The Sound Card

 The Heart of your Computer Audio Workstation

The sound card (a.k.a. audio interface, sound interface) is one of the most important parts in your recording studio computer.

Audio interfaces handle the input and output of audio (and midi) to and from your computer. A few pieces of advice here  on what to look for in a good audio interface for recording purposes.

The following benefits are what you should get out of great audio cards:

  • Support of great audio quality, both input and output.(24 bit, 96000 Hz, high quality audio)

  • Capability of low latency sustained recording of both audio and midi.

  • If you intend to use recording software like Cubase SX, the sound interface has to support ASIO drivers.

  • RCA or Balanced Jacks input/output connectors for the audio (cheaper sound interfaces have mini-jack connectors and wouldn't give as high quality in the signal flow). If you have to choose between balanced/unbalanced connectors, the balanced type will give the least noise in the signal flow.

  • Midi connectors (input/output)

  • SPDIF connectors, if you plan on connecting any digital recording equipment. Then you can sync your digital gear to your audio card and your computer.

Among the variety of audio interfaces I can recommend the M-AUDIO Audiophile 24/96 for any home recording environment.

In recent years the USB and Firewire external audio interfaces have grown to be of good quality as well. So if  you plan on using your laptop as a studio computer, or you simply don't have any PCI slots to spare in your computer, this would be the way to go.

If you know what you're after or would like to browse for a different card, go here to browse a variety of good audio cards at


Sound Interface Resources online

How the computer Sound Card Works - History of the computer sound card and how it works, explained in detail.

Sound physics, audio interfaces and midi - An explanation of sound physics, sound interfaces and midi.


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