FL Studio is the total package for professional music producers and beatmakers alike.
Once you install FL onto your PC or Mac, you can start making beats and work on entire projects immediately.
To take your beats to the next level, you must have the right equipment, and to get that real studio sound, you’re going to want the best audio interface for FL Studio.
My best audio interface for FL Studio is the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, and you will soon see why.
It’s the best and most sound option to start with if you’re unsure of where to begin with FL Studio.
That said, I also listed down other recommendations that might suit you better.
FL Studio Audio Interface Reviews
1. Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (3rd Gen)
Overall Best Audio Interface for FL Studio
This USB audio interface for FL Studio features two mic preamps that perform at top levels.
This audio device includes Air Mode, which gives the audio you produce a bright and bold sound.
There are two high headroom instrument ins, perfect for bass or guitar. There are also two balanced line-ins that are perfect for sources at the line level.
The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 has all you need in a reliable audio interface.
- Comes with a free Nugen Audio mono filter elements plugin. Download after you register the product
- The product comes with a 3-year warranty
- It also includes quick-start tools. These are perfect for beginners that want to start exploring and learning
- No external drivers are necessary as it is a low latency device
- Great for recording two instruments at a time
- Excellent build quality and audio quality
- Lacks MIDI outputs/inputs It is USB powered, which is fine for most, but not good if you have a few USB ports on your PC/Laptop
2. M-Audio AIR 192|6
Best Audio Interface For Beginners
This USB audio interface for FL Studio will have you capturing ALL details of the sound you’re working with. Thanks to the 24-bit and 192 kHz resolution, The AIR 192|6 is an entry-level solution for production.
With low latency, it supports lightning-fast speeds of 2.59 Ms.
Plus, crystal preamps and A/D converters are designed to create the best audio recordings yet.
- USB and USB-C cables come included
- MIDI gear works well with this particular interface. It is easy to connect synths, sequencers, or external MIDI hardware using the 5-pin MIDI out
- Connectivity is on point: XLR ¼” TRS combo inputs, ¼” instrument in, ¼” stereo out, ¼” headphone out
- No monitor lag, as Ultra-fast USB-C Connection means no latency issues
- The construction of the interface is solid and has an excellent finish
- Beginner-friendly with great audio quality
- Tech support requires the use of a code that you get upon product registration
- No control over the instrument volume input via the interface knobs
3. Behringer UM2 U-Phoria
Best Budget Audio Interface for FL Studio
This audio interface is an affordable and simple way to start recording and editing music.
It is my favorite audio interface for FL Studio when it comes to beginners and budget-minded producers. This device has everything you NEED to get started.
There are good XENYX preamps and detailed instrument input. No matter your music style, your sound will come through clearly with this audio interface.
- Works with recording tools such as Ableton Live, Avid Pro Tools, and more
- Is able to stream 2 ins/2 outs with super-low latency to your Mac or Windows operating system
- Has a max sample rate of 48 kHz
- Works with Mac and Windows, especially Versions 8 and 8.1
- Very portable
- Fantastic sound for the price
- Made from plastic materials
- Driver support/functionality is lacking for Windows users
4. Focusrite Scarlett Solo
Lightweight Portable Interface
This audio interface features an aluminum chassis with all its audio ins on the front and the outs in the back.
You can’t help but feel like a pro when using the Focusrite Scarlett Solo because it’s so INTUITIVE. It sure made me feel special.
The Focusrite Scarlett Solo is a quality interface for FL Studio. It has a whole lot of features for a device with such a small footprint!
The mic preamps make the greatest of all mics sound the way they should; crystal clear. The gain knob makes the sound professional.
And the sample rate is 24 bits. Plus, it’s affordable!
- Focusrite Creative Pack, a free virtual instrument upon registration of the device, and Softube Time and Tone are included.
