USB vs Firewire

Discussion in 'Digital Audio & Recording' started by clubV2, Dec 2, 2003.

  1. clubV2

    clubV2 New Member

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    I am lloking to pick up a audio interface for my laptop.
    Waht i want to know is whic is better? USB or Firewire.
    and maybe the pros and cons of both?
  2. whyyouknow

    whyyouknow New Member

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    USB is much better!
  3. bnjiman80

    bnjiman80 Tangled Up In Blue

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    Err.

    Hi dude,

    to be honest I don't know the answer to your question!

    But, given that -

    USB is used for mice, keyboards, and mp3 players/small external hard drives

    Firewire is used for real-time video editing (and other stuff I don't know)

    ...I am inclined to disagree with clubV2 on principle. Because video obviously requires a load of data to be transferred per second.

    Moreover, the "theorectical" bandwidth of USB2 has been found to be significantly lower in practice. :mad:

    Check out some reviews at www.soundsonsound.com. Since I don't have firewire, 'cos I only have an old USB laptop, I can't be bothered! :p
  4. bnjiman80

    bnjiman80 Tangled Up In Blue

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    p.s. also you can get digital recording interfaces through the PCMCIA slots in laptops. I know there is a round up at sound on sound regarding these chappies.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2003
  5. johnrowley

    johnrowley Member

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    Firewire is fast on the PC with Audigy sound card, though usb 2 is fast and for laptops would be less fiddly than a firewire set up (unless on the laptop already).
  6. fitzmo

    fitzmo New Member

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    Actually there is a constant debate on which is faster and it depends on whether you are talking a burst or sustainable data rate. As I understand, USB2 is faster as a "burst" rate, but sustained data rates are faster with firewire.

    Fitz
  7. fitzmo

    fitzmo New Member

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    If you have PCMCI slots on your laptop, adding firewire access is quite easy. I found a card (with three ports) at Best Buy that worked great and installed without a problem. I needed this for my Ipod, but the firewire card could be used for anything once installed.

    fitz
  8. fitzmo

    fitzmo New Member

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    Correction "pcmcia" not pcmci

    sorry

    fitz
  9. bnjiman80

    bnjiman80 Tangled Up In Blue

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    Cheers for the advice, Fitzmo.

    I know desktops have better cpu/ram on a cost basis, but I'm not interested in doing heavy duty WAV edits so I'm thinking this peformace diff would not be such a handicap. And, of couse, you can take a laptop with you to record a gig. So I am tempted to get a new laptop after christmas, and could well end up with a firewire interface.

    Do you know if there is any advantage using a laptop because the fans tend to be quiter in comparison to standard desktop pcs? Or would this not be a problem using a direct line-in?

    Thanks again! :p
  10. jazzy_jay

    jazzy_jay New Member

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    Firewire devices are extensively used for pro audio and video work but the new usb2.0 specification(with 480Mbps speed) seems to be as good if not better.

    regards,
    Jay.

    P.S. the IEEE1394(firewire) interface currently provides about 400mbps transfer speeds
  11. DiGi

    DiGi New Member

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    USB supports two different transfer rates: 1.5 Mbps for low speed devices and 12 Mbps maximum rate. Also, is highly affordable partly based on the simplicity of the chipset.

    The Firewire chipset allows three different rates: 100 Mbps, 200 Mbps and 400 Mbps, High transfer rate makes it ideal for streaming video, hard drives and other high-bandwidth data.

    i'd say go with the firewire if you have the cash.
  12. bnjiman80

    bnjiman80 Tangled Up In Blue

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    DiGi and jazzy_jay

    Do either of you use USB2 or Firewire midi/audio interfaces...and could you recommend something?

    Anyway, thanks for the advice!
  13. ManE

    ManE New Member

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    I was impressed with Firewire when I connected a digicam and could control play, rewind, etc. of the camera via software on the Pc...:borg:
  14. Velocity

    Velocity New Member

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    Firewire is GREAT!
  15. nismonissan3

    nismonissan3 New Member

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    definately go with a usb cable. much easier than firewire and the performance isnt going to be anything serious
  16. Normski

    Normski New Member

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    i hear firewire is best, but i dont have firewire in my pc...usb is ok tho im told
  17. paychomaster

    paychomaster New Member

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    One vote for FW

    I just told with M-audio guy at AES show at a'dam last march.
    And the guy said we will gonna produce all products by FW
  18. rickiboy

    rickiboy New Member

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    Use Firewire and you won't get any serious problems like delay and so on...
  19. jazzy_jay

    jazzy_jay New Member

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    Hi bnjiman80,
    I use a M.O.T.U 808MkII firewire interface.I works fine with my G4 mac But beware if you are gonna use it with a PC.

    Regards,
    Jay.
  20. jazzy_jay

    jazzy_jay New Member

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    P.S. perhaps you could take a look at the personus firestation, the M-audio firewire 410 or the new interface from egosys.But just be carefull as most of these interfaces do have apparent driver problems with PC based systems.

    all the best,
    Jay.

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