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  #1  
Old 08-11-2015, 09:12 AM
TomKairos TomKairos is offline
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Location: England
Posts: 8
Default Interfaces, and PCI FireWire cards

Hi, I'm new here, so I apologise for any cliché questions.

I recently switched to PC because my iMac was outdated, and I've been wanting to build a PC for quite some time, so I built one. 90% specifically for music; one powerful enough to handle my needs, and also a little bit of gaming here and there.

My specs:
ASUS Z97-PRO
i7 4790K @ 4.00Ghz
16GB 1866Mhz RAM
GTX-970
Corsair H100i
Pro Tools version: 12.1

I'm currently using Windows 10 Pro; but I am considering going back to 8.1, as it is already approved by Avid and I've had some issues with PT, and Win 10 already.

My question:

I need some advise regarding compatibility; I'm set on a Focusrite Saffire 26, and I am getting a PCI FireWire card as well to accommodate the interface. If there are any known issues, or reasons why this would be a bad idea, and equally, why it might be a good choice, I'd like to know. Also, if there are better ways of doing something similar that would be helpful too; anything you can recommend doing to get things running as smoothly as possible, please educate me on them.

I'm new to PT, and Windows, and it seems to me like there are a lot of things that need to be taken into consideration before doing anything. I need to know before buying anything else, that it's going to work.

I apologise if I've been vague, or missed any needed information. Thank you in advance for any help.
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  #2  
Old 08-11-2015, 10:45 AM
sw rec sw rec is offline
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Location: Colo Spgs Colo
Posts: 5,624
Default Re: Interfaces, and PCI FireWire cards

Make sure your firewire card has a TI chipset on it. I've always had good results with SIIG cards.

You do have a qualified secondary hard drive to dedicate to recording, I hope?

Forgot to add...go into BIOS when you first boot the computer, and see if there's a floppy drive controller. My ASUS mobo had a floppy controller, even though there's no PORT to hook up a floppy drive. If there is one, disable it. VERY important step.

BTW, 100 points for asking questions BEFORE you buy anything! If we had a dollar for everybody that researches AFTER they buy, we'd be rich!
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  #3  
Old 08-11-2015, 12:18 PM
Amack Amack is offline
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Location: USA
Posts: 846
Default Re: Interfaces, and PCI FireWire cards

Tom,

Focusrite is apparently still struggling to come up with a driver that works properly with their Scarletts, but it looks like their Saffire drivers may have "stabilized" about a year ago - http://beta.focusrite.com/. So, Saffires are likely a better choice - but they may have the same buffer size setting/reporting problem experienced with the released Scarlett driver.

Amack

Quote:
Originally Posted by TomKairos View Post
Hi, I'm new here, so I apologise for any cliché questions.

I recently switched to PC because my iMac was outdated, and I've been wanting to build a PC for quite some time, so I built one. 90% specifically for music; one powerful enough to handle my needs, and also a little bit of gaming here and there.

My specs:
ASUS Z97-PRO
i7 4790K @ 4.00Ghz
16GB 1866Mhz RAM
GTX-970
Corsair H100i
Pro Tools version: 12.1

I'm currently using Windows 10 Pro; but I am considering going back to 8.1, as it is already approved by Avid and I've had some issues with PT, and Win 10 already.

My question:

I need some advise regarding compatibility; I'm set on a Focusrite Saffire 26, and I am getting a PCI FireWire card as well to accommodate the interface. If there are any known issues, or reasons why this would be a bad idea, and equally, why it might be a good choice, I'd like to know. Also, if there are better ways of doing something similar that would be helpful too; anything you can recommend doing to get things running as smoothly as possible, please educate me on them.

I'm new to PT, and Windows, and it seems to me like there are a lot of things that need to be taken into consideration before doing anything. I need to know before buying anything else, that it's going to work.

I apologise if I've been vague, or missed any needed information. Thank you in advance for any help.
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  #4  
Old 08-11-2015, 12:45 PM
JoelG's Avatar
JoelG JoelG is offline
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Default Re: Interfaces, and PCI FireWire cards

I recently upgraded my rig to Win10 and am having no issues with my Firewire audio device (ProjectMix IO), but keep in mind that Win10 is not yet qualified for Pro Tools or Avid hardware.

