Technology has come a long way and has brought drastic improvements in many aspects of our daily lives. With the changing time, radical innovations are made time and again in different fields and the music industry is by no means lagging behind. In the last few decades, we have shifted from an era of expensive tape machines like the Studer A800 to large mixing consoles like the Audient ASP4816, which are still used at expensive professional recording studios.
On that account, recording and mixing radio quality audio is now possible in a box. The invention of audio interfaces has made it possible for aspiring musicians and songwriters to start making high-quality tracks in their bedrooms. With the possibility of getting mind-boggling audio quality in a bedroom, the home studio market is brimming with lots of affordable products. With so many choices in the market, one might always get confused about which one to pick up.
The go-to choices for musicians have been established brands like Focusrite and SSL+. However, many other audio interfaces are coming up to compete in this category with their own features and plus points. Amidst confusion about which audio interface to choose for your home studio, this article presents two other options- the Audient EVO audio interfaces and the recently launched Arturia Mini Fuse interfaces. So, let’s take a quick look at both of these audio interfaces.
EVO 4 and EVO 8 Interface
The EVO 4 and EVO 8 interfaces were first launched in the year 2020 and have been drawing in lots of attention with their impressively quiet preamps and many other functionalities which make them especially convenient for beginners.
The build quality of the interface is decent despite being made out of plastic. The EVO 4 comes with two XLR and TRS combo inputs for plugging in microphones. With a single rotary knob for performing multiple functions with LED lights around it, the EVO has managed to achieve an elegant design. The interface also has a JEFT instrument input for high-quality DI instrument recordings. What’s impressive about the EVO is its 113dB of dynamic range combined with high-quality preamps with an Equivalent Input Noise of -128dBu.
The interface allows simultaneous control of both XLR inputs which makes it very convenient for stereo recording. Having said that, the gain on the EVO interface is on the lower side, with only 41.4 dBFS of maximum system gain. Although this much gain is sufficient for most recording situations, a low sensitivity dynamic like the Shure SM7B demands the gain knob to be cranked up all the way. The good news is that the preamps of the EVO have extremely low noise. So, the dynamic mics will still perform well even with the cranked-up gain.
The selling point for the EVO interface is its Smart gain and the Loopback feature. The Smart gain can be extremely helpful for beginners who either set the gain too low resulting in a higher signal-to-noise ratio, or they tend to set it too high which often results in audio distortion known as clipping. With the smart gain feature, the EVO automatically sets the gain after receiving the signal providing a decent amount of gain.
Aside from the Smart gain feature, the interface also allows the user to record the computer audio and the live audio at the same time with its Loopback feature. This feature can be especially useful for podcasters and streamers. The EVO includes Cubase LE Digital Audio Workstation, Creative Hub software bundle and many others which you can find on their website.
The price for the EVO 4 is 129 dollars ( NPR 16,500 ).
Now, let us take a look at the recently launched Arturia Mini Fuse 2 audio interface.
Being a newcomer in the market, the Mini Fuse is already promising great features when stacked up against other audio interfaces in its category. The Mini Fuse comes in back and white color and has a sturdy metal body making it very durable. In fact, Arturia has provided 5 years warranty for the product. Like the EVO, the Mini Fuse 2 also contains two microphone inputs which can be toggled between line and instrument level.
Unlike the EVO, the Mini Fuse contains dedicated knobs for input gain and headphone output. The Mini Fuse also has a mono and stereo monitoring switch. The Mini Fuse also comes with very high-quality preamps with an Equivalent Input Noise of -129dB. The interface has a decent dynamic range of 110dB. The Mini Fuse provides more gain than the EVO with the maximum system gain of 50 dBFS. So, while powering up a low-sensitivity dynamic microphone like the Shure SM7B, it provides adequate gain for its price range.
The Mini Fuse comes with an extra feature- a USB A connector that can be used as a USB hub. This saves an extra port in your PC. It also comes with two Midi Connectors.
The Mini Fuse comes with an impressive software bundle. The package consists of Ableton Live Lite Digital Audio Workstation, vintage synths from Analog Lab Intro, Arturia FX plugins, Native Instruments guitar rig 6 and 3 months subscription for Autotune unlimited and Splice Creator Plan each.
The price for the Mini Fuse 2 is 149 dollars (NPR 18,000. )
Considering the specs of both the EVO 4 and the Arturia Mini Fuse, both the audio interfaces are bang for your buck. Choosing one of these two depends on the features that you might get with them.
Both the interfaces provide a decent dynamic range and come with high-quality preamps. If you want to save the hassle of setting up your gain or want to record computer audio along with the live audio from the input signals, EVO 4 might be the choice for you.
However, if you’re looking for an additional gain for your dynamic microphone, two additional MIDI connectors, and want to use it as a USB hub, then the Mini Fuse might be the right choice for you.