If you don’t mind a single input, then you can grab the Focusrite Scarlett solo bundle which will come in under 220$. Trust me when I say that once you get caught with the audio bug, it’s hard to shake. It lets you connect external monitors (you're not listening to your masterpiece from the PC speaker are you?!). An audio interface is everything you just read except the microphone. The interface is the bridge between the source (guitar, microphones etc) and the PC. Some might find all the extra perks of an audio interface to be useless. When we do misspeak, we correct and own up to it. Usb microphones use to have terrible quality. And only after explaining to the employee what it was I was trying to accomplish did I understand what I needed. Plus, they're not exactly plug and play, where a USB mic is. If instead, you want to open up new possibilities then that's a different story. Dah! Assuming cost is important to you, here are some great options that won’t break the bank: If you can, try to get the 2i2 (a bit more expensive), it has 2 inputs which open up new scenarios like recording 2 tracks at the same time. Audio interfaces for beginners – top 3. Have you ever wondered how people are able to connect instruments to computers? The signal goes into the PC through the USB cable et voilà! In fact, it’s impossible - it just won’t work. I’m trying to save some 13-year old a month of hard work and callused hands. The answer is no, a USB Microphone plugs directly into your computer via a USB cable. It is a plug and play device that requires no drivers, and that will work across different types of software. Want to record different types of instruments and use different microphones? Thank you so much. If you're an audiophile and want perfect audio recordings, your audio interface becomes extremely important. The letters DAW stand for Digital Audio Workstation, which is a fancy way of referring to a specific kind of audio program. To get the best results from your new, shiny microphone, it might be time to fork out for an audio interface. Then there’s usually also a single USB cable that you can plug into the USB input on your computer. I bought a UHURU UCB microphone which works fine but clearly does not give the flexibility and quality sound I seek. Audio Interfaces Summary; 1 Steinberg UR28M – Price @ Amazon Desktop USB interface with 2 mic preamps, 2 headphone connectors, and a total of 6 analog outs and 4 analog ins: 2: Mackie Onyx Producer – Price @ Sweetwater: Desktop USB interface with 2 mic preamps, 1 headphone connector, and a total of 4 analog outs and 4 analog ins Audacity is a powerful free software that lets you record, edit, and add effects to your recordings. If you need to record eight different tracks at once and can spare $869 then you want the Focusrite Clarett 8Pre interface. It’s just an admittedly cool name for the providing extra power to a device that needs it (like some microphones). If you’re eager to join the Universal Audio UAD ecosystem but haven’t known where to start, the Universal Audio Apollo x4 is the perfect point of entry. In this article, we’re going to be discussing the top 12 Mac OS audio interfaces in 2020. Also, never put anything between your mic and your microphone input. It’s not like laptops have a ¼” connector next to the USB input so you can directly plug in your electric guitar. But what is phantom power? Universal Audio Apollo x4. There are lots of reasons why you'd buy one. If you want to save yourself a little bit of money, and you’re unwilling to sacrifice much, you can still find the 2nd generation of the Scarlett 2i2 for $10-$20 off online. - You do not need a fancy sound card or audio interface to perform high quality audio recordings. Marantz Pro M4U – USB Condenser Microphone With Audio Interface, Mic Cable and Desk Stand – For Podcast Projects, Streaming and Recording Instruments 4.3 out of 5 stars 1,287 $40.93 $ 40 . So found Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 and love it. I have been looking for such an article for over two weeks while trying to support my Choir with recorded hymns for a ‘live’ broadcast service from the Vicarage! USB Microphone vs. Needless to say, a mixer isn’t what I needed considering I didn’t even have any computer at the time. It can convert 24bit/96kHz audio as well, so although it isn’t technically isn’t as impressive as some of the other options on this list, we figured it’s size and versatility earned it a place here. Thank you and recommendations for suitable dynamic microphones would be appreciated. Thanks to you, Scarlett has already helped make more records than any other range of interfaces in history. You’ll get two inputs on the mac with Unison-enabled mic preamps and a guitar input on the front along with another input for headphones. CDN$ 15.00 shipping. It includes the required USB cables, which is good, considering I did not already own any USB-C cables. Audio taste can change