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Recommendation for an inexpensive 8 channel DA for Mac

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162_Ranks

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Recommendation for an inexpensive 8 channel DA for Mac

PostTue Apr 02, 2024 12:29 pm

I'd like to make the jump to surround sound, 6 channels + 2 for a headphone mix, but am a bit overwhelmed by the selection of audio interfaces out there, most of which seems to have tons of features I do not need. Any suggestions?

Brad
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mnailor

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Re: Recommendation for an inexpensive 8 channel DA for Mac

PostTue Apr 02, 2024 4:01 pm

MOTU Ultralite mk5 if you want good and not very expensive.
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Re: Recommendation for an inexpensive 8 channel DA for Mac

PostTue Apr 02, 2024 11:50 pm

+1, especially if you have an M chip mac.
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Re: Recommendation for an inexpensive 8 channel DA for Mac

PostWed Apr 03, 2024 8:24 am

I also agree with the two above recommendations. +1
Ray
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Re: Recommendation for an inexpensive 8 channel DA for Mac

PostWed Apr 03, 2024 5:52 pm

I have a motu ultralite mk3 and cannot recommend it in the slightest. It will sometimes not restart when windows resumes requiring windows to be rebooted, sometimes it does start but crackles like crazy requiring an emergency reset in HW and another restart, and sometimes the gain is too high/low (not crazy but noticeably different). Perhaps just poor windows drivers and maybe the mac experience is better.

On the other hand I also have a focusrite scarlett and it has always been flawless though I don't use it for HW.
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Re: Recommendation for an inexpensive 8 channel DA for Mac

PostThu Apr 04, 2024 1:47 am

It depends what you mean by inexpensive. I was on a tight budget and purchased the ESI Gigaport HD. I have been very happy with it using 6 channels (bandwidth limitation on USB 2). The newer Gigaport EX is USB 3 and, I believe, supports 8 channels at full resolution. I have never had any problems with mine.
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Re: Recommendation for an inexpensive 8 channel DA for Mac

PostThu Apr 04, 2024 9:25 am

Thank you all I will check out the ultralight. I have an intel mac but will be upgrading at some point.
hhhmmmmm. the gigiport is much cheaper.... maybe try & return :-)
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Re: Recommendation for an inexpensive 8 channel DA for Mac

PostSun Apr 07, 2024 10:02 pm

neptune wrote:I have a motu ultralite mk3 and cannot recommend it in the slightest. It will sometimes not restart when windows resumes requiring windows to be rebooted, sometimes it does start but crackles like crazy requiring an emergency reset in HW and another restart, and sometimes the gain is too high/low (not crazy but noticeably different). Perhaps just poor windows drivers and maybe the mac experience is better.

Yes, I ran into a few these same issues but very seldom. The latest MK5, as the model name suggest, is 2 generations past the MK3. Totally revamped and improved. Highy recommend the MOTU MK5.

neptune wrote:On the other hand I also have a focusrite scarlett and it has always been flawless though I don't use it for HW.

Focusrite models don't offer complete discrete channels. The headphone jack(s) is paired with channels 3&4 or and 1&2. No big deal if you have just a few channels. Of course now with HW8 you can have routing presets that can compensate for that. MOTU units are all discrete channels, thus the MK5 has 14 independent assignable channels if you count the stereo headphone jack and S/PDIF coax (RCA) jack.


Danny B.
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Re: Recommendation for an inexpensive 8 channel DA for Mac

PostSat Apr 13, 2024 3:44 pm

magnaton wrote:
neptune wrote:I have a motu ultralite mk3 and cannot recommend it in the slightest. It will sometimes not restart when windows resumes requiring windows to be rebooted, sometimes it does start but crackles like crazy requiring an emergency reset in HW and another restart, and sometimes the gain is too high/low (not crazy but noticeably different). Perhaps just poor windows drivers and maybe the mac experience is better.

Yes, I ran into a few these same issues but very seldom. The latest MK5, as the model name suggest, is 2 generations past the MK3. Totally revamped and improved. Highy recommend the MOTU MK5.

neptune wrote:On the other hand I also have a focusrite scarlett and it has always been flawless though I don't use it for HW.

Focusrite models don't offer complete discrete channels. The headphone jack(s) is paired with channels 3&4 or and 1&2. No big deal if you have just a few channels. Of course now with HW8 you can have routing presets that can compensate for that. MOTU units are all discrete channels, thus the MK5 has 14 independent assignable channels if you count the stereo headphone jack and S/PDIF coax (RCA) jack.


Danny B.


The motu has been nothing but trouble with poor drivers and lack of support. I cannot give them a recommendation just because they have come out with a newer model. Mine should be working flawlessly even if newer ones come out.

Focusrite does offer discrete channels. Whether the headphone jacks are paired with another set doesn't bother me, just buy a model that has enough channels for your needs if you need separate headphones. Far better to have a device that works properly and is supported by a good company.

This one has 10 analog outputs:
https://www.long-mcquade.com/146248/Pro ... uct-imgs-4
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Re: Recommendation for an inexpensive 8 channel DA for Mac

PostSat Apr 13, 2024 9:22 pm

If the mac is an M series mac, I believe the only option is Motu, at least for now. Focusrite uses the built in audio driver (class compliant), and that has not worked properly for over a year, and I don't think there is hope they will fix it. If it's an Intel mac, then anything should be ok.

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