Whether you are a musician or a Pod-caster, modern advancements in technology have made it easy to produce high-quality sound recordings without the bother and expenses of going to a studio. When Apple released the iPhone and iPad, few expected the revolution these devices would bring into the music industry.
Perhaps you are already on your way on this revolutionary journey and are wondering how to improve the sound quality of your next recording. The answer is a simple (and inexpensive) one.
Look for the best audio interface that is compatible with your iPad.
What is an Audio Interface and Why do I Need It?
An audio interface is a device that improves the audio capabilities of a computer or tablet. This piece of hardware allows you to connect microphones, instruments, or whatever other sound input device you may have and gives you the ability (or rather your tablet) to output a variety of output signals through headphones or monitor speakers.
Why Do You Need an Audio Interface?
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Most devices nowadays are capable of producing phenomenal sound output without the aid of any other sound enhancing device. Many people wonder, “why bother with an audio interface?” I’ll give you 3 good reasons as to why you should bother.
- Your Sound is Good, But it Could Be Better
Sure your device produces good quality sound output, but it can always be better. Studio quality better. This is reason number one why you should consider getting yourself an audio interface. If you really take your music or podcasting as seriously as you say, then this one is a no-brainer.
- Makes it Possible to Connect Different Input and Output Signal Devices
Most sound equipment is not designed to be connected directly to your iPad. For example, mics require XLR sockets for them to connect but your iPad doesn’t support XLR. An audio interface makes it possible.
- Saves You Computer a Lot of Work as it Acts as an External Sound Card
An audio interface is basically an external sound card. In most cases, to enhance the sound capabilities of a laptop or tablet, you need to upgrade the sound card. With an audio interface, you don’t have to. This essentially means your tablet’s processor won’t have to work that hard. How convenient.
Four Essentials to Watch Out For in iPad Audio Interfaces
To get the best out of your iPad audio interface, you need to watch out for certain factors that will determine the quality of your experience and production.
- Self Powered or Own Power Source?
This one is a very big deal, especially since Apple designed the iPad in such a way that it limits the amount of power it supplies to external devices. This is a brilliant idea when it comes to extending battery life but a hindrance to the more advanced users of the tablet, after all, they do want to use external devices that will need to share its power.
If you are looking for a portable audio interface that doesn’t need its own power source, you will have to compromise and go for single-channel ones without phantom power.
Otherwise, most of the good stuff comes with their own power supply. The good thing is they give you much more in terms of options and capabilities.
- Make Sure Your iPad Audio Interface Comes With Combo Inputs
This is a type of jack that combines a 3-pin XLR input with a 1/4” TRS input in one socket. XLR sockets usually connect microphones and are the best because they lock into place, ensuring good quality sound. Your TRS jack, on the other hand, is for plugging in other instruments like a guitar or keyboard.
- Phantom Power is a Must
Some microphones are powered by batteries while others, like condensers, get their power supply from the device they’re plugged into. This tapping into a hosts power supply is what is called “phantom power”. No voodoo involved their so fear not. Most of the good audio interfaces come with a switch where you can toggle the phantom power (also known as “+48V” but where’s the fun in that?) on or off depending on whether your input requires it or not.
- Check for Preamp Quality
A preamp boosts your signal quality (and filters out background noises) before it goes into your music software. This is especially important when you are recording “quieter” signals like an acoustic guitar or voice signals.
Help! My iPad Doesn’t Have a USB Port
For iPad owners, the challenge of connecting USB devices can be frustrating. Especially when you are looking for the best audio interface and you find a USB audio interface. The solution is simple – you’ll have to get a Lightning to USB Camera Adapter.
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Time to Make Music
Whether it’s a podcast or a demo you want to produce using your favorite and trusted device, an audio interface is an essential you can’t do without. Go ahead and get one. You’ll be happy you did.