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Where to heck is the next gen of audio interfaces?

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  • Where to heck is the next gen of audio interfaces?

    USB3/Thunderbolt? Seems overdue. Recently in the market for a student laptop for my son and noticed firewire was nowhere to be seen. I'm fine with that and ready to move on. Plenty of laptops with USB3 out there now so where is the audio hardware to go with them? Assuming Thunderbolt is showing up on the latest MAC equipment now too -but no audio gear using it yet.

  • #2
    I don't know about USB3, but Universal Audio has an interface with embedded UAD processing for which there's an optional Thunderbolt card:



    http://www.uaudio.com/interfaces/apollo.html
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    • #3
      I don't know about USB3, but Universal Audio has an interface with embedded UAD processing for which there's an optional Thunderbolt card:



      http://www.uaudio.com/interfaces/apollo.html
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      • #4
        Thunderbolt is an apple thing I believe, and apple though popular in pro circles is

        not the big market so you arent going to find the low cost interfaces unless they are

        PC adaptable too. Apple is a single company, now generics. Everyone under the sun makes

        PC's so theres plenty of competion keeping the prices low.



        Laptops in any case are not a good recording platform other than being portable.

        Desktops still have the ports needed to run most interfaces. PCI express should

        have some audio interfaces available out there but its lifespan is questionable.

        Comment


        • #5
          Thunderbolt is an apple thing I believe, and apple though popular in pro circles is

          not the big market so you arent going to find the low cost interfaces unless they are

          PC adaptable too. Apple is a single company, now generics. Everyone under the sun makes

          PC's so theres plenty of competion keeping the prices low.



          Laptops in any case are not a good recording platform other than being portable.

          Desktops still have the ports needed to run most interfaces. PCI express should

          have some audio interfaces available out there but its lifespan is questionable.

          Comment


          • #6
            I think there are Thunderbolt PC motherboards available now. Probably won't see them on stock PC's, but it's available. I believe Intel is who actually developed the interface.
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            • #7
              I think there are Thunderbolt PC motherboards available now. Probably won't see them on stock PC's, but it's available. I believe Intel is who actually developed the interface.
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              • #8
                ^^^ I figured that would eventually happen.

                In the past I only heard of it being used on Macs and figured it was

                going to be like Firewire. Mac had it first and eventually PC's took up the technology.



                Audio gear is going to lag behind in any case.

                A technology has to become pretty much a norm in the business world before

                audio manufacturers are going to come out with lower cost interfaces that will use it.

                I believe it will be the best solution for audio technology wise but its likely to be another

                5~10 years before the interface manufacturers catch up. There is pro end stuff out there

                but I havent seen any low cost interfaces out there yet. I'm sure much of it has to do

                with licensing the use of the technology too.

                Comment


                • #9
                  ^^^ I figured that would eventually happen.

                  In the past I only heard of it being used on Macs and figured it was

                  going to be like Firewire. Mac had it first and eventually PC's took up the technology.



                  Audio gear is going to lag behind in any case.

                  A technology has to become pretty much a norm in the business world before

                  audio manufacturers are going to come out with lower cost interfaces that will use it.

                  I believe it will be the best solution for audio technology wise but its likely to be another

                  5~10 years before the interface manufacturers catch up. There is pro end stuff out there

                  but I havent seen any low cost interfaces out there yet. I'm sure much of it has to do

                  with licensing the use of the technology too.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I really can't see it taking 5-10 years before we see more USB 3 and Thunderbolt interfaces. Yes, it does take time to develop new products, and companies are loath to invest the time, money and effort unless there is sufficient market saturation to make their new interfaces attractive to suitable numbers of customers, but in 5-10 years, I predict that USB 3, and probably even Thunderbolt will be headed in the same direction as Firewire 400 and USB 1.12. They'll still be around, but about to be replaced by whatever is next.



                    In addition to the Thunderbolt option card for the Universal Audio Apollo, there's also the Pro Tools HD Native Thunderbolt interface, so there's at least two Thunderbolt equipped interface options available. I'm still not aware of anything that is taking advantage of USB 3.0 interfaces. Since all the old USB 2.0 interfaces are supposed to work, even when connected to USB 3.0 ports (although at USB 2.0 speeds), many companies are probably not in a tremendous rush to upgrade their USB products, although I'm sure we'll see that in time too as USB 3 starts to eclipse USB 2.0 ports on new computers and companies start to phase out the older products.
                    **********

                    "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

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I really can't see it taking 5-10 years before we see more USB 3 and Thunderbolt interfaces. Yes, it does take time to develop new products, and companies are loath to invest the time, money and effort unless there is sufficient market saturation to make their new interfaces attractive to suitable numbers of customers, but in 5-10 years, I predict that USB 3, and probably even Thunderbolt will be headed in the same direction as Firewire 400 and USB 1.12. They'll still be around, but about to be replaced by whatever is next.



