Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Firewire ports on DAW

Last response: in Home Audio
Share
Anonymous
June 28, 2005 8:05:29 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

I wanted to add a couple front panel Firewire ports to my DAW, so I
picked up a cheap, no-name ("Sabrent") card and panel on eBay*.

The Firewire connections seem much slower than the built-in ones on my
Asus motherboard (P4P800E Deluxe). Is this normal? Is it because it
uses a PCI card? Will getting a better quality card improve the
situation, or is that just the way it is with add-on Firewire ports?

Thanks!

* The specific item I bought, if it matters, is a PCI card with three
USB2 ports, plus headers for lines that run to a connector panel that
fits in a drive bay with three more USB2 and two Firewire connectors.

This is it:
http://cgi.ebay.ca/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=67747...

--
"It CAN'T be too loud... some of the red lights aren't even on yet!"
- Lorin David Schultz
in the control room
making even bad news sound good

(Remove spamblock to reply)

More about : firewire ports daw

Anonymous
June 28, 2005 8:16:06 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On Tue, 28 Jun 2005 16:05:29 GMT, "Lorin David Schultz"
<Lorin@DAMNSPAM!v5v.ca> wrote:

>I wanted to add a couple front panel Firewire ports to my DAW, so I
>picked up a cheap, no-name ("Sabrent") card and panel on eBay*.
>
>The Firewire connections seem much slower than the built-in ones on my
>Asus motherboard (P4P800E Deluxe). Is this normal? Is it because it
>uses a PCI card? Will getting a better quality card improve the
>situation, or is that just the way it is with add-on Firewire ports?
>
>Thanks!
>
>* The specific item I bought, if it matters, is a PCI card with three
>USB2 ports, plus headers for lines that run to a connector panel that
>fits in a drive bay with three more USB2 and two Firewire connectors.
>
>This is it:
>http://cgi.ebay.ca/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=67747...

The bottleneck is the PCI bus, which is inherently far slower than
Firewire.

d

Pearce Consulting
http://www.pearce.uk.com
Anonymous
June 28, 2005 8:16:07 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Don Pearce" <donald@pearce.uk.com> wrote in message
news:42c8779b.119141765@212.159.2.87...
> On Tue, 28 Jun 2005 16:05:29 GMT, "Lorin David Schultz"
> <Lorin@DAMNSPAM!v5v.ca> wrote:
>
> >I wanted to add a couple front panel Firewire ports to my DAW, so I
> >picked up a cheap, no-name ("Sabrent") card and panel on eBay*.
> >
> >The Firewire connections seem much slower than the built-in ones on my
> >Asus motherboard (P4P800E Deluxe). Is this normal? Is it because it
> >uses a PCI card? Will getting a better quality card improve the
> >situation, or is that just the way it is with add-on Firewire ports?
> >
> >Thanks!
> >
> >* The specific item I bought, if it matters, is a PCI card with three
> >USB2 ports, plus headers for lines that run to a connector panel that
> >fits in a drive bay with three more USB2 and two Firewire connectors.
> >
> >This is it:
> >http://cgi.ebay.ca/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=67747...


>
> The bottleneck is the PCI bus, which is inherently far slower than
> Firewire.

You are incorrect Don.

There is no bottleneck resulting from using a PCI card. The PCI bus has a
bandwidth of 133 MB/s which is much faster than Firewire's 50MB/s or USB
2.0's 60MB/s. This is MegaBytes/second not MegaBits/second.

As follows:

PCI : four bytes of data with every tick of a 33 MHz clock or 133
megabytes/second
USB 2.0 : top transfer of 480 megabits/second or 60 megabytes/second
Firewire: top transfer of 400 megabits/second or 50 megabytes/second

Also, the "built in" Firewire interfaces on mobo's still run on top of the
PCI bus anyway so there is no difference between a built in interface of one
plugged into a pci slot.

To the OP : If you feel that the PCI interface is slower than your built
in, it is most likely due to the quality of the card you are using or the
PCI slot you have chosen for the card. There can be big differences in
performance between different USB/Firewire card manufacturers products.
See here:

http://www.barefeats.com/fire5.html Although this is a comparison on a MAC,
both platforms are still using the PCI bus.

Try choosing another PCI slot first before checking out another card as
there may be an IRQ sharing issue on the slot that you are using.

HTH,

J.

..
Related resources
Anonymous
June 28, 2005 11:00:00 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <dzewe.111335$on1.37293@clgrps13> Lorin@DAMNSPAM!v5v.ca writes:

> I wanted to add a couple front panel Firewire ports to my DAW, so I
> picked up a cheap, no-name ("Sabrent") card and panel

> The Firewire connections seem much slower than the built-in ones on my
> Asus motherboard (P4P800E Deluxe). Is this normal?

It's a computer. What the heck is "normal?" I would suspect the card,
and consider yourself lucky that it works at all. Firewire is supposed
to be gloriously plug-and-play, but apparently it's only in top form
if you have the right plugs and players. I went through three PCMCIA
Firewire adapters before I found one that worked with the Mackie Onyx
Firewire audio I/O (they all recognized the interface but not all of
them passed audio satisfactorily), and I went through three Firewire
external disk drive enclosures before I found one that worked with the
Firewire card that worked with the Onyx. Curiously, my only other
Firewire device, my Jukebox 3, worked with all of the PCMCIA adapters
that I tried, but files transferred between the computer's internal
hard drive and the Jukebox only about 2.5 times the speed of USB 1.1,
so it sure wasn't working very well.

