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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > M-Audio soundcard in my dual 3.0ghz Mac Pro

M-Audio soundcard in my dual 3.0ghz Mac Pro
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Dec 20, 2006, 04:36 PM
 
Will it work, and are there any problems with these soundcards?
     
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Dec 20, 2006, 10:50 PM
 
Negative.

The M-Audio is a PCI card. The Mac Pro only has PCIe slots.
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Dec 21, 2006, 12:00 PM
 
Damn...

Are there any that will work?
     
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Dec 22, 2006, 01:00 PM
 
buy a mbox 2 MINI or perhaps a mbox 2 Or PRO for that matter they are not that much more expensive and come with pro tools M powered to learn on, and it is powerful enough to do decent EP's
     
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Dec 28, 2006, 06:09 PM
 
the mini is kickass.. if you dont need more than 2 channels, its more than enough
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Jan 2, 2007, 05:38 PM
 
How do these things connect to the computer to accept the sound inputs?
     
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Jan 4, 2007, 10:20 AM
 
Originally Posted by silverflyer View Post
How do these things connect to the computer to accept the sound inputs?
USB.
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Jan 4, 2007, 04:53 PM
 
Why not the:

Optical digital audio input and output Toslink ports

or

Analog stereo line-level input and output minijacks
     
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Jan 7, 2007, 04:48 PM
 
Originally Posted by silverflyer View Post
Why not the:

Optical digital audio input and output Toslink ports

or

Analog stereo line-level input and output minijacks
Then you're using the existing built-in "soundcard" of the Mac. You're not replacing the soundcard as your first post suggested you wanted to. The digital and analog outputs come out from the on-board souncard. If you want to replace that you'd want to use a PCI-Express card (there are none), a firewire device, or a USB device.
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Jan 7, 2007, 06:21 PM
 
There are several PCIe cards that work with the Mac Pro's. These tend to be professional solutions with a corresponding price tag.

I'm using the MOTU 424e and 2408 combo. It works flawlessly. There are also solutions from Digidesign and others. PCI-based hardware still offers the lowest latency solution.

If you're a 'pro', avoid Firewire solutions that are 'class compliant', i.e. that use Apple's generic Firewire driver, or you'll have a random (latency) offset to deal with. Tedious.

Post a little more info on what you require, and we'll do our best to help.
     
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Jan 10, 2007, 07:30 PM
 
Here is what I want to do.

I store all my music on my mac at 192kbps compression, I play it through my stereo and enjoy listening to it. When I had my G5 I had an M-Audio soundcard in it to provide a higher quality sound. I am looking for a way to replicate that. I am not creating music, or authoring tracks, or anything like that. I simply want good quality sound out of this thing, better than the onboard sound can provide.

When I want to get really high quality sound, I simply go get the CD out and play it that way, but I dont do that all the time.

edit: I paid a lot of money for stereo components and speakers, I can tell the difference when plugged into this mac now compared to the G5 and M-Audio soundcard I had before.
     
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Jan 11, 2007, 01:13 PM
 
Well, the latest dual-core G5's have vastly improved burr-brown analogue output circuitry, quite possibly on a par with, or better than the M•Audio hardware.

I would say that as you're into hi-fi (rather than 'pro-audio' recording on your Mac) and if the on-board audio is really not good enough (in my opinion the reduced fidelity of 192K mp3's compared with AIF or ALC means that built-in audio will be more than good enough) consider using the Mac's digital output connected to an external D/A converter. Hi-fi buffs spend silly money on D/A's. Actually, hi fi buffs spend silly money period!

Or, if you really want a soundcard solution, consider one from PreSonus, such as the Inspire, which offer very good sound quality, especially at the price.
     
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Jan 12, 2007, 07:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by booboo View Post
Well, the latest dual-core G5's have vastly improved burr-brown analogue output circuitry, quite possibly on a par with, or better than the M•Audio hardware.

I would say that as you're into hi-fi (rather than 'pro-audio' recording on your Mac) and if the on-board audio is really not good enough (in my opinion the reduced fidelity of 192K mp3's compared with AIF or ALC means that built-in audio will be more than good enough) consider using the Mac's digital output connected to an external D/A converter. Hi-fi buffs spend silly money on D/A's. Actually, hi fi buffs spend silly money period!

Or, if you really want a soundcard solution, consider one from PreSonus, such as the Inspire, which offer very good sound quality, especially at the price.


true, I do spend silly money on my Stereo/speakers. It is worth it though. What I use my mac for is normal every day listening, not the times I want to put my ears and speakers to the test. And you are right, the quality loss is noticeable. It was less noticeable though with the M-Audio soundcard.

