You don’t need to be an audio expert to know that Roland has a knack for delivering high-quality electronic audio gear. With this in mind, the Japanese brand’s first audio interface, the Octa-Capture 10X10, is a captivating prospect. It proves a very popular model and has set the bar high on our chart of the best audio interfaces under $500 – let’s find out why.
One quick glance at the Octa-Capture 10X10 is enough to know that you’re looking at a professional piece of gear. Sure, it shares a similar same layout to many other desktop interfaces out there, but there are certain components which help it stand out. For starters, there’s a small, but very handy LCD screen on the front panel – a feature not many audio interfaces in this range can brag about (more on this soon).
With considerable inputs and outputs, the Octa-Capture is no small device, measuring at 11.19” wide. But, as well as sitting on a desk, it comes with ears to attach it to a rack if you’d prefer to claim back some desk real estate. This unit has some weight to it at just under 3lbs, which reduces its portability but increases the feeling of quality and durability. On that note, the chassis is rock-solid in its build and inspires plenty of confidence.
Listing every one of the features on this interface is not an easy task, because it’s pretty packed! To start, there are ten inputs and ten outputs. Input-wise, there are two XLR/TRS with Hi-Z on the front, with another six mic/line combo inputs on the back. Roland has also installed eight premium microphone preamps, taken straight from their M400 mixer, so you are getting some professional-grade hardware.
Next, we have the AUTO-SENS feature, which automatically finds the perfect level for each of your preamps, so you don’t have to worry about leveling everything out manually – talk about saving time! This interface features a USB 2.0 connection – Thunderbolt would have been nice, but USB is still quite standard for this price. Finally, the software suite it comes with includes Cakewalk Production Plus package, as well as some proprietary software. Overall, this interface is one of the most versatile models you could hope to find in this range.
The main question is whether or not the Octa-Capture actually lives up to the hype. Are all the features we’ve mentioned (and the rest we haven’t!) worth it, or are they just pumping up the cost? However, spending just 15 minutes with this interface is enough to realize that the investment is absolutely worth it. The Octa-Capture is extremely quiet, works at a nearly unnoticeable latency, and sounds amazing. Those mic preamps work as expected (no surprise considering their long track record in Roland’s mixers) and you’re looking at a 24-bit/192kHz resolution in all its glory.
Meanwhile, the auto-leveling feature isn’t some quick fix – it actually works rather well. In general, this entire interface brings new value to the word ‘convenience’ when it comes to audio interfaces. The fusion of good hardware, proper software and impressive performance is well worth the investment.
Roland has done what they do best and created a better, more convenient audio interface, which gives the others in this price range a good run for their money. It’s equal parts solid hardware, great performance and convenience. Overall, the Roland Octa-Capture is an awesome find, even at this high mid-range price.