I recently published a review and buyer's guide on the top ten best audio interfaces you should get if you are serious about music production.
I broke down the factors you need to consider if you need to get a superb interface, and I rounded up the post by recommending the ten best audio interfaces.
Since Fl studio is one of the most downloaded and used DAW applications in the world, it makes sense to consider recommending an interface that works best for Fl, though any audio interface / external sound card should be able to work with Fl right out of the box, as long as you have a way of connecting the audio interface to some computer with cables.
Regardless of the situation, Let me guide you on how to choose an interface for Fl studio, tips, and my recommendations.
- Helpful Guide & Tips!
- How To Choose Your FL Studio Audio Interface
- ADAT For Expansion
Helpful Guide & Tips!
As you all know, an audio interface is responsible for the playback of your audio from your computer, and your pc comes preloaded with one (it might likely be in your pc or a chip on your motherboard), that chip is the one responsible for making the sound you hear or in playback.
Even if your PC has an interface by default, you might still need an external audio interface for various reasons.
And here's why you might need one...
- You need an audio interface if you want to work with a professional microphone (XLR).
- The default interface chip on your motherboard won't be able to correctly plug in a balanced input, if you wish to properly plug in a balanced input or a good pair of studio monitors to check your mixes on, without an external audio interface, you won't have anywhere to plug those in.
- If you plan on recording live instruments or vocals.
An audio interface or an external sound card would make you listen to a better representation of an audio sample.
Does that imply choosing any interface?
There are lots to consider before choosing an interface, knowing these factors would not only be useful but a lifesaver for you.
Before I list the things you need to consider before choosing an interface for Fl studio, let me answer one of the most-asked questions about an interface.
Would an audio interface affect the quality of your rendered track?
An audio interface is used to playback a better and more precise version of your digital audio data that has been processed by your daw or music production software.
It has nothing to do with the quality of your rendered (output) tracks except if used to record or recorded samples in your track.
I guess this is an eye-opener for you about how an audio interface work, Let's work through the proper way of choosing an audio interface for Fl Studio.
How To Choose Your FL Studio Audio Interface
There are a few factors to take into consideration when sifting through audio interfaces. I covered this part in the best audio interface guide, and I'll cover it again.
Here's a checklist to use:
The more you pay for an audio interface doesn't result in a better interface, if you are not going for multiple recordings, and if otherwise, go for a higher range (which is recommended in this guide).
Audio Interface Connector
Types of connectors are USB, Firewire, and Thunderbolts. USB is mostly used in a home studio, and if your budget carries the weight, you can opt for Firewire. From personal experience, If you need a faster data transfer rate, go for Thunderbolt; it's faster than either USB or Firewire.
Note: The higher you go, the better the transfer rate, and an added plus to your dough.
Input and Output Count (I/O)
I can't stress this enough If you are going for multiple recordings; opt for more inputs and output for your equipment, and if you are going for fewer records; go for lesser input and output.
Don't waste money on more input where you likely won't use it.
Alternatively, you can use Adat for expansion, which I would explain in the next section.
Added Tip For Input and Output Count (I/O)
I/O is confusing to some, but it's plain simple.
This is what it means...
Input means you are connecting a device to your audio interface to feed your DAW, for example, if you are recording a vocal with your mic, all you are doing is feeding your DAW the audio data recorded from your Mic.
Output means you sending "Out", e.g. send data from your DAW software to either your studio speakers or your headphone.
Just remember - Input means "In", and Output means "Out."
ADAT For Expansion
This is good for minimizing load (I/O), as well as maximizing the Input and Output count. An Adat enabled interface will help you to expand your input count with an optical cable without buying a new interface with more count.
The cost of an ADAT-equipped interface is cheaper than buying an interface with various inputs on board.
Recommended Audio Interface For Fl Studio
Time to make your choice of an Audio interface for Fl Studio. The advantage of Fl studio 20 is that it has a super-intuitive user interface, and is immensely easier to learn if you have no prior experience.
