The equipment that transfers sound from a sound source into a recorded medium is known as the signal chain, and it is a path that many musicians must take when starting their own independent music production. The soundcard is a significant component of the signal chain (when we talk digital music). I’ve noticed that a lot of home musicians still don’t know the difference between a soundcard and an interface.
A sound interface
Although most people may refer to it as a soundcard (to keep things simple), best audio interface for shure sm7b . The function of an AI is to transform an analogue sound signal into digital bits by raising the level of the incoming sound signal from mic level to line level (this is the pre-amp portion of the audio interface) (this is the converter part of the audio interface). Most audio interfaces connect to the computer by USB or Firewire and frequently contain +48v phantom power (for use with condenser microphones).
The audio device
On the other hand, a soundcard is just a converter. It converts digital data in the computer to analogue sound that comes from the computer speakers, which is why it is called a soundcard in a typical home computer. Though it can be used for that as well, not many people utilise the soundcard in typical PCs to input sound into the computer.
External soundcard is a term used to describe a converter that is located outside of the physical computer. But if you investigate the many recording devices that are for sale, you will see that a converter isn’t always a card (though it often is). High end, top-notch converters frequently resemble boxes that a recording engineer might mount on his rack of gear.
It is clear from the two examples above how a soundcard differs from an audio interface:
- Pre-amps are absent from a soundcard. Stand-alone converters just perform the conversion of data from analogue to digital and vice versa.
- The converter is more specifically referred to as a soundcard.
- A soundcard is a standalone converter.
Preamps and a converter make up an audio interface.