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Thread: Wich is better USB/Firewire Audio Interface vs PCI/PCIe audio interface?

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    Wich is better USB/Firewire Audio Interface vs PCI/PCIe audio interface?

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    Wich is better USB/Firewire Audio Interface vs PCI/PCIe audio interface?

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    Need more info.

    For mobility it's firewire/usb hands down, but I guess that's not what you're asking.
    What is it? Converter quality, noise, bandwidth, latency?
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    it's not for mobility,because i record at home and i won't go anywhere,i'am asking about latency,converter and noise and if a i buy a pcie sound card i can directly record from the microphone or i need to buy something else?
    The sound card that i have in mind is Infrasonic Quartet!
    Last edited by Liv You; 12-27-2012 at 15:13.

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    PCIe is hands down the fastest interface, followed by USB 3.0, Firewire, and USB 2.0 in that order. I expect USB 3.0 to put the kibosh on Firewire next year.

    Why would you want a Infrasonic Quartet though?

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    it's suited for my needs,initially i wanted to buy the focusrite saffire pro 14 and then i saw this and i don't know wich to choose
    The reality is limited by the mind!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Liv You View Post
    it's suited for my needs,initially i wanted to buy the focusrite saffire pro 14 and then i saw this and i don't know wich to choose
    To each their own but I don't touch nuthin' that doesn't allow me to plug a microphone in right out of the box.

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    I didn't scrutinize the description, but it said it has a mic pre and 48v phantom power.
    Hows that working? Breakout box? I don't see XLR sockets anywhere.
    ---------- Steenaudio Website ----------

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    Frankly, any of the above will be capable of excellent results, subject to your required track count. Lists of what's "fastest" don't always tell the full story--for example, up to 16+ tracks in/out USB 2 has plenty of speed for anything you may wish to do.

    By the same token, the trade off for having an internal PCI interface is speed vs. the need to exist in an electrically noisy environment. The good ones cater for this with really good shielding; they cheaper ones can have a higher noise floor than external devices.

    However, the one I'd be avoiding just now would be Firewire--not because there's anything wrong the the technology but, rather, because computer manufacturers are dropping support for it very quickly.

    As for your question on whether you need more than a PCIe interface and a mic, that depends on the gear and what they include in the break out box. Some PCIe interfaces are fully featured; others are line level only devices and assume you'll use a mic pre amp or mixer to feed into the interface.

    If it was me (and everyone is different) unless there was a very compelling reason otherwise, I'd probably go for USB2 just now--proven technology, enough speed/bandwidth for 16+ tracks and fairly future proof. I was listening to a radio documentary the other day predicting the death of desk top computers in the next few years.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobbsy View Post
    By the same token, the trade off for having an internal PCI interface is speed vs. the need to exist in an electrically noisy environment. The good ones cater for this with really good shielding; they cheaper ones can have a higher noise floor than external devices.
    Most of the good ones handle this by doing the analog to digital conversion in an external breakout box....


    Quote Originally Posted by Bobbsy View Post
    However, the one I'd be avoiding just now would be Firewire--not because there's anything wrong the the technology but, rather, because computer manufacturers are dropping support for it very quickly.
    Perversely, you could also argue the opposite. More and more laptops are shipping with Thunderbolt, and you can add a FireWire port to any of those machines with a $30 adapter. So in effect, FireWire is available on more computers than ever before.

    And if things go the way I think they will—if Thunderbolt continues to grow in popularity and improves in functionality—then FireWire will probably continue to be compatible with most laptops for at least the next decade.

    And even if USB didn't have momentum going for it, it would still be long-term-safe for the same reason that FireWire is. External buses are just easier to support.

    On the flip side, internal buses are problematic. At this point, legacy parallel PCI is circling the drain, with fewer and fewer motherboards supporting it, and no cheap way to add it to computers that don't have it. I would avoid parallel-PCI-based hardware. Same goes for CardBus (based on parallel PCI).

    And although this may seem counterintuitive now, availability of PCIe is also likely to decline over the next few years. Desktop computer sales are on the decline, as you mentioned. Within a few years (like ten or twelve), desktop computer sales are expected to be lost in the noise. At that point, your only options for PCIe will likely involve expensive breakout boxes.

    And ExpressCard is also in decline, because Thunderbolt is "good enough" and takes up less physical space inside the computer.

    With that said, both PCIe and ExpressCard are supportable through Thunderbolt adapters that cost about $300 apiece, assuming the card vendor is willing to update the drivers to support it. Given a choice, I would still lean towards external devices, though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgatwood View Post
    ...Perversely, you could also argue the opposite. More and more laptops are shipping with Thunderbolt, and you can add a FireWire port to any of those machines with a $30 adapter. So in effect, FireWire is available on more computers than ever before...
    Now THAT is an interesting perspective. Specially if the Firewire devices lose market share and manufacturers start discounting. Hmmm....

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