#1
FireWire has been dead for over a decade! I can't remember the last time I saw a computer with support for it. USB just makes so much more sense.... So what's the reasoning behind it?
#2
1, my mac from 2012 has a firewire port and supports firewire through thunderbolt, so it's not compatibility.
2, Firewire is a straight up better format than USB for audio due to its constant stream instead of packet based format. It also has its own dedicated chip to handle it whereas USB is all on the processor.
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#3
Quote by Akira13
FireWire has been dead for over a decade! I can't remember the last time I saw a computer with support for it. USB just makes so much more sense.... So what's the reasoning behind it?


I recall someone guaranteeing that firewire completely crushes USB in terms of sound quality. But I can't say for sure, I have never tried a firewire interface.
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#4
Quote by Akira13
FireWire has been dead for over a decade! I can't remember the last time I saw a computer with support for it. USB just makes so much more sense.... So what's the reasoning behind it?

I'm willing to bet you either are new to recording/production or haven't used much gear beyond bodge jobs... no offence, that's just how it comes across. A lot of people in professional audio use Macs (a lot more than relative to the normal commercial market) and Macs have had FireWire as standard for a long time, and only in the last few years did they drop off any models.

FireWire is better than USB 2.0 as mentioned above, and also due to general bandwidth. USB 3.0 addresses some of the issues, but Thunderbolt is more of a successor to FireWire really - either way, they'll lead to the gradual phasing out of FireWire.

The main reason you don't see as many PCs with FireWire is because those PCs are built on the cheap to sell to the masses, not specialised use such as studios (where the Mac Pro is king).
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#5
Quote by Kevätuhri
I recall someone guaranteeing that firewire completely crushes USB in terms of sound quality. But I can't say for sure, I have never tried a firewire interface.
Let me tell you right now why that makes absolutely no sense...

Digital audio, once it gets past the a/d converter, is all the same - it's 1s and 0s representing discrete voltage values. Format can't affect quality.
Current Gear:
LTD MH-400 with Gotoh GE1996T (EMG 85/60)
PRS SE Custom 24 (Suhr SSH+/SSV)
Ibanez RG3120 Prestige (Dimarzio Titans)
Squier Vintage Modified 70s Jazz V
Audient iD22 interface
Peavey Revalver 4, UAD Friedman BE100/DS40
Adam S3A monitors
Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
#6
Firewire is a dead tech, but they still make the interfaces because some people still buy them and the drivers are solid. On a PC it's a non issue, you can still buy a firewire card for $50.00. On Mac you're being pushed to thunderbolt, but most firewire interfaces will work through an adapter. The reason firewire interfaces are still around is that the industry is slow to change and a lot of R&D went into making Firewire interfaces stable.

There is no sound quality attributed to USB or Firewire.

There are no major differences in performance or latency either really, RME makes better USB drivers than Focucrite's Firewire drivers for example - so performance depends on the interface and the driver, not the protocol. You'll get better latency with an RME Babyface USB 2.0 than with a Focusrite Saffire Firewire interface - because the drivers are better.
#7
Quote by DisarmGoliath


FireWire is better than USB 2.0 as mentioned above, and also due to general bandwidth. USB 3.0 addresses some of the issues, but Thunderbolt is more of a successor to FireWire really - either way, they'll lead to the gradual phasing out of FireWire.

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That's true, but for a home user there is no benefit in having increased bandwidth - USB 2.0 provides way more than any individual would ever need - now if you're tracking 96 tracks live at a time, then bandwith is an issue, but tracking 8 or even 16 inputs is a joke for USB, which is more than most ever need.

People need to be careful - even a Thunderbolt interface could have worst performance than a USB interface if the drivers are not up to par. It's all about the drivers.
#8
I had a friend that needed firewire Windows laptop about a year ago and from my search I could still find two high end laptops that were having it onboard. Now laptop support has dropped but noone is stopping audio tech companies (or yourself) to custom build you a PC with firewire card if you're serious about what you're doing.
I got a laptop about 3 yrs ago with expansion card that plugs in a firewire ExpressCard and works flawlessly with my PreSonus FP10. The FP10 has been a steady no issues interface since 2005 when I bought it and has just recently been dropped from support (drivers work up to Win8 and OS X 10.8).
A lot of interface manufacturers provide FW to Thunderbolt capability so I think it will probably be supported for a few more years from the high end interface manufacturers, like RME, etc.

There is a new trend of dropping USB ports from laptops though that worries me a bit. Most of the laptops I saw at Best Buy (and not just cheap ones) have about 2 USB ports. Apple are dropping USB ports on some of their cheaper models altogether, then in order to add the capability you'll have to purchase a flimsy outside cable that gives you 2 ports that run off the same bus. Things are looking quite scary on the laptop market for professional audio. Not to mention that a lot of the models have no other way to connect to audio interfaces. Probably some kind of wireless format will be coming soon but it will take a while before all the kinks are ironed out.
Last edited by diabolical at Jan 6, 2016,
#9
With El Capitan, Apple has finally rid itself of any ties to Firewire and has made any products that used Thunderbolt's backwards compatibility with Firewire boat anchors. I would recommend to anyone that has Firewire based devices to get an external bootable drive with Yosemite and have all the software needed on there to get the job done. If your internal drive has enough space for a dual partition do that, because there are still very good units out there that use Firewire. This is a temporary solution, but it is workable.