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Best Audio Interfaces for Drums Reviews & Buying Guide 2023

Attention, passionate drummers! Get ready for a new dimension in your drum sound. With an audio interface that provides clear sound and real-time monitoring which will improve your drum recordings. 

Before making a purchase, consider these 3 essential factors for selecting an audio interface for drums.

  • Number of Inputs and Outputs:- Choose an audio interface with sufficient inputs for individual drum mics and multiple line outputs for flexible routing, allowing precise control and a balanced mix in recording or processing.
  • Audio Resolution:- Audio resolution is a key consideration. Higher audio resolution, typically measured in bits (e.g., 24-bit), allows for a more accurate representation of dynamic drum sounds, capturing subtle nuances and maintaining a wide dynamic range. 
  • Latency:- When buying an audio interface, prioritise models with low latency to prevent delays in your audio signal. Lower latency values, measured in milliseconds (ms), are preferable for achieving optimal performance and responsiveness in your audio setup.

Read on for a detailed Buying Guide tailored to your needs, and check out the list of the best audio interfaces for drummers available on Amazon.

Also Check: Best Audio Interfaces for Guitars

                      Best Audio Interface for Vocals

Best Audio Interfaces for Drums Table

Best Audio Interface for DrumsInput OutputAudio ResolutionLatencyBuy Now
M-Audio Audio Interface2-In/2-Out24-bit/192kHzLow Latency (2.59ms)Check On Amazon
Behringer Audio Interface2 inputs / 2 outputs48kHzUltra-low latencyCheck On Amazon
Fifine Audio InterfaceOne XLR input,HEADPHONE, and LINE OUT16-bit/48k Hz-Check On Amazon
PreSonus Audio Interface1x1 MIDI In/Out24-bit/96 kHzZero-latencyCheck On Amazon
Tascam Audio Interface8 inputs at instrument level
8 Outputs,Two with front-panel level control
24-bit/96 kHzLow-latencyCheck On Amazon

Best Audio Interfaces for Drums Reviews

1. M-Audio Audio Interface

M-Audio Audio InterfaceM-Audio AIR 192|4 channel audio interface for drums offers XLR+¼” TRS combo input, ¼” instrument input, stereo ¼” outs, and a ¼” headphone out with independent level control, the AIR 192|4 offers versatility for different recording setups. 

M-Audio AIR 192|4 audio interface for Drums offers a range of options to suit your needs. With USB and MIDI connectivity, you can seamlessly integrate the interface with your computer or electronic drum module. The supported software ensures compatibility with popular DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations), providing a versatile platform for your drumming creativity.

The Transparent Crystal™ preamps and ultra-pristine A/D converters set a new standard for audio recording quality, ensuring transparency and fidelity in every capture. With an impressive 24-bit/192kHz resolution, this interface guarantees the precision and clarity needed to bring your recordings to life. The VU LED metres provide a visual guide for optimal level control, adding a professional touch to your recording process.

Best Features:

  • Multiple XLR and ¼” TRS Inputs.
  • Dedicated Headphone Outputs for Detailed Monitoring.
  • Balanced Line Outputs for Seamless Integration.
  • Precision-Built Preamps for Clean and Transparent Signal Capture.
  • USB and MIDI Connectivity.
  • Compatible with Popular DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations).
  • Captures the Full Spectrum of Drumming Dynamics.

Pros:

  • Powerful Headphone Outputs.
  • Sublime Mic Quality and Low Latency Performance.
  • Robust Metal Chassis for Durability.
  • Affordable Price Point.
  • MIDI In/Out for Virtual Instruments/Drums.
  • USB/Direct Knob for Flexible Sound Mixing.
  • VU LED Meters with Multiple Levels.

Cons:

  • Lacks Resistance.
  • Device Tends to Get Hot, Especially at Higher Sample Rates.
  • Popping and Noise Issues with Lower-quality Cables.

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2. Behringer Audio Interface

Behringer Audio InterfaceWith a 2×2 USB audio configuration, it accommodates two inputs and two outputs, providing the flexibility to capture the complexity of drum setups. The instrument input, coupled with the Midas designed mic preamplifier and +48V phantom power, ensures optimal performance for microphones and instruments, making it an ideal choice for drum recording.

This audio interface offering seamless integration with popular recording software such as Avid Pro Tools, Ableton Live, and Steinberg Cubase. Its USB port not only facilitates a straightforward connection but also powers the interface, streamlining the setup process. The compatibility with both Mac OS X and Windows XP or higher ensures broad accessibility for users across different platforms.

Best Features:

  • 2×2 USB Audio Interface.
  • Midas Designed Mic Preamplifier.
  • +48V Phantom Power.
  • Versatile Input Options for Microphones and Instruments.
  • Professional 48 kHz Resolution for High-Quality Audio.
  • Instrument Input for Diverse Recording Needs.
  • Streamlined 2-In/2-Out Configuration.

