You are here

Anyone using a Macbook with single USB-C for recording?

All about the tools and techniques involved in capturing sound, in the studio or on location.

Anyone using a Macbook with single USB-C for recording?

Postby mjfe2 » Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:44 pm

Just weighing up Apple's Macbook vs Macbook Pro and wondering if the MB with a single USB-C port is actually a viable solution for reliable multitrack recording, particularly for higher channel counts and sample rates?

We use RME interfaces with USB2 connections and my concern is that a single adapter that's also charging the Mac will be over-taxed. I've read alarming comments about them overheating or causing drop outs, though the latter may be linked to hasty OSX upgrades.

Anyone else with experiences to share? Thanks in advance!
User avatar
mjfe2
Frequent Poster
Posts: 591
Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2009 11:00 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: Anyone using a Macbook with single USB-C for recording?

Postby johnny h » Thu Feb 01, 2018 1:39 pm

The MacBook is designed for a purpose. Its extremely lightweight, has great battery life and an excellent screen. The trade off to this design is connectivity and cpu performance, as it uses a low power, low performance Intel chip.

The MacBook Pro is much better for serious work. If you are on a budget, go for a Mac Air. The screen is horribly outdated but at least it has a real Intel chip and enough ports.
johnny h
Frequent Poster
Posts: 3544
Joined: Sun Jul 23, 2006 11:00 pm

Re: Anyone using a Macbook with single USB-C for recording?

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Feb 01, 2018 2:29 pm

Or buy a used or refurbed MacBook Pro, I just acquired a used 2012 (so, probably older than you are intending) MBP for £400 with only 49 battery cycles under it's belt.
User avatar
Sam Spoons
Jedi Poster
Posts: 5409
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Manchester UK
Finally taking this recording lark seriously (and recording my Gypsy Jazz CD)........

Re: Anyone using a Macbook with single USB-C for recording?

Postby mjfe2 » Thu Feb 08, 2018 2:42 pm

Thanks - the Air and a NOS MBP are certainly options.

But can anyone report on using RME or other USB interfaces with USB-C successfully?
User avatar
mjfe2
Frequent Poster
Posts: 591
Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2009 11:00 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: Anyone using a Macbook with single USB-C for recording?

Postby job » Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:39 pm

mjfe2 wrote:But can anyone report on using RME or other USB interfaces with USB-C successfully?

No, but i can't think why it wouldn't be successful? USB-C is just USB. It accommodates the 3.1 standard, which is backwards compatible with 3.0 and 2.0. Ergo :thumbup:
job
Regular
Posts: 236
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2016 2:12 pm
 

Re: Anyone using a Macbook with single USB-C for recording?

Postby John Willett » Fri Feb 09, 2018 12:44 pm

job wrote: USB-C is just USB. It accommodates the 3.1 standard, which is backwards compatible with 3.0 and 2.0.

But is it not also compatible with Firewire 3
User avatar
John Willett
Jedi Poster
Posts: 4926
Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2000 12:00 am
Location: Oxfordshire UK
John
Sound-Link ProAudio
Circle Sound Services
President - Federation Internationale des Chasseurs de Sons

Re: Anyone using a Macbook with single USB-C for recording?

Postby mjfe2 » Fri Feb 09, 2018 12:47 pm

job wrote:
mjfe2 wrote:But can anyone report on using RME or other USB interfaces with USB-C successfully?

No, but i can't think why it wouldn't be successful? USB-C is just USB. It accommodates the 3.1 standard, which is backwards compatible with 3.0 and 2.0. Ergo :thumbup:

Theoretically it's possible, but I've read enough reports of overheating adapters to be suspicious!

Was hoping for real-world experiences of users in this forum who've used USB-C adapters for reliable multitrack recording...
User avatar
mjfe2
Frequent Poster
Posts: 591
Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2009 11:00 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: Anyone using a Macbook with single USB-C for recording?

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Feb 09, 2018 1:50 pm

John Willett wrote:
job wrote: USB-C is just USB. It accommodates the 3.1 standard, which is backwards compatible with 3.0 and 2.0.

But is it not also compatible with Firewire 3

That's what the young man in the Apple store told me a couple of weeks ago, and Thunder-watsit too.....
User avatar
Sam Spoons
Jedi Poster
Posts: 5409
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Manchester UK
Finally taking this recording lark seriously (and recording my Gypsy Jazz CD)........

Re: Anyone using a Macbook with single USB-C for recording?

Postby johnny h » Fri Feb 09, 2018 2:46 pm

John Willett wrote:
job wrote: USB-C is just USB. It accommodates the 3.1 standard, which is backwards compatible with 3.0 and 2.0.

But is it not also compatible with Firewire 3
There is no such thing as Firewire 3.

