With so many audio interfaces available in the market, sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming to pick the right one. On the other hand, if you fail to choose the right audio interface with proper configurations, you won’t get the desired experience. Here’s a complete guide to pick the right one. Check it out.
Figure out which type of audio interface you need
If you browse for a while, you will understand that there’s a huge selection of audio interfaces available in the market. All you need is to shortlist your requirement. This will narrow down your search. Here are the considerations you need to come up with:
What is the I/O?
At the basic level you may come across simple and two way desktop interfaces which can record only a mono or single signal at a given point in time. On the other end of this scale, there are large interface systems which are capable to handle hundreds of inputs and channels simultaneously. Are you an amateur artist or a professional musician? Narrow your search down depending on your requirement.
For singers or music composers who just want to capture their voice and the music instrument using a microphone, a balanced mic input is fine. However, if you need to record an instrument in stereo simultaneously while singing, you need to invest in an interface with at least four inputs.
If you are looking to play an electric bass or guitar or an electronic keyboard, you need a better input device often considered as a high-Z input. Also, to connect any external gears such as multi-effects units, samplers or drum machines, you have to purchase an audio interface with line level I/O operations. Most of the studio headphones or monitors amps use such devices.
Before you go on to purchase, make a list of all the gear and instruments you have to connect with your interface. If you are not sure which connections these need, you may consult the manufacturer. We recommend you to invest on a good quality interface with more input and outputs. Though initially you need not use them, nevertheless, these will help you to create complex recordings once you skillset grows.
What kind of device compatibility is required
With the rapid progress in the usage of iOS devices like tablets and smartphones and usual computers, musicians rely on the audio interfaces that seamlessly work with these software and apps. Here are a few common connection types:
FireWire – this is primarily found on Mac computers and is used on Apple gear. It provides a consistent and speedy data transfer that suits multi-channel recording. If you are looking for perfectly compatible audio interfaces with your Mac, you may take a look at it. Other PC owners can also use it simply by adding an expansion card on the PC. Latest versions of Apple desktop and laptops are equipped with this technology.
Thunderbolt – this is a high bandwidth Intel technology recently used and installed on the Mac devices. It can also be used on other computers by using Thunderbolt option cards. This provides an excellent data transfer rate along with a low latency performance. This increases its demands in computer based recording.
PCI express – this a computer connection platform that works on an internal card-based way. It is mainly found on the desktop computers. Since these cards are directly plugged into the motherboard of a computer, these demand a free PCI express slot for installation. Many computer may lack this so you need to contact the manufacturers to know if your computer got this. Such a connection ensures a high data bandwidth along with low latency. This allows the audio interface to handle simultaneous input and output requests.
As you might have understood, the cost of an audio interface varies on the basis of its features. An interface with two inputs will definitely cost lower than a one that has four input points. We recommend you to look for an audio interface that is value for money instead of searching for the cheap one. That way, you can rest assured of its longevity.
Hope you have found the information useful. Pick your favourite audio interface and share the article with your acquaintances.