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Review: Audient ID22 Software Digital Audio Interface and Monitoring System

The ID22 is a 10 in/14 out digital audio interface that comes with a versatile software mixing application and integrates well with popular audio editing applications like Adobe Audition. The build and performance quality of the hardware make it a tremendous value at $599.

Applications

While the ID22 is designed primarily for music production (hence the eight 1/4” jacks), it can be used in just about any recording situation. Plugging it into your streaming mix is easy with the USB output.

I've found it particularly useful for voiceover work. Recently, I recorded an American VO to replace a British voice actor on a pre-existing product promo video. Since the ID22 has outstanding built-in pre-amps and a dedicated headphone amp, I was set up to record in seconds. Plug and play was the name of the game.

My AKG Perception 220 microphone hooked directly into an XLR port. I plugged my Grado SR125i headphones into the top-mounted headphone out, adjusted my gain controls, and opened the ID22 software. Using the companion app enabled me to have an on-screen visual meter to confirm my levels.

From here, I simply opened my digital audio editor of choice (Adobe Audition) and chose the ID22 as the input for a multi-track recording session (Figure 4, below). The unit performed flawlessly and gave me fantastic results that the client loved.

Figure 4. Mulititrack recording in Adobe Audition with the ID22 as the input source.

Ventilation

One concern I had regarding the ID22 involved all that power being packed into such a small, unventilated box. I had noticed that the surface of the ID22 became very warm after having it powered on for only a few minutes. I decided to test how well it held up by using it and then leaving it powered on all night. While the surface was still warm to the touch, it didn’t feel any warmer or cooler than it had after running for 15 minutes.

Audient technical director Tom Waterman explains the ID22’s heat management as follows: “The main enclosure is Zintec, but not fully sealed, and the front panel is 3mm aluminum, which has good thermal properties. And overall, because the internals aren’t totally cramped inside, there is some airspace and things don’t get significantly hot.” He adds that the 12V DC wall wart does the bulk of the power supply work, keeping much of the heat away from the unit itself.

Powering the ID22

My time with the ID22 left me with very little to complain about. I would like to see a DC or USB power option to allow greater portability. As it is, a user must be connected to AC power via a standard 6-ft. cord with wall wart. Again, Tom Waterman explains that the 12VDC provides plenty of power for all of its functions. “It is, however, a huge challenge to overcome on a USB 5V supply that can provide only 2.5W total,” he adds. Included in the package are multiple AC plug adapters for use in different countries.

If battery power is an absolute must for your streaming event, then the newer, smaller Audient ID14 (Figure 5, below) may fit well into your gear. It offers bus power that can be used as a truly portable solution and includes the same high-quality mic preamps that the ID22 boasts. Among other differences, the ID14 offers 10 in/4 out.

Figure 5. The Audient ID14. Click the image to see it at full size.

A Tremendous Value

Overall, the Audient ID22 has a whole lot to love and very little to dislike. The lack of DC power support is understandable considering the power potential of the device, but it still makes it difficult to justify taking it on some locations.

The build and performance quality of the hardware make it a tremendous value at $599. When you add the software augmentation to the capabilities of the hardware, you get a world-class audio device that can find a place in almost any producer’s toolkit.