I selected some Thunderbolt connectivity interfaces as it is the fastest, and also some interfaces with an ADAT option. I also chose some USB interfaces as it's relatively cheap.
As you read along with the recommendation below, note the Input and Output count if it's expandable (ADAT), and the connector (USB or Thunderbolt).
1. UA Apollo Twin (2-in/6-out)
An audio interface wouldn't affect the quality of rendered track unless used to record directly into your DAW but do know UA Apollo Twin can reduce the strain on your host CPU.
It does Real-time UAD Processing for tracking through vintage compressors, EQs, tape machines, mic preamps, and guitar amp plug-ins with very low latency.
It's a USB 3 audio interface that allows you to record faster than the regular USB 2.0 bus-powered. You are also powered with a stunning 24/192kHz audio conversion rate and high-quality Mic preamps.
What's interesting about this interface is that you have an ADAT in, meaning you can expand the input of your audio interface, and also use it for processing with almost zero latency.
Who is this recommended for? - Studio of all level who wants a compact, and portable audio interface while also providing a pro sound quality with options to expand with an ADAT in.
- 2 -input/6-output
- ADAT for more input expandability
- USB 3.0 bus-powered
- Compatible with Windows 7 or higher (64-bit Editions) only
- It Includes a 'Realtime Analog Classics' plug-in bundle - featuring a vintage compressor, EQs, and so on.
- Desktop 2x6 Super Speed USB 3.0 audio interface for Windows 7/8 with world class 24 bit/192 kHz audio conversion
- Real-time UAD Processing for tracking through vintage compressors, EQ's, tape machines, mic preamps, and guitar amp plug-ins with near zero latency.
- Unison technology gives you the tone of the world's most sought-after mic preamps - including their impedance, gain stage "sweet spots", and component-level behaviors. Compatible VST, RTAS, or AAX 64 plug-in host DAW software
- Runs UAD Powered Plug-Ins via VST, RTAS, and AAX 64 i8n all major DAWS. Includes the "Real-time Analog Classics" UAD plug-in bundle. All other plug-ins are sold separately via the UA Online Store. All trademarks are property of their respective owners.
- 2 premium mic/line preamps, 2 line outs, front panel Hi-Z instrument input and headphone out, 2 digitally controlled analog monitor outs for full resolution at all listening levels, up to 8 channels of additional digital input via Optical connection
2. Focusrite Saffire Pro 14 (8-in/6-out)
This is one of my favorite interfaces of all time, and I like it for a couple of reasons:
You get high-end features at a reasonable price, come bundled with an 8-in/6-out Firewire interface with two astonishing Focusrite Mic preamps, XLR combo inputs (for balance input), line and instrument ins, and to sum all, you get an onboard DSP mixer that optimizes performance.
If you are a newbie and you're just getting started with a suite of plugins, then you would find the latest version of the Focusrite plug-in suite useful, the suite includes Reverb, Compression, Gating, and EQ - both VST and AU compatible.
That's not all. You also have an additional plugin packed with Saffire Pro - Xcite, which features lots of royalty-free loops, and a soft synth to start making music right away.
In cases where you need to upgrade your connectivity, you can go from firewire to Thunderbolt with an adapter.
- 8 -input/6-output
- Xcite+ software bundle
- 8 in/6 out FireWire audio interface with 2 Focusrite mic preamps
- High-quality 24-bit/96kHz FireWire interface
- Saffire MixControl ultra-low-latency DSP mixer/router
- Midnight Plug-in Suite (RTAS/AU/VST), Red 2 & Red 3 Plug-in Suite (AAX/AU/VST), and the Softube Time and Tone Bundle upon registration
- Xcite+ software bundle
3. Focusrite Scarlett (2-in/2-out)
Haha! One of the most used home studio interfaces in the world due to its portability and achieving great sound right out of the box.
You would love how this seamlessly integrates with Fl studio, a stunning conversion, and sample rates up to 192kHz / 24 bit-perfect for recording two mics at once. No worries with the Mic part, you have two natural-sounding Scarlett mic preamps and the same sound quality and digital conversion as the rest of the Scarlett range.
