Review: Steinberg UR12, Compact USB Audio Interface

This portable audio interface offers good quality at a great price

Item: Steinberg UR12, Compact USB Audio Interface

Price: $99 (US), £75 (UK)

Mic Rating: 4.5/5

At A Glance: Steinberg’s UR12 is a low-cost USB Audio interface features an extremely compact design with great build quality; making it perfect for the singer who likes to record at home and on the road. As well as working with PC and Mac, it also has iPad connectivity and 24bit/192kHz converters to offer high levels of audio fidelity. It is fitted with Yamaha’s D-PRE mic preamp, a high-z input for acoustic guitar, and outputs for headphones and studio monitors.

High Notes: The mic preamp sounds clean and transparent, and features +48v phantom power for use with condenser microphones. There is also a “direct monitor” option to enable zero latency monitoring via headphone while recording. The UR12 is compatible with all major audio editing, mastering and music production software supporting the ASIO, Core Audio or WDM standards. It also includes a cut-down version of Cubase, Cubase AI, to offer a complete production environment in one package. The device can be powered via USB from your laptop, and there is a separate Micro-USB input for providing power from a main adaptor or a USB battery when used with an iPad.

Off Pitch: There is very little to fault with the performance considering the price, however it is a shame that there isn’t a separate volume control for the line output to your monitor speakers so you can mute them easily when recording and monitoring on headphones.

csm_UR12_iPad_connection_front_sketch_bearbeitet-1_02_2bf99f9f19VoiceCouncil Reviewer Says: The UR12 is well designed for singers and singer/guitarists who want to record demos of their songs. It offers better audio performance than you might expect from the price tag and the bundled version of Cubase offers enough functions to create and mix basic recordings. It is small enough to easily fit in most laptop cases and rugged enough to withstand life on the road if you are a touring musician. Overall it is an ideal interface for newcomers to digital music production, looking to record their first tracks and explore a new world of writing, recording and mixing music on their computer.

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