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Thread: Buy card and keep M-Audio Firewire Solo? Or just buy new interface?

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    Buy card and keep M-Audio Firewire Solo? Or just buy new interface?

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    I have an M-Audio Firewire Solo audio interface that I bought some years ago on Ebay and haven't used much. At the time I bought it, I had a Firewire input in my laptop, but I no longer own that laptop and have no firewire capability on my desktop computer, so for the moment, I can't record. I would like to record, but keep costs of equipment down.

    My options seem to be:

    1. Buy a TI chipset Firewire PCI card online for about $18.
    2. Buy a different audio interface for at least $38, and just get rid of the Firewire Solo.


    I currently have Windows 7 on this computer, but may upgrade to Windows 10 soon due to the security issue of 7 going end of life at the end of this year. The Firewire Solo may or may not work with Windows 10 (I have seen both reported online), though if I had to guess, it probably will work.

    One interface that might be fairly cheap to replace this would be the Behringer UM2 at about $38. But buying that might be spending $20 more for no benefit if the Firewire Solo will work (if I buy the Firewire card).

    I have no idea which of these devices would be the better one for recording, and whether there is an obvious choice here. I'd like to do what's cheapest but will give me reasonable recording quality for the future. Thanks for any input.

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    Personally, I'd go for a new USB interface rather than try to keep an old FireWire interface. At least a USB interface will most likely work on your next computer, and the computer after that. FireWire is deader than a doornail.

    If you do go for the Behringer, take a look at the UMC22 rather than the UM2. It has a better preamp and balanced TRS outputs on the back. The price went up recently on these, which is a shame. At $40 USD it was a no-brainer. But at $60 USD, that puts it even closer to the many interfaces available for $99 that actually have their own dedicated ASIO drivers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tadpui View Post
    Personally, I'd go for a new USB interface rather than try to keep an old FireWire interface. At least a USB interface will most likely work on your next computer, and the computer after that. FireWire is deader than a doornail.

    If you do go for the Behringer, take a look at the UMC22 rather than the UM2. It has a better preamp and balanced TRS outputs on the back. The price went up recently on these, which is a shame. At $40 USD it was a no-brainer. But at $60 USD, that puts it even closer to the many interfaces available for $99 that actually have their own dedicated ASIO drivers.
    I agree, go for a modern USB interface but, think long and hard about keeping in the whale ***t dept! As Mr T saya above, you really want ASIO drivers. M-Audio drivers were always very good (had 3 2496 cards and a Fast Track Pro) Behringer? They don't bother and fob you off with ASI4all which WAS a decent fix some years ago but these days, any audio company worth its salt should have solid drivers. This is especially so for such a massive Co as Behringer*!

    *Maybe they found it much harder to rip people's drivers off than their hardware!

    Dave.

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    I've been happy with my Tascam interface for a long time now but windows now keeps 'updating' the driver to one that doesn't work properly and almost every day I it would drop the USB connection and I'd need to roll back the driver. I just put a FireWire card in and swapped to a presonus rack interface I have for my MacBook, and it's stable and the losing connection has gone. I'm also surprised to say I can hear an improvement in replay quality which I didn't expect. Not done any recordings yet. I can also now use the system to ingest video if the video computer is unavailable which is good. I rather like FireWire, and the connector always goes in first time, unlike USB which always takes three attempt to get the orientation right.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rob aylestone View Post
    I've been happy with my Tascam interface for a long time now but windows now keeps 'updating' the driver to one that doesn't work properly and almost every day I it would drop the USB connection and I'd need to roll back the driver. I just put a FireWire card in and swapped to a presonus rack interface I have for my MacBook, and it's stable and the losing connection has gone. I'm also surprised to say I can hear an improvement in replay quality which I didn't expect. Not done any recordings yet. I can also now use the system to ingest video if the video computer is unavailable which is good. I rather like FireWire, and the connector always goes in first time, unlike USB which always takes three attempt to get the orientation right.
    Heh! But then SOME peeps Rob managed to plug in the wrong way around! At least USB stops that and we won't even mention "hot plugging" ! (basically, dont.)

    Dave.

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    Indeed - I deliberately got a card with the 4 pin connectors too - 6 to 6 on a JVC camera can be rather expensive - One camera and one VTR with useless firewire - but never been an issue with t he 4 pins with the DC missing! Been on about a week now and the interface hasn't;t needed to be recycled at all - the Tascam was moving towards 4 or 5 times a day, and an hour of no use meant the driver would have been replaced!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tadpui View Post
    Personally, I'd go for a new USB interface rather than try to keep an old FireWire interface. At least a USB interface will most likely work on your next computer, and the computer after that. FireWire is deader than a doornail.

    If you do go for the Behringer, take a look at the UMC22 rather than the UM2. It has a better preamp and balanced TRS outputs on the back. The price went up recently on these, which is a shame. At $40 USD it was a no-brainer. But at $60 USD, that puts it even closer to the many interfaces available for $99 that actually have their own dedicated ASIO drivers.
    Thanks for the help last week. I'm trying to understand what the issue with the drivers is...?

    For about $18, I could buy the Firewire card and would I then have actually better drivers?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ecc83 View Post
    I agree, go for a modern USB interface but, think long and hard about keeping in the whale ***t dept! As Mr T saya above, you really want ASIO drivers. M-Audio drivers were always very good (had 3 2496 cards and a Fast Track Pro) Behringer? They don't bother and fob you off with ASI4all which WAS a decent fix some years ago but these days, any audio company worth its salt should have solid drivers. This is especially so for such a massive Co as Behringer*!

    *Maybe they found it much harder to rip people's drivers off than their hardware!

    Dave.
    So now I'm confused: Is it better to actually just buy a Firewire card for my desktop computer and use the M-Audio Firewire Solo I own--because it has a better driver--or jump to a more expensive ($99) Behringer? Or something in between.

    I don't understand the role that drivers play here and what difference it would make to my sound and ease of use. Thanks.

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