Hi there!! I happened to have recently gone to a house of a music maverick (yeah..let’s do one thing, let’s call him maverick from now on!!). He works in the music industry and happened to have an in house studio.
To be clear, I had no idea the kind of gadget you need to have your own studio at home or what audio interface is??. It was overwhelming to see it all as a first-person.
There were many components and it piqued my interest. So, I have decided to try to understand the world of music a little more, hence this blog. Here I have tried to cover various aspect of audio interfaces, why we need them, buying guide and most important top 7 audio interface in India. From audio interface within your budget to pricey ones.
So like any other novice, I myself have started this blog with the definition of what actually audio interface actually does. Off course we are going to discuss a variety of audio interfaces here and give you a list of best audio interfaces in India
What makes this blog unique from other blogs is the fact that folks who are a newbie or music professionals are going to find this piece of information very useful. Let me assure you, it is the most detailed piece of information on the audio interface.
From an audio interface within budget to a professional one, we have got it all covered. This blog is made with the help of our “maverick” friend and a few other professional musicians. They have guided my our other projects too and you would soon find blogs related to music in truepic.in all made with their help
Still, if you have any addition to make feel free to comment. Our team of musicians would definitely try to answer all your questions!!
|TABLE OF CONTENT:|
|1. Audio Interface – What is that??|
|2. 7 Best Audio Interface In India|
|2.1 Behringer Audio Interface (U-Phoria UMC204HD)|
|2.2 Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Audio Interface (2nd Gen) USB|
|2.3 Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Studio Audio Interface (3rd Gen)|
|2.4 M-Audio M-Track USB Audio Interface 8-Channel|
|2.5 Focusrite Scarlett Solo Audio Interface|
|2.6 Behringer Audio Interface (UMC404HD U-Phoria)|
|2.7 Universal Audio Apollo Twin Mkii Duo|
|3. Buying guide|
|3.1 Why do you need an audio interface?|
|3.2 Choosing the right I/O configuration!!|
|3.3 Computer connectivity options|
Audio Interface – What is that??
I asked our “maverick” this same question. The answer I got was hilarious, he replied, “What a horse is to a horse rider, the same concept applies to a musician and an audio interface!!” I still cannot stop laughing about it. But yes, this definition has got meaning to it, indeed deeper meaning.
So basically, an audio interface captures sound sources (like microphones and guitars), convert them into digital data, and send them to your computer via a USB, a Thunderbolt, a FireWire, or a PCIe card for recording. Because your interface’s microphone preamps and analog-to-digital converters can have a huge impact on the sound quality of your recordings, it’s smart to invest in the best interface you can afford.
7 Best Audio Interface In India
1. Behringer Audio Interface (U-Phoria UMC204HD):
From home studio to partying with orchestra, these audios interface can handle everything!!
Let us talk about the back panel first, it has got USB port (for connecting to your computer), I/O for MIDI, 48 Volt setting, RCA outputs (first two are for monitor A and second one for monitor B); 6.3 mm o/p (2 in nos.); 2 inserts 6.3 mm for external signal processors. I/O for analog cables (usual ones), provision for quarter-inch mic, XLR cables provision.
Now the front panel, two XLR combo jack as inputs, controls for these inputs. These have two buttons; one is for instruments (example guitars) and the other one for line (example mic).
Then you will indicator lights, there are two kinds of it. First, “clip” to tell you that your signal is too loud and that you are “clipping”, second one “SIG” which stands for signal, indicating that your microphone is getting a signal to your interface. Then you have “gain” control for that channel input.
Then you have a “mix” section in the front panel. Its provisions of both Stereo and Mono signal. Then you have “Mix” dial for Zero-latency monitoring and how much of the computer’s playback audio you hear. You have lights for “MIDI signal” marked as “in” and “out”, “Volume Control” button, “monitor A/B” button for switching between monitor A and monitor B from the back of your interface.
You have few indicator lights as well, one for “power” and another one for “48 Volts”. Lastly, you have provision for headphones one button for “volume” and the second one for a headphone jack.
