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  • Hey Phil!

    I'm finally getting ready to upgrade my old recording system! 


    My current system is a 500mhz PowerPC G4, OSX 10.3.9, Pro Tools 6.4, Digi001. Yes, I'm a dinosaur!


    Gonna get a new 27" iMac.


    The question is: Which interface? I need as many ins/outs as possible, S/PDIF, ADAT optical.


    UA Apollo looks intriquing.


    Apogee? Focusrite? I'm completely out of the loop.


    Sounds like running the interface firewire and the recording drive to thunderbolt is the way to go? Although the Apollo is upgradable to Thunderbolt as well.


    Oh, I'm planning on sticking with Pro Tools, so Pro Tools 10 is what I plan on running.


    Which interface?






  • #2

    Wow ! its seem great recording system you own ! i hope i will own one sooner ot later

    Great CloudIT http://www.cloudit.net


    • #3

      Dude, if you can swing the Apollo, that's probably what I'd suggest. It's got a ton of I/O, four nice built-in mic preamps, onboard UAD Duo or Quad processing, Firewire and optional Thunderbolt interfacing capability, and they just announced the ability to use two of them at once at NAMM, giving you twice the I/O and twice the onboard processing power.

      If that's a bit steep, there are a few other options. The PreSonus Audiobox 1818VSL is another interface worth considering. It has 8 mic preamps on it, and up to 18 channels of I/O.

      The Focusrite Saffire Pro 40 is another one you might want to consider. It also has 8 onboard mic preamps, and like the PreSonus and Apollo, it has ADAT I/O, so you can use an external ADAT lightpipe equipped converter and up to 8 outboard mic preamps with them, or an external 8 channel mic preamp with lightpipe out on it - such as the $400 PreSonus Digimax D8.



      "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

      - George Carlin

      "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

      - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

      "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

      - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter


      • Phil O'Keefe
        Phil O'Keefe commented
        Editing a comment

        As far as the Firewire / Thunderbolt issue, Thunderbolt has a HUGE amount of bandwidth. You can easily run a 18 I/O interface like the Apollo (or two of them), as well as a fast hard drive AND a monitor - all at the same time. It's designed to be daisy-chained, and so far, the only issue I've come across when using Thunderbolt with my new-ish Macbook Pro is when I've run into products with only a single Thunderbolt port on them. Ideally, anything you get should have two ports so you can daisy chain - there really aren't any multi-output Thunderbolt "hubs" or splitters out there yet. I ran into that with a Avid Pro Tools HD Native rig that I am reviewing. I can't use my external 23" monitor as a second monitor, since I need the Thunderbolt port to connect the Avid unit, and the Avid doesn't have a second port for daisy chaining. Other than that, it's a sweet unit, but you have to buy it with one of their new interfaces, and those are even more expensive than the Universal Audio Apollo is. Still, the Avid Omni interface I'm working with alongside the HD Native box is really a spectacular sounding interface, but probably doesn't have enough I/O for your needs.


        I'd go all Thunderbolt if you can, but if not, there's nothing wrong with running an interface and / or HDD via Firewire. I used to do it all the time with no problems at all. I also have a Firewire HDD that I still use with my laptop. With the latest version of Pro Tools (PT 10), you can actually load the data from the disk straight into RAM with disk cache. That makes HDD related issues largely a thing of the past, especially if you get lots of RAM in your new Mac. But don't get it from Apple. I bought my 15" MBP with the bare minimum of RAM I could get, then purchased 16GB of RAM from Best Buy (or was it Newegg?) for a LOT less than Apple wanted to charge me for it. I think it was like $50 or $100, and it was well worth it, and super easy to install. Get the fastest CPU (I definitely recommend the quad core i7 models) and as much RAM as you can - especially if you'd like your new system to remain viable and useful for as long as possible.