Home studio Gear PT 1: Audio Interfaces

Welcome back to the blog.

Today, we’re starting a series on home studio gear with a crucial piece of gear for any home studio: the audio interface. This device is the bridge between your instruments and your computer, converting analog signals into digital audio that your DAW can process, and the digital signals from your DAW back into analog signals your speakers & headphones can reproduce.

Choosing the right audio interface can significantly impact your recording quality and workflow, so let’s explore some excellent options across various price ranges.

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2: The Budget-Friendly Option

For those just starting out or on a tight budget, the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (4th Gen) is a fantastic choice. Priced at $199.99, it offers:

  • 2 Mic/Line/Instrument Inputs: Ideal for recording vocals and instruments simultaneously.
  • 69dB of Gain with Air Mode: Adds brightness and presence to your recordings, emulating top-of-the-line studio preamps.
  • High-Performance Converters: 120dB dynamic range ensures your recordings retain their clarity and detail.
  • Auto Gain and Clip Safe Features: Simplifies achieving optimal recording levels.
  • Included Software Bundle: Pro Tools Artist, Ableton Live Lite, and Hitmaker Expansion with essential plug-ins.


This interface provides a robust foundation for beginners and several of my clients have gotten their start in audio production with this one. In all honesty, you will probably want to upgrade from this one eventually for better sound quality and especially if you’re looking for on-board DSP, but as a starting point for creators wanting to get going on their music, it’s a pretty good jumping off point.

 For more details, check out the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 on Sweetwater.

Apogee Duet: The Midrange Marvel

Stepping up a bit, the Apogee Duet offers a significant upgrade in terms of sound quality and build. Priced at $649, it’s an ideal choice for serious hobbyists and semi-professional producers. Key features include:

  • 2 Ins/4 Outs: Provides versatility for connecting multiple devices.
  • Legendary Apogee Conversion: Renowned for pristine audio quality.
  • iOS Compatibility: Allows recording on the go with your iPhone or iPad.
  • OLED Display: Clear and easy-to-read interface for monitoring levels.


The Duet is compact, sleek, and strikes a perfect balance between affordability and high-end performance, making it a staple in many home studios. I have heard some folks have issues with the Windows integration (probably a better option for Mac users), and the breakout cable approach to the connectors isn’t my favorite, but if you want a good sounding interface without having to step up to the next tier, it’s a solid option.

 For more details, visit the Apogee Duet 3 on Sweetwater.

UA Apollo Twin: The Premium Powerhouse

For those ready to invest in a premium interface, the UA Apollo Twin is a game-changer. This is the interface I currently use, priced at $999, and it has transformed my production workflow with its exceptional features:

  • Unison Preamps: Emulates the sound of classic analog preamps, delivering unmatched tonal variety.
  • Real-Time UAD Processing: Allows recording with near-zero latency, even when using complex plug-ins.
  • Robust Build Quality: Built to last, with a sleek and intuitive design.
  • 10×6 Thunderbolt 3 Connectivity: Ensures ultra-fast data transfer and low latency.


The Apollo Twin is perfect for producers who demand professional-quality recordings and the flexibility to shape their sound with high-quality plug-ins. I’ve used this thing for years and it’s held up extremely well (I even fell on it during a scooter accident, do not recommend testing that…).  If I had to point to a downside, there is a bit of a learning curve in terms of the built in Console software, but it’s well worth it to get the full benefit of the Unison and real-time monitoring capabilities of the unit.

For more details, check out the Universal Audio Apollo Twin X DUO on Sweetwater.

Neumann MT 48: Sweet Dreams Are Made of This

Looking ahead, my next upgrade will be the Neumann MT 48. This interface is a collaboration between Neumann and Swiss high resolution interface maker Merging Technologies. Priced at $1,850, it offers:

  • Up to 192 kHz/24-bit conversion: Ensures the highest possible fidelity for your recordings.
  • 2 Mic/Line Preamps: Up to 78dB of gain for crystal-clear sound.
  • Multiple I/O Options: 12-in/16-out, including ADAT, S/PDIF, and AES67 digital expansion.
  • Built-in DSP Effects: Fully parametric 4-band EQ, dynamics processor, and reverb.
  • Intuitive Touchscreen Control: Manage settings and monitor mixes directly from the interface.


The MT 48 is designed for those who want the absolute best in audio performance and are ready to invest in a truly top-of-the-line interface.  It’s also optimized for Neumann’s KH series speakers (ranging from $1,100 to $10,500 for a pair depending on the model) and their NDH series headphones ($549 for closed-back, $649 for the open back).  Feel free to contact me if you’d like to donate towards my Neumann dream studio fund.

For more details, visit the Neumann MT 48 on Sweetwater.


Whether you’re just starting out or looking to upgrade your existing setup, there’s an audio interface that suits your needs and budget. The Focusrite Scarlett offers great value for beginners, the Apogee Duet provides a solid midrange option, the UA Apollo Twin brings premium features to your home studio, and the Neumann MT 48 is the ultimate choice for those seeking the highest quality.

I hope this guide helps you make an informed decision about your next audio interface. Stay tuned for more insights and tips on building the perfect home studio. As always, feel free to leave comments or questions below – I’d love to hear about your experiences and help you on your sound journey.

Stay creative,

Rick Torres

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