7 Best Audio Interface for Ableton in 2022

If you are a musician and you want to improve your professional level as a music producer or else who wants to record from home or from a studio, then the first thing you will need an Audio Interface that allows you to connect your microphones, monitors, and any device from one place.

Normally in all computers, we have a sound card installed that allows audio input and output. If you only work with headphones, you most likely don’t need an audio interface, but if you consider recording vocals, guitars, drums, and their cousin, you will obviously seek to capture it with the best possible sound fidelity.

That’s where the audio interface comes in.

Finding the best audio interfaces can be a headache, but here we’ve done the heavy lifting to teach you the best recommendations that suit the type of producer you are.

Do you know what is an Audio interface?

An audio interface is a piece of hardware that increases the sound capabilities of a computer and allows you to connect different audio instruments for music production, such as a synthesizer, microphone, launchpad, digital piano or a MIDI keyboard for example.

Audio interfaces are devices that handle both the signals going to the computer and the outputs to powered speakers or headphones. They offer several advantages:

  • First of all, they make the equipment much easier to use, since you can connect or disconnect any instrument quickly.
  • Second, they improve the audio quality. Integrated sound cards in computers are prone to electromagnetic or radio interference and cause latency.

Why do you need an Audio Interface?

The interface is a must-have device if you plan to produce music, be it a single song, multiple instruments, or a full set of included electronic drums. Even the simplest recordings, such as voices for podcasts or game broadcasts, sound much better with an audio interface.

The best thing about audio interfaces is that you can get them for very reasonable prices and with specifications that adapt to your needs, whether they are basic or advanced models for more complex productions in a studio or Ableton.

Word of advice to buy the audio interface

Each of the mentioned interfaces offers excellent quality.

But in order to choose the correct one, you must take into account what you are going to use it for. And don’t pay more than that.

For example, if you only need to record two instruments at a time, don’t pay for a four-instrument interface that can cost a lot more.

Or also with the MIDI connections. Not all interfaces have a MIDI connection, but this is not a function that most use through the audio interface.

Basically, it’s best to go for what you need and instead look more specifically at features like preamps, sample rate, or build quality.

Below you will find the list of the best audio interfaces of this year either for your studios or for your own home setup:

7 Best Audio Interface for Ableton in 2022 (LIST)

Last update on 2021-05-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Last update on 2021-05-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

1, Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 USB Audio Interface

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (3rd Gen) USB Audio Interface with Pro Tools | First
  • Two of the best performing mic preamps the Scarlett range has ever seen, now with switchable air Mode to give your recordings a brighter and more open sound. Two high-headroom instrument inputs to plug in your guitar or bass. Two balanced line inputs, suitable for connecting line-level sources.
  • High-performance converters enable you to record and mix at up to 24-bit/ 192kHz.
  • Quick start tool to get up and running easier than ever.

Last update on 2021-05-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 is the best audio interface for a home studio. This board that is available for less than € 200 is equipped with two inputs with incredible quality preamps and two outputs.

The Focusrite brand is well known for its amazing preamps that allow you to record audio with the best quality. The 3rd Gen Scarlett 2i2 now also records in 24bit / 192kHz to record with more detail and precision. The new “Air” function is perfect for making recordings brighter.

If you are building a home studio and need to record with up to two inputs, the Scarlett 2i2 will be the best option you will find. It is ideal for recording all kinds of instruments; condenser and dynamic microphones, guitars, basses, pianos, etc.

It allows you to make recordings without latency, with a spectacular sound and with a sampling frequency of 192kHz.

In addition, the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 comes with Ableton Live to make the best recordings.

In case you need more inputs, you can check out the Scarlett 4i4, which is basically the same board but with 4 inputs and also adds MIDI connections.

