Best Audio Interfaces For Beginners: Get The Job Done

Best Audio Interfaces For Beginners: Get The Job Done

A good audio interface is fast becoming a necessity to serious rappers around the world as more and more dope Emcees step up their game and build proper beat studios to keep churning out those hits as independently as possible. I mean, who needs a label when you’ve got the tools to record yourself and work on your craft in a relaxed and comfortable environment that’s all your own. I’m romanticising, I know, but just think of the creative possibilities when you’ve got the freedom you deserve as an artist.

And it’s not just hard-working rappers and producers making use of them. Singer/songwriters and even full-on bands from every kind of genre are using them to manifest their music into mp3s. Unfortunately, there is an overwhelming amount of options these days and no-one wants to make the wrong decision straight out of the gate, especially when it comes to a device that’s supposed to get you recording quickly and painlessly.

That’s why I’ve put together this list of some of the most affordable and reliable audio interfaces around so that you successfully get started on the right foot. Whether you’re looking to lay down a few bars or sing a few songs with your guitar, there’s an interface that’s right for you, so (in no particular order) here’s my pick of the best audio interfaces for beginners.


M-Audio M-Track Review | HowToMakeHip-Hop.comM-Audio M-Track 2×2

Price: $99.00

Cheapest Place To Buy: Amazon.com

Operating Systems: Windows and Mac OS

Rating: 3.8 out of 5 stars (Based on 57 ratings)

What’s To Love? Well first of all, did you not see how good-looking this little device is? Whoever was in charge of designing the layout did such a fantastic job I’d add this to my collection as a showpiece alone (yeah, like I’ve got that kind of dough). The pro-grade ‘Crystal’ preamps are able to capture vocals with outstanding clarity and with +48v phantom power on deck, it’s prepared for any condenser microphone you’ve got.

It features a combination output that’s able to fit both XLR and 1/4″ jack inputs and a second 1/4″ jack in case you want to record vocals and an instrument at the same time. Even though there’s the one giant knob staring you in the face, each output can be controlled individually so that the headphone mix won’t upset the main output

What’s To Hate? Not much actually. However, the words ‘Plug In and Play’ definitely do not apply if you’re a guy rockin’ Windows. You’re going to have to download the Drivers off the website and really, that’s annoying. Also, I find the positioning of the inputs a tiny bit awkward but I’m grasping at straws.

Click Here To Read The Full M-Audio M-Track 2×2 Review

 


Behringer U-PHORIA UM2 Review | HowToMakeHip-Hop.comBehringer U-PHORIA UM2

Price: $52.97

Cheapest Place To Buy: Amazon.com

Operating Systems: Mac OS and Windows

Rating: 4.0 out of 5 stars (Based on 208 ratings)

What’s To Love? In my opinion, it’s the incredibly compact size of this interface that first draws my attention. Its portability factor is through the roof and without an excess of knobs, it was clearly made with just the essentials in mind. The main input is a combination input for both XLR and 1/4″ jack inputs and there’s a second 1/4″ jack sitting next to it for added recording capabilities. You can’t go wrong with a Behringer Xenyx mic preamp and they squeezed one of them into this dynamite package with +48v phantom power available with the flick of a switch.

They’ve even included a ‘Direct Monitor’ switch so that you can isolate the vocals coming straight out of the microphone and ignore any latency caused by digital-to-analogue conversation. People underestimate how long the audio takes to travel back and forth.

What’s To Hate? Another interface that boasts about ‘Plug In and Play’ capabilities but only if you’re working on a Mac because that’s where I’ve seen it work properly. I’m also not a fan of the plastic material they used on the case, but who can really argue that with a price like this.

 

Click Here To Read The Full Behringer U-PHORIA UM2 Review

 


Focusrite Scarlett Solo

Price: $97.81

Cheapest Place To Buy: Amazon.com

Operating Systems: Windows and Mac

Rating: 4.1 out of 5 stars (Based on 464 ratings)

What’s To Love? Focusrite preamps are known the worldwide and they included one in this stylish red device. Your main input takes a single XLR but there’s a 1/4″ jack sitting just a centimetre or two away to handle any instrument, whether it be bass or electric guitar. Surrounding each little volume knob is a ‘halo’ of light that’s there to indicate any clipping by glowing green when you’re in the safe zone and red when you’re not.

To top it off 48v Phantom Power comes standard so it’s equipped to handle both dynamic and condenser microphones with ease. And despite all that, it still only needs a USB connection to get all the power it needs, no extra power supply needed.

What’s To Hate? The fact that none of the outputs has an independent volume control for starters. That humongous knob not only controls your main volume levels but the levels in your headphones as well and that’s just a pain.

Click Here To Read The Full Focusrite Scarlett Solo Review

 


Behringer Xenyx 302USB Review | HowToMakeHip-Hop.comBehringer Xenyx 302USB

Price: $49.99

Cheapest Place To Buy: Amazon.com

Operating Systems: Windows and Mac OS

Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars (Based on 454 ratings)

What’s To Love? The price! No, seriously! It’s gotta be the most compact and affordable audio interface in its class. It’s mind blowing how much value you can squeeze out of this particular interface since it serves as a bonafide analogue mixer too. It’s powered by USB normally but it can stand alone once plugged into the wall so you can professionally cater to a small gig if you wanted to. It gets its name from the Xenyx mic preamp that they managed to store inside this device and it too comes with 48v Phantom Power as a standard feature.

Both mic and line/USB inputs have a 2-band ‘British EQ’ which gives you bass(Lo) and treble(Hi) control to fine tune your audio before it even gets recorded. Routeing the incoming or outgoing audio is a breeze, effectively allowing you to control your headphone and Main mix individually.

What’s To Hate? It may say ‘5-inputs’ on the box but you’re not going to get to use all 5 of them at the same time. Your main component is a single combination input which counts as two and the rest are RCA inputs that really aren’t good unless you’re running a full PA system.

Click Here To Read The Full Behringer Xenyx 302USB Review

 


 

So there you have it. For Interfaces that should be the perfect choice for any beginner. It’s really up to you but here’s hoping you find what you’re looking for.

Got anymore questions about Audio Interfaces? Wanna tell us about your experiences? Feel free to share your thoughts and comments below.

Peace.

Ryan C. Voller, Recording Artist – Producer – Lead Contributor for HowToMakeHip-Hop.com

 

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