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USB 2.0 external Audio interface

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by duchovny.lucas, Aug 11, 2009.

  1. macrumors newbie


    as one of many users, who got macbook aluminium without firewire, im little bit forced to think about this kind of solution.

    So i did small research about these products and i ended with two soundcards.

    1. M-Audio Fast Track Ultra

    2. EMU 0404 USB

    if you know some any other device for this kind of money, let me know too.

    i would like to ask you, if youve got any experiences with these cards, please share them. Im planning to use it with Ableton Live mostly for guitar and some midi piano. What is really important for me is normal quality of sound(i know that will be not professional studio), no glitches, and minimal latency.

    Any help is really appreciated, because right now i really dont know which one to choose.

  2. macrumors member


    I bought the Presonus Audiobox a few weeks ago for $149 and I've been very pleased with it so far. It's two channels, phantom power, yadda yadda. You might want to check that one out as well.
  3. macrumors newbie

    thanks for tip.

    no problems with USB 1.1 ? i m little bit worried buying card only with USB1.1 because of speed.
  4. macrumors G4


    Even at 96K samples per second and 24 bits per sample that works to just under 5 Mbps. USB 1.1 can do 12Mbs. You likely will not need to record at 96, half of that is reasonable.

    MIDI is a very low data rate. I think it runs at 1,200 bits per second.

    That said, opt for USB 2 if you can so you can share the USB bus with other devices. But two audio channels is not much bandwidth.
  5. macrumors newbie

    thanks for the numbers, and what about cpu load? i know the biggest advantage of firewire is that its friendly with cpu, how it is with usb?

    thanks for help
  6. macrumors G4

    It's really a non issue with just two tracks. What loads the CPU are software instruments. But if you only have a few of them, no big deal.

    All of this begins to matter when have a dozen tracks. Even my old 1.25Ghz G4 does fine with a few audio tracks.

    Yes the USB interface load down th CPU more but that is for disk drives pushing 30MB per second. You are doing 1/2 or 1/4 MB per second.

    IF you are curious try it. Bring up Garage band and record from the built-in mic and watch Activity Meter. You can start recording right now, the quality of the built-in mic is poor but you'll get a feel for how well it all works.
  7. macrumors newbie

    M-Box 2 User

    I've had an MBox 2 and use it with my 17" MBP at work. Mostly 2 tracking applications and have on occasion used it as an external processor when I had a need for PA processing, delay and parametric EQ came in handy ( got stuck on a gig and my gear hadn't shipped ). No issues to date however I use an external E-SATA drive with the express card interface for all recording.
  8. macrumors member


    I haven't had any issues so far, using it with Garageband or Logic. Granted I've only been using one input at a time, but I don't think that I would have any trouble using both.

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