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Akai Professional EIE Pro 24-bit Electromusic Interface Expander
- Record and playback 24-bit, 2-channel audio via USB
- Four XLR-1/4" combo jacks with phantom power and gain control
- Two classic, high-quality VU level meters with switchable sources
- Plug-and-play operation, no driver installation required
- Three additional USB ports for connecting other devices through to a computer
- Four nickel-plated 1/4" outputs for two separate monitoring systems
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Professional Audio/MIDI Interface with USB 2.0 Hub.
The EIE Pro is a tabletop USB 2.0 audio interface perfectly tailored for your project and portable studio setups. This four-in, four-out (4x4) device features low latency ASIO drivers and enables you to record up to 24-bit resolution and sample rates of 44.1 kHz/48 kHz/88.2 kHz/96 kHz into virtually any DAW, recording or performance software on Mac and PC-based systems. The EIE Pro also houses three convenient USB inputs, in addition to its main USB 2.0 port, enabling you to connect controllers, hard drives or any other peripheral when native ports on a computer may be limited. The compact recording interface contains high-quality components including nickel-plated input jacks, analog-style VU meters and a rugged aluminum casing for a powerful, professional, portable audio solution.
Each channel of the EIE Pro has a XLR-¼-inches combo jack, dedicated sturdy, gain-pots and Mic/Line/Guitar switches. The EIE Pro features four discrete-design preamplifiers with 48V phantom power for use with virtually any microphone. Individual ¼-inches Nickel-plated jacks found on the back of EIE Pro provide you with channel inserts for processing audio signals externally. You can monitor sessions on multiple sets of studio monitors using the four ¼-inches balanced outputs, which are also Nickel-plated. Both pairs of outputs can be monitored visually with the high-quality, analog VU meters providing classic features with modern style. For remote tracking and alternative playback, the EIE Pro has a 1/4-inches TRS headphone output. High quality analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog converters ensure that every detail of your session or performance gets captured and played back faithfully.
The EIE Pro sends and receives four audio channels on a single USB cable for simple, universal interface to a computer. The three additional USB ports allow the EIE Pro to function as a hub as well, bridging other MIDI controllers and hard-drives to the computer. The EIE Pro features traditional MIDI In and Out jacks for playing and controlling software with keyboard and pad controllers, workstations, and other MIDI-compatible instruments.
Top customer reviews
Don't be fooled, it's a good interface. When it works, it does the job. Some have crackling and bit crushing issues, but my until has been okay.
Every year, Apple updates their Mac OS. Every year, they release developer betas so companies can start reconfiguring their software to work with the new OS. Every year, AKAI (or whatever company they've outsourced the software development to) delivers driver updates months after the public release of the new Mac OS.
This is the third time my music has been put on hold because they can't keep up. Every year, it's the same story. AKAI blames the user for upgrading, while they're the only company we're waiting on. No explanation, no apology. The developer preview for Mac OS Sierra was released June of 2016 with public betas in July. It's December, and still nothing from AKAI. They've literally had half of the year to develop the software.
Save yourself the trouble and money and purchase a Focusrite or M-Audio or something.
AKAI support here! I sincerely apologize about your experience. Currently, the AKAI EIE Pro is in testing for Sierra support, but since it is in testing, we are anticipating a Sierra driver release soon. If you have any questions or concerns, our technical support team would love to help so please feel free to call or email them by using the contact information on www.akaipro.com/support.
The Akai EIE Pro, by comparison is a simpler unit, but works very well. I've had no issues with latency using this unit work
Logic Pro, GarageBand, and Logic Express.
It's built like a tank. If portability is your main concern, look elsewhere. This unit weighs in at about 4lbs.
In general, I found the preamps are pretty clean and have enough gain for my condenser mics. I tested mine out with a Blue Spark and a MXL4000. Both sound fine with these pre's.
A lower gain dynamic will also work OK, but the gains are not quite enough to push a shure sm7b on their own. (The addition of a Cloudlifter helps me with that. )
I found that the VU meters are accurate with my MacBook, but not with a PC (using audacity), but that might just be because the PC is, well, a PC. (I prefer macs for audio recording. )
In summary, if you want simple audio interface with 4 decent pre's, the Akai EIE Pro isn't a bad choice.
However, the interface is fairly confusing once you want to start monitoring the inputs. Also, if you turn the volume knob all the way down on the four main input knobs, it seems like sound still leaks through pretty easily so there's no real "kill point" in terms of volume for any given channel. As well, 4 channels just really is not a lot after some time with the device, I have the 16-bit and 24-bit interface (the EIE and EIE pro) and I ended up using both of them to record a band so I could give the drums the mics they needed along with bass, guitar, and vocals. This in itself turned out to be kind of annoying since the EIE doesn't use a special driver, but the EIE pro does and thus they become incompatible in an ASIO setting, which means you either need to have two hosts set up to record from either interface or have a friend with another computer next to you with whom you can synchronize recordings :)
As well, it can be kind of sensitive to power fluctuations. I had an SSD in my tower and whenever this interface was plugged in, there would be loud *SNAPS* in the recordings every so often which you can sort of fix with compression/EQ but still just tend to cut through everything else. However, the SSD died on me after only like 8 months of use so it may have been an issue with that specific SSD so ymmv.
Drivers work fairly well in OSX and Windows (never hooked it to a Linux box), although some folks have had issues with them and they are not updated very often. Also, a quick note is that when you are downloading the drivers from Akai's website you can literally just fill out the "contact info" they require with jibberish and it will still give you the download.
4 stars for working fairly well and the fact that my SSD anecdote is most likely irrelevant. Like I said in the title, just some loose ends.