If you want to record a live performance, you will need a decent camera, a computer, and an audio interface. So, before zeroing in on an audio interface, you need to consider its features. Yet, there are myriads of audio interfaces in the market today. Thus, choosing the best one is quite tricky. To facilitate the choosing process for you, we’ve listed here the factors you need to consider and the best audio interface options you have at hand for live performance. You want to be successful as a singer, and you are desirous of making a successful live performance.
Factors to Consider
There are many equipment such as guitar distortion pedals, vocal effects, vocal harmonizer, loop station, lopper pedals, live audio mixer and etc that will improve your overall live sound and performance. However, finding the right audio interface can be a bit difficult, given the myriads of brands in the market today. Moreover, your budget will limit your choices. You also need to consider its durability and the performance of its drivers. Plus, you also need to consider if it has very low latency. You should also look at the quality of its converters and its number of outputs and inputs.
You have several options when it comes to outputs and inputs. Your best choices include 2-line outputs, 4 to 60-line outputs, 8-line outputs, and 16+ line outputs. Let’s take a closer look at the following factors to consider when buying an audio interface:
The very first factor that you need to consider is the compatibility of the audio interface device that you are going to buy. You should, of course, choose an audio interface that works well with most of the music software and sound equipment in use today. This is to ensure that you will not have any compatibility issues with the equipment you are going to use in live performance.
You should also ensure that the audio interface you are going to buy is functional. At the onset, you should test the product that you are going to use. See to it that it works well with the equipment that you will be using. Moreover, it should allow you to tinker with its different functions to ensure that you will be getting the right one for live performance.
The functionality level is critical to your choice of an audio interface. The audio interface you should choose should be an all-purpose audio interface. This means it should be able to connect quickly to different types of devices. You should also choose an audio interface that offers bundles like those of music software, cables, isolation pads, and other useful features and items. This will at least help you avoid buying software and features separately.
The audio interface that you should choose should be portable. It should be easy to carry around because you also need to transport other equipment like the laptop, drum pads, MIDI keyboard, and headphones. Hence, your choice should not add up too heavy a weight to the total weight that you need to carry around to the set or stage.
If you are a guitarist, for example, you will need to carry your guitar with you. Electric guitars are also heavy. If you are a drummer, you need to carry drum pads. Of course, if you are already popular, you don’t need to carry around your instruments. Yet, if you are just a budding band, you will need to carry around your instrument. So, you don’t need to add some extra weight in the form of an audio interface.
More often, you are limited in your choice by your budget. So, your choices are usually dependent on the amount of money you want to shell out. If you got a limited budget, therefore, you should first carefully limit your choices to those audio interfaces within your price range. Yet, you should also choose the one with better sound quality and features. Make sure that the product you choose is also upgradable. This will enable you in the future to acquire upgrades for the audio interface you’ve chosen.
5) Choose something with Low Level of Latency
The usual problem with an audio interface for live performance is the latency issue. The movement of audio signals from the sound source to the audio interface to the laptop, then, to monitor often carries a certain level of latency. This latency can muffle and distort the audio signals and eventually ruin the streaming of your live performance.
Hence, you should significantly consider the level of latency concomitant with the product you are choosing. Make sure that your choice has minimal latency levels as possible. This will ensure that your audience will have a great experience in watching your live performance without having to experience clipping and lagging issues.
Highly Recommended Live Recording Audio Interfaces
You should take your time to decide which audio interface you should buy for your live performance. As said earlier, you have myriads of options at hand. You can always choose according to brands. But with proper guidance, you can surely zero in on the right one for your needs. However, to facilitate the choosing process for you, here are the most recommended audio interfaces in the market today for live recording:
1) RME Audio Interface (BABYFACEPRO)
If you are looking for a superior audio interface, you should consider the RME Audio Interface (BABYFACEPRO). It offers superior craftsmanship with its great audio circuits, drivers, and mechanics. It is a high-end audio interface that comes with new analog and digital circuit designs. It also offers great energy-saving technologies that offer supreme fidelity. It doesn’t compromise when it comes to level, distortion, and noise.
The Babyface Pro comes with RME’s TotalMix FX for Mac OS X and Windows iOS version. You can use this interface in any situation. This allows you to mix vocals and guitar to headphones. It also exhibits very minimal latency. Moreover, it is designed to record and conserve music. It lets audio signals pass completely. It has been improved to comply with the highest gain levels along with a tremendous dynamic range. Its user interface is also clearly laid out and very informative.
