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Topic: Sound and Mac Pro

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  1. #1

    Sound and Mac Pro

    I recently went over to the other side and bought a Mac Pro. Where Apple really screwed up on this high end machine is that the expansion slots are all PCI Express. There are very few audio cards that support PCI-E. I would like some opinions on some audio cards, either PCI-E or USB for the Mac Pro. I would like to keep the cost under $400. Of course, the sound has to be superior to the built-in audio.

  2. #2
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    Re: Sound and Mac Pro

    Quote Originally Posted by Babe View Post
    I recently went over to the other side and bought a Mac Pro. Where Apple really screwed up on this high end machine is that the expansion slots are all PCI Express. There are very few audio cards that support PCI-E. I would like some opinions on some audio cards, either PCI-E or USB for the Mac Pro. I would like to keep the cost under $400. Of course, the sound has to be superior to the built-in audio.
    Very simple Babe. Apogee.


    http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/Duet/

  3. #3

    Re: Sound and Mac Pro

    I don't know of any that are PCI-E, but you seem to have missed a large segment of the market = Firewire interfaces. It's difficult to answer your question further because you didn't say how many inputs or what type you require for your purposes. They generally start with 2 inputs up to 30+ when you include the ADAT and other digital inputs on top of mic pres and line inputs. You might try going over to http://www.sweetwater.com and browsing around to familiarize yourself with what 's available and at what price points.
    Paul Baker
    Baker's Jazz And More
    Austin, Texas, USA
    www.bakersjazzandmore.com

  4. #4

    Re: Sound and Mac Pro

    It's not a screw-up really...PCIe is the future (having a much faster bandwidth capability) and Apple tends to always ride the bleeding edge towards the future...which of course is called the bleeding edge for a reason. Cost will probably be more than $400. But the investment in it, if you can swing it, will be hassle free, high quality audio capability.

    I would recommend either MOTU's 424 PCIe card which comes on the core systems of any of their PCI rack components...

    or Apogee as mentioned.

    There is also the RME Hammerfall cards.

    re: firewire

    I would tend to stay away from it if it is your main studio rig. For portability it is great. PLug and go on your laptop. But the firewire bus is controlled by the CPU and if you will have firewire drives hooked up to record onto (or archive project onto)...and you are running all your studio audio out of a firewire bus as well (multiple tracks)...and then possibly video...you will quickly run out of processing capability even on the fast Intel machines. I would highly recommend you let audio ride on its own communication pipeline to the CPU via the PCIe bus and save Firewire for the external drives and possible video out scenarios in your setup.
    Regards,
    Brian W. Ralston

    Check out my new FREE iPhone App! Click Here!

  5. #5

    Re: Sound and Mac Pro

    Quote Originally Posted by bmdaustin View Post
    I don't know of any that are PCI-E, but you seem to have missed a large segment of the market = Firewire interfaces. It's difficult to answer your question further because you didn't say how many inputs or what type you require for your purposes. They generally start with 2 inputs up to 30+ when you include the ADAT and other digital inputs on top of mic pres and line inputs. You might try going over to http://www.sweetwater.com and browsing around to familiarize yourself with what 's available and at what price points.
    Sorry, I should have gave more detail. Inputs are not important as I don't do any recording.

  6. #6

    Re: Sound and Mac Pro

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian W. Ralston View Post
    There is also the RME
    I don't believe that either the Apogee cards or RME PCIe cards are shipping yet....are they?
    "International Award Winning Arabic Fusion"
    www.ajmusiconline.com

    2xMac Pro 2.66, OS 10.4.9,Pro Tools 7.4.8,Waves Plat,Altiverb
    4xVisionDaw PC,NI Komplete, All Play 1.2.5 Libraries

  7. #7

    Re: Sound and Mac Pro

    how many outputs do you need?
    i am happy with just two so i simply use the spdif output from my Mac Pro into a AD-2 converter from RME.
    Brilliant soundquality, latency of 32 samples and no driver headaches.


    Hans

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