Audio Interfaces are an essential tool for anyone making music on their laptop, PC, Mac or mobile devices, because they're responsible for getting sound in and out of your computer. Your choice of interface will make the difference between great quality recordings or average results. Luckily, PMT Online offers a wide selection of USB, Firewire, Thunderbolt, PCI and Mobile & iPad audio interfaces, from all the best brands: Focusrite, Apogee, M-Audio, Mackie, Native Instruments, Universal Audio & more!
The most popular interfaces, perfect for PC and laptop users, as most wil already have an available, free USB port. They can be cheaper than the other types, too. Newer USB 3 interfaces are still a rarity, but might soon become the standard, offering the best qualilty & value.
Firewire interfaces work differently than USB - they stream data and are faster, which means lower latency. But most computers don't have Firewire ports, which mean you may need to upgrade your hardware before buying a Firewire interface.
These are the best and most professional interfaces - ultra fast, allowing for quick data transfer and much lower latency than any USB or Firewire interface. They are also much more expensive, so not the best choice for someone just setting up a project studio - but ideal for pro recording environments.
If you plan to record directly to your iPad or iPhone, for instance, then these are the best options, allowing for portable and affordable recording.
This is the old standard and not as popular, as involves having to install a new PCI card on your PC. Some might come with analogue inputs, but often not - you'll need a breakout box, as well as preamps for your mics etc. Not the most practical choice then, but some people still prefer them due to the faster transfer speed allowed by the PCI technology.
When choosing your audio interface, you will need to give consideration to many different things including required number of inputs and outputs, mic preamps, and features such MIDI in and out. With such a wide selection available, choosing the right one can prove difficult, and understanding what features and specs you need can be a daunting prospect. But at the PMT music tech shops our product experts are on hand to take the confusion out of this situation and, by working with you, they will help to determine the correct audio interface for you!