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  #1  
Old 08-16-2015, 12:43 PM
Alexrkstr Alexrkstr is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 171
Default Help with interface for PT12 please

I have a Mid 2012 15" MacBook Pro 9,2 i7 2.6 GHz (quad core), Mountain Lion, and I am currently using the 003 Console. Everything works well, but I am thinking of downsizing to a smaller footprint because the console takes up a ton of space on my desk. Before I do so, I have a few questions I'm hoping the experts here can help with.

Useful facts:
- I usually only record 1-2 tracks at a time
- My projects are not more than 12 tracks
- Most tracks have 2-3 plug-ins and 1-2 sends
Current Recording Setup
- MBP i7, 2.6Ghz, quad
- 003
- Nord keyboard (main MIDI keyboard)
- Launchkey 25 (surface controller that will replace the 003 sliders and knobs)
- POD HD (which I would replace with Elevn if that is the I/O I buy)

Questions
1) Is there a downside in moving from a FireWire interface (003) to a USB interface (e.g., Eleven)? I know that FireWire is faster than USB, but if I am only recording 1-2 tracks at a time, is there a downside in switching to a USB connection?

2) Is there a preferred USB I/O interface for my setup (MB Pro i7, 2.6Ghz, quad)? I see the list of Approved Audio Devices, but I am asking for a preferred

3) My MBP only has 2 USB slots, if I use one for the iLock and one for an interface (like Eleven), I won't have a spot to connect a MIDI controller... how I can I solve for this?I know Eleven has one MIDI port, I have two keyboards (Launchkey 25, which I would use as the surface controller, and my full sized Nord)

Thanks for the input, guys.
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15" MacBook Pro 9,1 mid-2012 15in 2.6HGz i7, 16GB RAM, OS 10.12.1 | OWC 320GB FW400 7200rpm
Digi 003 | PT 12.4
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  #2  
Old 08-16-2015, 03:46 PM
VRW VRW is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,318
Default Re: Help with interface for PT12 please

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexrkstr View Post
1) Is there a downside in moving from a FireWire interface (003) to a USB interface (e.g., Eleven)? I know that FireWire is faster than USB, but if I am only recording 1-2 tracks at a time, is there a downside in switching to a USB connection?
As you said FW800 is a faster connection in general but there should be no problem with any recent USB interfaces at the end of the day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexrkstr View Post
2) Is there a preferred USB I/O interface for my setup (MB Pro i7, 2.6Ghz, quad)? I see the list of Approved Audio Devices, but I am asking for a preferred
Obviously you are looking primarily at guitar-based audio interfaces (Eleven, POD) but let me bring in something different. You say that
you are limited with USB ports but your MBP offers a FW800 as well as one Thunderbolt port, right?
So why not looking at Thunderbolt interfaces or if this would be to expensive at another FW800 interface?

Sure there are no guitar-specific Thunderbolt interfaces available at the moment but there are loads of really good amp simulations out there
you could use. My very first (imo for your needs very useable) interface recommendation would be an UAD Apollo Twin Thunderbolt interface.
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/ApolloTwinS
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/ApolloTwinD

These are very compact on the table yet offering high end studio converter quality, super low latency by the Thunderbolt connection and
Universal Audio offer seriously good amp simulations you can record through already.
http://www.uaudio.com/store.html
(you may scroll down to Guitar&Bass)

Further you get really high quality plugins for free and lots of offers to buy others via -50% coupons etc. from Universal Audio.
And last but not least the Apollo Twin Series do work very well with all the latest versions of Mac OSX and Pro Tools 12.

The Eleven Rack for sure is of good quality but not the most recent audio interface on the market anymore.

If you are on a tight budget and the Apollo Twins should be too expensive for you, you could have a peek into the latest Focusrite Clarett series
which are brand new and Thunderbolt interfaces as well. This one for example.
http://us.focusrite.com/clarett-range#clarett-2pre
http://www.aspiremusic.com/focusrite-clarett-2pre.html

If you are on a very tight budget you also could consider one of the Focusrite Saffire series which are really great quality for the price and known
to be working well with Pro Tools 11/12. Such a one for example.
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/SaffPro24
or this one
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/SaffPro26

The Saffires do work well via FW800 as well as via the Apple Thunderbolt-to-FW-converter on the Thunderbolt port.
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/TBtoFireWire

They still offer the same, many say even better audio/converter quality than the 003 series and have been the replacement for a lot of 003s out there
in the last few years.

With all 3 solutions you would keep your USB ports free and available to all the other stuff and the Focusrites offer Midi I/O on their interfaces as well.

Me personally would go for the Apollo Twin Duo for example as with this one you would get a super fast, high end yet very small, easy to use interface
and Universal Audio do offer some very good amp simulations now as well. Anyway the Focusrites are the best quality solution if being on a budget.

Whichever solution may be the most suitable one for you, I hope you will find it finally.
The very best of success to you, VRW
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  #3  
Old 08-16-2015, 04:12 PM
Craig F Craig F is offline
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Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 12,591
Default Re: Help with interface for PT12 please

I'll just second VRW's concept of Thunderbolt options
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Thank you,

Craig
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  #4  
Old 08-16-2015, 07:17 PM
Alexrkstr Alexrkstr is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 171
Default Re: Help with interface for PT12 please

Thanks, VRW. Always really helpful and insightful. I hadn't thought about the Thunderbolt option since I have read a few posts about people having issues with it. Any risk on getting the Apollo Twin and it not working with my setup?
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15" MacBook Pro 9,1 mid-2012 15in 2.6HGz i7, 16GB RAM, OS 10.12.1 | OWC 320GB FW400 7200rpm
Digi 003 | PT 12.4
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  #5  
Old 08-17-2015, 01:03 AM
VRW VRW is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,318
Default Re: Help with interface for PT12 please

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexrkstr View Post
Thanks, VRW. Always really helpful and insightful. I hadn't thought about the Thunderbolt option since I have read a few posts about people having issues with it. Any risk on getting the Apollo Twin and it not working with my setup?
Thank you a lot. No, I think there is no risk with the Apollo Twin under normal circumstances. Of course, unfortunately there is no guarantee
but they are known to be working very well with all the latest versions of OSX and PT and several different set ups.

I additionally can bring in my own really positive experience with it because since I had to downsize my own set up from 2 Apogee interfaces,
1 desktop Mac+1 2012 MBP to only 1 2014 MBP i7 Quad+an Apollo Twin I have had nothing but joy with the Apollo.
It really stands the pace with the more expensive, also very high quality Apogee Quartet I had used before as to the audio quality and works
flawlessly with the i7 Quad MBP and Pro Tools 12 Native as well as with PT12 HD.
I can record at 64 samples even with a larger session, so even 32 samples should be possible with smaller ones and it offers studio quality yet
being really compact in size. As I use to work together with the guy I sold my 2012 i5 MBP to, we also have used the Twin with this 2012 MBP
successfully already.

Again, unfortunately there will be no guarantee but under normal circumstances you should be fine with Twin. Let me recommend the Duo over the
Solo if you could afford it because you then would be able to use a lot more of the really good quality UAD plugins in your mixes finally. It´s worth
the money I think. With the latest UAD software there do come a lot useful plugins for free as well.

Probably the only thing you would have to buy additionally would be one of their very useable, good amp simulations and you would be good to go.
Btw you might just use a powered USB hub if you still run out of USB ports on your MBP. This is how I get my stuff working and it doesn´t interfere
with the performance of the Apollo at all.

The very best to you!
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