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Topic: iMAC - sound system

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  1. #1

    iMAC - sound system

    I am considering buying an iMAC. One thing I couldn't get adviced on was the quality of the soundcard/-system. Internet didn't resolve this problem, so my question to you iMAC users is: what do I have to buy to get a decent sound sent to my monitors or is the soundchip-system on the motherboard good enough?

    Raymond
    Visit my website

  2. #2

    Re: iMAC - sound system

    The sound built into the iMac provides stereo analog audio and TOSLink digital out of the same 1/8-inch port.

    I think the analog audio output is of high quality compared to other computer manufacturers (most Dells being low quality in my opinion). But it is not professional audio quality.

    You can interface the digital audio output with any digital audio amplifier that accepts TOSLink. I think you get 24bit/96KHz stereo.

    If you are going to record audio, you will want to purchase an external preamp and AD/DA converter with a FireWire interface. M-Audio, Roland and many other companies have many models available. There are also many models with USB 2.0 but they cannot handle as many channels for simultaneous inputs or surround-sound mixing.
    Wheat Williams
    Atlanta, Georgia, USA
    Music Copyist in Sibelius
    Apple MacBook Pro, Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion
    Apple Certified Support Professional. I also work with Windows.

  3. #3

    Re: iMAC - sound system

    Wheat has you going down the right path. I'll add emphasis for a Firewire solution. I think the USB bus gets bogged down on an iMac.

    -Kevin
    We are the music makers, we are the dreamers of dreams …
    24" 2.4 Ghz iMac, OSX 10.4.10, MOTU 828 MKII, 2 Glyph 250 Gig external drives, Logic 9, Finale 2008 GPO, JABB, Strad, Gro, Reason 4, EWQL Storm Drum, Adrenaline, Symphonic Choirs, SO Gold,All Arturia Synths, Many NI Synths, Spectrasonics Synths, KH Strings, VEPro on a Windows 7 4x 2.8 Ghz 12 gig of RAM

  4. #4

    Re: iMAC - sound system

    I would suggest looking at the MOTU firewire interfaces - I buy from http://www.sweetwater.com/
    MacPro 2.66 - Tiger & Snow Leopard / 16GB RAM / several TB of HD space/ Garritan Libraries / EWQLSO Platinum PLAY / Omnisphere/ Kontakt 2 & 3 / Finale 2010 /DP5/ a VERY patient wife!

  5. #5

    Re: iMAC - sound system

    Aha, some external sound system needed to get something equal to my Audiophile2496 in my current PC.

    Thank you all,

    Raymond
    Visit my website

  6. #6

    Re: iMAC - sound system

    You really would do fine with the built-in audio for playback.
    For recording - then , yes, an external box would be best, though you can get USB mics.
    MacPro 2.66 - Tiger & Snow Leopard / 16GB RAM / several TB of HD space/ Garritan Libraries / EWQLSO Platinum PLAY / Omnisphere/ Kontakt 2 & 3 / Finale 2010 /DP5/ a VERY patient wife!

  7. #7

    Re: iMAC - sound system

    I would advise against USB mics, Ive only ever experienced/heard of dodgy unclean sound signals from them.

    I personally use a Tascam 1804 (rack) which is a nice piece of kit considering its reduced price these days (actually i dont know if they are still being manufactured!). Its firewire400.

    Good luck with it

  8. #8

    Re: iMAC - sound system

    I agree about serious use of USB mics - I have one - ok for a quick track that is not final, but certainly not for a polished track.
    MacPro 2.66 - Tiger & Snow Leopard / 16GB RAM / several TB of HD space/ Garritan Libraries / EWQLSO Platinum PLAY / Omnisphere/ Kontakt 2 & 3 / Finale 2010 /DP5/ a VERY patient wife!

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