Its features are:
1. It provides you up to 192 kHz resolution for even the most demanding applications in music as well as video post-production. Work with confidence and accuracy in your favourite recording software for professional results every time.
2. it has got a MIDAS designed mic preamp for the ultimate in high-quality audio reproduction in both live and studio environments.
3. It has got Tracktion:
Tracktion is one of the world’s fastest and easiest Digital Audio Workstations (DAW) for composing, recording, editing, mixing and sharing your music with the world. Featuring a single-screen interface, and pushing the envelope in design elegance,
Tracktion brings together outstanding Pro DAW features, such as dynamic automation, unlimited track count, MIDI recording and support for VST and AU plug-ins. This powerful music production software gives you all the tools of an entire professional-grade recording studio.
4. Steel outer shell, high-quality knobs and a nice heavyweight to the product make it feel extremely well built.
1. Comes with a 3-year warranty.
2. Compatible with popular recording software including Avid Pro Tools, Ableton Live, Steinberg Cubase, etc.
3. 2 state-of-the-art, MIDAS designed Mic Preamplifiers with +48 V phantom power.
4. Best segment at this price.
1. The original driver is not great, latency can get below 20 ms without clipping. However, use ASIO4ALL to solve the problem of latency.
2. Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Audio Interface (2nd Gen) USB:
No doubt one of the audio interface friendly to your budget. A HUGE up-gradation from the Scarlett 2i2, 1st generation. It has got a high resolution of 192 kHz.
It is redesigned for game structure and redesigned to deal with all the clip issues it had in the 1st generation. With this device, you get USB cables, documents and free software when you register your device.
Now Focusrite produces some of the world’s best audio interfaces. You would also need downloads for its products. You can click this link to download any document of any kind for any audio interface made by this company.
Absolutely amazing aluminium body dials are all nice except for the headphone dial, little wiggly I would say. Now let us see its front panel. XLR ports are not loose. Two channels with XLR combo jack (or 6.3 mm cables).
This audio interface has gain control dial to indicate when they are getting the signal or clipping. Also has provision to switch between line (example mic) and instrument (example guitar) level inputs.
This audio interface has a main section which has +48 V button to turn on or off phantom power for both the channels XLR ports. Direct monitor switches to turn off or on the zero latency.
A monitor dial to control the outputs on the back of the interface. Headphone volume control with a 6.3 mm headphone output.
On the back of this audio interface, you have USB plug for computer connectivity and have a set of 6.3 mm output to connect o your powered amp or powered monitor. It has 24-bit depth and a sampling rate of 40.
It’s features are:
1. This audio interface has two mic inputs that can be used when recording with your fellow musician.
Class-leading conversion and sample rates up to 192 khz/24 bit.
2. Super-low latency for using your plug-ins.
3. 1/4-inch balanced jack outputs to connect professional studio monitors, one headphone output with gain control.
4. Gain range of 50%.
A. Second generation 2 in/2 out USB 2.0 audio interface with two Scarlett Mic/Instrument preamplifiers, 24bit/192kHz & USB bus power.
B. Insanely well built and really good noise floor in it.
C. This audio interface of your budget doesn’t clip anymore.
D. Free Pro Tools, First & Ableton Live Lite recording software, plug-ins and samples included. Mac & PC compatible, so that you are up and running right out of the box.
A. Doesn’t have phantom power control for each and every channel.
B. Headphone dial does wiggle a bit, but nothing serious here.
In short, this audio interface is budget friendly. In fact, if you are new in the market, I would suggest you to go with this one, best budgeted audio interface of India.
3. Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Studio Audio Interface (3rd Gen):
One of the best in class audio interface within your budget. It is yet to have a fan following in India, but I believe just like the best things in life takes time, this too would eventually find its buyers here in the Indian market.
Wonderful built, with all-metal chassis. No wobble in any of the cable connection, XLR port has not movement. This audio interface is smaller than the 2nd generation interface.
Let us talk about the front of the interface. It has got two identical channels, with each having XLR combo jack or XLR or quarter-inch input. This audio interface also has a gain dial, which will glow red when you start clipping. So you know when do you need to roll back the gain.
