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Beginner’s Guide: Interfaces & Connectors

ConnectorsBefore we dive into looking at what you might want to consider when buying an audio interface, it’s worth having a quick look at the type of connectors you might come across and what the differences are.

The type of connectors you’d find on audio cables intended to be attached to computers, MP3 players etc. are 3.5mm jack plugs.  These are usually stereo cables, such as you’d see on a set of headphones.  A mono cable will have a single insulating break around the jack, separating the tip from the sleeve, but a stereo cable will have a second insulating break,   creating what is referred to as a tip-ring-sleeve, (TRS),  jack.  The sleeve provides a common earth, (or ground), whilst the tip and ring carry the left and right channels.  The tip is dimpled to allow an internal sprung connection to take the signal and hold the plug in place at the same time.  Professional audio equipment, (anything that isn’t meant to be consumer hi-fi), very rarely features these connectors.

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The Total Beginners Guide To Home Recording – Start Here

starthere

This post is the first part of what will ultimately form an e-book available free to download from this blog, forming a Beginners Guide To Home Recording.

Recording music has never been easier.  Year by year, the scale of the equipment you need to record a piece of music gets smaller, no matter what genre of music you’re making. It’s now possible to have a compact, portable recording studio that would cost thousands of dollars to assemble in a traditional recording studio, at a fraction of the price, (and it’s a very small fraction).  Oh, and congratulations, you’ve probably already made the biggest decision you’ll face on your journey from beginner to becoming someone who records and produces music.

You’re looking at it.  You’re reading these words on it.  The decision?  PC or Mac.  There are those people who will tell you that you can only really produce music on a Mac, but I’m not one of them.  In fact, I’ve never used anything Apple at all – I graduated from my trusty old Atari ST1024 to recording on a Windows PC and I’ve never felt the need to consider an alternative.  You have a computer and you’re used to it.  You know how it works and how to read this article on it.  And you can make music on it.  It doesn’t matter if it’s a PC or it’s a Mac.

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