2, Steinberg UR22MKII 2-Channel USB Audio Interface

Steinberg UR22MKII 2-Channel USB Interface
  • 2 x 2 USB 2.0 audio interface
  • 24-Bit/192 kHz & Two Class-A D-PRE mic preamps
  • Compatible with all major audio editing, mastering, and music production software

Last update on 2021-05-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Steinberg is a super prestigious brand in audio. It is the creator of Cubase, Nuendo, and hundreds of plugins, but it also creates incredible low-cost audio interfaces.

The Steinberg UR22 features two Yamaha-designed Class A preamps, a 24-bit / 192 kHz audio converter, and a MIDI interface. It is not usual for boards at this price to have MIDI inputs, so it is a point in favor of this board.

With the UR22 you can record tracks without latency and sound with great detail and completely transparent. Its two XLR and line inputs allow recording up to two instruments and microphones simultaneously.

Compared to other interfaces, this Steinberg is not very aesthetic, but inside it has an incredible equipment. As the saying goes, what matters is the inside.

As its manufacturer is Steinberg, with the purchase of this interface you have at your disposal the original Cubase AL 7 software that supports sampling frequencies in 192kHz.

The UR22 is an excellent choice as a portable USB audio interface to go anywhere.

3, Zoom U-24 Handy USB Audio Interface

Sale
Zoom U-24 Handy Audio Interface, 2-Channel Portable USB Audio Interface, 2 XLR/TRS Combo Inputs, MIDI I/O, RCA Outputs
  • Multi-channel and stereo USB audio interface for PC/Mac
  • Connect to iPad with Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit or Lightning-to-USB Camera Adapter (sold separately), plus 2 AA batteries or optional AC adapter for power
  • Two mic/line inputs with high-performance mic preamps

Last update on 2021-05-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Zoom is a company well known for its guitar pedalboards , but they also make sound interfaces.

The Zoom U-24 does not disappoint. It is a compact interface with 2 inputs and 4 outputs that has everything you need to record high quality audio in 24-bit / 96kHz frequency.

It is equipped with two low-noise preamps that allow good recordings.

This board is compatible with Mac OS and Windows, and also with iPhone and iPads via USB. But to get it to work on your phone you have to additionally purchase the Lightning to USB adapter.

Plus it also has MIDI connections for connecting synths, controllers, or keyboards, which is pretty impressive for a $ 150 interface.

With the purchase of this Audio Interface, you also have a download code for Ableton Live 9 Lite and start producing music with hundreds of VST plugins and effects.

This mini board has blown us away by its incredible potential at such a small price.

4, BEHRINGER U-PHORIA UMC202HD Audio Interface

BEHRINGER U-Phoria UMC202HD, 2-Channel
  • 2x2 USB 2.0 audio interface for recording microphones and instruments
  • Audiophile 24-Bit/192 kHz resolution for professional audio quality
  • Compatible with popular recording software, including Avid pro tools, Ableton live, Steinberg Cubase, etc.

Last update on 2021-05-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Behringer brand is a German company founded by the Swiss engineer Uli Behringer. This company has excellent quality audio equipment.

The UMC204HD is equipped with two MIDAS designed preamps with 48v Phantom Power. Of course, they are not the same preamps that MIDAS uses in their 2000 euro equipment and consoles, but they are an excellent adaptation.

Its structure is made of metal and it seems very robust; in fact, it is inscribed with the inscription “Made like a tank.”

It’s a great board that can record tracks at 192kHz sample rate to mix with the best sound.

Its cost is very affordable and offers excellent value for it.

5, Audient iD4 USB 2 Audio Interface

Last update on 2021-05-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Audient iD4 is an amazing sophisticated audio interface. It has everything you need to record decent quality audio.

Equipped with two inputs, it allows recording up to two voices or instruments at the same time. Audient’s preamps are also class A for recording condenser microphones with the highest quality.

It records at a 24bit / 96kHz sample rate which is perfect for good quality recordings.

Its settings are basic and simple to use. You just plug in the USB interface, your instruments and start recording. It does not require complicated settings.

On its panel it has a very interesting button called “iD”, whose function is to quickly reduce the playback volume in order to hear the control room.

