Allen & Heath GS-R24M with recent iMac/OS X

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Allen & Heath GS-R24M with recent iMac/OS X

Post by Silverkeim »

Hi! Does anybody here use a recent Intel-based 27" iMac (2019 or 2020 model) with a Firewire-interfaced Allen & Heath GS-R24M console (using the Apple adapters to go from USB-C to Lightning to Firewire)? If so, which version of OS X have you had success with? Do the audio and midi drivers work on such an iMac/OS combination despite not being officially supported by A&H anymore? I've seen posts saying that people had success using Catalina, but I haven't seen anything using a recent iMac.

Background: My trusty old 2009 iMac just died on me and I want to replace it with the most recent iMac that allows me to still use the Firewire interface on the GS-R24M. I don't need to run the latest OS, but am trying to figure out (a) if Catalina works, or if I have to go back all the way to Sierra or High Sierra, and (b) what model iMac will work with that (e.g. 2020 iMac with Catalina or 2017 iMac with High Sierra)...

I am aware of the alternate route of using the ADAT connectors on the GS-R24M Firewire card to connect to a separate audio interface, plus use a MIDI interface in addition, but before exploring that route, I'd like to understand what the latest iMac and latest OS X version are that still work with the Firewire interface & latest A&H drivers.

Any insights would be MUCH appreciated. Thanks!!
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Re: Allen & Heath GS-R24M with recent iMac/OS X

Post by adamburgess »

With Firewire being long dead, really, I think you're best off trying to get a couple of friends around with more modern laptops and check if they can see the desk.

But, the reason I gave up with FireWire years ago was that 'hot-swapping' stuff generally made everything break. DV players/Macs/HDs… So, if you try the more modern computers, be careful. And, is it worth trying to find the proper Apple adapters…?

I get it'd be a shame for you to lose the desk, but…
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Re: Allen & Heath GS-R24M with recent iMac/OS X

Post by Humble Bee »

Yes drop any hopes of getting FireWire to work in any convenient manner and move on.
Running that desk over Adat with a RME digiface USB looks like a very tempting solution. Rock solid and stable performance and TotalMix to go with it... what else does a man need?
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Re: Allen & Heath GS-R24M with recent iMac/OS X

Post by Silverkeim »

Thanks for the comments and suggestions! While I will ultimately have to move on and shell out the money for an ADAT interface or switch to the analogue card with an external audio interface, that day hasn't come yet. I was able to get the console's firewire interface working with a 2020 Intel-based 27" iMac running Catalina. All I needed were a chain of Apple adapters to go from Thunderbolt 3 to Firewire. Allen & Heath's latest drivers recognize the console's audio interface and everything works smoothly. Not future proof, but a pragmatic solution for now.
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Re: Allen & Heath GS-R24M with recent iMac/OS X

Post by Stonehousestudio »

Not exactly the same, but I have an old Mackie Onyx Firewire desk running fine under Big Sur on an M1 Mac mini. So, Firewire is still viable, as it also works on my Intel MB pro 15" which was previously running Catalina and now Big Sur
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