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Audio interference vs 1/8 soundcard

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by fenderaholic, Jul 12, 2005.


  1. fenderaholic

    fenderaholic

    May 25, 2005
    Burbank ca
    hello

    i was wondering what the advantages are of using a audio interfenence. what is a audio interference for anyway ? is it just for plugging in a number or insturments to record. would it not be the same thing as plugging into a mixer then from the mixer to the soundcard. my questions are what is a audio interference for. and is it better then a mixer into a soundcard


    thanks eric
     
  2. WalterBush

    WalterBush

    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    Any interface will be of higher audio quality than a soundcard's 1/8 mini jack, both because of the jack itself and because the analog to digital convertors will be of much better quality. Audio interfaces also tend to allow more inputs at once than the soundcard, so that when you get software that will allow multitrack recording, you have the inputs to do it, rather than a single stereo channel.
     
  3. fenderaholic

    fenderaholic

    May 25, 2005
    Burbank ca
    well were going to be using sony sound forge 8.0 so the software is going to be pretty good. but if im going from a mixer to a soundcard i will have multiple inputs also.
     
  4. Droog

    Droog

    Aug 14, 2003
    PDX
    Hello. Thought I would chime in over hear too :D

    About interfaces. The advantage of "real" interface is that (as mentioned before) the A/D, D/A conversion is much better which results in a cleaner and better sounding signal. The electronics in general are much better, which makes for a better signal. Witch 1/8" jacks you will have a lower signal to noise ratio, meaning more hiss in your line. The converters are cheap, cheap, cheap making for a terrible digital representation of your analog signal. Not to mention the connect is easy to break.

    Also a good interface will supply you with more that 2 inputs (L&R), though sometimes this is not necessary, as you will be limited by what your software can make use of. For instance, you said you will be using Sound Forge, great program, but, its not a multitrack program. It is two channel, stereo. Which means you will have to mix all of your signals down to 2 channels before you go into Sound Forge, but being as you only have a stereo input on your current sound card it makes no difference.

    Conversely, if you had a multi track recording program and an interface with multiple inputs you could record instruments or mics to seperate tracks within your computer/software. This is recomended. If you are a fan of the Sony stuff, Vegas is there multitrack audio program, though it is more a of a video editor anymore. There are lots of software programs available for multitrack recording, and there are plenty of interfaces to choose from. The only thing to watch out for is Pro Tools, you have to use there interface with their software. You can usually mix and match everybody else.
     
  5. fenderaholic

    fenderaholic

    May 25, 2005
    Burbank ca
    hey thanks for your input guys. whats a good audio interference you would suggest. we need at least 4 inputsand 2 mic inputs. what can i get for about $100-150 :) can the mixer go into the interference then to the computer ?
     
  6. WalterBush

    WalterBush

    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    Not only can it, it should! Check into Edirol, M-audio, and Mackie for the best deals. They all have a zillion models, with various features, and looking up what all those mysterious numbers and specs mean will be an enlightening experience for you (a google search on unfamiliar terms will be helpful). Avoid Behringer at all costs--the price is attractive, but everyone I know who has one has nothing but problems, and they sound awful.

    Also, the brands listed above all feature some kind of bundled software, with enough features to at least get you recorded, and help you figure out what you want in a recording setup should you decide to get more involved and drop some dough later (plug-in format, bitrates, channels, inputs, outputs, DSP processors, etc are all considerations when putting together a decent setup). Happy shopping!


    EDIT: Be careful to get a rear-panel view on any cheapie unit to make sure the inputs are REAL. Being told you have 4 channels, when really they mean 2 stereo inputs that can't be separated, can be frustrating and confusing. To be honest, for $100 to $150 I'd be amazed if you got more than 2 actual inputs, but bump it up to $200 to $250 and you can get some impressive units.