Some of you have found out you'll need an audio interface in addition to a microphone. But what are they for? Do you HAVE to have one?
What is an Audio Interface?
An audio interface basically just helps the computer understand the information being received by your microphone. There's a lot to understand here, but the important part is that you need one for non-USB mics.
USB vs. XLR
There are two types of microphone connections: USB and XLR. You've probably heard of a USB—but an XLR cable is a special type of audio connection (pictured above). USB mics can plug directly into your computer, but an XLR mic needs some power from an additional source in order to record at full power.
Best: Focusrite Scarlett Solo
The Scarlett Solo is a great pick, and it's pretty inexpensive for how solid of a choice it is. Compact, and from the best interface company on the market. They even have options with multiple inputs.
$119 on Amazon
Runner Up: PreSonus AudioBox
While I prefer the Scarlett Solo for a basic recording setup, the PreSonus Audiobox will also work well. It's a decent runner-up and it's smaller if you're short on space. There are even two inputs if you're wanting to record with multiple mics!
What if I have 2 mics?
If you're trying to record two mics, you'll need to make sure you have an interface with two inputs (those round plugs labeled mic/inst).
For two mics: Focusrite Scarlett 2i2
This may look extremely similar to the other Scarlett above, with one key difference—it has a second input! Once again it's from audio interface giant Focusrite.
$169 on Amazon