New Audio Interface: iConnect Audio4+

With the upgrade to OS X El Capitan over the past couple of months my old sound card is unfortunately no longer supported. My M-Audio Fast Track 2 has served me well for years. It really has been a great sound card, but M-Audio has recently changed owners a couple of times over the past couple of years and it now seems that the FastTrack Pro line may not be receiving updates anymore. 

SO I was left with trying to find a new audio interface for my Mac. After asking around on Facebook I was recommended to check out the iConnect Audio4+. I honestly had never even heard of that company, but upon further research it came back with nothing but positive reviews. 

One of the strongest features is that it is a "class compliant" device which means that it does not need any audio drivers on Mac. It also has some wonderful internal bus routing features in the box, which allows me to route the audio input devices to both my monitors through direct bypass as well as my Mac, while still have the audio coming out from the Mac via USB to the monitors. It is a very cool feature actually. 

I miss the digital inputs that I had on the Fast Track Pro, but it is a small sacrifice to make for the new features. I also picked up a second camera for recording my studio work and this weekend I put it to use with a new configuration. Overall I have to say that everything has worked out surprisingly well. 

Ride Log - September 21st, 2013: Test Running the Illinois River By Way

So last year I rode the Illinois River Byway down by Peoria. I had an OK time with it, but I sort of expected more river. After reflecting upon it for a while I actually realized that I enjoyed the ride quite a bit, despite getting lost. I wanted to do this ride again this fall with a group of people, so I headed out today to scope the ride out and plan my approached. 

I decided to to take the route down in the opposite direction this time, on the west side of the river. This proved to be a much more enjoyable ride overall. I was able to take highway 29 down to Peoria quickly and then I ended up with a beautiful drive into the marshlands and wildlife refuge just outside of Havanna. Riding north back on the east side of the river also made for some easier transitions to some side roads and highway 26 on the way back up is a nice long stretch of almost uninterrupted highway, which makes for a nice ride at the end of the day. 

Overall it was very productive. I ran into a couple of construction detours that threw me for a loop on one-way streets in Peoria, but I think I have a plan worked out on how to bypass those.