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Home Music Studio: Signal Flow

By Mosses Itkonen

Signal flow is an important part of any home music studio. A creative thought goes from your mind to electrical signal through various components of your home music studio. how they work together and relate to one another is important. If you wrap your head around signal flow, all the inputs and outputs and how they relate to one another you will be in more creative control of your home music studio. When it comes to troubleshooting this also applies because you can improve how your studio works, adding new equipment and making it easier to transfer your ideas into recordings faster.

Taking a look at an example of signal flow involving a computer, audio interface, speakers and one microphone, you can see how to train yourself when thinking about the signal flow in your home music studio. It’s all about Inputs and Outputs, Yes, it really is that simple, knowing how inputs and outputs work in all aspects of your recording gives you the freedom to add, subtract and give you greater ability to experiment with any type of recording gear.

Having a creative idea is just the start, that creative idea leaves as an analogue sound wave, lets say from a guitar and IN a microphone. That signal then comes OUT the end of the microphone cable and IN an audio interface or microphone preamp. At this early stage you will connect your microphone cable to the input of the audio interface. Now that the signal has made its way into the audio interface the signal needs to leave OUT of your speakers so you connect your speakers to the output of the audio interface. Most home recording equipment have multiple inputs and outputs so that you can put equipment in different places in the signal flow .

1.) An audio interface converts the analogue audio signal coming from the microphone into a digital signal that can be understood by your computer.
2.) playback the digital signal from the computer and make it analogue for the speaker to play. In essence an audio interface uses a higher bit rate to convert analogue signal to digital signal and vice-versa.

The two outputs of an audio interface makes it possible to playback audio from your recording software as well as being able to connect the output of the audio interface to the USB or firewire input of your computer

This simple example will make you think more about the role inputs and outputs play, you can literally experiment with tons of gear putting you in control of your creative process.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Itkonen, Mosses "Home Music Studio: Signal Flow." Home Music Studio: Signal Flow. 5 Jul. 2010. 3 Aug 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Itkonen, M (2010, July 5). Home Music Studio: Signal Flow. Retrieved August 3, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Itkonen, Mosses "Home Music Studio: Signal Flow"

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