external i/o and sound cards

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by 2ms, Oct 24, 2006.

  1. 2ms macrumors 6502

    Nov 22, 2002
    Could someone point me to somewhere where I can read all about audio on computers/Macs? In particular, I am interested in learning how to bypass my new iMac's audio and do everything with an external box that has hookups other than just a headphone jack. How is the quality of the sound hardware in these C2D iMacs anyway?
  2. scottlinux macrumors 6502a


    Sep 21, 2005
    Here are some good pages to browse of stuff:



    www.sweetwater.com (Lots of advice on their page if you hunt)


    The audio on mac computers is very good, actually. The OS X kernel is built with a low-latency audio driver (core-audio) which works very well. The newer macs' built in audio can do 24bit/96kHz. If you don't need to hook up to anything else (guitar, mics, etc.) then the built in sound is very good.

    If you are going to get an I/O box, some things to think about are:
    - How many inputs/outputs you need?
    - How many XLR inputs needed?
    - Will it work with your software? (e.g. ProTools hardware doesn't work so well with Logic, and Logic Express)
    - Does it have balanced inputs?

    And I'd recommend Firewire. USB transmits data in bursts, whereas Firewire is a constant stream, and much better for audio. Especially with multiple tracks at a high sample rate.
  3. zimv20 macrumors 601


    Jul 18, 2002
  4. theblotted macrumors regular


    Nov 10, 2006
    Los Angeles

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