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Old 08-11-2008, 11:18 PM
Jeff E Jeff E is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Aptos California
Posts: 177
Default Firewire vs USB interface

I have been looking at adding an interface for my laptop. The Mbox 2 will suffice but the pro is firewire. IS one better than the other? Is one more stable?


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Old 08-12-2008, 07:16 AM
JChance JChance is offline
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Nashville
Posts: 231

As a general rule, firewire is the better choice. Because it transfers data a gazillion times faster than USB 1.1 (which is what the standard mBox interfaces are), you are normally able to use much lower buffer settings for reducing latency when recording. Plus, most firewire interfaces have bells & whistles that the USB units do not. Many of them have digital or s/pdif inputs & outputs, and usually allow for recording & playback at higher sample rates.... Again reducing latency.

With an mBox and a reasonably up-to-date computer, you would be fine for recording a track or two at a time. So it's perfect for singer/songwriter types who want to record a guitar or keyboard/vocal demo.

Firewire interfaces can normally record several tracks at once, depending on the rest of your setup. It really just comes down to a matter of your uses.

If you are looking to record scratch instrument/vocal demos or want to do 1 or 2 track overdubs, an mBox would probably suit you fine.

However, if you want to be able to record with the lowest latency possible, and/or want to record at sample rates higher than 48K, then firewire is the ticket every time.

Good luck-
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