A great-sounding, flexible audio interface is the centrepiece of any home studio. As opposed to several luxury music production items, audio interfaces are essential tools that offer power and sonic excellence, irrespective of whether you are recording yourself or a large band. However, it is easy to get overwhelmed by all the options and terminology. That’s why we decided to create a comprehensive guide for you to help you understand what an audio interface can do and how to choose the right audio interface.
Why exactly do you need an audio interface?
Just as tools like your Microphones, Headphones, Studio Monitors, Preamps, Mixersare mandatory items of your home studio setup, an audio interface is equally important. It controls the audio going in and out of your computer, allowing you to capture or record vocals, instruments, or any other source of the sound. With an audio interface, you can record and hear exactly what you’re recording in almost real-time while enhancing the sound quality for both recording and playback.
Why not use the built-in sound card in the computer?
Although your computer has a built-in sound card, it leaves a lot to be desired as it has limited utility and lacks the appropriate connections when it comes to doing some serious recording and mixing. If you choose to utilize the built-in sound card, there is a higher probability that you will experience problems around noise, jitters and latency.
Here’s what the right audio interface can do for you
- It facilitates the process of outputting the audio, either to external studio monitors or studio headphones
- It takes off the burden of processing the signal away from the computer, allowing you to record without latency
- As a powerful studio tool, it enables you to control the routing of your audio
- It helps you to monitor your recording and sound editing
- You can playback your recordings without the jitter, noise, and latency
Key considerations while choosing audio interfaces for your home studio
Since there is a huge range of audio interfaces available, we decided to narrow the wide selection down and help pick the interface that caters to your recording needs, music, and budget.
Ask yourself these questions to sort through your requirements, and filter the choices knowing what meets the criteria.
Our top 5 audio interface recommendations
Now that you have a handle on what an audio interface does and what are the key considerations to keep in mind, here’s our round-up of top entry to mid level audio interface recommendations, to help you choose better.
- Behringer U-PHORIA UM2 2x2 USB Audio Interface with XENYX Mic Preamplifier
- M-Audio M-Track Duo USB Audio Interface with 2 Combo Inputs with Crystal Preamps, and Phantom Power
- M-Audio AIR 192|4 2-In/2-Out 24/192 USB Audio Interface
- Behringer U-Phoria UMC204HD Audiophile 2x4 USB Audio Interface with Midas Mic Preamplifiers
- Behringer U-Phoria UMC404HD Audiophile 4x4 USB Audio Interface with Midas Mic Preamplifiers
Hopefully this quick guide will help you pick the right audio interface for your home studio. For any expert guidance, we are just a click away. So, whatever you need to consider when buying your first audio interface or your next one, we are here to help.