Open Audio Hardware Guide

As the leading developer of music and sound software for Windows, Cakewalk has always advocated and supported open industry standards, giving you the flexibility to create the best hardware and software configuration according to your own needs.

Cakewalk software products are designed to work with any audio hardware that supports ASIO or standard Windows drivers, providing you with the widest range of hardware choices available. We created this guide to help you decide which audio hardware is best-suited for your specific Cakewalk-based recording system. For the most up to date driver compatibility information on Windows, please check with the device’s manufacturer.

This list is a resource for both authorized Cakewalk resellers and Cakewalk customers. It allows you to quickly compare the features of a number of different audio interfaces, making your hardware decision that much easier. Please see the Glossary if you are unfamiliar with any of the terms used in this guide. If you would like more information on a specific card, simply click on the name of the manufacturer to open a link to their website.

Disclaimer: this guide provides an extensive hardware listing, but does not represent all available audio hardware products. The following audio cards shown represent a broad cross-section of today’s best-selling and most reliable products. We have made every effort to ensure that the following information is accurate at the time this guide was printed. Cakewalk is not responsible for any inaccurate information. Prices, specifications and availability are subject to change without notice. (Note: the “Max. Bit Depth/Sample Rate” listed is per manufacturer specification, actual results may vary per program.)

 

Antelope Audio

Model Format Analog I/O Mic Preamps Features Digital I/O Max. Bit Depth/Sample Rate Sync MIDI I/O ASIO Support
Eclipse 384 USB 2.0 10x12.1 0 Exceptional A/D-D/A conversion and clocking AES; S/PDIF; Toslink 24/192x2 AES; S/PDIF; Toslink; W/C None Yes
Orion 32 USB 2.0 32x32 0 Exceptional A/D-D/A conversion and clocking MADI; ADAT; S/PDIF 24/192 S/PDIF; W/C None Yes
Zen Studio USB 2.0 20x14 12 Phantom Power; Exceptional A/D-D/A conversion; Hi-Z Inputs; XLR/1/4" Combination Inputs; Analog Inserts via TRS ADAT; S/PDIF 24/192 S/PDIF; W/C None Yes

 

Blue

Model Format Analog I/O Mic Preamps Features Digital I/O Max. Bit Depth/Sample Rate Sync MIDI I/O ASIO Support
Icicle USB 2.0 1x0 1 XLR Phantom Power None 16/44.1 None None No

 

Creative

Model Format Analog I/O Mic Preamps Features Digital I/O Max. Bit Depth/Sample Rate Sync MIDI I/O ASIO Support
Sound Blaster Z PCIe 1x1 None 116dB SNR; Surround TOSLINK 24/192 None None Yes
Sound Blaster Zx PCIe 1x3 None 116dB SNR; Surround; External Audio Control Module TOSLINK 24/192 None None Yes
Sound Blaster ZxR PCIe 1x3 None 124dB SNR; Surround; External Audio Control Module; Swappable Op-amps TOSLINK (optional daughterboard) 24/192 None None Yes
Sound Blaster X-Fi HD USB 2x2 None 114dB SNR; Phono Preamp TOSLINK 24/192 None None Yes
Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro USB 2x2 None 100dB SNR; Surround TOSLINK 24/96 None None Yes

 

Fender

Model Format Analog I/O Mic Preamps Features Digital I/O Max. Bit Depth/Sample Rate Sync MIDI I/O ASIO Support
Mustang USB 2.0 1x2 0 Guitar Amplifier; Direct Monitoring None 16/44.1 None None Yes
Slide USB 2.0 1x2 0 Direct Monitoring None 24/48 None None Yes

 

