DiGiGriD Desktop Series D Interface
Most of you will have heard of DiGiCo, one of the leading manufacturers of digital mixing consoles for live and studio use. And I am sure many of you will have not only heard of, but also used, Waves plug-ins in your recording and mixing processes. But, what many of you may not be aware of is that a recent joining of these two stalwarts of the audio industry has seen the development of a new company and a very special range of new products. Introducing DiGiGrid, one of the most forward thinking audio interface design companies that we have ever come across. This is not just another solution for recording vocals and guitar at home, this is a serious solution for the musician and engineer who want to hear a difference and take control of the recording process. Of course, you would expect nothing less for the pairing of hardware and software companies of this calibre.
RME Fireface UFX+
Just when you thought you’d seen it all from the German audio interface gurus – when the Fireface UFX was still dazzling audiences with its immense channel count and stunning A/D conversion – they have gone and outdone themselves.
PreSonus StudioLive AR8 USB Mixing Interface
Since the late 1990s I have used an analogue-mixing console of some sort in conjunction with a computer-recording interface, and have never really been happy with how they all work together. It wasn’t until I invested in a large format console with direct outs on every channel and a comprehensive patch bay before I got close to the integration I was after. But, I still had to dance around feedback loops with the wrong press of a button. This is where the new PreSonus StudioLive AR8 USB mixer is going to change the way in which many home studio users consider working with an analogue mixer in front of their recording DAW.
PreSonus Audiobox iTwo Studio Bundle
Value for money is the name of the game when it comes to entry-level home recording packages like PreSonus’s Audiobox iTwo Studio, and boy what a punch this bundle packs. An iOS compatible audio/ MIDI interface with phantom power and 2 x XLR/1/4” instrument or line level inputs, a condenser mic (with padded bag), monitor headphones (with bag), XLR cord, USB cord, Studio One Artist DAW and 6GB of samples and instruments to download at your leisure, all for around $350. That is bonkers.
Audient ID4 Interface
We’ve seen a few interesting interfaces from Audient over the past couple of years and they have always ticked all the boxes and delivered the goods on signal quality and ease of use. This month I got to have a whirl on another model from the Audient range. This time it was the ID4 – an interface that had me thinking it might be something different to what it actually had on offer. So no, this is not a four input device, instead it is a clever little solution for the guitarist who wants a simple way to get great quality audio recording.
Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 MkII USB Audio Interface
Anyone and everyone who has wanted to record music at home should know of Focusrite. This is the brand that put the preamp in the home studio. And from their top-end Red and ISA series’ right through to their entry-level priced Scarlett range, Focusrite have been delivering what musicians and producers have been wanting for decades. But, like as with most technological marvels, some devices come to an end of their lifespan and we get heralded with a new release to bring them forward into the next stage of recording. This is just the case with the Scarlett series, and the 2i2 in particular. It’s touted as ‘the best selling USB interface in the world’ and that is pretty easy to see how that might have come about. The 2i2 has now had an overhaul and is ready to deliver even more at the same great price.
Apogee One USB Audio Interface For Mac
There is something to say about a sleek look combined with a clever design to make a relatively simple device so much more desirable. This is exactly what Apogee have done with their new USB audio interface, simply called One for Mac. This very slim, very cool, very Mac looking device doesn’t give much away on the outside, but it offers a lot more than it appears and twice that of what you might think from the name.
RME Babyface Pro USB Audio Interface
Many of you will know of RME, the German company responsible for delivering the best quality and clarity in analogue to digital converters, and a range of audio interfaces. Sadly, I don’t get much from RME for road tests, as they’re not likely to release new devices just for the sake of it. Instead, they deliver products that stand the test of time. That’s why there was a little surprise when I found out that their long standing compact interface was being discontinued last year, with a new model set to replace it. It’s not like RME to take something and simply redress it to spur on new sales, so with the release of the Babyface Pro, we were all expecting some worthwhile changes. And that is exactly what RME has delivered.