Home recording has become an important part of today’s music culture. Sounds and beats are to be arranged and processed to very high standards in virtual studios. The Propellerhead Balance audio interface is the first hardware product by Swedish audio software company Propellerhead. Back in the 1990s, Propellerhead started with a software called ReCycle for easy loop slicing and editing, and launched Reason in 2000, an emulation software that today offers musicians a complete virtual studio-type music production environment. Balance is a 2-in/2-out audio interface for recording and playback, specifically developed to satisfy the specific needs of the target group. The audio interface features an overall clear arrangement that is reduced to a few control elements and large rotary dials. Oriented toward daily use in a studio and allowing musicians to capture spontaneous ideas, the control elements of the Balance arranged on the top side instead of the common short side. In addition, since all gear inputs are colour-coded, musicians can leave all instruments connected and simply select the channel for recording. An equally large knob for speaker and headphone output levels has been used for the Balance. This audio interface thus reflects the reality of music today being produced both on laptops with headphones or at dedicated workplaces with speaker monitoring.
Statement by the jury
»The Propellerhead Balance audio interface convincingly translates the virtual world of home recording into a hardware product for audio recording and playback. Both its product graphics and user-oriented functionality are impressive.«