How do I connect an audio interface to my computer

pcbinary June 27, 2021 0 Comments

If you have a USB Mic, do you need an interface as well?

Aha, this is such a common question and a source of much confusion! You tendto think of an audio interface as a box with various inputs for mics,instruments etc and outputs for speakers and headphones. But there are lots ofother devices that are effectively “audio interfaces” too. A USB mic is aclassic example.In fact, if you are confused you may find our article on a USB Microphone vsAudio Interface useful.Effectively a USB microphone is a mic that contains an audio interface. Thismeans you simply plug the mic’s USB lead into a USB port and it will work. Youdon’t need any other equipment. It may just be a recording mic or it may alsohave a headphone output too and be a complete input and output device.There are other USB audio adapters that fit into this category. They work ontheir own and don’t need any other equipment. So you can get an XLR-USB cableto connect a mic up to your computer, and also guitar-USB, line out to USB etcetc.

What is the purpose of an audio interface?

Ease of use and high quality recording – one of the main advantages of anaudio interface over on-board sound cards is that, because of the greaterphysical size and easier accessibility, a wider range of input types can bebuilt into the unit. So, for instance, ¼” jack guitar inputs can be included,as can full XLR microphone inputs, meaning that the device can be capable ofconnecting to wide range of professional recording equipment. In addition tothis, audio interfaces generally feature higher quality audio quality thanstandard on-board sound cards. Many also have MIDI if you want to connect akeyboard controller too.

How do I connect an audio interface to my computer?

Most audio interfaces are USB soundcards. As long as you have an available USBport or a USB adapter in the case of a tablet then you can connect one up (youwill need to check the hardware specs to make sure it will be compatible). SoUSB audio interfaces are the most common and you should find one that willsuit you. There are also a growing number of thunderbolt audio interfaces, andyou can still buy firewire too. Thunderbolt and firewire have the advantage ofbeing faster, but tend to be pricier. And of course you must have one of thoseports available. As USB has got faster, most people with home recordingstudios find a USB recording interface is perfect for them.

What is the best external soundcard or audio interface for music

production?We have a sister article which looks in depth at how to decide which is thebest interface for you. There is no one right answer! But briefly the audiointerface that you will need very much depends on what kind of recordingsituations you would be aiming to use it in. * A guitar playing, singer/ songwriter may find that a fairly straightforward audio interface with two mic inputs and two outputs (i.e. one stereo output) will be just fine, and enable recording on vocals and guitar on two separate tracks. A podcaster would look for one mic input – but if you ever plan to do interviews you might consider two so that you can each have your own mic. Take a look at the Scarlett Solo * A band would, most likely, require something with more inputs, however, especially if they want to record all the instruments on separate tracks. The other option is just to record the main outs of a mixer, but this will not allow for individual editing of each player and singer. Maybe a USB mixer would be a good choice? * A Laptop/ Computer DJ will need an audio interface with at least two stereo (or four mono) outputs. This allows the chosen DJ software to be configured with, for example, a separate cue mix via headphones and a main mix, which is sent out to the main speakers or PA. Alternatively, each ‘virtual turntable’ could be assigned its own output, and connected to a hardware DJ mixer, for more conventional mixing. Consider the PreSonus Studio 24c 2×2Finally when you know how many inputs and outputs you think you will need, itis a case of choosing how you want to connect – USB, Firewire or Thunderbolt.

Technical terms that you may see when looking for an audio interface

Latency: this is where there is a noticeable delay between the actual sound,and its playback in your headphones or speakers which can be very distracting.On modern computers, latency is not a bad as it used to be, but the standardsound cards built into computers are not great, and a dedicated interface willimprove this to the point that you shouldn’t even notice any latency. So, ifyou’ve ever recorded a vocal part, and heard your performance delayed byfractions of a second in your headphones, or used a MIDI keyboard to play asoftware synthesiser, but encountered a delay between pressing a key andhearing the sound, then an audio interface will fix this problem.Zero Latency Monitoring (or Direct Monitoring): many audio interfaces have aswitch to enable you to hear your sound source directly. So if you arerecording your voice, you instantly hear your voice directly in theheadphones, there is no annoying delay, and this is certainly a feature tolook out for.Drivers: are pieces of software that enable an audio interface to communicatewith the computer. Again, they will help to reduce latency to the point whereyou won’t notice it.Pre-Amps: Also known as the “mic pre”, this is the microphone preamplifier,which amplifies the generally very small signal from a microphone up to asuitable level for recording. If you want to make a good recording from amicrophone you will need an interface with a suitable input and good pre-amp.48V phantom power: Some microphones need power, either to drive activecircuitry, or, more usually, to polarise the plates of a condenser microphone.If you want to connect up a microphone that requires phantom power then youwill need to purchase an interface with a phantom power switch. If you justhave a dynamic microphone then this will not be an issue.MIDI: some audio interfaces also have MIDI in and out. Read our article allabout MIDI to find out a bit more and decide if you need to look for an audiointerface with MIDI. Most modern MIDI controllers work with USB so this is notas essential to have on an audio interface as it once was.Sample Rate: This is how many times per second that a sound is ‘sampled’ tocreate the digital signal. The higher the sample rate the higher the frequencyrange of sounds that can be recorded and processed. The standard sample rateis 44.1 kHz, which can record sounds up to about 22 kHz. We can’t hear aboveabout 20kHz so you’d think 44.1kHz sampling was sufficient, and often it is.However sampling at higher rates (typically 88.2/96) allows the filtersrequired in digital audio to be well outside the human hearing range, whichwill improve the quality. So when you are choosing an audio interface this isone of the ways of comparing them. For more information on this rathertechnical subject there’s a nice article here on sample rate and bit depth.Balanced/Unbalanced: Unbalanced outputs and inputs are made with ‘single-coreplus screen’ cables whereas balanced outputs are ‘two-core plus screen’. (XLRand TRS inputs and outputs are balanced, whereas TS are unbalanced). Manybudget interfaces are made to a price and have unbalanced inputs and outputs,which can lead to interference and what is called ‘ground loop’.If you choose balanced outputs and use balanced cables then any interferencepicked up by the cable is picked up equally by both cores and is cancelled outat the far end, and possible ground-loop problems also disappear because thescreen connection is this time not part of the signal path. For simple one ortwo track recording you should be aware of these differences, but you shouldbe able to make a good quality recording on a budget interface if connected upcorrectly. If you want to know a bit more about this, refer to our in-depthpost on audio cables explained which demystifies this topic.

