What Is a Audio Interface?
An Audio interface is a device that you can purchase to make recording sounds such as music and voice sound clear and professional. This works by improving the sonic capabilities of a computer and producing that studio crystal clear quality sound. Some of the interfaces allow you to connect instruments and professional microphones to your computer as well.
Will I Need This If I Have A Sound Card?
Every computer already comes with a sound card but it was not designed to output higher resolution associated with music. So this is where the audio interface comes in to play. Yes they may be the same thing as far as both being a sound card but the similarities stop there. The audio interface produces a higher quality of sound than the already installed sound card on your computer and it allows you more input and output options for instruments and microphones.
Which One To Get?
There are different options to choose from based on your need and what you are going to be doing. If you are going to to be making simple music with one or two microphones then you can just do the simple two output option interface. On the flip side if you are going all out with instruments and more than two microphones you will need a more fully equipped interface with more than two input and output capabilities.
How Do I Connect This Interface To My Computer?
The audio interface is very easy to hook up to your computer. The most important thing is to know what kind of connection ports are on your computer. These can be different size USB ports, fire wire, PCI card slots, and express card slots. This will all be based on the type of computer you are using. Knowing this will help you find the right interface to suite your need. If you have more than one option for a port on your computer than you can choose which one you want to use. To narrow this down you need to think about what you will be doing. If you will be using multiple instruments and microphones you will need the best port, and for this it would be a high speed port such as fire wire. If you are doing something more simple with one microphone you could just stick with a regular USB port.
Do I Need Anything Extra
You really will not need anything extra to make the interface work. However it is good to get some good quality speakers so that you can hear all that good quality sound that is about to produce from the interface. Make sure you choose the best for your needs and what you are trying to do. If the speakers will connect to your interface make sure you have the correct connection ports. Another good item to purchase is some good quality studio headphones. This is not a requirement but a nice option if you need some private listening time. You would also want to make sure that you have some good quality microphones with the quality connection cables. If you go the cheaper route you will be able to tell in the quality of the sound. So it is good to put out a little more cash and go for the best. We all know the saying, “You get what you pay for!”
How Much Is It?
The cost for one of these depends on what your doing with it. For the simple basic interface with two outputs and a headphone port the cheapest can start at $25.00. With this one in particular you must keep in mind it is very basic. The more technical things you want to do with your music means you probably will pay more. The mid price range is $79.00 to $99.00 and the most expensive hitting the $1,400.00 range. Yes that is a pretty pricey tag but keep in mind it is worth it if you want quality sound. But if your just starting out it is a good idea to start off small then go big later on.
Now that you are armed with this information you should be able to make a sound decision and start making music. So get going there is music to be made!