Once again, the Macbook 12" is a terrible choice for audio. By far the worst product in the entire Apple computer range.
johnny h
Frequent Poster
Posts: 3544
Joined: Sun Jul 23, 2006 11:00 pm

Re: Anyone using a Macbook with single USB-C for recording?

Postby job » Fri Feb 09, 2018 7:35 pm

mjfe2 wrote:Theoretically it's possible, but I've read enough reports of overheating adapters to be suspicious!

Was hoping for real-world experiences of users in this forum who've used USB-C adapters for reliable multitrack recording...

Unfortunately i can't directly confirm or deny for you, my point was that the spec says it does, and if Apple built to spec then it does. I also heard the overheating reports, but wasn't that linked to no oversight on the products coming to market so lots of dodgy ones did? I know Amazon removed lots from their site for shoddy quality. But maybe i'm not helping :headbang:

TB3 using the same connector was a design choice of Intel and isn't in the spec itself. USB-C is still USB. As for Firewire i have no idea.
job
Regular
Posts: 236
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2016 2:12 pm
 

Re: Anyone using a Macbook with single USB-C for recording?

Postby John Willett » Fri Feb 09, 2018 7:50 pm

johnny h wrote:There is no such thing as Firewire 3.

That was my mistake - I meant Thunderbolt 3 - sorry.
User avatar
John Willett
Jedi Poster
Posts: 4926
Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2000 12:00 am
Location: Oxfordshire UK
John
Sound-Link ProAudio
Circle Sound Services
President - Federation Internationale des Chasseurs de Sons

Re: Anyone using a Macbook with single USB-C for recording?

Postby Agharta » Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:53 pm

job wrote:USB-C is just USB. It accommodates the 3.1 standard, which is backwards compatible with 3.0 and 2.0. Ergo :thumbup:

USB Type-C is a physical connector standard not linked to a particular version of USB.
So you will find USB 2.0 devices that use Type-C but that is usually with smart-phones.
Thunderbolt 3 using USB Type-C adds another layer of potential confusion.
But maybe the most confusion comes from the fact that there are Alternate Modes and Power Delivery specifications so at the physical level Type-C is fantastic but in terms of features it's a can of worms.
User avatar
Agharta
Frequent Poster
Posts: 2311
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2004 11:00 pm

Re: Anyone using a Macbook with single USB-C for recording?

Postby job » Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:55 pm

Agharta wrote:USB Type-C is a physical connector standard not linked to a particular version of USB.
So you will find USB 2.0 devices that use Type-C but that is usually with smart-phones.
Thunderbolt 3 using USB Type-C adds another layer of potential confusion.
But maybe the most confusion comes from the fact that there are Alternate Modes and Power Delivery specifications so at the physical level Type-C is fantastic but in terms of features it's a can of worms.

Yes, i meant spec, not standard, and type C does, or, granted, can (being more accurate), accommodate the 3.1 spec. But it's irrelevant. The OP had 2 concerns, 1 of compatibility and the other of overheating. USB is, by specification, backwards compatible, which takes care of the first concern. The 2nd concern comes from, i can only assume, the coverage of bad leads, which is based on leads not following the spec, so the answer is buy a lead that follows the specification and it will work as per spec. There's nothing special or esoteric about USB-C, and if it was a bag of bones the engineers would have iterated on it.

Buy a lead that this guy recommends and be done with it https://www.amazon.com/gp/profile/amzn1 ... 9CCK1UXGT5
job
Regular
Posts: 236
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2016 2:12 pm
 

Re: Anyone using a Macbook with single USB-C for recording?

Postby mjfe2 » Sat Feb 10, 2018 5:08 pm

job wrote:The OP had 2 concerns, 1 of compatibility and the other of overheating. USB is, by specification, backwards compatible, which takes care of the first concern.

Just to clarify, I've read reports of incompatibility e.g. on High Sierra which is why I'm asking.

job wrote:The 2nd concern comes from, i can only assume, the coverage of bad leads, which is based on leads not following the spec, so the answer is buy a lead that follows the specification and it will work as per spec.

Actually there are loads of bad reviews of genuine Apple adapters overheating, so again I'd appreciate real world experiences on this front too!

Is anyone successfully using a USB-2 interface via USB-C on a Macbook or Macbook Pro?
User avatar
mjfe2
Frequent Poster
Posts: 591
Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2009 11:00 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: Anyone using a Macbook with single USB-C for recording?

Postby job » Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:03 pm

mjfe2 wrote:Actually there are loads of bad reviews of genuine Apple adapters overheating...

Sounds faulty, but that's interesting.
job
Regular
Posts: 236
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2016 2:12 pm
 


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users