Sound interfaces and mixers: what is best for your house studio? Recording music digitally in the home is simpler than in the past, but that does not suggest you can make use of simply any equipment.

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Sound interfaces and mixers: what is best for your house studio? Recording music digitally in the home is simpler than in the past, but that does not suggest you can make use of simply any equipment.

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Recording music digitally in the home now is easier than ever before, but it doesn’t suggest you should use simply any equipment. Although it’s safe to express that selecting the microphone that is right critical, it will not would you a bit of good in your house studio with out a solid sound screen to connect it into. The benefits of using a dedicated audio interface far outweigh the extra cost while using a separate input method means shelling out money for hardware.

What exactly is an interface that is audio?

To put it simply, a sound user interface is a device that connects your computer or laptop to your microphone. Most computers have a built-in sound screen by means of a 3.5mm microphone jack, however the sound quality you receive from that generally will not cut it with regards to recording music. Simply because there is certainly just a little microphone symbol beside the jack on your desktop does not mean it is well well worth utilizing for sound, and input that is especially musical. Think about it that way: if you are planning to spend a couple of hundred dollars for a microphone, why sacrifice that quality of sound by connecting it to your pc with subpar equipment?

Alesis iO2 Express audio user interface

Audio interfaces come in all shapes and sizes and connect to your commonly computer via USB or FireWire. They likewise have integrated microphone preamps, which amplify your mic’s signal to line degree. This might be a step up in amount from just exactly what the mic can create on its very own, and may be read by a pc.

Similar to choosing a microphone, the audio interface that is best varies according to the sort of recording for you to do. For instance, would you like to record with only 1 or 2 microphones (you on electric electric guitar and a buddy on vocals)? Then anything you’ll require is a screen with two inputs. Should you want to record a real time session with your four-piece musical organization having said that, you will probably require four or maybe more input stations. One more thing to take into account: do you want to benefit from equalizers, faders, and onboard impacts? If that’s the case, a mixer having A usb that is built-in or sound interface will probably be worth an appearance. Nevertheless, if you have music production pc software with digital faders and impacts, a bare-bones sound screen might be all that’s necessary.

The Alesis iO2 Express USB sound software expenses around $90, that will be about because affordable as it gets for quality sound interfaces. Like many interfaces with its course, the iO2 Express has two input channels to get in touch microphones via XLR or line input, phantom energy for condenser mics, and gain/volume settings for every channel. Save money cash for a sound program and you’ll receive more input stations, better body construction and durability, and expert features like results and extra ports and displays.


If you should be seeking more control of what gets provided for your personal computer, tabletop mixers often have USB or FireWire sound interfaces built right in. So what’s a mixer got that the audio that is basic does not? Control.

Mixers have actually equalizers and amount faders for each input that is individual, providing you with maximum control over every sound exactly just what switches into your computer or laptop. You will usually get onboard results such as for instance reverb, wait, and chorus you could connect with specific tracks.

A Behringer XENYX 1204USB mixer.

An example of a fairly priced USB mixer may be the Behringer XENYX 1204USB, which sells for about $150. This device includes four pre-amped XLR and line-in inputs and all sorts kinds of results, equalizers, faders, and auxiliary (AUX) inputs and outputs to get in touch to effect that is external and panels.

Just like non-mixer sound interfaces, the greater you purchase a mixer (like the $400 Alesis Multimix 16 USB 2.0 FX), the greater recording inputs and networks you receive, as well as more results and high quality preamps, and filters.

Alesis Multimix 16 USB 2.0 FX mixer

Another advantage of a mixer is its effectiveness during real time shows. Mixers are perfect for assembling multiple instruments played simultaneously in to a coherent mix. For instance, maybe your musical organization’s electric guitar is drowning away your vocals. Make use of the mixer to modify the songs.

USB mixers vs. audio interfaces

If you should be wondering why anybody would purchase such a thing apart from a USB mixer whenever you can pick one up for approximately the price that is same a non-mixer audio interface, area factors and portability aspect in towards the choice. Mixers generally use up a lot of room, whereas numerous basic sound interfaces are little sufficient to take with you. Additionally, you may not really require a few of the features contained in many mixers. Music production programs like Apple GarageBand ($15), FL Studio ($199), and Propellerhead Reason ($449) have digital faders, results, along with other settings for tweaking your music.

Behringer U Control UCA202 bare-bones USB sound interface

An added thing: if you have already got a mixer, however it does not have an integral USB or FireWire software, there is certainly a simple option to link it to your personal computer. Some bare-bones USB audio interfaces such as the Behringer U Control UCA202 ($30) shortage XLR and line input for microphones, but L/R analog input and outputs allow you to attach your old analog gear to your home recording that is digital setup.

This is actually the second of a three-part show on the best way to put up a home-based music-recording studio. Component one, which went yesterday, talked concerning the microphone that is right purchase. Component three, which operates tomorrow, covers the program you will need to pull together your musical manufacturing.