Best Audio Interface for Ableton

Wondering what audio interfaces and Ableton are, well audio interfaces are used to convert the microphone and instruments signals into a format the computer can easily recognize. They are mostly used in home studios for electronic music production and for routing the sound from the computer to devices such as headphones and studio monitors in most cases.

Most audio Interfaces vary in price from $120 up to several thousand dollars, in most cases the more you understand how an interface works the better positioned you will be to make your buying decision. 

They are connected to the computer through a USB cable or Thunderbolt cable which is input signals, acting as the front end of the computer recording process. Most of the audio interfaces offer musical instruments and digital interface inputs and outputs. Its most important components are the converter and mic preamps which generate the line outputs.

If you really want to make a good and quality recording of your music or voice to mix and master the recordings in your home studio, audio interfaces that generate multiple inputs and outputs with very low latency are needed. The following are the reasons or basic functions why audio interfaces are important in recording and producing music.

  • Audio quality purpose: The sound quality offered by audio-interface devices is non-comparable. It enables music producers to use midi instruments with a midi input and output to listen to good music and export audio at the best sound quality which is an important basic feature.
  • Connectivity purpose: The best way to maximize music performances and productions is for the external instruments to be plugged into the DAW to generate good outputs or line outputs. Also, there is a need for XLR, TS line input, Thunderbolt connection for Thunderbolt ports, and line RCA output or line outputs, the audio interface enables all these connectivities options to take place.
  • Latency purpose: This is the most crucial reason to get an audio interface, it helps in moving the connection signal from the computer to an external device and vice versa. In the connection process of an audio interface, there should be no latency issues because a very low latency level is required which is why it takes just a little time for an input signal to reach the computer to produce a good sound.

Best Audio Interface for Ableton 2021

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Ableton on the other hand is a digital audio workstation for Windows and macOS with good direct monitoring. It is developed by Berlin-based Ableton. It is an instrument designed for making beats and composes, record, arrange, mix and master any kind of music. It is also used by Ableton users as a tool for live performances. Live is further divided into three editions which are the Intro, Standard, and the Suite. 

Ableton is one of the easiest DAWs and the best thing to learn about, due to its straight-to-point workflow and easy assessment of usage, making it quite easy for beginners users to work on. Ableton Live or Ableton Live lite is so good that anything that works on Protools, FL, Reason, Reaper, Logic, and other DAWs most definitely will work on it as well.

It works tremendously well with the computer’s built-in audio drivers and also helps in generating instrument input. Using Ableton is a great choice because the main menu is filled with lots of recording software making the recording process go smoothly in most cases.

Now that you know what an audio interface and Ableton are, the following are the Best Audio Interfaces for Ableton.

FOCUSRITE SCARLET 2i2 AUDIO INTERFACE

Focusrite SCARLETT 2I2 STUDIO 3rd Gen 192KHz USB Audio Interface+Mic+Headphones

 Key Features

  • Two Scarlett mic preamps with 48v phantom power
  • Two instrument inputs
  • Low latency
  • Strong usability with a big volume knob
  • Supports up to 192kHz/24-bit sample rates
  • Contains a lot of freebies such the addictive keys

Focusrite is the top leading and best audio interface device and one of the top picks of the best audio interface for Ableton in professional recording. It absolutely dominates the entry-level USB and RME Fireface interface market. It is relatively cheap, affordable, and has easy access to setting it up. The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 is user-friendly, that is why it is considered the best among Focusrite’s devices. It contains everything needed to start recording at home, like two MIDI inputs and two mic preamps which is one of the best preamps for the best audio interface.

The mic preamps deliver 48V of phantom power also with a big volume button making it easier to control the volume through the volume dial without interfering with the software sliders. The Focusrite creative pack interface enhances the sample rates up to 192kHz/24-bit with direct monitoring. It is easy to install and operate with low latency audio, thereby providing optimum great performances.


Pros

  • Cheap and affordable to purchase
  • Easy access to use
  • Easy to install
  • Supports higher sample rates than competitors
  • It is relatively fast
  • Multiple outputs
  • Low latency
  • Best audio interface with great performance


Cons

  • No RCA output
  • Often overated
  • Some driver problems were reported on older Window versions

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BEHRINGER UM2 AUDIO INTERFACE

Behringer UM2 plus XLR Mic Cable U-PHORIA Audio Interface XENYX Mic Preamp

Features 

  • 1 line input
  • 48V of phantom power
  • XENYXmic preamps
  • 1 XLR input
  • Low weight
  • Large dials for easy operation
  • USB cable

Behringer UM2 is among the cheapest and best audio interfaces around used in home studios. Even though it does not offer much it is still a powerful audio interface that can be used with high impedance headphones or any mobile device if you want to record. As affordable as it is, you can still get one mic input and one line input. It is a portable and best audio interface that does not consume phantom more than 48V phantom power with two headphone outputs, however, it is also a basic audio interface designed in small size and weighs next to nothing with a limited sampling rate of 48kHz which is user-friendly.

Behringer UM2 only gets XENYX preamps and no freebies are included like that of Focusrite audio interface. It is easy to use and works well for most upcoming producers and is reliable to be dragged to live sessions without breaking down.


