For beatmakers, the most important thing is having functional equipment, which can fulfill their music production and recording needs. It is essential that they search hard and select carefully the devices they are going to use, in order to achieve the best results possible.
The sound equipment most beatmakers use, tend to have solid structure, and being compact so that they have great portability. Portability is necessary when it comes to live performances, or travelling to make their use more convenient for the music producers.
Some of the most typical sound equipment beatmakers use, are personal computers and laptops, studio monitors, headphones, midi keyboards, pad controllers and audio interfaces.
Audio interfaces are one of the main tools for the beatmakers. The quality of the music production and the operation of the Digital Audio Workstation of their preference, depends on the functionality levels of their interface.
This happens because audio interfaces are responsible for capturing and transmitting the sound through various equipment. Connection, portability, leveling and latency are some of the key functions an audio interface needs to have, in order to work properly and deliver successful sound results.
Audio interfaces with low latency levels usually are the most popular between beatmakers, because they reduce the lagging issues during the process of recording and playback, and they eliminate clipping and popping as well as CPU overload, when there are a lot of tracks loaded in a single session.
What is more, they are great for live performances, as they can handle multiple instruments and microphone inputs without causing noise problems or lagging. This is a major advantage for beatmakers, as it ensures that everything will sound normal during their performance.
Considerations regarding low latency audio interfaces
The functionality of a low latency audio interface, is one of the main factors that determine which audio interface is more suitable for the work of a beatmaker than the rest. It needs to have the lowest latency issues possible, although zero latency levels are ideal.
Along with the low latency, compact audio interfaces increase the portability, which is perfect for beatmakers and music producers that travel a lot for their live performances. Multiple inputs and outputs help when it comes to using more than one instruments or microphones simultaneously.
As a beatmaker, you need to acquire an audio interface with a solid structure, which can handle scratches and minor drops. Assuming that you are going to use the interface many hours a day, you should focus on purchasing a quality unit, which is going to last over time and will deliver the high quality results you desire.
You can find very affordable low latency audio interfaces available in the market, although it is advised that you invest a little bigger budget and look for more advanced interfaces, that are able of eliminating all possible latency issues.
Most audio interfaces, usually come with a number of additional features, such as microphone, amplifiers, cables or cases. Make sure that you take advantage of such offers instead of buying these items separately, because you can save nice amounts of money.
Best low latency audio interface
1 – Apogee Quartet
The Apogee Quartet is considered to be a high quality audio interface, much like the majority of Apple’s products. It has a great minimalistic as well as futuristic design, which gives a great appearance to the interface.
Although the appearance does not play an important role to the sound quality that an audio interface is going to deliver, in the case of this particular interface it has to be stated that the designers and engineers have done an amazing job at Apple, and the result is at least eye-pleasing.
The overall organization and layout of the switches and button is very simple but extremely efficient. There is no need for a manual or special instructions in order to use the interface, as it is very easy to learn the basics about how to operate the device.
The Apogee Quartet does not have many customization options, which we consider a good thing, as it helps you stick in the main sound the interface has to offer. There three function buttons placed on the interface, which offer around six abilities such as audio dimmer and sum to mono.
With this audio interface, you have the ability to plug in a USB midi controller and record while it is charging your iPad, as long as you own a power source that will help you achieve that. It is a great audio interface when it comes to doing multiple things simultaneously, without having overload issues.
The Apogee Quartet works great with Logic, as expected, as they are both Apple products. In order to set up the interface for the first time, you need to use the application of a Maestro, so that you ca adjust the settings. That can be a little time consuming, especially if you are not familiar with the application.
All in all, this audio interface has everything you would expect from such a high quality product. It delivers crystal clear sound without any latency issues at all, and works great with multiple instruments and channels in the same session. An awesome audio interface that is worth the cost.
2 – RME Babyface Pro
The RME Babyface Pro comes in a beautiful plastic carrying case. The design of the audio interface is metallic, and has a very strong feeling with a smooth surface. The size and shame of the unit is very well designed, and it has a very minimal and elegant look.
The audio interface has a very efficient onboard metering, with good quality button and switches that provide a great user experience. The functionality of the interface is amazing, and although professional, it is not confusing at all. Everyone can learn how to use it properly after some practice.
The sound quality of the RME Babyface Pro is awesome, and it can easily compete with other high end audio interfaces available in the market. The high frequencies sound very clean and bright, and the lower ends provide a sense of warmness to the overall sound.
There is no special character added to the sound of the interface, as it is rather neutral without being flat, which is a good thing. The preamplifiers of the microphone sound very clean too. The gain goes up to 70db, which enhance the sound of mics with lower output levels.
