The purpose of an interface is to capture the audio from your microphone, convert the analog signal to digital information (A/D), and then convert it back from digital to analog (D/A) for your monitoring system, be it headphones or studio monitors, can reproduce the audio. Most interfaces have built-in microphone preamps, line inputs for instruments, headphones and monitor outputs, etc.
When buying an interface, it’s important to keep in mind what connector the device has as this will determine how fast the information will be transferred. First, you’ll have to make sure your computer has the appropriate port so you can connect your interface. You will find USB, Firewire, Thunderbolt and PCIe (which is a card you connect inside your computer, like a RAM card or a hard drive) interfaces. USB interfaces are the simplest, cheapest and most common choices for a home studio as they’re fast (when connected to USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 ports) and every computer, whether it is PC or Mac, has one. You won’t need an external adapter if you ever change your computer or need to travel making USB interfaces to be the most practical ones.
A great choice when it comes to interfaces is the RME Babyface Pro, which has 2 excellent microphone preamp inputs, 2 headphone outputs, and 2 line outputs. It’s small and lightweight, making it highly portable. The design is also very intuitive and easy to use.
Another great choice is the MOTU Track 16 which also has 2 mic preamp inputs, 2 headphone outputs and 4 line outputs for you to have main and secondary monitoring systems plugged into it at the same time. It’s also small and lightweight, and the inputs and outputs are on a separate breakout cable making it fit onto smaller desks without a problem.
If you are a Mac user and are looking for an, even more, portable option, you may want to try the Apogee One. It has only one preamp, but it uses Apogee's top-notch technology which makes it perfect for voice over applications. It’s also super small and light so you can carry it with you everywhere.
For smaller budgets, consider the great Focusrite 2i2. This interface has become kind of like the go-to device for professionals at home who want to get started in the industry. It has 2 mic preamp inputs, 1 headphone output and 2 line outputs for your monitors. It uses Focusrite's amazing preamp technology at a very affordable price.
Do you own another interface that you would recommend? What do you look for when buying an interface? Do you have another interface you want to get? Let us know!
Please sign in to leave a comment.