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Do You Need A Podcast Audio Interface ?

What is an audio interface ?

When recording sound a studio will typically pass the audio produced by the sound source such as voice or musical instrument through a microphone and into the recording equipment.

Microphones come in a variety of configurations with different technical ability and they connect to the recording equipment in a variety of ways such as USB or XLR cables.

In order to manage and control the audio output from such a wide range of microphone configurations, sound engineers came up with the audio interface which is an electronic box that sits between the microphone and the recording equipment.

The audio interface allows the sound engineer or podcaster to adjust various sound qualities such as volume so the different sound sources do not over or underwhelm the recording. When several people or instruments with different volume levels are recording it is important to balance the output.

So in short the audio interface is a piece of electronic equipment that allows the audio input through a microphone to be balanced before it is processed into the recording equipment where final editing can be applied.

Do you need an audio interface for successful podcasting ?

Surprisingly, the answer to that is yes and no.

Firstly, you don’t need a mic at all to record a podcast episode. Yes you read that right. These days most smartphones have a voice recorder option and if you go to a very quiet place in your home like anywhere with carpet and a muffled rather than echo sound you can record using your phone’s’ mic.

However, most people want to make sure they sound as professional and crispy as possible, so they go ahead and up their game to get a USB mic. This is a microphone that plugs directly into your computer using, you guessed it, the USB port. This configuration is several degrees above using the smartphone method and is capable of producing decent results.

These two methods, smartphone mic or USB mic demonstrate why it’s not essential to have an audio interface sitting between your sound source and the recording equipment.

Secondly, the interface method.

You can use a mic such as the Focusrite scarlet Studio 212 which plugs right into a small little mixer box from the same company Focusrite.

Disclaimer right here

I am not recommending the Focusrite audio interface or any of their home studio kits. I am merely using it as an example. We teach you much more about equipment and make recommendations about kit on our course which you can read about here

The audio interface has two XLR attachments for those microphone cables which plug right into the mixer, and then the mixer goes right into your computer.

This set up with the interface ensures your sound quality and how you sound on your podcast is going to improve exponentially.

The interface allows you to adjust the mids, the master and the light volume, and that’s about it.


You do not need a microphone or a mixer to record your podcast.

However, your sound will be increasingly better by having a USB mic and if you decide to put in an audio interface also known as a mixer into your configuration and then run your mic through that mixer, you can do that too with great improvement in your sound quality.

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