Is it worth getting an external soundcard

Discussion in 'Computer Hardware' started by corben benfjord, Dec 16, 2012.

  1. corben benfjord

    corben benfjord Newbie

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    Hey .

    Thinking about getting an Appogee duet 2 soundcard . I have no hardware synths , just hoping for better sound to come out of my macbook pro , is it worth the cash ? Also I can't seem to get my Native instruments Audio 4 to work with my new mac (it works with the old one still) . I think its because my new mac has only got USB 3.0 ports , with the Audio 4 being Usb 2.0 ( I may be wrong ). Are there any problems with the Duet 2 and Usb 3.0 ?

    Thanks for your time.
     
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  3. phloopy

    phloopy Rock Star

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    Hi corben

    Isnt Native instruments Audio 4 an external audio interface?

    If the issiue is the USB3 standard on your new MAC, I think you should contact NI and ask for an updated driver!

    And I could be wrong, but most USB3 things should work with old USB2 things!
     
  4. Dalmation

    Dalmation Ultrasonic

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    My thoughts...

    1. The USB 3 connectior is physically different from USB 2, so not sompatible.
    - Like 'Thunderbird' compared to the 'Dock' connector on iOS devices!

    2. I'm not s Mac user but don't the laptops have a S/PDIF optical connection built in?
    Savvy Mac users please correct me if I'm wrong.
    You might be better to connect it to one of the dozens of external DAC's what are available with S/PDIF optical input.

    At a driver level, the USB stack takes quite a bit of load for the OS to manage.
    It's barely noticeable when streaming music (as MP3, FLAC etc.) over USB 2.0, but when tight timings and low latency are essential for a DAW, piping the audio out of the USB is not the ideal option.

    Merry Xmas ^_^
     
  5. corben benfjord

    corben benfjord Newbie

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    Hey , thanks

    Yip the audio 4 is a soundcard of sorts ... its used to control time coded vinyls, so I think thats where the issue lies in that it transfers other data and not just audio . I have installed all the updated drivers , and have become very anti Native instruments in the process . I now mix music old my old macbook and no longer support Native Instruments ( a lot of people have had this problem) USB 3 should work both ways but seems not in this particular application.
     
  6. corben benfjord

    corben benfjord Newbie

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    Hi and thanks for the reply .

    I dont' seam to have any optical ports on my mac . I am hoping USB will work for me using Ableton . The old Duet had firewire , the new one seems only USB 2 , Perhaps I should wait for a USB 3 version . I only really want the soundcard to improve the sound coming out of KRK Rokit 6's and sennheiser HD25's . Do you know if the audio which I bounce from my Daw as a finished product would be of a better quality if using a sound card ?
     
  7. oisinn

    oisinn Ultrasonic

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    hello corben
    The souncard or converters you use have no direct bearing on the digital files you bounce as either to HDD or CD etc. They affect very much the quality of the audio (not midi or samples or stuff already in digital domain) you record and the sound coming out of your monitors. Of course your bounces will be so much better if, when you are mixing, what you are hearing through your monitors is very clear and detailed
    all the best
     
  8. charnk

    charnk Newbie

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    The Apogee Duet FW version was my first external soundcard and I would recommend the Duet 2. Apogee converters are the best in my (and a lot of professionals) opinion. You will immediately notice a difference. Especially with the Duet 2 that has balanced outputs. Save yourself some headache and get a breakout box with balanced outputs instead of using the breaekout cable. The secend iteration of the Duet breakout cable is more durable than the first, but I'd still go with a box. Apogee products are made for mac so there will be no problems with USB 3. Its well worth the $599 and may spur you into recording.
     
  9. lyric8

    lyric8 Kapellmeister

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    i woud not get or use a USB sound interface i have been using Mac for a lot of years and always used a fire wire interface i had to get a fire wire interface fixed one time and when i sent it in they gave me a temporary USB interface until mine was fixed and it worked like crap i had a lot of latency and i could not use it
     
  10. PYRUS MALUS

    PYRUS MALUS Noisemaker

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    In theory -- all USB 2 devices should work with USB 3 ports


    However -- Apparently there is some sort of issue w/ usb 3 audio drivers and compatibility - Read here for more info:

    http://createdigitalmusic.com/2012/06/usb-3-0-backwards-compatible-in-theory-but-some-audio-drivers-arent-cooperating/
    http://theaudiopodcast.co.uk/2012/06/20/ni-drivers-not-driving-usb-3-0/
     
  11. paraplu020

    paraplu020 Member

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    i have a 17 inch 2011 macbook pro and i use it with apogee duet 2, apogee is topquality stuff in my opinion, can't go wrong with it... i'd say go for it, i don't think you'll regret it :wink:
     
  12. corben benfjord

    corben benfjord Newbie

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    Ok .

    Thanks for all the good advice , I shall wait for Appogee to release a USB 3 version of the Duet as USB 3 is faster than firewire not sure if it is faster than thunderbolt .

    Regards
     
  13. Rolma

    Rolma Producer

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    Usb 3 ports accept Usb 2 gear without hassle.
    I'm just migrating to something odd as a hackintosh / pc machine and to my joy my cheap (usb2) m-audio sound card works perfectly!

    Some of my friends have suggested Appogee, (they even lent me it too) but to be honest given that I work mostly with in the box stuff, I have never seen the point of such spending...
    Someday I might regret that, maybe I'm ruining my ears forever, maybe my sense of sound will be dullish permanently. I can't think of something worse than that.
    In a way I can't think of something worse than an amateur programming sounds non stop during the weekends and gather them together on a DAW!

    The challenge might be to get a ride with Studio One to see what can offers to the curios beginner.
    Another thing I'm happy about is my move from apple and that conflicted logic of pushing users to non questionable standards because of the Mac ;)

    @lyric8
    We are in the twilight if not the complete fade out of the firewire era (here a former heavy user of it- because the Mac - because the video). I guess that the whole point is not mythology is accurate data transfer
     
  14. tek909

    tek909 Member

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    i know NI did have a problem with usb3 not working with their stuff. So yes that very well would be the problem. In theory it shouldn't have been a problem. I'm not sure if it has ever been fixed yet. As for the apogee, you should research it to make sure it is compatible before you buy it.
     
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