over time, and you might feel stuck if one day you don't like the color or quality of the recordings. AudioFuse connects via USB 2, but USB connectivity goes further; Arturia has built a USB hub into it, providing three extra USB ports. If you need something that will get your audio onto a computer for cheap, go with the Behringer U-Phoria UMC22. The list goes on and on. Some microphones generate a signal with their components, but others need power to work properly (think: condenser microphones). Instead of only plugging in one instrument, you can plug in a few and record them all simultaneously. They all have mic preamps built into the XLR inputs, and at least … I know, I’m a hero. It does all the digital conversion work an audio interface would do but in a compact solution. It has everything the user needs to record vocals, instruments, connect midi-equipment, monitor, and work with audio. Just plugging an interface into your computer isn’t going to do anything. The company has a great reputation for making quality products. Image: Novation. If you're on a budget, these can be a convenient way to record with excellent quality. A nice feature these mics offer is the built-in supports that allow them to easily sit on top of your desk. I remember hearing Be (Intro) by Common when I was 13 and thinking that all I needed to make a layered beat like that was my Yamaha keyboard and a mixer. So if you’re planning on sticking this out for the long run and quality is your ultimate goal - be it now or later - you should look at bypassing the USB mic. At around $50, this is one of the better values you can find out there. If you’re going to be podcasting with guests or recording a band, it can be cumbersome (if not impossible) to record them one at a time. Unfortunately, it isn’t the energy of a ghost or spirit. (don't get carried away, just sayin'). 99. Although USB mics are definitely useful and have their place, an XLR mic is hard to beat. The mic has the one already but the quality is not so good in comparison with audio track obtained with help of interface. They’re meant to be an all-in-one recording solution for improved quality on a budget. All phantom power means is that the interface is providing extra DC power through pins 2 and 3 of XLR cables, required by some microphones to even work. You can plug in your guitar or bass to it as if it were an amplifier. If you’re a musician/songwriter on a budget looking to record just vocals or an acoustic guitar or maybe you want to be able to record podcasts, interviews, voice-overs, etc. Moukey Audio Interface USB-C 3.0 24 Bit 48Khz with Phantom Power 48V and 2 Inputs, Microphone Preamps Sound Card for Smartphone PC Computer Recording, MSc1 3.8 out of 5 … You also get a button for 48V phantom power if you have a mic that needs a little more juice to get it going. If you’re an aspiring musician or story-teller, there’s never been a better time to begin your journey into audio. An XLR mic will typically produce superior sound quality because of the difference between the inner mechanisms of its output versus a USB microphone's output. You can’t plug a USB microphone into an Interface, because audio interfaces don’t accept USB as an input. PreSonus Audio Interface (AUDIOBOX 96K 25TH ULTIMATE) CDN$ 422.96 CDN$ 422. Some of these programs can get pretty expensive and might not be worth it for anyone just starting out. With an audio interface, you can be guaranteed that the recording and final delivery will be much smoother and very close to the actual voice. An audio interface works to improve the sound quality of a device. 96. Initial input from a microphone is usually too low for optimal recording levels, so an interface’s preamp results in a louder sound without introducing noise, which happens when just a master-gain switch is increased. Do you need both? Most computers don't even have Firewire ports anyway. A USB microphone has everything you need to record, built right into it - the microphone(duh! For that, you should check out the Zoom H4n Pro. Some audio interfaces don’t have a hardware switch, at all; instead you must activate phantom power via their control software. As far as specs go the Scarlett 2i2 can convert samples up to 192kHz at 24-bits, which means you can record plenty of detail coming from the mics or instruments. One of the devices that can best serve this purpose is the Focusrite Scarlett Solo USB Audio Interface with Pro Tools. 93 Please writing these clearly instructional articles – some of us know the value of reading. The term "audio interface" comes up a lot. You can’t plug a USB microphone into an Interface, because audio interfaces don’t accept USB as an input. Get an interface. It also has a nifty locking mechanism so that the cables don’t get accidentally pulled out while recording. It’s a good feature to have even if you don’t “need” it, because you may end up getting a microphone that does someday. If you want to save every penny and don’t mind a single input then go for the solo. It’s worth noting that audio interfaces vary in terms of how they connect with your computer (firewire, USB, etc.) This could result in your recording sounding abnormally low when you listen to it back, meaning you’ll have to bump up the gain and introduce excess noise just to get it to sound passable. Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Studio 3rd Gen USB Audio Interface Bundle with Pro Tools First, Microphone, Headphones, XLR Cable, Knox Studio Stand, Shock Mount, and Pop Filter (7 Items) Still, the top tier priced options can’t compete with a good interface + mic, so in my opinion I wouldn’t spend a lot here. For either microphone, consider a pop filter too. The iD4 is a simple 2-in-2-out USB powered interface featuring instrument-level DI for your guitar or bass guitar, as well as a mic preamp with phantom power for using condenser mics. Pros: + Comes with a natural sounding Scarlett mic preamp with a lot of even gains. Going the cheaper route will still get you a decent sound but will also give you an escape plan when you finally make the decision to invest in a better setup. The way this is accomplished is via an audio interface, which is a separate machine that converts analog signals made by microphones and other instruments into digital ones that can be recorded into a computer. But think back to when you first started working with sound. Sure, you can use the built-in mic on your computer or the one that came with your favorite pair of headphones, and don’t get me wrong that can be a style all on its own. Examples of good low priced options are the Blue Snowball iCe or the Samson Go Mic. Again, this shouldn’t be your first (or even your second) interface, but if you’re looking to upgrade your setup to something that’s just about as pro as you can go this is worth checking out. The Clarett series’ preamps are at a more professional quality than the Scarlett series. When we do misspeak, Universal Audio Apollo Twin USB interface, Home studio recording: Everything you need to record on a budget, Small size gives you two inputs on the go. The Clarett 2Pre USB is USB 2.0-only, although its connector is the small USB-C type, normally associated with newer standards. Let’s get one obvious thing out of the way, this thing is expensive. ), the preamp and the AD converter (analog to digital). Then an upgrade to an audio interface is probably worth your while. Again, there aren’t any cool bells and whistles here, but if you want a USB interface that won’t break the bank you need look no further. Sure it's expensive, but if you're ready to get some pro-level gear this the Apollo Twin USB is one of the best out there. Of course, you’ll also get a ¼” jack and a 3.5mm adapter if you don’t have speakers and just want to plug in a pair of headphones. Audio interfaces are some of the meat and potatoes of music production, and in 2020 there are many of the best audio interfaces available. 2. No surprises here, if you’re starting from nothing and want to know which USB interface to get go with the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2. Just lots of rather trashy video’s showing how to unbox kit and plug in what can be plugged in! Another great idea would be to start off with a high-quality bundle pack without breaking the bank. The internet has not only made it easier to distribute your work, but there are apps that make it easy to create everything from podcasts to hit records. USB Mic vs Audio Interface Audio interface. ​You've just purchased your first USB microphone and everything's new and exciting. If you keep the existing microphone, than no. You don’t lose much in features, but you won’t have the buttons on the front—instead you’ll have a few switches to control your inputs. For one, the quality of a mic that’s plugged into an interface via XLR is going to be better than one that’s recorded with a standard USB mic. Behringer UMC22 2x2 USB Audio Interface with MIDAS Mic Preamplifier. Audio interfaces come in a variety of models. If you're wondering what that is then stick to the first. You also need a program that’s going to recognize that interface and record the information that it’s sending through. An audio interface is everything you just read except the microphone. There is actually no way to plug the USB cable from your mic into an audio interface. This interface is quite simple to … Most people in these situations don’t need extreme levels of quality to get the job done, thus the USB mic is sufficient. You can certainly get away with a just USB mic. PreSonus Audiobox USB: The PreSonus Audiobox is another solid option for under $100 that features 96kHz/24-bit recording and dual-combo inputs for microphones or instruments. The fact that you can find these in all price ranges, from cheap to expensive, makes it a more natural choice. The problem is that USB interfaces that are drawing