Most who played in a garage band dodged the Wedding Singer bullet. But they’re the inspiration for your favourite music, and some of the biggest albums were recorded in garages. We’ll play you the original version of Springsteen’s recording of Born in the USA. It’ll blow your mind. Shaun Jette, G&B’s live truck director and frontman for Porch Stool Jam, opens the mic to review the Roland Rubix 44 for Dadbods everywhere still rocking out on weekends. We’ll also find out what Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark’s original band name was. It was awkward. But not as awkward as the show opening.
Roland Rubix 44 Hands-on Review
Shaun Jette, G&B Studio Director, Porch Stool Jam
Wowza. The Roland Rubix 44 is one pretty audio interface. It is a stark contrast from what I have been using as seen in the photo below.
The Apogee Duet and I have been through a lot. It has has had more than a few choice words thrown in its direction during our time together but it has also been a warrior. The Duet has one of the messiest inputs I have ever seen. It looks like an audio interface with dreadlocks.
The Rubix 44 is a whole other thing. Four adaptable inputs set neatly in to the front of the unit, individual outputs for each channel and a USB output port.
This unit is all about the tactile and that is a big step up from what I am used to. The digital interface of the Duet and others like it, is finicky, difficult to adjust and requires a fair amount of setting up each time it is used.
Not so with the Rubix 44 (also available in a two channel version called the Rubix 22). This thing is as plug-and-play as they come. GarageBand recognized it immediately and automatically adjusted its input output settings.
The Rubix has built in compression per channel as well as phantom power, main output and headphone audio control. The compression is a soft touch but it helps keep the levels even without much adjustment. There are large input lights above each channel that remain green if your level is good and turn red when you peak. I found the levels needed to be quite high but it wasn’t a problem.
There are also a series of switches across the back of the unit, two of which deal with compression per channels 3-4 and 1-2. They appear to offer different levels of compression or the use of a limit. I’m not really sure though because they are not mentioned anywhere in the manual or the handy set up video that can be seen here.
The downsides are all to do with the placement for some of the buttons. The power switch is small and at the back of the unit as are the previously mentioned compression settings buttons. The dials across the front have very small lettering around them and are hard to read for an older home recording enthusiast (not me of course but older guys with failing eyesight who know me).The other thing lacking from the Rubix 44 is a bluetooth output. It would be nice to have for home recording since bluetooth headphones have become standard gear for many people. I asked Roland if they are considering adding that for future editions and they said they are not but are always open to new ideas. I think it would make a nice addition.
On another positive note, the Rubix interacted very well with my vocal processor that I use for live performance. It has a great auto harmonizer built into it but did not have good sound quality while using my Duet.
The one thing I have not tried out yet is the Rubix 44 in a live performance. I read other reviews that suggested it is a great way to add some light compression to vocals and instruments. It would also be a great addition to a live recording kit for those same reasons.
Overall, the Rubix 44 is a sweet ride. Easy to use, pretty to look at and excellent quality sound.
Shaun Jette is the Studio Director for Geeks & Beats Live on Location and the frontman to the Dadbod Garage Band Supergroup Porch Stool Jam. Visit them on Facebook.