M-Audio FW 410 with G4 400mhz, Specs say G4, 500 Minimum?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by Greenjeens, Jun 11, 2006.

  1. Greenjeens macrumors regular

    Aug 25, 2005
    Hi All,

    (short version)
    I want to use an M-Audio FW 410 as a sound card substitute, with a Sawtooth G4 400MHz. I won't be mixing music or using any of he advanced music software. Just hooking CD, DVD players and as a preamp for 2 channels. The outputs would be a stereo pair to another preamp, if that matters.
    From what little I understand, the interface is software controlled, so it's not like a manual switchbox.
    Not sure about the processor needs, when using only the simplest software controlled interface for designating connections?

    Will my G4 400mhz Sawtooth work OK to run the FW-410 as a digital interface, when the minimum processor speed is listed as 500mhz for the G4?

    (long version)
    It may sound like a overkill, but my G4 Sawtooth doesn't have digital audio I/O and the microphone mini plug is very loose and doesn't always make a good connection.

    My iTunes Apple Lossless encoded library is feeding an Adcom preamp/Carver or Adcom amp, M&K sats, w/12" Velodyne servo sub, hooked up with line level inputs, so I hope the stereo set up should be able to resolve improved sound from a new FW-410 D/A converter.

    Also desired, inputing digital audio from toslink outputs, on various CD, DVD and Laser disc players. My DVD's have Coaxial Digital outputs.

    I'd get a cheaper FW device, but Toslink Optical Ins don't come on cheaper devices, and the FW 410 has many more uses compared to the cheaper boxes.

    At least I'm expecting solid physical connectors, ability to hook up digital media players and the ability to transfer the FW-410 as digital front end, when I update to a MacIntel in the next year.
    Will the M-AUdio 410 still work with new Intel Macs via FW?

    Not sure exactly what format the Laser Disc Audio Toslink output outputs? Anyone know?
    IIRC, it might be PCM, and if so, can I use a tool like "PCM to AIFF". Using it in a similar way that I convert ripped DVD audio PCM tracks to AIFF, making CD Player compatible files?

    Another advantage is I would not need to purchase a new receiver with digital I/O for a computer-stereo system connection. There is one coaxial digital I/O and one Toslink I/O, so I could keep an external CD and DVD hooked up.

    I doubt I'll set up surround for my Mac, but I do have a Dolby Digital receiver, that might be upgraded, that's now in the main Home Theater room, along with an unused 5 channel amplifier ...

    Apparently the FW-410 can be used as a preamplifier to accept outputs from from a DD surround processor.

    Haven't heard about the headphone quality. Although the Adcom 565 is a fairly high quality preamp, the headphone amplifier section is poor. Hoping the FW-410 has a better headphone amplifier?

    Anyway, if someone knows for sure if the 500mhz G4 spec only applies to the processing power required to run the music editing programs, and not the hardware connections for my limited purposes, that would be helpful. Any idea what would suffer from a slower processor speed if music editing programs were running?

    From M-Audio...

    "Surround-sound ready
    The eight independent outputs are ideal for directly driving a 7.1 surround sound system. The digital outputs also offer passthrough of AC-3 and DTS surround content to an external decoder.

    Digital I/O
    Two channels of S/PDIF in and out allow pristine transfers with other digital devices such as CD players, DATs and MiniDisc systems. The software control panel selects between rear-panel coaxial and TOSlink optical inputs, as well as which signals are routed simultaneously to both digital outs."
  2. scottlinux macrumors 6502a


    Sep 21, 2005
    It should be okay as long as you stay with a sane sample rate. Recording at 24/96 might be pushing it, though running audio through at 24/48 should be fine. Why not contact m-audio and ask?

    I've got a FW410- I find it quite handy.
  3. Greenjeens thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 25, 2005
    Interesting, the sample rate might be the most proccessor intensive use. I wasn't sure which applications would require the most proccesing power.

    I was just looking for personal experiences from someone else who might be using a less than spec Mac with the 410, as a digital front end only.

    I'll contact M-Audio next week, thanks.

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