External USB Sound Card Audio Interface Comparison
Posted: 1 December 2011
Synopsis: With the copious advancements made in recording technology over the past decade or so, coinciding with the price drop in computers with huge hard drives and lightning fast processors, building a home recording studio...
A USB audio interface is one of the easiest devices to use as this connector. It will contain inputs for microphones and/or direct instruments, and connect those to a computer via a USB cable. This not only solves the problem of how to input your mics and instruments into the computer, but also bypasses the computer's usually subpar sound card. Since the audio interface works in conjunction with your recording software, you will be able to record and mix high quality audio to produce a professional sounding end product.
Additionally, many audio interfaces come with the added advantage of being small enough to become portable, so your studio is not just restricted to your home, but can travel with you and your laptop to record live shows and nearly any other application requiring mobile recording.
After deciding that a USB audio interface is the way to go, the question becomes, of course, which device is the best fit for your specific needs? Here at Swamp, we have three high-quality yet inexpensive interfaces to choose from that can fit any recording need and budget.
ART USB Dual Pre
Swamp's most inexpensive audio interface solution is the ART USB Dual Pre. First, we'll look at the features this device shares with the other two audio interfaces, and then discuss what makes this tool different than the others.
All of the audio interfaces offered by Swamp contain two inputs that can be used simultaneously. This means you can record a guitar track and a vocal track at the same time, and still have two separate tracks appear in your recording software (the same goes for any two instruments you decide to record).
Also like the other two interfaces, the ART USB Dual Pre also includes phantom power which will allow you to record with condenser mics requiring power. No additional devices needed for power! Additionally, all devices come with recording software, so there's no need to purchase additional expensive software for your studio.
Finally, the ART USB Dual Pre is the only device of the three offering multiple power options. Though you can power the device by purely by connecting it to your computer with the supplied USB cable, you also use a 12-volt power supply or a 9-volt battery to power the device for different recording applications.