USB interface for iMac

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by nyguy4u, Jan 5, 2011.

  1. nyguy4u macrumors member

    Oct 21, 2008
    Hey guys..

    First my current setup, late 2009 iMac, Mackie MR5's monitor speakers, Mackie 402-VLZ3 mixer.

    Like many others have experienced, I get a really bad hissing sound with my setup (or any setup for that matter), and it gets noticeably worse when I'm scrolling through pages. I am coming directly out of the headphone jack, into my mixer.

    I've searched these forums, and I've noticed that the general consensus is to get the Mbox USB interface. Looking at that though, it seems as if people get that for digital recording, wanting portable recoding studio, etc.

    I was told to get a USB audio interface. My only reason to get one is to basically eliminate the hiss, because I plug whatever I need to use directly into my Mackie Mixer anyways. Is there a good quality, pretty basic USB interface out there without all the bells and whistles? I've noticed the cheap China crap on eBay, but I am assuming that's garbage.

    Any recommendations? Thanks in advance.
  2. Hyuga macrumors regular

    May 16, 2006
    Helsinki or Barcelona
    How much money you want to put on this? From my limited experience even crappiest generic usb dac will remove that hissing but are quite bad otherwise.
  3. Jolly Jimmy macrumors 65816

    Jolly Jimmy

    Dec 13, 2007
    The Griffin iMic is dead cheap and was already a great improvement over the headphone jack on my MacBook. How much are you willing to spend?
  4. sporadicMotion macrumors 65816


    Oct 18, 2008
    Your girlfriends place
    Are you going to the tape inputs from the output of the mixer? What are you using your mixer for?
  5. dwwave macrumors newbie

    Mar 28, 2004
    USB Interface for Imac


    Are You Running Snow Leopard as that seems to be a real big issue looking at USB and FW A/I

    I like the USB 2.0 Lexicon Ionix U42S but perhaps in has more ins/outs etc

    what do You require as far as in puts/outs etc and what OSX
    system are You using, I have reserached since fall, bought a FW one its was just not what I thought (though it had all the ins/outs
    (there were other issues I returned ir and moving forward)

    Too cheap is not good
    Mackie just came out with USB A/I The BlackJack or Blackbird
    (one is USb one is FW)
    Roland makes some nice USB's without all the bells and whistles
    and some with all of the bells, whisltles, horns, Alarms, snooze etc
    (just kidding) but they make advance ones as well
    M-Audio Profire 610 (but to me has to many outs versus ins)

    This FW400 9which You can use easily with FW 800 ports or straight in FW400

    the Presonus Firestudio Mobile , Nice price (recent review on , not very large, has XLR /Combi ins
    plus TRS ins on back, outs, SPDIF and Midi + DC power

    That is one thing I would make sure You have is DC (or AC adapter) as Bus power or phantom power is not always enough

    Tascam (based on personal exp and threads here I would pass on)

    The above three I am looking at

    check out

    and they will have audio interfaces based by type USB, FW PCI Cards

    and then by type, selct one type , select view all, I then do high to low and look through them or You can select by manufacturer
    they have a buyers guide as well online on Buying a Audio Interface and its topics and answers are all in one section very helpful

    ** with any shop watch return policies as more and more A/I include software and if opened and worse registered You could be held to a restock fee 9and in 1-5% refused return (its written there too) so ask them before buying) You have good gear, my 2 cents is a decent interface and circuitry is important also.

    dwwave :confused::):apple::rolleyes:
  6. nyguy4u thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 21, 2008
    Thanks for the responses guys.

    Money isn't TOO much of an issue.. of course I don't want to get crazy either. The cheaper the better :)

    As of now, I am using the RCA tape inputs and outputs, with the main 1/4 outs going to my Mackie studio monitors. My mixer allows me to connect anything line or mic level into it. Guitar, microphone, etc. Currently I am using it mostly with a Shure SM58 microphone, but 99% of it's use is for my main volume control for the computer itself (which has Snow Leopard)

    dwwave, thanks for those recommendations.. I'll look into them. I'm going to also look into the Griffin iMic as well.
  7. SFXsource macrumors newbie


    Mar 5, 2009
    I just picked up the Presonus Firestudio Mobile recently and couldn't be happier, sounds fantastic. I had purchased a MAudio mobile pre before this but got tons of hiss in the recordings.... the quality of the preamps in the Presonus is much much better ... plus, you never know when an MAudio product will cease to function as happened with my MAudio Firewire 410, it stopped working with Logic a few years ago and then driver updates don't help. Presonus rocks in my opinion
  8. macEfan macrumors 65816


    Apr 7, 2005
    Forbidden, you do not have access to that server
    I have an iMic and the M-Audio Fast-Track interfaces. I liked the M-Audio one just because it has a few more features like digital out...but it's purely your choice. Both products have been reliable.
  9. dwwave macrumors newbie

