If you spend enough time producing music on a PC or Mac, an input device is a must-have piece of equipment for your studio configuration. The most exemplary audio interface enables you to get high-quality music into and out of your desktop, as well as link other necessary studio equipment and instruments during your live recordings.
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Audient iD4 MkII
The iD4 MkII is a straightforward two-input/two-output device with a mic preamp – replete with continuous power for condenser microphones and an instrumental level DI for connecting in your guitar or bass, including a clever scroll wheel for tweaking options in your program. In addition, there is a primary output for your speakers as well as twin headset outputs.
USB-C powers the whole device, and it can also be used with an iPhone or iPad if you have Apple’s camera connection kit. On the other hand, the studio trickery is in the details: Audient has seriously believed about everything else in terms of value and functionality, making what a cheap solution is.
- Great value for money
- Excellent preamp
SSL 2+ Audio Interface
The primary difference between the 2+ and the normal SSL2 is that the 2+ adds output signals to the 2’s two-in, two-out arrangement, MIDI In/Out, and an extra autonomous headphone out. There’s also a 4k option, which gives some more presence and sparkle to the image.
Two Hi-Z (impedance) combo mic/line inputs let you change between guitar and bass outputs, as well as synth and drum machine feeds. Both condenser and dynamic microphones may be connected with the +48v choice.
- An excellent signal path for the money
- The 4k button does add a ‘sound.’
- Solid build quality
Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 3rd Gen
Focusrite’s Scarlett USB interfaces have long been known for delivering outstanding sonics and audio versatility at a reasonable price, and the third generation devices continue this legacy.
Improved preamps (up to 56dB gain), balanced connection throughout, and the addition of Focusrite’s ISA transformer preamp emulation option have all been added to the range’s physical and technological enhancements (Air). In addition, two mics/line/instrument inputs with gain, two line-level TRS inputs, and four TRS outputs are available on the bus-powered Scarlett 4i4.
- New, improved preamp design.’
- Air transformer stage emulation
- MIDI I/O is useful
Universal Audio UAD Apollo Twin MkII
The Apollo Twin MkII is still a desktop-format 2-in/6-out operating system with 24-bit/192kHz capability. It would be practically indistinguishable from the old version if it weren’t now black instead of silver. It uses Thunderbolt to connect to your Mac or PC (no cable included). However, it should charge the device on the wall. The inputs and outputs are housed on the rear panel and front border, while the top panel is centered around a satisfyingly large knob.
This is a musically empowering hardware/software combination capable of raising even the most basic home and project studios to professional-quality levels and unquestionably one of the most outstanding audio interfaces available.
- Incredible audio quality
- Superb UAD-2 plugins