An audio interface is a piece of hardware used to connect audio equipment such as guitar and bass to a computer and it’s the most popular recording device.
They use USB connectivity that allows you to connect to your laptop and it has various I/O to connect headphones, speakers, microphones, etc.
If you own a home recording studio, then an audio interface would be the right choice to record musical instruments, vocals, and so on.
Audio interfaces come in different sizes and shapes, and some offer more features than others.
Of course, if you choose an audio interface with an expensive price tag, the more features you will get.
Many USB audio interfaces come in bundles which include microphones, headphones, and even plugins for mixing and mastering.
Also, there are Thunderbolt audio interfaces, that offer faster data transfer and are great for recording multiple instruments simultaneously.
I have a list of the best audio interfaces where you will find different types of audio interfaces in various price ranges.
What Does An Audio Interface Do
An audio interface serves as a converter of analog signals to digital signals. As I’ve said before, it allows you to connect microphones, instruments, and other audio equipment to your computer or other digital device and capture or playback high-quality audio.
As part of an audio interface, microphones or instruments are amplified, and analog-to-digital converters (ADC) convert the analog signal into digital data, which your computer can process.
After that, digital-to-analog converters (DAC) convert the digital data back into an analog signal that can be played back through speakers or mixing headphones.
In addition to signal conversion, audio interfaces offer other useful features such as phantom power for powering condenser microphones, gain control to adjust input levels, multiple instrument inputs, headphone outputs for monitoring, etc.
How To Use An Audio Interface
Because the audio interface allows you to record audio from different sources, it can be used in many applications.
As I have mentioned earlier, it’s the essential hardware to record music at home but you can use it for different reasons that require audio recording.
For example, if you are Youtuber and want to have good-quality audio, then you will need an audio interface along with a mic to capture your speech.
Also, audio interfaces are great for podcasting because they make recording podcasts much easier than mixers or other devices.
And one of the best features of audio interfaces is pricing. You can get a good quality USB interface for around $100-$200.
How To Connect Audio Interface To Computer?
To connect an audio interface to a computer you just need to plug a USB into your computer, follow the installation instructions and that’s it. You might need to install ASIO4ALL to avoid latency.
How To Connect MIDI Keyboard To Audio Interface?
If an audio interface has a MIDI connection, plug a MIDI keyboard through it. If not, connect the MIDI keyboard to your laptop, from the audio settings of your DAW or audio interface, choose your MIDI keyboard and that’s it.
How To Connect Studio Monitors To Audio Interface?
Your audio interface will have different types of I/O for studio monitors. So, depending on your speakers, connect to the right ones and it will work.
USB audio interfaces are essential gear for any home recording studio. They are affordable and convenient, and you can use them for capturing audio signals which are great not only for recording music but podcasting too. They come in different types and offer various useful features.