An audio interface is an important recording device in the studio. In todayÕs recording world many home studios, and professional studios are using audio interfaces to transfer sound between the instruments into the computer in other words to record music to a computer. Audio interfaces are being use also in live performances as stand along mixers because of their amount of connections and inputs. They provide good microphone preamplifiers to instruments, direct outputs and more. Audio interfaces are available from 1, 2, 4, 8, 16 32 channels. You can also put two or more audio interfaces together of the same brand to have a high-channel-count.
Latency and type of connection
Latency is the time that it takes for the signal to travel from the input of the audio interface to the monitors. The audio has to go into the audio interface, from there to the computer and through your DAW (music software), and then back out to monitors through the audio interface again. All audio interfaces will have latency but thanks to todayÕs technology audio interfaces are faster. When choosing an audio interface, it is important to check for latency. If you want to record a large channel count with signal processing (effects, compressor etc.) it is important to consider what type of connection to choose when purchase an audio interface.
USB, Thunder ball and FireWire audio interfaces
USB is the most popular type of connection and it works really well. With a USB 2.0 connection an audio interface can record 18 channels of audio inputs and 20 channels of audio outputs simultaneously. USB audio interfaces also are near universal compatibility on mac, PC. Thunderbolt audio interfaces are faster than USB you can record using more DSP (Digital Signal Processing). They are twice as fast as USB 3.0 and 10 time faster than FireWire 800. FireWire audio interfaces were the standard many years ago, but today they are fading away. Thunderbolt connections are common in mac computers and uncommon on PCÕs.
Purchasing the right format
Audio interfaces comes in all shapes and channel count. If you want something mobile a Bus powered will be ideal. This means that you can use your computer to power the audio interface. If you need to record more than 4 channels at once you can choose between a desktop audio interface or a rack mountable with 4 or more mic channels.
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