Novation’s Audiohub 2×4 comes under review, is it the right interface for your USB hardware?
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Novation, more than pretty much any other company, has embraced the USB standard with all sorts of mobile ‘Launch’ products among many others, all ready and raring to go for the more mobile musicians. And sister company Focusrite knows a thing or two about audio, so if you want a hub to manage a bunch of USB gear and that hub to provide a good quality audio interface too, what better than a device that does it all, effectively from both companies?
The thinking with this is that people’s desktops are getting pretty cluttered with USB gubbins, and that this device can act as the central hub, uniting it all –and more – into a unified setup. We can see how this works, even though some of the promotional pictures don’t appear to clear the clutter up, just add another device to it all to plug in to…
But we’re being a little picky because this is a potentially very useful box, despite its looks not promising too much from the outset. Having two ins and four outs might seem odd but the three USB sockets provide the main ‘use’ clue. There are a pair of RCA inputs at the front, and balanced outs to your speakers.
So plug a keyboard in (RCA ins), for example, plus a USB device or two, say a Launch Control (free with a subscription to MusicTech at the moment!) and LaunchKey and you suddenly have a compact and very usable hub that interfaces directly to your computer – as it turns out – very easily (with Logic in our setup).
The DJ is catered for too with enough connections for an NI Maschine (USB), DJ mixer (audio output) and turntable (RCA ins) another prime example. Then there’s mobile use with iPads, EDM studio use and beat-making all provided for, and a good demonstration of how flexible this unit can be.
As ever, once a company reveals what can be done (and should have been done) we inevitably want more, so more inputs (TRS) Novation, please! This will inevitably happen with the next release we’re sure. For now though Audiohub seems like the way to go for the desktop DJ and producer and we look forward to more in the range.