Audio interfaces are one of the most important devices for musicians, singers, podcasters, and producers. And, they don’t compromise a bit while choosing these devices. Audio interfaces play a significant role in any home recording setup. These tools help in converting the microphone and instrument signals into a computer and software recognizable format. This way, you will be able to record electric, acoustic microphones, guitars, and synthesizers with an output with ease.
Things To Consider
1. DAW Compatibility: DAW is better known as Digital Audio Workstation. If you are already into recording, producing, and editing audio, then you must be using the Digital Audio Workstation (DAW). So, your selected interface must be compatible with your DAW. You can check the compatibility of your software with the device on their official website.
2. Interface Connectors: The more connectors you get in your audio interface, the easier your work becomes. Interfaces generally feature four types of connectors: USB, Firewire, Thunderbolt, and PCIE. But not all features all kinds of connectors. If you have work to do with USB, then make sure your selected audio interface has a USB port.
3. Input/Output (I/O) Count: Every audio interface features a different range of input and output. You get input and output ports ranging from one to two on a basic interface. While on a professional audio interface, you get inputs and outputs between one to twenty. In addition, the number you need for your studio will depend on how many tracks you plan to record/monitor at once.
4. Input Channel Types: all audio interfaces come with three input channels: mic input, line input, and optical input. So, make sure to check that your pick has all the channel types you want to record.
Best Audio Interfaces for Mac
1. Rode RODECaster Pro Integrated Podcast
It is an ideal audio interface for podcasters created by Rode. It works well with all professional tools required to produce great podcasts. One of the highlighting features of the Rode RODECaster Pro is its eight programmable pads for instant sound FX. It lets you add different sound effects, such as jingles, audience applause, etc. In addition, it features a touchscreen to handle everything easily with a quick touch.
Now let’s talk about its connectivity features. This device incorporates four XLR mic ports. You can connect up to three mics at one with the Rode RODECaster Pro. You can talk with up to three guests in your podcast, excluding you, without any port issue. In addition, it also features four Headphone Outputs for Host and Guests. Rode RODECaster Pro has USB Type C connectivity to record and produce audio seamlessly. Another best part about this interface is its Mix-Minus features. By using this feature, you can prevent any echoes and interruptions during recording or streaming.
In addition, the seller also offers you two useful items for free: a 32GB memory card and a Buzzsprout 6-months hosting subscription.
2. Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 2x2
Focusrite Scarlett is audio interface for singers, guitarists, and podcasters. This interface improves clarity and adds more detail to the sounds. One of the best features of Focusrite Scarlett is its Air Mic mode. This feature boosts the mid-highs of the mic and captures more detail and ambiance, which eventually improves the sound quality. It seems like everything is really happening just behind you.
Two USB-C-type mic ports to connect two mics simultaneously. It means you bring two people to your podcast desk. Besides, it also comes with a one headphone jack, which could be an issue for you if you record with multiple guests at a time. This audio interface also features a direct monitor mode that lets you listen to the input signal of the interface with zero latency. You can monitor your audio through the software you use. Else, you can listen through Mono or Stereo. The best part about Focusrite Scarlett is that it works perfectly with both Mac and Windows operating systems.
You can choose whether you want this interface for one person or two people. Besides the actual product cost, you need to pay some additional bucks for the shipping.
3. Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 Rackmount
It is an ideal audio interface for bands, studio engineers, and podcasters. It comes with the Mix-Minus features for recording interviews through calls. The Mix-Minus feature helps you record call interviews with greater clarity by reducing background distractions and echos. It lets you record and produces audio in the best resolutions at 192 kHz / 24-Bit. Additionally, Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 is a 3rd generation with many advanced features that let you achieve pro-level tone. The best part is that you don’t need any training at all. You can learn and work simultaneously.
Coming over to its Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 Rackmount 18x20 key features. Two types of input and output channels: Analog and Digital. It comes with eight inputs and ten outputs analog channels. On the other hand, it has ten inputs and outputs digital channels. Besides this, Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 Rackmount 18x20 has eight knobs to adjust audio input and output. It also has one USB 2.0 Type-C port for the host. Yet, one of its drawbacks is that it doesn’t provide expansion slots.
Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 Rackmount is a 3rd gen featuring premium and advanced features. So, it might be costlier than others on the list.
4. MOTU M4 Desktop Type-C Audio/MIDI Interface
MOTU M4 is one of Interface for musicians, podcasters, and producers. It comes with USB Type C and Type-A connectivity. MOTU M4 Audio/MIDI Interface also has some other basic features, such as Phantom Power, Direct Monitor Modes, etc. This device also lets you provide phantom power to the non-condenser mics. Basically, it will provide Direct Current to the mice.
One of the highlighting features of this device is its virtual loopback feature that lets you combine multiple audios from different sources with the best output. In addition, this interface is compatible with almost all Digital Audio Workstations.
MOTU M4 Interface is compatible with different operating systems, such as Windows and Mac. This device comes in two different variants: two I/O and four I/O. Talking about its connectivity features. It features one headphone output, two mic/line/instrument preamps, and two line-in ports.
5. Universal Audio Apollo Twin X
This audio interface features a great build that also looks premium. Apollo Twin X features two input and output audio. Besides, it also has two unison preamps and four UAD-2 processing cores to record and produce audio smoothly. The LUNA Recording System powers Apollo Twin X by Universal Audio to record audio easily on Mac.
Each audio interface has varied features. Choosing the best audio interface depends on the features you need and your budget. If you are looking for a budget audio interface, you can go with Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, which comes at $179 with many useful and basic features.
No, if you are looking to get some more advanced features, we have varied options available. The first option is the Rode RODECaster Pro, which is best for podcasters and comes at $590. Furthermore, we also have Apollo Twin X, which is the most premium yet advanced Interface out there. You can choose according to your budget and purposes.
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