audio interfaces for mac pro - recording recommendations

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by ThereGoesJB, Feb 8, 2011.

  1. ThereGoesJB macrumors regular

    Sep 29, 2010
    do you use your mac pro for music production with logic?

    what is your audio interface setup? I am contemplating getting a mac pro and am wondering what common setups are. I would like to have at least two inputs but 4 would be preferred.

    I currently use a mia midi PCI card with two inputs on a pc rig.
  2. Agaetis Byrjun macrumors newbie

    May 17, 2010
    Denver, CO
    I've used just about everything out there including Pro Tools HD and have always used a Mac Pro. Currently I'm using Logic and love it.

    I recently bought and moved into a new place and have completely revamped my setup. Simplified it actually. Since I'm laying drum tracks down and not anything too drastic I chose to go with and interface similar to what you are describing.

    My drums are done through Battery 3, keyboards through various NI and IK plugins, vocals, bass and guitar all through a Firewire TC Electronics Konnect 6. Which is currently on sale everywhere.

    I'll post some picture of my setup later when I'm not on my works firewall.
  3. hoxley macrumors regular

    Jan 19, 2011
    If you can get by with 2 channels, an Apogee Duet - without doubt.
  4. mchalebk macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2008
    I've been pretty happy with my Presonus Firebox. It has two mic/instrument inputs (with switchable phantom power), two line level inputs and MIDI in/out.

    Edit: it looks like they no longer make the FireBox. There's an AudioBox that only has two inputs (plus MIDI) and a FireStudio Mobile with 8 inputs.
  5. kunia macrumors regular

    Oct 30, 2010
    Check out Apogee products.
    They're mac only (aka won't work under windows) but they sound great.
    Also check out RME, but Apogee/Mac/Logic integration is hard to beat.

    I had one of the m-audio products before, but I had lots of driver problems with it so I sold it to a friend. I also tried Presonus Firestudio but it was a noise machine (returned it to the store in less than a week)

    I use Apogee Ensemble - couldn't be happier :)

  6. VirtualRain macrumors 603


    Aug 1, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    Lexicon Pro makes some nice audio interfaces...

    I don't do pro audio work, but I'm happy with my U22 in terms of features, capabilities, aesthetics, and sound quality.
  7. Agaetis Byrjun macrumors newbie

    May 17, 2010
    Denver, CO
    Also check out Focusrite. I've used the Saffire and thought it was great.

    This forum has it right. I've used the Apogee and Presonus before and they sound great. Their preamp can't be beat. I went with the TC Electronics due to the fact that for the money it can't be beat. Also, it's on-board reverb is killer.

    I second the motion to be careful with M-Audio products. I used a Firewire 410 for while and had nothing but issues. While there USB controllers are solid I'd stay away from their interfaces.
  8. fabriciom macrumors 6502


    Feb 17, 2008
    Madrid, España
    Apogee or RME are proven/tested and well established soundcard solutions.
  9. xgman macrumors 601


    Aug 6, 2007
  10. Cox Orange macrumors 68000

    Jan 1, 2010
    If do not need a Mac Pro for other reasons, you could use an external audio interface together with an iMac (or MacBook Pro if you maybe want to carry it arround and do not care for the price point). Did you decide whether external interface or internal card?

    I have the Presonus Firepod, later renamed Presonus FP10, now Firestudio (or Firestudio project, other version). I unfortunately can only tell, that it works great with a PPC-Mac under Tiger. I do not know about the Intel-side. Also I'd like to add, that I prefer firewire over USB. Firestudio has combined input-jacks, where you can connect XLR and line-instruments.

    I heard a lot of m-audio not working properly on Macs. For the Presonus I can only say, that the old version was not noisy... but perhaps "theregoesJB" is a more professionel (which I am not) and you might search for higher products than the presonus anyway (though the Presonus is not an amateur-only machine ;)
  11. Wild-Bill macrumors 68030


    Jan 10, 2007
    I use a MOTU (Mark of the Unicorn) Ultralite for my main interface - has 2 Hi-Z / XLR inputs with their own preamps, and several more line-level in the rear plus spdif in/out. It's preamp is fine though I use the FMR RNP 2-channel preamp because I read a fantastic review.

    For MIDI & controller I use the M-Audio Axiom Pro 49. I used to use an M-Audio Ozone as my main input. Had nothing but problems with it. Picked up the MOTU and haven't looked back.

    I have a hard drive dedicated for music production and I'm always sure to go into Energy Saver and turn OFF the "Put the hard disk(s) to sleep when possible" to avoid problems.
  12. Giganova macrumors member

    Jun 7, 2010
    I use a Focurite Saffire Pro 40 which works and sounds great.
  13. ThereGoesJB thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 29, 2010
    I guess it would be questionable whether i really "need" a mac pro. But I have never really done much with macs and am curious to give their legendary stability a test and i figured if i was gonna give it a go I might as well do it right. I am used to dealing with hardware/software communication stability issues on my home built pc and want to have one round with a mac experience.

