Audio interfaces and mixers: what is best for your home studio? Recording music digitally in the home is a lot easier than in the past, but it doesn’t suggest you can make use of simply any equipment.

Audio interfaces and mixers: what is best for your home studio? Recording music digitally in the home is a lot easier than in the past, but it doesn’t suggest you can make use of simply any equipment.

Today’s Best Tech Discounts

Chosen by TechHive’s Editors

Top Discounts On Great Items

Selected by Techconnect’s Editors

Recording music digitally in the home now is easier than ever before, but it doesn’t mean you should use simply any equipment. Although it’s safe to state that choosing the microphone that is right critical, it’s not going to do you really any worthwhile in your house studio without having 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, an interface that is audio a device that connects your personal computer to your microphone. Most computers have a built-in sound interface by means of a 3.5mm microphone jack, nevertheless the sound quality you will get from that generally speaking will not cut it in terms of music that is recording. Simply because there was a small microphone icon 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 should be likely to spend a few hundred dollars for a microphone, why sacrifice that audio quality by linking it to your personal computer with subpar equipment?

Alesis iO2 Express audio program

Audio interfaces come in all size and shapes and connect to your commonly computer via USB or FireWire. There is also integral microphone preamps, which amplify your mic’s signal to line degree. This will be a step up in amount from exactly just exactly what the mic can create on unique, and will be read by some type of computer.

Just like choosing a microphone, the most useful sound software is dependent upon the kind of recording for you to do. As an example, would you like to record with only 1 or 2 microphones (you on electric guitar and a pal on vocals)? Then anything you’ll require is a software with two inputs. If you’d like to record a session that is live your four-piece musical organization having said that, you will likely require four or higher input networks. Yet another thing to think about: do you want to make use of equalizers, faders, and onboard impacts? If that’s the case, a mixer having a integrated usb or firewire sound screen will probably be worth an appearance. Nevertheless, if you have music production pc software with digital faders and impacts, an audio that is bare-bones could possibly be all that’s necessary.

The Alesis iO2 Express USB sound program expenses around $90, which will be about as affordable as it gets for quality sound interfaces. The iO2 Express has two input channels for connecting microphones via XLR or line input, phantom power for condenser mics, and gain/volume controls for each channel like other interfaces in its class. Save money money on a sound screen and you will get more input networks, better body construction and durability, and expert features like results and extra ports and shows.


If you should be trying to find more control of what gets provided for your pc, tabletop mixers usually have USB or FireWire interfaces that are audio right in. So what’s a mixer got that a fundamental sound program does not? Control.

Mixers have actually equalizers and amount faders for each individual input channel, providing you maximum control of every noise exactly just what switches into your personal computer. You can also usually get onboard effects such as for instance reverb, delay, and chorus you could connect with specific songs.

A Behringer XENYX 1204USB mixer.

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

Just like non-mixer sound interfaces, the greater you purchase a mixer (for instance the $400 Alesis Multimix 16 USB 2.0 FX), the greater recording inputs and networks you will get, in addition to more impacts and high quality preamps, and filters.

Alesis Multimix 16 USB 2.0 FX mixer

Another good thing about a mixer is its effectiveness during real time performances. Mixers are perfect for assembling multiple instruments played simultaneously as a mix that is coherent. For instance, perhaps your musical organization’s guitar is drowning down your vocals. Make use of the mixer to regulate the songs.

USB mixers vs. audio interfaces

If you are wondering why anybody would purchase such a thing apart from a USB mixer once you can pick one up for roughly the exact same cost as a non-mixer sound interface, room factors and portability aspect in to your choice. Mixers generally use up a great deal of room, whereas numerous basic audio interfaces are tiny adequate to tote around. Also, you may not really require a number of the features incorporated into many mixers. Music production programs like Apple GarageBand ($15), FL Studio ($199), and Propellerhead Reason ($449) include digital faders, impacts, along with other settings for tweaking your music.

Behringer U Control UCA202 bare-bones USB sound interface

An added thing: if you have currently got a mixer, nonetheless it doesn’t always have an integrated USB or FireWire screen, there clearly was a effortless method to link it to your pc. Some bare-bones USB audio interfaces just like the Behringer U Control UCA202 ($30) absence XLR and line input for microphones, but L/R analog input and outputs enable 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 runs the next day, covers the program you will need to pull together your musical manufacturing.