Just starting to dabble around with recording equipment? Unsure of which audio interface to use for your music recordings? Then I have the solution for you. Finding the right tool to facilitate your very first music or audio project, can be very nerve-wrecking. Hence, in today’s “Steinberg UR12 Review”, I will explain why this interface is a great choice for the beginner producer!
The Steinberg UR12 Audio Interface has an incredibly compact design, and is built to be rugged and durable. Together with its full iPAD connectivity and high quality D-PRE mic preamp, you can be sure that the UR12 will be more than capable in providing the best sound quality. The UR12 will also give your microphone recordings outstanding detail and depth.
Steinberg is a company known throughout the audio world, for producing some of the best value-for-money recording equipment out there. Many professionals and enthusiasts alike, have benefited from Steinberg’s audio products. The UR12 also comes with 24/192 converters, which will ensure the highest level of audio fidelity. It is a great addition to any home studio!
Now, let us go through the main features of the UR12 Audio Interface.
- 24-bit/192 kHz, USB 2.0 Audio Interface
- 1 “Class A” D-PRE mic preamp (supporting +48v Phantom power)
- 1 mic input (XLR), 1 Hi-Z instrument input (TS)
- 2 line outputs (RCA)
- USB powered for mobile recordings
- Additional mini-USB socket for use with iPad
Next, we will take a deeper look at some of the above features, and see how they will benefit you!
Top Class Components
What impresses me the most about the Steinberg UR12 Audio Interface, is the quality components that you are getting for an affordable price. One of them would be its top-of-the-line signal converter, that provides the highest possible sampling rate of 192 kHz and a resolution of 24 bits. This produces pristine audio quality that is required for any professional production.
The other high-end component, is its “Class-A” D-PRE mic preamp. This highly acclaimed preamp by Yamaha, delivers a sound quality that is truly transparent, and rich in detail. Every single nuance that is produced by your microphone, will surely be retained in your recordings, with minimal colouration. Its rare to find an interface within the same price range, that has this level of quality.
Connectivity and Compatibility
In a world where there are a myriad of music production applications to choose from, compatibility of audio equipment becomes a prevalent issue. However, with the Steinberg UR12, you don’t have to worry about a thing. This interface is designed to work perfectly with all major audio editing and music production software supporting the ASIO, Core Audio or WDM standard.
The Steinberg UR12’s highly compact design, makes it suitable for mobile recordings. Hence, this is where its connectivity feature will come in handy. With the mini-USB port provided on the UR12, you can connect it with your iPad and start recording straight away, wherever you are. Be assured that you are getting the best sound recording quality, while on the move!
Build Quality and Free Software
When it comes to affordable audio equipment, people often worry about their durability. As compared to most cheap audio interfaces out there, the UR12 does not compromise on its build quality. It is constructed based on the strictest standards, set by Yamaha’s most experienced engineers. You can expect the UR12’s metal chassis to withstand the most rigorous conditions on the road.
What’s really great is that the Steinberg UR12 also comes bundled with a free audio editing software. If you are totally new to music production, you will find the bundled “Cubase AI” software to be very accessible and easy to use. “Cubase AI” is based on the same core technologies of the popular Cubase DAW, and offers an intuitive feature set for composing, recording and mixing.
Here’s a great video showing the high quality functions of the UR12!
Pros and Cons
- Extremely compact design
- Rugged metal body
- iPad connectivity
- Compatible with iOS audio apps
- Compatible with all major editing software
- Top quality, transparent mic preamp
- Latency-free hardware monitoring
- Free “Cubase AI” music production software
- Lack of versatile outputs, as only RCA outputs are provided
- Phantom power switch is at the back, which might be inconvenient
I have tried multiple entry level audio interfaces during my early years, and most of them are of decent quality. However, after using a relatively affordable “CI1” interface by Steinberg (which has been discontinued), I was surprised at the build and sound quality that I was getting.
Take note that the CI1 is an older model, and slightly cheaper than the UR12 audio interface.
Even till today, I am still relying on my CI1 for mobile recordings with my laptop. This is a testament to the quality of Steinberg’s audio interfaces, and the latest UR12 model is no exception. When I checked out the new UR12 interface, I saw nothing but top quality components and superb construction. To think that you can get all that in an affordable package, it is just a must-have!
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