Find the best MIDI interface
The best midi interface will let you record, store, transfer and share all of your music files between multiple devices. A midi interface can be used with your computer or an electrical instrument, and is quickly becoming a necessary tool for DJs, sound technicians, and serious musicians. While all midi interfaces can communicate with other devices, the machines can use different formatting methods when it is creating the midi messages. If the midi file is not compatible with your set up, you will not be able to access any of the messages. To help you find the right midi interface for your musical equipment we have created this informative buying guide. Once you know what features to look for, finding the perfect midi interface won’t be so complicated.
What to look for in buying a MIDI interface
Number of Midi Ports
Almost all midi interfaces include the ability to connect to your computer via USB, but the number of ports will vary between the different models. The best midi interface will have enough ports to connect all of your music equipment. The midi devices usually have 2, 4, or 8 ports which will give you a variety of different channels to control. A good point to remember is that each port is capable of transmitting 16 different channels. If you want the freedom to play and record anywhere, a midi interface that can connect to your iPod might be the best choice for you.
Midi interfaces include different options for synchronizing recorded tracks, and specially sequenced sections of music. It will let you set effects to a midi clock for well timed guitar and string solo, along with recording music in the studio. You will need to be able to sync if you are working with video recordings, or if you frequently use a dedicated multiple track recorder. Even if you do not plan on recording, having a midi interface that lets you time effects can dramatically improve your live shows.
Standard midi files (SMFs) are necessary if you want to record music and play it back later. If you want to be able to layer tracks and alter sequencers, you need to make sure that the midi messages that you are sending are compatible with your playback device. If the files cannot be accessed, you won’t be able to use the messages to control your equipment or play any of your recordings.
With more inputs than similar models this is the best audio midi interface for creative flexibility. With the high speed USB connection you never have to wait for your midi messages, and it can be used with Windows and Mac OS. The affordable interface is also portable and can be mounted to a stand for easy access when you are on stage.
There are 16 in and out inputs that work seamlessly with almost any software, including Live and Logic Pro. Not only will the midi interface connect with your favorite DAWs, it can also be used with drum machines and synths. Guitar players benefit for the ¼” input jacks that will let you record while you are playing. To give you crystal clear recordings there are 8 additional inputs for microphones, and the midi interface has enough gain to record almost every sound.
Connect the midi interface to your monitors, recording and processing gear, and the included Cubase LE5 software lets you get started laying tracks with minimal set up time. You can create professional productions with the midi device without additional software, or add your own for more flexibility when you are recording. Lay and mix tracks automatically, and the headphone jack lets you hear everything instantly. Edit your music in the studio or use it on stage to create amazing live shows, and use the audio inputs to record every note and sound.
- Tascam US-144MKII USB Audio Interface
This audio midi interface with USB 2.0 connects quickly and easily to your laptop or Mac with high speed capabilities. This lets you send and receive midi messages without a delay, along with recording in real time. The USB bus driven power gives you the flexibility to use the midi interface anywhere with your laptop, and the compact design makes it ideal for traveling.
With the headphone output plug you can listen to your tracks during recording, and you also have the ability to connect to other midi devices. Control keyboards and sync other devices, including drum machines and other effects. There are two convenient front microphone inputs for recording your bass and guitar, and you can also switch levels when it is necessary. With four input and outputs you have plenty of creative options for your music. Altogether the midi interface is 96kHz and can have an audio resolution up to 24 bits.
The new, redesigned midi interface features a sleek, professional compact look that is ideal for live shows and traveling musicians. The durable construction is tough and lightweight, and the smaller design is perfect for small work spaces. You can mix, edit, and lay tracks, and the Cubase LE4 software will help you get started. The four channel midi interface is designed to make it easy to create and record different midi files, and even includes several different tools to help you get started. The included software is easy to install, and the ability to control several pieces of equipment makes it a great midi interface for studio musicians and DJs.
- M-Audio M-Track Portable USB Audio and MIDI Interface
This is the best audio midi interface for turning your computer into a music studio. With USB capability you can connect to a laptop or Mac so you can record and play music on the go. It also features a durable and compact design that is easy to pack when you are traveling. Connect to other midi devices for complete control over all your musical equipment and the included software has everything you need to start laying and mixing different tracks and effects.
