Popular In Audio Interfaces

per page of 202 products
View
by Grid
View
by List

Compare Products 0

Page: Next End
Page: Next End
per page of 202 products
View
by Grid
View
by List

What is an Audio Interface?

When it comes to recording, audio interfaces are an absolute necessity. From the smallest bedroom studios to the largest professional facilities, the audio interface is going to be the centerpiece of your studio setup.

Choosing an audio interface is no easy task. The interface takes an analog signal coming from your microphone or musical instrument and converts it into a digital signal that can be read by your computer or mobile device, a process referred to as AD conversion. Similarly, the interface will do the same to the audio as it moves from the computer to your speakers by taking the digital information and converting it back to an analog signal in a process called, you guessed it, DA conversion.

To put it simply, your audio interface is the piece of gear that allows your computer and your audio to communicate. The faster and smoother your interface can do this, the better the quality of your recording will be. It is for this reason that it is important to pick an audio interface that is capable of doing the job you need it to do.

What to Look for in an Audio Interface

First thing to look for in an audio interface is how it connects to your computer or mobile device. USB, Thunderbolt, FireWire, PCI, Ethernet; there are plenty of connection options for you to choose from. What is the difference between all of these? To determine which connection is best for you, you need to start with what you are recording to.

If you're using a PC, your best bet is a USB connection. Most users will be fine with a USB 2.0 interface, but for larger projects consider going with a USB 3.0 interface. Mac users can also use USB interfaces, but have the added benefit of using FireWire or Thunderbolt connections, which are known for their high quality and speed. If your computer has a PCI slot, you can give a PCI/PCIe interface a shot. PCI cards, also known as "soundcards", were more common in the years when PC users had to install a separate sound card to listen to or work with music.

The main difference between these types of connections is going to mostly be seen in speed and latency. Latency is the delay between the audio signal hitting your audio interface and its conversion into digital data. It is impossible to get rid of latency completely when converting analog to digital, so the goal is to achieve low latency so that the delay is virtually undetectable. Worth mentioning is the growing popularity of Ethernet audio interfaces. Though primarily used for big budget productions, these interfaces allow for incredibly clean, high-quality audio.

Brands such as IK Multimedia and Roland produce audio interfaces intended for use with smartphones and tablets, making recording on the go that much easier. Piecing together a modest bedroom or home studio? Be sure to check out what Presonus and Focusrite have to offer. If you're looking for something for a larger project, interfaces from Apogee, Universal Audio, and RME are perfect and used by some of the industry's top recording engineers.

What is a MADI Interface?

The most sophisticated Audio Interfaces feature the Multichannel Audio Digital Interface, or MADI, which is made for more advanced setups, especially live, where the optical and other types of wiring can be spread over a mile with low latency without any loss in quality. You won't need MADI for your typical home studio, but it is becoming popular for professional applications. Many brands including Lynx, Antelope Audio, and MOTU and others offer MADI and MADI compatible audio interfaces.

Sam Ash carries a wide variety of audio interfaces from the industry's leading brands. Not sure what interface you need for your recording project? Give us a call at 1-800-4SAMASH or chat with us online to speak to one of our experts today. Best Audio Interfaces for Your Home Studio