Let’s face it; there are plenty of audio interfaces on the market today to fill just about every price point. And a lot of them do just that, and little more. One thing is for certain though, that when Audient releases an audio interface, it isn’t all about ticking off a budget for the consumer, but rather delivering a quality interface and converter for those who are serious about their audio capture. From their largest consoles to their smallest interfaces, Audient brings an attention to detail that surpasses price point expectations. Not only that, the feature set and quality of craftsmanship always leave me wanting more time with these units. So, it was with great anticipation that I unboxed the Audient iD44 audio interface this month. My first impressions? Well, let’s say I was pleasantly surprised.
Straight away it’s evident that this isn’t a toy. The build quality of the iD44 is very solid, and you can feel that in the weight when trying to get it out of the box. This thing is a tank. It is heavy, it is solid and most of all, it feels well put together. The top panel has a nice curve at the front to offer some elegance and invite your touch, but that is about where it ends for softness. The rest of this unit means business. The switches, pots and buttons all feel very sturdy. All the connections on the front and rear of the casing are well appointed and finished with quality components. Every engagement of the dozen switches on the top panel is smooth, yet certainly firm, so you don’t feel like you are going to damage anything with constant setting changes. In short, this interface is built to be a workhorse and so, is designed for serious recording use. It’s not a home studio start-up kit, although any home studio would certainly benefit from a quality interface like this one. This is a quality build to back quality performance.
Whilst the name suggests you would be getting perhaps four inputs and four outputs on this device, there is a much greater arsenal on offer with the iD44. There are four microphone preamps that sound great and there are four line outputs, so that sorts out the name of the unit, but there is so much more. Two DI inputs on the front panel and two headphone outputs keep cabling easy when working in the studio and needing to quickly connect to the device. Along with the XLR and TRS connections on the rear, you also get two optical ADAT inputs and word clock out bringing the total number of usable inputs to 20 with 24 outputs. Not a bad offering for a simple desktop device.
The four microphone preamps all have dedicated gain pots, along with phantom power, 10dB pads and high pass filter switches, making it easy to control each channel on its own and see where each input is set at a glance. Separate headphone volumes are found with the rotary encoder and a range of assignable buttons, including Audient’s iD button for greater DAW integration. It’s a solid unit that is well laid out and offers plenty of connectivity but on top of that, it offers that stunning A/D conversion that we have come to expect from Audient in recent years. The mic preamps are smooth and the DI inputs are lively, making it an ideal interface for small to medium setups recording vocals, guitar and a range of other instruments too.
Hits and Misses
Solid build quality
Inserts on first two inputs
Plenty of I/O for a small box