How Do I Record Music?

IF YOU ARE NEW TO INTERFACES, READ THIS FIRST: How to Choose an Affordable Audio Interface

As you’ve been making music on your laptop, that you bought 3 years ago, for a while now, you must be ready to gear up your studio. Wanting to record some samples to upload to at anytime you want to, and not be dependant on friends’ equipment? Wicked! But, you need one small thing first…

Here are our top 5 audio interfaces that are easy to set up, easy to use, and allow you to record until your heart is content.

What Are The Best Audio Interfaces?

Audient iD4 MkII

Credit: Gear4Music

This the best audio interfaces for ultra beginners. The iD4 MkII packs a simple two-input/two-output with a mic preamp and phantom power for condenser microphones if you’re a vocalist.

Hosting an instrument input (1/4″ TRS) for plugging in your synth, guitar, or bass, as well as a smart scrollwheel enabling you to tweak settings inside compatible software. The wheel allows you to dial in settings, adjust faders, and write in automation. On top of this, there are dual headphone outputs for those collaborations with your pals.

Oh, and it’s iOS compatible too! Plug it into your iPad and you can record on the go!

ADC (Digital to Analogue) Dynamic Range: 120 dB, THD+N: 0.001%

DAC (Analogue to Digital) Dynamic Range: 126 dB, THD+N: 0.0005%


Focusrite Scarlett Solo

Credit: The Disc DJ Store

The Scarlett Solo is a notorious interface.

It comes with two XLR/TRS inputs for vocal mics or line inputs.

The two inputs have zero latency during recording vocals and instruments.

Setting up and installing its software is a simple step-by-step process. If you have a custom file path, you must select what folders you want the program files to save in. If you stick to the default file path, click ‘Next’ until ‘Finish’ makes an appearance! And wallah, the software sets itself up.

With a frequency response of 20Hz-20KHz, plus or minus 0.1dB, you will hear a beautiful reproduction of your recording. That’s not even mentioning the THD+N of less than 0.0012%, you’re not going to hear anything other than what you output through the interface.

For such a snazzy device, its build is very sturdy and portable!. Coming in hard with a durable exterior that’s complete with two 24-bit/192kHz preamps, this has to be my favorite interface. With pleasant indicators of signal levels on the knobs themselves, it’s easy to tell when your gain is too loud!

Included Software:

Avid Pro Tools (100’s of virtual instruments)

Ableton Live Lite (DAW with limited channels)

XLN Audio Addictive Keys Softube Time and Tone Bundle (one of four virtual instruments)

Focusrite Red Plug-in Suite (EQ & Compressor)

Focusrite Plugin Collective (free plugins and discounts on paid versions)

PreSonus USB 96

Credit: Dawsons Music

Running up with a close third place, the PreSonus Audiobox USB 96 features two inputs with 1/4″ TRS and XLR input options, both with two superb preamps. The AudioBox packs two line outputs for studio monitors and a 1/4″ headphone jack.

Yet another powerful interface that comes with zero-latency monitoring,

An added bonus for those of you with some extra equipment is the MIDI in/out ports on the rear end of the interface! Due to its durable metal construction and small size, this is the perfect portable interface.

With the standard 24-bit resolution, 96 kHz sampling rate, and 20Hz-20KHz frequency response, you’re

Included Software:

Studio One® Artist (recording and editing software)

Studio Magic Plug-in Suite (virtual instrument software)

Native Instruments Komplete Audio 2

Credit: MusicRadar

Komplete Audio 2 dominates with a two-input/two-output setup and two 1/4″ TRS and XLR input options.

Are you a vocalist? Own a condenser mic? Awesome, because your required 48V phantom power is all taken care of with one switch. The capability of the Audio 2 is as smooth as the interface looks, with an easy user experience.

The top of the interface features level meters where you can clearly identify when your inputs are clipping or need more gain.

The front panel also features an ‘Input/Host’ knob where you can define the mix between the input audio and the audio of your computer (host).

Did we mention that it’s iOS compatible? Plug in your iPhone or iPad and via a USB adapter and you’re away!

Included Software:

MONARK (Synth)

3 Studio Grade FX (Compressor, delay & phaser)

Maschine Essentials (groovebox)

Ableton Live 11 Lite (DAW)

Komplete Start (Virtual Instruments)

Native Instruments E-Voucher

Focusrite Clarett 2Pre USB

Credit: Focusrite

Like the Solo, there are two analog TRS/XLR inputs, and an 8-channel ADAT optical digital input to expand your inputs.

Yet, the Clarett brings a Thunderbolt port to the Focusrite artillery for double the data transfer speed.

On the back of the device are four line outputs with 5-pin MIDI In and Outports.

The front of the interface is very resemblant of the Scarlett with its gain knobs for inputs, easy to identify lights for signal level, etc.

Here’s a feature that also comes with the Solo that we didn’t mention. The Focusrite Control application allows patching of inputs to specific outputs, as well as the configuration of monitoring and channel settings. The app also allows you to control the routing of your headphone jack on the front of the panel.

Once only compatible with Mac, the Clarett is now compatible with Windows operating system.

Included Software

Red2 (EQ) Plugin

Red3 (Compressor/Limiter) Plugin

Softube (Time & Tone Bundle)

Get Recording, Upload to Mixxed!

So, there we have it. 5 top-of-the-range audio interfaces for beginners to record and sample, and sample some more! Don’t forget, when you have recorded your sounds to upload your sample packs to Mixxed!

See you soon!