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Interface and Mac is compatibility

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Interface and Mac is compatibility

Postby ThanosF » Mon May 27, 2019 12:56 pm

After more than 10 years of using my beloved Edirol UA-25 interface and while Roland disappointed me by stopping making drivers since 5 years now, I have still a perfectly working device that needs to go because i can't stay on the Mavericks OS all my life. So I'm looking for a new interface. And my question is: are there any companies like apple that support their products always and provide new drivers constantly? Thnx!
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Re: Interface and Mac is compatibility

Postby fatbenelton » Mon May 27, 2019 2:54 pm

Not had one myself but everybody raves about how RME support their products for ages - you can still get drivers for products that have been out of production for years. They are top notch in terms of latency as well - even on USB.
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Re: Interface and Mac is compatibility

Postby James Perrett » Mon May 27, 2019 2:59 pm

ThanosF wrote:And my question is: are there any companies like apple that support their products always and provide new drivers constantly? Thnx!

In my experience RME are probably the best. I have a 17 year old RME interface that is still able to work under Windows 10 - albeit 32 bit only. The interfaces they introduced just a year after I bought mine are still current products and so will work with any Mac OS from 2003 onwards.
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Re: Interface and Mac is compatibility

Postby ConcertinaChap » Mon May 27, 2019 4:03 pm

Whichever you go for one thing to check for is whether it needs drivers for a Mac. If it doesn't that means it's USB Audio 2.0 compatible and you have a strong promise of future proofing at least for Macs if not for PCs. Macs have native USB Audio 2.0 support built in, PCs, bizarrely, only have 2.0 support for output.

(That's where the UA-25 blew it, of course, only USB Audio 1.0 compatibility and then only if you flipped the little switch that emasculated the thing. Real pity because it was a neat and well built piece of kit).

To summarise: look for kit that doesn't need Mac drivers. You'll be alright for a long time. Here's a neat example.

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Re: Interface and Mac is compatibility

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon May 27, 2019 4:40 pm

I'm a self confessed Mac fan since converting a fair few years ago but even the mighty fruit do withdraw support eventually, my iPads 2 & 3 being examples, iPad 3 discontinued in 2012 which is annoyingly recent :headbang: ......
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Re: Interface and Mac is compatibility

Postby ThanosF » Mon May 27, 2019 6:06 pm

Thnx for all this info! I had no idea. But how come the M-Audio interface doesn't need a driver? And are there more examples? I need something with 4 outputs.

ConcertinaChap wrote:Whichever you go for one thing to check for is whether it needs drivers for a Mac. If it doesn't that means it's USB Audio 2.0 compatible and you have a strong promise of future proofing at least for Macs if not for PCs. Macs have native USB Audio 2.0 support built in, PCs, bizarrely, only have 2.0 support for output.

(That's where the UA-25 blew it, of course, only USB Audio 1.0 compatibility and then only if you flipped the little switch that emasculated the thing. Real pity because it was a neat and well built piece of kit).

To summarise: look for kit that doesn't need Mac drivers. You'll be alright for a long time. Here's a neat example.

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Re: Interface and Mac is compatibility

Postby James Perrett » Mon May 27, 2019 9:28 pm

ThanosF wrote:Thnx for all this info! I had no idea. But how come the M-Audio interface doesn't need a driver? And are there more examples? I need something with 4 outputs.

They are class compliant - which means that they use a standard driver that is already built-in to the Mac's operating system (and many other operating systems but not Windows at the moment). There are plenty of other examples - I use a Zoom U-44 which is class compliant on the Mac and also seems to work fine with my Android tablet.
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Re: Interface and Mac is compatibility

Postby ConcertinaChap » Mon May 27, 2019 11:42 pm

James Perrett wrote:They are class compliant - which means that they use a standard driver that is already built-in to the Mac's operating system (and many other operating systems but not Windows at the moment).

Thanks, James, I'd forgotten that magic phrase "class compliant". The standard they are compliant to is USB Audio 2.0. There's a whole load of these standards and they're the reason you can use, for instance, the same mouse on both Mac and PC. Both come with drivers that will drive a class compliant mouse.

You should be able to find a class compliant interface with four outputs I reckon.

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Re: Interface and Mac is compatibility

Postby ThanosF » Tue May 28, 2019 8:37 am

ConcertinaChap wrote:
James Perrett wrote:They are class compliant - which means that they use a standard driver that is already built-in to the Mac's operating system (and many other operating systems but not Windows at the moment).

