Audient Audio Interfaces
An introduction for those who have not discovered them yet
The Audient iD4 Audio InterfaceEverytime I set up an Audient iD4 with one of my client I get to experience the first listen with them - Which is awesome. It just sound so good. It sounds like a really good console... Which makes sense because Audient put the same preamps in their interfaces as they use in their big consoles which are used in pro studios across the world.
Not only this, but the digital/analogue converters (the technology which changes the sound from real sound to digital 0s and 1s) are excellent Burr Brown units which are not often found on anything in this price range.
When the lockdowns started happening, we all ended up at home. We had to work from home if we could, this was also the case for music producers around the world - So it was pretty interesting to see in the US some of the audio producers I watch were producing from home with an Audient interface.
Which makes sense when a bit of googling reveals that Audient's iD4 audio interface has been receiving loads of good reviews and was ranked the #1 Audio Interface for 2020 by MusicRadar - This is a site I respect highly for their reviews. They have pointed me in the right direction when making purchasing decisions many many times.
The iD4 can record 2 things at a time ie 1 mic or line input and 1 guitar plugged directly in which makes it perfect for singer songwriters or producers who are not tracking a whole band/drum kit.
The Audient Sono Audio Interface
The Audient Sono is an awesome interface which is tailored to guitar based music - can’t get much more kiwi than that!! In fact even Dave Dobbyn proudly owns one!
It has all the same Burr Brown converters as the iD4 but has one extra excellent pre-amp so you can record 2 mics at a time, plus it also includes a real tube to add some analogue warmth and colour to your recordings on the way in to your computer. This can be turned on and off at will, and adjusted to suit your recording goals. Plus it can be loaded with guitar cabinet, microphone and room emulations before it even hits your DAW.
And on top of all this it even includes something almost no other interfaces do - Re-Amping which means you can plug it into a real amp using a regular guitar lead and record the real deal. Why would you do this? If you do most of your writing and creating when you cannot be loud, you can later plug your recording into your real amp and crank it up when no ones around!
The Sono can record 2 things at a time ie 2 mics or line inputs or 1 guitar plugged directly in. You can also add another 8 inputs at a later date if you want to record a whole band at once by purchasing an external set of mic pres like the Audient ASP800 or any other compatible unit.
This is the perfect option for singer songwriters of guitar based music who would like the option to expand later as required.
The Evo 4 Audio Interface by Audient
Even though the price vs quality for these interfaces actually says they are a bargain, money is not the easiest thing to come by, so our options are often limited.
Luckily Audient has created a sub-brand called Evo by Audient under which they have created by far the best quality entry level audio interfaces I have available.
The Evo 4 sounds fantastic, and is easy to use as it has a really cool “smart gain” feature where it can set the recording level for you. Very handy for just cracking on and getting that idea down.
Another excellent feature is "Audio Loop-back" which allows you to record your computer audio at the same time as your microphone audio, which is extremely handy if you want to play against Youtube, record guests on calls like Skype etc for a podcast or do game streaming etc. I am not aware of another product with this feature in this price range, let alone with this quality of sound.
If you want a little more, step up to the Evo 8 by Audient which features 4 microphone inputs, 4 outputs (plug in a set of monitors and some outboard gear perhaps) and 2 headphone outs. Which makes this a very handy little portable recording solution!
The Audient Ethos (In their words)
“At Audient we believe that quality begins with the first steps of design. Whether we’re deciding on a product's features or selecting its components, we make every decision with audio quality in mind - a philosophy that has seen us build a community of users in professional and home studios alike. With the majority of our team still actively involved in audio, we have a passion for understanding our customers needs and we constantly strive to deliver products that make the recording process easier for you.”
Audient was founded in 1997 by David Dearden and Gareth Davies. They had previously been founding partners of DDA – a company best known for designing mixing consoles in the 1980s and 1990s. After the sale of DDA and the emergence of digital consoles they decided to stick with their guns and start Audient with the aim of designing a great sounding, affordable and efficient analogue console.
Why am I telling you this?
As my existing clients already know, I am not one for pushing products or talking people into buying things you do not need. I like to create long term relationships with my clients and help them with their ongoing recording goals. If I recommended a bad product, I would need to explain myself down the line if it let them down or got in the way of their goals!
I come from a background of home recording, recording others, playing in bands, recording in studios, running the entire audio category at Noel Leeming (I decided how to spend millions of dollars across 90+ stores nationwide), setting up and training musicians to record their music at home.
Over the last 20+ years I have come to understand how things work in ALL ASPECTS of Audio. I have been to the head offices of Sony in Japan, and the Asia Pacific head offices of Wharfedale, Philips, Bose, and many of the other key audio brands out there. I have even helped develop and tune speakers which have sold worldwide - For one such instance I was gifted an awesome pair of Jade 5s from Wharfedale!
These days I am a home studio owner and I provide gear, training and support to help you record your music at home.
Take from my 20+ years experience in setting up and running