#1
im about to buy a mixer to record my bands songs, but im having trouble deciding which one to buy. i know im getting a phonic helix 12 input mixer, but i dont know if i should get the firewire or usb one

the firewire is like 120$ more

which do you think would be better?

Phonic HelixBoard12 12-Channel USB Mixer THIS

or
http://www.zzounds.com/item--PHOH12FWMKII THIS

pros and cons of each?
#2
Pros of firewire:
Firewire can transfer as fast as USB2.0 but the fact is that firewire can transfer much more info at one time compared to USB. This is extremely important when using a product like a mixer/interface since the Firewire mixers keep each input on its own track in the recording program. Firewire drivers are nice and easy to install these days, just plug in the hardware and within seconds you are running.

Cons of firewire:
Well to be honest there are not many, it is the #1 choice for the recording field these days since it can move so much data. The only real downside is price but you get what you pay for in the audio field.


Pros of USB
- USB 2.0 can transfer as fast as firewire...but lacks some other details...
- Most PCs and laptops have quite a few USB ports which means you dont need to buy any card for your computer.
- Price is normally lower...

cons of USB
- It can't transfer the same amount of data in the same time compared to firewire and so mixers will generally mix to a single stereo track which is the last thing you want in the recording field...
- Drivers can be a real pain...most of the time you will have issues.


http://www.tweakheadz.com/soundcards_for_the_home_studio-page2.htm


USB 2.0 and firewire are the same speeds just about but once again, its the amount of data that can transfer at one time which is most important.

If you do go with USB its best to stick with 2.0 but If you have the cash it's almost always better to go with firewire and for that mixer I would go with firewire.

If you have some spare money on the side, the PreSonus FireStudio Project is a great interface and you can mix "in the box" meaning you'll get a better audio signal since its not passing though cheap pots and EQs in the outboard mixer.

Mixers in a studio today are not that common, they are more used for analog recording which is high in price.
Last edited by moody07747 at Apr 1, 2008,
#3
The difference between Firewire and USB 2.0 has been over exxagerated.

If you do your own tests, and try transferring say 1GB of information, you will notice little to no difference in speeds b/w the Firewire and USB 2.0

Firewire just sounds cooler.
#4
the USB ports on my computer are USB 2.0

does the mixer have to be like... also 2.0? or will any usb thing work at 480 MB/s (usb 2.0 speed )
#5
If its newer than 2004 it IS 1000% for sure 2.0
second the firewire use 8 connections(don't quote me on that)
Usb use 5
Firewire is better for music and art stuff hence apples endorsement of it
Usb is more efficient in that if its only one input or maybe two it will work better AKA headset, mouses, keyboards are generally usb.
not to mention USB is cheaper and more standardized

edit: firewire is 4-12 pins depending on edition
The nice part about being a pessimist is that you are constantly being either proven right or pleasantly surprised
-George Will

Also caught her playing fallout boy on my guitar, changed my strings and cleaned it the next day.
Last edited by BAoxymoron at Apr 1, 2008,
#7
you cant do true multitrack recording with USB.
go with firewire. if you get USB, i guarentee you will want to upgrade to Firewire soon anyway. save the time and money
#8
alright thanks
so if i get the Phonic Helix12FW MkII 12-Channel Mixer with FireWire, what else would i need to get good quality recordings?

im pretty new to real recording, most of the recording ive done is just a computer mic with free software like audacity and kristal audio
#9
get some decent mics, stands, quality cables, some decent monitors for play back and have a blast.
my band, exit 41 recorded our debut album using the firewire mixer that your talking about, and also adobe audition. we get lots of radio play and are on iTunes. if you want to hear the quality, look up our band on itunes. our band name is exit 41. i think its a great representation of what you can do with not-too-expensive equiptment. good luck bro
#10
Quote by Lastin
The difference between Firewire and USB 2.0 has been over exxagerated.

If you do your own tests, and try transferring say 1GB of information, you will notice little to no difference in speeds b/w the Firewire and USB 2.0

Firewire just sounds cooler.



I would disagree with this. The speed of each is more or less the same, but USB is serial (hence the name USB - Universal Serial Bus) whereas Firewire is parallel. This means that Firewire can transfer more data at the same time, which is invaluable when multitracking several instruments.
There is poetry in despair.
#11
ok well i just ordered the 12 input phonic helix firewire mixer, but now i have a new question

what do i need to connect the firewire to my computer?
do i have to get a new soundcard?
#12
you need to install a card with firewire ports if you dont have a firewire port on your computer already.

if you have a desktop this works well:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815124003

You dont need a sound card to work with your new interface as interface bypass your stock sound card. You should get some good mics...probably around $80+ as well as stands, cables, and software. Studio monitors are not mandatory to start on and can drive up cost easily but they are nice to have. The KRK RP5 or new Mackie units are great.

look up some mics:
http://studio-central.com/phpbb/viewforum.php?f=8&sid=d8db02acec0a7395950bdb5fa307a594

oh for recording software you can multi track with start out with Reaper, its free and a great program to learn.
Last edited by moody07747 at Apr 1, 2008,
#13
The way i would describe USB 2.0 when recording multiple tracks is like a bottleneck. It can transfer the same speed as USB when theres one thing, but add more track and it just slows down.
#14
moody07747:
"oh for recording software you can multi track with start out with Reaper, its free and a great program to learn."


This isn't the first post I've seen where you've written something similar. Reaper is NOT, I repeat, NOT free!!! Quote, REAPER is reasonably priced Windows software for multitrack audio production, unquote. The trial is fully functional but that doesn't mean you don't have to buy it. $50 for non-commercial license, $225 for a full license. Thank you...
I love music. That is all...
#15
Quote by moody07747

Well to be honest there are not many, it is the #1 choice for the recording field these days since it can move so much data.



I agree about firewire>USB, but there is no way that it is the #1 choice for recording. PCI easily destroys both of these with 0 latency, but of course the setup is much more expensive.
#17
PCI would make the most sense to me. but i have a laptop, so that's useless to me...

using my logic, and sorry if i'm wrong here, someone correct me, but firewire 800 has a bigger bandwidth than usb no? then surely it rules?
#18
Yeah, Firewire 800, aka 1394b is the fastest out there, and actually isn't necessary for many high end audio interfaces (even $3000 AD/DA converters like the Lynx Aurora use Firewire 400). It is backwards compatible to 1394a, but you'll need an adapter.