Welcome to the plug-and-play world of cut-and-try.

--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
June 28, 2005 11:00:01 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

ah, the windows platfrom.....
put a presonus firepod on my mac loaded no drivers and it worked like a
charm.
but we have danced this dance before
and I sttill have no problems with firewire. nor the registry. or XP
and protools!
June 29, 2005 12:03:38 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <42c8779b.119141765@212.159.2.87>, Don Pearce
<donald@pearce.uk.com> wrote:

> >The Firewire connections seem much slower than the built-in ones on my
> >Asus motherboard (P4P800E Deluxe). Is this normal? Is it because it
> >uses a PCI card? Will getting a better quality card improve the
> >situation, or is that just the way it is with add-on Firewire ports?
> >
> >Thanks!
> >
> >* The specific item I bought, if it matters, is a PCI card with three
> >USB2 ports, plus headers for lines that run to a connector panel that
> >fits in a drive bay with three more USB2 and two Firewire connectors.
> >
> >This is it:
> >http://cgi.ebay.ca/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=67747...
>
> The bottleneck is the PCI bus, which is inherently far slower than
> Firewire.
>
> d
>
> Pearce Consulting
> http://www.pearce.uk.com





We added Belkin FW PCI cards to a couple older Macs here, and they are
pretty fast. Not as fast as the built in FW on our Powermacs, but still
pretty quick.





David Correia
Celebration Sound
Warren, Rhode Island

CelebrationSound@aol.com
www.CelebrationSound.com
Anonymous
June 29, 2005 1:01:06 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

mr schultz
was more of a comment aimed at mr rivers who has some very old windows
product and keeps refusing to upgrade as he does not see the need....
but has a lot of problems with!

ps. was not a firewire port that I plugged into my computer
was an outboard audio device!
though the iomega card port installed with the same ease.

and if your pci firewire port cost less then a "lunch"
but has all this hassle
what did it really cost???

but we have danced this dance before!
Anonymous
June 29, 2005 7:17:38 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Mike Rivers" <mrivers@d-and-d.com> wrote:
>
> I went through three PCMCIA
> Firewire adapters before I found one that worked with the Mackie Onyx
> Firewire audio I/O (they all recognized the interface but not all of
> them passed audio satisfactorily), and I went through three Firewire
> external disk drive enclosures before I found one that worked with
> the Firewire card that worked with the Onyx. Curiously, my only other
> Firewire device, my Jukebox 3, worked with all of the PCMCIA adapters
> that I tried, but files transferred between the computer's internal
> hard drive and the Jukebox only about 2.5 times the speed of USB 1.1,
> so it sure wasn't working very well.


There's a trend there... I gotta wonder if the problem in your case has
less to do with the Firewire interface and more the Mackie.

--
"It CAN'T be too loud... some of the red lights aren't even on yet!"
- Lorin David Schultz
in the control room
making even bad news sound good

(Remove spamblock to reply)
Anonymous
June 29, 2005 7:22:03 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"dale" <dallen@frognet.net> wrote in message
news:1120002319.187242.93920@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com...
> ah, the windows platfrom.....
> put a presonus firepod on my mac loaded no drivers and it worked like
> a
> charm.
> but we have danced this dance before
> and I sttill have no problems with firewire. nor the registry. or XP
> and protools!




<*sigh*>

Dale, this too worked first try, with no drivers. Plugged it in, turned
it on, and it worked with no help from me at all.

Pro Tools works fine. The built-in Firewire ports go full speed ahead.
This isn't a "doesn't work" problem. It's a case of a cheap add-on that
doesn't go as fast as I'd like. It's not a big deal though. It cost
less than a good lunch.

--
"It CAN'T be too loud... some of the red lights aren't even on yet!"
- Lorin David Schultz
in the control room
making even bad news sound good

(Remove spamblock to reply)
Anonymous
June 29, 2005 8:41:51 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <mYywe.115221$on1.5165@clgrps13> Lorin@DAMNSPAM!v5v.ca writes:

> There's a trend there... I gotta wonder if the problem in your case has
> less to do with the Firewire interface and more the Mackie.

Well, seeing as how I never would have bothered with the Firewire
interface it it wasn't for the Mackie, I'd say the project was a
success (though I haven't really pushed the Mackie). But since the
Jukebox file transfer was pretty slow with each of the Firewire
interfaces I tried, that tends to point the finger away from the
Mackie.

Remember, my "Firewire" is a PCMCIA card, so the juice has to go
through the Firewire interface on the front and the PCMCIA interface
on the back. And since the PCMCIA interface doesn't work under DOS,
even though Symantec says their Firewire driver does, I still wasn't
able to run Norton Ghost through that PCMCIA card (a secondary
potential application). So maybe the experiment was a failure after
all.

Guess I'll just have to spend another $1500 on a new laptop computer
and a couple of months sorting it out.

NOT!


--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
June 29, 2005 8:41:52 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <1120060866.862441.260630@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com> dallen@frognet.net writes:

> was more of a comment aimed at mr rivers who has some very old windows
> product and keeps refusing to upgrade as he does not see the need....
> but has a lot of problems with!

