#1
Hello there,

I am wondering what are the differences between a "good" and a "cheap" audio interface/sound card (what is also the difference between these two terms?).

For the past three years I have been an owner of the POD X3. Until the end of 2013, I have been using POD Farm to record my guitars and sometimes play through my speakers as I didn't use to have an amp. Now I have an amp, but when I record my guitars (or bass) I do plug in my POD in "bypass" mode and later on I add VST. I think the result is better than when I was using POD Farm.

Anyway, that's a cheap way which gives me decent results. But what is the next step? How would an advanced audio interface/sound card be "better"?

I hope I made sense, thanks very much!
#2
Good converters, good pre's if it has pre's, comprehensive i/o, good clocking if it has any digital i/o needing it, and a good data interface.

All sound cards are audio interfaces but not vice versa - an audio interface might not have the form of a card you plug into your computer, though all sound cards can convert sound from digital to analog and vice versa, so all of them are sound cards.

The next step in your setup would be getting a good sounding amp sim.
Refer to the amp sims sticky in this section for more info.
My personal favorites are the softube amp rooms and bx_rockrax, though there also are some free ones that kick some serious ass.
Name's Luca.

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