Do Pro Tools users need Mac Pro?

Once upon a time, when all your audio add-ons needed FireWire and Pro Tools took up all your available slots, the only real option for doing high-end audio work was a Mac Pro. But with the arrival of Pro Tools HDX, the Magma 3T and Thunderbolt interfaces, you now have much more flexibility…

For all your PCIe needs, the Magma ExpressBox 3T 

A Jigsaw24 favourite since its release, the Magma ExpressBox 3T is a Thunderbolt-driven expansion chassis that will accept up to three PCIe cards, and is a huge bonus for anyone looking to get their pro audio or video setup to work on an iMac or notebook computer. Avid have qualified it as an acceptable chassis to house HDX cards if you want to work off a MacBook Pro, though early adopters should be aware that models that shipped before January 21st 2013 may need an upgrade to their fan to avoid melting your HDX cards (here’s how to check whether your ExpressBox 3T needs the upgrade.) Universal Audio’s UAD2 processor cards are also qualified for use in a chassis, so you can enjoy the fuller Tools HD feature set, including  256 channels of audio up to 7.1 surround sound support and more, on the go.

If you’re using HD Native…

…Avid have already put out a Thunderbolt interface for you, so there’s really no need to be sitting round waiting for your old FireWire gear and your decrepit Mac Pro to get the job done. You’d get better performance by grabbing yourself a top-spec iMac and Thunderbolt interface to create a faster workstation with a smaller space and energy footprint.You could also get away with using this as part of a portable system based around a MacBook Pro, and enjoy 256 channels of audio, 7.1 surround sound support, Copy to Send, complete multitrack Beat Detective and more on the go.

If you’re looking for a Thunderbolt interface…

Universal Audio’s Apollo Duo interface was the first general purpose audio interface to come with Thunderbolt, and with 18 inputs, 24 outputs and all the power of a UAD-2 DUO processor, it’s not to be sniffed at. Slotting in the Thunderbolt option card gives you the same streamlined workflow, processing power and preamp technology as simply using it over FireWire counterpart, but also gives you far faster performance and lower latency.

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