The 5 Best Drum Recording Interface [2020 Reviews Buying Guide]

Posted in Recording & Audio Equipment | Last Updated on May 1, 2020

What We Looked For In Our Reviews Before Making The Top Picks?

Since we are well aware of all the problems that a drummer can find while recording his performance, we have decided to help you in selecting the recording interface. After selecting a drum set, drum heads, hardware, cymbals, sticks, microphones, we've come to the point when we need to enchant our playing.

Since drum recording can be performed with one and even 10 microphones, the first thing we should pay attention to is whether the recorder/mixer has enough inputs. As more inputs, we will be able to extract the good sound from our drum set.

Most interfaces have already got mic preamps built in, which means you will just need microphones and cables to start recording. Some recording devices have only line inputs. In that case you will need a mixer or stand-alone preamps so as to record with several microphones at the same time.

As far as outputs are involved, the minimum you will need is 2, to listen back in stereo to what you have recorded. Most interfaces have one or a lot of headphone outputs than you'll be able to use to let the performers hear what they are playing throughout the track.

If you plan to mix only within the computer, which may be all you need, however, if you are coming up with on using a hardware mixer, you'll have many lineouts, one for every channel that you just will send to the console. Having additional inputs and outputs is also handy, and raises the chance of incorporating outboard processors into your system. With 2 unused line ins and outs, you may simply connect, say, a hardware stereo compressor for your interface. The most recording software system makes setting this type of thing up very easy.

What Connection Format The Device Has?

The second factor to think about, once deciding which interface to buy, is its connection format. Some interfaces use PCI cards that need to be fitted into a PC, however, almost all interfaces can be connected to your PC either via USB or Firewire (FW), which means that they simply plug into the relevant socket.

Firewire interfaces may be picky concerning the FW chipset in your PC, with compatibility issues starting from the occasional crackle of the interface not being recognized by the PC at all!

It's undoubtedly worth checking the manufacturer's site to make sure that your own chipset is compatible. USB is usually more forgiving, and arguably a lot of future-proof, as FW ports are rarely fitted as standard to new computers these days.

In fact, some manufacturers currently provide both connection varieties, enhancing compatibility at the expense of creating the interface a bit more pricey. With the proper interface, drivers, and pc, good low-latency performance is possible using both protocols.

With the development of digital mixers, the possibility of recording as well as sound processing has raised standards to the next level. Perhaps the best option is to buy a digital mixer, which has plenty of inputs, built-in effects, and preamps.

We will present you some of the best audio recording interfaces so you can decide for yourself what is best for you, your wallet and your needs.

Reviews of The 5 Top Drum Recording Interfaces On The Market

Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 (2nd Gen) USB Audio Interface with Pro Tools

Editor's choice best pick badge

This might be the best value for the money when it comes to recording your drum performance. If you are brand new to recording, this audio interface might just be the perfect one for you. The preamps on the Scarlett 18i20 preamps provide a very clean signal.

This is an important thing because you need the cleanest signal so u can additionally add EQ, compression, and other effects inside your DAW during mixing, to make a perfect sound of your drum. You can connect Scarlet to your PC or Mac via USB 2.0.

On the front of this interface, there are two microphone inputs and the other six are on the back side of the unit. On the backside of the Scarlet recording device, there are eight separate line outputs. Next to them, it has a monitor outputs. The Scarlett latency factor is low which is great because many drum recording interfaces suffer from lag.

  • a great sounding mic preamp
  • easy to use
  • high-quality signal processing

  • problems with software updates

Alesis MultiMix 8 USB FX / Best Affordable Audio Interface /

Editor's badge - budget choice

Compact and affordable, The Alesis MultiMix is a great option for any artist (hobby audio engineer/musician/drummer) who needs a good and cheap audio interface with USB connectivity. This is an 8-channel audio mixer with plenty of input options for many mics and providing a good, clean signal without excess noise or distortion.

There are 4 XLR inputs and the unit that offers 48v phantom power for running condenser microphones. It has a 3 band EQ on the first 4 channels and a 2 band EQ on the remaining ones. It's easy to connect to a basic recording setup, a Power Amplifier or a PC.

It also includes Cubase LE, which is basic digital audio workstation software that can assist you when recording. Since you, as a drummer, need to use multiple mics to record your instrument, this is a great and cheap USB audio interface.

  • price
  • compact

  • headphones jack can be noisy
  • low quality

RME Fireface UFX+

RME Fireface UFX+ is a solid, innovative and high-quality digital audio recording interface. This device includes 12 analog inputs. Four of them which come in the combination socket configuration allowing you to connect XLR and 1/4” type jacks. The remaining eight inputs are the standard 1/4” type that can be found on the back with additional 18 digital channels available. MIDI I/O is also available.

The controls on the unit are simple, with a single knob for main output, headphone one, and headphone two volume knob. The device connects to your computer using either USB or Firewire. To get a more control over the unit, RME has included the mixer software as well as FX software that include EQ, reverb, dynamics, and delay sends. This unit can also function without any assistance from your computer.

It’s possible to connect any USB drive or external hard drive to the front port on the unit and record directly to it. All channels can be recorded in this manner or you can record to your computer hard drive and the external drive at the same time.

This audio recorder is the perfect solution for anyone who intends doing any location or live band recording. For a complete audio hi-end solution in a single unit, the Fireface UFX is the best product you can find.

  • hi-end professional product

  • price, wow

Behringer X AIR XR12 12-Input Digital Mixer

I have to point out that this is my favorite although I am not a fan of this company. Although the previous XR12 (now I have XR16) which I had, had some problems with one electrical module (and found that mine was not the only one), so it made some kind of electric circuit sound.

Something like Star Track laser or Space Invaders sound like a Zapp... This is really strange and unpleasant, especially when this happens at the gig in front of a thousand people. Learning to use a digital mixer can be tricky, be persistent, it can give you many benefits. Apps for this digital mixer are just amazing, especially app for IOS.

The only disadvantage is that apps are not being updated. All knobs and faders that aren’t placed on the XR12, are on your pc, phone or tablet and that’s why the learning of app is needed. There is EQ and dynamics processing on all channels. Four stereo effects racks are accessible and the choice of effects is wide.

One important thing, this mixer has the ability to record only two channels! If you want to have a multitrack recorder, you will need to add more money and buy at the very least XR16 which I recommend. It's not much more expensive and it will be more useful to you.

  • excellent quality sound
  • Midas preamps
  • good app for Android
  • great app for IOS
  • compressor, gate, eq, and other effects on each channel

  • really bad integrated Wi-Fi
  • some kind of “electronic problem”

Mackie Onyx Blackbird Premium 16x16 FireWire Recording Interface

Onyx Blackbird Premium is able to provide a hi-end recording quality with its eight Onyx preamps and high-end 24-bit/96kHz conversion in a rack-mount design. True analog hardware monitoring provides the zero-latency recording.

Two front panel channels provide quick access to crucial recording tools and the powerful Blackbird Matrix Mixer which allows you quick mix creation and routing of any input to any output. It works as a standalone 8-channel preamp rack.

This recorder is compatible with most major DAWs like logic, sonar, Cubase, Ableton Live etc. Also, two headphone outputs with independent level control and source selection might be of use to you when adjusting volume for your headphones.

  • hi quality product
  • good price

  • problems with PC compatibility

We hope that we have been helpful and that our tips and experience will be useful to you when you decide to buy your audio recording device.