USB v FireWire

Gene Bogart gbogart at
Mon May 10 09:01:54 PDT 2004

> ------------------------------
> ====================
> Date: Mon, 10 May 2004 06:46:38 +0200
> Subject: Re: [MPA] USB v FireWire
> From: Cyril Blanc <blanc.cyril at>
> It is depending how many tracks you want to play ;o)
> On my G4 533 MP Motu PCI 424 (2048 MK II + 24i + 1296 + Presonus)
> I could record 54 tracks at a time. If you record a drum you will
> need up to 15 mic=s! I use only 10 !
> ====================

Hi Cyril,

I hear ya, but keep in mind that needing to record 54 tracks at a time is a
situation that most of us will never be fortunate enough to experience! :-)

I run a MOTU 828 (FireWire interface) into an iMac G3 500; the 828 can
handle 8 inputs and 8 outputs (analog) simultaneously, and has never balked
when required to do so...  although to be honest, I rarely have used more
than the 2 outputs needed for stereo monitoring. For the work I do every day
(voiceover and small-studio music recording) the iMac/FW/828 combo has
proven to be rock solid, and a great bang-for-the-buck solution.

> ===================
> I have moved to a G5 2x2 because of QLSO. On the beast you can
> record up to 96 simultaneous tracks
> On you Imac I doubt you could do this with a FW 400 interface.
> ===================

Oh, I agree with you!  As an analogy, though, I could say that our Toyota
Camry is a great car... but I wouldn't take it to compete at Indy!  (...or
Le Mans...) Two entirely different playing fields -- and two correspondingly
different budgets! 

> ===================
> I have friends having FW disk, FW audio on a PowerBook that have
> a lot of problems.
> ===================

That's surprising....  But (as I'm sure you know) there are so many
variables that can effect any computer-based system. I can tell you that I
have often run 2 FW hard drives, a DV-video input (FW), and the MOTU 828,
all simultaneously, and without any glitches whatsoever. I'm always amazed
at the FW HD's, which act as if they are internal drive units; totally
smooth input and output, it's as if they are "part of the machine"...

> ===================
> If you want to do a song with 10 track a FW will do the job
> But I have not seen any of this song lately ;o) you get song
> with 40 track easily !
> ===================

Again, I think it's like comparing the street in front of my house to the
Indianapolis Speedway!  :-)  Now also, keep in mind that I can do a song
with 40 tracks on my setup ---  just not 40 tracks of INPUT simultaneously!
But as I mentioned, I never realistically have the need to do 40 in at once.

Now recording an orchestra as you do, THAT would be different!

> ===================
> With a Motu system you can start with one module and add up to 3
> (4 in total), so your system can grow with.
> ===================

Yes, I've been very happy with my MOTU product (and I've been lusting after
the new 828 Mk2!)  You can add/stack these units as well, for higher in/out
track count capabilities.

I have been EXTREMELY impressed and happy with FireWire as an input/output
protocol --- I almost can't imagine how fast FW 800 is going to feel!

Thanks for your "input", Cyril!  I'll look forward to hearing some of the
orchestral music you've been working on!

All the best,


Gene Bogart

Bogart Voiceover Productions
Fax/Tel: 561-750-1899
<gene at>

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