Windows XP is a very old Windows product? I guess so since I don't
have Service Pack 2.


--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
June 29, 2005 9:44:29 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Mike Rivers" <mrivers@d-and-d.com> wrote in message
news:znr1120064915k@trad...

> Windows XP is a very old Windows product? I guess so since I don't
> have Service Pack 2.

Mike, I had gotten the impression you were still running Win98. When did
you finally move up in the world? :-)

Hal Laurent
Baltimore
Anonymous
June 30, 2005 12:52:37 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <3DEwe.16$Ks1.1307@news.abs.net> laurent@charm.net writes:

> Mike, I had gotten the impression you were still running Win98. When did
> you finally move up in the world? :-)

The studio computer is running Win98 and has no problems (but no
Firewire either). I almost never add new software to it and it's not
connected to the Internet, so it's quite stable. The laptop is running
WinXP, when at home it's the "Internet radio" and "play with new
audio gadgets because they only work with XP" computer. It seems to be
becoming the "see what you can find that doesn't work with it"
computer.

--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
June 30, 2005 7:06:26 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"dale" <dallen@frognet.net> wrote:
>
> and if your pci firewire port cost less then a "lunch"
> but has all this hassle
> what did it really cost???


All *what* hassle? It worked immediately with no effort whatsoever. My
complaint is just that the firewire ports are slower than the ones
integrated into the motherboard. Where did you get the idea there was
some kind of "hassle" involved?

What did it really cost? Very little money and very little of my time.
For a few bucks it was worth trying. If it worked, great. If not, it
cost me so little as to not really matter.

My questions was (and is), is it slow because it's a no-name cheapie, or
are ALL add-on PCI Firewire cards going to be slower simply because they
use the PCI buss? You seem to be under the impression that there was an
installation problem. That's not the case.

--
"It CAN'T be too loud... some of the red lights aren't even on yet!"
- Lorin David Schultz
in the control room
making even bad news sound good

(Remove spamblock to reply)
Anonymous
June 30, 2005 7:16:28 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Thanks for the suggestions gentlemen. I'll try another slot to see if
that helps. If not, I have no idea how I'd choose an alternative card.
I was willing to gamble $25 on seeing if a PCI Firewire card would
transfer files as fast as the integrated ports, but I don't want to risk
the price of a "real" card without knowing *for sure* that it will go
like lightning. I'd hate to spend $100 only to find out that it's still
slower than the built-in ports.

--
"It CAN'T be too loud... some of the red lights aren't even on yet!"
- Lorin David Schultz
in the control room
making even bad news sound good

(Remove spamblock to reply)
Anonymous
June 30, 2005 10:23:01 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Lorin David Schultz wrote:

> My questions was (and is), is it slow because it's a no-name cheapie, or
> are ALL add-on PCI Firewire cards going to be slower simply because they
> use the PCI buss? You seem to be under the impression that there was an
> installation problem. That's not the case.

I've heard that the slowdown is not due to burst data rate
limits on PCI but rather that Firewire requires a lot of
synchronous, interrupt driven hand shaking at which the PCI
is less adept than the more integrated forms.


Bob
--

"Things should be described as simply as possible, but no
simpler."

A. Einstein
Anonymous
July 1, 2005 1:11:09 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <da25vg09u4@enews2.newsguy.com> arcane@arcanemethods.com writes:

> I've heard that the slowdown is not due to burst data rate
> limits on PCI but rather that Firewire requires a lot of
> synchronous, interrupt driven hand shaking at which the PCI
> is less adept than the more integrated forms.

I thought that the reason why Firewire was the cat's pajamas was
because it had a lot of smarts as part of the interface and took care
of most of that kind of stuff, requiring minimal intervention by the
CPU.

Who knows? And, more important, why would an audio engineer even be
expected to know?

--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
July 3, 2005 5:52:53 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

mr cain
the statement you made is true concerning usb
not firewire.
mr schultz
most computer techs are lost when it comes to
the requirements of daw.
Anonymous
July 3, 2005 7:39:51 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On 1 Jul 2005 09:11:09 -0400, mrivers@d-and-d.com (Mike Rivers) wrote:

>I thought that the reason why Firewire was the cat's pajamas was
>because it had a lot of smarts as part of the interface and took care
>of most of that kind of stuff, requiring minimal intervention by the
>CPU.
>
>Who knows? And, more important, why would an audio engineer even be
>expected to know?

Because Firewire audio interfaces are among his tools?
Anonymous
July 4, 2005 12:00:46 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Mike Rivers" <mrivers@d-and-d.com> wrote:
>
> Who knows? And, more important, why would an audio engineer even be
> expected to know?



For exactly the same reason that twenty years ago an audio engineer knew
how much to overbias various tape formulations to get the cleanest
track. It's part of the technical expertise required to do DAW-based
work. The computer is the recorder, and sometimes the mixer. Firewire
is the "mix buss" so the engineer needs to know where the overload point
is.

Fortunately for us, there are 1000 computer techs for every audio
engineer (even in this brave new world of bedroom "engineers"), so it's
easier to find information and support than it was for dedicated analog
pro audio gear.

--
"It CAN'T be too loud... some of the red lights aren't even on yet!"
- Lorin David Schultz
in the control room
making even bad news sound good

(Remove spamblock to reply)
Anonymous
July 4, 2005 12:37:55 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

> Because Firewire audio interfaces are among his tools?

