Focusrite Saffire Interfaces Officially Thunderbolt Compatible


On the latest Apple computers, FireWire 400 and 800 ports have been superseded by Thunderbolt – a new, high-speed serial interface developed by Intel and Apple.

Focusrite has announced that their Saffire FireWire interfaces can be connected to a Thunderbolt-equipped computer using a FireWire 400-800 cable (included with all Saffire interfaces later this year) and the Thunderbolt to FireWire 800 adapter, available inexpensively from Apple and third parties. Saffire interfaces are 100% compatible with Thunderbolt using this adaptor. Continue reading

PreSonus QMix Lets You Control Your Mix With An iPhone, Lets Everybody Have ‘More Me’

At the 2012 NAMM ShowPreSonus introduced a new iPhone (and iPod Touch) app for remotely controlling monitor mixes for up to 10 musicians, using the PreSonus StudioLive products.

QMix works by networking one or more iPhones wirelessly with a Mac or PC, enabling QMix to remotely access Virtual StudioLive to control one or more FireWire-connected StudioLive mixers.

As each iPhone connects to the network, its copy of QMix will “discover” all StudioLive mixers on the network, letting each musician create their own aux mix that includes all mixer channels. QMix also gives the StudioLive engineer the capability to set permissions, so that each iPhone on the network only controls a specified mix.

Enough with the blah, blah, blah, though. It’s all about you, isn’t it? Check out the rather awesome PreSonus Qmix intro video, which explains how the free app lets you have ‘more me’.

Continue reading

Universal Audio Unveils Apollo Audio Interface

At The 2012 NAMM Show: Audio recording gear manufacturer Universal Audio today unveiled Apollo, their high-resolution audio interface that combines UA’s analog design with UAD Powered Plug-Ins in a single recording system that works on both Mac and PC*.

With Apollo, music producers and performers can track through UAD-Powered Plug-Ins in real time, via a professional 18 x 24 FireWire/Thunderbolt™-ready audio interface that with 24-bit/192 kHz sound quality.

“Apollo is the culmination of 10 years of analog and digital audio development here at UA,” said Bill Putnam Jr., Universal Audio founder. “In many ways, it’s brought the analog and digital sides of our company together. With Apollo, we’re delivering the sound, feel, and flow of analog recording with all the conveniences of modern digital equipment, including next-generation Thunderbolt technology.”

Apollo is a high-resolution audio interface, featuring premium mic preamps and top-end converters to deliver the lowest THD and highest dynamic range in its class. Its Core Audio and ASIO* drivers ensure compatibility with all major DAWs, including Pro Tools, Logic Pro, Cubase, Live, and more. Moreover, Apollo’s Console application and companion Console Recall plug-in (VST/AU/RTAS) provide control and recall of all interface and UAD plug-in settings within individual DAW sessions, even months and years later.

Apollo differentiates itself from all other audio interfaces, however, via its onboard UAD-2 DSP Acceleration. This onboard processing allows for recording through UAD-2 Powered Plug-Ins — with nearly instant sub-2ms latency — so that music producers can monitor, audition, and “print” audio using a range of popular analog emulation plug-ins from Ampex, Lexicon, Manley, Neve, Roland, SSL, Studer, and more.**  The onboard UAD-2 processors are also available for mixing and mastering, offloading processing from the host computer.

Of note is that Apollo offers compatibility with Intel’s new Thunderbolt technology, as found on the recent iMacs, MacBook Pros, and MacBook Airs. Available via a user-installable Thunderbolt Option Card (sold separately), Thunderbolt provides lower latency, reduced audio buffer size, improved performance at high sample rates, and greater UAD plug-in instances versus FireWire.

“Thunderbolt technology makes possible a whole new class of products to enhance music production workflows and creativity,” says Jason Ziller, Director of Marketing and Planning for Thunderbolt technology at Intel® Corporation. “Products like Universal Audio’s Apollo are using Thunderbolt to rock music producers’ worlds.”

Apollo incorporates design hallmarks from classic UA analog gear. Dedicated front-panel controls are present for all the most frequently-used features, including preamp gain, channel selection, mic pad, +48V phantom power, low cut, monitor level, and dual headphone controls.

Apollo’s connectivity includes 4 digitally controlled analog mic preamps, 8 balanced line inputs and outputs, dual front-panel JFET DIs, digitally-controlled analog monitor outputs, 8 channels of ADAT, 2 channels of S/PDIF, word clock I/O, FireWire 800 (standard), and a Thunderbolt expansion bay.

The Apollo High-Resolution Audio Interface will be available in both DUO CORE and QUAD CORE processing formats (with either two or four Analog Devices SHARC processors, respectively). Apollo will be shipping in the first quarter of 2012, with an estimated “street” price of $1,999 (DUO processing model) and $2,499 (QUAD processing model). Apollo’s Thunderbolt Option Card will be shipping in the first half of 2012, with pricing TBD.

Cakewalk Intros FA-66 FireWire Audio Interface


Cakewalk launched the FA-66 FireWire Audio Interface for Mac and PC at NAMM.

The FA-66 is a portable 6-in/6-out FireWire 400/800 audio interface designed for mobile recording. The unit has two XLR/TRS combo inputs with phantom powered mic preamps, with one offering Hi-Z for recording electric guitar or bass, plus two RCA inputs. The FA-66 delivers 4×4 performance at up to 24-bit/192kHz sound quality, or 6×6 simultaneous performance at up to 24-bit/96 kHz. Continue reading

MOTU Intros Ultralite-mk3 Firewire + USB 2 Audio Interface


Mark of the Unicorn (MOTU) has announced the 10 input/14 output Ultralite-mk3, an audio interface that they say is the first ever “hybrid” audio interface, offering FireWire and USB 2 connectivity to Mac and PC computers.

They haven’t put up official availability or pricing info yet. If you know anything on this, leave a comment.

Details on the Ultralite-mk3 below. Continue reading

Petition Apple To Save MacBook FireWire Ports

There’s an online petition asking Apple to save the FireWire port on Mac laptops.

More than 6,000 people have already signed the petition.

Here’s the text of the petition:

To: Apple Inc.

We all love your products, Apple Inc.! But your recently refreshed line of consumer notebooks lacks the possibility to plug in digital audio and video equipment as well as fast mass storage devices. Therefore, we pledge to purchase a new MacBook or MacBook Air if you, the inventor of FireWire technology, would be so kind to bring back FireWire ports to those products.

You can sign the petition here.

Apple Kills Off FireWire With New MacBooks

Apple pissed off a lot of musicians today, by introducing a new line of sexy MacBooks with no FIreWire ports

Here’s the port lineup for the new MacBooks:

  • MagSafe power port
  • Gigabit Ethernet port
  • Two USB 2.0 ports (up to 480 Mbps)
  • Mini DisplayPort
  • Audio line in
  • Audio line out
  • Kensington lock slot
Yep – if you’ve bought one of the many FireWire audio interfaces or FireWire mixers, the new MacBook line is not for you. Plan on dropping 2 grand or more on a MacBook Pro.