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3 Best Professional Audio Interfaces: Buyer’s Guide (2018)

Audio Interfaces: The audio interface is the core of the modern recording studio. From modest home studios to huge media production companies, audio interfaces assist the dynamic function of transient audio from the external world into your computer and back again. For several artists and engineers, the audio interface is the distinct most significant piece of hardware. It provides microphone preamplifiers, direct instrument inputs, digital converters, metering, headphone distribution, even digital signal processing (DSP) all in one unit.

In more refined systems, high-channel-count audio interfaces totally replace the part of old recording consoles. Audio interfaces are available in a variety of forms and sizes, but they’re usually planned for either desktop or rackmount use. Desktop interfaces incline to be smaller with lesser connections.

However, they put all of the hardware controls you want within easy reach. Some desktop audio interfaces are bus powered, which makes them ideal for mobile use. Rackmount audio interfaces are often permanently installed in 19″ equipment racks, providing more I/O but sometimes at the expense of hands-on control.

Product Title Brand Color
Scarlett 2i2 USB Audio Interface from Focusrite Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (2nd Gen) USB Audio Interface with Pro Tools | First Focusrite N/A
UM2 U-PHORIA UM2 from Behringer BEHRINGER U-PHORIA UM2 Behringer Black
Professional Audio USB interface form Pyle Pyle 5-CHANNEL professional compact audio mixer with USB interface Pyle N/A

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3 Best Professional Audio Interfaces: Enter The Major League (2018)

#1 Scarlett 2i2 USB Audio Interface from Focusrite

 

Audio Interfaces

Features

The second generation Scarlett collection is full of advancements. Scarlett generation 2 features super-low latency that will bring assurance to your concert, allowing you record and observe with software special effects in real time. Its metallic volume controls and a sleeker red metal chassis highlights its improved engineered design, manufactured to go anyplace.

Furthermore, Scarlett USB audio interfaces now operate at sample rates all the way up to 192kHz, and the input channels have developed too. Two natural-sounding Scarlett mic preamps with sufficient even gain. two newly-designed device inputs, designed to handle seriously hot guitar pickups.

Class-leading transformation and sample rates up to 192kHz / 24 bit. Super-low latency for using your plug-ins in real time without the requirement for DSP. 1/4-inch stable jack outputs to connect professional studio monitors; one headphones output with gain control.

Includes Pro Tools, First Focusrite Creative Pack and Ableton Live Lite, Softube Time and Tone Bundle, Focusrite’s Red Plug-in Suite, 2GB of Loopmasters samples. Choice of one free XLN Addictive Keys virtual instrument via download upon purchase and registration.

Audio, Inputs, Outputs

The newest Scarlett mic preamp demonstrates a more even gain assembly, so you can perfectly set your levels. Additionally, the gadget input has also been totally restructured thus it can equally monitor extremely hot pickups for recording electric guitar. Solid yet handy, the Scarlett 2i2 is a 2-in, 2-out USB audio interface that offers singers, songwriters two natural-sounding. Scarlett mic preamps and the same class-leading sound quality and digital transformation among the other latest Scarlett collection.

Mixing

Carry it anywhere, attach to USB, plug your mics and guitars straight in, and just start to record. Significantly, Focusrite interfaces are the seamless partner for Pro Tools. Accordingly, Scarlett 2i2 deals with Pro Tools such as First recording software. As it consists of Ableton Live Lite and a collection of software and motels so you can jump recording straight away. As you’d believe, altogether, it works perfectly with all main DAWs on Mac and other PCs.

Pros:

  • Good audio
  • Lightweight
  • Compact
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Handle with care as it is lightweight

#2 U-PHORIA UM2 from Behringer

Audio Interfaces

Features

Firstly we learn about a 2×2 audio interface. When it’s time to record, you need a trustworthy audio interface, one you can rely on. That’s why Behringer hit the things up a bit with the U-PHORIA Series USB Audio Interfaces. With 4 exceptional models to select from, the U-PHORIA Series has the perfect interface to create your fabulous recording experience.

