Soundcard suggestions for GP guitar players

First, a bit of context if you don’t mind.

I m looking at leaving the Roland 13 pin VG-99/GR-55/GP-10 universe
and embarking on a laptop based/VST/ Ableton live Suite/ Fishman TriplePlay

My intentions/priorities in order are

  • solo jazz guitar playing, which does not require much except good tone.
  • Playing solo with backup tracks of mainly a bass and a drums
  • Occasional normal guitar role in a band/duo/trio situation

The desktop is in repair, so I’m using a year old laptop on Windows 10
that has 3 Tb of SSD on it, with a fairly ( fast at the time) processor.

I just burned through 2 desk sound cards in the last 2 years.

I’ve rigged an old Zoom H4N to work temporarely as a sound card,
but outputs are a meek 1/8" stereo. That zoom wasn’t intended for this job.

So my question dear community members,
What soundcard would you recommend that:

  • Plays nice with a GP4 setup
  • Is compact
  • Has 2 outs at least+ 1 or 2 headphones outlets
  • decent preamps
  • rugged
  • USB (black) or USB-C

Any sound card recommendation?
And feel free to share any thoughts.


That’s a recurrent question here:

  • MOTU M4 (very good quality, low latency)
  • RME Babyface Pro FS (even better, more options more expansion possibilities, fantastic drivers and pro mixer TotalMix FX which can be controlled by GP via OSC)

It is quite rare to have more than one headphone output on an audio interface. On my RME UCX I use a line ouput for a second headphone, but this doesn’t work with most of other audio interface I tested.

You can search the forum, for other topics on the same subject… :wink:


I used the smaller M2 for a while… a quite good audio interface, but in my opinion the gain knobs (at least on the M2) were far from what i would call “rugged”.
They worked well but they felt quite wobbly in the case.
A very big plus is the VU meter display. Never saw something better on an audio interface!

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I am using an SSL 2+ and love it for it’s simplicity. The driver is as basic as it can be (there are no applications for eg channel routing). Build quality is great and performance rock solid. It has 2 headphone connections.

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Using RME Babyface Pro at home and on stage.
Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 in an equipped room with musician friends.

But for the MIDI guitar, I gave up hardware a long time ago and switched to Midi Guitar from Jam Origin :wink:


The MOTU 1248 has 2 headphone outs.


Thank you all.
Gonna check all those suggestions out.
I’ll probably be posting anther question or two.

But unfortunately, it is not compact at all…

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I’m rather happy with my Focusrite scarlett 4i4 3rd gen. 4 in, 4 out, one headphone connector (channel 3 and 4). High Impendance on input 1 and 2. Usb-c. Not sure whether you would call this ‘compact’, though

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LoL. What you are seeing with all these replies is that you do not need a sound card, as was so fundamental in the “good old days” if you wanted decent audio. A good audio interface on current hardware and software fill the bill more than adequately. Soundcards still have their niche, but usually in complex and/or large systems. Your requirements are very modest, so the world is your oyster with respect to choices and very reasonable costs. The suggestions given are for devices that will serve you well, whether you are an enthusiast or a professional artist.

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Do you feel it’s rugged for backpack situations? Thx

Yeah that one is high on the list.

It feels solid enough. The few controls at the front are good enough. I’m using it every week. It fits in my laptop bag, but that’s almost a suitcase, because I’m having a 17” laptop. I travel by car.