Native Instruments Audio Kontrol 1: DJ and Musician-Friendly Audio Interface

Illustration for article titled Native Instruments Audio Kontrol 1: DJ and Musician-Friendly Audio Interface

It doesn't take long for DJs and musicians to figure out that internal audio cards are crap for any real work, when it comes to sound quality, features, and performance. So, with a mind-numbing array options, how do you choose a replacement? Native Instruments' new Audio Kontrol 1 could be a good choice, with a $300 list price. It's got a slick-looking, honking-huge knob on the top you can use to control sound level easily, and controls that are neither ugly nor confusing as with some of its competitors. Low-latency (4ms) USB 2.0 audio drivers let you can run your instrument through it or play software instruments without a noticeable delay, specially important on Windows. And a dedicated headphone jack lets you cue through headphones, which is handy not only for DJs, but when you want a separate headphone mix for recording or performing. There's stiff competition in this field from other terrific, cheap interfaces, but the Audio Kontrol 1 ought to be on the short list.

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Native Instruments Launches Audio Interface: Big Knob, Low Latency, Headphone Out [Create Digital Music]

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DISCUSSION

"internal audio cards are crap for any real work, when it comes to sound quality, features, and performance"

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i'm going to assume you meant "Creative SoundBlaster Live cards" or "whatever built-in onboard sound came with your PC," not "any internal audio card."

There are a lot of musician PCI recording cards out there that don't suck. Just because it doesn't have usb 2.0 or firewire doesn't mean it sounds bad. examples: http://www.zzounds.com/cat—PCI-Audio-…

Hell, until firewire got cheap and USB2.0 came out, your only decent recording options under $800 or so were pretty much PCI cards. And if you're serious about a protools studio, you'll need to open up your box sooner or later for some DSP cards.

but don't get me wrong; i use an m-audio USB 2.0 box for my recording. it's a lot more convenient and portable with my laptop, too, even if it's a bit fussy sometimes. and that gigantic knob is mighty sweet lookin'.