I will look into the direct connection through the digital output directly into my stereo equipment.

edit: I actually compress into apples AAC format.
     
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Jan 12, 2007, 10:29 PM
 
I also think an external DAC is the best option. Or feed the optical out into a high-end system.

Side note: 192kbps AAC isn't too bad at all. It's what I use for portable music (lossless on the main home rig). Honestly even with very expensive equipment it's hard for me to hear the difference.

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Jan 14, 2007, 03:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by silverflyer View Post
true, I do spend silly money on my Stereo/speakers. It is worth it though. What I use my mac for is normal every day listening, not the times I want to put my ears and speakers to the test. And you are right, the quality loss is noticeable. It was less noticeable though with the M-Audio soundcard.
If the loss of quality between CD and 192kbps AAC is LESS noticeable on the M-Audio soundcard, that is an absolutely sure sign that the audio hardware you're listening on NOW is BETTER.

Unless you've been messing up badly, if you've been investing in hi-fi equipment in any sensible way, you should have noticed that the better the system, the more obvious a crappy source becomes.

I've found that the better my components become, the more I find myself weeding out records that simply aren't up to snuff (in most cases, of course, the music itself still makes them worth keeping - though I've had a bunch of albums that simply fell apart musically after upgrading the turntable, for example).

And on my studio audio interface, the difference between 192kbps compressed audio and uncompressed is *very* apparent. At 320kbps, it becomes negligible, but I rip anything for my collection into lossless, and lossless only.
     
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Jan 14, 2007, 04:40 PM
 
the hotest interface for the mac is the TC electronic Konnekt24, it has the best pre amps, and onboard TC quality DSP with 2 headphones out "GREAT FOR HOME RECORDING" and an analog level pot, its not the cheapest $500 but it beats interfaces with 10 times its price in terms of quality.



http://www.tcelectronic.com/Konnekt24D

www.tcelectronic.com
     
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Jan 14, 2007, 05:55 PM
 
analogika makes a very good point re the limitations of the source signal.

Basharar must have bought himself a Konnekt24 for Xmas and now wants to share his enthusiasm.

However, dedicated D/A is the simplest and quality-conscious route.
     
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Jan 14, 2007, 10:46 PM
 
Why don't you just use Digital Output to your home system.

On a side note.. the on board sound on most Macs is just about as good as any PCI or PCIe card you're going to find. I would only recommend a sound card if you are going to do professional recording.. If that were the case... sound cards aren't the way to go anymore. a Professional FireWire mixer is all that you really need.

Soundcards are becoming obsolete... even on PC's I said that ten years ago.
     
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Jan 15, 2007, 05:06 PM
 
Well, I decided one thing for sure, I am buying a 500gb drive and using it solely for music. I am going to re-rip my music at a loss-less bitrate.

i am not doing any recording, I think that this, TC electronic Konnekt24, and all other similar things might just be overkill.

Are there any benefits to it for listening only?
     
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Jan 15, 2007, 05:09 PM
 
I think soundcards, especially on the PC, still have their place in gaming systems doing what they ahve always done, and thats take load off the processor.
     
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Jan 15, 2007, 06:24 PM
 
These days, basic sound I/O has neglible load implications for the PC.

Professional PCI cards do have one advantage over Firewire equivalents - an advantage that is entirely irrelevant here - they offer the lowest latency.

The sould quality for silverfiver's purposes are solely down to the quality of the D/A (digital to analogue) conversion. The TC card does a whole heap of things which are of absolutely no use to you.

Just pay for a decent D/A converter and save to a lossless format (ALC for example) in future.

If you're really serious you'll also want to use a ripper (i.e. not iTunes) that incorporates full error checking, such as xACT. However you may need a supported CD reader, which means you'll be glad of the extra 5.25" bay in the Mac Pro . . . .

P.S. Oh look, it took me nearly six years, but I finally got addicted . . .

It all depends how serious you are . . . . ;-)
     
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Jan 15, 2007, 09:12 PM
 
Would this work?

M-AUDIO - CO2 - Coaxial/Optical Bi-Directional Converter

or, show me others that you think would be better, and I am currently using Max to rip CDs instead of iTunes.
     
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Jan 15, 2007, 09:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by silverflyer View Post
Would this work?

M-AUDIO - CO2 - Coaxial/Optical Bi-Directional Converter

or, show me others that you think would be better, and I am currently using Max to rip CDs instead of iTunes.
This only converts one kind of digital to another. You need something (presumably) that converts digital to analog. Or maybe you don't...

