View Full Version : Need reliable 6 channel monitoring for 5.1 editing & mixing

Sep 2, 2008, 11:06 AM
Who, in your opinion, makes the most reliable audio interfaces with trouble free drivers on the Mac?

I am a ProTools LE user and I want to start using Logic or Nuendo to edit and mix 5.1 surround for film & video. I need an interface for monitoring 6 discreet channels that is reliable and is from a company that supports Macintosh with timely/reliable driver updates. Digidesign is not the model here.

What I DON'T NEED is expensive mic preamps for recording because I will never be recording with this interface, most interfaces will have preamps, which is ok with me, but the quality of them is not an issue for me. Low or no latency is necessary and I don't want anything that has miniplugs for the analog output. I'd prefer not to spend more than $450. My machine is a MacPro 8 core/2.8 Ghz.

I am considering the following usb interface, but I've never heard of the company. They claim it works using CoreAudio and doesn't need additional drivers:


Anybody use it?

Thanks a million for your help.

Sep 2, 2008, 02:55 PM
I use the Echo AudioFire8 for this purpose, and drive it from Logic, Soundtrack Pro, and Final Cut Pro. From what I've heard, Echo has a good reputation of delivering rock solid drivers for the Mac environment, and I've had no problems at all (on my Intel-based iMac and Mac Pro, first with Tiger and now with Leopard).

Take a look at the detailed specs (http://http://echoaudio.com/Products/FireWire/AudioFire8/specs.php) and see if this might work for you. You should be able to find it within the budget you specified (I bought mine for $399).

- Martin

Sep 3, 2008, 02:26 PM

Thanks for the kind reply. I guess no one else on this forum has opinions.

Sep 3, 2008, 02:55 PM
I guess no one else on this forum has opinions.Oh, I don't believe that's true. Audio interfaces have been discussed quite a bit here. One way to learn more is to do a search in this forum for "audio interface" or "sound card". Then, if you have more candidates that look interesting, you can always ask for reports on specific devices - that will probably get you more and more useful responses.

There are a lot of good audio interfaces out there. I had a M-Audio Firewire 410 - a popular model - and dropped it because its outputs were unbalanced, which in my setup caused problems. That's when I got the Echo.

In general, Firewire interfaces seem to work well on the Mac. Also, I've been advised against internal sound cards (i.e. a card that goes into your MacPro), because with an external device, you can keep the analog portion outside of your "noisy" (electronically speaking) computer case. I'm not an electrical engineer, but this recommendation made sense to me.

So, do a search, compare the technical specs that you'll find on the manufacturers' websites, and then come back for more detailed advice when you've narrowed down your selection!

- Martin

Sep 4, 2008, 03:09 PM
I know it's not true, that was rhetorical comment to see if I could get some more direct posts.:o Thanks once again for your replies, Martin. I'll do the search thing again.


Sep 6, 2008, 03:45 AM
This is the low end Motu firewire wire interface and does an excellent job in the studio or on the field.