Presonus Firestudio Tube

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by franksguitar, Feb 5, 2009.

  1. franksguitar

    franksguitar Member

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    Does anyone use the Presonus Firestudio tube w/ 16 analog inputs with PC? How good is it and any user reviews would be helpful since I'm considering getting one.
     
  2. Steve Dallas

    Steve Dallas Member

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    I have not seen much that is positive on that unit. A lot of people are still having problems with the DICE II chipset drivers shared among the FireStudio line among other things.

    If you are thinking Presonus, I would look at the FP10. Maybe get 2 of them and daisy-chain them.
     
  3. catchthatmonkey

    catchthatmonkey Member

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    ^+1:BEER to that..definetly get the FP-10..les hard on the wallet plus if you can get two then defietly able to get a full band recording easy
     
  4. franksguitar

    franksguitar Member

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    Thanks for the input. I'm, looking for 16 analog inputs to convert analog 1/2" 16 track & 1/4" 8 track reel to reels to digital editing for personal recordings and allowing converting to wav files as a service for those wanting to update. I've looked at a few firewire mixers from Alesis, Mackie & Phonic, and interfaces from Presonus , Motu, Tascam, Behringer and others and need something without latency issues. $1400 for 2 FP-10s is a bit pricey but have great reviews. I have an M-audio 2 channel USB I've had, but has lots of latency issues. I do have a firewire cardbus for myPC laptop and have 2 gigs of ram. I also have Korg 16 track D1600 and a Tascam DP01FX
     
  5. WyrmCracker

    WyrmCracker Member

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    Check out the Echo Audiofire series. The specs are usually better than the presonus, and I can vouch for superb driver support over the years.
     
  6. Steve Dallas

    Steve Dallas Member

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    You can get brand new FP10s for $400 each all day long:

    [​IMG]http://cgi.ebay.com/PRESONUS-FP10-FP-10-make-us-a-best-offer_W0QQitemZ110335710555QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item110335710555&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A570%7C66%3A2%7C65%3A12%7C39%3A1%7C240%3A1318%7C301%3A1%7C293%3A1%7C294%3A50

    Whatever you buy, be sure to stay far away from the DICE II chipset if you are worried about latency. These chips are found in the FireStudio line as well as some Alesis products and interfaces by other manufacturers. The drivers are still spotty at best (even after all this time) and latency and random dropouts are the main problems.

    The Echo stuff is also very good, but I find the Presonus XMAX preamps to be a little better. I think Echo has done a better job of implementing the converters (which are pretty much all the same at this price range), but I also think the preamps in the FP10 trump Echo's converter implementation.

    Also, Echo only includes 2 preamps in their Audiofire 8, which means you will have to buy external pres. The Audiofire 12 has no preamps.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2009
  7. patrickisbusy

    patrickisbusy Member

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    Just get the FP10. I bought one about a week ago and it was a great decision. The drivers are rock solid, and the pre amps are great.
     
  8. Robboman

    Robboman Member

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    Just passing on some info found on another forum, I have no exp but have a FS Tube on the way. It appears the big complaint on Dice II is that when you watch CPU in task manager (or any CPU util) you witness momentary CPU spikes. It's not causing audio problems but users notice this and (understandably) believe it's a problem and complain all over the internet.

    Here's a really long tech explaination, apparently from the manufacturer of the DICE II chipset. Bottom line: it's no problem, the CPU spike witnessed is misleading, and slightly more overall CPU usage allows for lower latency.

    FWIW:

    DPC latencies:
    The term DPC stands for Delayed Procedure Call and it is the principle used to get work done in the kernel. The kernel holds a list of DPC’s per processor and they are scheduled in a sequential manner, one after another. The priority is first in first out. Drivers under Windows schedule such DPC’s to be called when they need work to be done, this could be a result of a timer or of a buffer issued to the lower layers being sent.

    If a driver chooses to spend a lot of time in a DPC call all other applications have to wait. It is essential that DPC’s finish their work as fast as possible, because if they don’t they will defer all other processing.

    The size of the DPC latencies does not directly translate to CPU load. The example below illustrates that:

    1)A driver holds a DPC which is called every 100us and it uses 10us to complete, this will take up 10% CPU load but show insignificant DPC latency (10us)
    2)A driver holds a DPC which is called every 10ms (10000us) and it uses 500us to complete, this will take up 5% CPU but it will show up as 500us DPC latencies.

    While the DPC latency itself is not a measure of the load of the CPU it does affect the latency of the system, as no driver would be able to process with a granularity less than the max DPC latency. When developing a driver that can exhibit low audio latency there is a compromise between obtaining low latency and avoiding clicks every time another driver creates a large DPC spike. In the DICE drivers this is balanced by the ‘safe mode’ setting. Higher ‘safe mode’ makes the system less sensitive to DPC latencies (insensitive to anything below the ‘safe mode’ threshold) by relying on more buffering in the kernel and therefore more latency.

    CPU Usage:
    Ideally this would show the load of the CPU and on average that is exactly what it does. It is based on a statistical sampling method. Unfortunately this is greatly undersampled so the chance of getting ‘beating’ in the measurements when measuring something which uses the CPU at a steady frequency (such as an audio driver) is quite high. Several factors come into play and it is actually possible to make a driver which will take 90% of the CPU time and still show close to 0% utilization on the meter. The problem is that a multiple of the regular small usage of CPU by the audio driver will line up with the CPU meter sampling frequency once in a while and create the cycling I believe you are describing. Furthermore a large DPC spike will postpone those processes so they all line up to happen right after the spike, and that could result in this aliasing problem appearing. When the computer has more than one CPU this becomes even more complicated to predict.

    Here is an example of the undersampling; Let’s assume that a driver runs code every 200us and that the code takes 10us to complete, this is on average 5% CPU load. Let’s assume that the CPU meter samples every 1ms (1000us) which is quite likely. After asking who is running for 1000 times we would assume that 50 of those times it asked when this kernel process was running and it will show 5% on the meter. Unfortunately this is undersampled so in the real world the 200us will not line up with the 1ms every time, they will drift.
    Let’s say that for a while they are lined up so that every time the CPU meter asks it hits our kernel process, then this would show up as 100% usage even though we know it is 5%. On the other hand, if the CPU meter asks right after our process then it will never see it and it will report 0%.

    This link to the Microsoft Knowledgebase explains a similar issue reported but not specifically related to audio drivers: Performance Monitor Reports Inconsistent Data About CPU Usage
     
  9. Steve Dallas

    Steve Dallas Member

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    To this, I would say spend some time on the Presonus and Cakewalk tech support forums. There you will find a whole lot of people have trouble with this chipset. I was one of them. I could not get my FireStudio to run reliably without setting the "hidden" buffer size to 2048, which means I had incredible amounts of latency. Overdubbing was simply impossible. All I could do with it was live tracking and only 4 tracks at a time.

    I spent 2 months trying everything to get it to work including building a new PC. I lost my shirt when I eventually sold it.

    I switched to an FP10 and had zero problems with either PC. None. Zip. Zilch. I eventually upgraged to a MOTU HD192 and have had no problems with it either.

    I agree with s2amps on this one. Stay far away from the DICE II chipset until they get the bugs worked out.
     
  10. Dannc6

    Dannc6 Member

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    Make sure that the presonus dice II chipset works with your computer's firewire card. I had a firestudio, and tried to use a dell laptop with a PCMCIA FW card. No dice. total waste of time. I personally won't buy anything from presonus again, but that's just my bad experience. In the future I'll buy things without the chance of unbelievably frustrating and deabilitating issues.
     
  11. supernosher

    supernosher Senior Member

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