                      In addition to the Thunderbolt option card for the Universal Audio Apollo, there's also the Pro Tools HD Native Thunderbolt interface, so there's at least two Thunderbolt equipped interface options available. I'm still not aware of anything that is taking advantage of USB 3.0 interfaces. Since all the old USB 2.0 interfaces are supposed to work, even when connected to USB 3.0 ports (although at USB 2.0 speeds), many companies are probably not in a tremendous rush to upgrade their USB products, although I'm sure we'll see that in time too as USB 3 starts to eclipse USB 2.0 ports on new computers and companies start to phase out the older products.
                      **********

                      "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

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        ^^^ Normally I'd agree with you. If it were in the past I'd see no reason to disagree.

                        Technology kept a rapid pace wth sales and people bought it.

                        Right now all the big manufacturers are cutting back in people and manufacturing

                        due to the down economy. They are making up for sales in services.



                        Businesses are not purchasing the volume of business equipment like they did.

                        They always used to buy on a 4~5 year cycle which was the length of time

                        their leases ran out and purchased the latest technology. (Big business don

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          ^^^ Normally I'd agree with you. If it were in the past I'd see no reason to disagree.

                          Technology kept a rapid pace wth sales and people bought it.

                          Right now all the big manufacturers are cutting back in people and manufacturing

                          due to the down economy. They are making up for sales in services.



                          Businesses are not purchasing the volume of business equipment like they did.

                          They always used to buy on a 4~5 year cycle which was the length of time

                          their leases ran out and purchased the latest technology. (Big business don

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            In addition to what WRGKMC points out, there are other factors.



                            One thing that will limit Thunderbolt's adoption is you can't just stick in PCIe card in a computer and have Thunderbolt. This is possible only if the motherboard has a very specific chip set, which of course means a limited number of newer motherboards. So it's either that, or get a motherboard that already has Thunderbolt included. They're starting to appear on the Windows side, but there is a price premium. Even the cables are expensive, because they're active cables.



                            However, there are so many advantages to Thunderbolt (particularly when the next-gen, optical-only version hits 50 Gbps) that it's bound to end up in pro computer applications, and filter down to us mortals. It will co-exist with USB 3.0, and basically replace FireWire. But whether it hits "critical mass" on a consumer level is very much an open question, and that will influence both prices and availability to our tiny little industry.



                            USB 3.0 begs the question of whether USB 2.0 already does what we need, and as long as we live in a 44.1/48kHz world, the answer is pretty much yes. You can stream a bunch of stuff over 2.0. If 96kHz or 192kHz ever take off (one company is certainly trying to make that happen on a consumer level), then more bandwidth will likely be in more demand. But we've been sitting mostly at 44.1kHz for thirty years(!), so don't expect anything to change overnight.
                            _____________________________________________
                            There are now 14 music videos posted on my YouTube channel, including four songs by Mark Longworth. Watch the music video playlist, subscribe, and spread the links! Check back often, because there's more to come...

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              In addition to what WRGKMC points out, there are other factors.



                              One thing that will limit Thunderbolt's adoption is you can't just stick in PCIe card in a computer and have Thunderbolt. This is possible only if the motherboard has a very specific chip set, which of course means a limited number of newer motherboards. So it's either that, or get a motherboard that already has Thunderbolt included. They're starting to appear on the Windows side, but there is a price premium. Even the cables are expensive, because they're active cables.



                              However, there are so many advantages to Thunderbolt (particularly when the next-gen, optical-only version hits 50 Gbps) that it's bound to end up in pro computer applications, and filter down to us mortals. It will co-exist with USB 3.0, and basically replace FireWire. But whether it hits "critical mass" on a consumer level is very much an open question, and that will influence both prices and availability to our tiny little industry.



                              USB 3.0 begs the question of whether USB 2.0 already does what we need, and as long as we live in a 44.1/48kHz world, the answer is pretty much yes. You can stream a bunch of stuff over 2.0. If 96kHz or 192kHz ever take off (one company is certainly trying to make that happen on a consumer level), then more bandwidth will likely be in more demand. But we've been sitting mostly at 44.1kHz for thirty years(!), so don't expect anything to change overnight.
                              _____________________________________________
                              There are now 14 music videos posted on my YouTube channel, including four songs by Mark Longworth. Watch the music video playlist, subscribe, and spread the links! Check back often, because there's more to come...

                              Comment

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