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Great legacy audio interfaces that work in 2020
Old 24th July 2020
  #1
Great legacy audio interfaces that work in 2020

Hello,

I'm looking for a firewire interface for my old Mac Mini 2010. It has 16GB of RAM and a SSD. It runs Logic Pro X on macOS High Sierra, however I must freeze tracks as soon as possible for preventing system overloads. Not a big issue, though. Most legacy interfaces require some kind of hack, including: 1) installing a previous OSX version, install the drivers and then update; 2) disabling driver signature check; 3) living with a subset of the original features, i.e., lower sample rates, routing options, etc.

I'm researching old interaces and found these ones, but would like to know what are your experiences with using them in 2020:

1) Apogee Duet 1st-gen, firewire: on Youtube, there are videos showing it's working on recent macOS (at least High Sierra) by disabling driver signature check on boot;

2) TC Electronic Impact Twin: there isn't recent information, I presume it's a
risky bet, however it had originally a lot of features.

Feel free to expand the list and opinions. I want to get the best second-hand, preferrably firewire interface for a decent price.

Last edited by brmusician; 24th July 2020 at 11:46 PM.. Reason: English language correction.
Old 24th July 2020
  #2
Lives for gear
 
DirkP's Avatar
Yamaha N8 or N12 still work. Great tools.
Old 26th July 2020
  #3
Gear Maniac
Steinberg MR816?
Good preamps. Don't know how it runs on a Mac
Old 26th July 2020
  #4
Lives for gear
 
EvilRoy's Avatar
 

Still running a Pro 40. Still happy with it.
Old 26th July 2020
  #5
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Funny Cat's Avatar
Legacy Motu is good. Apogee and RME too.

Last edited by Funny Cat; 26th July 2020 at 07:23 PM.. Reason: spelling typo
Old 30th July 2020
  #6
I'll probably get a Duet firewire... there's a good deal and in my research I can make it work on macOS HighSierra.
Old 30th July 2020
  #7
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esldude's Avatar
I've got a TC Impact Twin I use sometimes. Still works fine on up to date Windows and Mac. On the Mac I actually have a Thunderbolt 2 to Firewire adapter cable. Works just fine on the TC.

I assume it would work just fine with your vintage Mac Mini setup.

If you are in the USA, PM me, I'll make you a sweet deal on it. I'd like someone to be using it.
Old 30th July 2020
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by esldude View Post
I've got a TC Impact Twin I use sometimes. Still works fine on up to date Windows and Mac. On the Mac I actually have a Thunderbolt 2 to Firewire adapter cable. Works just fine on the TC.

I assume it would work just fine with your vintage Mac Mini setup.

If you are in the USA, PM me, I'll make you a sweet deal on it. I'd like someone to be using it.
Nice to know. Actually I'm from Brazil. I've seen a used firewire Duet for about $175 and a brand new (old stock) TC Impact Twin for about $240 (local prices converted to US Dollar). TC Impact looks interesting because it provides a lot of routing options, loops, but don't know if they actually work on more recent OS. Thank you for the offer.
Old 30th July 2020
  #9
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esldude's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by brmusician View Post
Nice to know. Actually I'm from Brazil. I've seen a used firewire Duet for about $175 and a brand new (old stock) TC Impact Twin for about $240 (local prices converted to US Dollar). TC Impact looks interesting because it provides a lot of routing options, loops, but don't know if they actually work on more recent OS. Thank you for the offer.
Well the TCIT works with Mac OS High Sierra. And with Windows 10. I've a laptop with Win10 that has firewire on it. I think since High Sierra they dropped all support for non-64 bit items and I'd need to check that on the TCIT. I will check on it with the latest MacOS later today and let you know if it still works or not.

Last edited by esldude; 30th July 2020 at 08:53 PM..
Old 30th July 2020
  #10
Lives for gear
RME802 - look no further!
Old 31st July 2020
  #11
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esldude's Avatar
OK, tried the TC Impact Twin on my mid 2014 Macbook Pro which is running MacOS Catalina 10.15.6 which is the latest at this time. And the TC Near software is not able to work with the TCIT. I think it is because they've not upgraded their software to a 64 bit version.

