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Thread: Presonus Firepod vs. FireStudio?

  1. #1
    stillnoname is offline Newbie
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    Presonus Firepod vs. FireStudio?

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    Hi, I just joined the forum seeing as I will be starting a little personal home studio soon. From my research it seems like either the Presonus Firepod (now called FP10) or the Fire Studio would suit my needs. Just a question for anyone who has experience with these:

    Is it worth is to get the Fire Studio over the Firepod? Also, is the newly named FP10 any different/better than the Firepod?

    Based on the product comparison, the Fire Studio has Word Clock IO, DSP mixer/router, and 9 stereo simultaneous mixes. Compared to the FP10 which only has 1 simultaneous mix and none of the other things.

    My local music shop has an old Firepod just sitting on the shelf for $500 which is a pretty good price around here (BC, Canada). I imagine the Fire Studio would be a few hundred more, but I'm not sure if it has anything that I might need in the future that the Firepod doesn't have.

    I plan to record drums, guitar and bass - all separately. This will be my first purchase for the studio, so I want to make sure it can handle everything I need. I will probably start off with only 3-4 mics and plan to eventually max it out with 8.

    Any thoughts or comments would be appreciated. I'm pretty new to this. Thanks,

    Kevin

  2. #2
    pipelineaudio's Avatar
    pipelineaudio is offline 2.5K Gold Member
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    DICLAIMER:
    ***************************************************
    My opinions below are my own and do not necessarily reflect anyone which I might negatively reflect upon. If you have a problem with what I say take it up with ME. Don't be a pussy and complain to one of my associates or anyone else who DIDNT write what I am about to write.
    *****************************************************
    I had to test a variety of Presonus gear across a variety of systems and apps.

    The Firepod, though high latency was a well working unit. Well thought out structure with extremely convenient knobs to do exactly what you want. Our test unit, as so many seem to do then died after an album's worth of sessions. The replacement is still working after about another half an album's worth of sessions.

    The Firestudio is a device which I feel I would have laid out the same way if I did it myself. VERY smart layout, all the knobs in the right places, smart headphone and main mix systems. 8 onboard mic pres plus 16 more adat ins

    perfect right?

    Now this is a DICE2 unit. I have learned to avoid this chipset like dripping herpes. Every piece of gear that I know of with this chipset is a major troublemaker to me. I know some people have had good luck with this, but the plural of anectdote is "anectdoteS", NOT "evidence"

    Our first test unit croaked after a few hours, our next one just wouldnt work well with a variety of different hardware. I couldnt get 2 tracks to be reliable at any latency. The original drivers were, Im sorry but....so poorly written it almost seemed to be a gag. The (more on this later) hardware mixer was missing the last 8 channels

    Ahhh onboard DSP mixers...add these to the other zillion "new" direct monitoring solutions manufacturers are patting thmselves on the back with lately...this is 2002 wait no, 2004, wait no....this is 2007:

    WE MONITOR THRU OUR CHAIN NOW

    For the most part....monitoring solutions that are not wysiwyg thru the software are becoming worse than useless in most situations, an onboard DSP mixer DOES NOT obviate the need for STABLE, low-latency drivers

    Hem and haw all you want, but if all you can offer is a y-cord, don't be surprised if customers vote ELSEWHERE with their wallets.

    The unit finally went back instead of keeping it for its intended use

    I believe I damaged my reputation and credibility by some initially positive comments I made on this unit, and for that I'm sorry

    I still believe that this is the best laid out 8+2 X 26 I/O unit out there, it just has the worst implementation I could imagine

    So after all that noise, I would say, a firepod is a good unit, if you can find a working one, can keep it working, and don't mind the latency. I cannot in good conscience reccomend the Firestudio or the Firestudio Project.

    Im sure I'll take some heat for this, but its a chunk of my life I won't get back and a very frustrating experience

  3. #3
    stillnoname is offline Newbie
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    Ok, good to know. Thanks. Sounds like the Firepod might be what I'm looking for then. Unless there is something else comparable for the price? I've just heard great things about the mic preamps on the Firepod. I'm not sure I care that much if the latency isn't perfect. I'm not doing any professional work.