Reminds me of some of the locksmiths grousing about the fact that
electronic locks are coming in and forcing them to learn new skills.

If you're happy to get by with the old stuff, go for it.

If you want to leverage the new stuff, you've got to invest in learning
how to use it effectively. Or be prepared to have someone on call who
can advise you.
Anonymous
July 4, 2005 1:14:06 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <OtXxe.90268$HI.42809@edtnps84> Lorin@DAMNSPAM!v5v.ca writes:

> > Who knows? And, more important, why would an audio engineer even be
> > expected to know?

> For exactly the same reason that twenty years ago an audio engineer knew
> how much to overbias various tape formulations to get the cleanest
> track.

That's something that you'll find clearly in an instruction manual,
and it's something that you can measure with standard test equipment.

> It's part of the technical expertise required to do DAW-based
> work. The computer is the recorder, and sometimes the mixer. Firewire
> is the "mix buss" so the engineer needs to know where the overload point
> is.

This is a different level of depth from that of making adjustments to
the recorder that the manufacturer documents and makes accessable.
Perhaps adjusting buffer size for the best compromise between latency
and performance is akin to aligning a tape deck, but not determining
the throughput speed of a Firewire interface by looking at what's on
the package or in the spec sheet. (like, where do you even find a spec
sheet for those sorts of things). It might be akin to making sure that
your nominal output level matches the next input level in a chain, but
even those are things that are usually specified, and if not, are
easily measured. The performance of a computer port is neither.

> Fortunately for us, there are 1000 computer techs for every audio
> engineer (even in this brave new world of bedroom "engineers"), so it's
> easier to find information and support than it was for dedicated analog
> pro audio gear.

Yeah, but most of those 1000 "computer techs" don't know what they're
talking about, and don't know the whys and wherefores of what they
know of as facts. So after you make the mistake, someone tells you
"oh, yeah, that combination is always slow" so you might find the
information, but you don't know that you even needed that information
until too late.



--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
July 4, 2005 1:56:47 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On Sun, 03 Jul 2005 20:00:46 GMT, "Lorin David Schultz"
<Lorin@DAMNSPAM!v5v.ca> wrote:

>Fortunately for us, there are 1000 computer techs for every audio
>engineer (even in this brave new world of bedroom "engineers"), so it's
>easier to find information and support than it was for dedicated analog
>pro audio gear.

Few of them however seem capable of doing anything more than quoting
the FireWire spec. and saying "..so you CAN'T be having a problem!"
:-)

C'mon MIke. Get up to speed on the current tools of your trade. We
need your dual expertise, artistic AND technical. Help the
youngsters to use TODAY's tools properly! It's all they've got.
Anonymous
July 4, 2005 1:56:48 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Laurence Payne" <lpayne1NOSPAM@dsl.pipexSPAMTRAP.com> wrote in message
news:lujgc1p72ajuul837b4erd9viipkrenebi@4ax.com...
> On Sun, 03 Jul 2005 20:00:46 GMT, "Lorin David Schultz"
> <Lorin@DAMNSPAM!v5v.ca> wrote:
>
> >Fortunately for us, there are 1000 computer techs for every audio
> >engineer (even in this brave new world of bedroom "engineers"), so it's
> >easier to find information and support than it was for dedicated analog
> >pro audio gear.
>
> Few of them however seem capable of doing anything more than quoting
> the FireWire spec. and saying "..so you CAN'T be having a problem!"
> :-)
snip........

Laurence,

Although I do respect and appreciate your advice and opinions on most
matters recording related, I do take offence to your last comment as it
seems to be directed toward me.
Although I did relay FW specs to refute Don Pearce's completely incorrect
initial response to the OP's question that the problem was that FW resided
on the PCI bus, I did not imply or tell the OP that he couldn't be having a
problem with his firewire. I simply stated the facts (and specs) related to
FW transfer and advised the OP to try another PCI slot for his FW interface
before buying another FW card, which IMHO, is very good advice.
If your comment wasn't aimed at my response............please accept my
apologies. I guess I'm feeling a little thin skinned today and am tired of
people denigrating or dismissing the help that others try to give with a
short, blanket statement followed by a lame "smiley" emoticon attempting to
make it seem like they are not attempting to feel or look superior and that
there is something to laugh at in their statement.

James
Anonymous
July 4, 2005 3:48:23 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

dale wrote:
> mr cain
> the statement you made is true concerning usb
> not firewire.

Thanks, Dale. I was reporting an answer that I had read
elsewere, elsewhen.

Why, then, is PCI Firewire slower than more tightly
integrated solutions? Isn't PCI bus burst rate greater than
Firewire?


Bob
--

"Things should be described as simply as possible, but no
simpler."

A. Einstein
Anonymous
July 4, 2005 6:37:15 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On 3 Jul 2005 21:14:06 -0400, mrivers@d-and-d.com (Mike Rivers) wrote:

>> For exactly the same reason that twenty years ago an audio engineer knew
>> how much to overbias various tape formulations to get the cleanest
>> track.
>
>That's something that you'll find clearly in an instruction manual,
>and it's something that you can measure with standard test equipment.

.... and you continue, apparently trying to prove that your skill -
that of an old-style recording engineer - requires merely book
learning, whereas the new technology requires all-round knowledge,
experience...an altogether higher level of expertise.... that is
beyond you.

