An audio interface is an important part of music production. Its basic function is to convert digital signals from the input to analog signals.
The analog signal permits the audio to be read digitally so that it can be played through output devices like speakers and earphones. There is a series of input and output connection ports that are essentially made for this function.
8-Channel Audio Interfaces Top Picks
Following is a list of the best audio interfaces that will serve each music producer looking for professional audio quality. There are different options available in the market, so if you are a beginner, your preference will vary from an experienced user who has some defined requirements.
1. BEHRINGER U-Phoria UMC1820
Dimensions: 19.02 x 5.12 x 1.81 inches
This USB 2.0 8-channel audio interface is ideal for recording audio at optimum quality. The system comes with Mic Preamplifiers for great sound quality and easy input. This audio interface will combine with some of the leading music production software like Steinberg Cubase and ACID pro programs.
While the music production software might require your computer system upgraded, the audio interface will work in computers with Windows XP and with MACs OS X and above.
This audio interface is excellent for both beginners and experienced music producers. If any external inserts are wanted, they can easily be added to the system. You can get excellent resolution of audio through this interface.
The Level control features are exceptional, and you can cue up a line of audio. The manufacturer claims that this system will help you with easy recording even if you are on the go and inspiration strikes.
- Comes with a Stereo/Mono switch for hassle-free monitoring of sound.
- Premium connectivity features for both instruments and microphones ensure good sound quality (of 192 kHz resolution) of all your recordings.
- Direct monitoring is easy with zero latency. With no lag to compensate for, the recording quality will be automatically better.
- The MIDAS-made preamps just add to the myriad of specifications that this audio interface boasts of.
- The DAW Tracktion is excellent for editing, sharing, and recording audio pieces. It is easy to master even for beginners learning music production. This is perfect for both beginners and experienced individuals looking to make music.
2. Focusrite Scarlett 18i8
Dimensions: 15.95 x 24.1 x 6.1 centimeters
This audio interface is available in both second and third-generation variants. This is an excellent value for money option which will exceed expectations if reviews are to be believed. This device helps with great audio recording, irrespective of the background.
There are eight analog inputs supported by the system, four in the rear and four in the front. The sound resolution of this audio interface is 192kHz and perfect for impromptu recording sessions.
The best part about this system is that the package includes cables compatible with the audio interface so that you can get started as soon as it is delivered to your doorstep. There is no shortage of features offered by this system.
- It allows for two monitor setups for better control and monitoring of the audio piece.
- There are two headphone outputs that will play simultaneously so that both the recording artist and the music producer can get a handle on how the recording is going and can make changes if the need arises.
- D-A and A-D conversion is supported.
- The 3rd generation version has mics that can be switched to Air mode. The preamps are designed so that all inputs are of high quality.
- It comes with a great battery backup which allows the user to work on the go.
- Ideal for both music recordings and podcasts and can be easily connected to Mac and Windows.
3. Focusrite Scarlett 18i20
Dimensions: 1.77 x 18.98 x 10.43 inches
This is another USB audio interface by Focusrite. While only the 2nd generation interface is available right now, the 3rd generation version has also been launched. Focusrite offers a warranty on its products for up to 3 years, so if you hit a snag, you know you will be covered.
The compatibility of this audio interface will have to be looked into beforehand because it can only work well with Mac OS X 10.10 or with Windows 7 or above.
If you want a newer version of the Focusrite Scarlett 18i8, this might be the answer for you. With more defined features that are great for experienced music producers, this audio interface offers brilliant sound quality.
This device is ready for recording as soon as you take it out of the box. Focusrite’s two decades’ worth of experience shines through this product.
- Can easily allow cue mixing of audios.
- The sound quality supported by this interface is of 192kHz resolution.
- The interface has a total of eight connection ports, out of which four are analog outputs. Two are for preamps, while the remaining two support instrument connectivity.
- You can easily control and monitor the mixing process by connecting with your handheld device or your PC.
- Very reduced latency for seamless recording experience.
4. Tascam Us-16Ã—08
Dimensions: 8.62 x 52 x 2.32 inches
This audio interface is another strong contender in the list of the best eight-channel interfaces. It is supported on Windows 7 and above and Mac OS X and above. Comes with a warranty of a year.
With new upgrades from the manufacturer, this interface has become a must-try for both beginners and intermediate music producers.
This system comes with 16 connectivity ports, eight of which can be for inputs while the other half for outputs. If you are looking for a satisfying mixing session, this interface will surely help you out.
