Are you wanting to record your song creations at home? Do you own an iPad? In this post we will talk about what is the best guitar interface for your iPad. Technology has come such a long way and today we are able to record at ease from our home.
Best Guitar Interface for iPad
An audio interface is a device that will connect your microphones, guitar, and other sources to your computer or device.
A better way to break it down is it’s a device for analog and digital to match. This works both ways, where it will turn the analog signals into digital and then digital signals into analog.
Now, not everyone has a Mac computer. Most people likely have a PC as their “home computer” but, may have Apple products such as an iPhone or iPad.
The interfaces we will review below will be able to be used with your iPad therefore it will capture the recordings. They will also (mostly) have at least one input for your microphone and one input for your instrument.
All you will need to record at home is an audio interface, computer software, microphone, guitar, and guitar cable and you will be ready and set up in no time.
Here are our top picks for the best guitar interface for your iPad so you can start recording today!
1. PreSonus AudioBox iOne USB Audio Interface
First up is the PreSonus Audiobox USB Audio Interface. This simple and easy-to-use interface offers a lot.
At a budget-friendly price, this is ideal for your home recordings. This interface gives you one 1 instrument input & 1 microphone input.
This comes with Capture Duo software that gives you a one-tap recording application. One recorded, then you can do a wireless transfer to Studio One software that works with both Mac and Windows.
Built to last and weighing just 1.35 pounds, you can take this interface anywhere. The Capture Duo and Studio One software is very easy to use.
With one click, you’ll be able to record up to two tracks at once and then send it right over to Studio One on your home computer.
Even if you do not want to use the software it comes with, you can use it with Garageband on your iPad.
- Budget friendly.
- Two inputs (instrument and microphone).
- Come with Capture Duo and Studio One Software.
- Easy to use. Record with one click.
- Control mix between the sound coming in and your own instrument.
- Learning software could be intimidating.
2. Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 USB Audio Interface
Next up is the Focusrite Scarlett audio interface. What you will get is two mic preamps along with two instrument inputs to plug into your guitar or even bass.
This interface comes with digital audio workstations (DAWs): Ableton Live Lite and Pro Tools First.
This interface is easy enough for beginners, but advanced enough for those more seasoned. You will get a lot of out these software programs.
You do not need any external drivers as this interface is a plug-and-play. The challenge can be that the software is a little more intricate and requires patience for setting up.
When recording a guitar you will experience no clipping or unwanted distortion. This interface makes it easy for you to set the input level so you will always have perfect audio playback.
- Small and lightweight.
- Includes Ableton Live and Pro Tools software.
- Two instrument inputs.
- Works with Macs and Pcs.
- No external power required.
- Two high performing mic preamps.
- USB driver installation is not simple.
- No on/off switch.
3. Steinberg USB Audio Interface
Next up is the Steinberg USB Audio Interface. This interface has all you need to get started recording in no time. You will get one mic output and one instrument output.
There are two gain knobs for your mic an instrument and an output volume knob. You can plug in a pair of headphones and you are ready to go.
This is compatible with both Windows and Mac so it’s perfect for your iPad and at a budget-friendly price.
Steinberg’s engineers teamed with Yamaha engineers to design this model. This includes the powerful Cubase AI software. You can record up to 32 audio tracks and up to 48 MIDI tracks.
Cubase also comes with virtual effects, plug-ins and preset drum loops.
Sturdy and built to last you can take this anywhere to set up and start recording.
- 1 mic output and 1 instrument output.
- Budget friendly.
- Comes with Cubase recording software.
- Built to last.
- Software includes effects, plug-ins, and drum loops.
- Compatible with Windows and Mac.
- Setup can be time consuming.
- No power button.
4. Focusrite Itrack Solo Lightning & USB Compatible Audio Interface
This is the 2nd interface from Forcusrite that makes our list of best guitar interfaces for your iPad. You will have one microphone and one guitar input which is perfect for recording both at the same time.
Compatible with both the Mac and Windows, this is great for the singer-songwriter who wants to record their creations.
The software included is really impressive as you will get the Abelton Live Lite 8, the Focusrite Scarlett Plug-in Suite, and Novation Bass Station.
You will also have access to Loopmaster samples via download which are royalty-free.
If you want to do some quick recordings and then layer the sounds and add rhythms etc., this would be an interface to look at.
Small and portable, this interface allows you to build a portable studio with as little hardware as possible.
- 1 mic output and 1 instrument output.
- Comes with Ableton Live Lite 8 Software.
- Direct monitor switch.
- Large monitor level dial.
- Two gain knobs.
- Registering and setup can be time consuming.
- Does not come with a USB C cable.
5. Moukey MSc1 Audio Interface
The MSc1 interface may be small in size, but has all you need as an the entry-level recording artist.