Are you SURE that's what you want to say? :-)
Anonymous
July 4, 2005 6:50:24 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On 3 Jul 2005 21:14:06 -0400, mrivers@d-and-d.com (Mike Rivers) wrote:

>
>In article <OtXxe.90268$HI.42809@edtnps84> Lorin@DAMNSPAM!v5v.ca writes:
>
>> > Who knows? And, more important, why would an audio engineer even be
>> > expected to know?
>
>> For exactly the same reason that twenty years ago an audio engineer knew
>> how much to overbias various tape formulations to get the cleanest
>> track.

In the case of computers, being expected to know is trumped by not
being able to know (okay, it's thoretically possible to know that much
about computers and OS's but not practically, unless you design and
write the drivers for PCI/firewire interfaces for a living).

>That's something that you'll find clearly in an instruction manual,
>and it's something that you can measure with standard test equipment.
>
>> It's part of the technical expertise required to do DAW-based
>> work. The computer is the recorder, and sometimes the mixer. Firewire
>> is the "mix buss" so the engineer needs to know where the overload point
>> is.
>
>This is a different level of depth from that of making adjustments to
>the recorder that the manufacturer documents and makes accessable.
>Perhaps adjusting buffer size for the best compromise between latency
>and performance is akin to aligning a tape deck, but not determining
>the throughput speed of a Firewire interface by looking at what's on
>the package or in the spec sheet. (like, where do you even find a spec
>sheet for those sorts of things). It might be akin to making sure that
>your nominal output level matches the next input level in a chain, but
>even those are things that are usually specified, and if not, are
>easily measured. The performance of a computer port is neither.
>
>> Fortunately for us, there are 1000 computer techs for every audio
>> engineer (even in this brave new world of bedroom "engineers"), so it's
>> easier to find information and support than it was for dedicated analog
>> pro audio gear.
>
>Yeah, but most of those 1000 "computer techs" don't know what they're
>talking about, and don't know the whys and wherefores of what they
>know of as facts.

Mike, you took the words right out of my mouth. A bedroom engineer
is more likely to know how to adjust bias than any one of 1000
computer techs are to know enough about a PCI/Firewire card to answer
the OP's question.

>So after you make the mistake, someone tells you
>"oh, yeah, that combination is always slow" so you might find the
>information, but you don't know that you even needed that information
>until too late.

Things are inherently different than years ago. The biggest, most
complicated analog tape deck can (and apparently did) come with
schematics and block diagrams, and can be understood, operated,
calibrated and even repaired by one knowledgable person.
What even the best techs know about PCI or firewire is equivalent
to "It's got 24 channels, 2 inch tape, 15IPS" but not knowing if the
innards are tubes or transistors. The equivalent to block diagram and
schematic of the recorder would be a product design specification and
source code, and even if you had these things, it would take much more
study time to understand it enough to know why it transfers data at a
certain speed. This doesn't even take into account the OS, which is
ANOTHER black box.

For this particular case, a 'best solution,' short of finding the
cards on a comparison site, would be to find a seller of the $100 card
that has a return policy you can live with (I don't suppose Mercenary
sells these things?), buy it through them and find out how it compares
to the cheap card, and if it's not an adequate improvement, send it
back for a refund.

-----
http://www.mindspring.com/~benbradley
Anonymous
July 4, 2005 7:44:45 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Why, then, is PCI Firewire slower than more tightly
integrated solutions? Isn't PCI bus burst rate greater than
Firewire? "

one way to answer would be it depends on your buss speed.
my research prior to committing to this technology a few years ago says
no
TC Electronics has moved their pci powercore to powercore firewire...
mr rivers wrote here about doing research on firewire for an article
and I posted a few links to the
Electronic Musician website.
that is a good place to start.
< http://emusician.com/searchresults/?terms=firewire >
digidesign and glyph technology would also be a good place to look for
this answer.
Anonymous
July 4, 2005 10:25:58 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <iM-dned0FoJFGVXfRVn-gQ@comcast.com> keshlam-nospam@comcast.net writes:

> Reminds me of some of the locksmiths grousing about the fact that
> electronic locks are coming in and forcing them to learn new skills.
>
> If you're happy to get by with the old stuff, go for it.
>
> If you want to leverage the new stuff, you've got to invest in learning
> how to use it effectively. Or be prepared to have someone on call who
> can advise you.

Well, a locksmith's job is fixing locks, so yes, he needs to know how
the latest locks work. But a recording engineer's job is recording. He
shouldn't have to also be the maintenance engineer, and in fact, in
the classic studio, he wasn't - there was a maintenance staff to take
care of those things.

Of course today, most people who use recording equipment aren't
engineers, they're musicians who can only afford to record their music
if they do it themselves. Because of the other things in life that
they are, or do, they're more likely to understand things like
computer hardware and software than how to align an analog tape deck.


--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
July 4, 2005 2:00:36 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <9m4hc15tj5mjnijot447m9r3o4ghhikd48@4ax.com> lpayne1NOSPAM@dsl.pipexSPAMTRAP.com writes:

> ... and you continue, apparently trying to prove that your skill -
> that of an old-style recording engineer - requires merely book
> learning, whereas the new technology requires all-round knowledge,
> experience...an altogether higher level of expertise.... that is
> beyond you.
>
> Are you SURE that's what you want to say? :-)

No, and there's no way that what I said could be interpreted by anyone
except someone who takes everything written completely literally.

