As an addendum to our first look at Propellerhead’s new Reason 6 announcements (including incorporating Record), Propellerhead points us to a promo video of their new Balance audio interface. We’ve seen efforts before to make software more appealing to newcomers by bundling an audio interface, so this is, on the face of it, hardly “stop-the-presses!” sort of news for digital musicians. But there’s some evidence the Propellerheads may have hit on a new formula.
One, Balance doesn’t look exactly like every other audio interface on the market. The design is distinctive, and the wedge-shaped form would appear to make it friendlier to use. Two, they’ve really focused on metering, which in computer recording – absent an integrated piece of hardware on which you’re tracking – has been a sticking point. You both get some protection against clipping if you set the gain wrong and an easy way to watch level without hunching over either your audio box or your computer screen; there’s one place to look on-screen and it’s very large.
Propellerhead also promises Balance fits in your laptop bag. Wait… how do they know how big your laptop bag is? (Well, they know how big mine is, as I’ve been to Stockholm, but as for the rest of you…) And as I noted earlier, it’s class-compliant so it works with things like Linux and iPads and not just Mac and Windows.
The design looks really, really nice, and since you asked, you will be able to get this USB2 interface standalone. A 2×2 interface is something you’ve probably already got, but this one comes complete with I/O that lets you connect everything into what amounts to a matrix. The remaining question is how it all sounds; everyone claims things are “high-quality” and “low-latency,” but that’s where we do have to test.
More on Balance:
Balance Product Page