Your digital audio interface is the heart of your recording studio: it connects all your instruments, microphones, and outboard gear to your laptop, desktop, or tablet. The interface converts analog audio into digital data and sends that data to your computer via Thunderbolt, USB or FireWire cable. At the same time, the interface plays back multiple channels of audio from your recording software. A reliable interface is a must for recording setups or live-performance DJ rigs.
Interfaces are often described in terms of their I/O -- inputs and outputs. On the input side, or "front end," an interface typically has XLR jacks for plugging in microphones, 1/4" jacks for guitar or bass, and line-level inputs for keyboards and other gear. On the output side, you're likely to find headphone jacks and line-level outputs to feed your studio monitors.
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