power from the USB port on your computer don’t have enough power left over to siphon to the microphone. Audio interfaces act like a middleman that can maintain the sound quality of your instrument way better than your computer can, depending on the quality of its preamps. From wha… Or is an audio interface with a separate microphone the best way to go? This whole setup is more expensive, but you can record more than one track at the time (as many as the interface will allow). If you’re going to be out and about playing gigs or recording at a friends’ house, then you might want something that’s a little more portable and easier to carry. Imagine trying to interview someone and needing to keep handing the mic back and forth, or asking a band to play the piece one at a time. A much more efficient way to "grow" your sound. Phantom power is for powering some microphones. We operate on a strict ethics policy. CDN$ 73.99 CDN$ 73. How do you record into a computer? If you want something basic that will just get the job done and won't break your bank in the process, the Behringer U-Phoria UMC22 should be on your short list. We pride ourselves on transparently outlining objective facts, while accounting for the subjective experience to contextualize an audio product’s performance. It transforms the sound to a digital format which the computer understands and can work with. Mic Pre Gain Range: 62dB Connection Protocol: USB 2.0 Headphone Outputs: 1x 1/4” Novation Audiohub 2×4. So no, you don’t need an audio interface to make great art. It comes with a software package that can be used to more easily control the device’s functions. Why limit yourself? One vital piece of hardware that you’ll need is a USB interface. Audio Interface The audio interface is available in different sizes and shapes to connect to your computer via FireWire or USB. Microphone USB advantages. There’s no right way to be creative. What are the differences? The two inputs on the front are high impedance, so you can use them as direct inputs for instruments. We never use ads or sponsored content on the website at a time when doing so is the norm. So whether you’re plugging in instrument cables or XLR cables for microphones you shouldn’t have a problem. Let’s start with a fairly basic one: What is a USB interface? The computer receives the sound. Dah! However, if you are truly on a budget, then this is your interface. The primary purpose of an audio interface is to convert an analog signal into a digital one. A USB audio interface gives you the flexibility to record multiple tracks at once using practically any microphone available. An audio interface captures sound from a source (guitar, bass, microphone) and feeds it to your computer. The H4n Pro has two mic preamps which make this a great option for podcasters since all you have to do is plug in the mics and hit record. Dynamic microphones are great all-around microphones and are used for basically everything because they’re unidirectional (meaning they only pick up what’s directly in front of them). The DT 1990 Pro headphones are for audio production. USB Mic VS. Novation is best known for its MIDI controllers, keyboards and synths, so it’s only natural that their standalone audio interface plays well with others in the product line. COPYRIGHT © 2020 SoundGuys, All Rights Reserved. It is a more complete solution than the USB mic. Some interfaces are Thunderbolt/USB compatible and some are better suited for Mac or PC (Windows), but it … Best Audio Recording Gear, Musical Instruments, & Home Studio Guides. Because your microphone is a USB mic (and USB cables carry a digital signal) there is already an analog-to-digital converter built into … The audio interfaces USB connection will power the device and get you started in a New York minute. This device is merely a microphone that connects to your PC via USB. Audio Interface . Or buy another within my budget. Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 3rd Gen USB Audio Interface USB 2.0 Audio Interface, 18-in/8-out, 24-bit/192kHz, with 4 Mic and 2 Instrument Inputs; 8 Line Inputs, 4 Analog Outputs, ADAT Input, MIDI and S/PDIF I/O, Dual Headphone Buses, and Bundled Software - Mac/Win $399.99 Or $12/month§ for 36 months i The flexibility of it makes it a better choice over the USB microphone. It features 8 analog inputs with +48V phantom power. I guess that is true for most technology. ’ survival depends solely on readers enjoying their purchases. You’re going to want to prop the mic up close to your mouth in order for it to fully register the timbre of your voice. More than likely you will outgrow this mic, even if you don’t plan on it. At the risk of sounding like a grandpa, technology has come a long way. That said, this can also act a USB interface, so let’s get into some specifics. This little device will take full advantage of phantom power and give your dynamic mic all the power it needs with none of the noise. No