Designed with singer-songwriters, music producers, and audiophiles in mind, this audio interface will help you record vocals and instruments in the very comfort of your home, yet enjoy the professional results of studio recording. What sets this unit apart and comes forth as its main advantage is the sound quality ensured.
After all, an audio interface must perform at the audio level, and this unit is an example of technological achievement that succeeds in capturing the sounds you’re interested in admirably. To deliver noteworthy results, the unit packs 24-Bit/192 kHz converters for studio-grade recordings.
Furthermore, the Behringer UMC204HD features two MIDAS-designed mic preamps with +48 Volt phantom power, which adds to the noteworthy audio quality delivered and makes it possible for users to employ this interface even for demanding music applications or video post-production. The 150 instruments/effects plug-ins included will further add to the versatility delivered.
To enhance your possibilities when using this audio interface, Behringer designed the UMC204HD in such a way to ensure compatibility with a variety of recording software stations and be easily connected to different MIDI devices. What’s more, the unit is committed to delivering zero-latency direct monitoring for clear performances.
The package does not come with the required drivers, and you will have to download them from the manufacturer’s official website. Still, there is no detailed information regarding the installation process.
For users who have not set up such an audio interface before, putting everything together and getting the unit up and running might thus be a bit complicated. If you do decide to purchase this product, make sure you check its compatibility with your PC OS as well as it might not work with certain systems. Hiring a professional to help you get it installed might be needed.
Main features explained
24-Bit/192 kHz converters & MIDAS preamps
While recording instruments and microphones was possible only in studio settings some while ago, today’s technological developments allow audiophiles and musicians to do so from the very comfort of their home. One might be tempted to say that the audio quality won’t be the same as in a studio, but there are audio interfaces that deliver studio-grade recordings.
The Behringer UMC204HD is one of them, and to ensure high-quality audio, it comes packed with various noteworthy features. The first ones we’d like to mention include the two MIDAS-designed mic preamps with +48 Volt phantom power.
MIDAS needs no further description, but the addition of these preamps cannot go unmentioned since it contributes significantly to the sound quality provided. Considered to be some of the best preamps in the world, these items deliver clear sounds with plenty of headroom and are thus vital for the final results.
Since an audio interface is about sound quality, the manufacturer further equipped this model with 24-Bit/192 kHz converters to take the audio quality even one level higher. Given these features, you can employ the unit not only for music applications that call for high precision but also for video post-production.
What’s more, you can use it to record instruments as well as microphones, therefore, vocals. Versatility can thus be added to the benefits offered by this unit, and if you use the audio interface properly, the results should be satisfying no matter if you choose to record vocals or instruments.
An audio interface might be easy to use and versatile, but if the quality of the recordings is not high, you might no longer benefit from its other advantages. Here is where this model from Behringer scores some important points, and the sound quality you get is, after all, the most important aspect to consider when it comes to the products in this line.
Zero-latency monitoring & free software
The audio quality delivered by an audio interface is not determined only by the converters and preamps used. Other features bring their contribution to the final results as well. Latency is one of the most commonly encountered problems as far as this category of products is regarded.
Thankfully, the manufacturer took this into account and added the necessary features to make sure it won’t trouble your experience. The unit was thus built to ensure there is no delay or lag in the returning signal and comes with Input/Playback Mix control and a Stereo/Mono switch to make direct monitoring possible.
Given the fact that the mix control ensures zero-latency monitoring, you should experience your performance in greater clarity and thus achieve nice recording quality. This is one of the reasons why the product can be employed for demanding music applications.
To provide you with the possibility to explore more and discover your creativity, the Behringer UMC204HD is available with audio software that enables users to record, edit, and podcast, as well as 150 instruments/effects plug-ins. These free tools are available on the manufacturer’s official website and should help you extend your possibilities.
What’s also worth mentioning is that many of the tools included in the software are also used in professional recording studios, and this is where the unit scores some more points. The fact that studios choose to use them proves their quality and usefulness.
The variety of plug-ins and features provided by the software might actually seem a bit overwhelming if you’re completely new to this type of product, but once you discover how many things you can do with them, using the software won’t seem that complicated anymore.
Give yourself time to learn its ins and outs, and you should be able to take advantage of its benefits probably sooner than expected.
Design & controls
Whether recording instruments or microphones is an activity you engage in just now and then, or it’s more than a hobby, and you’re committed to advancing your skills, a durable and easy-to-use product is always a nice thing to have. With this model, longevity should not be a problem, considering the quality of the materials employed for its construction.
The product is described as featuring a ‘built-like-a-tank’ metal chassis that will resist impacts and thus withstand extended use. The rugged construction and high-quality components add to the value of this product, and even if the unit is competitively priced, the quality of the build was not diminished.
Since mishaps can occur even when it comes to a home studio, the impact-resistant construction thus proves to be a great addition. Furthermore, the item was designed to take little space and make it possible for you to easily add it to your home studio gear. It is both compact and lightweight.
In case you’re a first-time user, the control panel might seem a bit complicated, but the manufacturer offers quick start guides for all languages and user manuals. You can find them on Behringer’s official website, and once you learn what each control is designed for, using the unit will no longer be that challenging.
As we’ve mentioned earlier, the drivers needed for this unit are also available for download on the manufacturer’s website. Behringer thus provides the information and software needed to make it easier for you to set up your home studio. The unit also comes with a 3-year warranty.
Compatibility & connectivity options
The high sound quality, versatility, and durability ensured by this model are further paired with connectivity options that will help you cover a variety of recording-related needs and a design that takes compatibility one step further. Since a musician’s needs are different, a thoughtfully designed audio interface should allow for various connectivity options.
The Behringer UMC204HD thus features a USB port for power and connection, which will allow you to connect it to your computer easily. The item also sports two analog inserts so that you can connect external effects, such as EQs, compressors, and gates, just to name a few. This will provide you with the possibility to nuance your performance and explore new sonic realms.
The audio interface also comes with analog playback options, such as XLR, ¼” TRS, and RCA. Due to the MIDI I/O featured, you can take flexibility one step further and connect keyboards and various MIDI devices. This adds to the feeling that this compact unit is the basis you need to set up a complete home studio.
The benefits offered by this product don’t end up here, though. To truly provide you with a complete experience, the item is compatible with some of the most popular recording software stations, including Ableton Live, Steinberg Cubase, and Avid Pro Tools. The unit can be used with MAC OS X as well as Windows XP or newer versions.
Therefore, make sure your OS is the right version before purchasing. As mentioned above, the audio interface can be used to record instruments, such as guitars, and microphones, thus, vocals. The product is available in packages that include only the interface or the interface and an XLR cable.