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Definition: audio interface

A device that lets musicians record their music and songs on the computer and play them back. Typically connecting to the computer via USB or FireWire, audio interfaces are used for professional audio performance and when a variety of microphones and instruments are involved. They come with built-in preamp inputs for microphones (microphone level) and instruments (instrument level), as well as line level inputs for CD/DVD players and other electronic sources. There is a huge variety of audio interfaces on the market.

Eight-Channel Audio Interface
The M-Track Eight's inputs can be used for microphone, instrument and line level devices. It supports digital resolution up to 24-bit/96 kHz resolution. (Image courtesy of M-Audio, www.m-audio.com)