Plus, it comes with Cubase LE9, multiple plug-ins, and hundreds of loops to immediately start recording your entire production. There is no way to go wrong with this interface.

6, Tascam US-16×08 USB Audio/MIDI Interface

Sale
Tascam US-16x08 Rackmount USB Audio/MIDI Interface
  • Captures 16 mic and line inputs to your computer with clear sound quality and advanced features to manage big sessions
  • Eight Ultra-HDDA microphone preamps deliver the cleanest and quietest operation in their class while delivering up to 56dB of gain
  • An additional eight line inputs are provided, two of them switchable to instrument level for direct guitar or bass recording

Last update on 2021-05-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Tascam is a California-based company that manufactures professional audio equipment.

The Tascam US-16 × 08 is a great affordable interface with 16 inputs and 8 outputs. While most offer two inputs, this interface went to the next level and gives us 4 inputs. It is ideal if you need to record multiple instruments at the same time.

The ultra HDDA preamps are made by Tascam and provide up to 56dB of gain with almost zero noise.

This interface, in addition to being compatible with Windows and macOS, also supports iOS devices such as iPhone or iPad. The lightning-USB adapter is not included in the package.

It can record at a 96kHz sample rate and is compatible with most DAWs. Includes Ableton Live Lite 9 software and Sonar X3 LE.

7, Native Instruments Komplete 6 Mk2 Audio Interface

Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6 Mk2
  • Record audio in immaculate quality – up to 192 kHz/ 24-bit
  • Connect your whole setup – 4 analog in/out, 2 digital in/out, 2 headphone out, and MIDI in/out
  • Get creating with all the software you need to record and build tracks, plus synths, effects, and more

Last update on 2021-05-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Komplete Audio 6 Mk2 is manufactured by Native Instruments, the famous producer of audio software like Traktor and VST plugins like Kontakt.

It also makes equipment such as the Komplete Audio 6 Mk2. This interface has a total of 6 inputs (2 XLR / Line + 2 Line + 1 SPDIF digital stereo + 1 MIDI) and 6 outputs (4 line for control + 1 SPDIF + 1 MIDI).

It records in 192kHz and 24 bit that allows recording in good quality. It uses 48v Phantom Power .

The downside is that compared to other interfaces, the preamps on this board are not that good and it can deliver a low recording level with microphones. So it is not so recommended for condenser microphones.

Along with purchasing this interface, much free software such as Ableton Live, Traktor Pro 3, and more from Native Instruments are included.

Looking for Guidance before buying an audio interface?

Before choosing the ideal Audio Interface for you, there are certain basic aspects to consider, such as the number of inputs or outputs, the type of connection and other basic technical specifications:

Inputs and outputs  The most important difference between the different models of Audio Interfaces is the number of inputs and outputs it has. Before choosing a model you have to ask yourself: How many inputs and outputs do you need? What kind of work are you planning to record? Are you planning to capture just one instrument, one instrument + one microphone, or multiple instruments?

It is recommended that at least you opt for an interface with two inputs, this will allow you a minimum of versatility. On the other hand, if you have more complex recordings in mind, it is advisable to purchase an interface with more inputs. When in doubt, it is better that they remain absent. 

Types of Input

Analog inputs

Any Audio Interface integrates at least one line input, which is used to connect instruments such as guitars or basses,  and an XLR microphone input.

Many interfaces integrate analogue inputs that combine both XLR and line in one space. This gives you a little more versatility when it comes to connecting microphones with different inputs.

Digital tickets

Digital inputs are not essential for beginners, but they are very useful for professionals who need to record multiple channels simultaneously, such as drum kits. A digital input allows you, for example, to connect a microphone preamplifier with multiple connected devices through a single input.

Ticket types

Another factor to take into account is the type of inputs of the interfaces.

Usually, interfaces have three types of input:

  • Line input: Used for instruments such as piano, guitar, bass, etc.
  • XLR input: The XLR input is generally used for microphones.
  • MIDI: MIDI connection with synthesizers, drums, and other devices.

