Previous 1 2 Next 19 Replies Latest reply: Apr 20, 2014 9:34 PM by leo_dd Branched to a new discussion.
digbyomega Level 1 (0 points)

I'm running a Macbook Pro Retina...


In Pro Tools, it is required to have the iLok (stupid, I know...long live Logic!) which takes up valuable peripheral real-estate. The other USB is occupied with the I/O hardware, ie Mbox, etc...


Now, at this point, there is nowhere left to plug in my hard drive which house all the sample libraries for all the plug ins...


There are two UNUSED ports, ironically, the fastest yet least available...the Thunderbolt ports.


Is there an adapter that will convert Thunderbolt to a USB so that I can mount a hard drive?


The Thunderbolt is amazing in concept but hasn't quite made its way into 'practical' reality being there are hardly any products out there at this point that support it.

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • Shootist007 Level 6 (16,660 points)

    No TB to USB yet although some are planned. A Google search may turn up the 2 I have heard of. Sorry I don't remember what manufacturers are supposed to be producing them.

  • Dtinen Level 1 (85 points)

    There are lots of things to try, although the devil is in the details.  Is there a USB port on your audio interface you can daisy chain the iLok on? 


    Can't you use a USB hub?  I know it has caused problems with some interfaces....


    Thunderbolt-to-FireWire adapters ($30 or so) are reported to work for most multitrack audio interfaces, even when the companies (e.g. MOTU) do not officially support them.  If your hard drive has a FW port, you could plug it in through one of those. 


    Avid now offers an HD-Native Thunderbolt interface, and Universal Audio's Apollo interface has a ThunderBolt option--but both of these are pricey. 


    I have the same concern...I'm debating between a Retina and a regular MBP that still has FW ports. 

  • GeekBoy.from.Illinois Level 4 (2,805 points)

    What about using a Buffalo Mini-Station Thunderbolt external hard drive?  You can get the 1TB drive in an enclosure that supports USB3 and Thunderbolt along with all the cables for around $200.  That gives you acess to the external HD at Thunderbolt speeds (or at least at up to what the HD in the enclosure can handle), and doesn't require you to use one of your USB ports at all.

  • digbyomega Level 1 (0 points)

    @ Dtinen I'm using a hub for my iLok and midi Logic. As of now, I have to bounce a rough down in Pro Tools, then unplug my interface, plug in the hub, import it to Logic (where everything works), bounce stems down in Logic, unplug the hub, re-plug the interface, import the stems...etc....and so on.


    It just seems silly that there are TWO ports on the latest and greatest machine Apple makes that are virtually useless at this point aside very few specific pieces of peripharels.


    Thanks for your suggestion though I will keep trying.


    @ GeekBoy The problem with replacing the hard drive is that all my samples reside on my G Drive...and getting all my programs, along with all the plug ins to point to another drive is no simple or quick task.

  • Shootist007 Level 6 (16,660 points)

    You would think Apple would come out with a TB to USB 3 adapter as they have TB to Ethernet and Firewire adapters along with DVI & VGA adapters. Why not TB to USB 3? More then likely wanting there users to buy TB devices for an inflated price tag instead of USB 3 device for less then half of what the lowest cost TB drive costs.


    Even if you buy a TB drive, unless it is in some type of RAID enclosure or a SSD, it can never fill the bandwidth of the TB Pipe.

  • Dtinen Level 1 (85 points)


    So, the MBox doesn't work through a USB hub?  That's why you have to go through all that hassle?


    I had some problems with a USB hub...until I realized it was an old USB 1.0.  We upgraded the hub (in our case to 2.0, 3.0 wasn't out yet) and I had no problems after that.  But audio interfaces are a bit more tricky.  Maybe Avid offers an updated driver?


    If you have a USB 3 hub, the power-up order can affect it:



    It seems to me that the two ThBt ports on the Retinas are there so one can be used for a display, and the other for peripherals, with a minimum of cabling, and they assume all USB-type needs can be handled by daisy-chaining or an external hub. 

  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 9 (56,669 points)

    Thunderbolt docking stations:


    available for pre-order, shipping April 1:



    available now, looks like two models (DVI or HDMI):


  • digbyomega Level 1 (0 points)

    Tried that. Mbox and other ProTools interfaces don't seem to play nice on a hub. The JAM does, ie Logic related stuff...

  • digbyomega Level 1 (0 points)

    Man, these look awesome! Of course the Belkin, the cooler of the two, isn't shipping yet. The Matrox looks cool enough and probably will work...I WILL find out though, this looks like this might solve my issue, rather Apple's issue!


    Thanks for the heads up!

  • donconnors Level 1 (0 points)


  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 9 (56,669 points)

    That device appears to be a ThunderBolt enclosure with alternate access via USB-3. It uses a micro-B connector, which is difficult to convert for other devices. It does not appear to have any USB Hub capabilities.

  • wallyiMac Level 1 (0 points)


    converter(adapter) usb 3(compatible with 2) to thunderbolt


    I want to connect my sound card to laptop but I can not because I need converter (adapter)

  • clintonfrombirmingham Level 7 (30,000 points)



    There is no USB to Thunderbolt adapter.


    There are the Thunderbolt hubs (mentioned earlier, the Belkin now available).


    Which model MacBook Pro do you have?



  • Kavan Sidhu Level 2 (315 points)

    I can't find those.  Can you please give me the links or at least tell me what you typed into google?


    I only see the kanex one.  But I don't see any others.

Previous 1 2 Next