Sound cards and audio interfaces
An audio interface is a piece of hardware that allows you to connect all of your audio gear to your computer. It is responsible for converting analogue signals into digital audio so that your computer can process it. It also performs the same process in reverse by receiving digital audio information from the computer and converting it into an analogue signal that you’re able to hear through your studio monitors or headphones. Consumer grade soundcards aren’t adequate enough if you’re looking to achieve good quality recordings due to their limited sound quality and connectivity limitations. If you’re serious about recording good quality audio, you will need a dedicated audio interface. Then there’s are larger interfaces intended for use in larger studios. These are typically rack mountable and can handle dozens of channels and many inputs simultaneously. There are also interfaces which typically serve a specific function. These are a popular choice for people looking for an all-in-one solution that’s compact and portable. As they aim to serve a specific function they will typically only accommodate a single mono/stereo input.
Modern audio interfaces connect to your desktop or laptop computer via a USB or Thunderbolt port (some older ones use different ports, such as PCI, PCIe or Ethernet). The USB 3.0 port provides much faster data transfer rates than USB 2.0 and is becoming the standard for most modern computers as well as many newer interfaces. Many USB interfaces are powered directly from the computer without requiring an external power source. Thunderbolt is Intel's high bandwidth technology. It offers excellent data transfer rates and very low latency for the most demanding computer recording.
Depending on what it is you intend to record will determine how many inputs and outputs you require. For example, recording a band will require an interface with plenty of inputs/outputs as opposed to a solo artist who’ll typically be recording no more than 2 channels simultaneously. It’s also important to note the type of connections that are required. Having dedicated inputs for guitars (instrument level input), mics (mic level input), or external preamps (line level input) offers greater flexibility when recording.
- 1/4" Jack – typically used to connect guitars, bass, synths, keyboards and outboard gear. They’re also commonly used to connect your interface to your studio monitors
- XLR – typically used to connect microphones to the integrated mic preamp to bring the mic level up to instrument level
- Combo Jack XLR – many interfaces combine XLR and jack connections into a multi-purpose socket and make them easily accessible on the front of the device (Jack/XLR)
- ADAT – this type of connection can carry 8 channels of audio at 48KHz or 4 channels at 96KHz
- S/PDIF – is available in two formats – coxial or optical, these connections are commonly used to output a stereo mix to an external source
- MIDI – means of swapping information between suitably equipped electronic musical instruments and computers
Many audio interfaces have a feature that enables you to hear your sound source directly. This essentially feeds the audio input (for example from your mic) directly to the audio outputs of the interface, without the signal going into the computer, then back out again. This is known as Zero Latency Monitoring. So if you are recording your voice for example, you’d instantly hear your voice directly in the headphones without any delay.
Buy audio interfaces in our stores
You can buy audio interfaces in our stores. It is also possible to place an order in the online shop. Delivery is carried out all over Ukraine. Thanks to the wide assortment, everyone will find a suitable product for themselves. You can always count on professional advice and assistance. We care about the quality of service and do everything we can to make sure you are satisfied with your purchase.