external i/o and sound cards

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by 2ms, Oct 24, 2006.

  1. 2ms
    macrumors 6502

    Nov 22, 2002
    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?
  2. macrumors 6502a


    Sep 21, 2005
    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.
  3. macrumors 601


    Jul 18, 2002
  4. macrumors regular


    Nov 10, 2006
    Los Angeles

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