9 Rode AI 1 Single Channel USB Audio Interface
Audio Interface Cable
An example of an “interface cable” audio interface is the Behringer Mic 2 USBInterface Cable (link to check the price on Amazon).Behringer MIC2USB Interface CableBehringer is featured in the following My New Microphone articles: • Top Best DAW Control Surface Brands In The World • Top Best Eurorack Module Synth Brands In The World • Top Best MIDI Controller Brands In The World • Top Best Mixing Board/Console Brands For Home Studios • Top Best Synthesizer Brands In The WorldSimply connect the XLR of the interface cable to the microphone output. Then connect the USB of the interface cable to the computer.
Audio Interface Inline Adapter
An example of a “signal converter” audio interface is the Shure X2U XLR-to-USBSignal Adapter (link to check the price on Amazon).Shure X2U Signal AdapterShure is featured in the following My New Microphone articles: • Top Best Microphone Brands You Should Know And Use • Top Best Headphone Brands In The World • Top Best Earphone/Earbud Brands In The WorldConnect the microphone to the input of the interface via a balanced XLR cable.Then connect the interface to the computer via a USB cable.
Selecting The Audio Input Of The Computer Or Software
So we know how to physically connect a microphone and interface to a computerand we know how to attain the required drivers. We’re almost there!The computer must be set to “read” the digital translation of the microphonesignal. In order to do so, the microphone/interface must be selected as thecomputer’s audio input.This is the final part of connecting a microphone to a computer.Some computers will source an audio input automatically while others won’t.Regardless, it’s relevant to understand how to select and switch between audioinput devices!
Audio Interface Outputs
We’ve discussed inputting microphones into audio interfaces. We’ve alsodiscussed the analog/digital conversion and the connection between the audiointerface and the computer. Now we’ll talk about the analog outputs of audiointerfaces.
Using An External Microphone With A Digital Audio Workstation
If you’re connecting a microphone to a computer to record audio, chances areyou’ll be working with a digital audio workstation.Digital audio workstations (DAWs) are software programs designed to record andmix audio.DAWs have the ability to select audio input devices independently from thecomputer’s main audio input device. This makes for flexible routing butsometimes leads to user confusion.For example, the operating system could be sourcing its audio input from theconnected audio interface while the DAW is sourcing from the computer’sinternal microphone.Selecting the audio input device in a DAW is similar to choosing the audioinput device of the computer. Once the proper drivers are installed, we canchoose a microphone or audio interface as our audio input.Let’s look at some common DAWs and their specific paths to audio inputrouting: * -> Setup * -> Playback Engine
9. Rode AI-1 Single Channel USB Audio Interface
This is the second audio interface in our list of the best Expensive AudioInterface that provides discrete studio-quality headphone output and levelcontrol.This product has layering tracks that it is a natural asset level, plugin, andlevel control. It is the second audio interface that provides discrete studio-quality headphone output and level control.Features * This product has layering tracks. * The product provides discrete studio-quality headphone output and level control.
8. Zoom U-22 Handy Audio Interface, 2-Channel Portable USB Audio
Interface.This product has a resolution of 96 kHz, hence providing a high recordingquality.This product has connectors and volume controls for fast access and makes iteasy to use. The product has a resolution of 96 kHz, hence providing a highrecording quality.Features * The product has a high-performance mic preamp. * This product has a resolution of 96 kHz.
4. Recording Software aka DAW (Digital Audio Workstation)
The third thing you will need is some recording software aka a DAW. DAWsoftware is what actually records your vocals and stores them on the computer.Using this program you can edit and add effects to your vocals.Some of the most popular DAW Softwares included:Pro Tools Mac & PC Pro Tools | First (The free version of Pro Tools)Logic Pro X MacGarageBand (free) MacAbleton Live Mac & PCReaper (free for the first 60 days) Mac & PCCubase Mac & PCIf you’re interested in finding some other free DAW software then take a lookat this other article we wrote: Top 10 Best Free DAW Software* * *
What is an audio interface?
An audio interface is essential for most people to record a synthesizer (orother instruments) to a computer as it contains an external sound card.This is one of the most important things about the interface. Even most modernlaptops and PCs don’t have sound cards, off the shelf, that can cope with asynth plugged straight into it.This will result in latency (lag time from when you play a note to when itactually records), sound interference and generally a lot of frustration.You could go and fit a new sound card to your computer or PC. But that wouldlikely cost you just as much as an audio interface.The interface will usually be fitted with at least a couple of inputs. So youcan record multiple instruments at the same time if you have the need. Youusually have the option of plugging in a ¼” ‘guitar’ cable or a microphone XLRcable (not as applicable to synths).So you simply plug a cable from the output of the synthesizer to theinterface. This interface is then connected to the laptop or computer by a USBand there you have it, you’re ready to get recording.
