usb vs. firewire vs. pci

general questions, comments and ideas about recording, audio, music, etc.
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josh hates you
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usb vs. firewire vs. pci

Post by josh hates you » Mon Nov 29, 2004 6:57 am

i record on a component systen and i just mix on pc. but a friend was asking me the speed difference between these types of units.

he is considering the

m-box

delta 10/10

and a onyx mixer from mackie with firewire built in.

can the m-box be used with programs other that protools. is the usb reliable?

need advice. thanks in advance.
how do you know if wont sound cool underwater

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Brian
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Re: usb vs. firewire vs. pci

Post by Brian » Mon Nov 29, 2004 7:12 am

My new MBox is shot. unabused and not working. USB is SLOW.
It worked OK for a SHORT while then kaput. Protools is good for editing and making the unskilled sound good (not recommended). If there is a better more stable platform that accepts any interface I'de suggest that over PT and MBox. They will upgrade their software to make your brandnew state of the art computer obsolete with their system too. that sucks.
I won't use them again.
Harumph!

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Re: usb vs. firewire vs. pci

Post by kcrusher » Mon Nov 29, 2004 8:21 am

Brian wrote:My new MBox is shot. unabused and not working. USB is SLOW.
It worked OK for a SHORT while then kaput. Protools is good for editing and making the unskilled sound good (not recommended). If there is a better more stable platform that accepts any interface I'de suggest that over PT and MBox. They will upgrade their software to make your brandnew state of the art computer obsolete with their system too. that sucks.
I won't use them again.
Brian - if you purchased your Mbox within the last year, call Digi and they will repair or replace it with a 3 day turnaround (3 days after you get it to them, you'll have it back...).

As for the 'they will upgrade their software to make your brand new state of the art computer obsolete..' comment - what do you mean, exactly? Also - no one forces you to upgrade, that's a choice you make yourself.
America... just a nation of two hundred million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns and no qualms about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable.
- Hunter S. Thompson

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Re: usb vs. firewire vs. pci

Post by KennyLusk » Mon Nov 29, 2004 8:24 am

My vote in these cases always goes to PCI.

USB (even 2.0) is a little unreliable still for recording, firewire is still a little faster than USB 2.0 in actual benchmark tests. They tout USB 2.0 is faster but it's not. It's great for data transfer though and for networking.

With a PCI card that does decent ADA I've always gotten a strong and reliable signal to my box. You mentioned the 1010 and I like the converters in the 1010. I use the 1010LT right now and couldn't be happier with the ADA I'm getting.

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Re: usb vs. firewire vs. pci

Post by s2 » Mon Nov 29, 2004 9:12 am

I've read that USB, even 2.0, is a master/slave system, so while you get a max of 480 mbps (as opposed to the 400 mbps with firewire) your actual speed will vary, depending on the resources your computer has available. Firewire uses a peer to peer protocol, so the speed is independant of your computer. That's why firewire is still preferred for audio and video. Not sure how either compares to PCI, though.

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Re: usb vs. firewire vs. pci

Post by Brian » Mon Nov 29, 2004 9:32 am

Bombastique,
Thanks, number one. :wink:
Two, I got a Mac G5 1.8ghz and it worked fine, until they upgraded. Then, nothing worked. It says it won't work with the mac I have because it isn't the last 1.8ghz they put out. That Sucks. I think the MBox doesn't work from the upgrade. You have to upgrade or your stuff will stop working and get a worm off the net, security upgrade. PT is way behind Apple on upgrades and the computer starts to be incompatible for "Double Duty". :oops:
Harumph!

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Re: usb vs. firewire vs. pci

Post by lancebug » Mon Nov 29, 2004 9:34 am

I have an mbox and while it works a well as I could hope it is slow and limited in how much data it can transfer at once. I imagine this to pretty much be the cas with any usb 1.0 device. I have successfully used the mbox for a/d/a outside of protools however.

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wedge
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Re: usb vs. firewire vs. pci

Post by wedge » Mon Nov 29, 2004 9:48 am

lancebug wrote:I have successfully used the mbox for a/d/a outside of protools however.
Please explain... I've been lead to believe that this was impossible...

