Here’s a little example of the kinds of delay you might experience with a digital interface, and how to get rid of it.
Monitoring in the LHS studio
Since the Alesis interfaces are more complex, they have that monitoring program – most smaller interfaces don’t have any such program or advanced routing (but they do have the “computer vs. source knob”).
I hope you find this helpful! The tricky part is remembering to do this when you have 16 mics hooked up and are trying to record drums and guitar at the same time during a session. The tendency is to just listen to it through your DAW program, but if you want good monitoring, the players need to be listening to the source knob.
Again, you can probably guess this if you play guitar, that any software effects won’t get heard this way.
You have to explain the trade offs to the guitarists, and make sure everyone is comfy with the arrangement before recording (or else people get all touchy and clammed up about playing, which makes for a really bad session).