Too risky to buy a firewire interface these days?

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
mekanism1200
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Re: Too risky to buy a firewire interface these days?

Post by mekanism1200 » Fri Feb 12, 2016 2:14 am

Bad news, my firewire chipset isnt TI and isnt compatible with Focusrite drivers. Interesting how I paid top dollar for a laptop from ADK only to find out they used a crap chipset for the firewire port. All is well though, I planned on switching to Apple for my next system anyway. Microsoft still makes it hard to route audio from one program to the other and I really need this functionality for what I do. Time to start saving for an Imac with Thunderbolt!

muthafunka
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Re: Too risky to buy a firewire interface these days?

Post by muthafunka » Sat Feb 13, 2016 9:07 am

Interesting question, I was just wondering the same myself looking at a used Prism Orpheus. I'm still using a Metric Halo uln2 firewire with a fw>tb adaptor 100% no problem but looking at future computer upgrades against such a big interface outlay it seems like a bit of a gamble and def losing its resale value relatively quickly over the next few years. I like the form factor but I think an MH LIO8 which can be upgraded to usb is more likely on the cards.

kitekrazy
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Re: Too risky to buy a firewire interface these days?

Post by kitekrazy » Sat Feb 13, 2016 6:34 pm

On the PC side even Tbolt can be hit or miss. Few have drivers for PC Tbolt. You will eventually need Windows 10 when they support it.

USB 2 units still provide plenty of performance.

beatz01
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Re: Too risky to buy a firewire interface these days?

Post by beatz01 » Sun Feb 14, 2016 10:09 pm

mekanism1200 wrote:Bad news, my firewire chipset isnt TI
You can still buy a Cardbus (Express)card with TI chip for like 20 or 30 dollars.

I got mine for 1 EUR used and it works flawlessly. :)

chris vine
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Re: Too risky to buy a firewire interface these days?

Post by chris vine » Mon Feb 15, 2016 10:44 pm

Just to chime in here - I use an RME Fireface 400, which I love. I got a Lenovo thinkpad back in 2012 and I use an Expresscard with a TI chip to connect it to the FF400. The expresscard connection is very flimsy and although I have not experienced disconnects in a live situation, I reckon it will happen one day.
Before I got my hands on the expresscard, I did use the laptop's onboard 4 pin firewire connector briefly (not TI) and didn't have any issues. Thinking of trying that out again because of my concern over connectivity.

Firewire def is better than USB2 in terms of in/out. No experience of USB3 for audio. If you are on a Mac, then a Firewire to Thunderbolt adapter sounds great and will keep your firewire unit going for years. At least Macs have some forward compatability, nothing exists like that for PCs, it seems. :?

mekanism1200
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Re: Too risky to buy a firewire interface these days?

Post by mekanism1200 » Tue Feb 16, 2016 3:37 am

chris vine wrote:Just to chime in here - I use an RME Fireface 400, which I love. I got a Lenovo thinkpad back in 2012 and I use an Expresscard with a TI chip to connect it to the FF400. The expresscard connection is very flimsy and although I have not experienced disconnects in a live situation, I reckon it will happen one day.
Before I got my hands on the expresscard, I did use the laptop's onboard 4 pin firewire connector briefly (not TI) and didn't have any issues. Thinking of trying that out again because of my concern over connectivity.

Firewire def is better than USB2 in terms of in/out. No experience of USB3 for audio. If you are on a Mac, then a Firewire to Thunderbolt adapter sounds great and will keep your firewire unit going for years. At least Macs have some forward compatability, nothing exists like that for PCs, it seems. :?
I dont have an express card slot.

Its ok, I'm going to hold out for a while and see what new tech comes out in the next year or so. My only reason for wanting the Saffire is for that particular ability to route audio from a program, like Skype, through the soundcard to create a mix-minus setup. I produce a podcast every week and the way I have it setup now is kind of ghetto, routing out of my headphone jack on my laptop from Skype into my second mic input on my interface, which isnt line level, then routing that back into Ableton. It sounds ok, but is subject to interference.

Donnie
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Re: Too risky to buy a firewire interface these days?

Post by Donnie » Tue Feb 16, 2016 4:11 pm

chris vine wrote:Firewire def is better than USB2 in terms of in/out. No experience of USB3 for audio. If you are on a Mac, then a Firewire to Thunderbolt adapter sounds great and will keep your firewire unit going for years. At least Macs have some forward compatability, nothing exists like that for PCs, it seems. :?
Is there some technical reason that Firewire to Thunderbolt would not work on PC's? Or is it not common knowledge that PC's have thunderbolt now? Just curious, this whole conversation makes me want to plug in some old devices and see how well they perform.

Guillermo Barrancos
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Re: Too risky to buy a firewire interface these days?

Post by Guillermo Barrancos » Tue Feb 16, 2016 6:41 pm

Donnie wrote:
chris vine wrote:Firewire def is better than USB2 in terms of in/out. No experience of USB3 for audio. If you are on a Mac, then a Firewire to Thunderbolt adapter sounds great and will keep your firewire unit going for years. At least Macs have some forward compatability, nothing exists like that for PCs, it seems. :?
Is there some technical reason that Firewire to Thunderbolt would not work on PC's? Or is it not common knowledge that PC's have thunderbolt now? Just curious, this whole conversation makes me want to plug in some old devices and see how well they perform.
My M-audio FW interface did not work with the FW to thunderbolt adapter on Mac. So it's no automatic guarantee that every old FW interface will work with todays Macs.

