The headline poses an interesting question. If you only want to do electronic music, do you really need an audio interface?
The answer is, as always:
about his It depends.
At first I thought the question was kind of weird. Well, of course you need one. But after thinking it over, there are definitely instances where you really don’t need one. At least not yet.
Doing Electronica In-The-Box.
On one hand, you can easily go without an interface if you’re only interesting in working with headphones inside the box. A great pair of headphones and a good electronic music program like Reason or Logic can be enough. In that case you don’t need an interface.
Also, if you have no intention of recording any audio or using reference monitors then you won’t need one. Keyboard controllers also don’t need an interface since they connect via USB.
So technically, you can still produce music without an interface. And you might actually get pretty far without it.
Checking Your Mixes
However, if you go without an interface then you won’t have any way of plugging in a good pair of monitors to check your mixes on. And keep in mind that you can forget about recording vocals or any other acoustic instrument over your electronic tracks. Without an interface, you simply won’t have anywhere to plug those things in.
It’s harder to know how your mixes translate to other systems without mixing them in a room. Sure, you can double-check your mixes on other systems around your house and in your car, but it’s time-consuming and inconvenient.
In the long run you do need an interface. You can get away with a good pair of headphones and Reason to begin with. But if you want to do any serious mixing, investing in a cheap audio interface and some nice reference monitors is definitely the way to go.
What do you guys think? Have you gone without an interface while still producing music on your computer? Leave a comment and let me know.
Image by: furibond