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Audio Interface Guide!

Audio Interfaces…

Audio interfaces are the link between the analogue and the digital world. They allow you to connect professional monitor speakers to your production setup so you can hear what you’re producing with great detail. They are also the interlink between microphones, outboard equipment and your computer. So if you are into recording instruments or vocals, or using analogue outboard compressors, EQs and such.   

Here is a breakdown of all the things they allow you to do.

  1. They allow you to connect your studio monitors to your computer.
  2. They have better DACs (digital-analogue converters) than your computer’s sound card, which results in higher quality sound and makes a big difference where little details matter!
  3. They contain microphone pre-amps which means you can connect microphones to them and record sound into your computer.
  4. Some have multiple microphone pre amps which means you can connect and record multiple microphones at once (if you recorded a full band or drum kit, you would need this).

What to look for when searching for the right audio interface:
The first thing to take into consideration is the amount of microphones you will be recorded at one time. Most people don’t record a complete band or a complete set of drums at the same time. In this case, you’re best off going with an audio interface featuring one or two high quality pre-amps. This means you will be limited to recording the input of one or two microphones at the same time, however that is usually enough for most people, especially if you’re an electronic music producer planning to only record an instrument or vocals here and there. If at some point you’re planning to record bands or complete drum kits etc, then you will need an interface with more inputs and microphone pre-amps. Please note however,  the cheaper multi pre-amp audio interface sacrifice some quality in order to provide so many pre-amps. Also, don’t be fooled into buying audio interfaces with many inputs but few pre-amps, because a pre-amp is required to record with a microphone signal, so if an audio interface is advertised as an 8 input interface, but only has 2 microphone pre-amps, you’ll only be able to record 2 microphone signals simultaneously, unless you buy more preamps separately.

Top Picks

We have done extensive research and personally tried out most of the equipment to list the top choices for you at the best prices we could find. This is the best gear currently available. With higher prices comes better quality, but you won’t go wrong with any of these choices for their price point.


Two Pre-Amp Audio Interfaces

These are the very best Audio interfaces with 2 pre-amps at their respective price points. The number of pre-amps equate to the number of microphone signals you can record simultaneously. For most home producers, 2 pre-amps is enough as you can always overdub additional instruments (record one instrument at a time).

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (2nd Gen) £129

Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6 USB Interface £179

Focusrite Clarett 2 Pre USB Audio Interface £369

Focusrite Clarett 2 Pre Thunderbolt Audio Interface £459

UAD Apollo Twin Solo MKII, Thunderbolt £620

RME Babyface Pro – £671


4 & 8 Pre-Amp Audio Interfaces

These are the very best audio interfaces with 4 to 8 pre-amps. The number of pre-amps equate to the number of microphone signals you can record simultaneously. If you think you’ll be recording more than two microphones simultaneously during one session, then you’re probably going to need one of these.

Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 (2nd Gen) £439

Focusrite Clarett 4 Pre Thunderbolt Audio Interface £639

Focusrite Clarett 8 Pre Thunderbolt – Best Budget 8 Preamp £829

Universal Audio Apollo 8 – 4 Preamps (Duo DSP) £1,672

Universal Audio Apollo 8 – 4 Preamps (Quad DPS) £2,140

Universal Audio Apollo 8p – 8 Preamps (Quad DPS) £2,285


About Soundflow Music Academy

We offer one to one audio engineering, music production & DJ courses. Taught by experienced and accredited tutors in studios utilising only top of the range equipment such as Pioneer CDJ 2000nxs2 and DJM900nxs2. Our goal is to provide the best possible music production and DJ tuition, as well as incredible real world opportunities for our students such as club gigs, label releases, industry meet ups and more.


If you want to learn how to DJ from scratch or simply hone your skills, you can enrol on the Intro to DJ or Complete DJ course. If you want to learn how to produce music at the highest standard, you can enrol on our Intro to Music ProductionMusic Production & Sound Engineering or the Mixing & Mastering courses!


A Soundflow Music Academy publication,
Written by Nikos Argalias


Affiliate Disclaimer: The links above are affiliate links. We only promote products we have thoroughly researched and truly feel are the best. Purchasing through these links comes at no extra cost to you, and you support our site which allows us to keep doing what we’re doing. Thank you in advance.


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