Voice over audio interfaces, when to spend a little $$

I am always on the quest to find the next great piece of voice over gear.   Not that I need it, just never know what I’m missing.    A couple of days ago I did a ‘why the hell not’ purchase of a new USB audio interface after hearing a fellow VO friend mention it was a good unit.   I was using a Focusrite FORTE for voice over recording (keep in mind, only using it to convert the analog output from my audio gear to digital, wasn’t using the preamps in the unit) and I liked it.   But had heard some good things about the Audient ID14 usb interface.     Got a good deal on a ‘as new’ one ($200) vs the retail price of $299, figuring I wouldn’t loose much if any if I didn’t like it and needed to resell.    In the past I had used an RME Babyface for voice over recording, but actually found it too clean and sterile.  I know, you don’t expect a USB interface to introduce character to a voice file, but the converters can add some flavor.    Anyway, got the Audient hooked up and dialed in and love it.   It’s kind of a mix between the Forte and the Babyface in terms of some character but also very clean.    I hear good things about the preamps in the Audient interfaces, but since I don’t plan on using the phantom power/preamps, I can only attest to the sound of the converters….love it.       My ‘studio B’ setup (that I do auditions on a dozen or so times a day) uses the Scarlett 2i2 For converting and it’s a good box.    You can get those for like $100 street price.         So Audient ID14 interface,  $225 or so street price, AWESOME interface.   Not too complicated, seems solid, hope to last for many years.     Focusrite Forte, about same street price.  VERY good interface.   The drivers and digital control system can be a bit sketchy, it treated me right, but for some reason I was expecting it to start smoking at anytime.   Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, good box, many MANY voice talent use this and have great results.   I read some voice talent saying they fail after a while, so we’ll see what happens.    A GREAT portable usb converter/preamp is a Shure X2U.  This is what I use on the road and it’s a great tiny ‘in line’ interface.    REALLY a smart purchase.  I did work on the road with it this summer with my Sennheiser MKH416 and nobody noticed I wasn’t in my $8000 studio.  Here our work here and ask for a custom demo!

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