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 Advice on small soundcard for new Macbook 
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Getting Busy
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Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2010 4:22 am
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I recently got a new Macbook pro, and when I wanted to connect my old external soundcard, M-AUDIO firewire 410, I realised that it connects through firewire 400 and my mac only has thunderbolt, but even worse - that the soundcard does not have a driver that would work on anything newer than OS 10.7.3. So, I recon I need a new sound card...

The 4in 10out seemed to suit my needs perfectly, (Although I could make do with less outs). Any recommendations? I need it to run with logic, be less than $500, and preferably have a thunderbolt port...

Any recommendations?

Thanks in advance :)

-Silje

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Sat Feb 23, 2013 3:31 am
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Getting Busy
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Hi Silje,

Afaik are thunderbolt audio interfaces still relatively rare and expensive but you'll definitely be more than fine with USB2.0 interfaces for 4in/4out.

Here's 2 brands that i've both used with great sound quality in that price range:
http://www.thomann.de/gb/presonus_audiobox_44vsl.htm
http://www.thomann.de/gb/focusrite_scarlett_8i6.htm
or if you'd like to stick with m-audio:
http://www.thomann.de/gb/m_audio_fast_track_c600.htm

good luck
jay

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Sat Feb 23, 2013 2:02 pm
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Serious Musician
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the easiest:

http://store.apple.com/us/product/MD464 ... re-adapter

but if you can't install 10.7 and the mac already got 10.8 on it, then that doesn't help.

I have an apogee Duet 2 - and its great. USB2 hook up. the most recent one has a USB midi interface on it too if needed. but maybe that's not enough I/O either. and its $600.

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Sat Feb 23, 2013 2:13 pm
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USB seems to be what apogee and others are focusing on. I recommend looking into Apogee. Their USB stuff looks great and their converters are too notch even in their low end stuff.

Plus it is designed to work with Mac and logic.

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Sat Feb 23, 2013 6:26 pm
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mazz wrote:
USB seems to be what apogee and others are focusing on. I recommend looking into Apogee. Their USB stuff looks great and their converters are too notch even in their low end stuff.

Plus it is designed to work with Mac and logic.


as I understand in the (earlier) days of USB interfaces, there were many issues with latency and so on, things that have been addressed in the various generations of USB as well as newer models of interfaces.

So there was a point at which the standard line was "avoid USB interfaces" and buy "firewire". But lots has changed since then. I think everyone pretty much counts on USB 2.0 external drives and interfaces to work well these days.

Even Apogee's Symphony I/O has a USB interface port on it. And it will support 32 channels in and 32 channels out I/O maximum. I am not sure how the USB handles that amount of simultaneous I/O but there is a studio owner in Santa Fe here who was doing very well using his Symphony I/O doing 16 channels analogue In during recording and then summing 16 channels out through a Dangerous 2-bus LT. I think a few years ago that wouldn't have been possible.

anyways, I agree with Mazz. Its worth a look. BTW, you can often find Duet 2 on ebay for much less.

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Sat Feb 23, 2013 6:44 pm
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There are a few known fixes to this:

1. Add the Thunderbolt to FW800 adapter to 800 to 400 adapter to FW410.
2. Download the most recent driver from M-Audio (for Lion 10.7.3), install it, restart as required by the installer. Then go into System Preferences and open up M-Audio FireWire under the newly created "Other" category, and change the Sample Rate from 44.1k to 48k.

These have worked for a few others (not everyone), and might work for you.

In the long run you probably still need a new interface, but 1,2 might be worth trying, depending on your situation.

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Sun Feb 24, 2013 6:29 am
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Live my original Apogee Duet. You can find them on eBay. Maybe not enough I/O for what you're looking for but they work great. When I upgrade, think I will get the Quartet.

Cheers
kc

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Sun Feb 24, 2013 8:04 am
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I recently bought the apogee duet and it sounds fantastic. Crystal clear for mixing. They discuss why usb on their website:

http://www.apogeedigital.com/knowledgeb ... e-usb-3-0/

http://www.apogeedigital.com/knowledgeb ... underbolt/

http://www.apogeedigital.com/knowledgeb ... g-latency/

PS. Not under 500 but pretty close and well worth the money IMHO.

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Sun Feb 24, 2013 9:59 am
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Getting Busy
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Thank you soo soo much all of you for your advice and great links!

I looked at all the suggested ones, and although it's a little bit over budget, I'm gonna go with the Apogee. Will look at ebay as suggested! I was not aware that USB2 was so good, I only research equipment when what I have doesn't work, and last time I looked at sound cards, USB2 didnt exist :)

Thanks for the work arounds as well, it's great to know, but I think I will just play it safe and get a new soundcard.

Really appreciate your time and help,

:)

-Silje

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Sun Feb 24, 2013 2:19 pm
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I know everyone has good and bad experiences so take this with a grain of salt :)! I've had 2 different lower end M-Audio cards, 1 internal Mia Echo and the other a USB2 external. Both ended up being duds for me. I wasn't too impressed with the service I got from tech support either, but again my expectations weren't too high from a lower end product. I've been using a pair of Steinberg Mr-816cx firewire that I've been incredibly impressed with, but they are more expensive.

I have although been wanting a smaller portable external card that I can use on the road with my laptop I just did a lot of reviewing and settled on this card http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audi ... l-tube-pre.

I can't speak to it's quality or performance, but it was reviewed very well and I think it will do the trick. I'll let you know how it turns out and post some demos. If you are in a rush to order and get the M-Audio. I'd be curious to know what your take on it is after you've had a chance to play around with it.

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Sun Feb 24, 2013 6:00 pm
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