4) Open up your recording software or DAW
There are a variety of options available for you when it comes to recordingsoftware.Some of these are free such as Reaper or Audacity. Some come at a cost such asAbleton and FL studio.When starting out there is no need to buy an expensive piece of softwarestraight away. But it is something you will probably want to look into at somepoint.If you are using Ableton make sure the audio interface is selected as theinput device.Ensure that the correct channel from the audio interface is selected on thetrack you want to record. Arm the audio track (not a midi track) and thenrecord away.The above is obviously very basic. I just want to show you the simplest way torecord your synthesizer at this stage.
Audio Interface – the heart of any home recording studioThe audio interface is at the heart of your home recording setup. This is howyou route the audio signals from your microphone and keyboard to yourrecording software. Read more … find out what is an audio interface ordiscover the best audio interfaces
What is an Audio Interface?
The obvious solution to feeding the microphone signal into a computer is theuse of an audio interface.An audio interface is a piece of kit that expands a computer’s soundfunctionality. Typically, they connect via a USB port, and the addition of aninterface allows for the input of ¼” jack cables, and more importantly, XLRcables. Some interfaces boast additional features, such as MIDI inputs, orline outs, but you will find most models have at least XLR and ¼” jack inputs.Audio interfaces are analog to digital converters. What this means is that theincoming signal is processed into data that is readable by the computer, inthis way, they can relay sonic information to the computer via the USBconnection. This is a much more convenient format for audio to enter thecomputer in, as most have a USB port.Not only does an interface relay this information, but they also have thecapacity to manipulate the audio before outputting it. These can be found inthe form of gain dials, instrument line switches, and an option for phantompower (used to amplify the signal of condenser microphones).The capacity to control the incoming and outgoing signals in this way is amajor advantage when recording a podcast. This additional gain stage allowsfor control of signal level prior to recording, reducing the risk of peaks,noise, or any other unwanted audio artifacts in the final product.
Another alternative is to invest in a USB microphone. There are plenty ofpodcasting microphones on the market that offer a USB input, allowing you toconnect to most computers directly without the need for an external interface.There are some fantastic sounding USB microphones available including classicslike the Rode Podcaster (Amazon link) and more recent releases such as theShure MV7 (Amazon link) which looks and sounds like the all-time podcastingfavorite the Shure SM7B but with both XLR and USB outputs. These microphonesoffer a direct connection to the computer while retaining a high-quality audiooutput, making them the ideal choice for those after that direct input option.To read more about USB microphones and how they stack up against XLR models,see our USB Mic vs XLR article.
Firewire Audio Interface Vs. USB – Why Chose A USB Audio Interface?
One of the biggest debates in the recording world is whether you should chooseFirewire over USB. While Firewire might have been the obvious choice severalyears ago, it’s 2013 now, and a lot has changed since then.First of all, Firewire is known to have problems playing nicely with differentcomputers. Unless your computer uses a Firewire chipset manufactured by TexasInstruments, FireWire interfaces are likely to act buggy.For example, I’ve found out that they don’t call it FIREwire for nothing.Whenever the Firewire audio interface is plugged in, my Macbook Pro getsinsanely hot even when it’s idle, going up to 80-85C at times.I didn’t care that the laptop is too hot to touch. My problem was that thefans get so loud that it’s audible in the background while recording vocals.Like most DIY musicians out there, I record in my bedroom where I don’t haveroom for a vocal booth, so I can’t live with the noise.After doing some research it turns out that this IS a common issue withMacbooks and Firewire devices.Secondly, less and less computers have Firewire ports these days. USB, on theother hand, doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.When it’s time to replace your computer several years from now, you wouldn’twant to be limited to choosing between models that only have a Firewireconnection.Lastly, there’s the issue of speed. Yes, it’s true that Firewire is fasterthan USB. But unless you’re recording more than 16 instruments at a time (notlikely unless you’re building a pro studio), the difference in data transferspeeds are almost negligible.For most home recording musicians, there are other factors that are far moreimportant than the interface connection — your processor, RAM and hard drivespeeds. Until this is fully optimized, there’s no need to worry about the typeof connection your interface has.Learn More About The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2