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Simple audio interface for powermac running 10.4

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Simple audio interface for powermac running 10.4

Postby Rololux » Mon Mar 09, 2020 1:01 pm

I have been using a powermac running OSX 10.4 for many, many years. I use Logic, and have a Tascam FW-1884 interface, which has served me very well. However, finally the Firewire interface has pretty much given up - it has always been temperemental, but now if it manages to connect at all, I get so many drop outs, it's unuseable.

So a few years ago, I upgraded to to a Macbook pro running Logic Pro X, etc., etc. All good. However, I still want to be able to access all the many hours of recording done on the old rig. I do not need to record into the powermac, just to be able to playback existing recordings. I guess it is still possible to find an old interface (simple Motu or similar?) on Ebay - if so, what would be the most reliable piece of kit to go for, bearing in mind it is likely 10-15 years old!

Alternatively, do any current interfaces by any chance have drivers for OS 10.4???

Opinions welcome.

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Re: Simple audio interface for powermac running 10.4

Postby ConcertinaChap » Mon Mar 09, 2020 3:40 pm

The Edirol UA-25 is a neat little interface I used in years gone past and thought quite highly of. They sell second hand on ebay by the bucket load (chiefly because Roland sold a lot of them in the first place) so it's easy to get a decent condition secondhand one. Looking at Roland's website here I see they still have drivers for OS X 10.5 (Leopard) which might be worth having a go at on 10.4, or you might be able to upgrade your Mac to 10.5.

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Re: Simple audio interface for powermac running 10.4

Postby Rololux » Mon Mar 09, 2020 3:50 pm

10.4 was tha last version supported for the power pc MACs, so this is the limiting factor. The MAC is the first generation 'dual 2GHz powermac' - top of the range at the time (around 2005), and still works fine, providing you don't want to use it for browsing or gaming - the version of Logic is also really old, but I know it so well I can do anything I want with it! Don't want to see it die!
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Re: Simple audio interface for powermac running 10.4

Postby ConcertinaChap » Mon Mar 09, 2020 4:10 pm

I see your problem. Well the UA-25 might still be OK as it has a switch on the back marked Advance. When that is on it needs a driver but when it's off it becomes class compliant and doesn't need a driver. This basically disables the MIDI ports and limits it to a 16 bit device which is quite a limitation when you're recording but you're not after doing that, just playback. So I'd still suggest it as worth investigating.

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Re: Simple audio interface for powermac running 10.4

Postby MOF » Mon Mar 09, 2020 4:34 pm

I do not need to record into the powermac, just to be able to playback existing recordings

Why don’t you just copy all the audio files onto your new computer?
If you need to hear what each file is on the old computer go to audio preferences and change the output to built-in speaker (monitor speakers or computer’s headphone output).
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Re: Simple audio interface for powermac running 10.4

Postby ef37a » Mon Mar 09, 2020 4:42 pm

I would bet a Native Instruments KA6 would work? They seem to work on everything!

There should be a few Mk1s about now on Ebay? That said, the new 'budget' MOTUs look bloody good!

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Re: Simple audio interface for powermac running 10.4

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Mar 10, 2020 5:13 pm

According to the 'Low End Mac' website OSX Leopard, 10.5 was the last to run on a PowerMac G5 and can, apparently, run on a G4 if you hack the installer. Don't know if that helps at all? Is the FW failure in the Mac or the AI?

https://lowendmac.com/2014/current-os-x-on-g4-g5-mac/
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Re: Simple audio interface for powermac running 10.4

Postby Rololux » Fri Mar 13, 2020 1:32 pm

The FW failure is the interface, not the MAC. 10.4 is definitely the latest version my MAC can support. I think I'm going to have to find something second hand from that era - just would like to know what interfaces are regarded as being most long lasting / robust!
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Re: Simple audio interface for powermac running 10.4

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Mar 13, 2020 2:34 pm

I guess yours is a G4 then not a G5 (the first of the 'cheese grater' Macs). I believe it is possible to run OSX 10.5 if you hack the installer but, TBH, early Intel Mac Pro's are so cheap and all bar the very first (2006/2007) Mac Pro's can run up to El Capitan. WRT interfaces, my Focusrite Pro 24 firewire won't run on a 2006/7 Mac Pro as it needs a version later than the 10.7 those machines can run. I have a couple of 2008 Mac Pro's which were very cheap and perform very well for my modest recording needs, If I had to replace them I'd probably go for similar again.

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Re: Simple audio interface for powermac running 10.4

Postby ef37a » Fri Mar 13, 2020 3:12 pm

What about the Focusrite 8i6? Been around a while.

Then I seem to recall the M-Audio USB interfaces were more mac than PC oriented?

The Fast track pro was ok's but the mic pres dire. I think the Ultra range got some good rep?

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Re: Simple audio interface for powermac running 10.4

Postby James Perrett » Fri Mar 13, 2020 10:13 pm

If you want to buy a brand new interface with Power PC support then there are still the RME HDSP9632 or the 9652 PCI cards. If you want to be able to move the interface to a new computer in the future then it might be better to go for one of RME's older Firewire cards like the Fireface 400 or 800 as you are more likely to be able to use Firewire than PCI with a newer computer.
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Re: Simple audio interface for powermac running 10.4

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Mar 13, 2020 11:00 pm

If you are not in a hurry I'm fairly sure I have an old M-Audio Audiophile 24/96 PCI card, it's the mk1 5V version and I'm struggling to find out if it will work on a G4. I may even have the breakout cable but not sure. If so, and it'll work on your Mac Pro, it's yours for the cost of posting it to you (It has been stored for a fair few years but it worked fine when I dismantled the PC). I can't look for it until Tuesday though and have no means of testing it.
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Re: Simple audio interface for powermac running 10.4

Postby ConcertinaChap » Sat Mar 14, 2020 12:05 am

James Perrett wrote:then it might be better to go for one of RME's older Firewire cards like the Fireface 400 or 800 as you are more likely to be able to use Firewire than PCI with a newer computer.

The OP's problem is the failure of the Firewire port on a machine he would otherwise like to continue to use. I still think a USB class compliant interface that needs no drivers would be the way to go here, such as the UA-25 in "not advanced" mode or, for a more modern example, the M-Audio M-Track 2x2.

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Re: Simple audio interface for powermac running 10.4

Postby James Perrett » Sat Mar 14, 2020 12:14 am

ConcertinaChap wrote:
James Perrett wrote:then it might be better to go for one of RME's older Firewire cards like the Fireface 400 or 800 as you are more likely to be able to use Firewire than PCI with a newer computer.

The OP's problem is the failure of the Firewire port on a machine he would otherwise like to continue to use.

In which case, is it possible to use a PCI Firewire card in a Powermac?
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Re: Simple audio interface for powermac running 10.4

Postby ConcertinaChap » Sat Mar 14, 2020 12:53 am

Present deponent knoweth not :)

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