The self-noise is reduced to the minimum, which make the sound of the RME Babyface Pro even more professional. In order to add some character to your microphones’ sound, you will need to connect an external preamplifier with the ability to do so.
Overall, this extremely powerful audio interface delivers detailed and clear high quality sound that will satisfy even the most demanding users. The design and the structure of the interface are great additions that make it more appealing. It is a very professional high standard audio interface, a great purchase for every beatmaker.
3 – Roland OctaCapture
The Roland OctaCapture is an amazing audio interface with powerful functions. With the interface, you can record up to 10 tracks simultaneously. It has 10 outputs, with each pair of outputs having an individual separate mixer.
Each band member can have its own different monitor mixes, which makes the record process as comfortable as it gets. On the audio interface, you can find a screen, which you can use to double the information that the Windows driver control panel provides in the first place. That makes the interface capable of operating separately from your personal computer or laptop, very convenient when it comes to working in remote locations without too many devices.
Furthermore, on the Roland OctaCapture, there included MIDI inputs and outputs. When it comes to latency, it can go down to 48SPLS, one of the fastest turnarounds for most beatmakers, even sound engineers that work in professional recording studios.
In order to make the most out of the audio interface, and avoid any minor dropouts during playback or recording when you record multiple tracks at 24bit audio, it would be advised that you use a more powerful computer or laptop, to enhance the functionality levels of the process.
This can also be achieved by experimenting with the buffer, until you find the appropriate levels to settle. This can differ substantial from one computer to another, or between different Digital Audio Workstations (DAW).
The structure of the Roland OctaCapture is sturdy, and the design is awesome, providing a feeling of professionalism and high quality. The functionality of the interface resets the standards when it comes to low latency audio interfaces, and will change the way music producers and beatmakers used to work on their productions. A fascinating, high sound quality audio interface that is worth the investment.
4 – PreSonus Studio 192
The PreSonus Studio 192 is an amazing product and one of the most effective audio interfaces built by PreSonus, offered in a very decent price according to its capabilities. It has USB 3.0 connectivity and fat channel processing, two of the main factors regarding the interface that take the recording experience to the next level.
The device has great quality converters, which drop the latency levels near zero even when you use a USB 2 chord. This can be extremely beneficial for every beatmaker, as you can work with multiple tracks and instruments simultaneously, without any lagging issues.
The audio quality the PreSonus Studio 192 delivers, is awesome. The clarity of the sound is amazing, and you can easily see the difference from most audio interfaces when you use it with the music software of your preference. It can manages multiple microphones and line inputs at the same time, while it reduces noises and room space to the minimum, without much effort.
This audio interface is one of the reasons that professional sound studios are considered to be affordable nowadays, as when using the PreSonus Studio 192 is like having your own remote high quality studio, in a compact piece of equipment.
The converters of the audio interface are very clear, along with the overall sound, which is bright and warm, especially in the lower ends. The workflow of the monitor mixing is fascinating, which makes it a very easy task to avoid common recording and playback problems, especially when you integrate the interface with Studio One.
For its price, the PreSonus Studio 192 delivers everything it is expected to deliver, and it is worth every dollar of the purchase. It comes with powerful drivers, which contain all the functions you may need, such as equalizer, compressor and reverb effects to make the producing process a memorable experience for every beatmaker.
5 – MOTU 828x
The MOTU 828x is a powerful and well-designed audio interface. It has 28 inputs and 30 outputs. It comes in an elegant mountable case, along with rack-mount which are attached on it, which can be very easily removed if you are not going to use them.
The structure of the case is very strong, as it is made of aluminum metal. It doesn’t weigh too much, which makes it very easy to carry around, and does a good job protecting the audio interface from external factors, such as scratches or sudden hits.
You can find two microphone and guitar inputs with preamplifiers on the front of the MOTU 828x, while on the back there 8 balanced analog in and out XLR outputs. The interface ha 16 channels of ADAT optical and S/PDIF, along with word clock and MIDI, which will help you connect every piece of sound equipment that you own on the interface, without trouble.
The MOTU 828x has Thunderbolt option, which is able to provide the beatmakers and users of the interface with more bandwidth and connectivity options, with the rest of their sound equipment. In addition to this, it has USB connection options and the cables are included in the package, which is a nice extra feature.
The audio interface has an on-board digital mixer, which gives the user the ability to apply compression, mix channels and apply effects in a very convenient way, avoiding causing overload issues to his personal computer or laptop.
The software for the mixer included comes on a CD. The MOTU 828x also comes with AudioDesk, although you can use it with the DAW of your preference. Overall, this audio interface delivers high quality crystal clear sound, keeps latency issues to the minimum and it is definitely worth the price.