So you want to record drums at home. Before we begin, please remember, that recording drums is no easy task.
In fact, most audio engineers consider tracking and engineering drums to be the most difficult part of making a record. That said, there are some factors to consider before buying a drum recording interface.
Best Audio Interface For Recording Drums
Best For Budget - If you're brand new to recording, Tascam's audio interface will serve you well, being affordable and reliable.
Presonus has been around for years, and while I'm not the biggest fan of their gear, the Studio USB-C interface may be a great option for new engineers learning to record.
Best Sound Quality - The crème de la crème of audio interfaces. UAD's Apollo X8P will hurt your wallet, but not your ears.
Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 (3rd Gen) – My Pick
Focusrite is an audio company that really needs no introduction. Thanks to the genius mind of Rupert Neve, they have been on the cutting edge of recording hardware since 1985.
The Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 is an affordable eight-channel audio interface that will be perfect for anyone looking to start recording drums.
Recording is simple with this audio interface as it comes packed with a version of Pro Tools and Ableton Live. You don’t need to spend extra money on a digital audio workstation.
Hands-On With The Scarlett
On the front of the drum recording interface, there are two microphone inputs. The other six are located on the reverse side of the unit. Each knob corresponds to a different microphone channel input.
You can adjust your microphone gain here before it hits your computer. To the right of the knobs is a nice display, giving you a clear sight of all your microphone inputs.
Next up are the monitor and headphone control pots. You can plug a set of studio monitors in, as well as two separate headphones to this unit.
Lots of I/O With The Scarlett 18i20
On the backside of the drum recording interface, there are eight separate line outputs. If you plan on using this in a touring situation, you could always use these for your backing tracks.
Next to the line outs, we have your monitor outputs. This is where you will connect your studio monitors.
Expanding To 16 Inputs Is a Breeze
Next to the monitor outputs we have what is known as ADAT