Recording Audio? Here’s What You Need To Know About Audio Interfaces

Are you planning to set up a home recording studio? Then, it is important to know what are the needs and right pieces of equipment in setting up one. I went through this recently while trying out an idea to turn this blog into a podcast, so I figured I’d try to shed some light on the insight I gained. With our digital age, it is really not that hard to put together a basic studio. All you need is a computer and the right pieces of equipment (and of course a little know-how) you will be on your way. 

Having an audio interface is one of the most important things you can do for your home recording studio. This is Because it is the hardware that connects your computer to your microphones and other audio gear. With this, you will be able to record voices and instruments. It is better to have this than the sound card built in your computer, the sound card is limited and not ideal for recording. In addition to that, it can also improve the sound as the recordings enter your computer.

What would you need to know about an audio interface?

1. The right inputs and outputs

There are a variety of audio interfaces available and it could be overwhelming to choose the right one if you don’t know what you’re looking fr. The first thing you need to ask yourself will be “Where will I use it for?” It could be for either voice or instrument. It could be for both. The first factor to consider is the connection format. The most popular is the USB. And because it is the most common, it is also cheaper and easy to find one. Others include FireWire, which is primarily found on Mac and other Apple products, but keep in mind that the newer Mac is installed with Thunderbolt. There is also another one which is the PCIe and cannot be used with laptop computers because it is a card-based interface. Other connections you need to know about are the audio I/O, midi I/O, and digital I/O. 

2. The sound quality provided and the value

Like among other things, having a higher quality piece of equipment will come at a greater price. There are also less expensive models out there that may not be professional grade but will still be of decent quality. All you need is to do a little research about it. For example, there are times that an audio interface may be more expensive it has a lot of inputs. This is great if you’re recording a band, but if you’re a lone-star musician you might not need them all, so it is better to choose an audio interface that has less inputs and a lower price tag. There are a few key factors that influence the quality of sound:

  1. Bit depth – this is the number of bits of information in each sample. The more bits your audio interface offers, the more accurately the recorded signal will represent the original.
  2. Sample rate – this is how many times a sound is sampled or the frequency of samples. 
  3. Converter quality – these are devices or software that converts audio signals from one format to another.

Having a piece of knowledge about this will enable you to buy the interface that will fit well within your studio. You will be able to find something within your budget and narrow down the overwhelming amount of choices you have.