Do I Need An Audio Interface To Record?

Creating and recording high quality digital music is now possible with an audio interface being available. Many recording artists have so many options today to deliver high sounding records. There is even a challenge of determining which instrument to choose as there are so many audio interfaces. On the contrary, some do not see sense in using audio interfaces because of inbuilt sound cards.

An audio interface is an essential device in the case where you want to get a quality recording. For instance, when you need to mix or master your music, you will need an audio interface. Without using an audio interface, you will not have a way of plugging in the monitors. Therefore you will not have room for creating an excellent record. You need a good pair of monitors and interface for your mixes without which you will have poor sounding recordings.

Most musicians claim that they do not need an audio interface once they have a sound card. Conventionally, the sound card is usually built-in your computer, but it has numerous in-capabilities for recording your music.

However, you cannot compare the advantages of audio interfaces to those of soundcards. Utilizing the right recording equipment is crucial in producing quality and professional work. That is why we cannot overstate the need to use audio interfaces.

What is an Audio Interface for Recording?

An audio interface is a part of the hardware that extents and improves the sonic abilities of a computer. For instance, some audio interfaces will give you the capability to link microphones and other instruments to a computer and provide an output of a variety of signals as well. Besides expanding the inputs and outputs, audio interfaces can significantly improve the sound quality of a computer. For example, an audio interface will reproduce a more accurate sound, each time you record an audio or listen through speakers and headphones. Seeing what you can do with an audio interface, it, therefore, goes without saying that an audio interface is a very critical component in computer-based production. Some of the uses of audio interfaces include recording music and podcasts and recording voice-overs in video production.

Depending on your need, you can determine the best port to connect an interface to your computer. For example, in case you want to track and overdub with multiple instruments, you will have to go for a high-speed port. On the other hand, if you do not want to record with more instruments simultaneously, using a USB 1.0 interface will do. Therefore, you will require a higher bandwidth with more needs.

How Important is an Audio Interface?

You cannot exaggerate the importance of an audio interface. Instead of depending on a sound card inbuilt in your device, an audio interface can achieve for more significant results. Technically, a sound card is an audio interface but with limited abilities and minimal input/output making less suitable for recording. Also, because most sound cards only have a consumer-grade stereo level input, you will need a reliable interface.

However, in the case where you are only making electronic music, an audio interface is not critical. This, therefore, implies that it depends on your needs. For instance, if you are interested in headphones only, it is okay to go without an interface. Additionally, in the case where you are not recording music, you also can do without the interface. However, if you want to go far with mixes, you will require an interface. An audio interface is essential because it converts analog information to digital format. Furthermore, an interface also is easy to use and provides high-quality recording as compared to the sound card.

Do You Need an Audio Interface When You Have A Mixer?

Since mixers can receive several inputs, it is suitable to use an audio interface. As such, you can go for a mixer that has an inbuilt audio interface. This will make you in charge and control of every sound detail in your production process. There is no exciting thing as this, being able to take charge of every sound in your production.

The mixer that has an inbuilt interface is also useful as it provides compression control effects necessary for professional sounds. However, such a mixer takes up larger space and costs more compared to a single one. Despite this, having all the tools required to create expert work in a unit is more efficient for a professional recording studio. Single mixers have components that can be added to an interface to them more comfortable to use as portable devices. Therefore mixers that have an inbuilt audio interface are more suitable as they give quality work.

Does an Audio Interface Improve Sound Quality?

An audio interface enhances sound quality. It improves the sonic capabilities of a computer by giving you the ability to connect more instruments. You can have additional professional studio monitors, recording microphones, and other types of signals connecting to your computer. This type of connection makes a high quality audio recording. Since the device is capable of linking a wide range of professional recording equipment, you can be sure of a high quality sounding.

Moreover, audio interfaces reproduce a more accurate sound every time you listen through speakers. This, therefore, make audio interfaces essential for computer-based audio production. Since interfaces are capable of expanding outputs and inputs, they can significantly improve your recording. Furthermore, since it is capable of doing a reverse position, it makes it proper for the record. Reverse positioning is the process of converting digital information to analog, you hear through your monitors or headphones. Categorically, audio interfaces improve your sound quality.

Do You Need an Audio Interface for MIDI Keyboard?

Technically speaking, you must not have an audio interface for the MIDI keyboard. For instance, using FL 10, you will plug and play after enabling the USB MIDI Device. Depending on what you are playing with the controller, you determine whether or not you will have latency issues. If, for instance, the FL is going through Onboard Realtek drivers, there is a noticeable latency.

However, there are cases where when you use the Keyboard without the interface, and you might experience latency issues. Therefore it is advisable if you cannot maneuver around to use an interface. But it also depends on your project such that if you are not doing anything major, you can save the money. It means you avoid going to buy the audio interface. If you do not use an audio interface, you might also have a poor playback that you need pro headphones to detect. So it entirely depends on your needs.

How to Use an Audio Interface

An audio interface being an external sound card, is not complicated to use. The days where you had to fix a sound card in your machine to improve recordings are long gone. Connecting an audio interface to a computer is very simple. Mostly, audio interfaces have audio USB soundcards. As long as there is an available USB port on a tablet, then you connect one up. However, before connecting, you will have to check whether or not the hardware specs are compatible. Therefore, USB audio interfaces are the most popular, and it is possible to find one that suits your needs.

Moreover, there is an increasing number of thunderbolt audio interfaces, and therefore, you can still acquire firewire too. The advantage of firewire and Thunderbolt is that they are fast. However, they are more expensive and must have one of the ports to use them. Most people find USB perfect for home recording studios.

Do You Need an Audio Interface for Studio Headphones?

This question is a common one that causes a lot of confusion among musicians. Many think that an audio interface is a box that has various inputs for instruments. However, there are multiple devices that are operative audio interfaces as well. For example, a USB microphone which contains an audio interface. You plug the USB lead into a USB port, and it works. This connection removes the need for other equipment. It may form a complete input and output device. Other devices also fit here. That is, they can work on their own without the need for additional equipment.


It is possible to conduct a basic recording with sound cards. However, to enhance your records, you will require an interface. For a professional recording, you will require some good monitors and a dependable audio interface. In the case where you require a good sound definition, then you will need audio interfaces.

Moreover, depending on your project, you will determine whether or not you require audio interfaces when using headphones and keyboards. To add on, using inbuilt audio interfaces in mixers makes production effective. In conclusion, audio interfaces in production deliver high quality professional work, and therefore, every producer ought to think about that.

Recent Posts