Just 15 years ago, I couldn’t explain the hassle of trying to record mics and instruments directly into a PC without a full-scale studio setup. And, to be fair, even with the right setup, I still used to have loads of issues.
However, times have changed, and the audio sphere has thankfully evolved. All you need these days is the right DAW, software like ProTools, Logic, or Ableton, and access to an external audio interface.
My in-depth Audient Evo 4 review was born out of the need to show you just how easy it can be to record analog instruments into your computer. Audio interfaces have changed the game. But, with so many now in the marketplace, it can be difficult finding the one that suits your needs and budget. So, let’s check out this Audient Evo 4 interface to see if it lives up to the hype.
Audio Interfaces – The Basics
I have more of a compact home studio setup these days, so that means I have to be economical with my purchases. If you have a decent MIDI keyboard, a good pair of monitor speakers, a mic, a PC, and an audio interface, you can pretty much record songs at home right away. Even if you want to add guitars or bass, using an audio interface is the easiest path.
So, if you are just setting up a home recording studio or you are looking to become a podcaster or digital content creator, having access to audio interfaces is essential. And, if you can find a simple and streamlined quality audio interface, that’s even better.
Introducing the Audient Evo 3
The first thing that struck me when my Audient Evo 4 arrived in the post was how basic it looked. Initially, I wasn’t sure if that was a good or bad thing. But, if you have limited recording studio experience, it’s a positive. You don’t get bogged down with too many features, whistles, and bells. Having fewer features ensures you avoid clipping. And, if you are a newbie, that’s a godsend.
I was a little worried that fewer features would mean a more restrictive experience. But that wasn’t the case with this Audient interface, so I was immediately intrigued.
Audient Evo 4 Key Feature
For something that seems so streamlined and basic, and affordable, I was taken aback by the number of features on offer. Sure, it won’t match up well on a head-to-head basis with high-end audio interfaces like the RME Babyface Pro FS or the 3rd Gen Foscurite Scarlett 2i2. But, in this price range, it’s fantastic value for money. So, let’s take a look at some of the key features of the Audient Evo 4.
Excellent 2Input/2Output Options
I used to have a Focusrite Scarlett Solo that came equipped with very good single-input features. But, this Audient comes with a 2-in/2-out interface that was much better, in my opinion. It gave me way more input options, which came as a bit of a surprise, but in a good way.
The inputs can be used for a microphone and as line-ins. But what I liked best was the dedicated input on the front for instruments. It’s designed to handle all kinds of instruments but is ideal for guitars or bass. The 2-in/2-out connectivity also made it possible to record two tracks at the same time.
In my opinion, this feature made this Audient Evo 4 one of the best budget audio interfaces in the game. You can use the L and R outputs to connect directly via ¼ jacks to your monitor speakers. There are a couple of 6.35mm sockets that can be used for your studio monitor speakers. And some options for mics, guitars, and amps that use XLR/6.35mm sockets.
Controlling Mic and Instrument Levels with Smartgain
If you need examples of why this is one of the best audio interfaces for beginners, the Smartgain feature is the only evidence you need. To initiate the Smartgain feature, use the big green button. Press the button and then either ‘1’ or ‘2’, depending on which input you are using to record. When you want to record, press the green button a second time, and the Smartgain will begin to weave its magic.
From that moment, you can shout into the mic or blast out some guitar chords, and the Smartgain will automatically set the levels of the channel while also eliminating any kind of audio clipping. You could look at it like a mini-sound check because it takes less than 10 seconds. Evo states that it takes less than 20 seconds, but it was much less.
It analyses the levels and corrects them in a super-quick fashion, and you can’t beat that if you are new to this. The Smartgain feature aims to work at approximately -12dB, and that should be okay in most situations.
Accurate and High-Quality Performance
These types of audio interfaces are judged on how they perform, not how streamlined they look. It’s all about performance and sound accuracy when it comes to recording.
I found this EVO 4 offers a very clear and accurate sound quality. Although, it can get a bit rough if you are pushing up the preamps to their highest levels. But that’s to be expected. However, when using regular volume levels on the instrument inputs, they sounded great. I was impressed.
I routinely have problems with raw feeds on live instruments like electric guitars. The instrument input channel made it sound much cleaner in a way that you find with guitar amp channels. That said, I did find a couple of issues when I pushed up the preamp levels to the highest point. For example, a strange ticking sound, but nothing to write home about.
Good Recording Quality
This Evo 4 works and records up to a range of 24-bit depth and uses a maximum sample rate of 96kHz. It works well in a dynamic range of 115 dB and SNR of 100 dB. Frequency response is generally quite flat. Although, at the extremely low end, I did find a bit of a subtle dip that didn’t affect anything I recorded. So, in general, the recording quality is very good.
Free Software Bundles
Another reason why the Audient Evo 4 is great for beginners is the inclusion of free software and plugins. This package comes equipped with Cubase LE3, which is great if you are new to home recording and need some help along the way.
You also get three free courses courtesy of Produce Like a Pro. Take advantage of a bunch of virtual instruments that are included, such as M-Tron Pro LE and Retrograde 3.
Build and Specs
The Audient Evo 4 is largely made of plastic, and it is quite compact, so it’s easy to carry around. Although the Evo 4 is quite portable and better than some of the larger audio interfaces for recording on the move, it did feel a bit flimsy to me.
I’m not sure how durable it would be if you constantly took it on the road. I get the feeling it might break down after a few bumps, so I suggest you keep it in your home studio most of the time.
Audient Evo 4 Review – Pros and Cons
- Compact audio interface.
- Excellent value for money.
- 2 inputs and 2 outputs.
- Dedicated instrument input.
- Simple and streamlined design.
- Lightweight and easy to carry.
- Good recording quality.
- Perfect device for home studio beginners.
- Versatile device.
- Can be used with iPads.
- A bit too flimsy.
- Clicking noise at highest preamp levels.
- Not for professional studio use.
Looking To Record Music Or Podcasts At Home?
If so, check out our thoughts on the Best Audio Interface, the Best USB Audio Interfaces, the Best iPad Audio Interfaces, the Best Portable Audio Recorders, the Best Multitrack Recorder, and the Best Audio Mixers you can buy in 2023.
Also, take a look at our informative reviews of the Best Studio Headphones For Home Recording, the Best Microphones For Recording Vocals, the Best Microphones For YouTube, as well as the Best Microphones For Recording Electric Guitar, the Best USB Microphones, and the Best Live Vocal Mics currently on the market.
Audient Evo 4 Review – Conclusion
If you are on a budget when building your home recording studio, this review shows the Audient Evo 4 was made for you. Home-recording, podcasting, or digital content creation newbies should have a device like this in their arsenal. It’s easy to use, doesn’t come with too many complicated features, and is essentially a lightweight model that is fantastic value for money.
It comes equipped with two inputs and two outputs. And it even has a dedicated channel at the front for guitars and other instruments. The sound quality is decent and balanced unless you use the preamp levels at their highest. Then, you might get some interference and clicking noises. It can also seem a bit flimsy, but it is light and can be used remotely. But I am unsure about its long-term durability if you regularly carry it around with you.
Aside from that, this is an immensely affordable audio interface that will simplify any home recording experience. It’s not perfect, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a 2-channel audio interface device that performs this well in this price range. Overall, I really liked it, and suggest you buy one right away if you are on a budget.
Until next time, let the music play.