Audio, Inputs, Outputs

Next, we understand the Preamps design. Popular for their digital console design, Behringer’s sister enterprise MIDAS developed the world-class preamps for the UMC204, UMC202 and UMC22 interfaces.Thanks to the existing +48 V phantom power. Additionally, you can even use professional-grade studio condenser mics to generate exceptional tracks.

The device offers a Precision of 96KHz. You prepare your tracks seriously, and the U-PHORIA Series compliments that. Provided that your choice of 96kHz resolution (UMC204/UMC202), or 48kHz resolution converters (UMC22/UM2), depends on your application. Together sampling rates come with better than CD recording quality for professional effects.

Mixing

Monitoring the unit is very convenient. Altogether U-PHORIA models provide authoritative phones output with Level control and Direct Monitor. Select, Status, Signal and Clip LEDs are power-driven via your computer’s USB port so they are set to go anywhere you go. Subsequently, the company provides free audio recording, editing and podcasting software, plus 150 instrument/effect plug-ins just a download away from the official website.

The process of Composing, Recording, Mixing, and Sharing is at user’s ease. Tracktion is one of the world’s fastest and coolest Digital Audio Workstations (DAW) for creating, recording, editing, mixing and sharing your music around the world. Further with the features of a single-screen interface, and pushing the envelope in design elegance.

This Tracktion brings together outstanding Pro DAW features, such as dynamic automation, unlimited track count, MIDI recording and support for VST and AU plug-ins. This commanding music production software offers you all the tools of a complete professional-grade recording studio.

Pros:

  • Zero latency
  • Crisp and clear sounds

Cons:

  • Headphone gain isn’t loud

#3 5-CHANNEL Professional USB interface from Pyle

Audio Interfaces

Features

The ZEPHYR ZMX52 is a 5-channel mixer with all the necessary inputs, outputs, and EQ for solo gigs and multimedia studios. It comes with one mono channel with a microphone input, sensible TRS input, and a two-band EQ. Additionally, it delivers two stereo channels with two stable TRS inputs each. Simultaneously two-track inputs for effects such as audio playback. The ZMX52 is the seamless solid take-anywhere professional mixer.

Audio, Inputs, and Outputs

The ZMX52 is the impeccable mixer for quick, easy operations with no trouble. Undoubtedly, you can plug dynamic, condenser, and wireless microphones into the first channel. Certainly, you also get two stereo channel inputs for keyboards, drum machines, and supplementary instruments. Therefore, you can simply plug in your MP3 player, CD players, or audio from a DVD player into the CD/TAPE input.

However, you also have an attached stereo output to transmit to a recorder in addition to the main stereo outputs. Pick the ZMX52 as the audio essential command for your live concerts, home studio, or video collection.

Just because the ZMX52 is the slightest, most inexpensive mixer it doesn’t mean you have to make sacrifices. This solid mixer fetches the same standard of excellence to your shows as our top-of-the-line models. All Alto Professional ZEPHYR ZMX mixers are designed with high headroom and ultra low-noise, discrete mic preamps so you continuously get the full dynamic collection of your mix every time.

Mixing

With a nice design, each ZEPHYR ZMX mixer comes with your show in mind. Occasionally, locations are dark and it can be tough to see what you’re functioning with. Alto Professional resolves this issue by not only color coding each segment of the mixer. Consequently, it is featured by using luminously colored knobs so that you can simply discover what you want to modify before you ever place a finger on the mixer.

Blue, red and white pots are promptly cool to recognize in dim lighting. LED indicators for output level, peak, and phantom power also help in offering a guarantee that you have numerous visual cues that praise everything you’re hearing.

Pros:

  • Low-noise operation
  • Accurate four-segment bar graph meters

Cons:

  • Need to offer a break to enjoy nice output

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