Focusrite

Model Format Analog I/O Mic Preamps Features Digital I/O Max. Bit Depth/Sample Rate Sync MIDI I/O ASIO Support
Scarlett Solo USB 2.0 2x2 1 Hi-Z Input; Phantom Power; Direct Monitoring None 24/96 None None Yes
Scarlett 2i2 USB 2.0 2x2 2 XLR/1/4" Combination Input; Phantom Power; Direct Monitoring None 24/96 None None Yes
Scarlett 2i4 USB 2.0 2x4 2 XLR/1/4" Combination Input; Preamp Pad; Phantom Power; Direct Monitoring None 24/96 None 1x1 Yes
Scarlett 6i6 USB 2.0 6x6 2 XLR/1/4" Combination Input; Preamp Pad; Phantom Power; Direct Monitoring; Unique Headphone Outputs S/PDIF 24/96 S/PDIF 1x1 Yes
Scarlett 18i8 USB 2.0 18x8 4 XLR/1/4" Combination Input; Preamp Pad; Phantom Power; Direct Monitoring; Unique Headphone Outputs S/PDIF, ADAT 24/96 S/PDIF 1x1 Yes
Scarlett 18i20 USB 2.0 18x20 8 XLR/1/4" Combination Input; Preamp Pad; Phantom Power; Direct Monitoring; Unique Headphone Outputs S/PDIF, ADAT 24/96 S/PDIF 1x1 Yes
Scarlett 8i6 USB 2.0 8x6 2 XLR/1/4" Combination Input; Phantom Power S/PDIF 24/96 S/PDIF 1x1 Yes
Scarlett 18i6 USB 2.0 18x6 2 XLR/1/4" Combination Input; Phantom Power S/PDIF, ADAT 24/96 S/PDIF 1x1 Yes
iTrack Solo USB 2.0 2x2 1 Phantom Power; Direct Monitoring iPad 24/96 None None Yes
Forte USB 2.0 2x4 2 Phantom Power None 24/192 None None Yes
Saffire 6 USB USB 2.0 2x4 2 XLR/1/4" Combination Input; Preamp Pad; Phantom Power; Direct Monitoring None 24/96 None 1x1 Yes
Saffire PRO 14 FireWire 400 8x6 2 XLR/1/4" Combination Input; Phantom Power; Thunderbolt Compatible (w/ adapter) S/PDIF 24/96 S/PDIF 1x1 Yes
Saffire PRO 24 FireWire 400 16x8 2 XLR/1/4" Combination Input; Phantom Power; Thunderbolt Compatible (w/ adapter) S/PDIF, ADAT 24/96 S/PDIF 1x1 Yes
Saffire PRO 24 DSP FireWire 400 16x8 2 XLR/1/4" Combination Input; Phantom Power; Thunderbolt Compatible (w/ adapter); Unique Headphone Outputs; Headphone monitoring simulation; Built-in DSP for onboard plug-in use S/PDIF, ADAT 24/96 S/PDIF 1x1 Yes
Saffire PRO 26 FireWire 400 18x8 4 XLR/1/4" Combination Input; Preamp Pad; Phantom Power; Thunderbolt Compatible (w/ adapter); Monitor Dim/Mute; Unique Headphone Outputs S/PDIF, ADAT 24/96 S/PDIF 1x1 Yes
Saffire PRO 40 FireWire 400 18x10 8 XLR/1/4" Combination Input; Preamp Pad; Phantom Power; Thunderbolt Compatible (w/ adapter); Monitor Dim/Mute; Unique Headphone Outputs S/PDIF, ADAT 24/96 S/PDIF 1x1 Yes
Liquid Saffire 56 FireWire 400 20x10 8 Liquid Preamp; XLR/1/4" Combination Input; Preamp Pad; Phantom Power; Thunderbolt Compatible (w/ adapter); Monitor Dim/Mute; Unique Headphone Outputs S/PDIF, ADAT 24/192 S/PDIF 1x1 Yes

 

Lexicon

Model Format Analog I/O Mic Preamps Features Digital I/O Max. Bit Depth/Sample Rate Sync MIDI I/O ASIO Support
I-O | 22 USB 2x2 2 XLR Hi-Z input, Phantom Power None 24/96 None 1x1 Yes
I-O | 42 USB 6x2 4 XLR Hi-Z input, Phantom Power S/PDIF 24/96 S/PDIF 1x1 Yes
I-O | 82 USB 10x2 8 XLR Hi-Z input; Phantom Power S/PDIF 24/96 S/PDIF 1x1 Yes
I-O | FW810S FireWire 400 8x10 8 XLR Combination Inputs; Tape saturation emulation S/PDIF 24/96 S/PDIF 1x1 Yes
Alpha USB 2x2 1 XLR Hi-Z input; Direct Monitoring; Mono/Stereo Monitoring None 24/48 None None Yes
Lambda USB 4x2 2 XLR Hi-Z input; Direct Monitoring; Mono/Stereo Monitoring; Analog Inserts None 24/48 None None Yes
Omega USB 8x2 2 XLR Phantom Power; Hi-Z input; Direct Monitoring; Mono/Stereo Monitoring; Analog Inserts None 24/48 None 1x1 Yes

 

Lynx Studio Technology

Model Format Analog I/O Mic Preamps Features Digital I/O Max. Bit Depth/Sample Rate Sync MIDI I/O ASIO Support
Hilo USB, Thunderbolt 2x6 0 Exceptional A/D - D/A Conversion AES; S/PDIF; ADAT; Toslink 24/192 S/PDIF; W/C None Yes
Aurora 16 ADAT, PT HD, MADI, USB, or Thunderbolt via Lynx expansion 16x16 0 Exceptional A/D - D/A Conversion AES; MADI 24/192 W/C 1x1 Yes
Aurora 16-VT ADAT, PT HD, MADI, USB, or Thunderbolt via Lynx expansion 16x16 0 Exceptional A/D - D/A Conversion AES; MADI 24/192 W/C 1x1 Yes
Aurora 8 ADAT, PT HD, MADI, USB, or Thunderbolt via Lynx expansion 8x8 0 Exceptional A/D - D/A Conversion AES; MADI 24/192 W/C 1x1 Yes

 

M-Audio

Model Format Analog I/O Mic Preamps Features Digital I/O Max. Bit Depth/Sample Rate Sync MIDI I/O ASIO Support
M-Track USB 2.0 4x4 2 Phantom Power; 1/4" Insert; Direct Monitoring None 24/48 None 1x1 Yes
M-Track Plus USB 2.0 4x4 2 Phantom Power; 1/4" Insert; Direct Monitoring S/PDIF 24/48 S/PDIF 1x1 Yes
M-Track QUAD USB 2.0 4x4 4 Combination Inputs; Phantom Power; 1/4" Inserts; Direct Monitoring; Stereo/Mono Monitoring None 24/96 None 1x1 Yes
M-Track Eight USB 2.0 8x14 8 Combination Inputs; Phantom Power; Direct Monitoring; Stereo/Mono Monitoring None 24/96 None None Yes
Fast Track Solo USB 2.0 2x4 1 Phantom Power; Direct Monitoring; Tablet Support None 24/48 None None Yes
Fast Track Duo USB 2.0 2x4 2 Phantom Power; Direct Monitoring; Tablet Support None 24/48 None None Yes

 

Mackie

Model Format Analog I/O Mic Preamps Features Digital I/O Max. Bit Depth/Sample Rate Sync MIDI I/O ASIO Support
Onyx Blackjack USB 2x2 2 Combination Inputs; Phantom Power; Direct Monitoring None 24/48 None None Yes
Onyx Blackbird FireWire 400 16x16 8 Combination Inputs; Phantom Power; Direct Monitoring; HPF; DSP Mixer ADAT 24/96 W/C None Yes
Onyx FW Mixer I/O Card FireWire 400 - - Inserts into Mackie Onyx 1220, 1620 and 1640 Mixers, converting them to Audio Interfaces - 24/96 - None Yes
ProFX USB 8 Mixer USB 12x6 4 Analog Inserts; Hi-Z Inputs; Channel HPFs; Channel EQs; Master EQ; Built-in FX; Phantom Power None 16/48 None None No
ProFX USB 12 Mixer USB 18x6 6 Analog Inserts; Hi-Z Inputs; Channel HPFs; Channel EQs; Master EQ; Built-in FX; Phantom Power None 16/48 None None No