What Are Some Of The Best USB Audio Interfaces?

The basic model will have XLR inputs for a mic with built-in preamps. Thereare thousands of them out there, but some variation in specific features andinputs/outputs, although they perform the same job but are distinct when itcomes to recording high-quality sound.To select one, you will need to focus on the following: * Inputs and Outputs required * Computer/Device Connection * Sound Quality * Budget-Friendly

10 Best USB Audio Interface To Get In 2020

So, counting down some of the best picks for Top X Best USB Audio Interfaceswhich highlight all the attributes as mentioned earlier are:

The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2- Excellent audio interface for logic pro X in

2020The Focus Scarlett 2i2 is a popular choice for an audio interface. It has asleek design and gives you the control options you need. Musicians tend tofavor the solid construction and intuitive design of the Focus Scarlett 2i2.You get quality Preamps alongside strong visual feedback. The Preamps offerlow noise and low distortion performance and allows for sufficient headroom.This translates into providing a musician with recording clarity. It onlytakes about 5 minutes to set up!The audio interface is fairly stripped down, but it gives the independentmusician all the necessary features. This interface is also durable and ruggedand can withstand being taken on the road. This stylish and user friendlyinterface is also easy on the pocketbook.For the price, this is a rather well rounded unit.UPDATED PRICE OF FOCUSRITE 2i2

The PreSonus Audiobox 1818VSL- One of the best audio interface for logic

pro x-2020The PreSonus Audiobox 1818VSL is a full featured audio interface that isstraightforward and user friendly. The audio interface has the essentialfeatures of 8 mic/instrument inputs with 48V phantom power.You also have 8 line level outputs. This transfers your audio to your computerwith minimal latency. This audio interface currently retails on Amazon for$499.95. While the price looks a little high, it IS one of the best audiointerface for Logic Pro X.SEE MORE DETAILS AND UPDATED PRICE

Benefits of podcasting for bloggers

You have an idea of how much work will be required now, but keep the benefitsin mind as well.As an audio blogger, your content: * Is easier to consume for your audience. * Can be monetized effectively. * Can be listened to just about anywhere. * Can reach a new audience that doesn’t read blog posts.And if you hate writing, you’ll likely find talking much easier than writingblog posts.You can create a podcast as its own business, or use it as an additionalmarketing channel to complement your existing website.Look at Karen Erickson, Darren Rowse, Tim Ferris and Pat Flynn for examples ofbloggers who have utilized podcasting to build their businesses.Don’t expect overnight success, but one day you might be able to join the listas well. While we’re at it, LiquidWeb is a great hosting provider if you haveintentions of podcasting. They’re not only resource-rich but offer a 100%Uptime Guarantee.

Audio Interface (If you buy an analog microphone)

Tascam US-2×2 USB Audio Interface – via Amazon.comAn audio interface connects microphones to computers.If you buy a USB microphone, you don’t need an audio interface, since you canplug into your computer directly.But an analog microphone has XLR connectors, which can’t be plugged indirectly. Instead, you plug them into an audio interface, which can then sendthe audio data to your computer.Audio interfaces can cost anything from $100 to the $1,000 range. Forpodcasters, the low-end interfaces will be more than sufficient in most cases.Here are a few popular recommendations. 1. Tascam US-2×2 USB Audio Interface: This is a budget audio interface with 2 XLR input slots. It’s compatible with both Mac OSX and Windows. It’s also designed to be simple to use, which is why it’s great for most podcasters. 2. Mackie Onyx Producer 2-2 2×2 USB Audio Interface With MIDI: This is another budget audio interface in the same price range, also with 2 XLR input slots. There’s no huge difference from the Tascam audio interface, it’s just another solid alternative.There are audio interfaces that produce higher sound quality and accept moreinputs, but they’re more aimed at musicians than podcasters. Unless you have aunique podcasting setup, either of the above 2 audio interfaces is simpleoptions that will do a great job.

Option 1 (solo podcast) – Record with Audacity

A solo podcast is the simplest type of podcast to make.All of the audio software I went over in the equipment section has an optionto record from a microphone.The exact details will depend on the software you chose, but in Audacity, youpick your microphone device from the drop-down menu on the top toolbar:With you microphone selected, you can press the circle “record” button tostart recording the audio input to the microphone.Press the square “stop” button to end the recording.You can press the “play” button to listen to the clip you recorded and makesure that it was recording your voice.Don’t worry if you have to repeat certain things to get them right during yourpodcast episode, you can always clip out bad parts later.

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