Mac electronic I/O

Apr 20, 2010 at 9:51pm

Mac electronic I/O


I’m looking into the options for electronic I/O with modern macs.

I’d like something that could both read digital pulses and output them with some kind of easily accessed system wide interface that could be incorporated into other applications (with a little scripting I guess) – specifically, Maya, Max/Jitter, Matlab but my own creations also.

Pretty much the modern version of the ubiquitous PC parallel port stuff from not so long ago.

some more criteria:

It would use an established ‘plug’ – USB or firewire most likely…
It will have higher resolution/sampling freq and lower latency than MIDI/DMX (have I got my terms right?)
It wont cost mega bucks or have a mega bucks program required to run it (NI Labview etc…)
It would have helpful documentation for beginners as to how to access it via code

And I’d like to try to avoid converted/hacked systems which tend to fail on you in unexpected ways … But am still keen to hear about them in case that is all there is…

One immediate project involves recording encoder pulses to file (I’m thinking of using an audio recorder then converting the audio to pulses in MSP but that is an example of a ‘hack’ and also where digital I/O to MIDI/USB just wont have the speed)

What are the options ?

Any help appreciated !

Apr 20, 2010 at 9:55pm

Sorry – should have mentioned I am running a Mac Book Pro

USB2, FW400, FW800, Express Card

no PCIe cards here !

The express card slot I’ve noticed are no longer incl on the 15″ mac books which I guess is my standard nowadays…


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