 

MOTU

Model Format Analog I/O Mic Preamps Features Digital I/O Max. Bit Depth/Sample Rate Sync MIDI I/O ASIO Support
Audio Express USB/Firewire 6x6 2 Combination Inputs; Preamp Pad; Phantom Power S/PDIF 24/96 S/PDIF 1x1 Yes
Ultralite mk3 USB/Firewire 6x8 2 Combination Inputs; Preamp Pad; Phantom Power; CueMix DSP S/PDIF 24/192 S/PDIF 1x1 Yes
896 mk3 (all series) USB/Firewire 8x12 8 Combination Inputs; Preamp Pad; Phantom Power; CueMix DSP; V-Limit™ and Soft Clip™ ADAT; AES; S/PDIF 24/192 S/PDIF None Yes
Traveler mk3 FireWire 400 8x10 4 Combination Inputs; Preamp Pad; Phantom Power; CueMix DSP ADAT; AES; S/PDIF 24/192 S/PDIF; W/C None Yes
8pre USB 8x4 8 Combination Inputs; Preamp Pad; Phantom Power; CueMix DSP ADAT 24/96 Optical 1x1 Yes
4pre USB/Firewire 6x8 4 Combination Inputs; Preamp Pad; Phantom Power S/PDIF 24/96 S/PDIF None Yes
Microbook II USB 4x4 1 Preamp Pad; Phantom Power; CueMix DSP S/PDIF (out only) 24/96 S/PDIF (out only) None Yes
828 mk3 (all series) USB/Thunderbolt 10x10 2 Combination Inputs; Preamp Pad; Phantom Power; Analog Inserts; CueMix DSP ADAT; S/PDIF 24/192 S/PDIF; W/C 1x1 Yes
Track 16 USB/Firewire 8x8 2 Hi-Z Inputs; Phantom Power; CueMix DSP ADAT; SMUX; Toslink 24/192 SMPTE (with MOTU software) 1x1 Yes

 

Native Instruments

Model Format Analog I/O Mic Preamps Features Digital I/O Max. Bit Depth/Sample Rate Sync MIDI I/O ASIO Support
Komplete Audio USB 2.0 4x4 2 Phantom Power S/PDIF 24/96 S/PDIF 1x1 Yes

 

PreSonus

Model Format Analog I/O Mic Preamps Features Digital I/O Max. Bit Depth/Sample Rate Sync MIDI I/O ASIO Support
AudioBox 1818VSL USB 2.0 16x4 8 Combination Inputs; Phantom Power; Universal Control Software; Onboard DSP; Rack Mountable (1U) ADAT; S/PDIF 24/96 S/PDIF; W/C 1x1 Yes
AudioBox 22VSL USB 2.0 2x4 2 Combination Inputs; Phantom Power; Direct Monitoring None 24/96 None None Yes
AudioBox 44VSL USB 2.0 4x8 4 Combination Inputs; Phantom Power; Direct Monitoring None 24/96 None 1x1 Yes
AudioBox USB USB 2.0 2x4 2 Combination Inputs; Phantom Power; Direct Monitoring None 24/96 None 1x1 Yes*
FireStudio Mobile FireWire 400 8x4 2 Combination Inputs; Phantom Power; Universal Control Software S/PDIF (requires breakout cable) 24/96 S/PDIF (requires breakout cable) 1x1 (requires breakout cable) Yes
FireStudio Project FireWire 400 18x12 8 Combination Inputs; Phantom Power; Universal Control Software; Rack-Mountable (1U) S/PDIF 24/96 S/PDIF 1x1 Yes
StudioLive 16.0.2 FireWire 400 16x3 13 Fully functional mixer that doubles as an audio interface None 24/48 None 1x1 Yes
StudioLive 16.4.2 AI FireWire 400 32x18 16 Fully functional mixer that doubles as an audio interface S/PDIF 24/48 S/PDIF None Yes
StudioLive 24.4.2 AI FireWire 400 40x26 24 Fully functional mixer that doubles as an audio interface S/PDIF 24/48 S/PDIF None Yes
StudioLive 32.4.2 AI FireWire 400 48x34 32 Fully functional mixer that doubles as an audio interface S/PDIF 24/48 S/PDIF None Yes

 

Resident Audio

Model Format Analog I/O Mic Preamps Features Digital I/O Max. Bit Depth/Sample Rate Sync MIDI I/O ASIO Support
T4 Thunderbolt 4x8 4 Combination Inputs; Phantom Power None 24/96 None 1x1 Yes

 

RME

Model Format Analog I/O Mic Preamps Features Digital I/O Max. Bit Depth/Sample Rate Sync MIDI I/O ASIO Support
Babyface USB 2x4 2 Phantom Power; Breakout I/O; Hi-Z Input; Onboard DSP ADAT; S/PDIF 24/192 S/PDIF 1x1 Yes
Fireface UFX USB/FireWire 400 12x12 4 Phantom Power; Combination Inputs; Onboard DSP ADAT; AES; S/PDIF 24/192 S/PDIF; W/C 2x2 Yes
Fireface UCX USB/FireWire 400 8x8 2 Phantom Power; Combination Inputs ADAT; S/PDIF 24/192 S/PDIF; W/C 2x2 Yes
Fireface UC USB 2.0 8x8 2 Phantom Power; Combination Inputs ADAT; S/PDIF 24/192 S/PDIF; W/C 2x2 Yes
Fireface 800 Firewire 400/800 10x10 4 Phantom Power; All inputs can be used simultaneously ADAT; S/PDIF 24/192 S/PDIF; W/C 1x1 Yes
Fireface 802 USB/FireWire 400/800 12x12 4 Phantom Power; Combination Inputs; Onboard DSP ADAT; AES; S/PDIF 24/192 S/PDIF; W/C 1x1 Yes
MADIface USB USB 2.0/Optical/Coax 0 0 64x64 MADI I/O; Onboard DSP MADI Optical/MADI Coaxial 24/192 MADI None Yes
MADIface XT USB 2.0/3.0/Optical/Coax 2x2 2 196x198 MADI I/O; Onboard DSP MADI Optical/MADI Coaxial; AES 24/192 MADI; W/C 1x1 Yes

 

Roland

Model Format Analog I/O Mic Preamps Features Digital I/O Max. Bit Depth/Sample Rate Sync MIDI I/O ASIO Support
Studio capture USB 2.0 16x10 12 Phantom Power; Rack-Mountable; Expandable S/PDIF 24/192 S/PDIF 1x1 Yes
Octa-capture USB 2.0 8x10 8 Phantom Power; Rack-Mountable; Multiple Monitor Mixes S/PDIF 24/192 S/PDIF 1x1 Yes
Quad Capture USB 2.0 2x4 2 Phantom Power; Hi-Z Input; Ground Lift; Bundled with SONAR X1 LE S/PDIF 24/192 S/PDIF 1x1 Yes
Tri-Capture USB 2.0 2x4 1 Phantom Power; Hi-Z Input; Ground Lift; Bundled with SONAR X1 LE None 24/96 None None Yes
Duo-Capture MK2 USB 2.0 2x4 0 Line-In Port; Hi-Z Input; Direct Monitoring; Bundled with SONAR X1 LE None 24/48 None None Yes
Mobile UA USB 2.0 0x4 0 USB Dual Headphone Amplifier, DSD support None 32/352.8 None None Yes

