Audient recently released there latest audio interface Audient iD44. The manufacturer claims that it’s the most powerful audio gear among all the products they have released. As you know Audient is a leading manufacturer of analog audio hardware, and have 20 years of expertise, I personally think that this audio interface would win the market within months. Well, here is Audient iD44 review which will guide you to this beast.
Audient iD44 Features
- 20-in, 24-out USB 2.0 24-bit/96khz desktop audio Interface
- 4 Class-A Audient console precision mic preamplifiers
- 2 ADAT ins & outs connections
- Instrument inputs – 2 discrete JFET
- 2 inserts (Fully balanced)
- 2 headphone outputs (independent stereo)
- Main + alternative speaker outputs
- Dedicated talkback, dim and cut controls
- Word Clock Output included
- DSP Mixer with Low Latency
- All-metal enclosure + hand-milled aluminum knobs
- 3 function keys (user-defined)
- Scroll Control
- Weight (kg) 1.75kg
- Dimensions (mm) 276 (w) x 51 (h) x 174 (d)
- $500+ Bundle of plug-ins and software
Price – $699.00Checkout iD44 on Amazon
Audient iD44 Review and Buying Guide
As I told above that Audient is a leading manufacturer of analog audio gears. Audient’s designer David Dearden says that he has been in analog mixing console business since the 1980’s and even today Audient has a wide range of the analog mixer consoles. David founded Audient a decades ago to mainly focus on the mixer console business.
One of the best achievement for this company is ASP8024 preamp. This preamp is widely used by leading audio interface and mixer manufacturers around the globe. In fact, 90% of the manufacturers use this preamp as a component of their products.
When the world was run after the digital audio, David Dearden was manufacturing classic analog mixing desks for big studios. This analog mixer console’s feel is carried over in Audient iD44 audio interface.
The 1st analog component you get in this audio interface is ASP8024 preamp. A legendary preamp which provides warm and rich sound. Whether you record a vocal session or guitar it creates an analog feel in your recordings. This classic analog feel is a quite important ingredient for better mixing.
The 2nd analog feel is its look. It’s a desktop audio interface looks like a mixer. The knobs and buttons all give it a classic console look. Because of the desktop placement and console look UI, operating this audio interface is also simple as compared to other interfaces.
Ins and Outs
With this whole bunch of ins and outs, you can easily tackle a live stage recording as well as multitrack simultaneous recording in your home studio. However, there are other audio interfaces with the 20in/24out feature but they are not as affordable as Audient iD44. You can buy Audient iD44 with just $699 on Amazon.
Audient iD44 has 4 ASP8024 preamps, which as I said above, are the best preamps in the music industry. Whether you record vocals or instruments these preamps help you to out a better mix. Audient iD44 has 2 J-FET instrument inputs to record your guitars and other instruments with precision.
There are 2 ADAT input and output pairs are available in Audient iD44. You can connect 16 simultaneous inputs and outputs via a Digital mixing console. As well as you get a word clock to set up the same sample rate for your digital gears throughout the studio.
Remember, I told above that it gives you the feeling of an analog console? Here is one more feature of Audient iD44 which gives it a console tag. The inserts. Generally, we find inserts in consoles but this audio interface has also 2 fully balanced inserts. You can use external effects with this audio interface directly. Such a great feature.
In many cheap audio interfaces, you only get 1 headphone out which force you to buy a headphone amplifier if you wanna monitor the recording with your artist. No worry, Audient iD44’s 2 independent stereo headphone outputs can be able you to monitor your recording along with the artist.
You can also get main and alt speaker outputs to connect two monitor pairs simultaneously.
With class-leading AD/DA converters, Audient iD44 delivers a great sounding experience. As compared to other same range audio interfaces, iD44 provides much more quality on your recordings. The J-FET instrument inputs and ASP8024 preamps double the quality of sound captured through this powerful gears.
It’s USB 2.0 compliant USB port helps a high-speed data transfer with minimum data loss. The one more thing which you should know is it is not the USB powered device so you can’t use it outdoors. But it’s not a drawback for a 20in/24out audio interface. Rather it confirms that the USB port does not overload due to the extra work pressure of providing power to the interface.
DSP mixers are an important feature for a modern audio interface. As nowadays the trend of consoles is decreasing and the dependency on DSP mixers in increasing. DSP mixers are software provided as the part of an audio interface to control its settings, faders, and effects by computer. The latency is a common problem in digital audio devices especially cheap audio interfaces.
But thanks to Audient iD44’s low latency DSP mixer and high-speed hardware, you get a very low latency in mixer display as well as in your audio monitoring. The DSP mixer latency can be decreased to 0.3236ms for 96kHz recording. There are 2 other numbers regarding latency which you should pay attention.
- DAW Roundtrip Software Monitoring Latency @ 32 Sample Buffer – ~1.6ms/96.0 kHz
- DAW Playback Latency @ 32 Sample Buffer for Software Instrument Playback – 4.2ms/96.0 kHz
These two features are very important for monitoring purpose. As you can see the roundtrip software monitoring latency and DAW playback latency is below 1.6ms and 4.2ms respectively, ensures that you get a smooth monitor while recording your projects.
