View Full Version : external i/o and sound cards

Oct 24, 2006, 09:32 PM
Could someone point me to somewhere where I can read all about audio on computers/Macs? In particular, I am interested in learning how to bypass my new iMac's audio and do everything with an external box that has hookups other than just a headphone jack. How is the quality of the sound hardware in these C2D iMacs anyway?

Oct 25, 2006, 02:02 AM
Here are some good pages to browse of stuff:



www.sweetwater.com (Lots of advice on their page if you hunt)


The audio on mac computers is very good, actually. The OS X kernel is built with a low-latency audio driver (core-audio) which works very well. The newer macs' built in audio can do 24bit/96kHz. If you don't need to hook up to anything else (guitar, mics, etc.) then the built in sound is very good.

If you are going to get an I/O box, some things to think about are:
- How many inputs/outputs you need?
- How many XLR inputs needed?
- Will it work with your software? (e.g. ProTools hardware doesn't work so well with Logic, and Logic Express)
- Does it have balanced inputs?

And I'd recommend Firewire. USB transmits data in bursts, whereas Firewire is a constant stream, and much better for audio. Especially with multiple tracks at a high sample rate.

Oct 25, 2006, 02:43 AM
have a look at the primer (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=179296).

Nov 15, 2006, 05:08 PM
this page is a bit outdated, but it's still got lots of useful info.

happy reading: