Hey what’s good fam!
Feel like I been gone for a while (little over a week) had to take care of a few things but I’m back and ready to knock out some more reviews for ya!
Today I’m checking out the AIO 6 from Icon Digital, a company I didn’t really know about until I saw them at NAMM back in January.
So anyway, let’s check it out!
So what is the AIO 6?
This is a 6 in/6 out USB audio interface that also doubles as a dedicated control surface for your DAW
It doesn’t take up too much space, but gives you direct access to 4 channels in your daw, as well as the master channel, and the hardware output levels.
It does this with 7 faders directly on the front panel.
You also get full transport control and a dedicated jog wheel for moving through your project.
Input gain and phantom power can be adjusted from the top of the unit as well so you can quickly dial in the amount of gain you need for your mic or other instruments, and provide power if needed.
- Connectivity: 2 mic/instrument combo jacks, 2 analog 1/4″ inputs, SPDIF in/out via RCA coax, 2 headphone outputs, 4 analog 1/4″ outputs, USB, MIDI in/out
- Controls: 4 channel faders, 5 controller knobs, jog wheel, mute/solo/rec buttons for channels, 6 transport buttons, zoom, save, undo, prev/next buttons, and 4 bank/layer buttons
- Price: $494.99
- Product page: https://www.icondigitalusa.com/content/aio-6
How does it sound?
I didn’t find that it colored the input in any way, pretty much what you put in is what you get. I did find the audio output a little on the lower side or rather in relation to the fader I had to leave it up around 80% to get my normal level of output.
On my current interface at the time (NI Ka6) I usually left the output around 50%. Once I got used to that I was fine.
In terms of sound or performance, I didn’t get any stability issues whatsoever and found I could actually run the AIO 6 at a lower latency than I was previously used to, without any drop outs, clicks, or choking from my CPU.
I’ve also dealt with interfaces that required a hard reset over time as it would start to introduce slight static or crackling, none of that here as I put it through it’s paces at all. Very stable and didn’t get in my way when creating/working.
So what’s the bottom line?
This in an interesting unit and I’m sure many will find exactly what they need here.
For those that need a stable USB audio device and also wish to have more control over their projects with a dedicated control surface, this unit works without much setup required.
The inclusion of the Mackie control templates for a handful of major DAW applications really makes the setup easy. I’ve also found that these templates usually work fine in other apps that are not specifically listed, such as Studio One, which worked fine with the Pro Tools HUI template and the Nuendo/Cubase Mackie control template.
Of course you can go in and setup whatever you wish in MIDI mode, which allows the faders and knobs to send regular MIDI cc information
I give the AIO 6 interface/controller 4 out of 5 subs, it’s stable, easy to setup, and provides quite a bit of control in a smaller footprint for those that are space conscious.
It was a bit big for my own personal taste, mainly because I don’t do a lot of DAW mixing. I also wish the knobs were more rubberized instead of the hard plastic and the jog wheel felt a tad small in my hands.
Nothing too major though, those are really just issues with my own personal taste.
One thing I did notice in some of the Mackie templates that the push buttons would sometimes require a couple presses to activate, mainly noticed in the zoom buttons.
Overall it’s a solidly built product with stable drivers and useful hands on control.
Check it out: https://www.icondigitalusa.com/content/aio-6
Or many of their other products and controllers.
Leave a comment below and let me know what you think. Have you used or heard of Icon before? If so, what was your experience?