Until you choose to abandon the technology and no longer need the
knowledge (almost always a conscious choice) what you learn, both from
books and from practice, will stick with you and will build a base for
learning more, or having more accurate intuition, or a more brilliant
imagination.

Knowledge about computers tends not to be generalized because there
are so many individual differences. Also, what you learn about a piece
of the technology at one time may become completely useless (unless
your business is restoring old computers) in a very short period. Much
computer diagnosis is based on replace-and-try or wait until something
else comes along.

Based on my knowledge of basic electronics, I can build an attenuator
or add an in-line amplifier to make an interface work correctly. Can
you modify your computer's bus or Firewire card in order to make it
work better? Perhaps you can explain why there's a problem, but you
can't always solve it.




--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
July 4, 2005 2:27:15 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <znr1120474260k@trad>, Mike Rivers <mrivers@d-and-d.com> wrote:
>Knowledge about computers tends not to be generalized because there
>are so many individual differences. Also, what you learn about a piece
>of the technology at one time may become completely useless (unless
>your business is restoring old computers) in a very short period. Much
>computer diagnosis is based on replace-and-try or wait until something
>else comes along.

For the most part, this is only true in the Windows world. And it's because
Windows for the most part consists of black boxes that you can't look
inside, and therefore cannot do any real troubleshooting in. This means
that a good tech's troubleshooting method becomes having a problem/solution
matrix in your head and little more.

Outside of the Windows world, this is not the case. You can look inside
applications with "test equipment" like debuggers and see what is going
on, and fix it.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
July 4, 2005 2:49:12 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On Sun, 3 Jul 2005 20:44:48 -0500, "James Buhler"
<jbuhler"diespammers"@mb.sympatico.ca> wrote:

>
>"Laurence Payne" <lpayne1NOSPAM@dsl.pipexSPAMTRAP.com> wrote in message
>news:lujgc1p72ajuul837b4erd9viipkrenebi@4ax.com...
>> On Sun, 03 Jul 2005 20:00:46 GMT, "Lorin David Schultz"
>> <Lorin@DAMNSPAM!v5v.ca> wrote:
>>
>> >Fortunately for us, there are 1000 computer techs for every audio
>> >engineer (even in this brave new world of bedroom "engineers"), so it's
>> >easier to find information and support than it was for dedicated analog
>> >pro audio gear.
>>
>> Few of them however seem capable of doing anything more than quoting
>> the FireWire spec. and saying "..so you CAN'T be having a problem!"
>> :-)
> snip........
>
>Laurence,
>
>Although I do respect and appreciate your advice and opinions on most
>matters recording related, I do take offence to your last comment as it
>seems to be directed toward me.
>Although I did relay FW specs to refute Don Pearce's completely incorrect
>initial response to the OP's question that the problem was that FW resided
>on the PCI bus, I did not imply or tell the OP that he couldn't be having a
>problem with his firewire. I simply stated the facts (and specs) related to
>FW transfer and advised the OP to try another PCI slot for his FW interface
>before buying another FW card, which IMHO, is very good advice.
>If your comment wasn't aimed at my response............please accept my
>apologies. I guess I'm feeling a little thin skinned today and am tired of
>people denigrating or dismissing the help that others try to give with a
>short, blanket statement followed by a lame "smiley" emoticon attempting to
>make it seem like they are not attempting to feel or look superior and that
>there is something to laugh at in their statement.
>

Yes, you are being a little thin skinned.

If you feel the cap fits you, even slightly, then it's been a useful
leaning experience. No charge :-)
Anonymous
July 4, 2005 8:04:59 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <dabh03$lr$1@panix2.panix.com> kludge@panix.com writes:

> >Knowledge about computers tends not to be generalized because there
> >are so many individual differences.

> For the most part, this is only true in the Windows world. And it's because
> Windows for the most part consists of black boxes that you can't look
> inside, and therefore cannot do any real troubleshooting in.

Well, we're talking audio here, mostly amateur audio where the studio
can't have an experienced computer on board, and that pretty much
means Windows.

> Outside of the Windows world, this is not the case. You can look inside
> applications with "test equipment" like debuggers and see what is going
> on, and fix it.

Like maybe ProTools for the Mac?

--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
July 4, 2005 9:21:27 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <znr1120495355k@trad>, Mike Rivers <mrivers@d-and-d.com> wrote:
>
>> Outside of the Windows world, this is not the case. You can look inside
>> applications with "test equipment" like debuggers and see what is going
>> on, and fix it.
>
>Like maybe ProTools for the Mac?

With OSX, it's _amazing_ what you can see ProTools doing just with simple
tools like ktrace, which traces all kernal calls.
--scott

--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
July 5, 2005 10:56:17 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Scott Dorsey" <kludge@panix.com> wrote in message
news:D abh03$lr$1@panix2.panix.com
> In article <znr1120474260k@trad>, Mike Rivers
> <mrivers@d-and-d.com> wrote:
>> Knowledge about computers tends not to be generalized
because
>> there are so many individual differences. Also, what you
>> learn about a piece of the technology at one time may
become
>> completely useless (unless your business is restoring old
>> computers) in a very short period. Much computer
diagnosis is
>> based on replace-and-try or wait until something else
comes
>> along.
>
> For the most part, this is only true in the Windows world.
> And it's because Windows for the most part consists of
black
> boxes that you can't look inside, and therefore cannot do
any
> real troubleshooting in. This means that a good tech's
> troubleshooting method becomes having a problem/solution
> matrix in your head and little more.