As others have mentioned, RME probably does the best job of supporting hardware far into the future.
Old 31st July 2020
  #12
rez
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rez's Avatar
Another thumbs up for the apogee duet first generation!

Mine works great on my mbp late 2013 with the thunderbolt to firewire adapter.

One issue is with the maestro software - it always remembers its settings even if you reboot the machine, but it randomly forgets some of the settings if you go into sleep mode.
When I wrote apogee about that issue their response was - sleep mode is not suported because it can cause unclear situation for the software, whatever that might mean.
I also asked why there is no button in maestro controll panel to simply store the current settings with one click for an easy recall, but the did not bother to answer that question, probably because the product is long out of production.

Other than that small issue the device is working great and the adda conversion is still very good.

peace, rez
Old 31st July 2020
  #13
Gear Maniac
 
Janne19691's Avatar
Echo Audiofire Pre8, fine piece of yesteryear gear I bought mine for 100€ a few years ago to do mobile recording with my old Mac. Works well with my 2011 MacBook Pro and Studio One 4. The software is still downloadable from Echo Audio website. They appear on Reverb and Ebay every now and then.

Last edited by Janne19691; 31st July 2020 at 01:33 PM..
Old 5th August 2020
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by rez View Post
Another thumbs up for the apogee duet first generation!

Mine works great on my mbp late 2013 with the thunderbolt to firewire adapter.

One issue is with the maestro software - it always remembers its settings even if you reboot the machine, but it randomly forgets some of the settings if you go into sleep mode.
When I wrote apogee about that issue their response was - sleep mode is not suported because it can cause unclear situation for the software, whatever that might mean.
I also asked why there is no button in maestro controll panel to simply store the current settings with one click for an easy recall, but the did not bother to answer that question, probably because the product is long out of production.

Other than that small issue the device is working great and the adda conversion is still very good.

peace, rez
Thanks... I'm still thinking about which interface I'll get. Do you know if when using Logic Pro X I need to have Maestro? Or can I just control the interface through Logic controls (inputs, outputs, sample rate and so on)?
Old 5th August 2020
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Janne19691 View Post
Echo Audiofire Pre8, fine piece of yesteryear gear I bought mine for 100€ a few years ago to do mobile recording with my old Mac. Works well with my 2011 MacBook Pro and Studio One 4. The software is still downloadable from Echo Audio website. They appear on Reverb and Ebay every now and then.
Looks great, but didn't find any offer here in Brazil. Also, I don't need too much pres, but I't nice having something like a fx loop for optionally routing audio to external gear with ease.
Old 5th August 2020
  #16
rez
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rez's Avatar
@ brmusician - sorry can´t answer that question...

I am still on High Sierra and other than that anoying bug with the settings the maestro software works for me.

The new direct control for gain etc. for newer apogee devices in logic mixer is not supported by the duet firewire so i do most of my settings outside of logic.

For gain control of the preamps i use the maestro and i use the mixer in the maestro to balance my live inputs and computer playback volume as i do a lot of improvisation to a range of sources like youtube, mp3, wav that can differ drasticly in volume. For sample rate i leave my settings almost exclusive to 44.1 anyways.

peace, rez
Old 7th August 2020
  #17
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Quetz's Avatar
ProFire 2626!!

Standalone mode so you can use it as an adat expander later.
Also works in Win 10 if you needed it to.

£50 - £75.
Old 8th August 2020
  #18
Gear Nut
 

Similar to others here, still keeping a Focusrite LS56 around as an adat expander.

I've seen people complain about the mixer but I find it really simple and powerful
Old 23rd August 2020
  #19
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enossified's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilRoy View Post
Still running a Pro 40. Still happy with it.
Assuming that means a Focusrite, mine is still kicking after a decade. Focusrite has announced that Catalina is the last OS for which this interface will be supported.

These things have gotten stupid cheap on the used market because of the decline of interest in FW.
Old 23rd August 2020
  #20
Gear Head
Have an old Prism Orpheus, prism were very fast to write new drivers/interface and get them to me as a beta when I upgraded to Catalina and nothing worked!!
Old 23rd August 2020
  #21
Lives for gear
 

Apogee Ensemble FireWire with a new Mac mini works fine. Sounds good. What’s not to like.
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