It comes with 4 x Analog I/O. along with 2 Phones outputs, 1 ADAT I/O, 1 MIDI I/O, TotalMix FX, USB 2.0, Class Compliant Mode, and 2 Line/Instrument inputs. It also features a 24-channel mobile solution that comes with low latency performance.
The RME Audio Interface (BABYFACEPRO) shows great stability on USB 3 bus power. It doesn’t exhibit any degradation in any of its technical specifications. Thus, it is perfect for any mobile recording, even if you are using two condenser microphones.
2) XTONE PRO 192K Professional Mobile Audio Interface
The XTONE PRO is tagged as an intelligent audio interface. It is compatible with the majority of software effects in the market. It is compatible, therefore, with JamUp, BIAS FX, Revalver4, and much other software. It also comes with foot control. Plus, it offers a rich audio interface.
It is specifically designed for vocal effects and guitar. It is also specifically designed for VST plugins and professional recording. You can simply set it on the floor to use it. It offers flagship multi-effects that could address your daily practice, performance, and professional rehearsal needs.
The XTone Pro has a very high sampling rate of around 192KHz. This audio interface offers a dynamic range and a very low latency. It also exhibits a clearer tone.
It also comes with a redeem code for unlocking BIAS FX Essential pack. This redeem code is only for iOS. It also comes with an expression pedal, six definable MIDI footswitches, Phantom power, input, and Mic Preamp. It also supports iOS Mac, PC, and can be easily powered by them.
3) iConnectAUDIO4+ Advanced Audio & MIDI Interface
The iConnectAUDIO4+ is another great option for live recording. It comes with great MIDI and audio capabilities. It serves as a bridge between desktop and iOS recording systems. Moreover, you can connect and record up to around 2 devices in an instant.
It also offers extreme MIDI connectivity along with routable 29 MIDI ports. These ports include 1 host port for connecting around eight MIDI peripherals to PC computing devices and iOS Mac. It also includes 1 Standard MIDI DIN in and out. Plus, it comes with MIDI between connected PC/iOS, MAC computing devices.
The iConnectAUDIO4+ offers a standalone computer-less operation for mixing and merging audio. It also hosts MIDI that is 5-pin DIN + USB class compliant. It also comes with 4 XLR-1/4″ TRS combo analog inputs that come with ultra-premium microphone preamplifiers. These microphone preamplifiers come with 48V phantom power. It also comes with 6 individual routable analog outputs. Moreover, it exhibits high-resolution audio of up to 24-bit/96kHz Analog to Digital conversion.
4) Steinberg UR22MKII 2-Channel USB Interface
If you are looking for a low-budget alternative audio interface, you should consider the Steinberg UR22MKII. It comes with a steel casing and a very compact design. It can provide you with high-quality performance as compared to other audio interfaces.
It offers high-quality D-PRE preamps. It also has phantom power along with Hi-Z input for bass and guitar recordings. Moreover, it also provides 24-bit resolution or 192KHz sample rate quality of sound.
The Steinberg UR22MKII features a monitoring architecture that comes with a separate output control for headphones. Thus, if you are a sound engineer, using this interface, you can isolate your output volume. This interface also comes with MIDI output and input for synth, drum machine, or MIDI controller. It also has a built-in USB 2.0 port along with a 5V DC power supply.
This audio interface is also compatible with PC or Mac. It is also compatible with iPhone and iPad audio interface with its CC mode and its external power input. Lastly, it comes with Cubasis LE and Cubase AI.
5) Apogee Duet
One of your best options when it comes to an audio interface is the Apogee Duet. It is an ever-reliable oldie interface. It is easy to use and is very portable. Its most exceptional selling point is its bus-powered USB feature. With this USB bus-powered feature, you don’t need to always carry around additional power source. Some Apogee Duet interfaces, however, necessitate a proprietary cable for connecting it to your computer.
The Apogee Duet comes with a single knob. This knob lets you toggle between two inputs, headphone, and stereo mix. This makes it easy for you to control the gain. It also comes with four outputs that allow you to engage in stereo 1/4″ mix and have a distinct stereo headphone mix.
It also comes topnotch mic Pre’s and converters. It also comes with the Maestro software. This software offers an easy to navigate interface. Plus, it is capable of AD/DA conversion for recording sampling of up to 192KHz/24-bit. It offers a USB 2.0 high-speed connection to Windows and Mac PC.