mac pro sound card!

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by gpapava, Jan 10, 2007.

  1. gpapava macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2006
    #1
    It may sound stupid, but what about the mac pro's sound card?
    Can i plug 5.1 or 7.1 speakers and how? line in?
    Can i get a "pc" external sound card like soundblaster x-fi platinum on mac pro?

    me<---- mac newbie :)
     
  2. NorCalLights macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    #2
    Your mac pro has a digital optical out that supports 5.1. Anything more than that and you need an audio interface. Any of the pro-audio websites should have them... either internal PCI cards or external Firewire or USB boxes. They're intended for recording and mixing.
     
  3. benpatient macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2003
    #3
    and just to clarify...there is no hardware accellerated sound on the Mac.

    You will only get 5.1 sound if you're listening to a source that has a 5.1 track encoded in a format that an external decoder can understand (say for example Dolby Digital or DTS.) There is no mac equivalent of EAX or anything like that.

    Also, if you have a 6.1 or 7.1 source, and a player that can send it uninhibited to your surround decoder, then you can do 6.1 or 7.1 sound just as easily as 5.1.

    you cannot, however, play any games with 3D sound, and you'll find that none exist on the mac. It might be possible to install a PC-based sound card and then install windows and play windows-based games with surround sound through that card...but the primary application for surround sound on a Mac is creation of surround sound through the use of professional audio equipment. Ironic that it's got a built-in optical audio output but no real audio hardware processing. There's not even really any software audio processing, which is actually a blessing in disguise for some people in the Home Theater enthusiast market. You can hook up any mac with an optical audio output (mac pro, G5 tower, mac mini, macbook pro, maybe some others) to an external preamp or receiver. If you import audio from, say, a DTS-encoded CD http://www.dtsonline.com/entertainment/catalogue/music.php, you can listen to 5.1 or 6.1 music just like you listen to stereo music...with iTunes! (Must import with Apple Lossless enabled, though!)

    It takes a lot of work to do the same with a PC because Windows does process all audio that goes through. Even Vista is apparently going to do this (although it will do it better, that doesn't matter if you don't want it processed at all). To top it off, only certain PC sound cards are capable in the first place, and it's decidedly "hacky" to get it working.

    If you do this, be warned that you need to turn off system sounds while playing DTS-encoded music, as any system sound playing will be mixed in with the DTS and turn it back into (potentially very loud) white noise!

    Anyway, that's more than you asked, but I hope it helps clear things up some.
     
  4. gpapava thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2006
    #4
    thanks for the quick replies guys :D
    but i got a little bit confused here.

    /quote "Ironic that it's got a built-in optical audio output but no real audio hardware processing. There's not even really any software audio processing, which is actually a blessing in disguise for some people in the Home Theater enthusiast market. You can hook up any mac with an optical audio output (mac pro, G5 tower, mac mini, macbook pro, maybe some others) to an external preamp or receiver. If you import audio from, say, a DTS-encoded CD http://www.dtsonline.com/entertainme...ogue/music.php, you can listen to 5.1 or 6.1 music just like you listen to stereo music...with iTunes! (Must import with Apple Lossless enabled, though!) "

    so this makes mac pro better than pc's? :confused: :confused: :confused:

    all i want is to plug in my guitar to the mac, record the stuff iam playing, and then edit it on cubase/logic etc etc. and i am gonna need a strong machine for that job thats why i am thinking of buying a new mac pro.
    Its an expensive computer and i wanna know that iam doing the right thing :D
    iam also into video editing (not proffesional ofc) :D
    cheers
     
  5. amtctt macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2006
    #5
    hey, i posted this thread in the games section, good info for everybody that plays games in XP and wants multichannel sound:

    Sound cards and the Mac Pro
    As many of you know, the mac pro only has pci express and currently there aren't any gaming sound cards that are made for pci express. there aren't many solutions. Creative used to make an external USB sound card that can still be found on ebay for about $30-40. but for those that have a pci sound card already, there is a pci/pci-e bridge that can be had for $20. i have not tested this product as i don't actually currently have the $20 for it, but i was super excited to hear about it. As soon as i get $20, i'm all over this:

    http://www.mouser.com/search/ProductDetail.aspx?R=PEX8111-BB66BC-Fvirtualkey58310000virtualkey862-PEX8111-BB66BC-F
     
  6. Big Boss Man macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2006
    #6
    Even a basic macbook will let you record and edit some guitar tracks. The heavy processor and memory usage comes when you mix together dozens of tracks each with plug-ins.
     
  7. /"\/oo\/"\ macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2007
    #7
    related question-- My windows machine, using the onboard nvidia "sound card" can clone the front L and R channels to the rear L+R, which makes for more room filling sound and (for me) a more enjoyable casual listening experience.

    Is there any way to get the mac pro to clone channels and then get that out put from the optical out?
     
  8. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    Gone but not forgotten.
    #8
    M-Audio sells both external and internal (though I believe they're still all PCI, not PCI-Express) cards for Macs.

    The external boxes connect via FireWire or USB and I've noticed that they took an appreciable load away from the main CPUs of one of my machines.

    While the internal sound processing works well, it's one more thing to keep the CPU(s) busy and there are more flexible options from third parties.
     
  9. dpaanlka macrumors 601

    dpaanlka

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2004
    Location:
    Illinois
    #9
    You need 5.1 surround for that?

    Anyways, every Mac comes with Garageband which itself is really great for what you want to do, and they're all capable of running it just fine (even G4s were). Same with Logic. A Mac Pro might actually be overkill for what you want to do.
     
  10. gpapava thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2006
    #10
    no i dont need 5.1 surround for that :D just askin

    ive got a powerbook g4 1.67 with 1.5GB ram and garageband/logic are kinda slow. Actually when i add bass/drums/etc etc (all fake not real instruments) logic becomes deadly slow.
    I want mac pro to be my next main computer, and i want to do ALL the jobs i want sound/video editing, even games to run EXTRA fast! And i hope mac pro is the right mac for me :D
    I love speedy computers and i dont want to be dissapointed with mac pro :)

    My english sux i know :D
    /cheers
     
  11. dpaanlka macrumors 601

    dpaanlka

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2004
    Location:
    Illinois
    #11
    Weird... garageband was always very fast even on my 1.0ghz.
     
  12. Big Boss Man macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2006

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