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Old 2nd June 2018
  #6
Lives for gear
 

To answer you question in a general sense. The protocol is the format the converters send to the computer. There are many choices:
MADI
Duante
USB
Thunderbolt
SPDIF
AES
Firewire
ADAT optical

Then you get a PCIe card that accepts the protocol you use, if the computer does not already have that kind of input.

MADI PCIe cards from RME are the most commonly accepted good PCIe cards with good drivers. Not cheap. But if you are looking at Burl, I would suggest an RME-PCIe card.

I'm PC guy, not MAC. I think RME goes both ways. Apogee may have stuff for the mac that's worth a look.

I happen to use SSL MX4 cards & Drivers.