Also, front face has provision to switch between line (example mic) and instrument (example guitar) level inputs with the help of an instrument button.
One peculiar button is “Air” button (for more information on this visit this article here) Explains concept of AIR for you. Moving right, you will encounter a 48 volt power button to switch on and off phantom power.
Front face also has a new feature of “Direct Monitoring Button” so that you can turn off and on direct monitoring. You are also able to monitor stuff like mono and stereo pair in case you are using a stereo microphone and want to hear your actual sound.
Finally, front face also has a monitor dial to turn up or down the quarter-inch input on the rear. Headphone volume control and a quarter-inch stereo headphone.
Now coming to back panel, it has a USB C port to connect this audio interface to your device. This with balanced quarter-inch monitor output.
Some of its features are:
1. Two of the best performing mic preamps the Scarlett range has ever seen, now with switchable Air mode to give your recordings a brighter and more open sound.
2. Large-diaphragm condenser mic enables you to capture studio-quality recordings that are faithful to the original source.
3. The upgraded HP60 MkIII closed-back headphones offer sound quality and long-lasting comfort useful for sound mixing as well.
4. Two high-headroom instrument inputs to plug in this audio interface.
5. Two balanced line inputs, suitable for connecting line-level sources.
6. High-performance converters enable you to record and mix it up to 24-bit/192kHz.
A. Free Pro Tools, First & Ableton Live Lite recording software free with this audio interface.
B. Air button provides big boost to upper frequency, which kind of lightens up the mood.
A. Not that budget-friendly!!
4. M-Audio M-Track Audio Interface 8-Channel USB :
When you need to record your band in a rehearsal studio, this audio interface may come as your saviour!! Because you usually need an interface with 8 microphone preamps.
You get this audio interface, with DC power adapter, mains lead and a USB lead with some booklets as well.
Now let us talk about the front face of this audio interface. It has got 8 XLR or line-level inputs. With two XLR inputs (in front and rest at back) which takes a quarter-inch jack input.
You have an LCD screen too which shows input metering level. You have level control knob for each of the eight inputs. Just below it is a dim switch, to dim down the levels quickly.
Moreover, two headphone outputs, each with its own volume control. You have a direct monitoring knob. Word of advice, it should be always turned off when you are using it for recording. Then two phantom power inputs switches, one for 1-4 and another one for 5-8.
You have got a standby power switch, just adjacent to a monitor control switch that controls the levels going to the speakers. There is a mono output switch to check mono mixes.
At the backside, you have 8 XLR output which takes a quarter inch jack. Two additional copy of output, which are the main stereo left-right out for the unit. These will feed your monitor speakers when you are recording. Then you have DC input adjacent to USB connector.
1. Track large music ensembles, record a band or mic an entire drum set with premium audio components, pro-grade capture at 24-bit/192 kHz.
2. 8 XLR+1/4 inch combo inputs with individual metering accommodates virtually any source and eight balanced 1/4 inch outputs, plus, selectable phantom power accommodates condenser microphones.
3. Two conveniently located front-panel high-z instrument inputs for capturing signals including guitar, bass and more, high-headroom inputs with innovative octane preamp technology makes your microphones and live level sources sound at their absolute best.
4. Experience zero-latency monitoring with USB/analogue direct balance control and monitor your recordings using dual headphone outs with selectable source for custom mixes and monitoring.
5. Comprehensive production software package for MAC and PC included pro tools first by avid and waves plug-in bundle.
A. Doesn’t require any software pre-installation. Just plug it in your system and there you go.
A. Not the latest model, but very robust piece of equipment.
5. Focusrite Scarlett Solo Audio Interface:
Total metal chassis, nice built, all dials are firmly attached and none of the input cables wobbles too much. We tested it and found that it has 48 volts going to the microphone which is the best in the world. It is a budget-friendly audio interface.
Channel one is an XLR input only, gain control channel one, which lights green when receiving signal and red when it starts getting clip. So you can easily tell how are you doing on your gain!!
Right next to it you have a phantom power button. It also has 6.3 mm or a quarter-inch input directly next to that you have another gain control.
