Photo courtesy of Blue Microphone
November 11th, 2008 – Last week, there was a lot of buzz around the Blue Microphone Icicle. Basically it’s a USB audio interface that’s super compact; there’s a USB connector on one side and an XLR on the other. It “features” 16bit 44.1khz recording which is hardly the standard anymore. At $60, it’s a great bargain though.
On CreateDigitalMusic, Peter has put together a post with reviews on an Icicle competitor that’s already in release, the CEntrance MicPortPro. For about just over double the price of the Icicle, you get 24bit 96khz recording, onboard headphone monitoring jack, and sturdy aluminum construction. Sure it’s pricier, but I think it’s the better buy based on construction alone.
My question to you is: would you ditch your current setup for something this portable, or buy it to compliment your set up? In my mind, the extreme portability of such a setup is handy, but at the same time I want to be able to use the best preamp and the best converters that I can afford. I don’t know if I could trust the converters and pre-amps in these tiny interfaces for anything other than songwriting sessions.
Honestly though, I wouldn’t make a definitive statement unless I heard one in person. But these days, an Apogee Duet can go for $350 or less used, is almost as portable, and sounds better than some thousand dollar interfaces. That’s some tough competition. The low end market is very competitive so it will be interesting to see what people choose.
Have a safe Remembrance Day everyone and don’t forget to pick up a poppy.