- Converters perform at studio quality levels, you record at 24 bits or 192 kHz
- Air mode gives your music a fantastic sound, and the instrument outs are PRIMO for bass and guitars. Playback is immaculate thanks to dual balanced outs
- The sound quality is top of the game
- Comes with Hi-z instrument out
- Great build quality
- Playback buffers even when a higher buffer size is set
- A crackling sound may occur when using USB 3.0 port
5. Universal Audio Apollo Twin USB Audio Interface
Industry Professional Quality
If you want to achieve that analog recording studio sound, then this is the device for you. The Universal Audio Apollo Twin USB Audio Interface works with both PC and Mac.
Mix and record your sounds with the UAD plugins, including compressors, reverbs, and Vintage EQs.
It’s all thanks to the UAD-2 Duo DSP processing, which brings power to the UAD plugins and doesn’t overload the CPU.
You can even emulate guitar amps and mic preamps. And, there are tons more plugins to choose from after that.
- Small interface with 2×6 SuperSpeed USB 3.0, excellent for laptop users
- Mic preamps feature the world’s best impedance and gain
- 2 premium line/mic preamps, front panel Hi-Z in. Plus, instrument and headphone out, and 2 analog outs for high res at all levels of listening
- Sound quality is at the top of its game
- Monitor control features include the ability for speaker switching and built-in talkback
- The Thunderbolt cable doesn’t come with this device
- The device handles 4 plugins at max; some plugins end up disabling each other
6. Behringer UMC 404HD
Best Multi-Input Interface
The UMC 404HD comes with 4 clean MIDAS mic preamps and +48 V phantom power, which is ideal for condenser mics. The recording rate is 192 kHz or 24 bits.
This audio interface for FL Studio is a great solution for singers, recording artists, producers, and steaming.
- Provides +48 V phantom power
- Very reliable.
- Runs on phantom power
- Small studio footprint
- Comes with four ins/outs
- Heavy EMF interference when recording bass or guitar
- Sounds/recordings not as bold as some other devices
Best Audio Interface For FL Studio: The Winner
So, now it’s time to ask yourself:
- What is your setup like?
- What is your music production style?
It will help you choose the interface needed for great sound recordings.
The time to start is NOW. You can do it, and you CAN afford it!
The best one overall is Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (3rd Gen). It works with musicians of all genres. I recommend getting the 2i2 audio interface and a good set of headphones.
Save your money for sample packs and VST so you can start making tracks and beats using your computer or laptop.
Buyers Guide: Choosing the Best Audio Interface for FL Studio
Is FL Studio Compatible with Mac and PC?
FL Studio is now multi-OS compatible. If you buy it, the license you get covers Mac and Windows.
If you already own a copy, you can secure the Mac edition at no extra charge. Projects are compatible with Mac and Windows program versions.
The most basic edition costs $99. No compatibility issues here!
FL Studio is a complete Digital Audio Workstation (DAW). It contains everything an artist needs to arrange, edit, record, and mix music and sound, so it sounds high quality.
- Current Version: In 2021, FL launched its most current version of the software, which is edition 20.8
- Tech Requirements: Works on Windows 8.1/10 and MacOS 10.13.6 or later. You will need an Intel Pentium 3 CPU or 2 GHz AMD. You need 4 GB disk space and 4 GB RAM. Having a more powerful CPU will enable you to run more instruments and FX.
- Specs: Version 20 features native Mac support. Time signatures, In-Situ rendering, Plugin Delay Compensation, Playlist arrangement, and much more
Style of Producer
What kind of music will you produce? The style you make will have an influence on the interface you buy.
- Hip Hop producers use a drum machine, so it may be best to choose an interface that comes with a virtual instrument. If you have a rapper or singer recording their vocals, make sure your interface has inputs.
- Dubstep/Bass House: Producing this style of music uses MIDI virtual instruments. You might also want to use analog equipment. So make sure you have the correct ins/outs to handle the rich sound of this musical genre.
- Band Music: If you’re going to be recording as a band, then your interface needs to able to connect instruments. No matter if you play bass, guitar, or record vocals, you are going to need inputs. The more the merrier.
- Inputs for recording instruments vs. MIDI controllers: HI-Z ins are good for recording instruments. Meanwhile, MIDI controllers use MIDI ins. This allows you to play virtual instruments in your DAW and get the sound you want.
