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~$150 sound card for hackintosh Audio Interfaces
Old 24th February 2012
  #1
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~$150 sound card for hackintosh

I was originally going to buy an EMU 1212m, but that card isn't supported in OS X. I'm doing DAW work in Logic on my OS X Lion partition, and film work on my Win7 partition. I need a professional MIDI sound card that will work in both for around $150. The ESI Juli@ looks to be good, but I'm curious of the performance since it's only 112dB SNR, vs the 1212m which is 120dB. Will I notice the difference between the two (or another sound card that has higher SNR than the Juli@)? If so, what is a pro MIDI card with the best quality DAC's for around $150 that works on both Mac and Windows 7? I'm fine with PCI, PCI-E, USB, or FireWire provided latency isn't an issue with MIDI and the DAC's are the best I can get for $150.
Old 24th February 2012
  #2
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gussyg2007's Avatar
Pro .....$150 ....you might as use the on board sound if that's all your willing to part with
Old 24th February 2012
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gussyg2007 View Post
Pro .....$150 ....you might as use the on board sound if that's all your willing to part with
Pro as in has more studio oriented features, not just some generic sound card from ASUS. I don't do this for a living, so I don't need the best from Lynx or RME, just whatever the best is for about $150. It's only a hobby and will likely stay that way. That said, I do love composing and am looking for the best I can buy within my budget. So far, the Juli@ looks like it's the best in that price range that works on both Mac and Windows. I was just hoping people here could confirm that or suggest another interface.
Old 24th February 2012
  #4
Firstly, forget about midi - just get a simple midi interface on USB, will work fine.

Secondly, $150 is too low a price to be worrying about "the best DAC" and the like. In that price range, you just want something with good drivers that is built reasonably well. Look into all the usual manufacturers (mackie, m-audio, Focusrite, etc), find a few models that fit your feature spec and price range, then search for potential user issues.

I can't recommend anything cos I don't use pc...the mackie blackjack would work great with the mac side of things, but I've heard of issues on pc.
Old 24th February 2012
  #5
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krushing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
I can't recommend anything cos I don't use pc...the mackie blackjack would work great with the mac side of things, but I've heard of issues on pc.
But we *are* talking about Macs here

Mackie, Focusrite, Echo - in no particular order - is what I'd turn my gaze upon.
Old 24th February 2012
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
Firstly, forget about midi - just get a simple midi interface on USB, will work fine.
Not sure about Mac timing, but on Windows, the best MIDI timing comes from built-in MIDI interfaces of sound cards, no matter how poor the audio drivers.
The PCI/e ESI cards have a very good price/performance ratio.
This my my knowledge on Windows, not sure how well they do on OSX. Most shops have a money back guarantee, so try it out.
Old 24th February 2012
  #7
Gear interested
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
Firstly, forget about midi - just get a simple midi interface on USB, will work fine.

Secondly, $150 is too low a price to be worrying about "the best DAC" and the like. In that price range, you just want something with good drivers that is built reasonably well. Look into all the usual manufacturers (mackie, m-audio, Focusrite, etc), find a few models that fit your feature spec and price range, then search for potential user issues.

I can't recommend anything cos I don't use pc...the mackie blackjack would work great with the mac side of things, but I've heard of issues on pc.
I have heard great things about the Cirrus chips in the Mackie (which I believe are also in the EMU 1212m). However I don't want to go buy another MIDI interface on top of this, especially if there are issues in windows with timing.

While I am an audiophile for music and movies (hence my interest in the best DAC in this price range), I am just starting out and have no interest or need to drop hundreds or thousands on an interface that I'll never use 90% of. I'm sure there are great cards in this price range (the 1212m was often compared to the LynxTwo) and I'm just looking for opinions since you guys are way more knowledgeable regarding this equipment than I am.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DAW PLUS View Post
Not sure about Mac timing, but on Windows, the best MIDI timing comes from built-in MIDI interfaces of sound cards, no matter how poor the audio drivers.
The PCI/e ESI cards have a very good price/performance ratio.
This my my knowledge on Windows, not sure how well they do on OSX. Most shops have a money back guarantee, so try it out.
Shouldn't the MIDI timing be the same on both? Drivers aside, PCI-E is significantly faster than USB. I don't know how much bandwidth MIDI takes up however, since interfaces like the BabyFace are USB and work great. As far as PC/Mac compatibility, is there anything better than ESI for an all-in-one interface?
Old 24th February 2012
  #8
vak
Gear Head
 

Get a Focusrite
there great
sweetwater dot com is where i got mine you can even do 3 easy payments if u have good credit.
Old 25th February 2012
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elysias View Post
Shouldn't the MIDI timing be the same on both? Drivers aside, PCI-E is significantly faster than USB. I don't know how much bandwidth MIDI takes up however, since interfaces like the BabyFace are USB and work great. As far as PC/Mac compatibility, is there anything better than ESI for an all-in-one interface?
Midi timing depends on OS overhead and drivers. MIDI uses as good as no bandwidth, but its timing priority is essential.
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