External 5.1 audio card - Mac/PC compatible

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by 20eman, Jun 25, 2010.

  1. 20eman macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    #1
    I've seen a lot of forum threads on this topic but none of them has quite answered my question.

    I'm trying to find an external (USB or FireWire) sound card that has 6-channel-direct analog outputs for 5.1 surround sound that is BOTH Mac and Windows compatible. I need to be able to control the three channels independently in real time in Digital Performer under OS X and I need surround sound in Windows for gaming. So my question is: is there one card that can do all this?

    I would prefer a consumer level card instead of a pro interface, because I certainly don't need any more than 6 channels. FireWave is no good because it's not Windows-compatible (and discontinued), X-Fi is no good because it's not Mac-compatible.

    Using the onboard optical is no good because it doesn't support more than two channels of unencoded audio and it doesn't support Dolby Digital Live or DTS Connect to encode 5.1 in real time.

    I've determined that a suitable internal PCI-Express sound card does not exist, but I'd love to be proven wrong.
     
  2. SmilesLots macrumors regular

    SmilesLots

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    Apr 30, 2010
    Location:
    SW Virginia
    #2
  3. crashmaster1 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2008
    #3
    Unfortunately:


    Important Note: On a Mac operating system, the volume buttons of the adapter are not functional and there is 2-channel playback only.


    crash
     
  4. 20eman thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    #4
    That would work just fine, except as crashmaster1 says it looks like that one isn't fully Mac-compatible. Can you point me towards something else?
     
  5. SmilesLots macrumors regular

    SmilesLots

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2010
    Location:
    SW Virginia
    #5
    Google it. I'm not familiar enough with what you need to make any further recommendations unfortunately. But I am interested since I am getting into 5.1 and 7.1 sound with Digital Performer and Sound Track Pro.
     
  6. SmilesLots macrumors regular

    SmilesLots

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2010
    Location:
    SW Virginia
    #6
    From Apple discussions some more suggestions:

    I believe the E-Mu unit has the best tech specs, i.e., best S/N ratio.
    BTW, E-Mu is Creative's professional product line.

    M-Audio has some nice features (audio inserts, if you need 'em).
    OTOH, it's USB 1.1, so the number of simultaneous I/O channels
    is rather limited when using 24-bit audio at high sampling rates.

    Edirol (Roland) is probably the most rugged/bulletproof (but it's
    probably a little above your $200 target). Check Amazon.com.

    E-Mu (Creative) 0404 USB

    M-Audio FastTrack Pro

    Edirol (Roland) UA-25

    None of them have RCA connectors for all inputs/outputs -- but that's easy to
    fix with a few RCA-to-1/4" (mono) phone plug adapters from RadioShack.
     
  7. SmilesLots macrumors regular

    SmilesLots

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2010
    Location:
    SW Virginia
    #7
    [QUOTE;10332704]That would work just fine, except as crashmaster1 says it looks like that one isn't fully Mac-compatible. Can you point me towards something else?[/QUOTE]

    And finally, then I quit, the Motu 828mk2, which is what I have, and according to this:

    http://forum.cakewalk.com/tm.aspx?high=&m=614855&mpage=1#614855

    there are people doing 5.1 and 7.1 with the Motu interface, which is firewire.
    I've looked dude, but what you seem to want does not seem to be available. I hope someone will prove me wrong as well.
     

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