The audio interface
An audio interface provides the all-important link between the Digital Audio Workstation and the outside world. The quality of the converters on factory-fitted soundcards is not suitable for professional audio production. With any digital recording system, a sound must be converted from an analog signal to a digital format for editing and storage. This is accomplished by measuring the incoming analog signal at a number of specific intervals. These measurements are based on the two most important factors of any audio signal: time and magnitude. As computers have grown smaller in form, and laptops are a favorable choice for artists who are always on the move, external audio interfaces dominate the consumer market. All audio interfaces feature analog audio outputs or/and inputs in the form of unbalanced or balanced 1/4” jack sockets, XLR or DSUB connectivity. Digital interfacing is more complicated than analog because the transmitted audio data must be encoded and decoded correctly by both connected devices.