Other small format interfaces may offer more features for the money; but this can beat them on quality.
Item: Audient ID22, USB DAW Recording Interface
Price: $599 (US), £329 (UK)
Mic Rating: 5/5
At A Glance: The Audient iD22 is a 2-in, 6-out high performance 24-bit/96kHz USB recording interface that features two classic Audient microphone preamplifiers and one Hi-Z instrument input. Its number of inputs and outputs is expandable via ADAT for up to 10 channel recording and up to 12 outputs + headphones. The ID22 uses top quality AD/DA converters that have been designed to deliver impeccable detail during both tracking & mixing, and its high current headphone amplifier is fed by a separate DAC to get the best out of high-end studio headphones. It connects via USB2.0 and its software is compatible with both Mac and Windows and offers lots of routing flexibility.
High Notes: The ID22’s class-A mic preamplifiers are based on what is found on many of Audient’s high-end consoles and each feature switches for phantom power, pad, phase and high-pass. They are capable of producing clean and detailed recordings of any voice or instrument you would want to record and offer impressive performance considering the overall cost of the unit. In addition there are also send and return connections for using external processors such as an outboard compressor while tracking if needed. The ID22 features four balanced outputs for connecting studio monitors (or a further headphone amplifier) and the monitor volume controller has switches to quickly mute or reduce the volume of the output. There are also three user assignable buttons that can be used to perform tasks such as switching between outputs or summing the signal to mono.
Off Pitch: The ID22 does not offer any MIDI connections; meaning some keyboard players may have to buy an additional MIDI interface.
VoiceCouncil Reviewer Says: As soon as you get the ID22 out of the box you immediately get the impression of a quality product that is built without cutting corners to get the price as cheap as possible. The top-of-the-range Burr-Brown DAC performs well and makes a noticeable improvement in clarity over more budget offerings (I have no doubt you would need to spend considerably more to get any discernible sonic improvement). Combine this with two excellent mic preamps, a decent headphone preamp, and the ability to expand the number of inputs if required; and the Audient ID22 a great option for musicians working in project or portable studios who want to make serious recordings.
Manufacturer’s Website: Audient
Chris Kennedy is the principal technology reviewer for voicecouncil.com. Chris is a musician in the United Kingdom – you can see more about his work at www.chriskennedymusic.co.uk You can also see more articles by Chris here.