RME is a good, but very expensive brand and has very good support with drivers.
Unlike M-audio, Focusrite and Presonus, wich are total crap with their driver support!

chris vine
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Re: Too risky to buy a firewire interface these days?

Post by chris vine » Tue Feb 16, 2016 7:57 pm

Thanks, good to know. I guess FW conversion isn't necessarily easy. I see they are USB to FW converters but there's no way that would work for audio at any decent throughput. yeah M audio is basic. RME is a step up from that. (I went from an M Audio to RME so I know)

muthafunka
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Re: Too risky to buy a firewire interface these days?

Post by muthafunka » Tue Feb 16, 2016 8:37 pm

Fyi I don't know the details but I asked specifically about firewire > usb adaptors at Gearslutz and was told it's a diff. protocol and would basically not work for audio at all.

Donnie
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Re: Too risky to buy a firewire interface these days?

Post by Donnie » Tue Feb 16, 2016 11:16 pm

Guillermo Barrancos wrote:RME is a good, but very expensive brand and has very good support with drivers.
Unlike M-audio, Focusrite and Presonus, wich are total crap with their driver support!
RME all the way! I've owned interfaces by all of those brands and the only one that hasn't caused me grief is my RME. If I knew then what I know now I never would have bought anything else, it's just not worth the trouble.

jestermgee
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Re: Too risky to buy a firewire interface these days?

Post by jestermgee » Tue Feb 16, 2016 11:37 pm

I was using a Presonus Firebox for a decade with no real issues (other than it would never work on a laptop firewire port without dropouts or even a TI cardbus).

Alas though support for it has stopped at Win7 and now with Win10 I could force install the drivers but the card drops out and reconnects every 3 minutes like clockwork.

I looked at a lot of options and price ranges and decided to take a stab at a Roland Octacapture which has new win 10 drivers. Not heard of Roland interfaces as much on though I do own a UA-25 for some mobile stuff which has also worked well but only 2i2o. I did run my needs past my music store tho and they confirmed it was very good for low latency DAW based and multi-track recording and were happy to take it back if it didn't work as they suggested.

It's directly supported by Win10 (no driver installation needed) and I have tested it on projects that use to have dropouts on my firewire when I reached about 60% CPU, the Roland has no issues (even seems to lower the CPU usage in the same projects) plus it seems to reach super low latency (tested lowest of 32 samples with RTS of just 5mS without dropouts under 50% CPU but I run it at 128 since I can't tell the difference anyway).

I've only used it 2 weeks but super impressed not to mention it has more ins/outs than my old firebox and the mixer software is very easy to use and flexible.

Only downside I have found is it requires a plug pack and doesn't switch on/off with the PC, you have to press power ON and OFF manually which kind of sux since I have a master switch that powers everything up in sequence and now I have to power up the interface separately.

I'd probably never go back to FW and FW>TB adaptors I have heard can be hit and miss or cause more CPU load but I have no experience there so can't comment.

Been some decent USB cards over the years where firewire WAS the way to go 10 years ago, not so much now.

kitekrazy
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Re: Too risky to buy a firewire interface these days?

Post by kitekrazy » Wed Feb 17, 2016 12:05 am

Guillermo Barrancos wrote:
doghouse wrote:
Of course, you can now buy Thunderbolt interfaces including ones from Focusrite. If I was buying a new interface for a Mac today, that's what I would get. I don't think we'll see USB 3 interfaces for a while.
If they are smart we will not see USB 3 Interfaces at all, but an immediate jump to USB-C. As a lot of the new Laptops come with USB-C now, instead of Thunderbolt/DisplayPort.
Tascam has a USB 3 unit.

USB 3.1 is suppose to be as good as TBolt2. I think TBolt will fade away due to costs and lack of support on the Windows side. I wanted a Clarett but no driver support for Windows. Supposedly the holdup is getting approval from Intel and Apple.

doghouse
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Re: Too risky to buy a firewire interface these days?

Post by doghouse » Thu Feb 18, 2016 2:39 am

Intel is already supporting Thunderbolt over USB-C, I expect the next round of Macs will have this.

I wouldn't even bother with USB 3 at this point. The whole point of USB-C is it's a universal connector...use it for power, other protocols, same connector on both ends of the cable, etc.

If you're as sick and tired of all the various flavors of cabling out there this is real good news.

H20nly
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Re: Too risky to buy a firewire interface these days?

Post by H20nly » Thu Feb 18, 2016 6:12 am

Just chiming in to say I have used a FireWire to Thunderbolt cable successfully. It worked like a charm. I used FireWire with XP and Windows 7 in PC land on a TC Electronic interface that also worked on my Mac with the adapter cable. Windows 7 was a laptop and I used an express card with the T.I. chipset on that rig. I love FireWire and hate to see it go away... but it is...

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