If you’re primarily an in-the-box music producer, an audio interface with just a couple of inputs and outputs should suit you fine, but for those who’ve invested heavily in hardware synths and outboard gear, it’s a different story. In this case, something with considerably more I/O and features is required - something that can serve as the central hub of your studio. Enter the Artruia AudioFuse 16Rig, a highly flexible audio interface that can also function standalone and as a live mixer.
You’ll probably know Arturia from its highly-regarded synths (both software and hardware) and MIDI controllers, but since 2015, when it announced the original AudioFuse, the company has been a player in the audio interface game, too. Since then we’ve had the expanded AudioFuse Studio and more affordable MiniFuse devices, and now we’re getting AudioFuse 16Rig, the most connectivity-laden ‘Fuse to date.
One of the most appealing features of the AudioFuse 16Rig for hardware owners is the set of 16 line inputs - just what you need for plugging in lots of gear. While most other interfaces with a significant number of line inputs have db25 connectors which require expensive custom cabling, the 16Rig’s line inputs are TRS, which means that standard TRS cables can be used. You name it and the 16Rig can accommodate it: synths, drum machines, outboard gear, guitar effects pedals and anything else you happen to have in your studio. There are preamps on two of the inputs, too.
Thanks to the built-in routing matrix, meanwhile, the 16Rig enables you to do things with your hardware that other interfaces simply wouldn’t allow. Running a soft synth through a hardware distortion pedal, for example, would usually require a patchbay and a re-amp circuit, but not here. Similarly, running vocals through a hardware reverb would normally require you to use DSP, but the 16Rig has this covered, too.
Speaking of routing, the 16Rig’s capabilities in this area extend to MIDI, which can be treated in the same way as audio. Plug a USB keyboard into the front of the interface and it can be set up to control any connected MIDI hardware.
And if this is starting to sound complicated, fear not, as all routing can be managed in the AudioFuse Control Suite software. Thanks to its clear visual map, this makes configuring even the most complex routing setups a cinch.
We should also mention that among the 12 analogue outputs are eight DC coupled line outputs, making it possible for you to drive modular synths using your DAW. This functionality is supported by the likes of Ableton Live Suite and the VCV Rack Eurorack simulator. Bear in mind, too, that the AudioFuse can send analogue clock signals to be used as a master clock for a modular system.
Onboard mixing features are also comprehensive. Indeed, the matrix mixer enables you to send any audio input to any audio output and any MIDI input to any MIDI output. What’s more, the AudioFuse 16Rig can function as a standalone mixer with full USB control - perfect for when you want to use lots of gear in a live setting but don’t want to bring the laptop along for the ride.
AudioFuse 16Rig comes with plenty of other features to make your life easier, too. Multiple input/output configurations can easily be saved and recalled; outputs 3 and 4 are replicated on the front panel (allowing for easy access) and can be used either for re-amping or as a second set of heapdhone outputs; and you can drive multiple speaker setups to give you more monitoring options. And let’s not forget that AudioFuse 16Rig can function as a USB MIDI host, meaning that it’s capable of syncing together all your MIDI gear, not just the stuff that has DIN ports.
This is a great interface for those who have lots of hardware, then, but it also ships with the excellent AudioFuse Creative Suite software. This killer bundle contains Analog Lab Intro, a plugin that contains huge library of presets taken from Arturia’s award-winning V Collection instruments, and a slew of effects that are modelled on classic studio gear.
So, whether you want to make music with or without a DAW - at home, in your studio or on stage - AudioFuse 16Rig gives you the freedom to do it.
Find out more on the Arturia website.