Tips For Selecting An Audio Interface For Your Home Studio
July 8, 2016
John Morabito in Recording, audio engineer, audio interface, recording, recording at home

Ever wonder what the difference between a decent home set up and a great one is? Often the devil is in the details, and facny insturments and mics wont matter if they get all mushed before they get tracked.

The folks at Rivington Music decided to help answer the question of how to select the right interface. Selecting a good interface has to be one of the most important steps to capturing high quality audio. This audio interface is basically the sound card and this piece of hardware handles converting your audio from digital data into an analog signal, also known as digital-to-analog converter.

Choosing the Style of Interface

This step can be a little overwhelming and confusing as there are all kinds of dierent input and output configurations, connection types, formats and many other options to consider. One of the main things to consider is the connectivity options as technology simply doesn’t sit still for long. The computer world doesn’t really have a “standard” anymore. You can purchase an audio interface that uses USB, FireWire 400, FireWire 800 etc. USB is probably the safest direction to go, however, some great interfaces still use the old FireWire 400 connection! The Focusrite Sare Pro 40 is a great example.

Range

With audio interfaces you will hear technical specification terms such as bit depth and sample rates. Yes, this does matter. The higher the audio interface can record at, the better. The higher you can capture your records at, the more you can do in the mixing phase. It’s all about potential. Remember, the source is huge in audio. If you capture it well, you can do so much in mixing and mastering. If you don’t capture well, you are very limited with repair, eects etc. The CD standard 44.1kHz takes 44,100 digital pictures of the incoming audio every second. Digital to analog conversion only needs two samples (the top and the bottom) of a wave form to generate a frequency, so the 44.1kHz sample rate is capable of reproducing frequencies as high as 22.05kHz.

The uppermost range of human hearing (in young females) is 20kHz, so technically, 44.1kHz is more than enough to capture and reproduce every sound you can hear. However, there are additional considerations (all of which are technical) that may or may not suggest higher sample rates capture valuable information. That’s why most audio professionals choose to work at 48kHz, 96kHz, or even 192kHz.

What To Buy

In the end of all that info, I recommend Focusrite – www. focusrite.com. They are an excellent company with high quality hardware and great digital-to-analog-converters. You can find audio interfaces under $200.

Want more Tips like this? Check out our How To Record Music at Home Guide!

Article originally appeared on Music Think Tank (http://www.musicthinktank.com/).
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