Best Audio Interface for FL Studio
Buying an audio interface for FL Studio can be a daunting task for beginners in the field of audio. There are countless technical terms, specifications, and most importantly for us, compatibility issues that we need to be aware of before making a purchase. In this buying guide, we’ll run through the top 3 choices first. Then we’ll talk about audio interfaces and what qualities you’ll find in the best audio interface for FL Studio. Finally, we’ll go through the full list based on this criteria. Let’s get started!
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Last Updated: March 28th, 2020
In a Hurry? Here’s Our Top 3
5 of the Best Audio Interfaces for FL Studio
PreSonus AudioBox USB 96
Focusrite Scarlett Solo (3rd Gen)
Behringer U-Phoria UMC204HD
How to Find the Best Audio Interface for FL Studio
It’s important to know what to look for when searching for an audio interface, especially if you’re new to music production. We’re going to look at all of important things to consider about audio interfaces such as DAW compatibility, bit depth, sample rate, and I/O considerations.
Bit depth is a term that confuses many beginners. When we record a live voice through our audio interface, the interface is converting a continuous analog waveform into 0s and 1s that FL Studio can understand. Basically, bit depth is a metric that tells us how accurate the conversion from analog to digital will be for any given interface.
The sampling process records points at a set time interval determined by the sample rate. Each point is an approximation of what level the analog signal was at the time the sample was taken. The accuracy of this estimation is directly tied to the bit depth. A higher bit depth means a more accurate conversion. For pro audio, 24 bits is the standard.
Sample rate is how often samples are being taken when we’re recording. The more samples we take, the more accurate the conversion. Some sample rates can be as high as 192 kHz, meaning 192,000 samples are taken per second. It’s important to note, however, that higher sample rate is only better up until a certain point.
The Nyquist-Shannon Sampling Theorem states that, to accurately represent a sampled audio signal, the sample rate must be greater than twice the maximum frequency present in the sampled waveform. Since audio frequencies only go up to roughly 20 kHz, this means we really only need a 40 kHz sample rate to sample audio with complete accuracy. For this reason, the standard sample rate for consumer audio is 44.1 kHz. Of course, there is always debate on whether or not higher sample rates actually make a difference. It’s hard to say.
Next, let’s talk I/O. I/O stands for input/output, and your I/O needs are going to vary depending on what you’re trying to do in FL Studio. There are many different types of I/O, but for our purposes, we’ll cover the three most common ones you’ll see:
- XLR – This is the I/O used to connect your interface to a microphone. XLR cables bridge the gap between your mic and your interface. XLR can be an input or an output
- TS/TRS – this is the I/O usually used to connect instruments or studio monitors to your audio interface. TS and TRS cables are commonly called quarter inch cables (1/4″ cable).
- Headphone – Headphone outputs usually falls under the 1/4″ TRS category, but the main difference here is that headphone jacks are output only.
Before you buy an audio interface, make sure to keep track of how much I/O you’ll need, and which types. If you’re going to be recording multiple instruments or voices at once, obviously you will need to choose an interface with higher I/O count.
Best Audio Interface for FL Studio: Wrap Up
FL Studio is a great DAW for both beginners and pros. If you’re getting your first audio interface to use with FL Studio, the overflow of information and technical data can be confusing to navigate. We’re here to help!
Let’s wrap up what we learned here and what to look for:
- Bit depth – Also called resolution. This is the accuracy of the conversion from analog to digital. Look for at least 24-bit resolution for a professional level of quality.
- Sample rate – This is how many samples are take per second when doing recording work. We should shoot for at least 44.1 kHz. However, many modern interfaces will exceed that. Whether or not higher sample rate actually makes a difference is up for debate.
- I/O needs– Be sure to consider your specific situational needs. What’ll you be using your interface for? Will you need 1 input? Or 2? Or maybe even 4?
That’s it! We hope this guide helps you make the best choice for your FL Studio audio interface. Leave a comment below and let us know which one you get!