Best Audio Interface For Live Performance

What do you have for a music sequencer software? Logic pro? Pro tools? Steinberg Cubase? Garage band? Or probably you own the latest Live and Push 10.0 Ableton that lets you import/create your own wavetables.

Whichever of them you’ve got, you’re still on track on your live performances. But what really is the best audio interface for live performance to run any of these sequencers with? 

IMO, deciding on perfect audio interfaces, one needs to first rule out the confusion that bounces off random popular opinions. This way, you are able to get straight with things and put the needful into consideration for a blameless purchase. 

And that’s why I have here a done-for-you list of interfaces you should check out on to put yourself in control of future live performances.

But here’s the kicker… none of your expected popular low ends like Focusrite Scarlett and Lexicon Alpha make the cut to my listing. 

You’d ask what really was I thinking while writing this review? Well, here are the things I had in mind for yardsticks before I could come up with my rock solid recommendation.  

Best Audio Interface For Live Performance: My Bizzare Buying Guide

  • Support: I made sure each of them supports Mac and Windows.
  • Connection:  While some of them agree only with USB 2.0, others include USB 3.0 connection.
  • Latency: whether on drums, guitars, or vocals, none of these hardware annoys you with its latency. I made sure I didn’t pick anyone with a latency above 23ms. In fact, most of them spot 2ms to 5ms discrepancy.
  • Line Outputs: I explored from those with 2 line outputs to the 34 line outputs audio interfaces. They are the very best.
  • Design: The durability of a model is known by its components’ materials and how they are pulled together. I had that in mind as well from the get-go. So should you.
  • Performance: As a matter of fact, the performance of an audio interface is predictable with the last five factors above. And it’s obvious in my top 10 recommended list of best audio interface for live performance below.

But here’s what to take note. Not a thing really but I think it would save you the time if I’d grouped my picks according to the number of their line outputs. This way I believe you’d dive into your desired group and get the model that will pick up steam with you over the time.

 

Top 10 Recommended List Of Best Audio Interface For Live Performance

{2 line Outputs: Best Audio Interface For Live Performance}

  1. Universal Audio Apollo Twin MKII DUO (APLTWDII)

It is obvious UA did emulate Manley’s near-zero preamp technology on this one. Nevertheless, the overall uniqueness of Apollo Twin is unchanged by that. In fact, unlike. most other 10×6 Thunderbolt interfaces, this one pulls out a rare pro quality conversion from a combination of A/D and D/A. 

Needless to say, each package includes a full UAD analog plugin you can track through with any of UAD’s sleek in your Mac or Window just in case you don’t want to spend bucks on a sequencer that goes for the throat.

Features

  • 2 line outputs
  • Thunderbolt ports
  • Analog  inputs (Plugins)
  • Console 2.0 software you can create presets with
  • Audio conversion; 24 bits/192kHz
  • Supports Mac, Windows, and Apple
  • Real-time UAD processing
  • Digital Inputs and outputs: 8 channels via optical connection
Ups
  • Premium build quality
  • Multiple support including Apple
  • Near-zero latency track
  • Analog recording tone and flow on Mac and Windows
  • Durable and can receive more punches
 
Downs
  • It breaks your bank!
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  1. Tascam 16×08

If there’s ever a one-solution-fits-all interface for a sequencer unit, Tascam 16×08 would take the place. And it does.

You’d call it Tascam 16×16 when you start using it and enjoying all of the features. 

Starting with the 8 High Definition Discrete Architecture mic preamps and other HDDA components with an overall ultra-compact design, and the fact that you enjoy 100dB sound-to-noise ratio, you wouldn’t go for any other in the class of Tascam 16×08.

Among the 8 input mic preamps, two are designed to meet up with your guitar playing and bass recording need so much that you can give the two some level up for any of these two purposes with the single push of a control knob.

You can use the interface as a standalone mic amp, and as well use it as two units connected together with the XLR connectors it comes with.

Features:

  • Windows driver, Mac driver, and USB compliance class 2.0 driver
  • Low latency built-in DSP mixer
  • 56dB gain
  • More than 48V phantom power
  • Ultra HDDA mic preamps
  • Separated controlled knobs
Ups
  • High latency
  • Works with most sequencers
  • Super speedy high-level audio production
  • Cost-effective
 
Downs
  • Overwhelmed interface
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  1. Zoom UAC-2 Superspeed Audio Interface

Looking out for 2 channels of super low latency 24 bits/192kHz high-resolution for your onstage playback and mix? But you don’t want one of those with gains that max out and just sit there forever. 

