What Is An Audio Interface? What Does It Do? Home Recording Studio Kit

What Is An Audio Interface? What Does It Do? Home Recording Studio Kit

September 12, 2019 14 By Kailee Schamberger


– Hello, and welcome back to my channel where I’m sharing hints, tips, and tricks on how to make home recording easy. In this video, you’ll find out exactly
what is an audio interface and what does it do? (upbeat music) Here we have a typical audio interface. It’s the essential item you need if you want to make high
quality recordings of yourself playing guitar or keyboard or recording any kind
of high-quality vocals on your computer whether you
are a singer or a podcaster or doing video voiceovers. An audio interface is
essentially the device which is at the heart of a
typical home recording studio. Let’s examine that in a bit more detail. You connect your audio
interface to your computer usually via USB or Thunderbolt or, less common now, Firewire,
depending on the device. And with the right adapter
or appropriate leads, you can also record
straight on to your iPad. Now, this interface has
various inputs on the front which are suitable for
connecting microphones or guitars or even a line out of your
synth or digital piano. So you can make all sorts
of high-quality recordings and it’s very versatile. This interface also has
MIDI input and output. So you can actually use your
MIDI keyboard as a controller and control virtual
instruments on your computer, use other MIDI editing
software or use your computer to control the playback
of your MIDI instrument. As well as making high-quality recordings, you get very good
quality playback as well. You can connect headphones
or studio monitors so that you can hear what you’ve done. Basically, this is what’s going on. You are recording an analog
signal from your microphone or your instrument, the interface is doing an
analog to digital conversion, and outputting an audio
stream which can be stored and edited on your computer. Then the reverse is also happening. The digital audio from your computer is streamed through the interface where you have the digital
to analog conversion, so that you can actually
hear what you’ve done on your speakers or headphones. Let’s have a look at the front panel to get a little bit more detail. You can see on this interface, we’ve got two audio inputs on the front. You’ve got the ability to
connect up to two microphones. It’s got built in pre-amps so that you can use the gain
controls next to the inputs to get just the right level of signal to get a good quality
recording of your microphones. You can also connect line level inputs if you want to record
your piano or keyboard or if you wanted to take
the line out from a mixer where you’re recording multiple inputs, then you could do that. You could also switch to instrument and record guitars directly. If you find that the input
is a little bit too hot and you haven’t got much headroom, you can press the pad switch
to attenuate the signal that’s being recorded so that
you don’t get any clipping. You have got two volume controls. So you can control the volumes of your studio monitors
separately to the volume of your headphones and you
can switch the headphones between two different sources. You can do sort of DJ-style queuing. You can direct monitor and that’s one of the really good features
of an audio interface. If you can direct monitor, it means you can record
one track on top of another and hear what you’re doing in
real time without any latency. On this you can adjust
whether you hear entirely what you’re recording or
entirely what’s being played back on your computer at the same time or some kind of mix between them. You can also switch your direct monitor between stereo and mono. Finally, there’s a 48 volt button. That allows the interface
to provide phantom power to a condenser microphone or two. So you can connect any kind of
microphone to the front panel of this interface with XLR leads. If we just have a look on the back, you’ll see you’ve got your USB output because this is a USB interface. You’ve got your MIDI input and output so it’s got a MIDI capability and you’ve also got a choice of output. You can connect to balanced
inputs of studio monitors, you could take the outputs to
an amplifier or to a mixer. So that is basically an audio
interface in a nutshell. The question that I’ll
address in my next video will be, what is the best audio interface for your home recording studio? There’s various things to consider so we’re going to go through all that. Now, if you want to
know a bit more detail, do go and visit my site
which is www.musicrepo.com You’ll find there’s various,
more in depth articles about recording digital audio,
home recording studio setup, and exactly what is an audio
interface in a lot more detail. Plus, various recommendations
for the best kind of audio interfaces for
different recording purposes. So, hopefully you’ll check that out and I’ll see you next time. I hope you found that
useful and if you did, please do like the video. If you got any questions or comments, don’t forget to post them below. And if you want to get
more of my tips and tricks on home recording, then please
do subscribe to the channel. Well, thanks for watching
and see you next time.