Review: M-Audio Vocal Studio Pro

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Review: M-Audio Vocal Studio Pro

Words by Cambell Courtney

Electric Factory | Enquire for pricing

The M-Audio vocal pro studio is a bundle aimed at content creators and budding musicians looking to take their first steps in the world of recording and editing audio. Included in the bundle are an M-Audio air 192|4 USB interface, one pair of HGH40 headphones and a Nova Black condenser microphone. These three items inevitably provide the building blocks for your first home studio, whether that be for music, podcasting, or content creation.

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The M-Audio Air 192|4 audio interface that is included in the bundle is a terrific interface for those just getting into the game, or experienced users alike. The two inputs allow for one mic or line level audio source, as well as an additional Hi-Z input for instruments like guitar and bass. This level of functionality is ideal for musicians looking to record demos, streaming, and content creation. When testing the preamps, I found them to be very clean with lots of headroom and minimal interference. Tick, and tick!

Ease of use is always welcomed, especially for entry-level interfaces such as this, and as such, setting up the interface was hassle-free with just one driver needed to be downloaded for Windows computers. After which, the interface was immediately detectable in Ableton and I was able to use it within minutes of plugging it in. Something which was translatable to a Mac and various DAWs when taking it around to a mates place to play.

The mic included in the set is an M-Audio Nova Black condenser mic. The overall quality of the mic was very pleasing. The build quality was solid, with an all metal exterior, it felt rugged and hefty, and the sound quality was really impressive too. When testing in an untreated room, I was pleasantly surprised with the audio quality – no noise from the street, neighbours or general house sound managed to interfere with the signal, a win for all home recording enthusiasts who mightn’t have the space and need to wait for the neighbour to stop mowing the lawn!

The only noise the mic picked up consistently was the clicks from a mechanical keyboard. This is a minor complaint as this will only really be an issue for people using the computer while recording, such as streamers and content creators, but this is something that can be circumvented with a gate insert. With the sound source being less than a metre away from the mic, we can hardly fault the mic itself for the interference.

Included with the mic is a pop filter and a shock mount. The pop filter was a nice inclusion, especially when targeted towards vocalists and content creators. When applied, the pop filter did a great job of cleaning up sibilants and improving the overall sound quality. The shock mount is another great inclusion for the bundle, as the elastic cord mount helps with vibrations interfering with the recording, helping to minimise noise and produce a cleaner recording. Especially handy when you consider how boisterous some creators can be on camera, the last thing viewers want is an incredibly unpleasant thud! These two additions for the mic are simple but go a long way in improving overall sound quality. A nice touch.

The headphones that come with the bundle are the M-Audio HDH40’s. These are a set of monitoring headphones so that you can accurately analyse and make adjustments to the sound without the colouration of commercial headphones. The headphones themselves were very comfortable on the head, which is ideal for long recording sessions (looking at you 24-hour Twitch streamers!). The cups sat over the ears comfortably and didn’t notice any irritation for extended use. The sound quality of the headphones was very nice, especially considering that the HDH40s are on the lower end of the price range for monitoring headphones. The bass response was great, able to reproduce low frequencies without issue. The overall sound balance was pleasing and it is more than adequate for use.

Overall, the M-Audio Vocal Studio Pro bundle is an excellent product for those looking to get started on their home studio or in the content creation sphere. The interface provides clean recording with little interference and plenty of headroom. While there are a lack of MIDI ports, when you consider the target audience of vocalists and content creators, deeper integration with DAWs and external MIDI-capable instruments is not a necessity. The single mic input is also a clear understanding of the target audience as M-Audio has a wide range of larger-scale audio interfaces should you require more than one XLR input. 

The microphone was perhaps the most impressive item in the bundle, with exceptional build quality and additions such as the pop filter and shock mount, the Nova Black microphone is more than capable of handling any vocal performances. 

The HDH40 headphones are of solid build and quality, with it being more than enough to handle any vocal performance. Any minor complaints are nitpicks as the Vocal Studio Pro covers a wide range of applications for such an affordable asking price. The value for money is undeniable.

Head to M-Audio for more information. For local enquiries, reach out to Electric Factory.