Here are four of the best audio interfaces for iPad currently available
With every day, it seems the iPad has more to recommend it as a platform for recording, and the growing number of audio interfaces for iPad and their diversity are ample illustration of this.
With just about every major audio interface brand now offering at least one compatible device, it seems that Apple’s tablet is quickly becoming the first choice for mobile musicians.
If you’re aiming to exploit your iPad for musical purposes, you’ll need to know which audio interfaces for iPad are the best for your needs. Here are four great choices. (* Please note that all of the below require the Apple Camera Connection Kit to connect to iPad)
Focusrite has become more widely known in recent years for its range of excellent audio interfaces than the premium outboard on which it built its name. This is for very good reasons. Providing superb audio quality and preamps in affordable devices, they set a new standard for others to follow.
The iTrack Solo is the first device solely pitched as an audio interface for iPad from Focusrite. Providing a high quality microphone preamp with phantom power, with a great guitar inputs, into a compact USB unit at under £100, it ticks every box. As another nice touch, it’s also compatible with Mac and PC.
Roland interfaces have always enjoyed a reputation as being ultra reliable, and ultra compatible. The Duo Capture EX upholds this reputation whilst providing the first unit to be compatible with iPad.
Built to Roland’s exacting standards, this robust interface provides two microphone inputs via XLR combi jacks, derived from the flagship VS range of recording equipment. These can also be switched to guitar level or line level. MIDI input and output is also provided.
The unit can be powered via USB, external PSU or even two AA batteries, making it one of the most flexible audio interfaces for iPad around.
Focusrite’s latest interface demonstrates that the UK prod audio brand is taking the iPad format very seriously indeed. This 19” rack-mountable USB interface offers 8-analogue inputs via XLR combi jacks, which can set to either microphone preamps (Focusrite’s award winning preamps), line level, or in the case of the two inputs on the front, instrument level, too. If you thought that it wouldn’t be possible to use an iPad in involved, multi-channel recording situations, think again…
With additional ADAT connectivity, the 18i20 has, you guessed it, 18 inputs and 20 outputs in total (via a preamp unit such as the Octopre), and MIDI I/O to boot. This is packaged into a unit with excellent digital audio quality, and compatibility with Mac, PC and iPad.
In the grand scheme of audio interfaces for iPad, the Scarlett 18i20 is a great option for those who want to record a band, drum kit or just about anything else with multiple microphones.
If eight analogue inputs are not enough, then remarkably, there are still audio interfaces for iPad available. Notably, the brand new Roland Studio Capture fits this particular requirement, with a compliment of 16 analogue inputs. This comprises 12 XLR combo jacks, which can be either microphone preamps (derived from Roland’s VS series, no less) or line inputs, with input channels 1-4 also switchable to a Hi-Z instrument input. Ten outputs are also equipped, including two balanced XLR outputs.
One the new, innovative features to appear on Roland interfaces is ‘Auto-Sens’ capability, which automatically sets input levels to avoid clipping. In a first for a unit of this size, front-panel metering on every input and output is also featured.
With compatibility with Mac, PC and iPad, and Roland’s legendary ‘bomb-proof’ reputation, the Studio Capture offers studio power in a portable box.
If you thought that the iPad was little more than a musical ‘sketchpad’, then think again. Great things are on their way. It you’re an Android user, don’t worry- interfaces like the IK Multimedia HD-A now offer Android compatibility!