There are also highly visible level indicators which allow you to monitor your input levels and avoid peaking even in very dark environments like on stage. With this DAW, you can transfer MIDI information to and from your computer or different instruments depending on how you have got things routed. Unlike the rest of the audio interfaces on this list, the U-Control UCA222 uses RCA inputs and outputs. (This tells the computer the speed of the note), The tension of the press? In the video above, Justin uses a four-channel Mackie 402VLZ4 to augment the two channels available in his interface—but any size mixer could work. Mackie Onyx Producer 2-2 comes with Tracktion T7 software, allowing you to record, edit, and mix anywhere in the world thanks to unlimited audio and MIDI tracks and many professional features. So now we’ve given you a little brief on MIDI interfaces, how they work and what to expect and look for when choosing one; maybe you want a few options to get you started. If you’re a solo artist, you don’t need to spend much on audio interfaces with multiple inputs. Once it's been transmitted into sound waves, it can be hard to change it, and you usually have to go back and record it again. September 18, 2019 September 18, 2019 6 Comments. The Apollo Twin MkII is a top-rated audio interface from one of the world’s most popular brands. The Scarlett 2i2 interfaces are popular among beginners and intermediate users because of their easy set up, simple design, and high quality, which makes it an ideal entry level interface. Please note: our picks for the year’s best audio interfaces are listed by category and not in any sort of ranking. It ultimately comes down to how many ports and features you’re looking for. Or do you have a musical idea that you need to record? The memo allows the user to back up settings compatible with Apple iOS devices. In total, the Element 46 actually has 12 inputs and 14 outputs (4 inputs being analog inputs and 6 outputs being analog outputs) and selectable phantom power for use with condenser microphones. MIDI interfaces can be powered in different ways. If you are in the market for a new 1U audio interface of this type then we hope this article helps you compare what is available in today’s market and that the information we have provided can help you decide on the best interface for your studio and budget. The M-Track is part of M-Audio’s C-Series interface series which include the extremely high-quality professional ‘Crystal’ Preamps. He has been producing music and engineering live performances for over 7 years. Audio interfaces are some of the meat and potatoes of music production, and in 2021 there are many of the best audio interfaces available. You also get Mackie’s DAW Essentials Collection, which is a plugin bundle with professional EQs, compressors, reverb, delay, limiters, filters, and more. The sound starts with two synthesizers, each with six types of oscillator: Saw Regiment (a super saw), Analog Sync, FM, Transformer (wavetable and formant shifting for vocal effects), Spectromat (additive synthesis), and Phase Stressor (phase distortion). But unlike the Roland, it doesn’t perform on any other operating systems other than Windows and Mac. The available ports are: There are other ports such as 1x1, 3x3 or 10x10. I rarely ever use mics. The UR22MKII is as straightforward as audio interfaces get, and that isn’t a bad thing. The audio passThru technology linked with up to 3 computer devices gives music makers more room for creativity. Some of these features include video sync features/options and Alesis Digital Audio Tape (ADAT) synchronization. Here are the best audio interfaces 2021: Universal Audio Apollo Twin MkII; Focusrite Scarlett 2i2; Arturia AudioFuse 8Pre; M-Audio M-Track 2X2; TASCAM US-2×2; Behringer U-Control UCA222; Steinberg UR22C; Apogee Element 46; Roland Rubix24; Mackie Onyx Producer 2-2; 1. So for example, you have two 8x8 devices with the ports hooked up, you get a whopping 1,024 MIDI channels. Focusrite are one of the best known names when it comes to audio interfaces, and the higher-end units in their Scarlett line are favourites of many intermediate and pro level producers. MIDI (Music Instrument Digital Interface) sends signals to other controllers such as synths and keyboard controllers to operate digitally on computers. Recording interfaces are at the center of any digital recording setup. So if you know you're not going to use some inputs, disable them or otherwise remove them from the list inside your sequencer. The US-2×2 from TASCAM is a nice audio interface for Windows, Mac, or Linux. The Yamaha MD-BT01 is easy to set up, is even easier to use and at a not so steep price for IOS users. The Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen audio interface is the best 2-channel audio interface for recording, podcasting, and many other activities. It is also got an optical in and uses Thunderbolt connections, making it the best Thunderbolt audio interface. Now included in the Scarlett 2i2 is an ‘Air’ button, an effect that was modeled on Focusrite’s legendary ISA console transformer. If you have one keyboard that you want to hook up to your computer, a simple 1x1 port is what you’re looking for. When you do that, you have effectively connected your midi keyboard to your audio interface. I have 5 hardware synths. At the very heart of the Neutron are two oscillators based on the Curtis CEM3340 chip, a classic chip that has serviced the best