audio interface is needed. Now I need to bite the bullet and try and persuade Focusrite to sell me a CM25 dynamic microphone that fits. And with the 3 rd Generation, you’ll sound better than ever.. The Behringer UM2 also boasts XENYX mic preamps, which offer 130dB of dynamic range. Welcome to The Home Recordings XLR Mics have to be connected to an Audio Interface which has to be connected to the PC via USB or Fire-Wire. But first, let’s talk about what you came here for. SoundGuys’ survival depends solely on readers enjoying their purchases. Now there are apps like Anchor that make the barrier to entry for podcasting extremely low since you need nothing more than the built-in microphone on your phone. Basically what it does is takes the phantom power coming from your interface, and through the magic of engineering, adds 25dB to the signal. The Focusrite Clarett 8Pre can convert up to 24bit/192kHz recording and connects to your computer via Thunderbolt for extremely low latency recording. Also, a USB microphone uses just one cable whereas an interface requires multiple, making the USB option much more attractive to those who prefer simplicity. Obviously, you don’t need one of these for your microphone to work, but if you don’t want to deal with extra noise in your recording: this little device will definitely help. We felt that we really had to create this article, reviewing all of these audio interfaces suitable for Mac, as there seems to be minimal information on the topic, in a condensed, easy to read format! Knew nothing about audio recording and am merely an Organist/Pianist and finding my way as quickly as possible with the lockdown pandemic situation! Required fields are marked *. Which brings us to our next common question. Usually, they’ll have at least one or two XLR inputs so that you can plug your instrument or mic cables into it. You’ll get two inputs right on the front (one for a microphone and one for an instrument), along with phantom power to give the right amount of juice to your mic as well. Most of them are USB while some use Firewire. In this case, you can stick with the USB microphone you bought or want to buy. But before you start tearing your hair out, let’s walk through the technical jargon and see if we can’t help simplify the answers for you. They contain an incorporated microphone preamps to amplify the signal of your mic to the level of the line. Your email address will not be published. There are even Grammy-nominated artists that produce entire songs with nothing more than an iPhone. While the original Clarett 2Prewas a Thunderbolt-only device. Editor’s note: this list was updated on November 20, 2020, to include links to relevant information. If that’s happening to you, then you might need to invest in this little gadget called the CL-1 Cloudlifter. A USB audio interface lets you convert your analog audio signals (i.e. You can also use the Clarett 8Pre with MIDI instruments as it has a MIDI I/O on the back. It features two inputs on the front so you can plug in both microphones or instruments, each with their own preamp and gain controls. The on board audio device of your laptop or your desktop computer will do, as it is used only for monitoring. 4.2 out of 5 stars 2,828. They were meant as a cheap way to get recordings into a computer. There are a few different reasons why an audio interface is useful. What an audio interface does is convert the analog signal that is coming from an XLR microphone into a … But is a USB mic the best solution for your situation? Though it's a little more complex than this, it's easy to think of it like a roadway: if you’re driving up a very narrow road and a car coming the opposite direction is trying to pass you, it’s likely you’ll scrape against each other. On the back are two line outputs so you can connect it to a pair of monitors if you have some, and a USB 2.0 output for connecting to the computer. As the least expensive audio interface on this list, I can say without a doubt it is the best value in terms of the features you get. Nor why an adapter cannot work. In addition to the fact that this site is all of our day jobs, the writers at SoundGuys have several years of reviewing consumer audio products under their belts. These are the devices for novices in the sphere: PreSonus AudioBox USB At a little under $1,000, you don’t want this to be the first USB interface you buy (unless you’re rich, then have at it). So if you ever find yourself just needing to record an idea you had somewhere and don’t have a computer, this has your back. You’d be better off taking that money and investing a good microphone to start, especially since there are so many free programs that are surprisingly powerful. So technically you DO NOT need an audio interface with a USB mic. It should have everything you need to record (including the mic!). However, on a highway, the oncoming traffic is separated from your lane by a median, so there’s