Reply to this topicStart new topic
> Firewire Vs Usb
jstcrsn
post Jan 27 2015, 12:42 PM
Post #1


GMC:er
*

Group: Members
Posts: 2.869
Joined: 29-March 08
From: kansas, USA
Member No.: 4.733



recently an update killed my audio interface connection(usb). So as I sort the issue out ,I might need to buy a new interface and was wondering about the pros and cons of both. So I humbly come before you seeking your vast knowledge to lead my journey
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
AdamB
post Jan 27 2015, 12:59 PM
Post #2


GMC:er
*

Group: Members
Posts: 425
Joined: 2-July 07
Member No.: 2.224



I think it depends on the application, but generally firewire is used for devices that need higher bandwidth (ability to transmit more data per second). USB is very slow compared to firewire, so a USB audio interface would be limited to say 4 channels of audio, where-as firewire could handle 24 channels without much trouble.

There are USB mixers which will support say 16 channels, but you have to be careful here. Usually what's happening is the mixer supports 4 channels at 48Khz 24 bit, 8 channels at 44.1Khz 16bit, and 16 channels at 22050Hz 16bit or something like that. So the more channels you use, the lower the quality of the PCM audio.

However, having said that, USB3 solves the bandwidth issues but you need to make sure your PC and device both support USB3 (on PC's which do support USB3, usually only a selection of the USB ports are USB3, so you'd also need to know which are which). Then you won't need firewire.

Firewire also allows daisy chaining of devices, which to my knowledge USB doesn't.

USB provides power to many devices (some low-power audio interfaces draw power straight from the USB port so require no external power supply). I think generally firewire devices require external power. I have heard of firewire supplying power but not all machines do this, and generally firewire devices use more energy and thus need an external power supply anyhow.

Firewire also requires a firewire IO card (your motherboard may provide firewire, but many don't).

Edit: If you only need like 2 channels (stereo) input or something, then USB is fine, by the by. I use a USB buss-powered Line6 UX2 and a USB Focusrite 8i6, both do everything I need for making my own recordings at home.

This post has been edited by AdamB: Jan 27 2015, 01:01 PM
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Mertay
post Jan 27 2015, 12:59 PM
Post #3


GMC:er
Group Icon

Group: GMC Senior
Posts: 3.041
Joined: 27-May 13
From: Turkey / izmir
Member No.: 18.294



heheeh I recently killed my firewire biggrin.gif though I didn't rush to solve anything, might be just the cable but we'll see smile.gif

Firewire Pros; Way lower latency than USB.
Cons; Abandoned connection, will be very difficult to find parts when needed. Can be used as thunderbolt with an (to me) expensive adapter.

USB pros; Lots of options in various price ranges for soundcards. Usb seems dependable for future.
Cons; Latency alone isn't an issue but recording with plug-ins might be depending on expectation.


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
MrUK
post Jan 27 2015, 01:07 PM
Post #4


Learning Apprentice Player
*

Group: Members
Posts: 48
Joined: 31-December 14
From: Sweden
Member No.: 20.566



Don´t know if this will help you..?

http://www.diffen.com/difference/FireWire_vs_USB

Best Rgds,

Uffe K.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
SirJamsalot
post Jan 27 2015, 06:00 PM
Post #5


Learning Rock Star
*

Group: Members
Posts: 1.241
Joined: 4-May 10
From: Bay Area, California
Member No.: 10.312



another con for USB is the physical architecture. The designers obviously failed leverage theory - Every computer / laptop I own has at least one USB port that has been pried / damaged from common use. Got a flash-drive in your computer? Don't drop a peanut on it...



But that's just a personal rant.


--------------------
The more I practice, the more I wish I had time to practice!
My Band Forum: http://passionfly.site/chat

Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Todd Simpson
post Jan 29 2015, 02:50 AM
Post #6


GMC:er
Group Icon

Group: GMC Instructor
Posts: 15.163
Joined: 23-December 09
From: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Member No.: 8.794



Well said!! This is a KILLER post and I hope it goes in our RECORDING WIKI!! You break everything down perfectly. I"ve got nothing to add except WELL FREAKIN DONE!!!