That said, with Win7 I used to have to use the "legacy" firewire driver, which was removed in Win8. If you have issues, you might need to try to get the legacy driver installed. This might work (it is for Win8) https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2970191

Also, the Optimization Guide hasn't been updated for Win10 yet, but the Win8 optimizations are probably mostly relevant.

Post back when you get the card if you have any difficulties.

Joel
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  #5  
Old 08-11-2015, 12:56 PM
Amack Amack is offline
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Location: USA
Posts: 846
Default Re: Interfaces, and PCI FireWire cards

Did I miss it, or did the old "requirement" for a second hard drive/SSD go away as suggested by http://avid.force.com/pkb/articles/c...-Requirements?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoelG View Post
I recently upgraded my rig to Win10 and am having no issues with my Firewire audio device (ProjectMix IO), but keep in mind that Win10 is not yet qualified for Pro Tools or Avid hardware.

That said, with Win7 I used to have to use the "legacy" firewire driver, which was removed in Win8. If you have issues, you might need to try to get the legacy driver installed. This might work (it is for Win8) https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2970191

Also, the Optimization Guide hasn't been updated for Win10 yet, but the Win8 optimizations are probably mostly relevant.

Post back when you get the card if you have any difficulties.

Joel
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  #6  
Old 08-11-2015, 04:13 PM
sw rec sw rec is offline
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Default Re: Interfaces, and PCI FireWire cards

Look at it this way...even if it DID work on the system drive (and it might, but isn't very reliable), if your ONLY drive crashes, you lose EVERYTHING. And in an era of $75 1TB hard drives, it's a shortcut not worth taking. Shoot, it used to cost $130 for a reel of 2" tape to hold 33 minutes of 24 tracks, that you could use ONCE. Get the second drive. (Most of us run 3 or even 4.)
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  #7  
Old 08-11-2015, 07:53 PM
Amack Amack is offline
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Location: USA
Posts: 846
Default Re: Interfaces, and PCI FireWire cards

Backups (including system drive) are certainly wise but should be independent of workflow necessities. "Isn't very reliable" is likely obsolete - based on the latest guidance from the system developers - shouldn't they know best?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sw rec View Post
Look at it this way...even if it DID work on the system drive (and it might, but isn't very reliable), if your ONLY drive crashes, you lose EVERYTHING. And in an era of $75 1TB hard drives, it's a shortcut not worth taking. Shoot, it used to cost $130 for a reel of 2" tape to hold 33 minutes of 24 tracks, that you could use ONCE. Get the second drive. (Most of us run 3 or even 4.)
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  #8  
Old 08-11-2015, 07:57 PM
mesaone mesaone is offline
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Default Re: Interfaces, and PCI FireWire cards

There must be a misunderstanding somewhere, Amack. A separate drive (or multiple drives) for audio is not only encouraged in computer-building threads here on the DUC, it is also listed as a requirement for both Pro Tools 11 and Pro Tools 12. It's even listed on the page you linked.

Quote:
Audio Drive Requirements: One or More Hard Disk Drives Dedicated for Audio Record and Playback
Sources:
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  #9  
Old 08-12-2015, 07:36 AM
sw rec sw rec is offline
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Default Re: Interfaces, and PCI FireWire cards

There must be a misunderstanding somewhere, Amack. A separate drive (or multiple drives) for audio is not only encouraged in computer-building threads here on the DUC, it is also listed as a requirement for both Pro Tools 11 and Pro Tools 12. It's even listed on the page you linked.

And again, we're not talking thousands, or even hundreds, of dollars here...we're talking $75. Even Adobe recommends a drive other than the system drive to store images when working in Photoshop, which of course doesn't have to stream multiple tracks of audio in two directions. I've never understood the reluctance to spend a few extra bucks for a secondary drive, and not have to fight with a system that doesn't meet the requirements.
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  #10  
Old 08-12-2015, 08:49 AM
TomKairos TomKairos is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: England
Posts: 8
Default Re: Interfaces, and PCI FireWire cards

Thanks for the help and information, I appreciate it.

FYI, I have 2 HDD's: one dedicated to recording as you said, and one for my OS, games, plug-ins and programs etc. I also have 2 external drives for back ups.
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