After making the switch from the small & cheap UR22 interface to the bigger & better Scarlett 18i20 I´ve noticed an immense improvement of my workflow, which I´m going to share with you today. So here are 7 ways a better audio interface can improve YOUR workflow.
1. Leaving everything plugged in
Since you have more than two ins and outs, which you normally don´t with cheaper audio interfaces, you can connect all or most of your gear and leave everything plugged in. This can be immensely helpful since it allows you to immediately start recording once an idea pops into your head. Having to go get cables and connect everything kills the moment and the creativity.
2. Routing the cables out the back
No more rolling or tripping over cables. No more accidentally janking out a microphone and having your ears explode. A lot of bigger audio interfaces have most of their ins/outs at the back of the unit. This means you can connect everything up, make it tidy with cable binders and keep it of your floor where you walk. Plus, no need to put the cables away once you´re done for the day.
3. Record more people or record one source in more detail
Two inputs is just not enough. Let´s be honest. It might work for a mono acoustic guitar and a vocal but that´s pretty much it. If anybody wants to join in or you want the guitar recorded in stereo while singing, then you won´t have enough inputs. Having a lot of inputs gives you the freedom to expand your productions and get more creative with recording techniques
4. Headphone mixes
Being able to adjust headphone mixes for different players of a recording session is essential. Not everybody needs to hear everything. Maybe only the drummer gets a click track and the rest should listen to the drummer. Maybe the players get a rhythm percussion section but you don´t want to hear it since you want to listen to the players carefully. Having more than 2 outs which go to your main speakers enables you to do exactly that!
5. Connect your hardware
Ever thought about how cool it would be to run that sample in your DAW through your guitar distortion pedal? With more ins/outs you can! Connect one OUT from your interface to your guitar pedal, and connect the OUT of your pedal to an IN of your interface. With this you can run any sound of your DAW through that pedal and record the result.
6. Better quality!
Your source material is the most important aspect of production value. You can have amazing plug-ins if what you are recording just doesnt sound that good. The pre-amps and A/D, D/A conversion of small and cheap audio interfaces isn´t bad, but you can definitely hear the difference with more expensive interfaces. I made a track with a 25 € microphone and a 100€ guitar which sounds great. That would not have been possible with the cheaper interface!
7. It just feels better!
All in all having a better audio interface just feels better. It´s faster, more reliant, can do more, everything is tidy and cleaned up, you develop your I/O and session templates, have immediate access to all your things and it just sounds better! For me personally this gives of a feeling of being closer to a professional and I do my work accordingly.
These were my 7 reasons a bigger audio interface has improved my workflow. Do you agree or disagree with this list? Let me know in the comments!