Lexicon IO 22 IONIX USB Audio Interface
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The Lexicon U22 IONIX USB 2.0 audio interface is a versatile tool that works with both Windows and Apple operating systems. The new DBX microphone preamps work to minimise the noise to create professional recordings. The Lexicon U22 can simultaneously record two channels using the midi input, the Hi-Z instrument input and two analogue combi-jack mic inputs. The Lexicon I·ONIX U22 audio interface features the newly designed DBX microphone preamps on every channel.
Top Customer Reviews
1) to connect AKG C214 XLR cable to my mac
2) to provide plenty of phantom juice to the mic
Second reason distilled choices to a few interfaces which had external power source. Lexicon was one of them, and looked the best - triangular shape, perfectly fitting under monitor screen. Because of it's shape, it's very easy to reach and to see generally. The lights are very classy too - as you can see in the product image they go upwards.
Large diaphragm cardioids require a lot of juice and I decided not to go for common, bus-powered option. Also, from the price/quality/features standpoint, the best of those tiny "normal" boxes is Scarlet 2I2 which is red. In my opinion it screams unprofessional, and many other black/greyish interfaces lacked on features.
Back on subject. Lexicon IO 22 reminds me of Mackie mixers - USA build quality, knobs having some resistance (like power-assisted Rolls Royce doors), heck, even XLR connections have paddles to secure the lead. You won't find that in sub-£200 interfaces.
It's also got instrument connection, midi in/out and jack outputs, but I haven't used them yet. Phones socket feels special, and boy the amps are powerful! My DT 990 PRO cans used to be on 80-90% on 3.5mm laptop connection, but on Lexicon IO 22 I'm having them on around 15%!
Oh, and all knobs indeed turn up to 11 - there are actually 11 markings on each knob.
Mac setup was painless, I downloaded drivers, single popup swore something about a kernel once, but after restart Adobe Audition recognised the device, as well as Mac Preferences.
I'm recording as high as never before - 24-bit/96kHz and everything sound great. (knock knock knock on the wood).
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
- Installation was flawless: insert DVD, follow instructions.
- 9V adapter (instead of being USB powered) and supports the 48V 'phantom' power for high end microphones.
- USB 2.0, all complaints about drops and pops for the USB 1.1 products are gone.
- Sturdy construction, nice big dials. The less expensive Lexicon products had quality complaints; this one is built like a brick.
- Simplicity. It has only 2 inputs (the 3rd 'instrument' input disables the mic/line input #1 when plugged in) but that is exactly what I need.
- No power button? I'll need to put all my recording stuff on a switched power strip.
- Like most of these products, for some reason there is no easy way to use your PC speakers for a monitor. I'd figured there would be a way to send the digital output to the sound card, but instead I guess I'll connect the outputs to the analog PC line in. Ah well..
This LEXICON has given me NO PROBLEMS thus far. Plug it in, load the driver and play REALLY! Migrated into Logic Pro with
NO PROBLEM, even use it as the audio out for the Regular stuff instead of my computer speakers so the sound can come
thru my Studio Speakers as well. Does EXACTLY what it PROMISES to do WITHOUT any glitches. Yeah, there's CHEAPER ones
out there to purchase, ONLY to have to replace at a later date, but, if you've spent loads of money on your studio equipment
why have a WEAK LINK in the chain of your studio ? What ya got to lose? Try one and write YOUR OWN comments about it
afterwards. Oh, just so you'll know, there IS one small annoying thing (sorry) there's NO on and off switch on it but, I'm sure
like I did, you can figure out how to address that small issue. If you're looking for a USB connection to get your gear into your
computer, TRY THIS LEXICON, YOU won't be sorry.
It's ok tho, I still consider the omega a good option on a budget. It's not perfect or fancy but has some features and gets the job done.
I ordered the Ionix based on the good previous experience and how comfortable I feel with my previous interface and this is really an upgrade.
Currenlty I'm composing music and sound effects for video games and this is exaclty what I need. The new design is fantastic as you have all the controls in fron of you and fits just perfectly between the keyboard and your screen. It's built like a tank, very solid and with an exquisite minimalistic finish.