It works well with any music production software, so you do not have to worry about compatibility.
- Offers low latency audio recording and mixing.
- The mic preamps offered with this product are requi[ped with Ultra High Definition Discrete Architecture (Ultra HDDA).
- Two input ports come with level control and can be used by the producer and the recording artist to observe and rectify the recording sessions.
- Comfortable use on the desktop for editing and mixing.
- The microphone of this interface pretty much guarantees stellar sound quality, and each recording will have a studio effect.
5. M-Audio M-Track 8X4M
Dimensions: 9.36 x 2.4 x 7.68 inches
With a 24-bit/192kHz combination, this audio interface is the right choice for many music producers. If you want a professional finish to your music, then this audio interface will be your perfect companion.
There is a whole line of features that will make each mixing session enjoyable and productive. It’s no latency promise is ideal for blending well with the quality of the audio recordings.
There are eight inputs and four outputs, more than what you will get at this price range. This 8-channel audio interface will be a suitable choice if you want to work on the move.
It is easy to navigate and can be chosen by both beginners and experienced users. What’s more? There is no end to its connectivity as the MIDI ports allow for great connectivity to any instrument.
- Crystal preamps are pretty much the best preamps you can take advantage of while recording music. When this is paired up with the state of the art A-D converters of this audio interface, you can rest assured that the sound quality will be unparalleled.
- If you want to get started with some new software and audio interface, then this product will grant your wish. It comes with its own list of software made for professional use.
- With numerous input and output channels and a monitoring knob, you can easily control the quality of the audio you are editing or mixing.
- The VU Meters of this system are designed so that the user always knows the perfect frequency while recording and looking for optimized signals.
6. Presonus Studio 1824c
Dimensions: 5.51 x 19.02 x 1.73 inches
This is a great addition to this list. PreSonus USB audio interface has a wide array of features that can be used to make professional-quality audio. This is a high-end audio interface and offers different connectivity options with eight input and output ports each.
If you are committed to producing great sound quality consistently, then this audio interface is the right one for all professionals.
There is an entire Software Suite that you will be offered with the purchase of this interface. If you are a beginner, you might want to hold off on this product until you have had some experience with editing and mixing.
This manufacturer claims that their interface is highly compatible with virtually any type of Windows or Mac OS system.
- A state of the art professional suite of features.
- This interface is perfect for about 18 simultaneous inputs.
- Perfect for use by new learners and experienced music producers. Support recording, producing, as well as composing.
- The high quality sound resolution operates at 192 kHz. It has high definition sound quality which supports both mixing and smooth editing.
As you just saw, there is no shortage of options in the market when it comes to 8-Channel Audio Interfaces. There are numerous options with a plethora of specifications, each with more distinguishing features than the one before. It is therefore important to know what to look for while buying a good product.
An audio interface may have multiple features, each better than the next. With more upgrades on the models, there are limitless options, and you would naturally lean towards an option that has more features. There is nothing wrong with wanting more, but it also depends on your own experience with music production.
If you are a beginner and trying to learn the basics, then get an audio interface that can make you comfortable with the entire mixing and mastering process. Jumping directly into professional equipment can be a good idea for some; but for many, it can be an overwhelming experience that can slow your progress.
That said, it is subjective, so choose a product only after looking closely at the specifications and comparing it with other choices in the market.
There is no use investing money in a new interface and then having it malfunction just a few months later. While warranties can easily handle replacement and repair, not every manufacturer offers them. If you are serious about the upkeep of your devices, then take a closer look at the warranties before buying anything.
Return and Replacement
Most products available on Amazon will have return and replacement policies listed. If not, it is better to know beforehand. If a faulty product is delivered, you should have a backup option; otherwise, your excitement will turn into disappointment. It is better to look for refund policies but if not found, make sure you always buy products with a return policy.
What is low latency in audio interfaces, and why is it important?
Latency in audio recording produces a lag or delay, which then has to be compensated for. If you choose a low or no latency audio interface, the lag is minimized or removed entirely through faster bandwidth.
Can I increase the number of inputs to my audio interface?
Yes, you can easily increase the input channels to the audio interface. It is compatible with audio interfaces that come with ADAT inputs, so double check that it is mentioned in the product specifications.
Now you know the details of buying the most suitable 8 Channel Audio Interface for you. Buying it according to the offered specifications will be your best bet whether you have been in the field for a long time or are just joining.
Take a good look at the connectivity and compatibility with computers so that you do not regret your decision later.
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