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RODE Announces New AI-1 Audio Recording Interface

By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)

As a one-man or one-woman crew, you may be called upon to create voiceovers, or simple wish to lay down some music tracks for your 

 project in your home recording studio. Computers are great for that, and I know Roger McGuinn of the Byrds does just that, recording his music directly to PC. But if you need to monitor your recording at the same time, it can get a bit dicey. Enter RØDE with their new AI-1 audio interface.

“The AI-1 offers pro-studio quality at a home studio price point. It’s simply the best in its class – and it’s also incredibly easy to use, thanks to thoughtful design and Australian Made quality. The perfect companion to any RØDE microphone.” – Damien Wilson, CEO RØDE Microphones

Coming in a kit that includes the RØDE’s NT-1 large diaphragm condenser microphone, SMR shock mount, pop shield and 20 foot cable, the AI-1 is practically plug and play, as you can pull it all out of the box, plug it in and hit record. There’s no setting of levels, no downloading drivers, nothing. And because it is phantom powered, it requires no AC to drive it, making it perfect for on location recording. And users can enjoy pleasant sounding feedback with the RØDE’s Superior Headphone Amplifier built in, controlled by a simple headphone output level control.

Specifications include:

  • High-Speed USB-C Audio Interface
  • 96 kHz / 24-Bit
  • Premium Discrete Headphone Amplifier
  • Single Combo XLR-1/4″ Input
  • Phantom Power for Condenser Microphones
  • Two balanced 1/4″ Monitor Outputs
  • USB Powered
  • Dynamic Range of 104 dBu
  • Frequency Réponse 20Hz-20kHz better than ±1dB
  • Gain range 0dB->45dB
  • Equivalent noise at Max gain -128dB-A
  • Maximum output level -6dBu
  • Headphone power 32 Ohms ->24mW
  • Bit depth – 24 bit
  • Sample Rates from 44.1 kHz – 96 kHz

The Interface is USB bus powered and provides 48v phantom power directly to your microphone through the Neutrik combo jack input, which can support either XLR or even quarter inch jack phone connectors that are common for musical instruments.

There’s also a discrete Class-A preamp that provides zero latency monitoring, so you can listen while you’re recording and not have a delay. You can also control an instrument, such as a guitar, or line level device, like a syntheizer. Other connections include USB-C, with a USBC-USBA cable adapter.

The AI-1 also comes with a lite version of Ableton Live recording software. Abelton Live has a simple to use software interface that provides an easy way to write, record and produce music with a simple workflow.

Price of the RØDE’s AI-1 is expected to be around $129 [click to pre-order], but currently, the AI-1 is only offered in a studio kit that includes the RØDE’s NT-1 large diaphragm condenser microphone, SMR shock mount, pop shield and 20 foot cable. The kit is $349 [click to pre-order]. Either way, you can’t beat the price, and both options will come with Abelton Live Lite for a limited time only.

Sadly, it is not available through Amazon as RØDE has had trouble with counterfeit products through eCommerce options, and have opted to rely solely on their network of authorized RØDE distributors (such as B&H, which we linked to above). For more information, check out RØDE’s site.