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.
Audient ID22 USB Audio Interface
For those of you that keep up with the goings on here at Mixdown, you will know I looked at the Audient ID14 USB audio interface last month. This time around I have been given an upgrade with the Audient ID22 landing on my desk. At this rate I should be getting an entire console by midway through next year, but for the time being I am more than happy with the device sitting on my desk right now. British audio hardware designers Audient do create some useful interfaces and ones that are not only clever on spec, but units that are well thought out for integration into a professional setup.
Focusrite Clarett 8PreX Thunderbolt Audio Interface
In what almost looks like a return to the old from preamp gurus Focusrite, the new range of Clarett Thunderbolt audio interfaces brings us that familiar anodised red facia that most of us know all too well. The Clarett 8PreX in particular has the look of the old Red Series units, given its 2U rack casing with red front. But, these units are a long way from the classic preamps and EQs of old, delivering mighty AD/DA conversion and multi-channel audio recording with the help of the Thunderbolt connection and Focusrite preamps for all eight analogue inputs.
Audient ID14 USB Audio Interface
Audient is one company that often flies under the radar in the somewhat overcrowded would of audio interfaces, but it really should have more notice taken of it. For a market that is overcrowded with budget devices that claim to deliver great results, often most devices fall well short of the mark. Audient, however, are a company not inclined to under deliver and still manages to keep the price down so as to offer exceptional value on high quality audio interfaces for any application. This is where the ID14 needs to be recognised as a high end audio interface that doesn’t necessarily bear the price tag of its real competitors. This thing is just too good for its position in the market, and I like that.
Akai MIDImix USB MIDI Controller
I have been buying, using and abusing MIDI controllers for twenty years now and I continue to see new variations on an old theme popping up each year. There is always room for innovation and invention, but when something works, there is no need to radically challenge a design, but instead a small adjustment is often the better course of action. That is what Akai have proven to be the case with their new MIDIMIX USB MIDI control surface. What this offers is a number of design concepts in one compact unit that will allow you to work in a variety of ways with your software applications.
ZOOM - UAC-8 USB 3.0 AUDIO INTERFACE
After Zoom gave me something to think about with their new Thunderbolt interface, the Japanese innovators hit me with the UAC-8 USB 3.0 interface. This new single spaced rack mounted audio interface puts Zoom at the very forefront of technological design in their price point with a class compliant design that works with iPad as well as PC and Mac. A sleek design, range of connections and super-fast data transfer makes this a very appealing concept for anyone wanting a new audio converter for their home recording setup.