    Mar 28, 2004
    USB Interface for iMac

    Hi post people nyguy4u and SFXSource (*sorry if I missed anyone and I think I did) * since I replied last
    nyguy4u , no problems re: "suggestions" and hope You find what You want in the price range also ,post holidays and post NAMM2011 should have deals
    (I added a extenstion to Safari 5 Price Blcink (na dit works on online stores (Amazon) Guitar Center, and (when I put a item in the cart and it listed 16 online sites with that A/I and price ,

    SFXSource The Presonus FireStudio Mobile is a nice unit and well priced
    and well balanced ins and outs (does it come with Artist Studio (full version or a lite version) I saw on Presonus's site or Sound on Artist Studio (during NAMM 11) was 20.11 at their online store ( a down load 93% off) ! 3 days only (but if You used Logic doubt You need it,
    Thanks for the FYI re the M-Audio Units (forgot who wrote that piece) the hiss ( a lot) with one and the FW unit that ceased to work, bummer, I am leaning away from M-Audio the Profire 610 is 6 in 10 out (not including S/PDIf or MIDI) thats not balnced right to me, and The USB Fast Track Pro (is better balanced I/O'd but the drivers for OSX 10.6.x )I am running 10.6.4 soon 10.6.4 and from their site can not tell if they are available
    ? last driver update on Fast Track Ultra (I saw was 12-09) Pro Fire is ok for 10.6.5 but reading the manual, has ? more than I want (reason I returned the T.C.Electronic Impact Twin (there was another main issue as well) it has all of these screens etc (but on-board DSP saving ? CPU resources but...I want a A/I that I can get nice preamps (use two for mic's) is fine, and at least one H-Z for Guitar as well
    Mic a amp with 1 or 2 mics and plug in direct if needed (HI-Z)
    but with 6 in 10 out reviewers even said well You could hook up 6 monitors/speakers and a woofer and do 7.1 surround sound (profire610) which is not my intent, and drivers will cal them
    as I have a Radium 49 M-Audio Midi keyboard that is ok OSX 10.6 but > ? same with a M-Audio Black Box (ok with OSX 10.6 but> ?) could only verify The MA Profire 610 , (may need to put en.audiofanzine) reviewed the Presounus FireStudio Mobile with very +++
    reviews, and (all above have search function and enter the A/I and ther reviews are very in depth

    Manuafturer and even gear shop posts have to be a bit careful with

    The Lexicon Ionix Series is fine with Snow Leopard 10.6.4> and one negative is no on-off switch (odd, but Roger Linn makes some of hid gear like that (I have a Adrennalin II now a III after a dual chio update and face plate change and it sounds 99% better + added features

    It has 4 dbx preamps, 2 HI-Z combo XLR and 2 Mic-Line and 2 TRS on the side and two headphones on the other side (It looks like a Audio Receiver almost, ins are in the back oh well, not alot of extras (do not want the A_Z plug ins etc, has S/PDIF .MIDI i/O and 45 volt phantom power and dc power adapter (it was tied on my narrow down list to two)

    Focusrite Saffire Series was on it but I read some where something(I think it was driver updates) being slow, could be wrong, they designed their own preamps, M-Audio (the teo mentioned use"Octane Preamps"

    I want to use with OSX Snow Leopard and Garageband 9' and later 11'
    and hopefully Logic Express or Logic Studio And I feel fine with USB 2.0
    9coming from a Tascam US-122 usb1.1 and a eMac 1.25ghz 1gb ram and PPC running OSX 10.3.9 panther

    Interestingly I ran a Audio/Interface wizard where it asks You all sorts of ?'s and I take the answer it gave me with interest and realizing its software too answer was Lexicon U42S USB 2.0 :apple::eek:

    that website with quite a bit if info, links, topics and The Wizard=

    the results came out here

    Best :)

  10. dwwave macrumors newbie

    Mar 28, 2004
    USB Interface for Imac

    I left off some resources

    I found these on

    publisher/seller of loops, samples plug ins, kits

    at the bottom is Resources and once ther are names of most of the name

    Music Magzines Keyboard, Electronic Musician, Recording Musician ?10

    as well as Manaufaturer's and each is a hyperlink and You go directky to the current issue (or part of it online)

    * I (some how) hey a digital edition of Keyboard Magazine each month

    and I always check out

    and through or

    get Best of Frets, GP2, Best of Gig Magazine and through Guitar Center

    Guitar Center Pro Magazine (with great contests) SOS does too USA included and M-Audio has a Eleven contest and a Venom Synth
    (new from Namm 2011

    have a good night



    for real good prices

    it sells Gear A-Z , Vintage Guitars, Bass Guitars, Amps (in store only)

    plus new gear including USB 2.0 and FW 400 Audio Interfaces, they have a weekly mailing list and a Catalog request form, they are in Michigan

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