Best Audio Interface for FL Studio

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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 entire projects straight away.  

To take your beats to the next level, then you must have the right equipment.  To get that real studio sound you’re going to want the best audio interface for FL Studio.

If you are in a rush to get straight to the winner, then click the link below.

Our Best Audio Interface for FL Studio is the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, and you will soon see why. It’s the best place to start if you’re not sure where to begin your FL Studio.

FL Studio Audio Interface Reviews

Best Overall Interface

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (3rd Gen)

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (3rd Gen) USB Audio Interface with Pro Tools | First

It is an audio interface that features two mic preamps that perform at top levels. This device includes Air Mode, which gives the sounds 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.

  • Comes with a free Nugen Audio mono filter elements plugin. Down load, 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.
Pros
No external drivers necessary It is a low latency device. Great for recording two instruments at one time
Cons
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

Our Rating 4.7/5

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Best Beginners Interface  

M-Audio AIR 192|6

M-Audio AIR 192|6 - 2-In 2-Out USB Audio / MIDI Interface with Recording Software from Pro-Tools & Ableton Live, Plus Studio-Grade FX & Instruments

This audio interface 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 producing.

With low latency, it supports lightning-fast speeds of 2.59 Ms.

Plus, crystal preamps and A/D converters 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 in, ¼” instrument in, ¼” stereo out, ¼” headphone out.
Pros
No monitor lag Ultra-fast USB-C Connection means no latency issues. The construction of the interface is solid and has an excellent finish.
Cons
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.

Our Rating: 4.5/5

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Budget FL Studio Interface

Behringer UM2 U-Phoria

BEHRINGER Audio Interface, 1x XLR/TRS 1x 1/4' 2X RCA USB, Black, 1-Channel (UM2)

This sound card is an affordable and simple way to start recording and editing music.

It is our favorite when it comes to beginners and budget-minded producers. This device has everything you NEED to get started.

There are good XENYX preamps and a detailed instrument in.

No matter what style of music you produce your sound will come through clearly on this sound card.

  • Works with recording tools such as Ableton Live, and Avid Pro Tools and more
  • Is able to stream 2 ins/2 outs with super-low latency to your Mac or Windows
  • Has a max sample rate of 48 kHz

Complete Review – Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 

Pros
Works with Mac and Windows, especially 8 and 8.1 It is a very portable model Has fantastic sound for the price
Cons
Made from plastic materials Driver support/functionality is lacking for Windows users

Our Rating 4.2/5

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Lightweight Portable Interface  

Focusrite Scarlett Solo

Focusrite Scarlett Solo (3rd Gen) USB Audio Interface with Pro Tools | First

Featuring an aluminum chassis and 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.

The Solo 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
  • Converters perform at studio quality levels, you record at 24 bits or 192 kHz
  • Air mode gives your music fantastic sound, and the instrument outs are PRIMO for bass and guitars. Playback is immaculate thanks to dual balanced outs.
Pros
Affordable The sound quality is top of the game Comes with Hi-z instrument out
Cons
Playback buffers even when high buffer rates are set A crackling sound may occur when using USB 3 port

Our Rating 4.7/5

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Industry Professional Quality

Universal Audio Apollo Twin

Universal Audio Apollo Twin USB High-Resolution USB Interface with Realtime UAD DUO Processing

If you want to achieve that analog recording studio sound, then this is your guy.

The Apollo USB twin works with Windows 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 after that.

  • Small interface with 2×6 SuperSpeed USB 3.0, excellent for Windows 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
Pros
Sound quality is top of its game. Monitor control features include the ability for speaker switching and built-in talkback.
Cons
Thunderbolt cable doesn’t come with this device. The device handles 4 plugins at max; some plugins end up disabling each other.

Our Rating 3.7/5

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Best Multi-Input Interface

Behringer UMC 404HD 

BEHRINGER Audio Interface (UMC404HD)

The UMC 404HD comes with 4 clean MIDAS mic preamps. +48 V phantom power, which is ideal for condenser mics, and the recording rate is 192 kHz or 24 bits.

This unit is a great solution for singers, recording artists, producers, and steaming.

  • Provides +48 V phantom power.
  • Very reliable.
Pros
Runs on phantom power Small studio footprint Comes with four ins/outs
Cons
Heavy EMF interference when recording bass or guitar Sounds/recordings not as bold as some other devices

Our Rating 4.4/5

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Best Interface For FL Studio | Winner

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (3rd Gen) USB Audio Interface with Pro Tools | First

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 music.

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 sound card and a good set of headphones.

Save your money for sample packs and VST so you can start making tracks and beats using your PC or laptop.