Departures

As for the outputs, you will most likely only need one stereo pair to connect your studio monitors and one for headphones. These are essential to be able to listen to your musical productions.

Types of connections

When connecting the audio interface with your instruments to your computer you can choose between several options:

USB

The USB connection is one of the most common, so  a USB audio interface is very convenient . You can connect a USB audio interface to Mac computers, PCs and other devices without problems.

Thunderbolt

The Thunderbolt connection is not as versatile as USB, but it does have some advantages. Depending on the version of the connection,  Thunderbolt can transfer data up to eight times faster than a USB connection . Many professional sound engineers prefer the Thunderbolt option.

Apple desktop and laptop computers carry this entry. To be able to use it with a PC you will have to have a compatible board.

Firewire and PCIe

A few years ago the Firewire connection was the standard for connecting audio and video to a computer. However,  with the development and speed of USB and Thunderbolt connections it has become somewhat outdated .

The PCIe connection is the same as that used by a video card in a desktop computer, although they are not the most convenient for recording sessions or for connecting audio interfaces.

For these reasons, in this comparison we have chosen only USB and Thunderbolt audio interfaces.

Form factor

Form factor is a term that  refers to the size and shape of an audio interface . Audio interfaces are usually the same shape and can vary greatly in size, but they are classified into two main types:

  • Desktop interfaces: Desktop interfaces are quite small. They are ideal for home recording as they do not take up much space and can easily be placed under the monitor or on the computer.
  • Rack interfaces: Rack audio interfaces are designed for professionals who have other racks in their studios. These models are very thin and wide so that you can place several rack devices, one on top of the other, and thus take advantage of the space. Due to their wide shape, they integrate more inputs and outputs than desktop interfaces.

Technical specifications

One of the most important aspects when choosing an audio interface is knowing what quality of audio they can work with. The most important technical specifications in terms of audio, beyond the quality of the internal components, are the  bit depth and the sample rate.

Bit depth

Without going into technical details, the  higher the bit depth, the higher the sound quality . One bit depth equals 6dB, so a 16 bit depth audio interface has a dynamic range of 96 dB. This measurement is considered the standard quality for CDs, but the range is somewhat limited and the softer parts of your songs may sound somewhat noisy.

The safest thing is to opt for 24-bit audio interfaces that provide a dynamic range of 144 dB, which means that your recordings will have a much higher quality. 24-bit is considered the standard today in the professional world.

Sample rate

A sample is a piece of audio that is captured. The sample rate indicates the number of times the audio interface can capture samples in one second. The 44.1 kHZ sample rate measurement is the standard for CD quality . This means that 44,100 pieces of audio information are captured in one second.

The human ear can only pick up frequencies to 20 kHz. However, due to the technology used today to record audio, some models work with sample rates up to 192 kHz.

What measurements do you need in an audio interface?

This depends on how you plan to use the recordings.  MP3 files and CDs will sound great at 16-bit / 44.1 kHz measurements. On the other hand,  24-bit / 96 kHz is the measure used to satisfy the most demanding audiophiles who are looking for higher quality and superb audio clarity. Anything above is not really necessary unless you want to work with audio for Hollywood movies.

What to Consider When Buying an Audio Interface?

Before buying an audio interface, you should review the quality of its preamps, the number and types of inputs, and the compatibility with the DAW.

How many inputs and outputs are you going to want?

Knowing how many inputs and outputs, also written as I / O, is important when choosing your interface, as well as MIDI functions and optical input.

How much quality should you look for? 

Without getting into the science garden of sound and digitization of this, we can simply tell you that generally 26bits / 96kHz you can produce professional music without a problem.

Conclusion

The purpose of providing the 7 Best Audio Interface for Ableton in 2022 guide is to give you the best knowledge of buying these effective products and choosing and comparing one to one more product for your current best results.

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Last update on 2021-05-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Best 7 Audio Interface for Ableton in 2022
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