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Thread: Macbook Pro Optical Out into Apollo 8

  1. #1
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    Macbook Pro Optical Out into Apollo 8

    I just decided to add a DRC solution to my setup (Sonarworks) which is a plugin-based DRC solution, meaning any system audio outside of the DAW such as iTunes, or Spotify is not processed. I would like to be able to have the system audio routed through my DAW so it is also processed by the Sonarworks plugs, with the goal being the ability listen to reference tracks without having to import the files into my DAW.

    I was able to route system audio from my MacBook Pro into Logic using the Apollo as the Output Device and SoundFlower as the Input Device, but for simplicity and stability's sake, I'd like to be able to continue to use the Apollo as the input device. Also, with this current Soundflower setup, my laptop speakers are playing simultaneously with my mains.

    My understanding is that the MacBook Pro's headphone jack also doubles as an optical out, so is it possible to go out of the MacBook Pro and into the Apollo 8's Digital Inputs? I haven't used any digital I/O protocols before so I'm a bit confused. I believe that the MBP outputs S/PDIF, and according to the Apollo 8 manual, the TOSLINK inputs are *not* compatible with S/PDIF. Does that mean my signal flow would need to be: MacBookPro -> miniToslink to Toslink cable -> Toslink to Coax converter -> Apollo 8 S/PDIF In?

    Am I approaching this problem the right way? Will I be losing any audio quality going this route? Is the type of Toslink/Coax converter I use important for audio quality? Any other solutions I might not be aware of?

    Thanks!
    Don Schenk likes this.

  2. #2
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    On mine, I don't normally record with more than 6 inputs, so I use the remaining 2 analog inputs as my left/right from my computer headphone jack, or from an ipad or iphone, or whatever sound source I'm using at the time. Only requires a 3.5mm stereo jack to 2 1/4"" mono jacks adapter cable

  3. #3
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    Straight out with a 3.5mm stereo cable is an certainly an option... I would like to bypass the laptop's DAC though, which if I'm not mistaken, the optical out will accomplish.

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    Can you do it with the Apollo's Virtual channels and the Mac's Audio Midi Setup app?

    Virtual Setup.jpg
    jasonxoc likes this.
    Pro Tools 12.8.1 HD Native | Logic Pro 10.3.2| 2012 MacBook Pro Retina 2.7GHz i7 | Apple Thunderbolt Display | 9.1.0 Apollo 8 Quad Blackface | Octo Card | Octo Thunderbolt Satellite | OSX 10.12.6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Immersive View Post
    Can you do it with the Apollo's Virtual channels and the Mac's Audio Midi Setup app?

    Virtual Setup.jpg
    Thanks for the suggestion Immersive, I'll look into this when I get home this evening.

  6. #6
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    So the virtual channel routing worked, awesome! Good to know I can do this without any more cables coming out of my laptop. When I first did the routing, I swear I was hearing a difference when the audio was just coming through console compared to routed into Logic - could that have been sample rate conversion I was hearing? Now that I've been A/B'ing for 30 minutes I'm not so sure I can even hear a difference anymore.

    In any case, this is a great solution for those using any DRC software. I was looking in the direction of Dirac Live which affects the entire system's audio, so it's great to know the same can be achieved easily with the plugin-based solutions out there (Sonarworks, Arc-2, etc..) which are a lot cheaper than Dirac.

    Thank you!

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    I thought this might be of use to you.

    One of the issues of using a monitor correction plugin is remembering to turn it off when bouncing your mixes. Here is a setup in Logic that will let you have your correction plug-in on your monitor output and not on the bounce output.

    Output everything that would regularly go to the “Stereo Out” to AUX 1 via Bus 1.
    I have named it MAIN BUS.
    MAIN BUS is where to put all of your 2 bus plugins. Limiters etc. Have MAIN BUS output to “Stereo Out".

    On The MAIN BUS channel strip create a new send using Bus 2 to Aux 2. Option click on the “Bus2” send volume control to set it to 0 (unity gain).

    I have named the Aux 2 channel strip BNCE OUT.

    Set BNCE OUT to output to somewhere you wont hear it. I have chosen ADAT 1-2 as I don’t use the ADAT connections in my setup.

    This will create a secondary main output in Logic with it’s own Bounce button.

    I have renamed the Stereo Output channel to "Monitors” and the secondary "ADAT 1-2".

    You can now put your monitor correction plug-in on the “To Monitors” output and leave it active and use the “ADAT 1-2” Bounce button without it being written to the track.

    Joe

    Monitor Aux.jpg
    Pro Tools 12.8.1 HD Native | Logic Pro 10.3.2| 2012 MacBook Pro Retina 2.7GHz i7 | Apple Thunderbolt Display | 9.1.0 Apollo 8 Quad Blackface | Octo Card | Octo Thunderbolt Satellite | OSX 10.12.6

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Immersive View Post
    I thought this might be of use to you.

    One of the issues of using a monitor correction plugin is remembering to turn it off when bouncing your mixes. Here is a setup in Logic that will let you have your correction plug-in on your monitor output and not on the bounce output.

    Output everything that would regularly go to the “Stereo Out” to AUX 1 via Bus 1.
    I have named it MAIN BUS.
    MAIN BUS is where to put all of your 2 bus plugins. Limiters etc. Have MAIN BUS output to “Stereo Out".

    On The MAIN BUS channel strip create a new send using Bus 2 to Aux 2. Option click on the “Bus2” send volume control to set it to 0 (unity gain).

    I have named the Aux 2 channel strip BNCE OUT.

    Set BNCE OUT to output to somewhere you wont hear it. I have chosen ADAT 1-2 as I don’t use the ADAT connections in my setup.

    This will create a secondary main output in Logic with it’s own Bounce button.

    I have renamed the Stereo Output channel to "Monitors” and the secondary "ADAT 1-2".

    You can now put your monitor correction plug-in on the “To Monitors” output and leave it active and use the “ADAT 1-2” Bounce button without it being written to the track.

    Joe

    Monitor Aux.jpg
    This is really great, I appreciate the clear walk-through. I'm waiting for the mic to come in to do the measurements and then I'll get everything set up and follow your guide. Cheers!

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