Mobility is one of the most demanded characteristics in the modern world. People do many things on the move not being confined to a computer, working place or recording studio. This is especially acute for creative people and musicians who travel a lot. They might need to capture their ideas on the go, so they need reliable portable hardware with trustworthy reliable solutions. Compact and lightweight interface, for instance, meets their demands perfectly – this is the best audio interface for songwriters and performers on the road.
Taking into account the necessity of special programs for work with sound, it would be better to select lightweight software as well that is not so complicated in use. In this connection, the best audio interface for GarageBand would solve all the problems of the person traveling a lot.
It’s also worth saying that not only traveling musicians use road alternatives, but all those who lack the studio and don’t want to spend tons of money to get access to the one. If they need to acquire an appropriate audio interface for writing and recording their music without making a break until they get such a necessity, it’s better to find the portable option, so even in this case best audio interface for GarageBand is a wonderful solution. So, the goal of this article is to determine the best audio interface for consumers with different goals.
What’s an audio interface?
This is an irreplaceable device in case the excellent sound is needed. Use it to get sound in and out of the computer. The audio interface is required for mixing audio and mastering of recordings. Using the best audio interface for recording content makers are able to create fantastic results and attain a pro-level quality of their products.
The work of an interface is similar to the work of a sound card. Both are used for the digitalization of sound and in the opposite direction. It functions as an external soundcard.
Top Five Best Audio Interface for GarageBand
What should one pay attention to when selecting an audio interface for the improvement of sound? It depends upon the goals pursued. But the main priorities are the devices that provide easiness of use and fantastic audio. There is always the possibility to compare the result with the one delivered by onboard soundcards. Any external device will beat the embedded interface in quality. The best audio interface is bigger in size and includes all types of inputs therefore the result is going to be much better. It should have, for instance, XLR jack that helps to obtain a pro-level sound. A variety of inputs also enables the capability of connection to different devices. With the MIDI interface, for instance, one can connect a keyboard controller.
So, what is the best audio interface for the production of music? It depends upon recording situations. The guitar singer may need an audio interface with 2 ins and 2 outs for stereo output. The interface for a band requires more inputs, especially, when different tracks for all instruments are recorded. The audio interface for DJ requires two stereo outputs.
More and more people try to find the best audio interface for GarageBand as this DAW helps people to record their tracks effortlessly.
Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (2nd Gen) USB
Sometimes small-sized devices are incredibly powerful. This is what we can say about this model. Actually, almost all devices of this brand feature fantastic characteristics. It happens mainly thanks to the superb preamps in its gear. Therefore, almost all consumers buying such a device almost never complain of a mistake they’ve made. The potential of this audio interface is really huge. Besides, the simplicity of use makes it irreplaceable for entry-level users. Its smooth operation deserves praise, especially when the device is used with the Garageband setup. It’s rather light on CPU resources even when the buffer size is low. It means that the appliance is suitable for portable recording or in the home studio. It’s incredibly convenient to use it as thanks to direct monitoring that enables users to bypass the computer so that the musicians or singers could hear their performance in real-time. The model is very popular among customers and it’s understandable as the gear is compatible with iOS devices (iPad, iPhone) and PC.
It is recommended to folks who value the authenticity of the sound. The best audio is easily achievable thanks to affluent even gain of the interface.
- A couple of instrument inputs;
- 1/4’’ balanced jack outputs;
- Almost no latency;
- High-quality conversion;
- Headphone output with control of gain;
- Compatibility with almost any operating system.
- The possibility of use at the day of purchase (easy setup, all required software for use);
- Compactness for portable use;
- The incredible quality of sound;
- Suitable interface for Garageband;
- The capability to capture a couple of sources simultaneously.
- The users complain of frequent cut-outs of audio due to poor work of drivers with Windows.
- The user can encounter a problem with powering via USB when the laptop features just one USB slot.
- The audio interface doesn’t have MIDI ins or outs.