What exactly are you trying to hook your Mac to again? Does your receiver have optical digital input? If so, you just need a digital optical (aka Toslink) cable. Anything in the digital domain will be unaffected by which soundcard you have (Mac digital output is bit-for-bit exactly what's in the source -- CD, MP3, whatever) so it's not worth it to have one.

Depending on your receiver, you might want a better DAC (digital to analog converter). That's a different question altogether.

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Jan 15, 2007, 09:24 PM
 
I am going to re-rip some CDs and then connect straight through with the Toslink and see how I like that, if it works well, then I am done.

edit: scratch that, it appears my reciever does not have a toslink input.
     
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Jan 15, 2007, 09:33 PM
 
Originally Posted by silverflyer View Post
Just to give an idea of what I am plugging this into, here is what I am using.
Ahh, OK. Now I see. It doesn't appear your receiver has digital inputs. You probably are looking for a DAC.

Rotel doesn't seem to manufacture a DAC anymore. There are lots out there. One I like that is inexpensive but sounds great is the Entech Number Cruncher, out of production but often available on E-bay.

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Jan 15, 2007, 09:35 PM
 
One more thing I noticed, Konnect does not seem to support Intel Macs, which would mean I cant use that either.

Answer
     
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Jan 15, 2007, 09:47 PM
 
So, i fired up Sherlock, did a search of Ebay and found 4 Entech Number Crunchers including this one:

eBay: Entech Number Cruncher 205.2 digital-to-analog convert. (item 270079296167 end time Jan-16-07 20:30:21 PST)
     
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Jan 15, 2007, 09:52 PM
 
I also have edited my signature, lol.
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Jan 15, 2007, 10:08 PM
 
Mmmm...B&W speakers. Yummy.
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Jan 15, 2007, 10:08 PM
 
Just a thought, but with something like the Konnect 24d, would it be possible to record some of my vinyl albums to my computer and then to a cd?

I would really like to do that so they last longer.
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Jan 15, 2007, 10:09 PM
 
Mmmm...B&W speakers. Yummy.

Indeed, I love these things.

by the way, I love your sig.
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Jan 16, 2007, 12:10 AM
 
Originally Posted by silverflyer View Post
Just a thought, but with something like the Konnect 24d, would it be possible to record some of my vinyl albums to my computer and then to a cd?
To make it worthwhile you would need one helluva good turntable, and a phono/RIAA-curve amp. Unless the LP hasn't been released on CD, I'd just buy the CD if you want a digital version -- it's a lot cheaper unless you have many hundreds to do.

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Jan 16, 2007, 12:29 AM
 
What I have is an album that is out of print and never released in the US, recorded in 1963 and as far as I know, never released on CD.
( Last edited by silverflyer; Jan 16, 2007 at 02:09 AM. )
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Jan 16, 2007, 08:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by Basharar View Post
the hotest interface for the mac is the TC electronic Konnekt24, it has the best pre amps, and onboard TC quality DSP with 2 headphones out "GREAT FOR HOME RECORDING" and an analog level pot, its not the cheapest $500 but it beats interfaces with 10 times its price in terms of quality.
*ahem* - no: http://www.mhlabs.com/metric_halo/products/mio/uln2/
     
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Jan 17, 2007, 10:46 AM
 
The audiophile's choice:

Sensus Audio - Premier Australian Audiophile HiFi Dealer

To record from vinyl, go from your tape out line outs (or direct from your RIAA out, if you have it seperate) straight into an A/D converter then to your Mac.
     
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Jan 17, 2007, 04:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by booboo View Post
The audiophile's choice:

Sensus Audio - Premier Australian Audiophile HiFi Dealer

To record from vinyl, go from your tape out line outs (or direct from your RIAA out, if you have it seperate) straight into an A/D converter then to your Mac.
that thing looks nice.

Are they sold in the US?

$13,500.00 US

HOLY SMOKES!
( Last edited by silverflyer; Jan 17, 2007 at 07:56 PM. )
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Jan 18, 2007, 04:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by booboo View Post
The audiophile's choice:

Sensus Audio - Premier Australian Audiophile HiFi Dealer

To record from vinyl, go from your tape out line outs (or direct from your RIAA out, if you have it seperate) straight into an A/D converter then to your Mac.
Hehe - the website mentions Bob Katz, mastering engineer.

Both Bob Katz and Barry Diament (the guy who remastered the entire Bob Marley catalogue, among hundreds of other high-profile productions) use Metric Halo Mobile I/O ULN-2 units.
     
   
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