You should be able to find a class compliant interface with four outputs I reckon.

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The search is not easy. I need to look really carefully at each and every model of each company to find the magic words "class compliant" or "plug and play". But it also needs to be class compliant with USB 2.0, right? Or even 3.0? It would be amazing if someone had made a list of such products. It's such an amazing feature, I'm sure a lot of people would want to see that!
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Re: Interface and Mac is compatibility

Postby ConcertinaChap » Tue May 28, 2019 10:46 am

ThanosF wrote:But it also needs to be class compliant with USB 2.0, right? Or even 3.0? It would be amazing if someone had made a list of such products. It's such an amazing feature, I'm sure a lot of people would want to see that!

Perhaps I should have been clearer that USB Audio 2.0 (relates to sound over USB) and USB 2.0 (relates to the physical interface and cabling) are different things. Sorry if that caused confusion. USB 2.0 (the physical interface) should be plenty fast enough for your purposes.

When I bought the M-Audio M-Track 2X2M I mentioned above I determined whether it was class compliant by looking at the PDF of the user manual online. I did this for all the audio interfaces I was looking at as it was a lot quicker than searching through the specs. If it's class compliant the the section on installing for Windows goes on about installing the drivers while the section for Mac says, basically, plug it in and off you go.

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Re: Interface and Mac is compatibility

Postby ThanosF » Tue May 28, 2019 11:56 am

Thnx, it's clear now!
Now the search is on a proper class compliant audio interface with 4 outs (just what my beloved Edirol had). Unfortunatrly the M-audio 2x2M doesn't have that feature but the Zoom U-44 looks great. But what about the D/A converters and the preamps? I have a Mackie mixer that I'm using and maybe it'd be a good time for an upgrade from the Edirol sound quality. Any suggestions? Audient iD22 or Focusrite 2Pre?


ConcertinaChap wrote:
ThanosF wrote:But it also needs to be class compliant with USB 2.0, right? Or even 3.0? It would be amazing if someone had made a list of such products. It's such an amazing feature, I'm sure a lot of people would want to see that!

Perhaps I should have been clearer that USB Audio 2.0 (relates to sound over USB) and USB 2.0 (relates to the physical interface and cabling) are different things. Sorry if that caused confusion. USB 2.0 (the physical interface) should be plenty fast enough for your purposes.

When I bought the M-Audio M-Track 2X2M I mentioned above I determined whether it was class compliant by looking at the PDF of the user manual online. I did this for all the audio interfaces I was looking at as it was a lot quicker than searching through the specs. If it's class compliant the the section on installing for Windows goes on about installing the drivers while the section for Mac says, basically, plug it in and off you go.

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Re: Interface and Mac is compatibility

Postby James Perrett » Tue May 28, 2019 2:21 pm

ThanosF wrote:the Zoom U-44 looks great. But what about the D/A converters and the preamps?

For line level inputs (which is all you need if you are using a mixer) the U-44 sounds good. The outputs seem good too although the second set of outputs are unbalanced. The weak points are the mic preamps which, while good sounding, are a bit noisy and the headphone output seems to have a slight high frequency boost with the HD25's that I use. The great thing about the U-44 is that it has digital inputs and outputs which you can use with external convertors for really critical applications and the current price is pretty good (though not as cheap as they were a few months ago).
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Re: Interface and Mac is compatibility

Postby cyrano.mac » Mon Jun 03, 2019 2:00 am

RME's newest offerings sport a class compliant mode too. Allows you to record 16 channels on an ipad, for instance. USB2 supports up to 54 channels @48 kHz/24 bit. I've never seen a USB3 interface that supports more than that.

Most interfaces that are class compliant are still USB 1 compliant. Albeit very quietly, not mentioning it in their docs. Only a few are USB2 compliant. And I can only think of one that is USB3 class compliant. It's a Zoom.

The reason is that when USB2 came out, the USB consortium made a bit of a mess of the standard. Allowing manufacturers to extend the standard with proprietary stuff, fi. And when USB3 came out, they completely went off their rocker. That's the readon Microsoft dropped class compliant drivers in Win 10. After a lot of protest, they released these drivers, but limited them to 2 I/O.

For four channels @48 kHz, 24 bit, USB 1.1 is sufficient. It even allows lower latency than USB2. Once you need 8 channels and/or 96 kHz, you need USB2.

These small Behringers are fantastic for the money.
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