Can you use DAW without an audio interface?
Using a DAW without an audio interface or sound card is possible. A laptop or PC can be used to record, produce, monitor, and even mix music without the need for an external audio interface. Let’s talk more about how we can do that. Let’s start by comprehending what the audio interface accomplishes. Three primary functions are performed by the audio interface. Analog to digital conversion is the interface’s primary function. The audio interface transforms microphone and analogue instrument signals into binary data that the computer and software can understand. So it serves as a middleman between the mic/line input and the computer and lets us record drums, instruments, and vocals, among other things.
The condenser microphone requires phantom power (+48 V) while it is recording. This is so that the electronics in condenser microphones may be turned on, which requires direct current (DC). Phantom power, which is what the microphone needs in terms of electricity, is provided to it via the audio interface. The audio interface’s secondary function is that.
The audio is monitored lastly using an audio interface. From the DAW or computer into the studio monitors or headphones, where we listen to the audio, the audio signal must travel. By transforming digital or binary information from the DAW or computer to analogue signals that are accessible and comprehensible by human hearing, the audio interface serves as a mediator between the two.
Can I record without an audio interface?
Yes, you can record without an audio interface. For instance, recording MIDI signals or virtual instruments does not require the use of an audio interface. Further, a tape recorder, a pair of headsets, a webcam, or a USB microphone can be plugged straight into your computer for recording purposes. You can also make advantage of your computer’s built-in microphone.
How do I record without an audio interface?
An audio interface for recording basically converts analogue signals to digital signals, as we have seen above. To record these signals from the microphone or line input into the daw, we often connect the microphone to the audio interface, which is then connected to the computer. There is, however, a different approach to it: USB Mic.
By placing a USB microphone on the sound source, you can record sounds directly into our DAW. All you require is a laptop or computer with a USB connector. A USB microphone has a pre-amp and an analogue to digital converter (ADC) incorporated into its circuit. Therefore, analogue to digital conversion does not require extra phantom power or a separate device (ADC).
You can use a USB port on your laptop or computer to connect this microphone, choose the USB mic input in your computer’s settings and DAW, and then record the audio into the DAW. Many podcasters, YouTubers, filmmakers, influencers, etc. specifically use a USB microphone. Acoustic instruments and vocals can be recorded with USB microphones as well. Rode NT USB, Audio Technica AT20202USB+, AKG Lyra, Shure MV7, PreSonus Revelator USB-C, and others are some of the best USB microphones on the market.
A MIDI cable can be used to connect a midi instrument directly to the computer, and the DAW’s MIDI settings can be used to choose the input. By playing from your MIDI device and capturing its MIDI data, you can add notes, their velocities, automation, and other musical information to your recording.