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Importance of Audio Interface | Hook It Up!

Importance of Audio Interface

If you want to know how you can record anything that makes a sound then you probably want to know what an audio interface is. An audio interface is something most people know nothing of. Some musicians say that once they have a sound card, they don’t need an audio interface anymore. Can you really use that to record?

The sound card installed on your computer, smartphone, or tablet is already an audio interface but it has severely limited abilities for recording or mixing music. In fact, an audio interface is simply a thing you need to get sound in and out of your computer. It is an important device you need to make a good quality recording.

You need this so you can mix and master your recordings. If you go without an audio interface, you won’t have any way of plugging in a good pair of studio monitors and thus you have no room for creating an excellent recording.

Recording Audio Interface Setup

To check your mixes on, you need a good pair of studio monitors and a good audio interface. Bear in mind that you can forget about recording vocals or any other acoustic instrument over the recorded electronic tracks in the long run. Without the presence of an audio interface, you badly won’t have anywhere to plug those things in. Yes, you can make basic recordings with any device with a sound card built-in. But you can improve the sound of your recordings into something more amazing with an audio interface.

Importance of Audio Interface

There are several reasons why you need an audio interface for audio recording. Instead of relying on a sound card built-in in your device, you can use an audio interface to make things going. Technically speaking, a sound card is also an audio interface but it has the limited quality and minimal I/O making it less ideal for recording.

A lot of sound cards only have a consumer-grade stereo line-level input as well as a headphone output. For recording and monitoring production-quality audio, you’re going to need a reliable audio interface.

However, an audio interface may not always be essential if you only do electronic music. It depends on what you need from it. There are definitely different instances where you don’t really need one, at least not yet. It is just fine to go without an interface if you are only interested in working with headphones in the box. A good pair of headphones and a good electronic music program can be enough. In this case, having a dedicated audio interface may not be that important.

If you have no intention of recording audio or using reference monitors, you technically can still produce music without an audio interface.

But, as time goes by, you do need an interface – especially when it comes to dealing with the mixes. In the world of computer-based recording, you’ll see its importance in the long run. In doing serious mixing, having an audio interface is definitely the way to go next to purchasing the best studio monitor pairs. With them, you might actually get pretty far from recording.

Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 Audio Interface
Example: Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 Audio Interface

Benefits of an Audio Interface

The hardware that connects your studio monitors and other audio gears to your computer is called an audio interface. Typically, it converts analog signals into digital audio information in a way that your computer can process. The digital audio is then sent to your computer through the use of USB, FireWire, etc. The audio interface also performs the same process in reverse position. It can able to receive digital audio information coming from your computer and convert it into an analog signal which can be heard through your studio monitors or headphones.

This simple piece of hardware expands and improves the sonic capabilities of a computer. Most of them give you the ability to connect professional studio monitors, recording microphones, and other kinds of signals to a computer in which you can make a high-quality audio recording. Audio interface output a variety of signals as well. Expanding your outputs and inputs is not the only job of audio interfaces, they can greatly improve the sound quality of your recording at the same time.

One of the main advantages of audio recording when it comes to sound card and interface comparison is its ease of use and high-quality recording. The audio interface has greater physical size, easier accessibility and there’s a wider input type that can be built into the unit.

The device is capable of connecting to a wide range of professional recording equipment and is generally features higher quality audio than onboard standard sound cards. Every time you listen through speakers or record new audio, audio interfaces reproduce a more accurate representation of sounds making them absolutely essential n computer-based audio production.

Fortunately, most audio productions today are using computers, and your choice to have one is a big thing.

Hook Up With The Studio Monitors

Since studio monitors and audio interface both plays an important role in recording, it is important to know how to connect them. For beginners, making the monitor and interface connected to each other may sound difficult especially if you are like someone who is afraid to make things start out of nowhere.

Here we are to help you out – step by step:

Step 1 – The first thing that you’re going to look at is the back of your audio interface. In the monitor section, there are two outputs: the Left and Right sections. Choose monitor cables that should match that section.

Step 2 – Look at the back of your studio monitor. Commonly, there are three sections: power, setting, and input section. Focus on the input section.

Step 3 – Take a closer look at the input section. At the top, you can see the sensitivity area. In the input section, you can also see the balanced and unbalanced sections.

Step 4 – In the balanced input, there is a female XLR connector. Use the monitor cable to connect the XLR to the TRS input of the interface. Plug it properly.

Step 5 – At the back of the audio interface, locate the monitor section once more. Connect the TRS jack to the Left monitor. Do the same thing on the other speaker; connect the other jack to the Right section.

That’s it!

If you want to do the recording yourself you can use headphones. Just locate the headphone input on the interface and insert the jack of the headphone into it. Now, you can start recording. Most monitoring outputs are TRS or XLR. The most common cable configurations would be TRS to TRS, XLR to XLR, or sometimes, TRS to XLR. The monitor-interface hook up above is an example of a TRS to XLR connection. Make sure you have the right cables for the job.

Summing Up

Making basic recordings with any modern device with a built-in sound card is possible but improving the sound of your recordings to some extent can only be done through the use of an audio interface. To make a professional recording, you need a good pair of studio monitors and you need a reliable audio interface along with it. Learning how to hook up studio monitors to an audio interface is a great opportunity for people who want to get the best out of recording.

Relying on an integrated laptop or desktop soundcard is nearly impossible to get a mix sounding right so if you are serious about your production, get the best studio monitors and hook up the best audio interface with it. Go ahead and get started!

Also, read 4 Tips For Buying An Audio Interface

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