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When it comes to fighting noise, the Rubix 44 starts off with a pair of microphone preamps that go hand in hand with its extensively shielded construction. These passive noise-reduction methods work great in most cases, but sometimes bad power can ruin your day. Roland addressed this issue by outfitting the Rubix 44 with a system-wide ground-lift switch, so you can cut off any hum coming from the power supply. That's something recording engineers have rarely, if ever, seen on an audio interface, and it's extremely useful for recording live sound.
Ask any seasoned engineer/producer, and they'll tell you that getting the best possible sound on the way in will save you hours of editing when it's time to mix. One of the easiest ways to improve your incoming audio is by adding a touch of compression on the front side to keep your levels smooth. That usually requires outboard compressors to pull off, but Roland equipped the Rubix 44 with a pair of 3-mode compressor/limiter circuits for each set of stereo inputs. These dynamics circuits feature two gentle compression types plus a more aggressive limiter — something you'll appreciate if you track live sound, where unexpected spikes can obliterate your audio quality.
Between its class-compliant USB, robust design, and low-noise performance options, it's clear that Roland intended for the Rubix 44 to be a great mobile audio interface, but it has some tricks up its sleeve that also make it a wonderful start or addition to your home studio. First off, it comes with Ableton Live Lite, which is both a solid DAW and a powerful songwriting tool. MIDI I/O also adds compatibility with keyboards, controllers, and other devices. Selectable headphone output sources let you create a separate monitor mix for recording, which is a real bonus if you collaborate with other artists. Loopback recording lets you record output sources from your computer, which is particularly handy for podcasting and similar applications.