Audio Interface Reviews – The best ones available for your music studio, for various budgets and purposes.
An Audio Interface (professional soundcard) enables your Computer to record & playback audio. You will need it if you want to do serious audio work on your computer.
It provides you with all the inputs and output audio / midi connections you need for your work, provides low latency sound recording and playback, and gives a great sound recording and playback quality.
Check out the best Audio Interfaces here…
Advantages of using an Audio Interface
Some of the features on a professional soundcard include:
Choosing a Professional Audio Interface
You will need to select a soundcard depending on what sort of studio setup you want to have. You will have to make sure that the soundcard has inputs/outputs to connect to most of your gear. In general, the following are some of the instruments that you will need to connect to your soundcard.
If you are just getting started with music recording on your computer and are comfortable opening up your pc, then you may go a basic PCI audio interface. But if you want the connection to be simple, then go in for a basic USB audio interface.
For better speed and response, and if your computer has a fire-wire port, you can consider a firewire interface.
You may also need external Preamps to raise the level of your mic’s. Though most of the soundcards have built-in preamps, only the more expensive ones have really good preamps.
Besides the above mentioned gear, most of the other things like compressors, gates, Reverb and other special effects can be used as software in your Computer. So you do not need connections for these.
You can get started with music production on your computer with these budget audio sound cards. Choose either a PCI audio interface or the easy to connect USB audio interface or the faster firewire interface.
Some of the major and popular manufacturers/brands of professional soundcards include M-Audio, RME, Tascam, MOTU, PreSonus, Digidesign, Onyx, etc.
With an overview of what things to look for in an Audio Interface, I think you should be able to find an Audio Interface that suits your needs the best.
PCI Audio Interfaces
PCI Audio Interfaces connect to a slot on your computer’s hardware. So you will have to open up your CPU and connect these audio interfaces. You can get some good inexpensive ones.
USB Audio Interfaces
USB Audio Interfaces are much easier to connect to your computer. Earlier versions of these interfaces were a bit slow to respond and had latency problems but the recent crop of USB audio interfaces are quite responsive.
Behringer UCA222 U-Control
Inexpensive and does the basics pretty well.
Focusrite Saffire 6 USB Audio Interface
East setup and works great. Serious product at amateur prices
M-Audio Fast Track Pro
Another serious but basic product
Apogee Duet 2 for Mac
Excellent audio interface for the Mac!
FireWire Audio Interfaces
FireWire Audio Interfaces are among the most responsive audio interfaces with almost no latency problems. Considered to be among the fastest in terms of data transfer!
M-Audio Firewire Solo US35030
Does the job, sounds good.
Focusrite Saffire Pro 24 Firewire
Excellent interface with great mic preamps
PreSonus FireStudio Project
Minimal latency, great option for budget or live recording
M-Audio ProFire 2626 High-Definition
Comes with eight preamps, quality product that works great with ProTools too.
Audio Interfaces on Zzounds (US/Canada)
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