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Affordable Rackable Audio I/O for newer Retina MacbookPro?

 
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alexdingley
suffering 'studio suck'


Joined: 13 Feb 2004
Posts: 449
Location: Greater Philadelphia Area

PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 7:34 am    Post subject: Affordable Rackable Audio I/O for newer Retina MacbookPro? Reply with quote

Here's my dilemma:

I'm gonna start using my macbook pro in a live situation.

Currently, I have an M-Audio ProFire 2626 (firewire400) audio I/O units for my portable music rig. The latency is really nice & low — which is good for my soft-synth & sampler work / They sound fine.... but there are no drivers for newer versions of Mac OS X. I've found a very reliable hack to some driver validation that allows the unit to work with older drivers, but I don't know how long that will be sustainable.

ALSO... this unit connects via firewire 400... The new MacBooks have NO FW i/o. Just Thunderbolt. Currently I use the apple Thunderbolt-to-FW800 adapter & then a FW800-to-FW400 cable to connect. This works okay, but the apple Thunderbolt dongle's FWconnector is hardly a strong & secure locking connector. I find that it could be bumped out fairly easily. In a live situation, I'm not gonna want to worry about that cable becoming disconnected. I use a bunch of rubber bands to hold it snug, as of late.

So, I'm thinking about going USB2.0 / USB3.0.

Does anyone here use a USB#.0 audio I/O for live soft-insstrument playing? Anything with 4 or more outs (not too worried about number of inputs) that has decently low latency & works well in Mac OS X (newer versions)? If it happened to have MIDI I/O, as well, I'd be thrilled.

Example: I'm looking at a Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 because it's only $499. I'm not as worried about preamp/converter quality on my live soft-synth output rig... mostly just rock-solid drivers & rack-ability.

Keeping it under $600 would be nice too. I don't think I need an antelope to playback my 16bit Kontakt pianos & my Arturia soft-synths.
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kslight
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 7:52 am    Post subject: Re: Affordable Rackable Audio I/O for newer Retina MacbookPro? Reply with quote

Sorry to sidestep slightly but I was curious about your driver hack and if you had it working under Yosemite?

For some reason I thought I had seen a new driver for your model...but not mine (Lightbridge).
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alexdingley
suffering 'studio suck'


Joined: 13 Feb 2004
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Location: Greater Philadelphia Area

PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 7:23 am    Post subject: Yosemite Fix Reply with quote

NO worries!

The issue is driver-signing related.

Run this command in Terminal and reboot, then your ProFire should start working in Yosemite:

sudo nvram boot-args="kext-dev-mode=1

It worked for me on two different Yosemite machines with my ProFire 2626's. But when the next OS comes out, who knows...


*If you're not terminal savvy; here's a quick explanation of what that is.
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kslight
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 7:50 am    Post subject: Re: Affordable Rackable Audio I/O for newer Retina MacbookPro? Reply with quote

Thanks I've held back from updating to Yosemite because of being afraid of what Apple will break...however with the impending release of the next major OS I am thinking that if I can get it to work with my Lightbridge then I'm probably safer updating to Yosemite now and then sitting it out for awhile again...I'm still on Mountain Lion...and though everything I use works newer versions of some software I use list Yosemite as a minimum requirement...like Pro Tools 12...though it runs fine under Mountain Lion too.

I do know a bit about Terminal so I should be good.

In theory, if I update to Yosemite and I can't make it work right, if I restore from a previous time machine backup I should be good?
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alexdingley
suffering 'studio suck'


Joined: 13 Feb 2004
Posts: 449
Location: Greater Philadelphia Area

PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 11:07 pm    Post subject: Drive Clone Reply with quote

I wouldn't rely on a previous Time Machine backup to revert me to a whole OS. It might be possible, but your best bet is to clone the entire system drive before you do any upgrades. Hard Drives are cheap enough these days.

