Novation Audiohub Review
Interface offers extra tricks to help producers and performers
Universal Serial Bus, or USB, is a pretty wonderful thing, isn’t it. All manner of devices can be powered, controlled and used thanks to that tiny connector, and the possibilities keep on growing. Unfortunately, this also has problems of its own. Computers tend to only have a finite number of USB ports built in so, unless you’ve bought expansion hubs, you are forced to choose between your gear much like choosing between favourite children, kind of, only without the subsequent years of thinly-veiled resentment.
A typical home studio may contain USB MIDI controlled keyboards, drum machines, samplers, audio interfaces, iPads and otherwise, meaning those precious built-in USB slots come at a premium. There’s also the requirement for certain equipment, e.g. interfaces, to have as quick and unfettered a path as possible to the machine, meaning they need to go direct to computer if possible. Latency, where there is a slight but audible gap between pressing a keyboard, for example, and actually hearing the note also impacts on where in the chain a device can sit.
Step forward Novation, which has the answer to this particular modern problem and does so with a certain amount of style. The newly released Audiohub, in partnership with Focusrite, combines a 2in4out audio interface with a powered 3-port USB hub, meaning you can power your USB devices directly through the audio interface. So simple, yet so effective. In one fell swoop the Audiohub removes the USB burden from your computer, while also allowing pristine quality 96kHz, 24-bit audio to be captured and fed into the very machine it serves. It can be powered by an included 9v PSU too, which is useful for devices which require more power than a standard non-powered hub could deliver.
It’s clearly aimed at the electronic music crowd, in that it’s produced by Novation and features no simple way to connect a guitar or microphone, but for DJs, producers and performers looking for a simple way to hook-up their entire arsenal of gear, it deserves serious consideration.