One of the most crucial decisions you can make as a home producer is to choose one of the top audio interfaces. In most cases, an audio interface is a necessary component of any home recording setup, and if you spend any time composing music on a PC or Mac, you should invest in one. One of the best audio interfaces will allow you to get high-quality audio into and out of your computer, as well as connect other important studio gear and instruments during your recording sessions.
There will be no stopping you once you’ve chosen the correct audio interface. You’ll be able to record electric and acoustic guitars, microphones, synthesisers, and any other musical instrument with an output directly into your preferred DAW.
Universal Audio Apollo x4 Heritage Edition
- A special edition of UA's acclaimed Apollo x4 interface — with a premium suite of 10 award-winning plug-in titles from Helios, Fairchild,...
- Elite-class A/D and D/A conversion derived from Apollo X rackmount interfaces paired with 4 Unison mic preamps deliver stunning models of classic tube...
- 4 Unison mic preamps offer stunning models of classic tube and transformer-based mic preamps and guitar amps
If you want famous UA sound quality and processing but think Apollo X interfaces are beyond of your price range, reconsider. The performance of the Universal Audio Apollo x4 is comparable to that of its larger siblings, but it foregoes features like 5.1 surround monitoring and +24dBu operation in favour of a streamlined, desktop design that’s ideal for project studios. Thanks to UA’s powerful QUAD Core CPU, you can track and mix with spot-on emulations of tried-and-true studio classics. The Apollo x4’s improved elite-class AD/DA converter delivers top-shelf sound quality. You can track through models of some of the industry’s most iconic gear thanks to four Unison preamps.
The Apollo x4 Heritage Edition includes a premium suite of ten award-winning plug-ins, as well as the Realtime Analog Classics Plus package, which provides faithful emulations of vintage analogue gear. Aside from that, with to the Apollo x4’s ultra-fast Thunderbolt 3 interface, you get sub-2ms latency and plenty of expandability. Finally, the Apollo x4 is compatible with Universal Audio’s LUNA software, allowing you to create a fully integrated recording, editing, and mixing environment that includes full software-based control over your interface’s parameters, global console and tape emulations, and advanced real-time tracking. Now is the moment to upgrade to an Apollo if there was ever a time.
There are instances when your computer’s power and speed are insufficient to handle all of the plug-ins required for your recording session. That’s where the 4-core QUAD Core CPU from UA comes in. This processor allows you to track Neve, Manley, or API channel strips in real time, as well as operate massive UAD plug-in counts while mixing in your DAW. Sweetwater engineers like being able to inject tube warmth into guitars with a Pultec EQ, add musical limiting to a vocal with a LA-2A, and pump up drums with a 1176 or Fairchild 670 – all in real time. It’s the closest you’ll get to having the actual thing.
The Apollo x4’s AD/DA conversion takes it to the next level. Apollos have always sounded excellent, but the Apollo x4’s AD/DA conversion takes it to the next level. UA engineers tested the newest cutting-edge AD/DA technology when building the latest generation of Apollos, eventually marrying elite-class 24-bit/192kHz converters with reworked analogue circuitry. As a result, the signal route is ultra-clean, with a 127dB dynamic range. If you listen closely, you’ll notice that the Apollo x4’s AD/DA rivals any high-end standalone converter on the market.
Roland Rubix 44 USB Audio Interface 4 in/4 Out
- 4-in/4-out USB audio interface
- 4 low-noise mic preamps with XLR combo jacks
- Hi-Z input for guitar and other high impedance sources
The Rubix 44 from Roland is a versatile 4-channel USB audio interface that helps you capture clean, clear audio even in less-than-ideal conditions. Roland designed this interface to be as portable as possible. You can throw the Rubix 44 in your bag and go, and it connects through class-compliant USB, so you can leave your laptop at home and track straight on your iPad. Four microphone preamps provide clarity not usually found on such a low-cost interface, and added features like ground lift and internal dynamics processing make it simple to capture high-quality audio on the move.
When it comes to noise reduction, the Rubix 44 begins with a pair of microphone preamps that work in tandem with its well insulated design. In most circumstances, these passive noise-reduction strategies are effective, but bad power can ruin your day. Roland addressed this issue by including a system-wide ground-lift switch on the Rubix 44, allowing you to turn off any hum originating from the power supply. Sweetwater recording engineers have rarely, if ever, encountered that feature on an audio interface, and it’s highly beneficial for recording live sound.
The Rubix 44 is clearly meant to be a superb mobile audio interface, with its class-compliant USB, rugged build, and low-noise performance options, but it also has several tricks up its sleeve that make it a perfect start or addition to your home studio. First and foremost, it includes a 6-month subscription to Roland Cloud Pro. MIDI I/O also makes keyboards, controllers, and other devices compatible. Selectable headphone output sources allow you to construct a different recording monitor mix, which is very useful if you cooperate with other musicians. Loopback recording allows you to record your computer’s output sources, which is especially useful for podcasting and other related applications.
Focusrite Clarett+ 4Pre 18-in / 20-Out USB Audio Interface
- Four professional quality Clarett+ preamps - Hear every nuance and capture clear and powerful audio with preamps that bring masses of headroom, low...