no danger of collision. Though it isn't the flashiest interface around, the Scarlett 2i2 is a reliable option that would get the job done for almost anyone. Especially since this little guy has phantom power of +24 or +48 as well. Which interface should you get? Plus it gives you a set of inputs, outputs, gain control and volume knobs. Why is an XLR mic better quality than a USB mic? Of course it is, but it can also be time-consuming. Chris boasts countless hours testing consumer audio products over many years. Investing a little more now in a USB interface with multiple inputs can save you a lot of time later down the road. Additionally, using an audio interface can ensure the fidelity of your instrument’s sound from start to finish. You can basically download everything you need to get started, but there are still some things that are necessary if you want to take your quality up to the next level. It is truly amazing that an interface of this quality would have cost hundreds of dollars 15-20 years ago. If you're recording a bunch of tracks at the same time, you'll need an interface with lots of inputs like the Focusrite Clarett 8Pre. About a month of chores and some odd jobs later, I bought my first mixer at Guitar Center. The amount you need to turn up the output volume on your recording with the unwanted noise attached is then minimized, allowing the result to sound crystal clear. Go straight to the audio interface and choose a good quality mic. And while the Apollo Twin doesn’t have a bunch of inputs, it does have some great processing to make sure that everything has that nice analog sound everyone loves. The Scarlett 2i2 Interface is the best for most people. XLR microphones, on the other hand, have two channels for the incoming and outgoing currents (which is why it is called balanced), and they cancel out unwanted noise. Other options New and used from CDN$ 70.82. 1. The back as two outputs so you can connect up a pair of monitors if you got them, but like the Scarlett 2i2 we mentioned above you could always just plug in a pair of headphones in the front. PreSonus AudioBox USB 96. The interface is the bridge between the source (guitar, microphones etc) and the PC. I promise, by the end of this article, you’ll know what to do. your voice) into a digital signal for your computer. They’re usually fairly tough too, so if you drop one it isn’t the end of the world. but we’re only going to be talking about USB interfaces here because they’re the most common. Interfaces do this by amplifying low-level audio signals through a preamp. If you want to record instruments and vocals than the best choice would be to upgrade to an audio interface. It’s also fairly small so transporting it shouldn’t be too difficult, and the sleek design doesn’t look half bad on a desk either. These are all DAWs, and you’ll need one if you want to record the sounds coming through your brand new USB interface. Unless you had someone to show you the way, figuring this out was hard work. The H4n Pro is technically a portable recorder, but one of its features is that you can use it as an audio interface with dual-inputs for microphones or instruments. Additionally, if you have trouble getting the gain you need with your dynamic mic, phantom power is a necessary feature to use the most common accessory to add juice. The signal is transmitted digitally to the USB, eliminating the need of a microphone preamplifier. By keeping the number of inputs to a minimum, Audient is also able to keep the price down without sacrificing quality. Introducing The USB Mic: A usb mic is much more convenient for a beginner. However, if you’re looking to up your game and quality is important to you, then an audio interface with a separate microphone might be the better option. It does this without sending the phantom power all the way to the microphone, so you get that +25dB boost without the excess noise that we spoke about earlier. As a general rule: Always connect your mic(s) first, before you turn on phantom power. Especially because there are so many kinds of mics to choose from and although some of the more popular ones like the Blue Yeti might not require an interface, others do. We also use microphones on a near-daily basis for podcasting, YouTube work, and other applications, so we know how to produce high quality recordings on a budget. It’s basically an internet classic at this point and not because it’s the best interface ever made, but it offers more than enough to get you off the ground running. This is an updated version of the well-known PreSonus AudioBox USB interface.This is a best audio interface for Mac as a start-up solution, for little money, for a home studio, podcast recording, on-the-go sound recording. XLR Mic + Interface: XLR Mic; Audio Interface; XLR Cable; Any other audio leads and connectors for other instruments and equipment; Studio Headphones or Studio Monitors; microphone stand (USB mics usually