Hardware compatibility questions

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by pilotj, Nov 25, 2012.

  1. pilotj macrumors newbie

    Nov 25, 2012
    I've searched up of great info on this forum in the past, but this is my first time registering to ask a question. There are some issues that I couldn't locate answers to. I hope you can help.

    What I'd like to do:
    Get audio from my Mac and iPhone to some powered monitors, with high quality. This would be both for normal listening, and for music recording and mixing.​

    What I've got:
    iMac 24-inch Mid 2007, OSX 10.8 Mountain Lion
    iPhone 5​
    What I will add in the next year:
    either a MBP and a Thunderbolt Display, or a new iMac and an iPad​

    What I was thinking of getting for this application:
    an AirPort Express, such as this
    possibly an Audioengine D1, using optical from the APX, if the DAC on the APX is not good enough​

    So what's the question?
    There are a few.
    • I assume the iP5 will use AirPlay to send to the APX. But, will the iMac work the same way? Does the APX show up as an output device in System Preferences, or something like that?
    • Can I set up the APX as a router for audio only, leaving my current internet setup as is?
    • Should / must the APX replace my current wifi router for internet purposes?
    • Or, is there some better way than an APX to go about this?

    I imagine there are other pertinent questions that I haven't thought of. So, what answers or general guidance can you offer? Thanks in advance.
  2. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Airplay will not work for editing and mixing. There is huge buffer lag. It works OK for casual listening.

    For editing and recording you need some kind of audio interface. Something like this:

    This is not to say you can't also have airplay.
  3. pilotj thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 25, 2012
    Thanks for the reply.

    That's right, I had not been thinking about latency. Can you recommend anything that has also an optical input, to receive from the AXP? That would avoid the scenario I'm imagining where either I'm plugging and unplugging cables, or I need to put an analog mixer ahead of the monitors to combine the two analog audio sources.
  4. R3k macrumors 6502a

    Sep 7, 2011
    Sep 7, 2011
  5. pilotj thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 25, 2012
    Thanks for the suggestion, r3k.

    In looking for the hardware solution, I decided to get a true regular audio interface, and dispense with the AudioEngine idea. Also, I decided to have the AXP replace my existing wifi router completely.

    I did find one audio interface with the features I was looking for. Here. But in the end I got this, along with an inexpensive spdif/toslink-to-spdif/coax converter. I'm setting all this up now.
  6. pilotj thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 25, 2012

    As a follow-up:

    All this is working fine. The cheapie S/PDIF converter works OK.

    As ChrisA said, the latency with AirPlay is enormous, like a second or so, so, so it's fine for Pandora, but that's about it.

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