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Audio Interfaces

The audio interface is the heart of any home studio. The audio interface is the device that gets all of the audio both in and out of your computer during the recording and mixing process. While you can use a computer's built-in sound card for playback, in general an external audio interface is still the best choice. With a high quality audio interface, you will get high-gain microphone preamps with phantom power, professional quality A/D & D/A converters, balanced connections for your gear and studio monitors, and high quality headphone amplifiers.

Most audio interfaces will connect via USB and Firewire. Firewire used to be the standard, but recent advances in USB technology have reduced latency (roundtrip time it take for audio to go into the interface, through the computer for processing, and back out) have made it more of a standard. There are some interfaces that are now even using Apple & Intel's Thunderbolt technology for higher channel counts at high sample rates.

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