If you produce a regular podcast, you want to ensure that it is of high quality for your listeners. Choosing the right audio interface for your podcast is important for ensuring that your podcast runs smoothly every time. The following tips can help you to choose the best audio interface.
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What To Look At When Purchasing A Podcast Audio Interface
When searching for the right audio interface, you will quickly find that they vary widely in both price and functionality. The first thing you must consider is your budget. Audio interfaces can range in price from $100 to as much as $2,500. The right interface for you will depend on your budget restrictions and how much you are willing to spend on this technology. Keep in mind, however, that trying to purchase an audio interface in the lower price range will leave you with less options in your selection.
Mic Inputs Required
The next thing you need to consider is the number of mic inputs on the audio interface. The mic inputs are the part of the device that connects the analog microphone to the computer. This is what gives your podcast a crisp and clear sound through your recording software. When purchasing an audio interface, you need to know exactly how many mic inputs are needed. The number of mics you need will depend on whether you are doing a solo podcast or whether you have other people on the podcast with you. If you are doing a podcast with someone, or have guests joining you for interviews or discussions, you will need additional microphones. Ideally, each participant on the podcast should have one microphone and one input in the audio interface, so be mindful of this when shopping for an interface. You should also be aware that there are line-in inputs that can be used for instruments but this is likely only to be used by podcasters who are creating their own music to be recorded on the podcast.
You must also consider the volt phantom power that is needed for your microphones. Some microphones are charged by 48 volt phantom power to help them run properly and deliver clear sound, so you should look for an audio interfaces that has 48 volt power.
Type and Number of Outputs
When choosing the right audio interface for your podcast, you should also consider the type and number of outputs required. Some podcasters use their audio interface to record a podcast and then playback the audio to check for clarity. This requires different types of input and output functions because when you record the podcast the sound is recorded on your computer through the audio interface. But in order to play it back the sound needs to travel from your computer and be processed by the audio interface before the sounds can be transmitted to your headphones or speakers. Most audio interfaces will have a headphone output as well as studio speaker outputs so that you can perform both functions, but this is something you will need to check when comparing different interfaces.
The sound quality on audio interface systems varies widely. Sometimes you won’t know the difference until you have purchased a couple of interfaces and actually tried them out on your computer. Most buyers discover that there is often a trade-off between having better sound quality or having more inputs. This is because the less mic inputs an interface has, the better the sound quality tends to be. The most expensive audio interfaces, such as those costing thousands of dollars, are usually the exception, as they have the capacity to combine high sound quality with more input and output devices. However, due to their high cost, they are often out of the price range of many buyers. If you are planning to budget under $1,000 for an audio interface, you are more likely to get better sound quality with less inputs.
How Signals Are Sent To Your Computer
You may be interested in knowing how signals are sent to your computer with the audio interface. This is normally done with a USB cable, thunderbolt cable or FireWire that connects to your computer from the interface. It is important to remember that audio interfaces that use thunderbolt cables are usually only compatible with McIntosh computers, so watch out for this if you have a PC. Most standard products will work with a Mac computer but for podcasters who have a PC, a bit of extra research is required when choosing your audio interface.
Mobile Audio Interfaces
Some podcasters do all of their recording in a single room or studio which makes it easy to set up your equipment. However, some podcasters are constantly traveling and like to record their podcasts on the road. For these people, they will be glad to know that portable audio interfaces can be purchased which can work with Ipads and other ios devices. These interfaces provide good sound quality without the bulkiness of carrying heavy equipment along with you when you are traveling.
In conclusion, there are many factors you need to consider when choosing an audio interface for your podcast. Your budget will be the main deciding factor which will limit you to a specific range that you can purchase within. But it is important to also consider how your podcast is going to work and what your individual needs are. This means asking yourself questions such as how many mic inputs the audio interface has and whether the cabling is compatible with your Mac or PC. If you are unsure which audio interface is right for you, speak to some other podcasters and ask them which interface devices they use and whether they have any recommendations. You may be able to use their system to test out the interface to see if it will work for you. You should also read reviews online before purchasing an interface. With a little careful research, you should be able to select a good quality audio interface that will make your podcast sounds great.