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Tour of an audio interface

From: Digital Audio Principles

Video: Tour of an audio interface

Okay, let's take look at a digital audio interface. This is a 10-In/10-Out 24-bit/192 kHz capable interface. So, we've got a preamp section here with inputs, with these combo jacks that you can use microphone XLR cables for, or quarter-inch inputs, and then a Sensitivity, or gain control. So, once you have your microphone plugged in there, you can turn up the signal so that you get enough signals. You can also on this one, switch it from Hi to Lo-Z, so if you want to plug your guitar right into here, you can switch that so that it's at Hi-Z and plug your guitar right in there.

Tour of an audio interface

Okay, let's take look at a digital audio interface. This is a 10-In/10-Out 24-bit/192 kHz capable interface. So, we've got a preamp section here with inputs, with these combo jacks that you can use microphone XLR cables for, or quarter-inch inputs, and then a Sensitivity, or gain control. So, once you have your microphone plugged in there, you can turn up the signal so that you get enough signals. You can also on this one, switch it from Hi to Lo-Z, so if you want to plug your guitar right into here, you can switch that so that it's at Hi-Z and plug your guitar right in there.

For other things like keyboard, synthesizer or drum machine, you can leave it at the Lo-Z. On the front, we actually have some digital Ins and Outs, and this is that ADAT Lightpipe input, which if you haven't seen, looks like this, and there's some Ins and some Outs. More or less, you hook this up here, and whatever your source that has that is you put this to the other end. This is nice, because it can transfer a lot of channels digitally at a high sample rate at that 192 kHz sample rate, which is exciting.

Then we can also select the actual sample rate we are working with here on the dial. There's also a monitor MIX if you want to determine how much the volume going to your monitor speakers in your studios just so you can turn up and down where you can quickly do kind of a pad which would probably turn it down to 10 dB, or so, just to make the room quiet for a minute. You can switch it to MONO, if you have to see if what you're mixing sounds good in MONO. You can switch the outputs that are normally are listening in stereo, you can just quickly jump to MONO and make sure everything in phase is okay.

Finally, there's a headphone output and a volume control for that headphone. So, let's go to the back, this is where we will see some kind of really interesting things, newer things. Obviously, you'll have power supply, which is going here, from, I guess, the left to right for you. We have the MIDI In and Out, and this is what you'll use to hook up MIDI equipment, which we don't have that cable around right now, but if I did, I could plug it in, it's that five thin cable with the funny holes that goes in and out. You can use this to go, send information in from like a keyboard controller, and back out to a keyboard controller, like a sampler.

MIDI is cool, we'll talk about that more in a different section. Then we have the FireWire in and out, which is how this interface connects to your computer via a magical FireWire cable. Then actually we'll go back and forth, there is actually two here, which is nice. I think you can probably run that in series. So, that's how this interface connects to your computer, and that's cool. FireWire is nice and fast, the new 800 is faster than USB 2, it's very cool.

Then you have Main Outs, the right and left, these would be what you would use to feed your monitor speakers. Again, those are controls on the front, and this knob here, more or less, and these kinds of options, are affecting these Main Outs here. Then you have a bunch of line Inputs and line Outputs as well, so if you have things like synthesizers, keyboards, drum machines, or line level devices, you can come into the Inputs, and you can also go out of the Outputs, which is nice.

So, if you are using this in conjunction with a mixing board, you can send signals in, go through the FireWire out to your computer, work, come back out through the FireWire, and then back out through these outputs into your mixing board to mix in an analog way, or to send signals out to a headphone mixer, really cool. So, that's the basic gist kind of features and functionality of a digital audio interface, this is a pretty cool. We also have a really pretty simple one, this is an M-Audio interface that really on the front it has a few things.

Input adjustment, which will adjust your microphone input, on the back there is a line input for guitar or line, switchable. These are your outputs, RCA's out to speakers. This is probably intended for not real super high level studio monitors, because most studio monitors, once you get in to kind of the more, midrange won't use an RCA input. So, if you have like a home computer system or kind of some slightly better computer speakers, this will work great for that.

On the front again, a headphone input and a master adjustment for that in a mix, between what's coming in and what's going out, and finally a Stereo and Mono button to change your output selection. So, you can get pretty simple devices or you can get more complex devices. There's lots of options out there, and it's exciting to see what you can do with them.

