Using Apple Logic X and IMac, I want to record my guitar tracks and put some keyboards and drums on it. I already have a guitar Effects&Amp simulator which also acts like an audio interface so I can connect my guitar to my Mac. And at the moment actually I can record guitar and make some music tracks.

My question is that I heard I need an external soundcard for good recording. What would be the advantage of spending en extra 200$ on this? I may understand that it will be less overhead on my computer's CPU and maybe less latency, but does that really change the quality of drums and keyboards that I create with logicX? When I say quality I mean does it make my synthesized sounds more realistic and less digital? Or does it only improve the quality of guitar track recordings?

1 Answer 1


In this situation, you might find that your guitar recordings improve in quality, but the synth recordings won't. This is because the synth recordings are already at optimal quality because they are created by your computer perfectly. The only thing you might notice is you can hear them better because the soundcard outputs better quality to your headphones/monitors. Also, if the soundcard is good you will have less latency, which can be extremely useful when recording and listening back at the same time.

The guitar recordings could improve in quality because the quality of your external soundcard will be better than your internal one. You might find there'll be less noise due to the external device being better shielded/higher quality.

As for whether the possible improvement in quality justifies spending $200 on a new soundcard is difficult to say - really it's just personal preference. If the external soundcard provides you with extra inputs/outputs for other devices which you might use in the future, it might be a good investment. However, if you're already satisfied with the quality you're getting now, you might be better off using that money on something else.

Hope that's not too confusing, and answers your question!

  • could you explain a bit more about why latency happens and how can a soundcard will help that? isn't it about my recording software?
    – Spring
    Jan 4, 2014 at 14:44
  • 1
    @Spring Latency occurs because each device or piece of software that the audio has to travel through adds time to its journey. Onboard soundcards (simply connecting to the motherboard of your laptop using headphone/mic connectors) are often low quality. Buying an external soundcard (connecting either via PCI inside the computer or via USB) reduces the latency considerably because the device bypasses all the extra devices. Not much space here, so see this and this
    – ToshNeox
    Jan 4, 2014 at 15:25

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.