Featuring a stereo switch gain button and the new USB3.0 transmission makes communication with your device more smoother.
Comes with two inputs one for your microphone and the other for your instrument such as guitar, bass, or keyboard.
Made to last with metal casting and rubber control knobs this is not only made well, but also portable so you can take it everywhere.
No driver software is needed, although when plugged into a PC it will automatically download drives to be ready to use.
The Moukey will give you a very clear sound for what you are recording and the ability to monitor with headphones. You will need a USB to USB C converter if you have a Mac.
With the ease of use for this interface and the elimination of hours trying to learn how to operate it, you can get to recording quickly.
- No driver needed.
- Sturdy and portable.
- Budget friendly.
- Works with a smartphone.
- Great audio quality.
- Does not come with software.
- Will need a USB to USB C converter if you have a Mac.
6. IK Multimedia iRig HD 2 digital guitar interface for iPhone, iPad and Mac
The iRig makes our list as a bonus of sorts as it doesn’t have the one input for a microphone and one for an instrument.
This has a ¼” instrument input for a guitar or a bass. You also have an amp output for use with an amplifier or mixer.
There is also a headphone and speaker output which is perfect to use in silence at your home. IK’s software will also deliver very realistic gear and sounds.
At no additional cost you can download the AmpliTube app and then unlock a more extensive version at no cost.
From amps, pedals and cabs, you also will have access to a tuner, looper, and drum machine.
This is perfect for wanting an easy way to record your guitar or instrument though you iPad or iPhone.
- Fast and easy way to record your guitar.
- Budget friendly price.
- Good interface quality.
- Works on iPhone and iPad.
- Clean crisp sound.
- Ideal for quiet practicing and recording.
- Set up to unlock software is time consuming.
- AmpliTube can be temperamental.
Best Guitar Interface for your iPad: Buyers Guide
We just reviewed the best guitar interface options for your iPad. You see how easy they are to use once you get used to them.
At first they seem very intimidating and the thought of something with a high learning curve can overwhelm you.
The good news is that all the interfaces mentioned above are super easy to use. So let’s take a look at some frequently asked questions that will help you along your journey to picking the right audio interface for you.
What are digital audio workstations (DAWs) and which are the best?
A digital audio workstation (DAW) is a device or application software used for recording and editing audio files.
So which software is the best? There are two parts to that answer. First and foremost, the best digital audio workstation is going to be the one that you can operate and feel comfortable with.
However, you have to look at a DAW that will best support your workflow. If you are one for making beats in a way that’s non-linear then Abelton Live would work great.
If you’re one to record songs that are more suited for traditional bands then something like ProTools may be best.
For those composers out there and want things with built-in software instruments then Presonus Studios Live or even Garageband will be good options.
Most of the digital audio workstations have the same functionality at the end of the day. They just have different roads to get you there.
How does a USB interface record a guitar?
So the interface actually doesn’t record anything. What it does is connect the analogue signals from the instruments or microphone to digitals one so it can be read by your device or computer.
The software you are then using on your computer will then record the data from the interface.
How much impact does your chosen USB audio interface have on your final sound?
This is a great question. The pre-amps on the interface are what will make an impact and difference on the final sound IF you are plugging in a microphone or guitar onto them.
If you are plugging something like a keyboard or an fx pedal then it shouldn’t make much of a difference.
What will occur is the pre-amps raise the signal to a level that’s ideal for the digital converter.
What equipment is needed to produce music at home with my iPad?
In essence you will need your iPad, audio interface, digital audio workstation (DAW), a microphone, an instrument, and something to listen back to what you recorded (i.e. headphones).
If you would like to check out some options for headphones for recording, you can head over to our post on it here: Best Guitar Amp Headphones.
If you will be using an acoustic guitar for record, then you can head over to our post on best microphones for acoustic guitars here: Best Microphones for Acoustic Guitars.
Things can get complex and expensive but what we listed above will get you to where you want to go with getting set up and recording fast.
Do I really need an audio interface to record music at home?
If you want to record a typical guitar and vocal setup, then yes you will need an audio interface. Computers do come with stereo audio interfaces built in however, they won’t bring you the sound quality that an audio interface will bring you.
So yes, at minimum, you will need an audio interface.
Best Guitar Interface for iPad: Conclusion
In conclusion, we hope you have enjoyed reading our post on the best guitar interfaces available for your iPad.
I’d like to just state that, while I am by no means an expert at recording, having the ability to be able to set up your interface, your microphone, and your instrument, and then record is an amazing feeling.
The rest of the details with production and what particular software is best can come later. The key is your ability to capture these moments of creativity as they are happening.
Thank you for taking the time to read our post as we hope you have enjoyed it. We hope you have enough knowledge to move forth and hone in on the audio interface that’s right for you.
Remember to always HAVE FUN!!!
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