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Audio Interface for Max

Mar 09 2011 | 3:20 pm

As I am a student I don’t have the largest amount of cash available to me, because of this when I purchased Pro Tools education I also purchased a cheaper audio Interface the M-Audio Mobilepre USB. I wish that I had not done that now. The moblepre does not function very well with max as it only allows for input but does not allow for output. It also ties up all the input and outputs so as to make it that even if I wished to play through computer speakers it will not allow it.
The proper question within this is what is the best audio interface for max but also the best price. I am looking to be able to work with multiple mic inputs but at the very least I would like to be able to run a guitar through in real-time and I don’t think I am asking too much. I have borrowed by Profs. Motu 828 and found that it works great and have looked into the Motu Ultralite but it does seem just a tad expensive. Any recommendations or should I just suck it up and spend some money.


Mar 09 2011 | 6:13 pm

My personal favorites are the ones from RME i.e. The RME FireFace 400. They are a bit more expensive but very robust, stable and with very good driver programming and what is most important very good sounding.

Mar 16 2011 | 12:26 am

I know its expensive, but I used the Apogee duet once and fell in love with it.

Ive tried every interface under $500 (used to work at GC) that I could get my hands on and nothing came close to the quality of the Duet.

Its also only 2 channels, so if you’re looking for might not be for you…but if 2 channels will do you, its worth every penny and will beat any other interface you throw at it in or under the same price point.


Mar 19 2011 | 3:07 am

The Ultralite is really great for live and a small synth/drum machine set-up.

– best drivers lowest latency I’ve seen.
– it has a very hard metal casing. extremely robust.
– The cuemix mixer software is actually useful.
– there are DSP effects – EQ/Comp inserts on all channels and a bus reverb.
– it can be connected with firewire or usb.
– it can be used standalone (not connected to a computer) as an 8 channel mixer. Mixer settings can be saved as presets or editing on the unit. Editing on the unit is a bit fiddly but doable.
– It is DC coupled meaning it can be used to control analogue synths. This is good fun when using Max4Live. All kinds of oddness is up for grabs.

The only thing it lacks is an ADAT connection.

If you are looking for mics rather than portability then a lot of people seem to like the Focusrite Safire Pro 40. It’s around the same price but has ADAT and 8 mic ins. Not sure about how well it works with Max but I guess it’s probably pretty decent.

Apr 21 2011 | 7:03 pm

You said you want at least to run a guitar in but if you can do with only one input, you could go the probably the cheapest (yet good quality) route by choosing an Apogee One. Its like the kid brother to the Duet mentioned above. It lists for about 250 but you can find them on ebay for under 150 (US).

I’ve been using one with my Mac for about a year and it makes a good travelling setup. I’m pretty new to Max for Live but if you can get by with only one input (and output) then I think One is a good choice.

Dec 01 2011 | 5:06 am

i also use the Apogee One with great results, although i’m replacing it with a Duet 2 soon for the added inputs/outputs. the only thing about the One is that the Y-splitter on the input cable can eventually degrade and give you crackling audio. mine went out after a year of pretty heavy use, in which case i bought a new cable for $25 online. sound quality is nice for the price.

Dec 02 2011 | 8:01 pm

just my experience:
RME and Apogee have the best sound, period.
MOTU (ultra-lite & similar boxes) sounds ok, has wonderful support software, and is built like a brick house. You need a fine monitor setup to hear the difference between MOTU and RME or APOGEE.
Most M-audio converters sound BAD.

Just my opinion…

Dec 02 2011 | 10:45 pm

Does anyone have an opinion on the PreSonus AudioBox?
Just wondering, because it’s cheap (around $150 usd new), and seems like it’d be fairly good.

But it’s USB and I haven’t had any USB interfaces work with Max/MSP.


May 19 2012 | 4:52 am

I recently obtained the duet 2×4, and would like to use the 4 channel outputs .. are all available under some arcane assignment system in MAX?
Only two work so far..

Also have the Tascam US-2000 with four channels out — i think both solutions to the 4 channel problem will be similar

Sep 14 2015 | 3:33 pm

Hi all,
I am looking into getting hold of a USB audio interface for an interactive project, but coming from a visual side I know to little about this.

Does anyone have any experience with using "M-Audio Track 8" or "Motu 8 Pre" ?
I mainly try to be sure that if I buy one of this and use a "adc~" with 8 inputs I’m going to see the audio from this 8 inputs.

Thank you,

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