Zoom UAC-2 Superspeed Audio Interface The UAC-2 does that. It connects your 2.0 and 3.0 USB Windows, iPad, and Mac without an AC connection. And it doubles down on your live performance gig by deliberately delivering quality music through the 3.0 USB superspeed and its advanced converter.

Connect your laptop to it—it works well. Connect your speaker to it—Zoom UAC-2 gives you awesomeness with all of its…

Features:

  • Audio conversion; 24 bits/192 kHz
  • Bus-powered
  • Output/input; 2 lines
  • 48V switchable phantom power for each channels
  • Supports Mac, Windows, and iPad
  • Inputs and outputs connectors; XLR/TRS
  • Optional.power adapter
  • Includes a setup guide for Cubase LE software
Ups
  • Superspeed audio conversion
  • Free downloadable Cubase LE Software
  • Durable design
  • Multipurpose and Dynamic
  • Quality conversion
 
Downs
  • The 2 pounds weight may be a dealbreaker
  • Pricey
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  1. Yamaha Steinberg UR22MKII 2-Channel USB Interface

Maintaining the URs standard of remarkable Build quality, seamless integration capabilities, and flexible stunning sound, the UR22MKII is absolutely a perfect replacement of the popular MR816 on my listing.

 While MR816 may be seen as the staple of daisy-chaining, UR22MKII is the future generation latency-free interface housing an advanced high-frequency inbuilt D-PRE mic preamp. Though it’s clear MR816 like other 816 comes with a D-PRE but it’s never as advanced as the UR22MKII’s that covers a wider range without over amplifying any musical or sound source.

Say goodbye to the single metric-interface of MR816’s Reverb-X Ray with UR22MKII’s Rev-X sophisticated with three visual-compelling metrics that shows you understandably three basic simulations of the hall, plate, and room in real time enabling you to be at the top of reverb level and reverb time control. 

Enough of the jitters, check out the full…

Features:

  • Audio Conversion: 24bits/192kHz
  • Cubase LE and AI included
  • Support: Mac and Windows
  • Analog Output: 2 lines
  • Analog Inputs: 2 lines
  • Preamp: D-PRE Class-A
  • Advance Rev-X
  • Sweet Spot Morphing Channel
Ups
  • Clean, clear, sound quality
  • Perfect stability on Windows 10
  • Full amplification control
  • Phenomenal setup
  • Wider frequency range
  • Captures real-time expression
  • Cost-effective
 
Downs
  • Produces little residual noise on Cubase 9
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{4 Outputs Audio Interface For Live Performance}

 

  1. Audient iD14 High-Performance Audio Interface

If you wouldn’t mind the slopey learning curve of it, Audient iD14 would give you the best onstage experience on whatever you feed it with.

Audient iD14 High-Performance Audio Interface The downside is, you won’t be able to control the volume of it in a headphone at the push of a button but rather by upping the mic volume slide on the software from your Mac or Windows 10. Another thing is it doesn’t come with a switch so it stays powered even when your computer shuts down but you can get this hurdle off the way by connecting a 12V ON/OFF switch yourself if you know how to go about it.

With those kept under your belt, Audient iD7 claims the best hardware with 2 clean microphone preamps that doesn’t let electrical noise get in the way nor does it give way to the self-noise of your microphone to make your onstage performances shoddy.

What most professionals like about it is the ADAT input feature that comes in handy down the line when multiple number of inputs are needed. More included specs that would make it your pick should you be vying for a replacement of an annoying interface with the best audio interface for live performance are…

Features:

  • number of Input lines: 10
  • Outputs lines: 4
  • ADAT input: 8
  • Bur-Brown Converters
  • Hardware Interface: USB
  • Support: Mac, Windows, and iPad
  • 2 Class-A mic preamp
  • JFET DI
Ups
  • Extra outputs
  • Louder and finner sounding
  • Portable
  • Durable
 
Downs
  • Pricey
  • Firmware update may be daunting on Windows 7
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  1. Presonus STUDIO 26 Audio Interface

You’ve seen this STUDIO 26 in almost every studio but is it safe to go for it against your upcoming gig? 

Let me start with the featured unlimited MIDI that lets you connect the interface, synthesizers, amplifiers, musical line instruments, and even the stage lighting altogether. 

Presonus STUDIO 26 Audio Interface

There are also Gigabytes of free preset loops, 26 effects, and 26 instruments. All coming in handy right on the stage as game changers.

To top it off, there’s an LED metre to keep watch of ins and outs as your mixing birth quality sound through two solid-state XMAX-L preamps and converters.

And finally about the DAW. Presonus 26 comes with Studio Magic plugin-suite. An all in all plugin for every instrument. 