QUOTE (AdamB @ Jan 27 2015, 07:59 AM) *
I think it depends on the application, but generally firewire is used for devices that need higher bandwidth (ability to transmit more data per second). USB is very slow compared to firewire, so a USB audio interface would be limited to say 4 channels of audio, where-as firewire could handle 24 channels without much trouble.

There are USB mixers which will support say 16 channels, but you have to be careful here. Usually what's happening is the mixer supports 4 channels at 48Khz 24 bit, 8 channels at 44.1Khz 16bit, and 16 channels at 22050Hz 16bit or something like that. So the more channels you use, the lower the quality of the PCM audio.

However, having said that, USB3 solves the bandwidth issues but you need to make sure your PC and device both support USB3 (on PC's which do support USB3, usually only a selection of the USB ports are USB3, so you'd also need to know which are which). Then you won't need firewire.

Firewire also allows daisy chaining of devices, which to my knowledge USB doesn't.

USB provides power to many devices (some low-power audio interfaces draw power straight from the USB port so require no external power supply). I think generally firewire devices require external power. I have heard of firewire supplying power but not all machines do this, and generally firewire devices use more energy and thus need an external power supply anyhow.

Firewire also requires a firewire IO card (your motherboard may provide firewire, but many don't).

Edit: If you only need like 2 channels (stereo) input or something, then USB is fine, by the by. I use a USB buss-powered Line6 UX2 and a USB Focusrite 8i6, both do everything I need for making my own recordings at home.



--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Mertay
post Jan 31 2015, 10:50 AM
Post #7


GMC:er
Group Icon

Group: GMC Senior
Posts: 3.041
Joined: 27-May 13
From: Turkey / izmir
Member No.: 18.294



My old firewire soundcard (tc konnekt 8) could do 1.5 to 2 ms of latency which is ridiculously fast. Its powered by the cable but I do know very few firewire soundcards can work without an adapter.

A friend of mine bought a roland quad-capture which is USB. I can say its more than decent but don't know how fast it is compared other USB. Can't remember the values but latency was nowhere as low as my firewire (which is I think 10+ years old).


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
AdamB
post Jan 31 2015, 01:27 PM
Post #8


GMC:er
*

Group: Members
Posts: 425
Joined: 2-July 07
Member No.: 2.224



When it comes to latency, lower is obviously better, but generally anything under 15ms isn't a problem.

The general rule of thumb to remember whether latency is important is to remember that the speed of sound in air is about 3ms a meter. So 15ms is like being 5 meters from your amp - I'd think not many people can hear much latency at that distance, so it's fine.

What you're after is just to get the latency low enough that you can monitor without it affecting your timing, so that would be acceptable. You do have to remember that latency can stack though - if you have 15ms of input latency and another 15ms of output latency then that combines to 30ms, which is less acceptable. (about 10 meters from your amp, not sure if people would notice that or not).

However much latency you end up with, you're going to have to go in and correct timings for phase issues anyhow so, yea, as long as it's fast enough to monitor you're good.

-Adam
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Mertay
post Jan 31 2015, 02:09 PM
Post #9


GMC:er
Group Icon

Group: GMC Senior
Posts: 3.041
Joined: 27-May 13
From: Turkey / izmir
Member No.: 18.294



QUOTE (AdamB @ Jan 31 2015, 12:27 PM) *
When it comes to latency, lower is obviously better, but generally anything under 15ms isn't a problem.

The general rule of thumb to remember whether latency is important is to remember that the speed of sound in air is about 3ms a meter. So 15ms is like being 5 meters from your amp - I'd think not many people can hear much latency at that distance, so it's fine.

What you're after is just to get the latency low enough that you can monitor without it affecting your timing, so that would be acceptable. You do have to remember that latency can stack though - if you have 15ms of input latency and another 15ms of output latency then that combines to 30ms, which is less acceptable. (about 10 meters from your amp, not sure if people would notice that or not).

However much latency you end up with, you're going to have to go in and correct timings for phase issues anyhow so, yea, as long as it's fast enough to monitor you're good.

-Adam


15ms (if not total) is a huge latency, any pro musician in the studio (even if its the first recording session ever he/she experienced) will not only notice but also be disturbed by that. Never gave thought on speed of air, but usually recording is done by headphone.