hardware synths such as the Jupiter6, and Prophet5. It can be tricky picking out the right MIDI interface for you and your home recording studio. There are many features to choose from, so looking into these options is essential if video is your end game. For example, you can manipulate virtual instruments into playing the exact notes with the correct tension. However, these are less common in the market. (Some considered Lynx to make the best interfaces, actually.) Dedicated MIDI interfaces will be packed with an abundance of MIDI ports that you can connect each of your synths to (as well other MIDI-capable devices like drum machines, sequencers, etc.). I suggest it for beginners who like to travel and record, as well as those who have a soundboard or mixing console and need a good cheap audio interface. The Roland Rubix24 is an audio interface which is really designed for recording and mixing purposes. This is a two-in, two-out interface with a Hi-Z function on the second input. If your synth rig is already a bit more substantial or if you envision it growing in the near future, you can use a standard mixer along with your interface to keep multiple synths connected and ready for recording. There are a ton of different uses for these devices. Those looking to synchronize MIDI compositions into video, like ‘film scoring’, will require an interface with far more features than an audio-only MIDI device. A super cool feature of the Element 46 is that it comes with Apogee Control Software for Mac. The Apollo’s Twin also has a built in microphone for you to use in the studio if you have to talk to someone in the recording booth without having to grab a microphone. We've curated a selection of affordable, reliable audio interfaces for beginners - check it out below! The 11 best semi-modular synths; The 14 best MIDI keyboards for Mac, PC, iPhone and iPad; Go up a price bracket and you'll get more features and flexibility, not to mention better build quality. With tons of features packed into products in the market, MIDI interfaces vary in pricing and product density. So now we know that MIDI carries codes, and audio carries sound. The included UAD plugins are a great way to get analog style sounds that sound just as good as the real thing. What is DC-C oupl ing in the s ynth world? The 12 best audio interfaces 2021: top audio interfaces for music-making and production. In addition to recording at home, on the go, or in a small studio, this interface is also great just for listening to music and watching movies. 4. For that purpose, we have prepared a list of the best 5 affordable VST synths in the market for you. Along with regular USB audio interfaces, they have many nice FireWire audio interfaces as well as plenty of other top-end gear that will help you make music. We think you’ll find this one of the most helpful audio interface reviews online. There are so many different professional audio interfaces, from USB-C audio interfaces to PCIe audio interfaces, and more. The Steinberg UR22C proves itself to be a great value audio interface and an all-around workhorse. As the least expensive audio interface on this list, I can say without a doubt it is the best value in terms of the features you get. TASCAM is a pretty old company that has excelled in the audio gear market for many years. However, if you are truly on a budget, then this is your interface. Because of this, there is a lower level of recording quality, and it may be a bit harder to find the right cords or adapters to use it, but for the most part you should have an enjoyable time using this compact recording interface. Think of these interfaces as a … This all comes down to how many MIDI modules you have. The Mackie Onyx Producer 2-2 is ultra portable and will deliver studio-quality sound no matter where you are. He is an experienced guitarist and enjoys listening to and playing many different genres of music. This means you will need to buy more MIDI interfaces to supply enough ports for all your gear. The mobility depends on the power and connectivity features of the MIDI interface. Instead, a USB audio interface simply acts as device that routes your audio signals to the channels of your DAW’s mixer (where you can do all the controlling via clicks). However, this opens up the door for you to be able to connect the interface to either your computer or a soundboard console mixer. With analog circuitry and high resolution converters, the Onyx Producer 2-2 delivers top notch sound. Thunderbolt - Created by Apple, Thunderbolt is the fastest easily obtainable audio interface connection. As we know by now, MIDI interfaces record the performance progress visually, like what notes you're playing, when you play them, and how loud. The Rubix24 from Roland is a great solution for online streamers and the likes of podcast recordings. Not only is it extremely good value, it is also very portable which makes it a convenient choice for rehearsal recordings, on the go recording and casual listening too. OK we need some clarity about what "audio over USB" is supposed to mean I suppose. Boutique Onyx mic preamps are sure to provide you with high quality and plenty of dynamic range and headroom for recording and performing. Supposing you've got yourself a keyboard and you want to link it up to your new IPad or iPhone, and use synth or sampling apps from it. Some of the outputs are XLR style, so if that is something you are in need of, you get it with this awesome audio interface. You can find simple 1x1 interfaces that sit comfortably in the $40 range while others can fall in the 100’s and even thousands. 