- Make vocals shine with all-analogue Air - Premium, relay-controlled analogue circuitry on every preamp emulates the classic Focusrite ISA110 by...
- New and improved A-D and D-A converters - Create tighter mixes and make more accurate recordings with extremely high-performance, independent A-D and...
The Clarett+ 4Pre audio interface from Focusrite is a solid basis for any studio or mobile recording setup. It has four great-sounding Clarett+ microphone preamplifiers, improved conversion, a wide dynamic range, and USB-C-enabled ultra-fast, low-latency performance. The Clarett+ 4Pre’s magic begins the moment you plug in your microphones: the mic preamps contain Focusrite’s switchable Air effect, which transforms into an analogue copy of the company’s famous ISA transformer-based mic pre. The Focusrite Clarett+ 4Pre is ready to integrate into practically any recording rig thanks to its flexible connectivity, which includes analogue and S/PDIF I/O.
The four newly built mic preamps in the Clarett+ 4Pre give a genuinely amazing dynamic range. The Clarett+ 4Pre is ideal for your home recording setup, with analogue, S/PDIF, and MIDI I/O, as well as an ADAT input, all housed in a sleek desktop form factor. The Clarett+ 4Pre is an outstanding value because to its aural prowess, cutting-edge round-trip audio latency, and ease of use.
You can record and monitor in real time with your favourite DAW plug-ins thanks to the Clarett+ 4 Pre’s extremely low round-trip audio latency over USB-C. There is no need for any additional processing or DSP. Choose any plug-in and build your ideal recording chain on each channel. The Focusrite Classic Red 2 and Red 3 AAX, AU, and VST plug-in suite comes standard with every Clarett+, and precisely simulates Focusrite’s classic Red range EQ and compression hardware.
The Focusrite Clarett+ 4Pre offers versatile I/O in a compact desktop chassis. There are four mic/line inputs on the front panel (the first two are also instrument inputs), as well as four analogue line inputs and outputs, stereo S/PDIF I/O, and eight channels of ADAT optical input on the back panel. For ultimate flexibility, the ADAT input can be utilised to bring in eight extra digital mic preamp channels, such as the Focusrite OctoPre. Two convenient headphone ports with volume controls are also located on the front panel.
- 20 x 24 USB Audio Interface with 4 Class A Mic Preamplifiers
- ADAT Connectivity
- 2 JFET DI Inputs
The Audient iD44 MKii is an improved version of the iD44. The iD44 MKii is now in its second iteration, with better audio performance, a 9dB dynamic range for the ADC, and loopback functionality. Four Audient console microphone preamps, two JFET instrument inputs, class-leading converters, ADAT expandability, and a DSP mixer are included in this 20-in/24-out USB interface. The mic pres use the same circuit design as Audient’s acclaimed ASP8024-HE console, resulting in incredibly low noise and distortion with a bit of the analogue character you love. You may even use your preferred low-output ribbon mic on quiet sources with 60dB of gain. The unit’s two DI inputs provide harmonic augmentation that is modelled like a traditional tube amplifier’s input stage.
The original iD44’s high-performance AD/DA conversion was one of its defining features. With its increased ADC performance, the iD44 MKii ups the ante. Audient’s engineers went to great lengths to improve the THD+N (Total Harmonic Distortion Plus Noise) value by 9 decibels. With its increased THD+N number of 112dB, you’ll find that your signal has more headroom, less audible distortion, and less noise. All you have to do is press Record to take advantage of its exceptional conversion capabilities. The iD44 MKii takes care of everything else.
The iD44 MKii offers excellent expandability thanks to its two optical input and output ports. It adds up to 16 channels of mic pres to your rig and supports both ADAT and S/PDIF for seamless interface with your outboard gear. Two completely balanced insert points make it simple to integrate your outboard gear before conversion, allowing you to rapidly plug antique mic pres, compressors, and EQs. Do you have any extra time to host a livestream? You’ve come to the right place! The built-in loopback capabilities of the iD44 MKii makes livestreaming a simple. iD44 MKii has your back whether you’re working on new music or entertaining your fans.
Behringer U-Phoria UMC404HD USB Audio Interface
- 4x4 USB 2.0 Audio/MIDI interface for recording microphones and instruments
- Audiophile 24-Bit/192 kHz resolution for professional audio quality
- Compatible with popular recording software, including Avid pro tools, Ableton live, Steinberg Cubase, etc.
The Behringer U-Phoria UMC404 USB 2.0 audio interface is worth considering if you’re putting together a home studio. The U-Phoria UMC404 is a fantastic choice if you’re a self-recording musician with limited outboard gear. It has four inputs and four outputs. Add in four incredibly pure, world-class Midas-designed mic preamps and studio-grade 24-bit/192kHz converters, and you’ve got yourself a complete studio in a box – right on your desktop. Make no mistake about it: the Behringer U-Phoria UMC404HD USB 2.0 audio interface is a bargain.
The Behringer U-Phoria UMC404HD USB 2.0 audio interface mix control provides zero-latency input monitoring, allowing you to clearly experience your performance with no lag or delay in the returned signal. It’s a proven fact that if you can’t hear yourself well, you’ll do poorly. Fortunately, the U-Phoria UMC404HD is built to bring out the best in you.