FireWire vs USB 2.0 laptop to interface help plz

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by isfahani, Dec 23, 2010.

  1. isfahani

    isfahani Member

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    I am overdue for ditching my trusty (but heavy) Korg 1600mkII DAW in favor of a laptop and 1 rack space recording interface. After looking at many laptops currently on the market, it appears that most in my price range don't have firewire capability, or even the option of adding in a card to make it happen, and there are now quite a few USB 2.0 interfaces on the market.

    I am hoping to get some opinions about the USB 2.0 version as opposed to firewire, especially regarding the monitoring latency (if any)

    Please and Thanks.
     
  2. JPF

    JPF Member

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    You might want to keep an eye on USB 3.0 as long as you're comparing options. It seems to have increasingly strong industry backing.
     
  3. franksguitar

    franksguitar Member

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    I love my Korg have had one for years and get great sounds quickly. I have used my Laptop w/2.0 USB & 4 gigs ram and programs but even a milisecond of latency issues and time make it difficult to make the total move for me. I also have 24 (16 & an 8) track tape machines as well
     
  4. isfahani

    isfahani Member

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    I love my Korg too, but I am not in love with the limited effects (compared to plugins, extremely limited) and the time it takes to bump all of the .wav's over to my PC for mixing, especially when I am recording concerts that are a couple of hours long. Of course, exporting 16 tracks in combinations of mono and stereo are as much of a PITA even for 3 minute tunes.

    Latency in monitoring for overdubbing is the deal breaker here obviously. None of the laptops I am looking at have USB 3.0 yet.
     
  5. Nelson89

    Nelson89 Member

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    USB 2.0, i think its biggest downfall is that if you plug in a USB 1.1 device (like an old keyboard or mouse) it will make all the ports on that bus run at the 1.1 speed. As long as you're aware of this, it should be fine i think. Generally the problem in the past was that although its faster than firewire400, it didn't provide a constant bandwidth...i'm not sure how this has improved over time. Personally i would be comfortable using USB up to 8 inputs...although my setup is a firewire setup with 16 inputs (so far)
     
  6. JPF

    JPF Member

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    I haven't seen one yet either, but the new 2TB external drive I bought last week is set up for USB 3.0, and it seems that Apple is less than committed to maintaining Firewire across its product range, unfortunately.
     
  7. soulohio

    soulohio Member

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    we will have to wait and see how USB 3.0 pans out. I like Firewire but that said I use it very seldom. It is the best for sustained throughput...if you are connecting a keyboard and using the onboard samples then Firewire is best....also for a way huge disc restore.
     
  8. Tom CT

    Tom CT Old Supporting Member Gold Supporting Member

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    This may be worthy of a separate thread, but why is there such an affinity for laptops, especially for home studios? Smaller screens, slower hard drives, slower processors, fewer expansion options, higher cost, possible heat issues, etc. I don't understand the attraction.

    Desktops are alive and well, and are often the right tool for the job. Something to keep in mind anyway.
     
  9. soulohio

    soulohio Member

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    mobile son..air mobile. They buy, we fly.
     
  10. Maltese Fan

    Maltese Fan Member

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    Firewire interfaces can be picky about which firewire controllers are in the laptop. Texas Instruments controllers are usually recommended. That said I've gone to a USB interface for my mobile setup, with no problems with latency.
     
  11. soulohio

    soulohio Member

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  12. isfahani

    isfahani Member

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    I guess I should have made it clear at the beginning: I am not at all interested in purchasing Apple products. Never have been, never will be. Otherwise, I wouldn't be asking about laptops. :D

    Portable. I want a setup that is smaller, lighter and all-in-one. I have a spare PC that I could have just got a i1394 PCI card for, but then I am still stuck carrying around something that is just as bulky as my korg, albeit much less weight. And I'd be stuck using the small 14" LCD screen with it to mix on, cause I am for sure not unplugging the 22" I use at home and lugging it about too... And a newer laptop would blow it away.

    Thanks. I have read about this issue. If you don't mind, what do you have, and how many channels are you using to record at a time with? No problems with latency while overdubbing to prerecorded tracks?
     
  13. jbrown013

    jbrown013 Member

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    My dell laptop has a 1394 firewire port which a lot of laptops have. Its a smaller firewire port size wise but can have adapters for the cables to your interface. You may look into that as an option. If you pm me I can send you photos of what I have. Might be even willing to sell you laptop for a fair amount :D

    Joe
     
  14. Dickie Fredericks

    Dickie Fredericks Supporting Member

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    Im using a USB 1sp Tascam 1641 right now. It works just fine on the laptop which is a Vaio with a dual 1.8 and 2gigs of RAM. Im running Sonar. Ive had no problems.
     

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