    I also do design work (adobe suite and architectural design) so it would get used for more than just music.

    Id ideally like to use an internal card just because it seems like it would be better than external but i am open to suggestions from people who have had good experiences, which of course is what this post was for.... thanks for all the suggestions!

    I am going for stability, so my thinking is go with a mac pro along with the most appropriate fitting software and hardware. I wasnt sure if there was a common hardware brand that worked seamlessly and smoothly with macs. And it seems that Logic would be the easiest and most hassle free experience.
  14. kunia macrumors regular

    Oct 30, 2010
    Only brand that works seamlessly and smoothly with macs plus has full Logic implementation is Apogee. :)

  15. ThereGoesJB thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 29, 2010
    im looking at the apogee stuff, very nice looking at the reviews are great but man the cost is 3 times the pci sound card i have
  16. ThereGoesJB thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 29, 2010
    for those who suggested apogee duet-

    it does not look like it has a MIDI input, is that right?

    it has two inputs as well as two mic inputs, does this mean you could run all 4 inputs at the same time?

    does having only the one control for all the inputs ever become annoying?

    do you run your instruments through a preamp mixer first?
  17. elvisizer macrumors 6502

    May 29, 2003
    San Jose
    the duet is 2 inputs, period, no midi in. the breakout cabling has 1/4 and xlr connectors, but they are both for the same 2 inputs.
    having one physical rotary encoder on the device is no hassle- you press the encoder to switch between controlling each input and output level.
    i don't use a mixer first- one of the main reasons for buying the duet in the first place was the quality of it's preamps.
  18. fontDAmoverRIP macrumors newbie

    Feb 9, 2011
    +1 on Focusrite and Apogee; they're good stuff.

    If you're looking for the best-of-breed, however, and are willing to pay for it, check out the Metric Halo ULN-2, which is used by many pro-level engineers. Only two channels, but they're outstanding channels with high-gain, low-noise mic pres, and A-D conversion that's up there with the best of them. It also has outstanding DSP-based effects and mixing/recording capabilities in its control software, which is very robust. And contrary to an earlier post, Metric Halo also has very tight integration with Logic.
  19. ThereGoesJB thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 29, 2010
    i know this is really getting away from being mac related but what are thoughts on these two interfaces

    looking at the two brands that people are suggesting most- apogee and focusrite, i tried to find each of their cheapest options for what i am looking for

    the apogee duet does seem great for meshing with logic with two inputs @500$

    and the Focusrite Saffire Pro 14 is around 300$ and says it has 8 in 6 out (they had one model lower with 2 in & 4 out, but for that price...on amazon for 220 even)

    it seems like a no brainer to go with Focusrite, which makes me think im missing something. Anyone with experience on that model?
  20. elvisizer macrumors 6502

    May 29, 2003
    San Jose
    more inputs+cheaper price usually means you're getting worse components.
    Still, focusrite does make good gear. If you need that many inputs, then go with them. if you don't need that many ins and outs, then go apogee duet. i never need to track more than a single instrument at a time, so getting an interface with tons of ins and outs wasn't a priority for me.
  21. fabriciom macrumors 6502


    Feb 17, 2008
    Madrid, España
  22. sporadicMotion macrumors 65816


    Oct 18, 2008
    Your girlfriends place
    I use a Liquid Saffire 56. It uses the same conversion chips (CS4272 off the top of my head... i could be wrong but I believe they're listed on GearSlutz) as the Apogee Ensemble and Duet. This is not 100% of the AD/DA conversion story but the 56 has a great word clock which improves conversion quality over products with an inferior clock. Profire 2626 for example will improve in conversion quality when clocked to the Saffire 56.

    I'll recommend the 56 on it's IO alone. Once you're into outboard gear, you'll appreciate the IO at mix time for adding analogue compression and other outboard FX.

    Focusrite Pre's are also quite good for interface pre's. The addition of the liquid pre's is nice as well. They're not picture perfect reproductions of the classics they emulate, but they add some nice flavour to your recordings.

    This is a VERY under appreciated interface.
  23. SWAN808 macrumors member

    Nov 28, 2010
    I would put interface quality for Mac in this order - all pretty usable BTW...but still in terms of AD/DA conversion audio quality:

    Matric Halo
    RME Fireface
    Steinberg MR816
    M Audio Profire
    TC Konnect

    And the rest of the low end...

    Just my opinion based on lots of reading forum consensus...I use an RME Fireface but I'd love a Metric Halo...
  24. ekwipt macrumors 6502a

    Jan 14, 2008
    top 3 of easy plug and play and quality:

    Metric Halo
  25. hakuryuu macrumors 6502

    Sep 30, 2007
    Lomita, CA
    I've got a duet and at least for playback it is pretty stunning for accuracy.

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