Right below it you have a switch to switch between an instrument or a line. You have headphone monitoring, to control volume. Next to which you have a 6.3 mm headphone output. Lastly, you have direct monitor on and off switch, to turn off zero latency on and off respectively.
Now let us see what it has on the backside, RCA output, which allows you to run it on whatever monitor you are using. You have a USB port as well.
1. This audio interface has the latest Scarlett mic preamp features a more even gain structure, so you can accurately set your levels, and the instrument input has also been completely redesigned so it can handle seriously hot guitar pick-ups.
2. Though a budget friendly audio interface its mic preamp features a more even gain structure, so you can accurately set your levels, and the instrument input has also been completely redesigned so it can handle seriously hot guitar pick-ups.
3. Converting your performance into digital audio and back again is the most important part of the recording process.
With Focusrite converters, the performance difference becomes all the clearer. Every part of your recording will be beautifully crisp and clear, even when you’re playing softly. Plus, the Scarlett range also now operates at sample rates all the way up to 192kHz, and the input channels have evolved too.
4. This audio interface has low latency. It’s unrivalled round-trip latency as low as 2.74ms completely revolutionizes your workflow. You can work entirely inside your DAW for both overdubbing and playback, and use your plugins while recording – all without an egregious delay.
A. A solid audio interface that gives us crystal clear 24-bit sound quality with a sample rate of up to 96kHz.
B. This audio interface is friendly to your budget with no latency at all.
C. Self-noise is not present.
D. No additional power needed. Just the MIDI cable is enough.
E. Very light and portable but great quality body.
F. Inbuilt sound amplifier is again one of the best I’ve used.
G. You get a free software bundle with this audio interface.
A. Slightly difficult to set up.
6. Behringer Audio Interface (UMC404HD U-Phoria):
One of the most budget-friendly audio interface with an all-metal housing. Comes with a DC adapter and the USB cable Type A and Type B.
Now let us talk about its front face. It has got 4 preamps for combo input. You can have XLR or quarter-inch as input. Each of the four input channels have a line instrument switch (pad switch, in this budget-friendly audio interface) with gain control. Each channel has a clip indicator and signal indicator.
You have a knob for controlling direct monitor with a PB (playback) switch with main input and output provisions. You also have independent headphone control with speaker volume control. Power indicator with 48 V phantom power indicator also coming with a headphone output as well.
At the backside, you have quarter-inch TRS or XLR main outs. USB type B with MIDI 5 pin as well. Also has 48 V phantom power switch, with playback outputs. Four outs that you can use TRS quarter-inch or RCA way.
Each of the four inputs on the front has an insert associated with it on the back panel. What is an insert? It goes inline after the preamps. So if you are recording through a compressor this is useful for you.
1. 4×4 USB 2.0 audio/midi interface for recording microphones and instruments.
2. Audiophile 24-bit/192 kHz resolution for professional audio quality.
3. Streams 4 inputs and 4 outputs plus 1x midi input and output with ultra-low latency to your computer, supporting Mac OS and Windows XP or higher.
A. Great for recording purposes.
B. A budget friendly audio interface.
A. None that we could point towards to.
7. Universal Audio Apollo Twin Mkii Duo:
It has been a very popular audio interface unit. It feels premium the moment you brush your skin against it. Moreover, this is kind of stuff professionals prefer. So it comes with tones of features.
But hold on!!! you need to buy your own Thunderbolt cable and a thunderbolt to USB C adapter to operate this with your Apple laptop, which kind of gloomy.
If you have a mac laptop, then the moment you plug this audio interface in, you are alerted to download the software with a download link. It’s a separate application, it would make you restart and then you would have to go to preferences and go to security and privacy. Then click the unlock button and click on accessibility and click allow.
Once you do all that, a small box (kind of sound icon) would appear then click “authorize plugins”. You are officials launched!!
Ok first let us talk about the top side of this audio interface. It has a DIAL KNOB on it. The Level knob controls multiple functions. The knob’s current function is selected with the PREAMP and MONITOR buttons.
