Sound card advice for a Mac

JamesZero

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#1
I need to buy a PCI-Express sound card with an optical output that is compatible with Snow Leopard...
Failing this a USB Sound Card also with optical out that works with Snow Leopard would be fine...

It only needs to be a fairly cheap one (around £40-50), but I'm having real trouble finding one!!

I'm not really a Mac person so thought I would post on here to see if anyone could advise something?

Cheers guys!
 

motion audio

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#2
USB/firewires definately the easier option, but you might struggle to get a decent one with Optical I/O for around the £50 mark. Just out of interest, what are you planning to feed with the optical connection?
 

JamesZero

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#3
Ah... it's a long story.. I will try and give you the short of it.

My sisters boyfriend has a studio, really nice gear it in (massive mackie mixing deck, big duel monitors, racks of hardware etc) but it hasn't been used for a few years and he wants to start it up again so we are going to work on some tracks together.

The Mac that's in there is really outdated and seen as he has recently had a kid he can't afford to shell out for a new one. So I have a pretty decent PC at mine that wasn't being used. I brought a copy of Snow Leopard and have used a few guides to get it up and running on the PC, now we just need to transfer some of his software licences over and we are good to go...

Problem is the only sound card I have is an M-Audio Audiophile which is only compatible up to OSX 10.5.8 because it's PCI and all Snow Leopard Macs are PCI-Express.

So anyway, I need either a PCI-Express or a USB sound card that has optical out that is going to feed into his Mackie mixing deck.
 

logikz

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#4
sound card advice for buying a car for your computer. you sure its something you want to have written for everyone to see, that you wrote it? being undisputable evidence that you dont have a single clue what its all about?
 

motion audio

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Ok. If you only need optical I/O im presuming A/D conversions dealt with seperately, so you can look for something thats not focused on good converters, as thats where a lot of the money goes on interfaces. By the sounds of what your saying the mackie is a digital desk thats either paired with, or has built in converters which just need hooking up to your computer. If this isnt the case, then you will need some amount of analogue I/O, even if its just a basic 2 channels for monitoring.

And there is always the thought that, although the mac there might be a bit "outdated", it could still do the job. A fair few places still use old G4 setups, might be worth seeing if it'll still do the trick before spending.

M-Audio, Lexicon, Focusrite and a fair few others do a good selection of fairly priced USB/Firewire interfaces, as well as PCIe based ones, few links that might be of use...

http://www.dv247.com Digital Village
http://www.turnkey.co.uk Turnkey
http://www.jigsaw24.com Jigsaw Systems
 

JamesZero

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#7
Ok. If you only need optical I/O im presuming A/D conversions dealt with seperately, so you can look for something thats not focused on good converters, as thats where a lot of the money goes on interfaces. By the sounds of what your saying the mackie is a digital desk thats either paired with, or has built in converters which just need hooking up to your computer. If this isnt the case, then you will need some amount of analogue I/O, even if its just a basic 2 channels for monitoring.

And there is always the thought that, although the mac there might be a bit "outdated", it could still do the job. A fair few places still use old G4 setups, might be worth seeing if it'll still do the trick before spending.

M-Audio, Lexicon, Focusrite and a fair few others do a good selection of fairly priced USB/Firewire interfaces, as well as PCIe based ones, few links that might be of use...

http://www.dv247.com Digital Village
http://www.turnkey.co.uk Turnkey
http://www.jigsaw24.com Jigsaw Systems
Yeah, your spot on, we only need the optical out. The desk will handle everything else.

We were thinking about using the old Mac because obviously it worked fine before.. but its only got Logic 5 at the moment and we were thinking about upgrading, after looking at upgrading the hardware & OS we thought we might as well go down the new machine route.

I will take a look at those links though mate, thanks for the help!
 

motion audio

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Yeah, your spot on, we only need the optical out. The desk will handle everything else.

We were thinking about using the old Mac because obviously it worked fine before.. but its only got Logic 5 at the moment and we were thinking about upgrading, after looking at upgrading the hardware & OS we thought we might as well go down the new machine route.

I will take a look at those links though mate, thanks for the help!
No worries man. If your looking at the new machine option and dont mind second hand, Sound on Sounds readers ads section on has some mad bargains now and then, you see people selling off old studio computers loaded with software for silly money, sometimes less than the software itself!

http://www.soundonsound.com
 
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