come with a desktop stand, XLR mics do not). Not worth it. We pride ourselves on transparently outlining objective facts, while accounting for the subjective experience to contextualize an audio product’s performance. Behringer U-Phoria UMC202HD Audiophile 2×2 USB Audio Interface with MIDAS Mic Preamplifiers ($119) Behringer U-PHORIA UMC404HD – USB 2.0 Audio/MIDI Interface ($179) How to Use Tracktion 4: Tracktion 4 is easy to use and its single-screen UI can be optimized for a super fast audio production workflow. Hot plugging while P48 is already activated can harm your mics. The most significant upside about a USB mic is also it's largest downside -  lack of flexibility. So why write? You can choose single input or multiple input to record more than one instrument or voice at the same time. It’s small enough to easily toss in a backpack (or some large pockets) and gives you 2-inputs wherever you go. It rivals the performance of UA’s larger interfaces but eschews extraneous features, like 5.1 surround monitoring and +24dBu operation, for a streamlined, desktop design that will feel right at home in your studio. There are a few things you should know and some questions that need to be answered. The experienced users are aware that with USB microphone, interface for computer audio is not necessary. One of our favorites here at SoundGuys is Audacity, which we even use ourselves for testing purposes. In a USB mic, the electrical currents that exit the microphone share a single channel with the currents that enter it, which can result in in distorted sound. If you have a fairly recent computer or smartphone, the answer is no. Nor what to do instead or even why! You’ll also be able to record instruments that use ¼-inch inputs, … Sure you can toss away the USB mic and invest in a better setup, but that requires double the effort and additional time to learn the new gear. But if you want to get some crispy clean audio and are ready to upgrade from a USB mic (as good as they can be), then a decent USB audio interface is the way to go. But no-one would tell me why I could not adapt a USB connection. Just like the USB mic, there are a ton of options for Audio interfaces. You see audio junkies singing praises to their personal favorites. An interface lets you upgrade the mic while leaving your recording setup as is. As discussed earlier, many microphones require phantom power to produce a signal, something that most audio interfaces have and most XLR to USB cables do not. It has 10 line outputs, 2 of which are specifically for monitoring, and 2 independent headphone outputs. This route also gives you more options down the road (more on that later). Every list needs one absurdly priced product to put everything in perspective, and on this list, that job is done by the Universal Audio Apollo Twin USB interface. AudioFuse provides a beautiful and contemporary approach to USB audio interfacing with a great design, compatibility with a huge range of possible audio sources, a great sound and a highly tactile control set. If you look around at some of these specs long enough you’ll see one term is thrown around over and over again: phantom power. Your email address will not be published. Like everything else in the modern world, there’s a ton options for USB mics. Is it doable? They can vary in quality, features, inputs & outputs, and more. This means there’s no additional gear to buy in order to start recording! Should you go out and buy an audio interface? You can record your incredible singing or any sound a microphone can capture. We’ll get into exactly what a USB interface is and what it does, along with a bunch of other useful information. The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 bundle for example packs in: You can get it for sub 250$. We never use ads or sponsored content on the website at a time when doing so is the norm. Let´s start by comparing the two types of microphones; Keep in mind that the prices are considerably higher and you need to factor in a microphone or instrument(s) into your budget. These interfaces deliver great sounding recordings thanks to the crisp clear preamps. But, isn’t a USB microphone all you need? It’s worth mentioning that the H4n Pro is first and foremost a 4-track recorder and a good one at that. You may have heard of programs like Audacity, Garageband, Logic, Reason, Pro Tools, etc. If you’re reading this with a full understanding of how audio production works, it might seem pretty basic. But if you want to record high-quality audio straight into a program on your computer so that you can tweak or edit it, then yes, you will need an interface to accomplish this. Let’s explore both these opportunities a little more to see what might be the right decision for you. Some options may let you connect microphones as well. Plus, there are some great apps for making music as well (my personal favorites are Garageband and Samplr on iPad). Just plug and play.