Pros:

  • Excellent Construction and Sound Quality.
  • Simple Plug-and-Play Setup.
  • Affordable Price.

Cons:-

  • Limited Features for Advanced Users.
  • Limited Headphone/Monitor Control.

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3. Fifine Audio Interface

Fifine Audio InterfaceIndividual control extends to four independent channels—MICROPHONE, LINE IN, HEADPHONE, and LINE OUT—providing precise volume adjustments for a personalised audio experience. The versatile connectivity options make it a versatile solution for streaming, and drum playing.

48V phantom power expands microphone compatibility, eliminating the need for additional peripherals. The gaming audio mixer supports MIDI and offers a resolution that enhances the nuances of your voice, contributing to a clear and immersive audio experience. 

This plug ‘n play solution is compatible with both Mac OS and Windows, ensuring a hassle-free setup for users across different platforms. The gaming audio mixer is designed to work seamlessly with popular streaming and recording software, enhancing its versatility. Whether you’re using OBS for live streaming or engaging in online chat on platforms like Twitch, the AmpliGame SC3 offers broad compatibility and exceptional performance.

Best Features:

  • Six voice-changing modes and 12 auto-tune options.
  • Plug ‘n play compatibility with Mac OS and Windows.
  • XLR Microphone Interface.
  • Built-in 48V Phantom Power.
  • Four independent channels.
  • Smooth Volume Slider Fader for precise control.

Pros:

  • Versatile performance for gaming, streaming, and drum playing.
  • Sleek design with sturdy build and customizable RGB lighting.
  • Creative sound effects with customizable buttons, voice-changing modes, and auto-tune options.
  • Affordable pricing.

Cons:

  • Decent but not exceptional voice changer quality.
  • Limited audio profiles and effects presets.
  • Occasional LED glitch where LEDs flash white randomly when turned off.

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4. PreSonus Audio Interface

PreSonus Audio InterfacePreSonus AudioBox iTwo stands out with its versatile input and output options, making it a go-to choice for musicians and drummers. With two combo microphone/instrument/line inputs, equipped with high-headroom, low-noise Class A preamplifiers and +48V phantom power, it accommodates a variety of recording needs. These inputs provide the flexibility to connect microphones, instruments, or line-level devices. On the output side, it features two balanced ¼” TRS main line-level outputs and a stereo headphone output with independent level control, ensuring a tailored monitoring experience.

AudioBox iTwo excels with its studio-grade converters supporting up to 24-bit/96 kHz recording and playback. The Class A mic preamplifiers deliver exceptional audio performance, capturing the nuances of your recordings with clarity and detail.

USB 2.0 bus-powered design ensures compatibility with Mac, Windows, and even Apple iPad, offering a versatile solution for different setups. The inclusion of MIDI I/O expands creative options, allowing you to integrate external MIDI devices into your workflow. The internal analog mixer with a direct button enables zero-latency monitoring, ensuring real-time audio feedback during recording sessions.

Best Features:

  • Compatible with Apple iPad, Mac, Windows, iOS, and iPadOS.
  • Two combo microphone/instrument/line inputs.
  • High-performance Class.
  • Two balanced ¼” TRS main line-level outputs.
  • Stereo headphone output with independent level control.
  • MIDI I/O for external MIDI device integration.
  • Internal analog mixer with direct button.
  • Rugged metal chassis for durability.
  • Large main volume knob for easy control.
  • Comes with Studio One Artist DAW software (Mac/Windows) and Capture Duo for iPad recording software.

Pros:

  • Solid preamps with great audio quality.
  • Convenient front-facing inputs and headphone jack.
  • MIDI in/out for external devices.
  • Budget-friendly option.
  • Comes with Studio One Artist software.

Cons:

  • Concerns about audio quality, especially when using headphones.
  • Potential issues with muddier and noisier music output compared to direct laptop connection.
  • Quick rise in noise levels during volume adjustments.

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5. Tascam Audio Interface

Tascam Audio InterfaceTascam US-16×08 Rackmount USB Audio/MIDI Interface caters to recording and drum enthusiasts with 16 mic and line inputs, ensuring versatility for different instruments. It features eight Ultra-HDDA microphone preamps for clean, low-noise operation and up to 57dB of gain. The eight balanced line outputs, two with front-panel level control, facilitate easy monitoring. MIDI input and output options enhance connectivity for external MIDI devices, making it a versatile choice for various recording setups.

Tascam US-16×08 with discrete components for a remarkable EIN rating of -125 dBu. Achieving a signal-to-noise ratio of 100 dB, it surpasses standards in its price range, contributing to exceptional audio clarity and fidelity. Supporting up to 24-bit/96 kHz resolution, it meets professional standards for precise recording and playback.