When in PREAMP Mode, rotate clockwise to increase the amount of preamp gain for the currently selected channel. When in MONITOR Mode, rotate clockwise to increase the monitor output level or headphone output level, depending on the output selected with the MONITOR button.
This audio interface has got two-button with the reading of “preamp” and “monitor” on it, on left and right side (of a LED stripe). These buttons are separated by some readings total 6 in numbers, a LED strip to be precise. This strip has one strip but two rows of readings in it.
Once you press preamps, the LED strip has some readings. Starting with left, we have input selector, high pass filter, phantom power, pad, phase invert and finally our two-channel link.
But now when you hit monitor button (at the right side of the LED strip) you get a different kind of readings. First, one is talk back button (for built-in microphone), DIM is for your speaker level, then an ALT button which switches between two sets of monitors, a mono sum button and mute.
Now I skipped on button in between ALT and MONO button, it reads FCN. I totally failed in finding out the usage of the button. But, this switch can be assigned to control one of three monitoring functions.
Let us talk about the front face of this audio interface. A high Z and or high impedance on the front, for guitar we serve our headphone jack. We have two sets of monitor output, which are controllable. This jack accepts a ¼” mono (tip-sleeve) plug only. We have power jack or thunderbolt jack.
Rear panel of this audio interface has the jacks which accept either XLR plug for connecting to the mic input or a ¼” phone plug for connecting to the line input. Then it has two monitor outputs. It connects the powered monitor speakers (or speaker amplifiers) here. Volume is set with the Level knob when monitor is selected with the Monitor button (found in top panel).
Then you have two line outputs. These ¼” phone outputs are accessed via software (Console or DAW). Line outputs are used to send audio to other equipment. You also have a power supply input which has a power switch right beside it. You also have “optical in” which is for TOSLINK input for connection to other gear with an optical S/PDIF output. Finally, you have a thunderbolt port as well.
1. Best in class audio quality with improved 24-bit/192 kHz conversion.
2. Real-time UAD Processing — track through vintage compressors, EQs, tape machines, and guitar amp/pedal plug-ins with near-zero latency.
3. 2 premium mic/line preamps; 2 line outs; front-panel Hi-Z instrument input and headphone output.
4. Built-in talkback microphone for communication and recording.
5. Monitor remote functions can replace dedicated monitor controllers.
6. UAD-2 SOLO, DUO, or QUAD DSP processing onboard.
7. Thunderbolt connection for blazing-fast PCIe speed on modern computers.
8. Uncompromising analog design, superior components, and premium build quality throughout.
9. Digitally controlled analog monitor outputs for full resolution at all listening levels.
A. The price you pay for this audio interface isn’t all you’ll end up spending because this thing has its own “Apps or Plugins” you use on it with separate software from your DAW.
B. Powered by Quad processor.
C. The stock pre-amp is much more present and is probably the single best Home Audio Interface you can buy without going full studio.
1. It doesn’t come with Thunderbolt Cable and Thunderbolt/USB – C Adapter.
2. This audio interface is not budget-friendly.
At its simplest, an audio interface lets you record external sounds such as vocals and instruments into your computer, converting them from analogue to the required digital format en route, and performs the opposite function on the return journey from computer to amp/loudspeakers.
Why do you need an audio interface?
There are several reasons to use a dedicated audio interface, rather than the sound card built into your computer. Technically speaking, a sound card is an audio interface, but its limited sound quality and minimal I/O make it less than ideal for recording.
Many sound cards only have a consumer-grade stereo line-level input, a headphone output. Electromagnetic interference, jitter, and excessive latency these are some of the examples that degrade or negatively affect audio both on the way in and on the way out.
Sound cards are great for hooking up a pair of Hi-Fi speakers and playing back compressed audio, but you’re going to need a reliable audio interface for recording and monitoring production-quality audio. They just serve the basic purpose.
So, even if your recording plans are modest, which might just involve recording your voice and electric guitar as an example, the sound card lacks the appropriate connections. In order to record, you’re going to need an XLR input for your mic and a high-Z phone plug input for your guitar.
You’ll also need quality outputs that will allow you to monitor your recording and sound editing using speakers and/or headphones. This is where an audio interface comes in.
