#1
Is an audio interface really the only way to be able to record clean recordings?

Just curious if there are other ways.
#2
Of course it's not! You can surely use just the microphone port of your ordinary sound card, or line-in port (through the adapter).
But the quality of sound, that you'll get, noise characteristics, it wouldn't fit into the professional standards of sound quality. Besides of it, audio interface give you such specialized features, like adding effects on your guitar sound, drums, etc.
Well, as for me, I'm simply use my sound card, SoundBlaster 0229 10k1, it perfectly fit my purposes And fully serve my requirements, so I'm happy with that sound that it gives to me. But if you want to record, I recommend you to use a sound interface.
#3
You can also get a multitrack recorder which is specifically designed for the job. They're most commonly 8 or 16 tracks (mine is 24) and have all the effects and EQ most people need to create good quality home recordings. Some even have drum machines built in.

The most common makes to watch out for are Tascam, Fostex, Zoom, Yamaha and Boss.

There are both advantages and disadvantages when comparing them to using a software/interface/PC combination, but they essentially do the same job - the software is basically just acting as a simulation of what you can do with a good multitracker.
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#4
Quote by GaryBillington
You can also get a multitrack recorder which is specifically designed for the job. They're most commonly 8 or 16 tracks (mine is 24) and have all the effects and EQ most people need to create good quality home recordings. Some even have drum machines built in.

The most common makes to watch out for are Tascam, Fostex, Zoom, Yamaha and Boss.

There are both advantages and disadvantages when comparing them to using a software/interface/PC combination, but they essentially do the same job - the software is basically just acting as a simulation of what you can do with a good multitracker.

This is the best alternative to an interface. Although you could argue a multitracker is an interface as well. A multitracker is just "more hardware based" idk if that is the right term. Best bet is to try out both.
#5
Quote by FireHawk
Although you could argue a multitracker is an interface as well.

Not all of them are. Mine doesn't act as an interface (it has USB, but only for data transfer), but then it's not really necessary as the multitracker itself does everything it needs to.

Some, like the Zoom R series are designed to be an interface & software controller as well, and I think you can use the Boss BR series as an interface (but not controller). I suspect more & more of them will go that route now, which is a shame because the further down that route they go, the more reliant on a PC we'll all be and one of the many advantages of a truly standalone multitracker is that you don't have to use your PC.
Gibson LP Traditional, LP GT, LP Studio, SG Standard x2
Barber Tone Press > EHX Worm >TC Polytune > MXR Custom Badass 78 > EXH Glove > EHX East River Drive > Zoom G3 > TC Spark Mini Booster
Laney VC30
Marshall TSL602
Jet City JCA22H
.
My SoundCloud
#7
See your point - even though you aren't actually using it to interface to anything, I guess you're still interfacing with the multitracker itself. Not sure it's really accepted terminology, but they are both DAWs so I guess you can call them whatever you want!!
Gibson LP Traditional, LP GT, LP Studio, SG Standard x2
Barber Tone Press > EHX Worm >TC Polytune > MXR Custom Badass 78 > EXH Glove > EHX East River Drive > Zoom G3 > TC Spark Mini Booster
Laney VC30
Marshall TSL602
Jet City JCA22H
.
My SoundCloud
#9
You'll have to try harder than that if you want to cause a proper argument
Gibson LP Traditional, LP GT, LP Studio, SG Standard x2
Barber Tone Press > EHX Worm >TC Polytune > MXR Custom Badass 78 > EXH Glove > EHX East River Drive > Zoom G3 > TC Spark Mini Booster
Laney VC30
Marshall TSL602
Jet City JCA22H
.
My SoundCloud