Almost a month ago I wrote an article suggesting there were too many audio interface options out there for inexperienced people like me to choose from. How can you expect to know which option is the right one for your needs? How do you separate the lesser options from those that are so superior you find yourself screaming “Shutup and take my money!”? I did the only thing I could. I asked the Interweb to provide me with answers. And provide it did. I ended up buying the Steinberg UR22. Surprisingly (perhaps) it wasn’t even in my original list of options!
My original list did contain an option from Steinberg, but that option didn’t seem as convincing as some of the other options in my list. It came close though and did receive a vote in my website poll from the time. Other suggestions (from my website poll, website comments and Twitter suggestions) included the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, Presonus Audiobox USB and the Line 6 POD Studio UX1. Upon researching them all closer I stumbled upon the Steinberg UR22. It came the closest to the features I liked in the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 while also providing something very few interfaces in this price range offered—192kHz.
Just like many of the top contenders, the UR22 features peak or clipping indicators, inputs for guitar and/or microphone, headphone jacks and the ability to fade between live feed and DAW sound. What made this one the winner though was the fact that this interface features 2 x D-PRE preamps (by Yamaha). Everything I managed to read suggested this was a very good find in an audio interface at this price range.
What else is good in this interface? Well, I haven’t made a list yet (and I do love a good list).
- 2 x input
- 2 x output
- Output volume
- Cubase AI (downloadable) DAW
- MIDI input and output
- USB powered
- It’s primarily black and white!
Have I used all of these features yet? No. Am I lazy? Yes, but that’s not why I haven’t used all of these features yet. The first thing I wanted to do was plug this interface in, load the Windows software drivers (is Windows the only operating system that still requires this step?!) and plug this in to Reaper. The UR22 box suggests this interface is compatible with Cubase, Pro Tools, Reason, SONAR, Studio One, Live and Logic/GarageBand. I’m pleased to announce it also works with Reaper. Not only does it work, it sounds amazing.
Am I happy with my purchase? Absolutely! Would I go about the purchase of an audio interface the same way if I had my time all over again? Most likely. One thing I’d probably change though is opening up my search parameters to include other websites and forums for advice. Websites such as the Audio Adapter website. A website dedicated to audio interfaces. Of course!
Knowing there are so many options out there, will you research harder and longer? Do you have an audio interface already and wish you’d researched more? Or perhaps you’re one of the lucky ones who stumbled upon an audio interface you liked straight away that you remain happy with. If so, lucky you. Me? I love a good gear search. I wonder what I’ll search for next.