Just 1-2 days ago on another forum, beginner level students were commenting over this issue. They all agreed that recording with around 10ms latency, and then turning the amp on playing in their room they all notice the difference. I must comment trained ears are even more sensitive to this matter.

My teacher commented 7-8ms is ideal, and this turned out to be true later on when I recorded myself or musicians. Its common one can forget to adjust buffer smile.gif

Effect of latency I observed is with small amounts, the instrument feels stiffer to the musician. They aren't lost but do battle with that unnatural feeling knowingly or not. But as the latency increase yeah its starts to become a timing issue and become very annoying.

After experiencing that USB based latency and my firewire sound card isn't working (and I don't intend to return to firewire), direct monitoring is the best option for me. Slowly I'm buying pedals etc...

PS; I'm working with the motherboards soundcard now smile.gif I'm using something similar to asio4all (samplitude's asio) and lowest is 9ms total. After getting used the comfort of firewire, its my "ok" limit for recording.

This post has been edited by Mertay: Jan 31 2015, 02:46 PM


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Saoirse O'Shea
post Feb 3 2015, 02:24 PM
Post #10


Moderator - low level high stakes
Group Icon

Group: GMC Senior
Posts: 6.173
Joined: 27-June 07
From: Espania - Cadiz province
Member No.: 2.194



In addition to what has already been said...

Latency and bandwidth are only some of the issues. FW is dedicated to audio and video and streams data in both directions and is full duplex. USB does not stream audio but sends it as discrete packets. A consequence of this is that FW does not have the synchnronisation issues that USB has and is also much less like to have conflicts with other devices or services on your computer. FW also uses its own bus controller whereas USB relies on the computer's cpu. So if your computer is struggling FW may cause fewer issues.

The downside of FW is that it is now pretty much a legacy device as very few new pcs have FW as standard.

If you use FW you need to use a FW card that has a Texas chopset in your computer.


--------------------
Get your music professionally mastered by anl AES registered Mastering Engineer. Contact me for Audio Mastering Services and Advice and visit our website www.miromastering.com

Be friends on facebook with us here.

We use professional, mastering grade hardware in our mastering studo. Our hardware includes:
Cranesong Avocet II Monitor Controller, Dangerous Music Liasion Insert Hardware Router, ATC SCM Pro Monitors, Lavry Black DA11, Prism Orpheus ADC/DAC, Gyratec Gyraf XIV Parallel Passive Mastering EQ, Great River MAQ 2NV Mastering EQ, Kush Clariphonic Parallel EQ Shelf, Maselec MLA-2 Mastering Compressor, API 2500 Mastering Compressor, Eventide Eclipse Reverb/Echo.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Todd Simpson
post Feb 6 2015, 10:13 PM
Post #11


GMC:er
Group Icon

Group: GMC Instructor
Posts: 15.163
Joined: 23-December 09
From: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Member No.: 8.794



Great addition by Tony here smile.gif Given the choice, I'd go FIREWIRE for the simple reason that it's a bidirectional signal that is optimized for Media. USB was "adapted" for media use as it's a generalized connection. That being said, my current interface is my ELEVEN RACK which is USB 2.0 as they don't make a firewire version


smile.gif
QUOTE (tonymiro @ Feb 3 2015, 09:24 AM) *
In addition to what has already been said...

Latency and bandwidth are only some of the issues. FW is dedicated to audio and video and streams data in both directions and is full duplex. USB does not stream audio but sends it as discrete packets. A consequence of this is that FW does not have the synchnronisation issues that USB has and is also much less like to have conflicts with other devices or services on your computer. FW also uses its own bus controller whereas USB relies on the computer's cpu. So if your computer is struggling FW may cause fewer issues.

The downside of FW is that it is now pretty much a legacy device as very few new pcs have FW as standard.

If you use FW you need to use a FW card that has a Texas chopset in your computer.



--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post

Reply to this topicStart new topic
1 User(s) are reading this topic (1 Guests and 0 Anonymous Users)
0 Members:

 


RSS Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 24th October 2017 - 10:48 AM