Hey all,

So, the title of the thread pretty much sums this one up! Long story short, I have a PreSonus Inspire that I've used for a number of years to record scratch tracks of ideas with, and it's been a great little interface. However, the desktop computer I've used it on is getting pretty damn outdated at this point.(It still runs Windows XP, and only has 3 GB RAM, lol), and I'm looking to retire/store the computer, so I can free up some space in my studio apartment.

I'm in the process of either repairing a laptop I own (the original hard drive failed, so I replaced it) that has a USB 3.0 port on it, and more powerful hardware specs than the old desktop. Unfortunately, I cannot (at least easily) add a Firewire port to it, and I don't know of any USB to Firewire adapter options available, so I would need to get a new audio interface to move my recording set-up over to the laptop.

I was always told years back that Firewire was the way to go, and USB 2.0 interfaces were not so great, but what about 3.0? It seems like Firewire is largely being phased out (Even Macbooks seem to come w/USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt these days). Surely the 3.0 stuff is at least an improvement over 2.0? What is a good, simple 3.0 based interface, similar to the Inspire I currently have?

Bear in mind that I'm definitely not recording full bands, or doing any heavy duty production work - just DI guitar/bass tracks, and programmed MIDI instruments for demoing/posting ideas for reference (although I do have multiple mics, and a more portable setup might mean bringing it with me to a location where I can crank up an amp/not have the cops called on me on some occasions )

- Gibson Flying V 120 #1 (White)
- Gibson Flying V 120 #2 (Cherry)
- Gibson SG Standard ('61 style)
- Jackson DK2M

- ENGL Fireball 60
- Avatar 4x12

- Many pedals, plus other stuff
Last edited by FlightofIcarus at Feb 7, 2016,
USB 3.0 really isn't much of an option right now. There are very few interfaces that currently support it and even less that are really worth buying. Unless you have at least $900 to spend on a Presonus Studio 192, there's not really much out there worth looking into. Fortunately, USB 2.0 has come a long way over the years and there are several great high end units utilizing it... But FireWire still remains one of the most stable systems out there and its legacy is carried on with backwards compatibility with Thunderbolt.

That being said, it doesn't sound like you'd need more than a few inputs, in which case, the connectivity protocol you use is going to be of very little concern. There are plenty of good USB 2.0 interfaces with 2-4 inputs that would work very well for what you need and be compatible with nearly any system.
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There were Expresscards Elite and Probook laptops with great specs Win7 sold up to last year where you could add few expansion cards. I did just that. There are few Lenovo models that have that too. My FP10 support ends with Win7 although I think it can work on 8 or 10.

Maybe for for thunderbolt PCs? Or slightly older laptop with those expansion cards?
Last edited by diabolical at Feb 7, 2016,
Quote by FlightofIcarus
Surely the 3.0 stuff is at least an improvement over 2.0?
USB3 is of course an improvement over USB2, but if you're gonna use them for audio they're just about the same and they both have the flaws of USB.

Considering your situation, whatever decent interface with midi i/o is gonna work fine.
If you gotta buy something new, I recommend the roland duo capture ex.
Name's Luca.

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Thunderbolt to firewire adapters are available if you have a thunderbolt connection.