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Is it worth waiting for a Thunderbolt interface?


Silver Supporting Member
That's where it can get a little confusing.

Thunderbolt-3 uses a USB-C port.
USB-3.2 can use a USB-C port (or type A).

If a device has a USB-C port, that doesn't mean it's a Thunderbolt peripheral.
If you don't specifically see the Lightening Bolt logo next to the port, it's USB.

Many motherboards have USB-C ports... but don't support Thunderbolt.
A motherboard specifically must have a Thunderbolt controller to provide Thunderbolt.
Some motherboards have a Thunderbolt header... which supports using a Thunderbolt add-in-card (Thunderbolt controller).

Many newer USB audio interfaces have a USB-C port... but aren't Thunderbolt.
To confuse matters even more, most USB audio interfaces that have a USB-C port are actually USB-2 devices.
Dang, wtf?


Serial tree-hugger
Platinum Supporting Member
Dang, wtf?

It's a tricky thing, because keeping the same connector that works with different protocols is a really good way to foster backward compatibility. Problem is it relies on manufacturers and retailers using sensible language to keep the message clear. It's also tough if a protocol has only ever existed with a single connection type.


I picked up a Motu 828ES and this thing is amazing. Right now just using the USB connection part. I'd have to build a whole new pc with TB, but love the idea I could make the change later on.

This interface has pretty much future proofed my setup.


Silver Supporting Member
right, but which direction?

in other words, since TB is providing access to the PCIc bus in the computer, shouldn't you be able to use the USB port on an interface an convert to TB running into the computer?
You can’t change the speed of what your device was built to handle. Making the physical connection may be possible, but the rate at which the data moves in/out of your device won’t.
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To confuse matters even more, most USB audio interfaces that have a USB-C port are actually USB-2 devices.
I just noticed that the Tascam Model 12 has a USB-C port, but the Tascam site says
that the format is "USB2.0 High-Speed, Mass-storage class/USB Audio Class".

But I guess the fact that you can record directly to the Model 12 means that the
latency issues could be avoided that way?

Jim Roseberry

If you're monitoring directly off the mixer (Model 12), then you wouldn't hear the latency.
If you're monitoring via software, that's where you'll still experience latency.
Tascam aren't known for extremely low latency drivers.

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