Features, well the ones mentioned above by the seller, nothing fancy but everything you could possible need in a home studio or if you are solely into digital music.
One reviewer mentions the ionix as not having a power switch and my previous omega didnt so I get the feeling! cause it is something so obvious.But my ionix does have a power switch and that is a great upgrade.
As for bundle software, well cubase le4 it's ok, great program. I don't use it tho and a very crappy lite version of ez drummer.
I use this interface with Logic and Garage band and the installation was a breeze on Mac, no problems with the drivers or anything else.
I really recommend this product. Solid, functional,versatile and made in the USA.
While I don't have a ton of experience with converters, I immediately noticed how good the conversion was when listening to music on my computer. It's simply light years ahead of the onboard sound card. Even music streamed over the internet seemed better defined and clearer, though this did expose how compressed the high end is in streaming music. It's conversion was equally good when running a guitar direct into it and through an amp simulator.
The preamps on this interface are a great value for their low cost, and they are quite clean, however they do add a hint of character to the sources run through them. They seem to add a mild punchiness to anything recorded to it, which suggests a slightly boosted mid range. However, this isn't the the point where it becomes detrimental on some sources. The rest on the frequency range seems quite true to the source, and I've been really happy with the early results I've had on vocals and acoustic guitar. The preamps also do have quite a bit of gain available, and I've been able to get a good level with my active ribbon microphone Blue Microphones Woodpecker Ribbon Microphone Kit by turning the knob to about 2 o'clock.
The Unit Itself
The build quality of this unit is excellent. Though it's made of plastic, it seems very durable, and is pretty heavy for it's size. (It's larger than it looks in the photo, about a foot long and about 4 inches tall) The knobs all turn slowly, and feel quite solid. They also are fairly large, and spaced far enough apart that you won't accidentally change the wrong one. All of the inputs feel solidly built as well, which is reassuring in regards to this unit's lifespan. My only gripes about this is that they could've put db level markings around either the knobs or alongside the level indicator. The unit looks awesome and the leds for input and output levels are a nice touch. Though I don't sit it between a keyboard and monitor like Lexicon recommends, it fits well next to my laptop.
Of course the latency of an interface and turn a phenomenal unit into a paperweight, but I happy to report that I've been able to achieve quite low latency (19ms roundtrip) on my 2.1 ghz, 3 gb ram laptop. This allows me to record guitar through amp simulators, and do midi work with ease. Response on both guitar and soft synths controlled by a midi keyboard is pretty much instant, which makes it really easy to work with.
Overall, I highly recommend this unit for anyone running Windows vista or later. I can't comment on the Mac drivers, but Lexicon seems to have released new drivers for Mac, so earlier reviews regarding that can probably be disregarded. The pretty small price tag of this unit, and small latency times, coupled with great preamps and great conversion make it in my opinion, the best interface in this price range.
The U22 interface routes into my Mac book with 4g of ram, and the fastest processor for that model. The instruments used for this review were: Hofner Jazzica, Neumann TLM120.
I found the software CDE install a bit of a nightmare, as I had to download Stuffit for the application to run the install, and this is with Leopard. It was not nearly as bug free as it should have been, as the Panthenon Reverb would not open and required more de-bugging. After the Men in Black install, I find the unit runs nearly perfect, and the Reverb Plugin makes the unit worth the effort. The unit is very transparent, and the noise floor is very low for the cost of this unit. The headphone output sounds warm, and monitoring shows very little latency on the playback and tracking. I found that even the most basic sounding track comes alive with the Panthenon!!!KUDOS there.
One very major problem: The Mic/Line/Inst input knob has a nasty overdrive spike near the end of the pot/knobs throw. I find it continuously difficult to get a proper signal level that is full sounding and does not consistently distort. The boasting about the DBX preamps is just that. If the Pots were upgraded the unit would probably be improved at least 50% imo.
I would buy again for the value, but if you can save up for the Apogee Duet or something that does not overdrive to create sufficient sound, then do it.