You know by now that creating a powerful home studio has never been easier. With a computer, DAW, microphone, and audio interface, you can tackle most of your recording tasks with ease. Today, we’ll look at one part of that recipe, the audio interface.
Audio interfaces take the analog signal from your microphone and convert it to digital information for your DAW. Most audio interfaces accommodate both XLR and ¼ inch inputs so you can route both your microphone and the signal from a guitar or bass directly into your DAW. They also have a dedicated headphone jack for monitoring your signal.
Most home recorders don’t need a fancy, high end audio interface. An interface with an XLR jack and ¼ inch jack should do the trick, and you can find these for around US $100. If your projects demand more capacity, there are plenty of options to choose from. Buying guide at MusicRadar.com goes over some of the options available to you.
There are a few things you need to pay attention to when choosing an interface:
Before you buy an interface, make sure that it has the input and output types that you require. All of our recommendations operate over USB and are Mac/PC compatible – some will work with your iOS device, too.
This is a great point, since mobile technology allows you to record directly to devices like an iPad. Also, some audio interfaces are specifically designed to work with particular software, like the interface made by Native Instruments. For the greatest compatibility with your setup, choose one that integrates well with your DAW.