If all you need is a compact audio interface you can use on the go, and you don't need a lot of I/O's, I strongly recommend this audio interface for your Fl setup. It would serve you well.
Who is this recommended for? - Beginner Studio who isn't too concerned about more I/O, or who isn't interested in connecting multiple instruments at once.
- 2 -input/2-output
- No ADAT option
- USB bus-powered
- Compatible with Windows 7 or higher, and Mac OS X 10.10
- Two natural-sounding Scarlett mic preamps with plenty of even gain; two instrument inputs, 1/4-inch balanced jack outputs to connect professional studio monitors; one headphone output with gain control
- Class-leading conversion and sample rates up to 192kHz / 24 bit; super-low roundtrip latency for using your plug-ins in real time without the need for DSP
- LIMITED TIME OFFER: FREE Venomode DeeQ, Maximal 2, and Pivot, plug-ins upon registration and download.
- Includes Pro Tools | First Focusrite Creative Pack and Ableton Live Lite, Softube Time and Tone Bundle, Focusrite’s Red Plug-in Suite, 2GB of Loopmasters samples, Choice of one free XLN Addictive Keys virtual instrument, all available via download upon purchase and registration
- Compatible with Windows 7 and higher, and Mac OS X 10.10 and higher. Frequency response - 20 Hz - 20 kHz ± 0.1dB. Supported Sample Rates: 44.1 kHz, 48 kHz, 88.2 kHz, 96 kHz, 176.4 kHz, 192 kHz. Focusrite now offers a 3-Year Warranty on this and all other Focusrite products.
4. Audient iD14 (10-in/14-out)
Audient iD14 provides you with high-performance conversion and a sample rate of up to 24bit/96khz. It has a few more ins and outs than most of the recommended interfaces on this page, and the most interesting thing is that you can expand the input with ADAT in, giving you an extra layer of 8-Channel.
Rugged and designed with two Audient console mic preamps, and Burr-Brown converter technology. That's not all. You have an option for user-defined function keys; customized the way you like, and make it the hub of your studio
Who is this recommended for? - Beginner and Professional Studios who would love to start with more inputs, and expand if necessary with the ADAT option.
- 10 -input/4-output + 2 Mic Preamps
- ADAT for more input expandability
- USB 2.0 bus-powered
- Compatible with Windows 10 & macOS High Sierra
- 10-in/4-out USB Desktop Audio Interface with 2 Class A Mic Preamps
- Burr-Brown Converters
- 8-channel ADAT Input
- JFET DI
5. PreSonus AudioBox (2-in/2-out)
If you are familiar with Studio One DAW, then you should be on the lookout for this one, as Presonus themselves are developing it. Decent-priced audio interface packed with lots of amazing features and free tools.
It is a 24-bit resolution device and has a high-quality sampling rate of 44.1 and 48KHz. The new version goes all the way to 96 kHz - which makes it ideal for recording instruments, and vocals.
One of the features I love about PreSonus AudioBox is the Asio Compatibility, which means a significant performance advantage when running FL Studio.
- 2-input/2-output channel
- No ADAT option
- USB 2.0 bus powered
- Bus-powered USB audio and MIDI interface
- 24-bit resolution, 44.1 and 48 kHz sampling rate
- 2 combo mic/instrument inputs with high-performance, low-noise, high-headroom mic preamplifiers
- Zero-latency analog monitoring
- Includes free download of Studio One 3 Artist DAW software and 6+ GB of third-party resources after product registration
- Compatible with almost all recording software for Mac- and Windows
One Last Thing!
I hopefully guided you through buying a better interface for Fl Studio, and I gave you some insight on how to choose an audio interface that fits your need, the next thing you need to do is to set up and start using your interface.
If you are using Focusrite Scarlett together with Fl Studio, you can check how to get it set up in this guide - How To Use Focusrite USB Audio Interface With Fl Studio.
If you aren't familiar with or don't know much about setting up an interface, use the manual (it's made to guide you), or drop your comment, and I'll help you out hopefully.
Good luck with good music, and I hope to see you at the top.