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Q. What's the best USB MIDI interface for my needs?

I'm having a bit of trouble choosing my MIDI interface for my new G4 Cube. I'm considering either a MOTU MIDI Express or a Emagic AMT8. I will be using Logic Audio Silver as sequencing software and my gear is rather limited at the moment (a JP8000, a Korg ER1, a Mackie CFX12 and soon a Yamaha A4000). My main concern is about the quality of these interfaces, using USB ports. I have heard the timing can be off and that the overall quality of sound is not up to scratch.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Assistant Editor Sam Inglis replies: In your circumstances, and if you're planning to continue using Logic Audio, I'd recommend that you go for the AMT8. That way, you're using a combination of software and hardware from the same manufacturer and you'll know that they will have been tested together. You'll also know that if you do have problems requiring technical support, you won't get bounced back and forth between two different manufacturers, each blaming the other's products!

You should also read Paul Wiffen's series on using the new Macs for music, which started in the November issue of Sound On Sound. He has found that the AMT8 and Unitor8, working with Logic, form consistently stable USB MIDI systems. There's no obvious way in which the quality of a MIDI interface should be able to affect actual sound quality, since the sounds themselves are produced entirely by the sound modules.