Does anyone know good firewire or usb interface and if firewire is better?

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I love the M-Audio Fast Track Pro (USB 1.1). Love it so much that I have two of them. :)

I see USB as the way to go unless you have a ton of USB peripherals.
I found that firewire seems to work faster. I purchased a Tascam FireOne mixer. Just enough for a couple mics. Works well with firewire. Here's a link to it:

Hope this helps.
The advantage of Firewire is a higher sustained bandwidth. Most USB interfaces will max out at 24 bit 48KHz, whereas FW will step you up to 96KHz. FW interfaces more easily support multitrack recording (my NRV10 handily routes 8 channels, and most control surfaces are firewire), and my FW410 tackles 8 outs for some pretty flexible routing. USB has no problem handling stereo though, and I believe the Fast Track Pro has 4 outs to play with if you want to A/B monitors. Firewire can also sometimes be daisy chained. My FW410 and NRV10 (both M-Audio) share a driver, and show up as one giant recording interface.

The question is, do you need any of that? I've never had any issues with latencies on USB1.1 cards. 24 bit 48KHz recording is really decent quality. USB tends to have more universal power and driver support, and some FW cards can be really flaky about hotswapping (I had a client fry the FW port on his Powerbook by trying to unplug a Firewire Solo while his mac was on).

Whats more important than the cable used is looking up specs on the card.
What's the signal to noise ratio? Frequency response? Available gain? Does it have the ins and outs that you need?
USB 2 is supposed to be as fast as Firewire but I don't have technical data to prove it. M-Audio products are very good for the price and they have set ups for both systems.

Dan Nims
USB2 is technically faster than firewire (480Mbps compared to 400Mbps), but it seems to be more of a burst protocol. In testing (check out old Tomshardware posts for more info) firewire tends to have a higher sustained rate though.

Will this mean anything for soundcards? No not really.

Most cards tend to be USB1.1 (MBox2, Fastrack Pro) though so check your specs!
I have just installed a Firewire 800 PCI card in a document archiving computer here at my day job and have a couple of the 2TB Western Digital MyBook drives hooked to it.

I don't know if there is any audio hardware out that utilizes this Firewire 800 connection yet though.
I'm pretty sure there aren't, and some FW400 interfaces get twitchy when used on a FW800 port.

FW400 just seems to be the de facto standard. I wonder if anyone will adopt USB3.
thanks for all the comments


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