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firewire: problems and solutions
#1
Must admit that nowadays firewire isn't used widely anymore - apart Thunderbolt, but it's still a niche connection.

BUT... indeed it could be handy for someone who would like to get a cheap and good audio interface to capture laserdisc tracks and not only.

The main problem is, most of all the motherboards released in the last few years, there is no firewire, so you are forced to buy a PCI-E card to get it; still, some of these can have sync problems.

According to several posts I read on various problem, the best way to avoid problems using a PCI-E firewire interface with audio cards is to choose one using Texas Instrument chipsets; in particular, the latest one using the XIO2213B.

AVOID the cheap few-bucks chinese cards as they do not use TI chipsets!

Such kind of cards cost around 35/40€; bad thing is, they come without a cable, so you need a 9pin/6pic cable that usually cost further 15/20€, setting the price of the whole set up to 50/60€! So take this in account if you are planning to buy an old firewire audio card, as the whole connection set could could a big fraction of the card itself!

There is another way, though: buy an old iMac!

It could be found for peanuts now; any Intel based one could record several dozen tracks without a problem, and it's possible to add more interfaces easily to get more channels, without having problems like you probably get using the PC!

Sure, two computers (and monitors) take more space than one, but having one dedicated only to audio capture could be useful; then, if you can also got a video capture card working in that same iMac... Big Grin
Sadly my projects are lost due to an HDD crash... Sad
Fundamental Collection | Vimeo channel | My blog
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#2
So you're saying ... instead of buying a card and cable for 60 bucks, buy a used iMac for likely even more that will take up space? Big Grin
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#3
(2021-09-11, 03:08 PM)TomArrow Wrote: So you're saying ... instead of buying a card and cable for 60 bucks, buy a used iMac for likely even more that will take up space? Big Grin

No, basically I said: IF you need/want to use more than one sound card - in every combination, from 2x 2ch = 4ch up to 3x 8ch =24ch and more - AND you want to avoid any sync problem AND you have space AND you can find an used iMac for less, get it! Big Grin Big Grin Big Grin

I just point out, for the record, that I had the same quandary: shell out 50€ or more for the PCI-e + cable, with the one card limit, and the possibility that using the PC at the same time of recording could give some sync problems, or instead get a 2006 iMac 20" Intel Core2 Duo T7400 2,16GHz with 250GB SSD (replacing the original HDD) for 30€ in mint condition? Guess what I did? Wink
Sadly my projects are lost due to an HDD crash... Sad
Fundamental Collection | Vimeo channel | My blog
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#4
Interesting. Why not just get an old laptop with firewire instead though? Takes up less space.
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#5
(2021-09-11, 06:53 PM)TomArrow Wrote: Interesting. Why not just get an old laptop with firewire instead though? Takes up less space.

Well, if you can find a laptop with firewire AND 20" at 30€, I'm all in! Big Grin

FYI it's like this:

[Image: 0f1372da-b9c4-44e0-b36e-025350127407.jpg]

Not that I like MacOS more than Windows, but the whole Mac "ecosystem" is great for music, even using a 15+ years old model - and I can let him record while I use the PC to do something else. Now, I need to get my laserdisc player(s) and discs! Eek
Sadly my projects are lost due to an HDD crash... Sad
Fundamental Collection | Vimeo channel | My blog
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#6
Hah, fair enough. Performance wise it shouldn't be an issue though. Recording audio with a proper interface over ASIO isn't too hard on the CPU. I've done I think 24-track (simultaneous) recordings on a Laptop using a Chinese interface once.
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#7
CPU wise yes, is not hard at all; firewire allow 400mbps (800 on 2nd version) Vs 480mbps of USB2, but the former use almost all the bandwidth while the latter use about half; both are able to record more than 50ch without a problems - if any would need them, though!

The only thing is that with more than one audio card, you need to use ASIO4ALL on Windows, and some said it could have sync problems; or, just connect the second audio card to the first using only ADAT and presto! 16 channels on a single firewire connection!
Sadly my projects are lost due to an HDD crash... Sad
Fundamental Collection | Vimeo channel | My blog
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