Learning About Computer Audio Interfaces (for PC and MAC)
Audio interfaces and sound cards have made great strides since they were first used by musicians. Instead of bulky systems full of cords, DJs and musicians need only to plug in a USB audio interface to master audio levels. Using an analog/digital audio converter, a computer can change analog signals sent from microphones or speakers into digital formats that you can edit with that computer. This type of interfacing equipment enhances sound and makes transfer easier.
What's a Computer Audio Interface?
Most desktop and laptop computers still have one input and one output source. One output source isn't practical for individuals that need the ability to adjust audio, or those who need to edit input and export it to more than one piece of equipment. The same basic principle goes for having a single input source only; in this instance, only one audio source can be recorded at a time. Computer audio interfaces provide professionals like DJs and musicians with the ability to transfer analog signals to digital, as well as enhance, mix, and edit sound.
What Are Computer Audio Interfaces Used For?
Computer audio interfaces enhance the sound quality of preexisting computer audio equipment. Musicians can use USB audio interfaces to record songs straight to digital format, and make it easy to edit or clip sections of the recording. They may also use MIDI computer interfaces to connect band instruments directly to a computer to enhance the quality of the sound recording. DJs benefit from the high-resolution sound produced using audio interfaces for PC and Mac, and they obtain the ability to mix multiple sources of sound to create new beats.
Choosing a Computer Audio Interface
There are some key areas to pay attention to when deciding what the best audio interface is for preexisting equipment such as computers, speakers, mics, and instruments. Here are some of the main features to check out prior to choosing a system:
- Analog inputs: Minimum for high-quality recordings is four, or eight for live music
- Analog outputs: Minimum is four; eight is ideal
- Digital I/O: A must-have for systems with preexisting digital gear
- Sample rate: How many times the analog signal is sampled per second
Digital I/O is especially important because you must make sure the interface I/O matches equipment I/O for a flawless transfer. If you're using preexisting digital equipment and the feature isn't available on the interface selected, you'll likely need a digital format converter.
Enhance present desktops and laptops with an interface that provides crisp audio results and provides options for multiple input and output sources. Visit B&H Photo and Video to find the latest in audio interfaces that provide high-resolution sound, and browse other computer audio equipment to build your system.