Your budget makes a difference in terms of what products you can get. There are plenty of quality options at all price points.
A beginner interface will have what you need.
A two-channel desktop interface, or something that can handle two mono signals or one stereo signal, is all you need to get started.
A professional interface may be able to handle many inputs at the same time.
It’s for those of you who have advanced in recording or are producing sound on a professional level.
Size and Weight
The size of your interface matters. Will it go with you on the road? Will it stay at home?
- Travel: Make sure your device can fit inside a backpack or bag while you fly or drive.
- Studio Footprint: Make sure to measure the device, so it fits in your studio.
- Rackmount vs. Desktop: Do you have a studio rack, or will it fit on your desktop? Make sure the device you want fits in your studio.
The amount of microphone preamps matters, and so does their quality. The higher quality your mic is, the better the mic preamps need to be to get its full sound.
Get the best sample rate and resolution you are able to buy, which is 48k/24. Playback and record music in a transparent way, with true sounds and a clean mix.
This refers to the delay or the lag time, which affects the playback of audio. Low latency is best as you won’t hear a delay between performance and playback.
What or who will you be recording? It has an effect on what audio interface you should buy.
If you are recording instruments, look for an interface with a HI-Z input.
- Vocals: Vocals will need you to buy an interface with quality mic preamps.
- Synths: You will want to make sure there is a MIDI for this instrument.
- DJ Scratches: Make sure your turntables can connect to your interface via an instrument I/O.
Inputs and Outputs
- XLR Inputs: These are for microphones and will be necessary for those of you recording vocals.
- Instrument Line Inputs: These are high impedance and great for passive instrument pickups which generate a voltage at line level rates, but with low power.
- Balanced Stereo: Get excellent sound quality by connecting a balanced cable. This will offer you excellent sound quality and clarity.
This is required for making mixing decisions. Quality studio monitors highlight all details of the sound you are hearing. Choose an interface that can handle your monitors of choice.
This is an output that can drive your headphones. Purpose-designed studio headphones are critical in making the sound you want.
Your headphones will be critical in hearing the final mix. Make sure your interface drives the headphones well.
ASIO Control Panel
What is it: ASIO is a PC sound card driver protocol. It produces a high-fidelity, low-latency interface between a sound card and a software application.
How does this affect using a sound card with FL Studio: FL studio has direct access to the sound card instead of communicating via the Windows OS. This delivers a huge performance improvement when using FL studio.
USB: Many computers use USB 2 or 3, which are both quite fast. USB can be found on both Windows and Mac computers.
Firewire: Data transfer rate is more consistent compared to a USB cable for this connection type. It’s great for multiple-channel recording. You may need to buy a Firewire card if your computer lacks it, but your interface requires it.
Thunderbolt: This has low latency AND high speed. It is the standard for audio interface connectivity. Thunderbolt 3 is twice as fast as Thunderbolt 2, and 8x faster than USB.
USB: With this mode, high-power devices like your interface meet and use power via the USB host. This is contrary to the external power supply used in traditional equipment.
External: These look very much like the laptop power supply you use for charging. These are for power audio interfaces that don’t have the components within to make use of the main power.
Phantom Power: This is an invisible power source that comes from the same cord. On the interface, you will see p48, which stands for 48-volt ratings.
Free Mixing Software: Yes, you can use free mixing software. Some good examples for Mac include Audacity, Audiotool, and Ocenaudio. For Windows, you can try Winamp or Virtual DJ.
VST Support: A good VST can offer you instruments like synths. VST effects are helpful in processing the audio instead of generating it.
They can emulate outboard gear like maximizers or compressors. Making sure you have excellent VST support is critical, so you don’t miss out on something useful.
Compatibility: Make sure that whatever software you choose works with your computer. Mac and Windows are different, so download the right one!
FL Studio 20.8 Update
New Update Specs: There are too many advantages to discuss here, so check out this list!
