The garage band era would not be the same if there wasn’t proper audio interfaces oriented for the recording on domestic computers. Since the early ’00s, there is a lot of great options on USB audio interfaces you can use to plug your gear, from guitars to microphones and much more and record it all with the finest quality and sound definition you can get, and the best thing is, you do not have to pay that much for it at all. Check 3 of the best audio interface available right now and what they are so great on recording your own material with your own computer.
Top 3 models with Reviews :
Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 USB Audio Interface
Focusrite is sort of the monopoly of audio interfaces when it comes to high quality devices that are focused for home alike/independent recordings. Their 2i4 is for many years one of the hottest audio interfaces as it is adaptable to several instruments, enables a quite dynamic and detailed progress of the recording and includes key licenses for software’s and technologies of audio recording developed by the brand like Red 2 & Red 3 Plug-in Suite (AAX/AU/VST), Ableton Live Lite, the Novation Bass Station and the Scarlett Plug-in Suite (RTAS/AU/VST). This model also includes a 1GB package of free samples from Loop master.
- Two microphone pre-amps
- Dual microphone and line instrument input connectors on front-panel
- XLR/TRS combo inputs
- Pad and Direct Monitor functions
- Converts sound to high quality 24-bit/96Hz sampling
- Use the Pad function to equalize the gain on guitars and microphones, or the Direct Monitor for for a mix of the input and playbacks signals with low-latency.
- Includes Halo signal to warn whether the sound quality is good or not for recording.
Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 USB Recording Audio Interface
This second Focusrite audio interface is the 2i2, an older brother of the empowered 2i4 but not as demure as its younger version. The bigger difference of this model is the Pad function that is missing, while the 2i4 focused heavily on it due to the dual inputs that allow fixing the gain of different instruments. The 2i2 still has the Halo feature so you can manually fix any kind of issue on the quality of the sound. This interface includes as well all the licenses for software the 2i4 offers and is a little bit more accessible for your pocket.
- High quality mic preamps
- Dual inputs for instruments and line
- Includes Direct Monitor function
- Includes Halo indicator
- This version of the Scarlett works with the Neutrik front inputs combination, so you can connect either instruments or your mic and set the option with a switch key
- Also includes the Direct Monitor and the Halo functions to make it much more convenient and professional the recording of sounds.
Behringer UCA202 Audio Interface
Behringer is the king of budget musical gear because they reproduce technologies of big names of the industry as accurate as possible, and their audio interface solution is no different. This UCA202 is a famous model due to its insane low price, even though it is much more limited than the other devices we have seen. On the other hand, you can actually record all thing you would with the Focusrite, only with a bit more of hand work plugging and unplugging things as it doesn’t offer that much flexibility on dual ports and the connectors work with computer oriented plugs.
- 2 separate output and input ports each
- Headphone output with stereo quality
- Compatible for both PC and Mac with free Audacity software for recording and editing
- No need to install drivers to run the device. Includes the free Audacity software for recording and editing.
- No charger required. The power source comes from the computer where you will connect the device through USB port.
- Record high-quality 48kHz sound tracks
What is a Audio Interface after all?
These so-called audio interfaces are devices that work as a bridge between musical instruments and domestic computers and allow people to record their own musical material on their own simple machines. While professional studios have a complex audio board that is connected to several audio pickups and microphones throughout the studio, these interfaces work as a digital pickup and provide a quite clean sound quality. While you do not have the studio, you can still capture your electric guitar sound as clean as you were recording inside an hermetic studio.
How To Find the Best One?
The more options of settings to capture the sound of your gear, the more relevant and powerfull is the audio interface. On our list you have three similar devices, even though the Focusrite are much more refined as they offer gain customization and latency levels. Is important to note though that audio interfaces are known for working with USB ports. You will find many “better” interfaces that are actually compact audio boards and they require computers that are oriented for multimedia recording with proper audio input/output ports, like complex Mac stations. Always stick with the USB feature then you will get an interface that works with any domestic computer.
What Do Our Reviews Have To Say?
This set of interfaces offers quite refined options of sound recording on home studios, the difference of prices though should be considered by the point of view that the inclusion of licesing for additional software that comes along with the Focusrite makes a big difference. While the sophistication of those models is in fact a heavy feature on the prices, the licensing is no small factor. Either one of the options you choose, both have outstanding output qualities, the investment is only different when it comes to how you can bend and shape this sound during the recording and after the recording.