Hardware influence on recording quality

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Revision as of 19:53, 7 December 2007 by Galeandrews (talk | contribs) (added Intro and text from General Recording Tips)
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Hardware is usually taken as shorthand for "computer hardware" and relates to the physical parts of the computer including the digital circuitry and especially the graphics and sound devices. Hardware is thus distinct from "software" such as Audacity which executes within the hardware.

The only available sound device on many "as shipped" computer systems is the sound device built in to the motherboard . Unfortunately, such an integrated device is usually inadequate for professional recording, especially on laptops. This page offers advice to ensure you have adequate computer hardware for your recording needs.

Edit note: Please help us improve this page. Probably much of Improving Recording Quality should be incorporated here, the remainder incorporated into other pages linked to on Recording Tips (with a concise summary against the links) and then Improving Recording Quality deleted.

Don't get confused with what you hear. This means, if you have a good sound card, it will play anything in good quality from a good source, but it doesn't mean the file you recorded on your machine is going to sound just as good through other people's equipment. Sound quality is ultimately only as good as the weakest link in the signal chain; this means that even if you are using a $3,000 microphone if you are running through a cheap sound card your recording won't be sound any better than the sound card itself; likewise a $20 microphone from radio-shack will still sound bad no matter what you plug it into.

See also Improving Recording Quality.