The new update offers you more MIDI controllers. The ability to create music videos, and includes audio time warping/distortion…and a lot more.
Producers That Use FL Studio: Curious about who’s using FL Studio? Mike Will Made It, Metro Boomin, Afrojack, and even the late great Avicii used FL studio to create amazing sounds.
Customer Questions & Buying Debates
Below is a compilation of the most common questions I get asked.
These answers are here to help you buy the best audio interface for your FL Studio setup.
How Does Buying an Audio Interface Benefit Me?
Most of the time, people ask me, “Why do I have to spend this money on an audio interface?” After all, the computer you have has a sound card, so what’s the difference?
Yes, the sound card is an interface. But it cannot handle the information you are putting into it when you play your instrument or sing into it.
Your music, even when recorded and mixed, sounds amateurish at best.
Audio sound cards are a consumer-grade product with a stereo line level. This is only ideal for connecting audio players and items like headphones.
It might have a stereo headphone and speaker out, and that’s about it.
If you are recording simple things such as your voice or your guitar, you still need an interface.
When recording you will need an XLR in for the mic, plus you will need a Hi-Z phone plugin for guitars.
High-quality outputs will allow you to produce music and sound using speakers/headphones.
The outputs should let you play recordings back with no noise. It also reduces the jitter or latency that comes with most audio interface options.
Why Audio Interfaces Matter?
Audio interfaces matter because they help you create audio that is top quality.
This hardware connects microphones and other audio tools to your computer. Now you can record and process audio that you recorded.
The audio interface changes analog signals to digital formats, making it easy to process it all on your computer.
Whether you use Thunderbolt, Firewire, or USB, the audio goes to your computer, takes digital audio from the Mac or PC, and can be listened tothrough studio monitors or headphones.
Most audio interfaces have analog line-level ins/outs and mic preamps and may include digital ins and outs.
As a result, connectivity is a big deal. Make sure you pay attention to the computer you have. Connectivity between PC and Mac may cause issues with your audio interfaces.
USB is the most common connection type. While Macs use Thunderbolt or Firewire. PCs and Macs may use USB 2 or USB 3, while Firewire is usually Mac-exclusive.
All these methods work wonderfully; they offer480 Mbps of speed so you can record 64 tracks at once.
They do have their advantages and disadvantages, so make sure you read up on them.
What to Look For In An Audio Interface?
Not sure which is the best audio interface for you?
You might feel a little overwhelmed about what to buy, and that’s OK. In this section, I will go over the main things to consider when it’s time to pick up an audio interface.
You can see that the number of audio interfaces available for your perusal is huge.
To narrow it down, here are some key things to consider as you pick the very best one.
- What ins/outs (I/O) do I require?
- How much money can I spend?
- What level of sound quality do I want?
- Will it work on my computer?
These are the basic questions to answer when choosing an interface that works best for your needs.
More Advanced Things to Look For in Audio Interfaces:
When you take an audio sample, you are taking a small bite of the recorded audio. The CD standard has a sample rate of 44.1 kHz. It’s a good sample rate because it can produce frequencies that get as high as 22.05 kHz.
At max, human beings can only hear a sample rate of 20kHz, so a 44.1 kHz sample rate is more than enough to capture and recreate sounds.
This has an impact on sound quality of an audio interface. 24 bits is the smallest professional-level sound.
It has a range of 144 decibels, which makes it easy for audio production teams to process. Meanwhile, 16-bit audio only includes 96 decibels of range.
Quality of Product
Sample rates and bit depth don’t matter when the quality of the converter comes into play.
It’s like a car that looks cool on the outside, but is actually a junk pile under the hood.
The same goes for a low-brow converter. It may be able to handle 24 bits to 96 kHz, but you end up with low fidelity and a sound that isn’t appealing to anyone.
Now that you know why it’s essential to buy an audio interface for FL Studio, it’s time to start recording and take the next step toward turning your producer dreams into reality!
December 28, 2022 – minor formatting updates
May 27, 2022 – updated internal links
April 19, 2022 – updated links, minor content edits