I use a Macbook with 2.2ghz, 4GB of ram, and a 320GB HDD. I also run Logic 9 for my main DAW and occasionally Ableton.
I use this as my main firewire device in my studio. I also use it outside of the studio to do onsite band recordings (a little business I am working on). It takes all of my drum mics (4), as well as one bass and one guitar mic and a two vocal mics. I run the Vocal mics through a ART MPA gold preamp first. I also run directs out of the instruments via DI Boxes into the back for even more options.
Besides the XLR and 1/4" jacks you also have Digital ins and outs and 2 Firewire ports (Computer Connection and Daisy chain), oh yeah, and Midi in/out.
Yes the Drivers are stable. I have no issues running the Firepod on a Mac. As for updates, I am not aware of any. As far as I know it hasn't needed them. There is a very small amount of latency that I notice most when I am doing vocals myself. Its not very much at all really, sounds like a very slight chorus effect.
I most often use the Firepod with Logic 9. It works correctly with Logic and is very well integrated into the system. It is very easy to select input sources via individual track parameters and audio output routing is easy too.
So far I have only done Six at a time. I guess I haven't thought about finding out the max until this review. I will be checking that out soon.
There was no compatibility issues whatsoever. Plug n play on my mac. The manual is clear enough. There is a lot less stuff for mac users to read than there is for PC. It has to do with installation mostly.
For the most part, yes, the general setup is simple enough. If you are comfortable selecting inputs on your DAW, then doing everything you need to do to get strong, clean signal recorded should be a breeze.
Two things seem a little strange to me. First of, the Input/Playback knob, which balances the mix between the actual inputs and the playback, seems weird to me. I guess its a neat tool, but I can't quite get comfortable with it. I usually feel when I get the correct volume for my input, the playback sounds too quiet and vice versa.
Two, it would have been nice if they had a seperate effects loop in/out instead of having to use the first two inputs with a stereo pair of outputs.
Besides that, what I like about this unit is a lot of things. Good clean, crisp sound. Very quiet preamps and great compatibility with my gear. Can't really ask for more.
I got this used for around $300. I am very happy with paying that.
There is very little latency and the sound is very clear and present.
I own presonus firebox and an Alesis Firewire Mixer. All serve there purpose well, but the Firepod is my "go to" unit in the studio.
Yes, I would definitely make the same choice again.