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Re: usb vs. firewire vs. pci

Post by sonikbliss » Mon Nov 29, 2004 12:04 pm

Brian wrote:Bombastique,
Thanks, number one. :wink:
Two, I got a Mac G5 1.8ghz and it worked fine, until they upgraded. Then, nothing worked. It says it won't work with the mac I have because it isn't the last 1.8ghz they put out. That Sucks. I think the MBox doesn't work from the upgrade. You have to upgrade or your stuff will stop working and get a worm off the net, security upgrade. PT is way behind Apple on upgrades and the computer starts to be incompatible for "Double Duty". :oops:
Are you using a compatible version of OS X? Because certain versions aren't qualified to work with ProTools, 10.3.5 for instance. What version of PT are you using? The Mbox should work with any G5 as long as you have PT software that's compatable with your OS (provided the hardware is functioning properly).

Also it's very rare for a MAC to get infected with a virus off the internet and shouldn't be something you're too worried about.

As far as Digi being behind Apple on updates that's the case with many software designers. I find it's best to stay a step behind the most current updates and wait until they've gotten the bugs worked out before I update anything. That's about the only way you can keep things consistently running smoothly.

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Re: usb vs. firewire vs. pci

Post by wedge » Mon Nov 29, 2004 12:37 pm

I'd seriously consider the digi001, at least over the Mbox. It's pci, 8 ins & outs, and it's stable and works on older systems. Plus, it's compatible with ProTools 6.4. I have it and think it's great.

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Re: usb vs. firewire vs. pci

Post by sonikbliss » Mon Nov 29, 2004 12:46 pm

wedge wrote:I'd seriously consider the digi001, at least over the Mbox. It's pci, 8 ins & outs, and it's stable and works on older systems. Plus, it's compatible with ProTools 6.4. I have it and think it's great.
The 001 won't work on a G5 though because it's PCI card is incompatible with the new G5 PCI slots. Digi no longer supports or develops software for it either. It does work great though, I still use mine on my older G4 system at home. I have a 002 hooked up to my computer at work and have never really had any performance issues with the firewire interface only with firewire drives that couldn't keep up.

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Re: usb vs. firewire vs. pci

Post by hammertime » Mon Nov 29, 2004 1:51 pm

There are two different standards for USB -- 1.1 and 2.0. The mbox and a number of other interfaces use the slower standard -- 1.1, which is about fast enough to record 2 channels of audio at a time, but won't give you low latency software monitoring. As far as I know, almost no interface has taken advantage of the USB 2.0 bandwidth increase (I use it for recording to an external USB 2.0 drive for my laptop). Instead, a bunch have come out using firewire, e.g. the Tascam fw, the digi 002, etc -- which also works well for audio, and video as well. PCI is fine too, and probably the preferable route for a desktop because PCI devices tend to be cheaper. But firewire and usb devices you can move from computer to computer without opening up your case.

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Re: usb vs. firewire vs. pci

Post by jajjguy » Tue Nov 30, 2004 10:15 pm

i've had get success and no problems whatsoever with firewire. in general, though, i think it's less about the connection type and more about the particular drivers and how stable they are. once metric halo got their drivers figured out, my box has never failed.

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Re: usb vs. firewire vs. pci

Post by goldenechos » Thu Dec 02, 2004 9:06 am

Brian wrote:Bombastique,
Thanks, number one. :wink:
Two, I got a Mac G5 1.8ghz and it worked fine, until they upgraded. Then, nothing worked. It says it won't work with the mac I have because it isn't the last 1.8ghz they put out. That Sucks. I think the MBox doesn't work from the upgrade. You have to upgrade or your stuff will stop working and get a worm off the net, security upgrade. PT is way behind Apple on upgrades and the computer starts to be incompatible for "Double Duty". :oops:
A good work around for this is to do the OSX software updates yourself (turn off auto-update).

After you search for updates, a window will appear listing all the updates available. DE-SELECT any OS updates (unless digidesign approved). Run the updater allowing all the Security Updates to be installed. You can make security updates without making OS updates. This way your computer will be secure from "worms" and the like, while maintaining compatability with digidesign softwares.

tony echos

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Re: usb vs. firewire vs. pci

Post by lancebug » Thu Dec 02, 2004 4:16 pm

In response to Wedge's question about using the mbox outside of protools, I routinely use it to play cd's through my nearfields. I just select it via the sound control panel. I am however running os9 on a ruby imac. I wasnt aware that digi prevented people from using their hardware outside of PT, I thought the point was more to make the hardware act as a dongle for the software. I have no desire to pirate but I wish to hell that someone would crack one of the versions of PTLE so I could run it through the interface of my choice. I mean I have so much money invested in plugins that it seems kinda Microsoftish to tell me what I can and can't run it through. I am seriously considering Logic 7 when I do finally upgrade to OSx and a new machine.

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