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. Another feature of the Apollo Twin MkII is that it has special technology that works with the preamp, called Unison. The Apollo Twin MkII has two XLR and instrument combo inputs and four outputs. The audio interface does not add any noise, coloration, or anything that would negatively impact your audio. Probably the best solution, but adding all of those extra interface channels for every synth can get expensive. We’ll introduce class-compliant USB MIDI interfaces later on in this section. Presonus have been developing interfaces of this type for years with the results of the Studio 1824c proving that PreSonus have indeed learnt a trick or two in the last decade producing great value audio interfaces. The unit has extremely low latency for both Mac and PC, so you can rest assured knowing that there will not be any hiccups in the audio when recording or performing. With multi-host connectivity, you can connect up to 3 computer devices directly or via Ethernet hub/ wireless router (mac and windows). MOTU allows you to expand their MIDI Express 128 system by allowing an additional USB port to add more than 1,000 channels. If that isn’t enough room, MOTU will enable you to link up another MOTU MIDI interface for more expandability. It is essential to know whether your interface is compatible with the operating system of your device/computer. Some MIDI interfaces come with a Y cable (one output, one input and USB connector). This means that the information that is sent through a MIDI output can be recorded by the device. If you are a beginner starting out with production or a musician who needs some great sounding gear with a low price tag, the Scarlett 2i2 by Focusrite is the best budget option. These chunks of data are compiled up of bytes. The UR22C has a couple different connection options, you can choose between USB 3.0 or USB-C, so you can record on a PC or Mac as well as any iOS device. It's the brain that converts analog signal from an instrument or microphone into a digital signal that can be processed by a computer or standalone DAW. The TASCAM US-2X2 is sure to have zero latency monitoring through the included headphone output with volume level. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. On the other hand, audio interfaces record the sound of the instrument itself. With the choice of traditional MIDI 5-pin adapter or USB to host, you can connect your IOS device (iPad,iPod Touch, iPhone) wirelessly while simultaneously charging your device. Although this interface appears to be fairly cheap and simple, do not be fooled. There is also a desktop hardware remote control if you do not want to use the Mac software. With new technological advancements, MIDI interfaces aren’t what they used to be. It features a large central volume knob, very low noise preamps, and audio/digital converters that convert audio to extremely high quality in your DAW. With an FPT processing, you’ll have near to zero latency especially when playing at specific tempos. As with MIDI thru boxes, MIDI interfaces come with varying numbers of ports based on your needs and how much you're willing to spend. The interface is compatible with both PC and Mac. It might be … I guess that is true for most technology. Bottom Line: It’s hard for us not to love the MOTU MIDI Express 128 with its generous MIDI ports and options for increased expandability. While it all sounds great on paper, we weren’t too sure how user-friendly it was for beginners as the documentation can get a little confusing. If you also like the ability to remotely control the interface, check the Element 46 out. If a person didn’t know that, it would be easy to think they hadn’t taken the audio interface part of the Lynx Aurora 16 LT-USB seriously simply based on the marketing. MIDI doesn’t come up in audio waveform instead it comes up as chunks of data per note. Audio Interface for Multiple Synths + Outboard FX I have a number of FX pedals and a channel strip so the aux send on the mixer is a favorite. As I always say, there may be some better options out there but I will only recommend what I have personally owned or tested. With both connections you will get zero latency playback and recording as well as monitoring of your inputs to make recording fast, precise, and easy. The MOTU Audio 24I/O interface fulfills the promise of host-based hard disk recording: to record, edit, mix process, and master multi-track recording projects entirely inside the computer. Like the DUO, it also has full MIDI capability and comes with Sonar X1 LE. Green is a good level, orange means it is close to clipping, and red means it is clipping. There are a few things we believe you should be looking out for when picking one. I strongly recommend any Focusrite Scarlett products. World class sound in 12 inputs and 14 outputs. A MIDI interface will help send the note information and controls telling your sampler to play the sound you selected based on the notation the MIDI has sent. So if your equipment crashes, it can be restored. The Rubix24 offers a solid balance between high-quality sound, a durable build, sleek design, compact size, affordable price, and all the features that musicians and producers in today’s industry need to make great sounding music. 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