Choosing the right I/O configuration!!
The number and type of inputs and outputs you need depends entirely on what you want to be able to record, now and in the future. The range of audio interfaces includes everything from 2-channel desktop units to systems that can record hundreds of channels.
Most audio interfaces include two or more microphone preamps. If you’re going to use condenser microphones you’ll want to make sure that your interface’s preamps are also equipped with phantom power.
If you’re going to plug your guitar or keyboard straight into your interface, make sure that the interface you buy has instrument-level (also called “hi-Z”) inputs. Line-level inputs and outputs are great for hooking up outboard processors, headphone amps (for creating separate headphone mixes) and studio monitors.
Digital I/O may not seem important when you’re first starting out, but it can be incredibly useful down the road. If your interface comes equipped with standard ADAT lightpipe I/O, you can easily expand your system with an ADAT-equipped 8-channel mic pre. Eight extra channels can turn your personal recording rig into a system that’s ready to track a full band!!
Computer connectivity options:
When it comes to technology, only one and one thing alone remains constant and that is “CHANGE”. Hence it is odd to use words like “technology” and “standard” in the same sentence.
That said, a few audio interface connection types are considered standard, and those are Thunderbolt, USB, FireWire, and PCIe. Most PC and Mac computers come equipped with USB ports (either USB 2 or USB 3), whereas FireWire (either 400 or 800) is mostly found on Macs.
Both of these protocols average the same speed (480Mbps), which is fast enough to record up to 64 tracks at once under ideal conditions. Also, there are some simple interfaces that still use USB 1.1, which is much slower, but fast enough to record one or two channels.
Due to its incredibly high speed and low latency, Thunderbolt is the new reference standard for connecting audio interfaces. Thunderbolt 3 (found on the latest Macs) is twice as fast as Thunderbolt 2 and 8 times faster than USB 3, supporting speeds up to 40 Gbps and cable lengths of up to 100 meters using optical cable. There are many high-end interfaces that now support Thunderbolt.
The advantage of FireWire is that it transfers data at a more consistent rate than USB, which makes it slightly more reliable when you’re recording more channels at once. The disadvantage is that there are fewer interfaces that use FireWire than USB, and fewer computers that come equipped with FireWire ports. If you own a PC, you might need to install a FireWire card.
The advantage to USB (variants like 3.0, 2.0, and 1.1) is that there are many interfaces designed to run on USB bus power (rather than an external power supply), which is excellent if you plan on doing mobile recording with your laptop.
That brings us to the fourth standard audio interface connection, which is PCIe (PCI Express). PCIe is an internal card-based interface, which (by its very nature) means you can’t use these interfaces with laptop computers.
By effectively installing your audio interface into your computer’s motherboard, you gain the advantage of bypassing some of the data conversion processes that cause latency and limit bandwidth. The majority of PCIe audio interfaces are designed to handle high track counts and the near-instantaneous speed required by professional studios and is consequently more expensive than FireWire or USB interfaces.
That said, there are some affordable PCIe interfaces that allow even entry-level users to take advantage of this format.
We would want you to know certain meaning of the abbreviations (majorly sources from 3 things, love for music, internet and finally experience) which we have used plenty of time in this blog of best audio interface. This would greatly clear your understanding regarding audio interface:
It is an acronym that stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface. It’s a way to connect devices that make and control sound — such as synthesizers, samplers, and computers — so that they can communicate with each other, using MIDI messages.
It is a hardware interface that allows the connection of external peripherals to a computer, just like USB… It offers much of the same functionality as a USB or a Firewire device but has its own distinct specialities which may be of interest to studio owners.
3. Both FireWire and USB are technologies used to connect devices to a computer and transfer data quickly. FireWire is also known by the term IEEE 1394 High-Performance Serial Bus, and USB stands for Universal Serial Bus. … The USB network topology is a hub, while FireWire network topology is a daisy chain.
To know exactly how FireWire is different from USB you would need to click on this link. It educates you on the various aspect of these two different kinds of connections. A must-read for the music aficionado.