 

Samson

Model Format Analog I/O Mic Preamps Features Digital I/O Max. Bit Depth/Sample Rate Sync MIDI I/O ASIO Support
C01U USB Mic USB 2.0 - 0 MICROPHONE - Comes bundled with SONAR LE None 16/48 None None No

 

Steinberg

Model Format Analog I/O Mic Preamps Features Digital I/O Max. Bit Depth/Sample Rate Sync MIDI I/O ASIO Support
UR22 USB 2.0 2x2 2 Combination Inputs; Direct Monitoring None 24/192 None 1x1 Yes
UR44 USB 2.0 6x4 4 Combination Inputs; Phantom Power; Direct Monitoring None 24/192 None 1x1 Yes
UR28M USB 2.0 6x8 2 Preamp Pad; Hi-Z Inputs; Monitor Dim; Onboard DSP S/PDIF 24/96 S/PDIF None Yes
UR824 USB 2.0 24x24 8 Combination Inputs; Preamp Pad; Phantom Power ADAT 24/192 None W/C Yes
CI1 USB 2.0 2x4 2 Hi-Z Inputs; Phantom Power None 24/48 None None Yes
CI2 USB 2.0 2x4 2 Hi-Z Inputs; Phantom Power; Direct Monitoring None 24/48 None None Yes
CI2+ USB 2.0 2x4 2 Hi-Z Inputs; Phantom Power; Direct Monitoring; Onboard DSP None 24/48 None None Yes
MR816 X Firewire 8x8 8 Preamp Pad; Combination Inputs; Monitor Dim; Onboard DSP ADAT; S/PDIF 24/96 S/PDIF; W/C None Yes
MR816 CSX Firewire 8x8 8 Same as MR816 X but with built in Compression & EQ ADAT; S/PDIF 24/96 S/PDIF; W/C None Yes

 

Tascam

Model Format Analog I/O Mic Preamps Features Digital I/O Max. Bit Depth/Sample Rate Sync MIDI I/O ASIO Support
US-2x2 USB 2.0 2x4 2 Phantom Power; Combination Inputs; Includes SONAR X3 LE None 24/96 None 1x1 Yes
US-4x4 USB 2.0 8x6 4 Phantom Power; Hi-Z Inputs; Includes SONAR X3 LE None 24/96 None 1x1 Yes
US-16x08 USB 2.0 16x10 8 Phantom Power None 24/96 None 1x1 Yes
UH-7000 USB 2.0 4x4 2 Phantom Power AES 24/192 None None Yes
US-1200 USB 2.0 6x4 4 Phantom Power; Hi-Z Inputs None 24/96 None None Yes
US-1800 USB 2.0 14x8 8 Phantom Power; Hi-Z Inputs S/PDIF 24/96 S/PDIF None Yes
US-366 USB 2.0 4x4 2 Phantom Power; Hi-Z Inputs; Direct Monitoring ADAT; S/PDIF 24/192 S/PDIF None Yes
US-322 USB 2.0 4x4 2 Phantom Power; Hi-Z Inputs; Direct Monitoring None 24/192 None None Yes

 

Universal Audio

Model Format Analog I/O Mic Preamps Features Digital I/O Max. Bit Depth/Sample Rate Sync MIDI I/O ASIO Support
Apollo Firewire 800/Thunderbolt 18x24 4 Combination Inputs; Phantom Power; Preamp Pad; HPF; Polarity Flip; Input Link ADAT; S/PDIF 24/192 S/PDIF; W/C None Yes
Apollo 16 Firewire 800/Thunderbolt 16x16 0 16x16 Analog I/O via DB25 Connectors AES; MADI 24/192 W/C None Yes

 

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