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comp upgrade questions: PCIx vs. Firewire vs. USB
Old 21st January 2009
  #1
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
comp upgrade questions: PCIx vs. Firewire vs. USB

I've been running PTLE 6xx for years with an 001. I would like to know whether I can get the same kind of performance with a USB or Firewire interface.

It's time to upgrade past 2001 but I don't know if I *have to* go whole hog on a Pro and an 003 or if I can get away with an Mbox and a lesser machine.

factors:

1. I do a lot of edits

2. rarely need to record more then 8 tracks live -but that may be a 45 minute shot.

3. songs are generally under 24 tracks with overdubs.

4. I don't use plug-ins.

5. I do mix.


I would appreciate any suggestions on current or recent Macs and thoughts on the interface format issue.

Thanks
Old 21st January 2009
  #2
Gear Nut
 
mrickaby's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Hi,

Since you've been running PT6 LE with a 001, there's no DSP or processing done at all by the interface, so in terms of performance there's no difference when it comes to USB or Firewire interfaces. Changing the 001 for another interface will only have an effect on things like the quality of the recorded audio and A/D conversion - it has no effect on the performance of the computer you're using (unless you go for a DSP-based interface which will process audio).

The difference between going for a 003 and an MBox will be things like input/output options and the quality of the pre-amps. Again, it won't have any effect on how much processing/mixing you can get done once the audio is recorded.

If you're not using a lot of plug-ins, you could quite happily run one of the new iMacs with either an MBox or 003, depending on how many inputs and outputs you need. I'd recommend you upgrade the RAM in the iMac, but it will be fine for general editing.

In terms of other options, it might be worth looking to another DAW like Logic, Cubase or Digital Performer, then your choice of interface won't be restricted. As far as Pro Tools goes though, you won't need to spend thousands on a Mac Pro unless you're doing heavy editing that requires a lot of plug-ins.

I'm sure there will be a dozen or more opinions on this, so I'll let other people take over from here!

All the best,

Mark
Old 21st January 2009 | Show parent
  #3
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrickaby ➡️

The difference between going for a 003 and an MBox will be things like input/output options and the quality of the pre-amps. Again, it won't have any effect on how much processing/mixing you can get done once the audio is recorded.

If you're not using a lot of plug-ins, you could quite happily run one of the new iMacs with either an MBox or 003, depending on how many inputs and outputs you need. I'd recommend you upgrade the RAM in the iMac, but it will be fine for general editing.
Thanks for the response. I feel like I should have retained this information at some point. Your comments do help me elaborate and do indeed give me a better idea as to what is technically important.

I do have some concern about the sound quality but to be honest I was much happier with half inch tape so between the ADAT era and then PTLE I have learned to adapt to the compoact disc standard.

I actually do a lot of detailed editing, although I comp the tracks regularly and save multiple versions so I probably will have to aim a little higher on the processor.
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