4. TRS cable
The letters TRS stand for Tip, Ring, and Sleeve, and refer to the parts of the jack plug that the different conductors are connected to. A TRS cable has three conductors vs the two on a standard guitar cable. A guitar cable is a TS, or Tip Sleeve cable.
5. XLR Jack
An XLR connector is a type of electrical connector primarily used in professional audio/visual and stage lighting equipment. XLR stands for “External Line Return”.
The word ‘pad’ in the audio interface is derived from Passive Attenuation Device. ‘Passive’ refers to an electronic circuit that requires no power to operate. ‘Attenuation’ means making the level of the signal smaller. … There isn’t much use for pads anywhere else in the audio signal chain. The value of a pad is in its passive nature.
7. Stereo and Mono signal:
Stereo (or Stereophonic sound) is the reproduction of sound using two or more independent audio channels in a way that creates the impression of sound heard from various directions, as in natural hearing. Mono (Monaural or monophonic sound reproduction) has audio in a single channel, often centred in the “sound field”. i.e. and stereo (Stereophonic).
8. RCA (Radio Corporation Of America) connection
An analog audio connection for a stereo RCA plug looks like this. It will usually be labelled as an input or an output. An output is for sending the audio from this device to another. The RCA connectors are usually coloured white for the left channel and red for the right channel.
9. Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)
It is an electronic device or application software used for recording, editing and producing audio files.
10. Phantom Power:
In the context of professional audio equipment, it is DC electric power transmitted through microphone cables to operate microphones that contain active electronic circuitry. It is best known as a convenient power source for condenser microphones, though many active direct boxes also use it. The technique is also used in other applications where power supply and signal communication take place over the same wires.
11. Gain Control
An amplifier gain control (input sensitivity) is simply an level-matching device allowing you to match an amplifier’s input circuit to a source unit’s (or signal processor) output. Ideally, gains are set so an amplifier’s output “clips” at the same time the source unit “clips”.
A gain control determines how far you must turn-up the source unit for the amplifier to make full power.
A preamplifier (preamp or “pre”) is an electronic amplifier that converts a weak electrical signal into an output signal strong enough to be noise-tolerant and strong enough for further processing, or for sending to a power amplifier and a loudspeaker.
Without this, in an audio interface, the final signal would be noisy or distorted. They are typically used to amplify signals from analog sensors such as microphones and pickups. Because of this, the preamplifier is often placed close to the sensor to reduce the effects of noise and interference.
13. Pro Tools:
It is a digital audio workstation developed and released by Avid Technology (formerly Digidesign) for Microsoft Windows and macOS which can be used for a wide range of sound recording and sound production purposes.
14. Ableton Live
It is a software music sequencer and digital audio workstation for macOS and Windows. In contrast to many other software sequencers, Ableton Live is designed to be an instrument for live performances as well as a tool for composing, recording, arranging, mixing, and mastering.
Understanding this concept is very important. I wish it could be wrapped up in few lines. Please refer to this link for further information on this.
The use of a TOSLINK cable for sending digital audio input/output streams between components is an alternative to an HDMI or a coaxial connection. The TOSLINK connection system (port and cable) was originally developed by Toshiba, and it is more commonly known as an optical, digital optical, or a fiber-optic audio connection.
17. S/PDIF output: SPDIF, also written as S/PDIF, stands for Sony/Phillips Digital Interface and is an interface to transmit digital audio.
18. ADAT Lightpipe
Officially known as the ADAT Optical Interface, is a standard for the transfer of digital audio between equipment. It was originally developed by Alesis but has since become widely accepted with many third-party hardware manufacturers including Lightpipe interfaces on their equipment.
The protocol has become so popular that the term “ADAT” is now often used to refer to the transfer standard rather than to the Alesis Digital Audio Tape itself.
Hope all our endeavours proved to be beneficial to you. This article was not just about the audio interface not just about using it or getting our readers to get familiarize with it. The core purpose was to ignite the interest of a guy who has never even heard about an audio interface (one just like me!!!). We still believe there is always room for improvement. If you think something more should have been added to this article, some more points regarding audio interfaces, please feel free to comment.