If you’re in the market for an audio interface, here’s a video that may be helpful.

When considering what audio interface to purchase for looping, one way to break it down is by whether you’ll just be jamming by yourself at home or if you’ll be performing. Another consideration is how many instruments you’ll be looping.

Guitar Looping at Home (or single instrument looping: keyboard, violin, vocal, bass, etc..)

If you’re just doing guitar looping by yourself at home, something like a Focusrite 2i4 will get the job done nicely. I’ve had on of these for maybe 8 years now and it has held up very well and I’ve been happy with the sound quality. With two, single line inputs, you can plug in:

  • A guitar and a mic
  • A guitar and a bass
  • Stereo outputs from a keyboard
  • An acoustic guitar and a violin mic

You get the idea. Two inputs. The Focusrite 2i4 will also work for solo performance situations. For example, it would work well for a singer / songwriter with an acoustic and and a vocal mic.

The Focusrite has a headphone jack, two line outs as well as RCA outs – for plugging into your stereo for example.

Mutli-Instrument Looping

Multi instrument looping requires a sound card that has 2,4,6 or 8 inputs.

I recently upgraded to a Focusrite Clarett 8Pre for multi-instrument looping. In my set up, I have a piano, vocal mic, acoustic and electric guitars, and bass and I need a lot of inputs. I also had to add an iConnectivity mio2 Advanced 2×2 MIDI Interface. The Focusrite audio interfaces are limited to one midi input, so with the mio2 I end up with 3 midi ins to Ableton. I’m only using two at the moment, one for my keyboard and one for my Roland Octapad.

A note about the Clarett 8Pre. Focusrite also offers a Scarlett 8pre  that is more than $300 less than the Clarett. I wasn’t sure if the extra cash for the Clarett was worth it. The main difference being the “air” software that’s built into the Focusrite control that comes with the Clarett. After trying it out and comparing it against my Scarlett 2i4, I could hear the difference. Here are a couple videos if you want to check it out: