Steinberg UR22 Review

Whether you are using a personal computer, Mac, laptop or mobile phone, if you want to record tracks, you would absolutely need the assistance of an excellent audio interface.

There was a time when we all needed separate interfaces for a variety of gadgets and applications but manufacturers have now come up with cross-platform audio interfaces on both PC and iPad. One such example of an audio interface with this capability is Steinberg’s UR22.

Features

  • USB 2.0 interface.
  • Has 24-bit/192kHz recording quality.
  • Compatible with Mac OS 10.5.8 to 10.8 and Windows XP SP3, Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8 (32- or 64-bit).
  • Includes 2 balanced mic and line combo sockets.
  • Includes Yamaha D-Class preamps.
  • Includes 2 balanced TRS line outputs.
  • Includes 1/4-inch headphone output.
  • Features direct monitoring mix control.
  • Features MIDI input and output.
  • Includes USB cable.
  • Includes Cubase AI 6.

Advantages

In order to make this interface work, you have to first install a USB driver from the included disc in the package. This driver would then present a control panel that lets Windows users to modify the sample rate and buffer settings. For Mac users, the settings come in normal Audio MIDI Setup apps.

The user is presented with access to Cubase AI 6 that can be downloaded. After registering online and creating a user account, the activation code that was included in the package should be entered. After this, the Cubase AI 6 can be downloaded. You should be aware that the installer comes in a huge 600 MB size.

After the download, another code requires to be entered in the eLicenser Control Center app to guarantee long-lasting functionality otherwise it will be relegated to a limited 3-day trial period.

After installation, the Cubase hardware can accommodate up to 32 audio tracks and 16 instrumentals. It also offers 180 standard instrument sounds like the General MIDI set. They are especially beneficial for laying out musical outlines. Useful plugins come in the form of amp simulator and Grungelizer.

The audio interface can also be expanded by supplementing freeware on it or other affordable 3rd party VST plugins. Because of its functions, it provides a great way for beginner musicians to practice recording music on their own.

The mic inputs that the device provides give a high rate of gain that can increase up to 60dB. This is excellent for the ribbon and dynamic mics that need plenty of gains. If condenser mics are used, noisy instruments may need pad switches. The audio interface is capable of attaining good performances with effortlessness and a significant impression of dynamic range even at comparatively moderate sample rates.

When it comes to ease of use, the unit is absolutely a breeze to employ particularly when keeping track of inputs at the source. The Mix control can be modified instantly to provide an appropriate balance between playback and inputs. It is no wonder why many self-made musicians have started out with this audio interface. It works well and is quite easy to use.

Disadvantages

It features only 2 simultaneous inputs and it is not really meant for recording full bands or instruments. For that, users would have to utilize a number of mics at the same time. The interface also does not have an ADAT input/output feature or other digital I/O. Therefore, users cannot expand the number of inputs.

Verdict

Steinberg UR22 is a good interface to use for field sampling and live recording. It is a model for songwriters and solo musicians. The sound quality is exceptional and you also get a bunch of nice software.

It has MIDI in and out jacks therefore you can connect it with an iPad and easily record both instrument and vocal parts at the same time. This is a decent audio interface that falls below the $200 mark. It is quite functional and comes with excellent features. However, if you need more inputs, you can go for other models of the same series.

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