Durability – Many cheaper audio interface options will do just fine for an in-and-out recording session, but in the long run, they might not stand up to the wear and tear involved with long-term usage. Consider how much you’ll be using this equipment and if you’ll be taking it on the road, which can put a strain on its functionality.
iPad Audio Interface Buyers Guide
What Is An Audio Interface?
In the simplest terms, an audio interface is a piece of hardware that provides a bridge between your instruments, microphone, and the device you have your audio capture software on. Once upon a time, this was mainly done on computers, via a USB 2 0 audio or USB 3 0 port, but now many are leaning towards using their iPhone for convenience.
When you search for an iPad audio recording interface, there are essentially have two main routes you can go: there are direct audio interfaces that provide a means of plugging your mic or guitar into your Apple product. These types of devices are much smaller and work as a glorified cable adapter. They usually have a lower asking price.
Secondly, you have those which are bigger, ‘studio in a box’ style units. Largely popular for home audio recording, they provide extra pre-signal send controls, such as gain for individual channels and volume. They also allow for headphone monitoring. Some have an extensive range of input and output options, including MIDI connectivity, which expands your studio capabilities.
As you will have seen from our review choices, there are newer models that are specifically developed with your iPad or tablet in mind, such as the Behringer iStudio, that functions as a docking station, and incorporates your device into the hardware itself.
MIDI connectivity lets you incorporate MIDI synthesizers that can be used to control many DAW operations remotely. They are not just an additional instrument, or a means to control your virtual instruments. MIDI can also enable you to use your iPad or mobile to keep your work efficient.
If you want flexibility and can go for a higher price range, the second route is probably best.
How to Pick the Best Interface for iPad Recording?
As you can see, there are a lot of impressive options to choose from. However, your studio-set-up requirements will dictate what you’re looking for.
To help you narrow down your search, there are a few key things to consider. The first being the input and output selection. With an interface for iPad use, you need a lightning cable, but how you want to record instruments or vocals will dictate the inputs you need.
For a microphone, you will want an XLR input, and for a professional recording that has a true to signal input, you will need a condenser mic. A condenser will need an interface to supply phantom power. Typically, they need a 48v supply. Some products only provide 48volts via their USB 2 0 audio connection, as a mobile device usually can’t muster up enough juice to share.
Many audio interface inputs these days are combo connections, so you can plug in a mic or guitar. If you want to record separate tracks, one combo will do. But if you’re going to record multiple tracks simultaneously, you will require numerous inputs to use at the same time. Be sure to read the specs.
For a semi-decent home studio, we think that two inputs are pretty much a necessity for the majority. The software you use will also weigh heavily on your decision. iPad software is getting better in quality all the time, but you still might prefer a computer-based digital audio workstation. Some software is exclusive to computers. Having a computer with a large amount of drive space allows for a wide range of plug-ins to be used with your main software.
Think long and hard about whether you need a unit with an adapter. Look into the Interface’s main features to find the right gear for you. Will you be strictly using your iPhone or iPad, or do you need to be able to connect to your Mac or PC?
If you want to use the latter, would you prefer simultaneous use? Your mobile is battery powered, and although some units let you record while charging your iPad, others don’t. There is a lot to think about on top of the asking price.
If you are unphased by price, then some iPad interfaces are effectively a mini digital mixer. They allow you to control a wider range of parameters and even assess effects before it’s sent to the recording device.
It has never been easier to get a quality take on your iPad or iPhone. There is an astonishing amount of products on the market, and not all of them have a high price. A home studio set-up has many different units in the development to keep you happy. You no longer need a massive mixing desk or a desktop.
With the right audio interface, you’ll only need only a microphone and a mobile to start making professional recordings. An interface for iPad production can help simplify a lot of the more complex processes of production.
The interface that suits you is down to your requirements in terms of channels, compatibility, and features, such as MIDI. But with a bit of luck, our reviews and guide will have helped you gain some insight into the type of interface you need to get the job done. We wish you luck with your search!
Apogee is a top brand making waves in the world of iOS music production. In addition to their Apogee One from our top picks, we also highly recommend their Apogee Duet 2-2 Channel USB Audio Interface. You can check that, and other Apogee products, out on Amazon.
Did you Know
There are a heap of DAW options available for use on your iPhone. With a compact interface, you can carry a studio in your pocket. Well, perhaps backpack if you want a decent condenser mic! In any case, most of what we’ve reviewed today will fit in the accessory pocket of your guitar bag, meaning you can record absolutely anywhere.