Huh, there are no windows debuggers?

What's this?

http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/devtools/debugging/defaul...
Anonymous
July 5, 2005 4:41:50 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <x56dnYNzk-XM-lffRVn-pg@comcast.com> arnyk@hotpop.com writes:

> Huh, there are no windows debuggers?
> What's this?
> http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/devtools/debugging/defaul...

Yeah, but how many people know how to use the results to fix a real
problem with a real application or real piece of hardware? For
example, can you use that to explain what to change in order to get
fastest transfer over a particular Firewire port?



--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
July 6, 2005 6:09:12 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Lorin David Schultz <Lorin@DAMNSPAM!v5v.ca> wrote:

> You misunderstood the part about the cheap PCI card though. It works
> fine and did so immediately with no problems at all. It just passes
> files more slowly than the ports integrated into the motherboard. All I
> was asking was if that would likely be attributable to it being a cheap
> card, or if it had something to do with being on the PCI bus, that's
> all.

Is it possible that basic functionality is instantaneous and
hassle-free without any driver installation or parameter fiddling,
while optimum throughput requires a modest degree of hassle,
installation, and/or fiddling?

ulysses
Anonymous
July 6, 2005 2:34:59 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Bob Cain wrote:
>
>
> Lorin David Schultz wrote:
>
>> My questions was (and is), is it slow because it's a no-name cheapie,
>> or are ALL add-on PCI Firewire cards going to be slower simply because
>> they use the PCI buss? You seem to be under the impression that there
>> was an installation problem. That's not the case.
>
>
> I've heard that the slowdown is not due to burst data rate limits on PCI
> but rather that Firewire requires a lot of synchronous, interrupt driven
> hand shaking at which the PCI is less adept than the more integrated forms.


TTBOMK, at this time, there are no "more integrated forms." All
motherboards (including laptops and including Macs) I have seen use a
PCI-1394 bridge chip.

Someday (maybe already) there will be PCI-E to 1394b cards available,
which will eliminate the bottleneck.
Anonymous
July 6, 2005 2:38:58 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Lorin David Schultz wrote:
>
> You misunderstood the part about the cheap PCI card though. It works
> fine and did so immediately with no problems at all. It just passes
> files more slowly than the ports integrated into the motherboard. All I
> was asking was if that would likely be attributable to it being a cheap
> card, or if it had something to do with being on the PCI bus

Either the card uses a poor chipset or the PCI slot chosen shares an
interrupt with something else that's busy.

The $11 card I have here (TI chipset) works just fine...
Anonymous
July 7, 2005 3:10:14 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Kurt Albershardt wrote:
> Bob Cain wrote:
>>
>> I've heard that the slowdown is not due to burst data rate limits on
>> PCI but rather that Firewire requires a lot of synchronous, interrupt
>> driven hand shaking at which the PCI is less adept than the more
>> integrated forms.
>
>
>
> TTBOMK,

???

> at this time, there are no "more integrated forms." All
> motherboards (including laptops and including Macs) I have seen use a
> PCI-1394 bridge chip.

A bridge _is_ a more integrated solution than a PCI card
isn't it? Or does it end up on the PCI bus via MoBo traces?


Bob
--

"Things should be described as simply as possible, but no
simpler."

A. Einstein
Anonymous
July 7, 2005 1:48:25 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Bob Cain wrote:
>
>
> Kurt Albershardt wrote:
>
>> Bob Cain wrote:
>>
>>>
>>> I've heard that the slowdown is not due to burst data rate limits on
>>> PCI but rather that Firewire requires a lot of synchronous, interrupt
>>> driven hand shaking at which the PCI is less adept than the more
>>> integrated forms.
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> TTBOMK,
>
> ???

To The Best Of My Knowledge


>> at this time, there are no "more integrated forms." All motherboards
>> (including laptops and including Macs) I have seen use a PCI-1394
>> bridge chip.
>
>
> A bridge _is_ a more integrated solution than a PCI card isn't it? Or
> does it end up on the PCI bus via MoBo traces?


The latter, unless there is more than one PCI bus (common on server
chipsets but most of those have latency problems when used for DAWs.)

It all boils down to the 1394 chipset used and the other stuff on the
bus, particularly anything that shares the same interrupt.
Anonymous
July 8, 2005 7:49:15 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Bob Cain wrote:

>
>
> Kurt Albershardt wrote:
>
>> Bob Cain wrote:
>>
>>>
>>> I've heard that the slowdown is not due to burst data rate limits on
>>> PCI but rather that Firewire requires a lot of synchronous, interrupt
>>> driven hand shaking at which the PCI is less adept than the more
>>> integrated forms.
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> TTBOMK,
>
>
> ???
>
>> at this time, there are no "more integrated forms." All motherboards
>> (including laptops and including Macs) I have seen use a PCI-1394
>> bridge chip.
>
>
> A bridge _is_ a more integrated solution than a PCI card isn't it? Or
> does it end up on the PCI bus via MoBo traces?
>
>
> Bob

It's gonna be a lot like a 1394 NIC/interface card. Which PCI bus
it's on is a design decision.

