How to capture audio with a new Mac Pro

Less expensive USB audio interface feature coax digital audio inputs.

Less expensive USB audio interface feature coax digital audio inputs.

Reader H. Landreth is one lucky (or, at least, well-heeled) Mac Pro owner. He writes:

I recently purchased a Mac Pro to replace the old cheese-grater Mac Pro I've had since 2009. When moving cables from my old Mac to the new one I was stumped when it came to plugging in a Toslink audio cable that I'd used in the past to capture high resolution audio from a device in my office. In fact, I don't see any audio input jack at all, much less a Toslink connection. How am I supposed to do this now?

You're correct that the Mac Pro has no audio input. When designing the smaller Mac Pro I suspect that Apple looked at the old Pro models and considered which ports were used by the fewest number of people. Clearly the optical audio in and out ports were prime candidates for cutting.

That doesn't mean the cylindrical Mac Pro isn't good for audio work. Rather, Apple simply expects you to use a just-as-professional audio interface for moving sound into your Mac. Regrettably, an interface that features digital input isn't cheap. You can expect to pay $150 and more for such a USB interface.

And, as Toslink inputs are found on the more expensive interfaces you may wish to instead purchase an Toslink-to-coax S/PDIF converter box. Then string your Toslink cable between the output device into the converter and then a coax cable to the audio interface which, in turn, is connected to your Mac Pro via a USB cable.

Alternatively, you can save a significant amount of money by getting a standard vanilla USB audio interface that features analog audio input ports and then establish an analog connection between the two devices.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Applehardware systems

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Christopher Breen

Macworld.com
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?