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This video is part of

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Digital Audio Principles

110 video lessons · 26807 viewers

Dave Schroeder
Author

 
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  1. 50s
    1. Welcome
      50s
  2. 39m 10s
    1. What is sound?
      4m 15s
    2. Hertz and frequency response
      5m 34s
    3. Phase
      2m 39s
    4. Capturing audio
      3m 39s
    5. Sample rate
      6m 16s
    6. Bit depth
      9m 47s
    7. The waveform
      5m 3s
    8. Audio file formats
      1m 57s
  3. 7m 25s
    1. What is a digital audio workstation?
      2m 59s
    2. Typical DAW signal flow
      4m 26s
  4. 50m 33s
    1. What microphones do
      1m 57s
    2. Element types
      5m 0s
    3. Pickup patterns
      6m 51s
    4. Axis
      2m 52s
    5. Frequency response and the proximity effect
      5m 10s
    6. Phase issues
      1m 41s
    7. Microphone types
      8m 44s
    8. Miking vocals
      5m 39s
    9. Miking amplifiers
      2m 17s
    10. Miking drums
      10m 22s
  5. 16m 39s
    1. Cables and connectors overview
      2m 42s
    2. Balanced and unbalanced cables
      3m 19s
    3. Common cable types
      7m 13s
    4. Cable tips
      3m 25s
  6. 12m 16s
    1. What is an I/O device?
      1m 41s
    2. Analog to digital conversion
      3m 10s
    3. Tour of an audio interface
      4m 49s
    4. Interface considerations
      2m 36s
  7. 21m 5s
    1. What is a preamp?
      3m 21s
    2. Input levels
      5m 29s
    3. Padding
      2m 18s
    4. Phantom power
      2m 37s
    5. Phase reverse
      3m 4s
    6. Preamp demo
      4m 16s
  8. 12m 56s
    1. What is a mixer?
      5m 55s
    2. Input section
      1m 17s
    3. Channel strips
      3m 16s
    4. Master section
      2m 28s
  9. 18m 21s
    1. What is monitoring?
      2m 11s
    2. Speakers
      4m 47s
    3. Room considerations
      5m 43s
    4. Headphone types
      3m 50s
    5. Monitoring levels
      1m 50s
  10. 15m 23s
    1. What role do computers play?
      1m 36s
    2. Performance issues
      4m 11s
    3. Hard drives
      4m 38s
    4. Mechanical noise
      2m 10s
    5. Authorization
      2m 48s
  11. 6m 54s
    1. Planning for recording
      54s
    2. Doing a system check
      1m 26s
    3. Planning your inputs
      1m 42s
    4. The recording environment
      2m 52s
  12. 25m 52s
    1. Types of digital audio software
      38s
    2. Multi-track recorders/sequencers
      4m 56s
    3. Two-track recorders/waveform editors
      4m 55s
    4. Loop-based music production software
      5m 44s
    5. Plug-ins
      6m 56s
    6. Other varieties
      2m 43s
  13. 18m 59s
    1. Common components
      46s
    2. The transport
      2m 4s
    3. The toolbar
      3m 19s
    4. The Edit/Arrange window
      4m 42s
    5. The mixer
      5m 8s
    6. The file list
      3m 0s
  14. 19m 17s
    1. Setting up a session
      3m 30s
    2. Assigning inputs and getting signals
      3m 19s
    3. Input modes
      3m 28s
    4. Overdubbing and punching
      5m 14s
    5. Bouncing down
      3m 46s
  15. 19m 42s
    1. What is editing?
      1m 21s
    2. Waveforms
      2m 53s
    3. Making silent cuts and trims
      7m 1s
    4. Fades and automation
      8m 27s
  16. 1h 23m
    1. What are plug-ins?
      3m 0s
    2. Using plug-ins
      6m 11s
    3. EQs
      7m 4s
    4. Dynamics pt. 1: Compressors, limiters, expanders, and gates
      5m 40s
    5. Dynamics pt 2: Applying dynamic effects
      7m 2s
    6. Pitch shifting
      6m 14s
    7. Reverb
      9m 28s
    8. Echo and delay
      6m 23s
    9. Modulation effects: Phaser, flanger, and chorus
      9m 39s
    10. Sound tools pt. 1: About, gain, normalize
      7m 39s
    11. Sound tools pt. 2: Reverse and time compression/expansion
      6m 29s
    12. Sound tools pt. 3: Noise reducers, dither
      8m 11s
  17. 23m 43s
    1. What is MIDI?
      3m 6s
    2. Keyboard controllers
      1m 23s
    3. Computer-based virtual instruments
      1m 6s
    4. Control surfaces
      1m 6s
    5. Recording and editing MIDI
      12m 4s
    6. Virtual instruments
      4m 58s
  18. 27m 29s
    1. What is mixing?
      1m 54s
    2. Some common objectives
      3m 4s
    3. Some useful techniques
      5m 59s
    4. A quick mixing demo
      16m 32s
  19. 18m 48s
    1. What is mastering?
      2m 24s
    2. Sonic maximization
      9m 43s
    3. Final preparations and exporting
      6m 41s
  20. 13m 34s
    1. What is audio compression?
      2m 16s
    2. Popular formats
      2m 9s
    3. Bit rate, sample rate, and channels
      5m 42s
    4. Other adjustments and considerations
      3m 27s
  21. 15m 6s
    1. Essential gear
      7m 36s
    2. Voice recording setups
      1m 43s
    3. The voice production process
      5m 47s
  22. 10m 4s
    1. Analog vs. digital
      2m 48s
    2. Tube vs. solid state
      5m 6s
    3. The continual upgrade
      2m 10s
  23. 18s
    1. Goodbye
      18s

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