Do I need a Thunderbolt audio interface?

Jon

Member
Messages
1,567
I'm using a late 2014 iMac which has Thunderbolt 2 and USB 3, recording into Logic Pro X. My audio interface is a thunderbolt-equipped Resident Audio T2 which doesn't now work with OS Catalina (and RA don't seem in a hurry to release drivers that will allow it to work) so I need to look at a new interface.

I know that Thunderbolt is at least twice as fast as USB 3 in theory, but with my setup, am I really going to notice that speed difference? I'm only ever recording one guitar at a time with 2 or 3 plugs-ins on the track. There are a number of decent USB-C interfaces from the likes of Focusrite and MOTU that are nearly half the price of the base Thunderbolt models that I can see, so I'm wondering whether there's any point chasing that extra speed when I'm not sure I'll even see the benefit of it?
 

pipelineaudio

Member
Messages
904
Can you go back from catalina? This is just one of many insane problems you will have on that OS. A lot of us plugin developers are trying together to come up with solutions to deal with the crippling blow catalina has landed, but I don't think there will be a solution anytime soon
 

eclecto-acoustic

Coal-hating feral hippie
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
10,354
I'm using a late 2014 iMac which has Thunderbolt 2 and USB 3, recording into Logic Pro X. My audio interface is a thunderbolt-equipped Resident Audio T2 which doesn't now work with OS Catalina (and RA don't seem in a hurry to release drivers that will allow it to work) so I need to look at a new interface.

I know that Thunderbolt is at least twice as fast as USB 3 in theory, but with my setup, am I really going to notice that speed difference? I'm only ever recording one guitar at a time with 2 or 3 plugs-ins on the track. There are a number of decent USB-C interfaces from the likes of Focusrite and MOTU that are nearly half the price of the base Thunderbolt models that I can see, so I'm wondering whether there's any point chasing that extra speed when I'm not sure I'll even see the benefit of it?
The "extra speed" promised by Thunderbolt 3, at this point in time, is misleading. It's technically extra bandwidth, which for most of us is not even close to necessary. USB2.0 can carry 40 tracks at once at 48kHz, and that's being very conservative. The best thing TB3 offers us right now is more power delivery for more feature-rich interfaces.

Since you have an interface already, I second @pipelineaudio's suggestion to roll back to the previous OS version.
 

electricity17

Member
Messages
783
To perhaps complete that thought, you should double check that you have the latency on your interface / DAW set as low as you can. If there's a delay bothering you or you're somehow hearing yourself later than you expect, try turning off the plugins while you track.
 

Jon

Member
Messages
1,567
To perhaps complete that thought, you should double check that you have the latency on your interface / DAW set as low as you can. If there's a delay bothering you or you're somehow hearing yourself later than you expect, try turning off the plugins while you track.
?? - the issue is it doesn't work.
 

Ultra GP

Member
Messages
1,100
So it's not recognized at all? If so, have you tried downloading and re-installing the currently available drivers? I had the same issue with a Steinberg interface and that fixed it (even though they didn't release a new driver for another few months)

I wouldn't upgrade just yet, since it seems like a software issue.
 

Jon

Member
Messages
1,567
So it's not recognized at all? If so, have you tried downloading and re-installing the currently available drivers? I had the same issue with a Steinberg interface and that fixed it (even though they didn't release a new driver for another few months)

I wouldn't upgrade just yet, since it seems like a software issue.
As soon as I realised it wasn't working, I went to the RA website to download drivers, and found this (already posted a rant about this on another thread lol):

NOTE: MACOS 10.15 CATALINA COMPATIBILITY INFO
Apple released their newest operating system in October of 2019, macOS 10.15. Currently, Resident Audio Software cannot be installed on this operating system. To continue using your Resident Audio hardware, please do not update to macOS 10.15.

Given that it's been nearly a year with no kind of news on whether they're still working on it, I get the impression that it's just not happening.

I don't really want to try to go back to OS Mojave as I use my mac for work (design and artwork) - all my Adobe software works perfectly so I don't want to risk messing up my system just for one peripheral.

From what people have said, I'm getting the impression that a USB-C interface should be fine for my fairly minimal needs so I'm looking at the Focusrite Scarlett Solo and Audient iD4 at the moment.
 

Totally Bored

Member
Messages
9,003
From what people have said, I'm getting the impression that a USB-C interface should be fine for my fairly minimal needs so I'm looking at the Focusrite Scarlett Solo and Audient iD4 at the moment.
That should be good. I'm using a Focusrite Scarlett 18I8 on my 2014 iMac with Logic PRO X an no issues.

I woouldn't get the Solo. I'd get more inputs while I'm at it like 4I4 or the 18I8. Not a ton of money more and you never know when your gonna want to record a bunch of tracks/mics at the same time, YMMV
 
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