--
Les Cargill
Anonymous
July 11, 2005 12:09:58 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Okay, so I tried moving the PCI firewire card to a different slot.
There is no change in the speed, so I guess an IRQ share wasn't the
bottleneck.

I noticed something else interesting while playing around with this
though.

The motherboard has two firewire ports -- one is built-in to the ATX
connector "bulkhead" along with all the other connectors (PS2, parallel,
etc.). The other one is a multi-pin header on the motherboard that
connects to a cabled connector on either the front or rear of the
chassis. The "header" port is slower than the one in the bulkhead.
Even though they're both built-in to the motherboard, one is still
faster than the other. Go figure.

Both the motherboard ports are faster than the ones provided by the PCI
card. If the faster MB port has an arbitrary speed value of 200, the
second MB port is about 150 and the PCI card ports are about 100.

--
"It CAN'T be too loud... some of the red lights aren't even on yet!"
- Lorin David Schultz
in the control room
making even bad news sound good

(Remove spamblock to reply)

"Lorin David Schultz" <Lorin@DAMNSPAM!v5v.ca> wrote in message
news:g1Uwe.83973$HI.1397@edtnps84...
> Thanks for the suggestions gentlemen. I'll try another slot to see if
> that helps. If not, I have no idea how I'd choose an alternative
> card. I was willing to gamble $25 on seeing if a PCI Firewire card
> would transfer files as fast as the integrated ports, but I don't want
> to risk the price of a "real" card without knowing *for sure* that it
> will go like lightning. I'd hate to spend $100 only to find out that
> it's still slower than the built-in ports.
>
> --
> "It CAN'T be too loud... some of the red lights aren't even on yet!"
> - Lorin David Schultz
> in the control room
> making even bad news sound good
>
> (Remove spamblock to reply)
>
>
Anonymous
July 14, 2005 7:20:53 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Laurence Payne" <lpayne1NOSPAM@dsl.pipexSPAMTRAP.com> wrote in message
news:3o0ic19s2a10pfubj05ssepoki5ent6ntb@4ax.com...
> On Sun, 3 Jul 2005 20:44:48 -0500, "James Buhler"
> <jbuhler"diespammers"@mb.sympatico.ca> wrote:
>
> >
> >"Laurence Payne" <lpayne1NOSPAM@dsl.pipexSPAMTRAP.com> wrote in message
> >news:lujgc1p72ajuul837b4erd9viipkrenebi@4ax.com...
> >> On Sun, 03 Jul 2005 20:00:46 GMT, "Lorin David Schultz"
> >> <Lorin@DAMNSPAM!v5v.ca> wrote:
> >>
> >> >Fortunately for us, there are 1000 computer techs for every audio
> >> >engineer (even in this brave new world of bedroom "engineers"), so
it's
> >> >easier to find information and support than it was for dedicated
analog
> >> >pro audio gear.
> >>
> >> Few of them however seem capable of doing anything more than quoting
> >> the FireWire spec. and saying "..so you CAN'T be having a problem!"
> >> :-)
> > snip........
> >
> >Laurence,
> >
> >Although I do respect and appreciate your advice and opinions on most
> >matters recording related, I do take offence to your last comment as it
> >seems to be directed toward me.
> >Although I did relay FW specs to refute Don Pearce's completely incorrect
> >initial response to the OP's question that the problem was that FW
resided
> >on the PCI bus, I did not imply or tell the OP that he couldn't be having
a
> >problem with his firewire. I simply stated the facts (and specs) related
to
> >FW transfer and advised the OP to try another PCI slot for his FW
interface
> >before buying another FW card, which IMHO, is very good advice.
> >If your comment wasn't aimed at my response............please accept my
> >apologies. I guess I'm feeling a little thin skinned today and am tired
of
> >people denigrating or dismissing the help that others try to give with a
> >short, blanket statement followed by a lame "smiley" emoticon attempting
to
> >make it seem like they are not attempting to feel or look superior and
that
> >there is something to laugh at in their statement.
> >
>
> Yes, you are being a little thin skinned.
>
> If you feel the cap fits you, even slightly, then it's been a useful
> leaning experience. No charge :-)

You could have left it at me being thin skinned but you had to add the last
bit about this being a learning experience.

No, I do not feel that the cap fits me in any way. Therefore, the only
thing that I have gained here is the knowledge that you truly are a
condescending little toad.
Anonymous
July 16, 2005 2:11:50 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On Thu, 14 Jul 2005 15:20:53 -0500, "James Buhler"
<jbuhler"diespammers"@mb.sympatico.ca> wrote:

>> Yes, you are being a little thin skinned.
>>
>> If you feel the cap fits you, even slightly, then it's been a useful
>> leaning experience. No charge :-)
>
>You could have left it at me being thin skinned but you had to add the last
>bit about this being a learning experience.
>
>No, I do not feel that the cap fits me in any way. Therefore, the only
>thing that I have gained here is the knowledge that you truly are a
>condescending little toad.

The penny's dropped. THIS is why you're attacking me in another
forum. I hadn't connected the name.

So, as the initial comment wasn't directed at you, and the cap doesn't
fit, you have absolutely nothing whatsoever to justify or to complain
about. So why not hop off like a happy little bunny? :-)

(The smiley was just there to irk you :-)
(So was that one:-)
!