But here’s just a nugget. As per software download, it’s required of you to have the interface’s serial number registered on the get-go. After that’s done, you can download the studio one 3 artists or studio one 3 professionals and set the stage on fire with all of the interfaces…

Features:

  • 24bits resolution
  • 2 mics/2 XMAX L preamps/instruments
  • 2 ins and 4 outs
  • MIDI in and out
  • Studio magic plugin suite
  • Studio one artist as a software sequencer
Ups
  • Compact and brilliant design
  • High resolution
  • Clean and crisp sound quality
  • Accuracy in LED meter gauge
 
Downs
  • Pricey even than STUDIO 96
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{10-18 Outputs Audio Interface For Live Performance}

  1. Roland OctaCapture

Really, the most difficult thing to keep under your belt when in charge of a live performance is the residual noise from multiple micing.

But with Roland’s sophisticated engineering invested wisely to bring premium components and audio technology together, residual noise and sounds from dynamic sources become a thing of the past. And thanks to the high-level input channels especially of the channel 7 and 8, multi-miking can be leveraged for a high-level audio production at a great speed.

Each of the 8 preamps does not only give a pure 24-bits/192Khtz audio quality but also enlarge the Input/Output capacity of low-end DAWs like the V-studio 100 and 700. Moreover, the audio interfaces at its entirety works perfectly with just any software of your choice. So you have no trouble testing a series of sequencers before getting the right one to enjoy Roland OctaCapture…

Features:

  • Audi conversion: 24bits/192Khtz
  • Automatic input level: AUTOSENS
  • Built-in DSP
  • Mac and PC support
  • 10 ins/ 10 outs
Ups
  • High-speed and high-quality audio production
  • low latency
  • Possible flexibility when two of the units are connected
  • Quality preamps
  • Compact design
 
Downs
  • Not cost effective
  • Overwhelming control knob
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  1. RME Fireface UCX

How do you deal with the what ifs? 

What if a studio offer pops up in the future aside your live performance gigs? What if there’s a pro bono gig from a friend and a studio audio interface is needed? 

You wouldn’t want to buy an additional interface. And you really don’t need to as long as you own an RME Fireface UCX mostly rated the best audio interface for life performance by bands and equally known for quality sound delivery in the studio by guitarists and vocalists.

Don’t like how wires are cluttered and intertwined when you connect instruments to your interface using a USB? RME Fireface UCX supports FireWire. Therefore you can connect up to 63 instruments and still maintain a steady unsaddled flow of crisp audio production amplified without delay by the 2 mic line preamps from Micstasy.

Speaking of size and weight, RME Fireface UCX is an ultra-compact AD interface integrating hi-tech features engineered by RME’s teams of certified musical engineers to bring your studio need together in harmony with your life performance need. 

Check out on the…

Features:

  • Resolution: 32bit/192Khz
  • UCX converters
  • SETUP memory
  • Active jitter suppressor
  • High speed MIDI Ins/Outs
  • 36 channels (18 ins/ 18 outs)
  • Optional RME remote control
Ups
  • Steady cloak
  • Ultra-compact
  • Dynamic interface (best for live performance and studio)
  • High flexibility
 
Downs
  • None
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  1. Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (2nd Gen) USB Audio Interface with Pro Tools 

Focusrite Scarlett is unarguably a standout amongst the most well-known USB interfaces available in the market. The red shaded outside isn’t only appealing in appearance, yet additionally tough. The case is made of anodized aluminum, making it strong to withstand life out and about.

The USB connection disposes of a long arrangement process; you should simply connect it to begin. Reduced and light, the Scarlett 2i2 is genuinely versatile. It can without much of a stretch fit into your workstation pack. To make things significantly simpler, it is likewise transported fueled which implies that it doesn’t require any extra power supply.

Features:

  • Optimized second-generation technology.
  • A ton of I/O for an interface in this class.
  • 8 award-winning mic/instrument preamps.
  • 16 channels of MIDI.
  • Up to 18 inputs and 20 outputs.
  • Re-engineered instrument inputs accommodate the hottest pickups.
  • 8 channels of ADAT, 2 channels of S/PDIF.
Ups
  • Two instrument inputs, designed for seriously hot pickups
  • Class-leading conversion and sample rates up to 192kHz/24-bit
  • Two natural-sounding Scarlett mic preamps with plenty of even gain
  • One headphones output with gain control
 
Downs
  • None
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Conclusion

What do you think about my listing? Do you think it’s not a great idea to not add some of your popular buddies? How about you drop a comment in the comment section?