Audio Thunderbolt versus USB

Booch21

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 13, 2010
174
68
Hi, everyone! Sorry to take up space with something that I assumed I could figure out, but the more I go into everything, the more I'm still unsure. Here is the situation.

I have a home recording studio for voice overs. My setup is multiple microphones out of my booth to a Behringer mixer, into a USB port going into my mid-2010 iMac. I have been toying with the idea of trying an Apollo Twin DUO interface, but I see that they have a USB version and a Thunderbolt version. My iMac does not have a Thunderbolt input. Some things that I have researched tells me that Thunderbolt can plug into a USB input but have considerably slower speeds. Other things tell me that I need to go USB.

Where the confusion comes in is that USB-C is referred to as Thunderbolt. Apple sells a USB-C to USB adapter that might work, but I'm really looking for some assistance from those of you that actually have the newer equipment. I appreciate the guidance!
 

groove-agent

macrumors 65816
Jan 13, 2006
1,202
890
According to Mactracker, your model iMac doesn't have thunderbolt, so if you want the Apollo, you'll have to go for the last generation's Apollo Twin USB: http://www.uaudio.com/audio-interfaces/apollo-twin-usb.html

You can step down with USB 3.1/C/thunderbolt to earlier versions of USB (ie. 2.0), but not the other way around.

A good alternative would be the Apogee Duet. While the Apollo might have more warmth and character, the Duet I suspect will have more clarity and openness.

However, I haven't tried the latest Apollo's yet which advertise better converters. I often think about going with the latest gen Apollo, but I like my Duet's portability (doesn't need AC) and external breakout box for the studio connections.
 
Last edited:

Booch21

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 13, 2010
174
68
A good alternative would be the Apogee Duet. While the Apollo might have more warmth and character, the Duet I suspect will have more clarity and openness.
Thanks for the feedback. I've toyed with trying the Duet. I alternate between a TLM-103 and Sennheiser shotgun and would like both plugged in. I've used the mixer setup so long that sometimes I can't wrap my head around some of these newer units and how to hook them up for my setup. Still pondering at this point and may even wait until I upgrade the iMac in the next year or so.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
19,634
6,841
Actually, if all you're doing is voiceover, there are plenty of products out there that cost less than Apogee and will still do an excellent job...
 

Booch21

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 13, 2010
174
68
Actually, if all you're doing is voiceover, there are plenty of products out there that cost less than Apogee and will still do an excellent job...
Thanks, I appreciate that. I have an adequate product in my mixer but always looking at what works for people who have "better" equipment. The Apollo Twin DUO appears to be an upgrade from the pre's in my mixer. I've tested a number of units through Sweetwater and they have now recommended that many of the units I've been trying are not an upgrade from my mixer. I've been tossing the idea around for a number of months now, but can't get past the fact that I have a very simple and easy to use setup in my mixer. Is the interface upgrade going to be as simple to use, will the cost get me a better end result? I won't know until I try! :)
 

groove-agent

macrumors 65816
Jan 13, 2006
1,202
890
If you're doing voiceovers, the Apollo is a good choice, especially if you take advantage of their plugins. If you're on a budget, try the Scarlett series by Focusrite. They get great reviews and as a result, are really popular.

Anything that has a lot of features, will likely be more complicated. The Apollo mixer window will take some time getting used to. Try searching for it on Youtube to get an idea of what it looks like and how it works.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
19,634
6,841
Probably best bang for the buck would be a FocusRite, with either 2 or 4 XLR inputs...
 
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