    Does anyone know if there is any different between the FP10 and Firepod or if it was strictly a rename? They didn't put that new chipset in it or anything?

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    chrisharris's Avatar
    chrisharris is offline Been Here, Posted That
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    I don't know about the differences between the Firepod and the FP10...Presonus' website calls the FP10 "formerly Firepod," but I don't know what that means.

    I'll say this...it took a bit to get my Firepod working without skipping when I first got it, but once I got the latency and the buffer settings and everything right, it has worked flawlessly for me for over a year. I'm a big fan of the pres, because they do what I want...which is give me tons of headroom without noise...they don't sound "good" or "bad" to me at all...they just sound like the input signal without introducing a bunch of noise.

    Anyway, I'm a fan of the Firepod. I'm getting rid of mine for reasons that have nothing to with unreliability, and I would DEFINITELY take Pipeline's opinions to heart because he's really smart and he probably used the unit a lot more than I have...I'm just one satisfied user.

  5. #5
    pipelineaudio's Avatar
    pipelineaudio is offline 2.5K Gold Member
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    No complaints about the mic pre's unless you need a LOT of gain. Only a close mic'd accoustic gave me any problems, and even then it was manageable. The mic pre's were good enough to keep 16 channels worth of digimax F/S to use even after sending the Firestudio back.

    I did an album with the firepod that went to get mastered by someone big enough to make me chew my nails waiting for an evaluation, and no complaints.

  6. #6
    dgatwood's Avatar
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    If you decide to get the FIREPOD and want to save some money, I have a barely used FIREPOD (just enough to make sure it works) that has been sitting in its factory box collecting dust for a year. Search in the want ads section of the board if you're interested.

    You might also want to look into the MOTU 8Pre. I'm using a pair of them currently. They cost only a little more than the FIREPOD. Depending on your needs, it may or may not be a better choice. It has advantages in terms of expandability and a bit lower CPU utilization, though if you need S/PDIF or lots of outputs, you're better off with the FIREPOD. Really depends on your needs.
    Quote Originally Posted by Obi-Wan
    If you mod me down, I will only grow stronger.

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    Bulls Hit is offline Been Here, Posted That
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    Every time I say this, I half expect the big Not so Fast from the Gods of music, but the firepod has worked perfectly for me for two years

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    BeTheOne is offline Registered User
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    I ran two firepods for two years, they both died within a week of each other. That being said, they put out hundreds of songs and made it through 72 hour sessions.(often) I replaced my firpods with the fire studio tube and a vacuum tube pre. Lets just say after 2 calls to presonus, several rounds of contact with Ableton Live, and an hour with the PC manufacturer, my studio is shut down to all non pro-tools productions. The FS tube will not even play itunes without drops in audio, forget about audio recording. After being very happy with presonus, im not all that happy with the $1200 i just spent. The FS tube and Vista 32 will simply not sync up. Warning.

  9. #9
    AMcB's Avatar
    AMcB is offline Why you gotta be so mean?
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    I've had a firepod for about 2 years now. And it is still in perfect condition. I use vista, and cubase, and it works fine with cubase. The only think is when in itunes, it seems like if I pause a song, then play it again, no audio will come out. But if I close it and open it again it's fine, and as long as I done pause it it will run for days.... weird... But in cubase its never had any problems. When I sync it to my computer, sometimes it will change which output it uses, but I just have to change it back, it never did that with xp, just vista. I think it's pretty good, but Ive never uses the firestudio. Another thing is it gets pops and clicks alot, that most of the time don't show up in the audio, just during play back at different places.

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    dastrick's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Firepod good

    I bought a used firepod about a year ago and have been very pleased. I record 8 channels into Cubase using XP to an externall firewire HDD with no problems. Just make sure that you have a TI firewire chipset.

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