For those of us who are passionate about making music, quality assurance is necessary. We want to produce music with excellent audio and sounds exactly how it did in our heads. But for that, specific essential tools are required.
Technically, music can be produced without any interface, but the quality would likely not be professional. If you are wondering if a soundcard is essential for the production of good quality music, the short answer is not really. A soundcard ensures quality control of your music by controlling the input and output of audio signals, but this technology is a bit outdated.
Nowadays, most computers come in with inbuilt audio interfaces that do the trick without you having to spend any additional cash. A more popular alternative in recent times is the use of external interfaces instead of soundcards.
To learn more about ways in which your music production can be of the highest quality, keep reading this article.
What Is The Purpose Of A Soundcard?
A soundcard is an internal expansion card that attaches itself to the motherboard of your computer device and allows the computer to input, process, and delivers sound. The soundcard is responsible for the input and the output of sound on your computer. It basically converts the sound signals from digital to analogue and then back again.
How Does A Soundcard Improve Music Production?
A sound card greatly improves the quality of your music production and allows you to produce music professionally. Using a soundcard can allow you to play music in different formats, including; monophonic, stereophonic, and various multiple speaker setups. It also allows you to have varying degrees of control over your sound production.
The soundcard takes off the audio load from your CPU and increases CPU storage. Since its primary focus is on audio production, more energy and storage are used solely for that, and that helps improve audio quality and output.
Can Music Be Produced Without A Soundcard?
Music can most definitely be produced without soundcards because most computers come with inbuilt audio interfaces responsible for music’s input, processing, and output. The purpose of a soundcard is to improve this process and ensure a more professional level of music production.
The Pc may not have an audio interface that is advance enough to give you the sound you are aiming for, so even though having an interface is not necessary, it is ideal.
Why Are Soundcards Considered Outdated?
In recent times, the use of soundcards has decreased exponentially, and several alternatives have taken their place.
If you want a more comprehensive explanation for the sudden disappearance of the soundcard, this video can prove to be helpful.
Computer Technology Offers Better Quality Inbuilt Interface
Nowadays, most computers, such as the Macbook or Sony, have internal interfaces already built into their system. This is one of the selling points of these products, and since they come from well-reputed brands, they have an incentive to provide the customer with many services. An excellent audio interface is just part of the package. Most people don’t want to spend extra cash purchasing a soundcard when they can use their computer.
Modern Audio Interfaces Are A Better Alternative
There has been development of more advanced interfaces that come in the shape of USB devices that cost less and are easily transportable. People nowadays rely on these instead of the traditional soundcard. These interfaces provide clean, latency free audio signal and can be used with many instruments including guitars.
Some of the popular ones are the Focusrite Scarlett, Avid/M-Audio FastTrack, Alesis io, Apogee One, etc.
Interfaces Exist In Digital Form
Why would anyone want to go through the process of purchasing an audio interface when they can simpy purchase or download one online. This is a more convenient and less laboursome way of getting the work done. Recent development in software technology has provided people with a world of options to choose from.
What Are The Benefits Of Using An Interface?
People tend to gravitate toward the use of modern interfaces for several reasons.
They Are Economical
These interfaces don’t cost as much as soundcards would typically do. You can buy a good quality interface in the range of 50-100 dollars and that is significantly cheaper than a good quality soundcard.
They Offer Higher Sound Stability
Soundcards can handle more intense plug ins and the chances of overloading the system is significantly lower. This helps produce sound that is more stable.
They Produce More Accurate Sounds
The sound produced by audio interfaces produces sound that is more accurate than the conventional soundcard. Soundcards have colouration which reduces the quality of the musical output. This is not a problem that exists with audio interfaces.
The Sample Rate Is Higher
Audio interfaces reduce CPU storage and provide more room for a higher sample rate. These units can allow you to go up to 192kHz.
They Provide More Amplification
Another benefit of audio-interfaces is that they can amplify the sound of your studio monitors. This is especially helpful when mixing and producying music and helps you avoid additional speaker costs.
Do Soundcards Not Fulfil The Same Purpose?
While it is true that soundcards can do some of the functions that a more modern audio interface performs, certain features such as greater stability and accuracy are lacking when it comes to soundcards. There is a reason why soundcards have been replaced by audio interfaces and that must be taken into consideration before investing in either product.
The Bottom Line
Music production that relies on the use of computer audio systems is likely to fall short of professional standards. If you want to produce audio that sounds good, it is imperative to use some form of external interface.
Soundcards are not a necessity and are quite frankly an outdated version of modern digital and USB-based interfaces. These interfaces bring several upgrades to your music production and are surely a great investment.