration to the new Motu devices you mentioned. Moreover, the Ensemble has the capacity to be stacked with another Ensemble double the connections. If you are concerned about how we help to secure your privacy once visiting this page, please check out the privacy policy page. A MIDI data note is a command that comes from a controller or instrument telling your DAW or virtual instrument want sounds or parameters are to be triggered within the software to produce a sound within your DAW, or some other desired result. It also includes a crystal-clear DI for your guitar, bass, or keyboard. For convenience, M-Audio has also located two of these preamps on the front-panel, but these ones are different…. Whether you’re using Windows and/or Mac OS X, the M-Audio M-Track Eight is perfect for your small to medium-sized recording studio. Some monitor controllers can also switch between several sets of monitors. An audio interface can easily support … It is endowed with a variety of analog and digital I/O, so it will definitely meet your current needs while giving you room to grow. Purchasing an external MIDI interface is always an option though. At the front of the Apollo Twin MKII DUO are two connectors: one for headphones, and another for instrument cables, logically placed at the front for quick connections. As I mentioned earlier, the inability to mix monitors and headphones independently has also disappointed some users. But it can be used as a controller for your DAW. If you're an audiophile and want perfect … If you click on one of these links to purchase a product or service that we recommend, we will be compensated it. You also get excellent AD/DA conversion and Dual Crystal clocking for high-quality sound, native 7.1 surround monitoring support, selectable +24dBu operation, built-in talkback, and more, plus sub-2ms latency and ample expandability via Thunderbolt 3. 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