Apple’s G4 Cube and new iMacs don’t have analogue-audio ports. Pros will consider the FireWire route, but the rest of us will need USB. Roland has a series of USB-audio devices but, at the time of writing, no Mac drivers to support them. Only the basic UA-30 works with Macs, courtesy of Mac OS 9.0.4’s built-in USB driver. Input is via two phono line-ins with an additional guitar/mic input, while output is from a pair of phono line-outs. Does it work? Kind of. The Mac’s Sound Manager recognizes the interface and allows it to be selected from the Sound control panel. It works with basic record/playback programs, such as SoundJam MP. However, digital-audio programs, such as Cubase, need an ASIO (audio stream input output) driver.


At just under £200, the UA-30 is pricey. Given the problems with serious audio programs, it’s better to use an older Mac.

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