Red Dog Music | Oct 9, 2018 | 0
Audient iD22: hands-on review
Audient are no strangers to quality audio. from their high-end consoles, to their acclaimed pre-amps and their product history – such as the Sumo that I wished I’d bought when I had the chance! – but audio interfaces are something new for them. Once you’ve read our Audient iD22 review though, you’ll get the impression that they’ve thought this one through!
Audient iD22 review – features
The Audient iD22 is a USB audio interface, but with a few extra tricks that make it a great choice for studios and producers that only need to record a couple of sources at a time, but do it with fantastic quality.
The iD22 features two inputs, with two of those aforementioned acclaimed class-A preamps and an instrument input. The microphone channels feature independently switchable +48V phantom power, input pad, high-pass filter and polarity invert switch. The input channels also feature send and return jacks for patching in your outboard of choice should you wish to do any processing before your audio hits the converters.
On the output front – or should that be back – you get six analogue outputs: a master out stereo pair, an ALT out stereo pair and a stereo headphone output. All of these are separately addressable outputs, giving you the flexibility to configure a separate headphone mix, or to split this into two unbalanced mono signals and get a 5.1 system running.
The iD22 also features an additional 8 channels of inputs and outputs via the ubiquitous ADAT protocol, making it easy to add additional I/O to the system with your converters of choice.
The Audient iD22 certainly feels the part, it is solidly constructed, the knobs all have a reassuring weight and resistance to them, and there’s no way that you will switch those input channel switches accidentally! If we were to have one gripe, it would be that the switches are perhaps a little short. Given that the resistance of them is so sturdy, I can’t imagine that making them a little longer would lead to lots of accidental switching.
With a chunky volume knob, dedicated DIM and CUT buttons and additional features – such as ALT speaker switching and mono monitoring – available in the iD22 software mixer and controllable with the F buttons, the iD22 does a very good job at taking care of those monitoring workflow improvements without having to budget for a separate controller!
Audient iD22 review – hands on
Having spent a few weeks with the iD22 in my studio, I’ve had sufficient time to be impressed. I used the iD22 directly between my computer and monitors, taking my existing monitor controller out of the equation.
Setup was a breeze, with a straightforward install of the software, and the hardware was detected the next time I opened my DAW. Running through some existing mixes I had on the go, I spent some time just listening back and using the iD22 as a monitor controller, and found that it worked very well. Now, in my system I’ll stick with my Presonus Central Station, but only because I have a few different inputs I want to look after.
I spent a good amount of time running signals through the iD22, most often to send channels outside for some hardware processing, and the quality of the inputs and the converters was wonderfully transparent. This is not a preamp if you want colourful, ‘character’ sound, these preamps are clean, but, because they’re clean, they’re versatile. If you want character, patch in your character processor of choice in the insert, or process the way you want to while mixing.
I was using an early 2011 MacBook Pro on OSX Mavericks with Ableton Live 9, Wavelab 7 and Logic 9 and didn’t have any technical issues while testing. Until recently, the iD22 was Mac only, but Audient have now developed Windows drivers for the iD22, so now everyone can get in on the action!
Overall then, if you want to record one or two sources at a time through some quality preamps and converters, and take control of your monitoring with one built-to-last desktop interface, the Audient iD22 is definitely one to put on your list!
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