Made with the metal enclosure and hand-milled aluminum knobs Audient iD44 ensures that if you drop it from a height, it will work even after that. However, the metal cabinet is not scratch proof and the rough finish increase the chances of scratch. The black and silver combination of color give it a professional console type look.
The knobs, buttons, and switches are designed as a classy console finish. The input and output channels are not gold plated, however, it can be compromised under this price range.
Audient iD44 has some great features which are eligible to discuss here.
User Defined Function Keys
It has 3 user-defined function keys. You can use these keys to use cue-mix console functions easily. With these keys, you don’t have to rely on just a computer keyboard. You can assign them to control speaker switching or cue mix monitoring.
Dedicated Talkback, Dim and Cut Controls
When you record vocals or acoustic instruments with the artist in other room it would be difficult to interact with them without a talkback function. Assigning and using a talkback mic and switches is such a headache for newbies. with Audient iD44 you get a dedicated talkback button with dim and cut controls as well as you could feed the talkback channel from any input.
2 Independent Stereo Headphone Outputs
Now you and your artist can monitor your recording simultaneously with 2 separate monitor outputs. However, this is not a new thing as Focusrite has this feature with their low-end cards also. Instead, I added this feature here as I know the monitoring issues when recording acoustic instruments.
Cons (Lack of Features)
When you go with cheap audio gears, you have to compromise with lack of some features. Here are some cons of owning Audient iD44 audio interface.
Lack of Analog Inputs
If you go with Motu or Fireface audio interfaces with the same input and output, you will find at least 8 to 10 analog inputs so that you could record a full band without relying on optical inputs and digital mixers. But Audient iD44 doesn’t have that feature. It has only 4 analog inputs which are not sufficient for a live recording with a full band.
To conquer the manufacturing cost they provided 2 ADAT inputs instead of extra analog inputs. I really upset not getting sufficient analog inputs. However, as I told above, you have to compromise some features if you go with cheaper solutions.
Most audio interfaces with 20in/24out provide 192kHz maximum sample rate but with Audient iD44 you have to compromise with 96 kHz maximum sample rate. The one and the only reason is minimizing the manufacturing cost.
I am not telling you that recording with 96kHz is not professional. You can also get a pro-quality output with this sample rate but 192kHz is far better than 96kHz.
No Firewire connection
However, Class-C USB 2.0 is very fast technology. I was expecting at least firewire though. Unfortunately, it does not have a firewire port. But don’t worry a class-C USB 2.0 connection can be able to transfer 480Mbps or 480,000,000 bits per second.
If you use all 44 channels(full throttle recording) the maximum data transfer is 44 channels * 96000 samples * 24-bit sample depth = 101,376,000 bits per second. Obviously, it’s less than 480,000,000 bits per second(USB 2.0 maximum capability). This means iD44 can easily handle all 44 in/outs if your computer could handle that DATA transfer rate (traditional hard disks cannot handle that transfer rate. If you want to enjoy iD44 in full throttle, you should change your hard disk to SSD)
What’s In The Box
As aspected, you get the audio interface in the box.😀
But wait, you also get over $700 worth of plugins and software free with ARC. This bundle includes industry-leading plugins which shape your mix with pro quality.
A high-speed Class-C USB 2.0 cable, a PSU and manuals are also included in the box. But you don’t get driver and firmware CD/DVD in the box. You have to separately download these from Audient’s Official website here.
Don’t forget to register your product for the warranty as well as to download your software and plugins bundle.Checkout iD44 on Amazon
Do I really need this?
The answer is very simple. If I want to upgrade my old cheap audio interface then this will be my first choice to upgrade. After all, with $699 I’m getting a 20in/24out audio interface.
But if I already have a pro audio interface like Fireface or Motu, I don’t need it at all. For home recordists who can’t afford a high-end card, this is a good alternative. However, I love ASP8024 preamp for their great quality so I can think of off getting this audio interface.
The choice is yours. Above I told you that in what circumstances I prefer to own Audient iD44 audio interface. Now the decision is yours. If you are home recordist and upgrade your card then this would be a better choice for you. Keep in mind, to use optical inputs you should have a separate digital mixer which cost you more than a pro audio interface. If you can survive with 6 analog ins then this card is for you as you get a legendary ASP8024 preamp with this card which is a great deal I think.
You must compare with the alternatives when going to buy Audient iD44. Have a look at these alternatives.
Price – $499.00
Genuinely not as much comparable to Audient id44. Universal audio Arrow is much cheaper then Audient iD44. You can consider upgrading your 2 channel audio interface to it.
I have used Focusrite and I know their input quality. They could be a good choice when upgrading your audio interface. Focusrite has a wide range of USB series audio interface. Scarlett 18i20 is a good alternative to Audient iD44 audio interface.