Best Features:

  • 16 mic and line inputs, 8 balanced line outputs.
  • 8 preamps with up to 57dB gain, low noise, and distortion.
  • Two front-panel level-controlled outputs for convenient monitoring.
  • Includes MIDI input and output options.
  • Ultra-HDDA preamps ensure exceptional clarity and fidelity.
  • Supports up to 24-bit/96 kHz recording and playback.

Pros:

  • Cost-effective alternative to the Scarlett 18i20, performs better at half the price.
  • Easy and quick setup.
  • Tracks 16 channels simultaneously without issues.
  • Versatile for recording a fully mic’d kit with 16 mono inputs, 8 outputs, and MIDI connectivity.
  • Clean and accurate sound output with balanced line outs.

Cons:

  • Windows compatibility issue.

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Buying Guide for Best Audio Interface For Drums

1. Input and Output Options

For capturing a drum kit effectively, it’s crucial to have an adequate number of inputs to accommodate each drum and cymbal, as they typically require dedicated microphones.

Having multiple line outputs allows you to send each drum sound to separate channels in your recording software. This is especially important if you plan to apply specific processing or effects to individual drum elements during the mixing process.

2. Audio Resolution

Resolution is measured in bits and represents the number of digital values used to represent an analog signal. Common bit depths for audio interfaces are 16-bit, 24-bit, and 32-bit.

For drum recordings, especially in a studio or professional setting, it’s advisable to opt for higher resolutions like 24-bit or 32-bit. These provide more headroom and accuracy during the recording process, allowing the interface to capture the full range of drum sounds.

In a live or casual recording scenario, a 16-bit resolution might suffice, especially if storage space is a concern, as higher bit depths result in larger file sizes. However, for critical drum recordings where fidelity is paramount, investing in an interface with 24-bit or 32-bit resolution is recommended.

3. Latency

For drummers, especially in live situations or during recording, low latency is essential to maintain the natural feel of playing. Zero latency monitoring is highly desirable as it allows musicians to hear themselves in real-time without any delay. This is particularly crucial for drummers who rely on precise timing and need to feel the immediate response of their drum hits. With zero or minimal latency, drummers can stay in sync with the beat, enhancing their performance and overall experience.

4. Phantom Power

Condenser microphones, commonly used for overheads and some drum mics, require phantom power to operate. A majority of interfaces provide 48V phantom power, which is the standard requirement for most condenser microphones. This power is necessary to energize the microphone’s internal circuitry, enabling it to capture sound with greater sensitivity and detail.

For drum recording, ensure that the audio interface you select has individual phantom power switches or controls for each input, allowing you to activate or deactivate phantom power as needed.

5. Preamps Quality

The quality of preamps is paramount when selecting an audio interface for drum recording. Preamps amplify the low-level signals from microphones, shaping the overall sound and influencing the clarity and character of the recorded drums. 

Consider the number of preamps the audio interface offers and ensure it aligns with your drum miking setup. If you plan to close-mic multiple drums and cymbals, having an interface with an adequate number of preamps is essential.

6. Connectivity

Prioritize an audio interface with USB connectivity based on your recording requirements. USB 2.0 is a reliable standard, but if you anticipate handling extensive track counts, USB 3.0 or USB-C might offer advantages. Additionally, consider the number and types of inputs and outputs, ensuring the interface aligns with your current and future drum recording needs.

Best Audio Interface For Drums – FAQs

1. What interface do you need to record drums?

Ans: To record drums effectively, you need an audio interface with multiple inputs, suitable preamps, and low-latency performance. Look for an interface with enough channels to capture each drum and cymbal separately for optimal sound quality and flexibility during mixing. 

2. How many preamps do I need to record drums?

Ans: In a standard scenario, you might require at least four to eight preamps to individually mic the kick drum, snare drum, and multiple toms, along with overhead and room mics. 

3. What do I need to record drums professionally?

Ans: To record drums professionally, ensure you have a capable audio interface with preamps and low latency, quality microphones for each drum component, essential cables, closed-back headphones, acoustic treatment for the room, a reliable digital audio workstation (DAW), MIDI controllers for electronic drums, monitor speakers, and sturdy stands for mic placement. 

4. What is the difference between audio and MIDI interface?

Ans: Audio interfaces handle actual sound signals, while MIDI interfaces transmit musical performance data between instruments and computers without conveying audio.

Conclusion

  • For drummers looking for 16 channels, Tascam Audio Interface offers 16 inputs and output connectivity options. It offers cost-effectiveness, quick setup, and versatility, making it an excellent choice for recording a fully mic’d drum kit.
  • For a budget friendly option Fifine Audio Interface offers 4 independent channels. With six voice-changing modes, 12 auto-tune options, and plug ‘n play compatibility, it suits streaming, and drum playing.
  • For excellent performance and construction Behringer Audio Interface provides optimal performance with Midas-designed preamps. It combines excellent construction, sound quality, and affordability for a reliable drum recording solution.

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