In general, the item is very reliable, but it’s possible to find a better alternative in case several sources should be recorded at the same time. Though there is such capability, there are interfaces that are more convenient for this goal.
Roland Go: Mixer
This small-sized USB-powered mixing device is very helpful when users have to record the performance of instruments to their iPhone. The capability to connect almost any equipment makes the device irreplaceable. It’s even possible to transfer the music from an mp3 player or iPhone using the jack. Besides, it’s possible to listen to the mix with headphones. All this may sound fantastic but not all users are satisfied with the way it all looks in reality. When the compact box connects all these wires together, it resembles a weird octopus, therefore, it doesn’t please all consumers aesthetically.
One can see four knobs on the top of the device adjusting the level of incoming instruments autonomously. The user can set each signal separately and balance the overall mix in this way.
The device is mixing different sources and provides the combination that can be separated later for editing. I mean to say that one can’t edit just guitar audio or basses only. If something is wrong the consumer will have to start capturing anew. This is a drawback but one can’t expect much from the device of this type as this is not a studio tool. This is just gear that helps to get the result fast when you are on the go.
- Numerous inputs for different sources;
- 8 inputs and 2 outputs;
- USB bus power;
- Small weight (100 g only).
- The device does a decent job when it creates a mix of incoming instruments and a stereo output that is afterward sent to the iPhone for recording.
- The customers don’t need a complicated technical gear for recording;
- Compact size;
- Low background noise;
- Almost no latency;
- It’s possible to use any app to record audio;
- This is a rather versatile device for Garageband.
- The device has a flimsy look. Its body is plastic so it can fall apart when the user drops it on the floor.
- It doesn’t feature phantom power and XLR input.
The audio interface with numerous features is very impressive. Though it is not intended for serious work, it included so many capabilities. This is just incredible taking into account the compactness of the device. It suits well in case the consumer needs an interface for Garage Band.
Focusrite iTrack Solo Lightning
The brand produces excellent USB and Thunderbolt devices. For instance, this model was called the best audio interface for iPad, partly, because it was officially certified for this purpose. Consequently, it suits Garageband perfectly. Those who want to raise the quality of their audio to a higher level should consider this alternative. The result of the work is outstanding. Besides, it is very easy to use gear. There is no need to use some sophisticated tricks to get pristine quality with this item. The simplicity of use is one of the benefits of this audio interface. The customers can capture the result right after plugging the model without any preliminary tuning procedure. The compatibility with different operating systems makes ITrackSolo a very popular acquisition.
- 2 channel audio interface has phantom power;
- There is special input for instruments;
- Low-distortion preamp;
- The capability to record voice and music of simultaneously;
- 1/4″ headphone output for monitoring.
- The capability to get separate tracks when voice and music are recorded;
- Lack of noise;
- Cleanness of signal;
- Portability and ease of use;
- The premium metal case is durable;
- The capability of direct monitoring;
- Great customer support in case problems arise.
- The device doesn’t have an audio playback volume knob, so one needs to buy a more expensive audio interface for Consider the 2i2 model instead.
Though there are more expensive devices produced by this manufacturer and they feature more characteristics, many consider it the best audio interface at this price range. The consumers who employ similar devices are impressed with the job performed by this audio interface for Garageband.
It’s a high-end pro-level model that deserves attention. It’s a fantastic tool for the solo artist. The customers purchase this small and solidly built interface for mixing audio with pleasure.
Roland Go: Mixer Pro
A year after the release of the GO: MIXER portable analog mixer, Roland announced an advanced version of Pro. The device that can be placed on the palm includes a multi-channel mixing function, monitoring capability and the possibility to stream an audio signal if needed. It was presented as a mobile content hub that is needed so much in the modern conditions when so many problems are solved on the go.
Despite its miniature size, the Pro version of an audio interface allows you to connect up to 9 audio sources, including a microphone, guitar, synthesizer and other instruments with a linear connection. You need to adjust the levels, connect the device and record the result using video or audio applications. The purchase of this audio interface for any person dealing with sound is a big step forward at work.
