This website takes a closer look at the best-selling computer recording audio interfaces and is designed to give you an inside look at some of the more popular models on the market. This site will help you to determine which model features the capabilities you need in order to record and mix tracks and vocals on your PC or Mac. Some models are Mac only while others are more versatile. Using the information we provide can help to narrow down your search for the right model because it gives you solid information regarding pricing and how each interface works.
There are many different types of computer recording audio interfaces to choose from, so it can be kind of overwhelming to find the one you really need. You’ll need to consider all the different types of connection types, input and output configurations and the different formats available. Usually, the more diverse a model is, the better.
A computer recording audio interface is a device that connects different types of audio gear to your computer. The standard type will convert an analog signal into digital audio info. Next, it sends the signal to your comp using a USB cord. Most models typically include line level analog outputs and inputs. More expensive models also include ADAT connections.
When it comes to choosing your model, no factor will be as important as the output and input configuration. The type and amount of inputs you need will depend heavily on what you want to record.
If you sing, then you may not need many inputs. If you want to use condenser mics with your interface then you need to make sure that the preamps feature phantom power. If you want to use your model to plug in a guitar, then the interface you purchase should feature Hi-z.
There are a variety of audio interface connections available. Standard connections include FireWire, Pcle and of course, USB. Most computers feature 2.0 USB ports. FireWire is more commonly found on Macs. Both protocol types feature the same speed.
When using FireWire, the data tends to transfer at a consistent rate, which makes it more reliable than USB. The downside is that there are not many interfaces that use FireWire when compared to USB. Most interfaces are designed for USB power, which is the best choice if you plan on recording on the road using a laptop. There is also PCMCIA card based interfaces which are designed for laptop use. The internal card based interface is called PClE. You won’t be able to use this type of interface with a laptop.
You can also choose to use the type of interface that allows you to install to your motherboard, which gives you a type of advantage because you can bypass certain data conversion processes that will take up bandwidth or promote latency during a recording. Most types of PClE interfaces are made to handle high track counts and they’re actually much faster than USB or FireWire. But many users prefer USB over other connection types because it means more versatility.
To sum it up, be sure that the interface you choose is compatible with the type of computer you use, whether it’s a laptop, Mac or PC. Some models may be PC or Mac specific, while other models will allow you to connect to many different kinds of devices.
Price will also be a factor. Consider what you need the computer audio interface for before you decide on a model. If you need a model for vocals and instruments be prepared to fork over more cash.
Steinberg UR44 Audio Interface
Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 Interface
Quad Capture Audio Interface by Roland
iConnectAudio4 MIDI Interface
Universal Audio Apollo Twin Interface