Pros

  • Incredibly cheap 
  • Contains two inputs
  • Small form factor
  • Accessibility factor
  • Light-weighted
  • Good choice for easier music making
  • Perfect for home studio recording


Cons

  • XENYX preamp is not as good as MIDAS preamps
  • It is limited to a 48kHz sampling rate
  • Behringer’s UMC202HD is a better option compared to 2M
  • It is  usually underrated

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BEST PERFORMANCE (SOLO MUSICIANS): Audient iD4

Audient iD4 MKII USB-C Audio Interface

Features:

  • 1*JFET D.I. input
  • Supports up to 96kHz sample rates
  • 1* mic/line input
  • The volume knob doubles up as a virtual scroll wheel
  • 114dB dynamic range works great at high volumes
  • 48V phantom power

Audient iD4 is a high-quality audio interface specifically designed for solo musicians and Ableton users wanting to record a single instrument at a time. The form factor is minute but builds a great superlative, you can easily divert 48V of phantom power for powered microphones with a good power supply. The input is designed to duplicate the warmth of a classic valve amplifier.

However, you can easily get a rich JFET D.I. input for plugging in guitars or brass instruments with an M-track device. The output on the other hand has a quarter-inch TRS port for connecting headphones and studio monitors bringing good audio quality than other audio interfaces in professional recording studios. The ample control options make it a standout choice, making it possible to use the monitor mix control to generate good monitor outputs and adjust the inputs with DAW return signals.

The sound quality on the iD4 is top-notch making it an entry-level audio interface and can be considered a better option than Focusrite Scarlett’s series. It produces less noise and a distinctive lack of a hum at high volumes which brings about great sounding in the music industry. The innovative volume controls knobs, which enable it to produce a calm and warmer sound.


Pros

  • Good automation features provided by the virtual scroll wheel
  • JFED D.1. input gives warmer sound for guitars
  • The big output control button feels great to use
  • Faster and optimum sound with a low latency level
  • Generates multiple headphones outputs
  • Good audio quality
  • Compatible with an M track device


Cons

  • A bit expensive
  • It is scarce
  • Some driver compatibility issues with Windows7 and 8

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ARTURIA AUDIO FUSE 14*14

Shure SM7B Vocal Microphone

Features:

  • 3* USB ports, 4* phono ports
  • 2*XLR ports
  • Supports 2 sets of monitors
  • Dedicated S/PDIF and ADAT ports.
  • Can add up to two inserts
  • Supports talkback feature with a built-in microphone
  • 24 bit 96kHz

This particular audio interface is highly recommended by music producers for professional recordings in electronic music production because Arturia made a full fledge USB audio interface for small studios. Arturia audio interface should be your top choice if have a set of equipment to use and there is limited space. Using this audio interface, multiple outputs will be generated and still have enough space to attach the external compressors and multiple monitors.

The following are the lists of ArturiaFuse interfaces:

  • 3*USB ports
  • S/PDIF input
  • 4*phono/line inputs
  • 2 * speaker outputs
  • 2 * XLR/balanced ¼ inputs

Arturia audio interface also supports modern inputs such as USB, Thunderbolt audio connector, and ADAT. It has 75dB of gain and 48V phantom power which is okay for the most power-consuming microphones and the best preamps. It offers a punchy, best bang, and groovy performance with a great sounding technique.


Pros

  • Top-notch  great sound quality
  • Pro studio- level of latency
  • Tiny footprint and great build quality
  • Generate good power supply
  • Suitable for home studio recording


Cons

  • Expensive to purchase for most home studios
  • Some reported issues with the phantom power
  • Rack-mounted interfaces usually  offer more ports

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FOCUSRITE SCARLETT18i20

Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 Second Generation (2nd Gen) 18 in/20 out USB 2.0 Audio Interface with 1 Year Free Extended Warranty

Features

  • 8* microphone inputs
  • 10* line outputs
  • Dedicated S/PDIF, optical, and MIDI in/out ports
  • Supports up to 192kHz/24-bit audio
  • USB 2.0 connectivity
  • 48V phantom power

Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 is a suitable and portable audio interface to get if over a dozen of inputs are needed, the sheer number option is quite noticeable on the device and good line level. There are two XLR/line inputs at the front while six more XLR/line combo inputs are at the back.

The front of the device is dedicated to the gain controls of eight XLR/line combo inputs and offers up to +50dB WITH A 109dB dynamic range which is the basic function. The 18i20 latency level is tremendously lower than that of Scarlett Solo or Scarlett 2i2 with a range of 2.74ms.

The installation process is as simple as ABC because it is easily recognized by Windows, Mac, and Linux without drivers. Freebies like 2GB of Loopmasters samples, 1*XLN Addictive Keys instrument, and 3 Audio Thing plug-ins. Focusrite 18i20 perfectly carries out its job and gives the home studio owner the best music experience.


Pros

  • Competitively priced
  • Easy to install
  • Easily recognizable
  • Tons of input and output options
  • Good line level
  • Compatible with M track
  • Switchable air mode


Cons

  • Uses 2.0 USB and not 3.0
  • The mic preamp is limited to gain

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CONCLUSION

It is paramount to get any of the above-mentioned best audio interfaces for Ableton users, in order to bring out the best of your music. Most of these audio interface generates multiple inputs and outputs in electronic music production in the music industry which is an important basic function of the interfaces.

The wrong audio interface will definitely slow you down in your musical quest. The listed audio interfaces are modern and can use a USB audio connector or M track in the connection process of any mobile device. 

They are essential because of the hardware that is used for connecting different devices to the computer. Without them, sound recordings from a microphone, guitar, or any MIDI instrument can not be possible.

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