Whether you’re a professional musician or a hobbyist, having a good direct box is essential to getting the most out of your musical instruments. In this guide, we’ll show you the 10 best direct boxes of 2021 and how to choose the right one for your needs.
M-Audio Fast Track Ultra
M-Audio Fast Track Ultra
The M-Audio Fast Track Ultra is a 8×8 USB audio interface with 24-bit/96kHz recording and playback. It has two mic/line combo inputs with phantom power, four line inputs, six line outputs, S/PDIF I/O, MIDI I/O, and Direct Monitor control. The Fast Track Ultra also comes with Pro Tools Express and Ignite music creation software.
The Fast Track Ultra is a great sounding interface that is very easy to use. The included Pro Tools Express software is fantastic for getting started with music production. The interface has plenty of features and the ability to expand with additional I/O makes it very versatile. The build quality is excellent and the unit feels very solid. Overall, the M-Audio Fast Track Ultra is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a great sounding and easy to use 8×8 USB audio interface.
Alesis MultiMix 8
The Alesis MultiMix 8 is a great mixer for those who need a lot of inputs and outputs in a small form factor. It has 8 channels, each with its own EQ, level, and pan controls. The aux outs are very handy, as are the built-in effects. The only downside is that it doesn’t have a dedicated fader for the master output, but that’s a minor quibble. Overall, this is a great mixer for anyone who needs a lot of I/O in a small package.
Mackie Onyx Blackjack
The Mackie Onyx Blackjack is a premium 2×2 USB audio interface that delivers professional sound quality and features at an extremely affordable price. Featuring high-quality Onyx mic preamps, 24-bit/96kHz converters, and low-latency monitoring, the Blackjack is perfect for recording vocals, instruments, and podcasts. With its rugged construction and small footprint, the Blackjack is also ideal for traveling musicians and producers.
The Blackjack’s two Onyx mic preamps are identical to those found in Mackie’s flagship Onyx 1640i mixer, offering superb sound quality and clean gain. The preamps feature 48V phantom power for condenser microphones, as well as a -20dB pad for capturing loud signals without clipping. The rear panel of the Blackjack also features two TRS line inputs for connecting keyboards, drum machines, or other line-level sources.
Both the mic and line inputs are routed to the Blackjack’s 24-bit/96kHz converters, which deliver exceptional sound quality with a wide dynamic range. The Blackjack also features low-latency monitoring, which allows you to hear yourself clearly while recording without any delay. The front panel of the unit features a large monitor level knob, as well as a headphone jack with level control for private listening.
The Mackie Onyx Blackjack is powered via USB and comes with a free download of Tracktion 3 Music Production Software. The included software provides a complete DAW solution for recording, editing, and mixing your music. Overall, the Mackie Onyx Blackjack is an outstanding value for a USB audio interface and would make a great addition to any home studio or mobile rig.
Presonus AudioBox 22VSL
The PreSonus AudioBox 22VSL is a great little interface. I’m using it with Studio One 3 and it works flawlessly. The sound quality is excellent and the latency is very low. The only thing I don’t like about it is that the headphone output is on the front, which makes it a bit awkward to use if you’re not used to it. But other than that, it’s a great interface for the price.
The Tascam US-366 is a great value for the price. It’s a great sounding interface and it’s very easy to use. The only downside is that it doesn’t have a lot of features, but for the price, it’s a great interface.
I’ve been using the Tascam US-366 for about a month now and I’m very happy with it. The sound quality is excellent and it’s very easy to use. I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a simple, yet high quality interface.
The Roland Rubix22 is a great interface. It’s very simple to use and has low latency. The drivers are also very stable. I’ve been using it for a few months now with no issues.
The sound quality is excellent. I’m using it with Ableton Live and the integration is seamless. The only thing I wish it had was more I/O options, but that’s not a dealbreaker.
Overall, the Roland Rubix22 is a great interface that I would highly recommend to anyone looking for a simple, reliable, and affordable option.
The Zoom H6 is one of the most popular portable digital audio recorders on the market. It’s known for its high-quality audio recordings, portability, and ease of use. The H6 can be used to record both audio and video, and has a variety of different input and output options.
The H6 has six channels of audio recording, which makes it great for recording live music or interviews. It also has two XLR/TRS combo inputs, as well as a mini-HDMI output. The H6 can record up to 24-bit/96kHz audio, and comes with a 2GB SD card.
The Zoom H6 is a great choice for anyone looking for a portable digital audio recorder. It’s easy to use, has high-quality audio recordings, and is very versatile.
Focusrite Scarlett 2i2
The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 is one of the best selling USB audio interfaces in the world, thanks to its incredible sound quality and ease of use. And with the latest generation, Focusrite has made it even better.
The new Scarlett 2i2 features two upgraded Scarlet mic preamps with switchable 48V phantom power, so you can use it with any microphone. It also comes with a new instrument input that has been designed specifically for guitarists.
The interface has a much lower noise floor than the previous generation, so you’ll get cleaner recordings. And it comes with a free software bundle that includes Pro Tools | First and Ableton Live Lite.
If you’re looking for an easy way to get great sounding recordings, the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 is the perfect choice.
Behringer U-Phoria UM2
The Behringer U-Phoria UM2 is a great little audio interface for those looking to get into recording on a budget. It’s simple to use and sounds great, with low latency drivers that allow for easy monitoring while recording. The build quality is solid, and it comes with all the necessary cables and software to get started right away. Overall, the UM2 is a great value for the price and is perfect for anyone just getting started in recording.
I was a little hesitant to purchase this interface because of some of the reviews I had read, but I’m glad I did. The sound quality is fantastic, and it’s been working great for me so far. I haven’t had any issues with the drivers or latency, and the included software (Cubase LE) is really easy to use. If you’re on a budget and looking for a good interface to get started with, the UM2 is definitely worth considering.
Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6
The Komplete Audio 6 from Native Instruments is a great audio interface for those who want high quality sound without spending a lot of money. It has six inputs and outputs, including two microphone inputs, making it perfect for recording bands or other groups. The sound quality is excellent, and the unit is very easy to use.
There are some downsides, however. The first is that the software that comes with the Komplete Audio 6 is not as good as what you’ll get with other interfaces. The second is that the interface doesn’t have any sort of metering, so you’ll need to keep an eye on your levels yourself. Overall, though, the Komplete Audio 6 is a great value and a great sounding interface.