If you’re a guitarist looking to record your music, you’ll need an audio interface to connect your guitar to your computer. Audio interfaces are essential tools for recording high-quality audio, and they come in different shapes, sizes, and prices. In this article, we’ll focus on the best budget audio interfaces for guitar.
When it comes to budget audio interfaces, you’ll want to pay attention to the number of inputs and outputs, the quality of the preamps, and the compatibility with your computer. Most budget audio interfaces come with one or two inputs, which is enough for recording a guitar or a microphone. However, if you plan on recording a full band, you’ll need an interface with more inputs.
Another important factor to consider is the quality of the preamps. Preamps are responsible for amplifying the signal from your guitar or microphone, and a good preamp can make a significant difference in the sound quality of your recordings.
We tested several budget audio interfaces to find the best ones for guitarists, and we’ve narrowed it down to the top three. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced guitarist, these interfaces will help you record your music with ease and without breaking the bank.
Best Budget Audio Interfaces for Guitar
We understand that finding the right audio interface for your guitar can be a daunting task, especially when you’re on a budget. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the best budget audio interfaces for guitar that won’t break the bank but will still deliver high-quality sound. Our team has extensively researched and tested each product to ensure they meet our standards. Below is our roundup of the best budget audio interfaces for guitar that are perfect for any musician on a budget.
The prices of all these interfaces range between 50 and 130 dollars!
M-Audio M-Track Solo
The M-Audio M-Track Solo is a fantastic entry-level audio interface for guitar players. It boasts a reliable converter that delivers high-quality audio recordings. With its single XLR/TRS combo input, it allows you to connect either a microphone or guitar directly. The inclusion of +48V phantom power support is a great advantage for condenser microphones.
Additionally, it features a headphone output with independent volume control for direct monitoring. While it lacks multiple outputs, it offers a simple and budget-friendly solution for solo recording sessions. Overall, the M-Audio M-Track Solo is a fantastic budget audio interface for guitar that offers crystal-clear audio resolution, versatile recording capabilities, and portability for recording on-the-go.
Behringer U-Phoria UM2
The Behringer U-Phoria UM2 is another affordable audio interface targeted at guitar players on a budget. It features a single XLR/TRS combo input with a basic but decent quality converter. With +48V phantom power support, it can handle condenser microphones and capture vocals effectively. The lack of multiple outputs limits its versatility for more complex setups, but it compensates with an accessible and user-friendly design.
Although it comes with a less popular DAW (Tracktion), the UM2 is compatible with popular recording softwares, making it a practical choice for aspiring guitarists looking to start recording their music.
Focusrite Scarlett Solo (3rd Gen)
The Focusrite Scarlett Solo (3rd Gen) stands out as a popular choice among guitar players due to its outstanding audio quality. With high-quality 24-bit/192kHz converters, it delivers exceptional sound resolution and clarity.
Featuring two analog outputs (RCA), it offers stereo monitoring and connection versatility. The interface boasts a single XLR/TRS combo input with Focusrite’s renowned preamp, ensuring pristine audio capture for instruments and vocals. Also included are Ableton Live Lite, and a Three Month Avid Pro Tools Artist subscription with their complete plugin bundle; all upon purchase, registration, and download. While it lacks phantom power support, the Focusrite Scarlett Solo (3rd Gen) remains a top choice for guitarists seeking a reliable and feature-rich interface without breaking the bank.
PreSonus AudioBox USB 96
The PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 is a solid audio interface option with 24-bit/96kHz converters, delivering reliable audio quality for recording purposes. It comes equipped with two analog outputs (TRS), offering stereo monitoring and versatile connectivity. The interface boasts two combo inputs (XLR/TRS) with Class-A preamps, accommodating multiple instruments and microphones simultaneously. A key selling point of the AudioBox USB 96 is the inclusion of PreSonus Studio One Artist software, a powerful and user-friendly DAW that enhances the recording and production experience. Additionally, the interface supports phantom power, making it suitable for condenser microphones. With its feature set and software bundle, the PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 offers a compelling package for guitar players and content creators.
Native Instruments Komplete Audio 1
The Native Instruments Komplete Audio 1 is a premium-quality audio interface designed to meet the demands of discerning guitar players. With impressive 24-bit/192kHz converters, it offers high-resolution audio for professional-grade recordings. Sporting two analog outputs (RCA), it facilitates stereo monitoring and various device connections.
The interface features two combo inputs (XLR/TRS) with pristine preamps, ensuring exceptional sound capture for instruments and vocals. Notably, the Komplete Audio 1 comes with a generous software bundle, featuring Ableton Live 10 Lite, MASCHINE Essentials, and a collection of virtual instruments and effects.
Additionally, it supports phantom power, making it suitable for condenser microphones. With its premium audio quality and comprehensive software offerings, the Native Instruments Komplete Audio 1 is a top-tier choice for guitarists seeking excellence in their recording endeavors.
In conclusion, when choosing an audio interface for an electric guitar, it is essential to consider various factors to ensure the best fit for your specific needs.
For those on a tight budget, the M-Audio M-Track Solo and Behringer U-Phoria UM2 provide affordable solutions with decent audio quality and basic recording capabilities.
If audio quality and features are a priority, the Focusrite Scarlett Solo (3rd Gen) and PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 stand out with their higher sample rates, versatile connectivity, and comprehensive DAW software bundles.
For those seeking a premium and all-inclusive package, the Native Instruments Komplete Audio 1 excels with its top-tier audio resolution, generous software bundle, and support for condenser microphones. It caters to advanced musicians and professionals who require exceptional audio fidelity and a versatile set of tools for music production.
In the end, the best audio interface for an electric guitar depends on individual preferences, recording goals, and budget constraints. Carefully weighing factors like audio quality, inputs and outputs, DAW compatibility, and phantom power support will lead to a well-informed decision, ensuring that your chosen audio interface complements your guitar playing and unlocks your creative potential in the world of music production.
1. What does audio interface do for guitar?
An audio interface serves as a vital link between your guitar and your computer or recording device. It enhances the sound quality by using high-quality analog-to-digital converters, capturing the true essence of your guitar’s tone. The interface reduces latency with direct monitoring, allowing you to hear yourself in real-time while recording.
It offers versatile recording options, enabling you to connect multiple instruments and microphones simultaneously.
Additionally, audio interfaces integrate seamlessly with Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs), providing powerful tools for editing, arranging, and producing your guitar recordings. Overall, an audio interface enhances your guitar-playing experience and opens up a world of creative possibilities for musicians and producers.
2. Do you need audio interface for guitar?
An audio interface is not absolutely necessary for playing the guitar, but it offers significant advantages. It improves sound quality, reduces latency, and provides versatility in recording multiple instruments. Integration with Digital Audio Workstations opens up endless possibilities for editing and producing music.
As a guitarist, an audio interface greatly enhances your recording and creative capabilities, making it a valuable tool for serious musicians and producers.
3. Can you practice guitar with an audio interface?
Yes, you can practice guitar with an audio interface. While audio interfaces are commonly used for recording and producing music, they can also serve as an excellent practice tool. By connecting your guitar to the interface and using headphones, you can enjoy a private and immersive practice session without disturbing others