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  • Audio Interfaces


    I am currently using Vienna instruments in logic studio on a Intel osx 10.5.5 (efi-x).

    Since I purchased Vienna SE i have been struggling along with the onboard sound chip in my computer. I cant stack many sounds before i get the dreaded pops and clicks and my latency is terrible. So I have decided to buy a audio interface or an internal sound card, problem is there are so many to choose from. I wonder if anyone could recomend a no frill interface or a card that would sort out my problems. I do not need audio inputs as I only ever use softsynths (Vienna SE) I Dont need Mic inputs, I'm not looking for surround sound just straight stereo. I am not a professional composer just a hobbyist.

    So if anyone could recomend a relatively cheap box or card that would give me low latency and a reduction in pops and clicks with a nice sound I would be grateful.




  •  Thanks for the links. Very nice interface but it as features that I dont need and would never use.  I have no requirements to attach a guitar or microphone to my mac. I just need low latency clean stereo sound output to an amplifier from logic studio. Other cheaper, less feature rich  suggestions would be much appreciated.



  • While i was on the Dolphin Music site looking at the duet,  I noticed this basic no frills USB audio interface, I wonder what the latency is like with Logic Studio anybody had any experience with it?

    Edirol UA-1EX USB Audio Interface



  • What computer are you using? Which Mac model and how much ram?

    Which monitors are you using?

    Which VSL libraries do you use? I should be able to give you an answer given this information.

  •  Hi PaulR...

    well thats an interesting question :-) I have a Apple iMac Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz - 20" Screen


    I have just built myself a Intel Q6600 Quad 2.4Ghz, 4Gb x 800mhz DDR2 and i use a EFI-X boot device that allows me to install retail os-x leopard. I have just completed this build and I am very very happy with the performance of it, it is running leopard beautifully with no issues. I have no proper monitors I am currently using the onboard sound chip on both the iMac and the new build to feed a Denon stereo amplifier and a couple of Mission M33 floorstanding speakers.  I am not a professional composer I do it just for my pleasure but I want to be able to get rid of the pops and clicks and get a reasonable level of latency and a resonably nice sound. The apogee duet looks a very nice piece of kit but it as features I dont need and the price is high for someone who does not make money from creating music. I am hoping to find a reletively cheap alternative to the onboard sound chip. I use Vienna Instruments SE Edition and I also use East west Gold XP through Kontakt.  My new computer build as a firewire port and obviously USB ports. Any recomendations would be a great help.



  • So quite an array of gear at this point.

    The fact that you're worrying about the difference between a pro and and amateur is of no consequence. I don't understand why you keep saying that. Most amateurs at anything spend a fortune on kit - probably as much as a pro. It depends on how important a hobby it is to you. Others like train sets.

    You have an iMac and a good sounding PC with some very good sample libraries that also cost a fair amount. Why would you want to use a £58 piece of shite as your soundcard. That's like having a Ferrari and sticking cross-ply remoulds on it from Joe Bloggs Garage from under the arches.

    If you want a good sound - get some good active monitors and something like a Duet. Most people use soundcards that cost quite a bit more than a Duet. I thought that was cheap until I saw £58.

  • Thanks for your advice, when I was using a PC based system for music (before I fell for Logic Studio) I used M-audio delta 66 PCI sound cards and they were relatively cheap but that was years ago it would seem the cost of high quality audio is more expensive on the mac. I was hoping there would be a resonable entry level sort of solution like the delta 66 but reading between your lines the Duet is the entry level solution.

    Again thanks for your time and advice,  I will look into the Apogee Duet



  • OK, a few of things to say about all this:

    1. Avoid USB audio interfaces like the plague.
    2. Firewire is OK, but adds latency. Make sure that you get the optional power unit (of available) as the Firewire port can get very hot otherwise, causing damage to your Mac.
    3. The best solution (of possible) is PCI or PCIe
    4. Apogee has a special relationship with Apple, which means that they can sometimes offer lower latency with their soundcards than other manufactures. This advantage is more or less negated as soon as you use virtual instruments.
    5. I would recommend RME for both OSX and Windows.


  • RME is rock solid. Great company. I talk to them at the trade shows (I work in the audio industry) and am very impressed by their humility and good listening skills. They value their customers, and continue to improve their product, not resting on their laurels.

    I use the Fireface 800, as I have an iMac. I asked them about PCI/PCIe vs. firewire, and it seems the core technology in the interfaces is almost identical, but of course you get lower latency with the PCI/PCIe approach (if it is available to you as an option). I think they have ExpressCard solutions now too, but would have to recheck their site.

    I used MOTU interfaces before, which are excellent bang-for-buck. Their high-end gear is truly high-end but is strictly PCI/PCIe based, so I can't use it. I needed an upgrade so had to switch brands, in order to stick with firewire.

    The RME clock is rock solid, and so I don't feel the need for Big Ben or another external dedicated clock. The headphone amp is excellent and has a lot of usable gain (this is my biggest criticism of MOTU's units, whose headphone amps I consider entirely useless and also too weak).

    Also, the mixer program that comes with it, is confusing at first, but is well-documented, and once you set up an initial template or two, is set-and-forget. It's WAY more flexible than any of the competition, except for perhaps Metric Halo.

    Due to a wildly fluctuating exchange rate situation the past year or two, it is difficult to predict prices on RME gear. But their stuff is good value, no question -- even when a weak dollar bumps it up $200. The dollar is strengthening again, so maybe they'll drop their prices a bit soon.

    I find the RME converters to be the most neutral of the ones I've tried, which covers all of the majors except for Metric Halo. In the end, I feel they offer the best value ratio (price/performance) next to MOTU, and at a higher raw value level in terms of high-end audio quality.

    When you buy one of these better interfaces, you spend less in the long-run, as you don't need to upgrade every few years as with the cheaper stuff.

    USB 3.0 is said to address some of these concerns, but the first rreal-world USB 3.0 devices are not set for release until late 2009, at the earliest. So even though firewire is going away on all but the highest-end new computers, it's still the current standard of choice (along with PCI).

    I'm hoping maybe eSATA will start to catch on, as well as Ethernet. They have in other areas; just not audio interfaces per se. But note that neither quite matches the speed of PCI/PCIe, so if you have a computer that can be expanded in that way, it's probably your best option.