You can quickly combine and arrange all of your compositions with Ableton Live and Ignite software. Not only can you control over 275 virtual instruments, you can also store and share your ideas in the Sound Cloud. The midi interface also lets you export midi files and easily import them to your favorite DAWs. For added convenience, there is also only one USB cable to keep track off.
The midi audio interface includes an input for headphones, along with two balanced ¼” outputs for recording bass and guitar. The microphone inputs are conveniently located on the device, and include selectable phantom power. You can easily add your own effects with the insert jack that is on each channel, so you can create professional recordings on your laptop. It also features a LED meter that will give you instant feedback that is easy to read. The lighted display also helps you keep track of your various settings. While the midi audio interface is extremely easy to set up and use, it is still able to give you professional recordings without the expense of using a studio.
The anniversary edition has been referred to as the best midi interface of 2018 for its functionality. Not only is it USB bus powered so it does not need an additional power source, it is also compatible with most operating systems. The audio midi interface can be used with Windows XP and Vista, along with Mac OS, and is lightweight and portable for true versatility.
You can connect the interface to your desktop or PC, and it can also connect to other midi devices with MIDI merge and THRU. All you need to start creating and recording your musical ideas is included with the midi device. The solid metal casing is still just as durable as the original model, but now it is redesigned in a classic black. It is able to blend in with your other equipment, and give your gear a more professional appearance.
Not only can you control other midi devices, but you can also sync drum solos and include different sequences in your tracks. There are 32 input, and 32 output channels for you to control and switch as needed, and the indicator lights clearly display all of your working configurations. Just like the original 2×2 midi audio interface, the redesigned anniversary edition is still easy to use. It is compatible with almost all music software programs, and will work with your favorite DAWs. It is a perfect midi audio interface for DJs looking to add different effects to their shows, or for any musician who simply wants a way to capture all of their creative ideas.
- Apogee Duet Audio Interface for iPad & Mac
This is the first and best audio midi interface for iPad Air with its ability to give you a direct connection. It features a professional stereo quality interface that is also compatible with most iPhones and touch iPods. This gives you the convenience of playing and recording your musical ideas anywhere, along with a lightweight design that is easy to carry.
The audio conversion and mic preamps are designed to capture every note and musical detail, and give your recordings a depth and dimension that is often missing from other midi audio interfaces. The American made and designed device includes two input connectors for attaching preamps, microphones, keyboards and even guitars. You can sync different pieces of equipment, and also connect to equalizers and compressors. In addition the midi device has four outputs for even more flexibility. This lets you seamlessly connect to speakers, and even separately control an independent stereo headphone.
The four analog outputs are ideal for DJs who want to control and monitor different mixes at the same time. You can listen to one mix on the headphones, while sending a different one to the club’s dance floor. Since the midi interface can connect to your iPad you can have a party almost anywhere. You also have the option of sending different tracks to your sound engineer when you are performing live, while the interface’s main outputs remain dedicated to the studio monitors. Enjoy the flexibility of connecting the midi device to your iPad or Mac, while simultaneously charging your iPad so you never have to worry about having to stop working because of your battery.
A midi audio interface makes it possible for you to control and connect all of your gear and equipment. It can be used to record tracks and effects in real time, and sync different sequences. These midi devices are ideal for musicians, sound technicians, and DJs giving you the flexibility you often need to capture every nuance and sound. There are several different types of midi audio controllers and finding the right one for you can be difficult. Especially if you are not sure what you are looking for. One of the most important aspects to consider is the number of ports that you will need, since this will determine what you are capable of creating. Connect microphones to record guitar and bass riffs, and add a new dimension to your recordings. Other factors to consider include the format that your midi files use, and whether you need the ability to sync and sequence different instruments and tracks.
While there are several different midi audio interfaces for you to choose from, two of the more popular models are the Tascam US-1800 Audio Interface and Tascam US-144MKII USB Audio Interface. Both will give you plenty of options, and the flexibility you need to record and play all of your musical compositions. To help you find the right midi interface we have put together a comprehensive comparison table that includes these two models. We hope that we can help you find exactly what you need, so you can continue to create and play all of your music for audiences to enjoy.