Sale
Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (3rd Gen) USB Audio Interface with Pro Tools | First
  • Two of the best performing mic preamps the Scarlett range has ever seen, now with switchable air Mode to give your recordings a brighter and more open sound. Two high-headroom instrument inputs to plug in your guitar or bass. Two balanced line inputs, suitable for connecting line-level sources.
  • High-performance converters enable you to record and mix at up to 24-bit/ 192kHz.
  • Quick start tool to get up and running easier than ever.
  • Includes Pro Tools | First Focusrite Creative Pack, Ableton Live Lite, Softube Time and Tone Bundle, Focusrite’s Red Plug-in Suite, 3-month Splice subscription, and your choice of one free XLN Addictive Keys virtual instrument, all available via download upon purchase and registration
  • LIMITED TIME OFFER: FREE Reason Lite upon registration and download.
Winner!

The Best Audio Interface FL Studio   – Focusrite Clarett 2Pre 

Compete Buyers Guide

PC / Mac Compatible

Is FL Studio Compatible with Mac and PC?

FL Studio is now multi-OS compatible- If you buy FL studio, the license you get covers Mac and Window. If you currently own FL studio, you can buy the Mac edition at no extra charge. Projects are compatible with Mac and Windows program versions. The most basic edition costs $99.

Imac and mac computer mouse photo in office

Fl Studio

This is a complete Digital Audio Workstation (DAW). It contains all an artist needs to arrange, edit record and mix music and sound, so it sounds high quality.

  • Current Version: In 2019, FL launched its most current version of the software, which is edition 20.6
  • Tech Requirements: FL Studio works on Windows 8/10 and MacOS 10.13. You will need an Intel Pentium 3 CPU or 2 GHz AMD. You need 2 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 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 are 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.

Budget

Your budget makes a difference in what product you get. There are quality options at all price points.

Beginner

A beginner interface will have what you need. This is the bare bones to get started. A two-channel desktop interface is all you need to get started. Something that can handle two mono signals or one stereo signal. It is more than enough for basic needs.

the beginners guide to beatmaking written in chalk

Advanced

 A professional interface may be able to handle many inputs at the same time. It is 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 in 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 as you like in your studio.

Pre-Amps

The amount of microphone preamps matters, and so does their quality. The higher quality your mic is, the better mic preamps you need to get its full sound.

Resolution

Get the best sample rate and resolution you are able to buy. 48k/24 bit is the best.  Playback and record music in a transparent way, with true sounds and a clean mix.

Latency

This refers to the delay or the lag time, which affects the playback of audio. Low latency is best; you won’t hear a delay between performance and playback.

Recording

What or who will you be recording? It has an effect on what you should buy.

producing beats in a bedroom studio black and white image

Instruments

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 in 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.

Studio Monitors 

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.

four studio monitors on speakers stands

Headphone Output

This is an out that can drive your headphones.  Purpose designed studio headphones are critical to making the sound you want.

Headphone Production

Your headphones will be critical in hearing the final mix. Make sure your interface drives the headphones well.

ASIO

What is it: This is a computer sound card driver protocol. It is 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 having to communicate via the Windows OS. This delivers huge performance improvement when using FL studio.

Connection Type

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 USB. 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 but high speed. It is the standard for audio interface connectivity. Thunderbolt 3 is twice as fast as Thunderbolt 2 and 8x faster than USB.

Power Supply

USB: With this mode, high power devices like your interface meet and use power via the USB host. Instead of the external power supply use in traditional equipment.

External: These look very much like the laptop power supply you might use. The power 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.

Software

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, it works with your computer. Mac and Windows are, well, different- so download the right one!

FL Studio 20.7 Update

FL Studio DAW on monitor screen and mobile phone

New Update Specs: There are too many advantages to discuss here- 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 we 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 us, “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. Music, even when recorded and mixed, sounds amateurish at best.

Audio sound cards are a consumer-grade product with a stereo line-level. That 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. Because the sound card is lacking in connections.

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. Also reducing jitter or latency that comes with most sound cards.

Why Audio Interfaces Matter?

So you can 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.

Using Thunderbolt, Firewire, or USB, the audio goes to your computer. Take digital audio from the Mac or PC and listen to it through studio monitors or headphones.

Most 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 interface.

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?

midi interface and controller

You might feel a little overwhelmed about what to buy, and that’s OK. In this section, we 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 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.

Ask Yourself:

  • 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 choose an interface that works best for your needs.

  • More Advanced Things to Look For:
  • Sample Rate

When you take an audio sample, you are taking a small bite of the recorded audio. CD standard is 44.1 kHz. It is a good sample rate because it is able to produce frequencies that get as high as 22.05 kHz. At max, human beings can only hear 20kHz, so a 44.1 kHz sample is more than enough to capture and recreate sounds.

Bit Depth

This has an impact on sound quality. 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 under the hood is a junk pile. 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.