Recording at home is not proper without a box of audio interface because this tool is used to get a more professional sound out of your inputs for recording and mixing in the computer. If you are looking for a reliable box, Behringer UMC404HD vs Focusrite 2i4 are two ideal models to go from these popular audio equipment manufacturers. While they are equally a great choice, you may want to see what they can offer below before shopping so then we can choose better.
In this article, we are going to give you information about:
- The Importance of Audio Interface
- What are Behringer UMC404HD and Focusrite 2i4
- What Behringer UMC404HD and Focusrite 2i4 Look Like
- What Behringer UMC404HD and Focusrite 2i4 can offer to you
- How are the Sound Quality of Behringer UMC404HD and Focusrite 2i4
- Behringer UMC404HD vs Focusrite 2i4
Recording at home became our choice for developing the skills and walk the path of musician without having to spend much renting a full sized studio which many of us have to do in the past. Thanks to the development of technology which is not only make life more convenience but also for more people to reach what used to be untouchable for many of us back then. With a fairly small budget, today we can already get a reliable equipment to support the recording process especially with the help of plethora of music software.
Building a simple home studio can be as affordable or as expensive as you want it to be and it all depends on the users or musician who are going to utilize the setup. If you are making music or songs with vocals and instruments, what we need will be the input such as microphone and a guitar or keyboard, a computer for recording process, and then an output for monitoring purpose whether it is speaker or headphones as you prefer better.
Among these equipment, we also need another box and it is an audio interface to be placed between your input and computer. This piece of hardware may come in different shapes and fashion but most of them are covered in a box and its main purpose is to expand or improve the sonic capabilities of your computer. The most prominent benefit of having one in your setup is we will get a dedicated port to plug a condenser mics, instruments, and other signal to computer.
What’s more amazing, not only they will provide the inputs with a proper port, they will also improve the sound quality of our computer because everytime we record new track or listen through the monitor, the interface will reproduce a more accurate representation of the sounds which is why an interface is often deemed as an essential for anyone who are recording their music or producing centered on the computer. In addition, podcasters can also benefit from the performance of a good interface.
When looking for one, users may get overwhelmed by the wide range of options but first, the most important thing will be deciding on how many ports you need because it is one of the main reasons we have them. Most basic models are equipped with two separate inputs for microphones and instruments but if you are recording many sounds at once such as drums set or recording with more sources, the more, the better so we can put each mic for each portion properly.
About Behringer UMC404HD
If you want to improve your overall sound quality and have already set the budget to get a reliable audio interface, now is the time to shop for the unit. Those huge options is great to let us choose which the most ideal box to carry home, but it can be a time consuming as well. For those who want to shop quickly, you may want to see what other people are using because the one that suits most people will have a high chance of satisfying our preferences as well.
Behringer is one of the best options when looking for a reliable audio equipment but with less budget than many of its competitors because they are well-known to have lots of budget-friendly options in the catalogue including for an audio interface. Especially for anyone who plan to record several channels at once, the UMC404HD model is a very ideal option for you because this model is already featured with 4 inputs with phantom power and the popular Midas amp for clean and nice sound.
Behringer UMC404HD Design
As you can see on the sample picture above, this interface is very similar to many others in the same line because all of them are coming with these black fashion combined with silver lining on the front part. What we look on audio interface especially on build is the chassis and a metal model like this one is nice to both keep the unit sturdy and long lasting. The knobs and buttons at the front are all nicely attached to the box and feels nice to operate.
Behringer UMC404HD Input and Output
When looking for an audio interface, the first thing you may want to consider is the I/O because it is deciding how useful the equipment will be in real-life operation. As the name suggest, Behringer UMC404HD is featured with 4 XLR/TRS inputs and Midas preamp behind for your microphones or instruments. Each of these inputs are also paired with their own gain knob, Line/Inst switch button, and the Pad button with light indicator for users to maintain their input level.
Next to these panels, we get the last section which is compiling a Stereo/Mono switch button, main output volume, direct monitoring button, a headphone jack, and the level volume. Rotating the box, we get four ¼-inch inserts, two XLR and two ¼-inch Main out, two sets of RCA and ¼-inch playback output, a phantom power switch, a MIDI In/Out, a USB port, and a DC In power input.
Behringer UMC404HD Performance
The next important point to consider for an audio interface is their sound quality and as many users have said, the UMC line including this UMC404HD is a pleasant to use while the performance is better than what the price seems to be. Midas preamp is producing nice and clean sound despite in high gain while instrument like guitar also nicely reproduced since it has no issue with the hot pickups but in our opinion, the drums set user or MIDI users will benefit the most from this box.
About Focusrite 2i4
Before deciding on your option, it is wise to see what the other manufacturers are also offering so then we can compare them and see if any of these choices will be the best pick or if you should move forward. Another good interface for musicians who want to connect their analog MIDI to the computer and get a better sound quality out of their input is Focusrite 2i4 from the popular Scarlett line which is not only pleasant to work with but also pleasant to the eyes.
Focusrite 2i4 Design
We admit that Scarlett interface is one of the most, if not the most attractive audio interface in the market because they are visually pleasing with the bright red metal chassis and durable construction to keep your box useful for long. Instead of using the traditional small LED light, this line including 2i4 model is wrapping their knobs lining with an LED light for the gain function. The rest of knobs, buttons, and switch available are also stuck firmly and nice to touch.
Focusrite 2i4 Input and Output
Different from the 4-inputs model like the UMC404HD, Focusrite 2i4 is a basic interface with only two XLR/TRS combo jacks for the main input at the front and in a glance, very similar to the 2i2 little brother in our Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Vs PreSonus AudioBox here. These two channels are featured with their own gain knob, pad button, and Line/Inst switch while the channel two is also equipped with dedicated phantom power button so condenser users should use this port.
Checking the rear part, we can see the two balanced output port, two sets of RCA for line output, a set of MIDI In/Out port for your controller, and a USB port for connecting with computer and powering the interface.
Focusrite 2i4 Performance
On the performance, Focusrite 2i4 is as good as the popular little brother and in operation it doesn’t introduce any unusual level of noise as well as the preamp sound being very clean and pleasing. The latency is also quite low or even zero when recording guitars but some users have been experiencing certain issues when recording vocals, probably because of the headphone amp being underpowered yet, many of us also don’t find any latency while in similar situations so just beware about the possible problem.
Now, let’s compare Behringer UMC404HD with Focusrite 2i4. As you may already know, they are quite similar in terms of delivering a reliable performance and clean preamp sound quality but, UMC404HD is richer in input ports moreover, all of them are phantom powered while 2i4 only have one channel with the power. It also allows more effects connected to the box with the four inserts which are not present in the other interface.
Behringer UMC404HD vs Focusrite 2i4
All in all, the decision is all yours to make because not all of us will have the same preferences and it is best to pick the one which have all the features that match your needs. Between the two, however, we do like Behringer UMC404HD better since it provides more with a lesser cost.