To that point, I recommend that anyone with an extra $100 buy a spare drive and just clone their system drive once a year / twice a year... just in case. If you're running a business from that machine, it's a very cheap way to guarantee up-time.
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kslight
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 11:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Affordable Rackable Audio I/O for newer Retina MacbookPro? Reply with quote

I used Time Machine to restore a boot drive a couple weeks ago, was no big deal…put in a new drive and set to restore to that drive…8 hours later was like nothing ever happened. I also have another internal drive that is an "extra" time machine backup of the whole system.
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mrc
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Joined: 23 Nov 2003
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 9:37 pm    Post subject: Re: Affordable Rackable Audio I/O for newer Retina MacbookPro? Reply with quote

You might want to look over at black lion audio. They show their idea of different units stock, and modded. I had my pro 40 modded and use it as an adat unit into an Rme card. There are drivers for OSX all the way back to the original 9652! I still have mine, and it's one of the early ones, but they stopped the Windows drivers at XP. They like that unit of yours a lot, does it have adat out and a standalone mode? For live work, 48k would seem to be plenty, and the funky FireWire connections always bothered me. The Toslink is much better. Mono price has really nice Toslink cables with a wire cover. It might take a bit, but you could probably find a used Rme card for what you want to spend (I've seen the early 9652 and 9632 cards sell around $100) and you can add more adat units and/or mod as you go. There was a Rme USB unit, maybe here (?) a while back. Maybe over at the UAD forum, senior moment Wink The new Audient 800 is a lot cheaper than the 880 I added to the pro 40 last year, but you need a unit with outputs, too. It seems people are dumping fire wire, so they will probably be a common used unit in the near future. The Magma boxes work well on Thunderbolt, have pass thru, and the Rme cards work in them just fine. IDK if that is what you want, but it works. Good luck!
Edit: Yeah, that Rme is here.
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Nick Sevilla
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2016 10:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Affordable Rackable Audio I/O for newer Retina MacbookPro? Reply with quote

Have you seen the Focusrite Clarett?

Thunderbolt, and super low latency.

Cheers
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alexdingley
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Location: Greater Philadelphia Area

PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2016 11:29 pm    Post subject: Clarett Reply with quote

I ended up getting the focurite Clarett 8Pre — and it's awwwwwwwsome! Thanks for the suggestion Nick!! The pres are clean & loud / and the latency is insanely low... I can play back my 19GB piano sample through Kontakt, while recording 8 tracks during rehearsals... more than impressed with it so far.
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Nick Sevilla
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2016 2:53 am    Post subject: Re: Clarett Reply with quote

alexdingley wrote:
I ended up getting the focurite Clarett 8Pre — and it's awwwwwwwsome! Thanks for the suggestion Nick!! The pres are clean & loud / and the latency is insanely low... I can play back my 19GB piano sample through Kontakt, while recording 8 tracks during rehearsals... more than impressed with it so far.


Cool, good to hear. I'm looking around for a mobile solution as well, but will only get if I get to go on the road.

Nice to know this one is working well.
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GooberNumber9
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2016 6:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Affordable Rackable Audio I/O for newer Retina MacbookPro? Reply with quote

+1 for the Focusrite Clarett line for thunderbolt interfaces. Very low latency and nice sound for the price.
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drumsound
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 3:11 am    Post subject: Re: Affordable Rackable Audio I/O for newer Retina MacbookPro? Reply with quote

Has anyone compared the sound of the Clairett to the Scarlett?
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GooberNumber9
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 9:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Affordable Rackable Audio I/O for newer Retina MacbookPro? Reply with quote

drumsound wrote:
Has anyone compared the sound of the Clairett to the Scarlett?
Actually I have one of each so give me a day or two and I'll do a head to head. The Clarett features and control software are both enough to make me prefer it over the Scarlett, and that's not even considering the latency advantage and not taking up a USB port.
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JWL
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 2:32 am    Post subject: Re: Affordable Rackable Audio I/O for newer Retina MacbookPro? Reply with quote

I look forward to your results. By all accounts the Clarett is an upgrade in sound over the (already excellent imho) Scarlet range. Will be nice to see....
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