To monitor the signal there is an output for connecting headphones with their own settings for volume levels. That allows you to listen to recordings directly from your phone while shooting content. In addition, the audio recording can be redirected to the application in real time through the audio input using the switch on the panel. The special function is designed to create karaoke tracks.
A new application was released for GO: MIXER PRO – Virtual Stage Camera, which allows you to remove the background from the video in real time and replace it with a movie clip or a photo from the phone’s memory, making the PRO version ideal for adding professional sound in a video so one can use the audio interface for social networks or online streams.
- Capability to connect up to 9 sources;
- Direct monitoring capability;
- Possibility to create karaoke tracks;
- 2 instrument inputs.
- Capability to record stereo sound;
- Built-in stand for the device, so it improves the ability to obtain a nice image as well when shooting video.
- It’s entirely plastic therefore the audio interface doesn’t look reliable.
- The build quality looks cheap, so this is not what consumers expect when they look for the best audio interface.
- The consumers find the price tag high for the phone accessory.
- Some users complain of noise. It’s not the option for the pristine sound in their opinion.
Despite all its flaws, this audio interface is a kind of unique. There are not so many business competitors therefore it’s hard to compare it with other gear.
Komplete Audio 6
Probably the most interesting thing about this model is a large number of I/O in a compact item. There are 4 analog inputs, 4 analog outputs, plus 2 independent digital channels. This is how we get a total of six, hence the name of the audio interface. It is important to note that the connectors are balanced. There is also a MIDI interface. There are drivers for Mac OS X and Windows with flexible adjustment of latency.
The audio interface looks very impressive. Panels made of 2 mm aluminum, and glossy glass on top. This is probably the most beautiful interface we’ve seen.
Combo inputs can work as mic/guitar/line inputs. Digitization modes from 44 to 96 kHz are available. There is no 192 kHz mode, but there is no sense in it for an entry-level device. Indication of input levels is transmitted by changing the brightness of the LED on the top panel of the card. The item doesn’t have a software mixer. All adjustments are hardware, available directly on the body of the device. This is the ideology of the manufacturer.
Consider this item when looking for the best audio interface for GarageBand. This is probably exactly what is needed for this goal.
The control panel is quite standard for USB devices of this brand. The model suits those who are looking for a low-cost 6-channel interface with S/PDIF and MIDI inputs/outputs. The main advantage of this interface is its affordable price, with a large set of functions. The customers highly appreciated the separate volume control on monitors and headphones. The audio interface features a very beautiful appearance – it is stylish, modern, and comfortable. As for the audio, one should not expect something extraordinary, but nothing bad can be said on the subject. This is a typical low-cost professional audio interface for customers with a limited budget. It’s also worth noting the balanced outputs with a very high signal level, which is significantly higher than the standard signal, which is required for the connection of modern equipment.
- 6 inputs;
- 6 outputs;
- LED indicators;
- Built-in MIDI interface.
- No color of sound;
- Unique, stylish design;
- No limitation of the dynamics of the recording;
- Good price for the value.
- The background noise level is higher than that in other devices, but still, it’s acceptable for the interface of this price range and doesn’t cause problems, especially, when noise reduction is applied.
Though the audio interface is more expensive than the alternatives offered above, it doesn’t stop the consumers in pursuit of the best audio and, consequently, looking for best audio interface.
We understand that many consumers encounter a daunting task when they look through the selection of gear available in the stores. This article was created to provide assistance with the choice of the best audio interface. It’s hard to balance the budget with a right understanding of the required features. It’s important to find equipment that meets the demands and particular situations. There are different alternatives in this list with diverse features and technical explanations. The detailed description of each item will help not to make a mistake and select the interface improving the performance significantly. Let it inspire you to create fantastic performances and podcasts to add more quality content to our social networks and virtual space to please your followers and admirers.