Are you a musician and want to turn your PC, Mac or iPod into a recording studio? You need a digital audio interface, often called sound card, to connect synthesizers, guitars or microphones. The problem is that supply is important, sometimes confusing but do not panic, here are some tips to help you make the right choice.
What kind of musician are you?
Depending on whether you play solo or with other musicians, whether you record lives, in the studio or in a home studio, your needs are not the same. Thus the number of inputs needed to record a battery is greater than if you work alone with your guitar. If you want an all-in-one solution, there are interfaces with mixing features. This can be useful if you play in a group, but this configuration is better for staying in a studio than for moving. To get the best of the audio interfaces, make a visit to https://musiety.com/the-best-audio-interfaces/.
If your goal is to produce an album, you will need to point to a map with good components.
What format do you need?
There are 3 main interface formats:
Nomadic models, which can be transported easily
These models are the most popular because they are easy to use and suitable for most uses. If you need to move, a nomadic model is better suited.
Rack models are suitable for static use and typically have more me / O than nomadic models.
Internal sound cards that are placed inside a PC
This type of configuration makes your computer a stand-alone station. These cards are often more powerful than external models and their installation is sometimes more complicated.
- The main format of audio interfaces
- The main audio interface formats
Autopsy of a sound card
The sound card usually includes one or more DSP (Digital Signal Processor) or APU (Audio Processing Unit) processors for processing the audio signal that is digitally transmitted to a PC or MAC via a UDB or Fire wire cable. The interface also has an analog/digital converter or ADC (analog to digital converter), for digitizing external signals (guitar, microphone …) and digital/analog converters, also called DAC (digital to analog converter), for return the audible signals to the speakers or the headphones. Another important element in the sound card is the operational amplifier (OP-AMP) which gives input and output volume.
Before buying an interface, make sure that it has the types of input and output you need. The questions to ask are: Where does the sound come from and where is it going?
Here are the points of attention (or points of weakness) that you should consider:
Important elements of an audio interface
If you are making drum recordings with one microphone per instrument, go to the 8-input model. Pre-amps are important elements that condition the quality of your recordings. You can now find in mid-range models pre-amps previously reserved for more expensive models. This is something to watch closely for your purchase.
Types of entries and exits
Some cards have XLR jacks; these are round three-pin jacks for connecting a microphone. If you use a condenser microphone, phantom power will be needed to increase its efficiency. You will need to make sure that the card template you are targeting has it.
RCAs are asymmetrical connections that use a coaxial plug. Since the signal is very sensitive to the quality of the cable, it is recommended to use this connection only on lengths of less than 2 meters.