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FireWire mixers? Will they work with an external card?

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FireWire mixers? Will they work with an external card?

Postby seriousnewbie » Thu Sep 17, 2020 2:49 am

Alright, so I have been looking for a mixer for a while now. It seems like all of the requirements that I need in a mixer are with mixers (discontinued) that are FireWire. I am starting to consider it, would I be able to get an external FireWire card and then use my mixer that way?

Please do not be that person that asks me if I need a mixer, then tries to convince me to get an audio interface. I have been asked that dozens of times, and have actually looked into it. Believe me, I know what I want. Thank you.
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Re: FireWire mixers? Will they work with an external card?

Postby resistorman » Thu Sep 17, 2020 3:13 am

What kind of computer are you wanting to hook into? PC? Mac? Laptop? My firewire experience with PCs has not been good. A Presonus firewired into an old Mac mini works flawlessly for me at one of my regular gigs though.
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Re: FireWire mixers? Will they work with an external card?

Postby seriousnewbie » Thu Sep 17, 2020 3:14 am

resistorman wrote:What kind of computer are you wanting to hook into? PC? Mac? Laptop? My firewire experience with PCs has not been good. A Presonus firewired into an old Mac mini works flawlessly for me at one of my regular gigs though.
Windows.
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Re: FireWire mixers? Will they work with an external card?

Postby resistorman » Thu Sep 17, 2020 3:46 am

OK, is it a laptop? Is that why you want an external adapter?

Firewire can be very finicky On PC. I would suggest you got to the manufacturer and/ or forum of the mixer you’re interested in and ask.
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Re: FireWire mixers? Will they work with an external card?

Postby adrian_k » Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:03 am

I used to be all FireWire (audio interface, Liquid Mix) but got out of it once I realised it was essentially being abandoned by manufacturers.

I didn’t use the motherboard FW, I had two FW cards in my desktop PC with the TI chipset (other FW implementations were problematic) and a FW card in my mobile laptop. I don’t think you can even buy a laptop now with expansion slots?

It was rock solid but with diminishing support for FW I couldn’t afford to be caught out, and it had no future.

If it was me I’d think carefully before investing in an old technology, especially if you are running a business.

(Edit) you don’t say what flavour of Windows you run but if W10 do check the availability of FW drivers for your mixer.
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Re: FireWire mixers? Will they work with an external card?

Postby Mike Stranks » Thu Sep 17, 2020 8:38 am

James Perrett said it all yesterday in response to your ongoing 'mixers' thread:

Audio over Firewire is a bit fussy when it comes to which interface cards work. The normal advice is to look for one with a Texas Instruments chipset but nowadays you need to be very careful to find one that is still supported by a current version of your computer operating system. I'm keeping my old Windows XP machine around because it all works with my Firewire audio interface.

Nothing more to be said really...
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Re: FireWire mixers? Will they work with an external card?

Postby adrian_k » Thu Sep 17, 2020 9:03 am

... unless the OP is actually asking whether a FW to USB converter might work. A bit hard to tell from the way the question is put. But that could be classed as an ‘external’ interface I guess.

But I wouldn’t even consider that for audio, personally I think the whole plan is fraught with potential problems and a world of frustration!!
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Re: FireWire mixers? Will they work with an external card?

Postby Moroccomoose » Thu Sep 17, 2020 9:44 am

I still run my profire 2626 which is firewire... funnily enough, with the last semi-major windows update, it has never been more stable.. I love it at the moment.

However, I would be suspicious of external firewire adaptors. My understanding is that USB and firewire are simply fundamentally different and that any kind of convertor will not perform as you want. As already pointed out, laptops don't have expansion slots any more for a PCI card.

If a laptop is your computer, I'd be looking out for a USB C interface.

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Re: FireWire mixers? Will they work with an external card?

Postby James Perrett » Thu Sep 17, 2020 12:49 pm

As I said on the other thread, I still keep an ancient XP laptop around for Firewire audio. My newer Windows 10 laptop has an unsupported Firewire chip and doesn't work reliably for audio (though it is fine for video).

If I was going for a current machine I would looks for something with Thunderbolt and then use a Thunderbolt to Firewire adaptor. I've heard of people doing this successfully on Macs with the interface that I use but I don't know about PC's.

I would forget about USB to Firewire - Focusrite seem to sum it up at

https://support.focusrite.com/hc/en-gb/ ... interface-
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Re: FireWire mixers? Will they work with an external card?

Postby resistorman » Thu Sep 17, 2020 4:05 pm

Ask until you get the answer you want :lol:
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Re: FireWire mixers? Will they work with an external card?

Postby Matt Houghton » Thu Sep 17, 2020 4:27 pm

I wouldn't personally trust the Firewire drivers to be supported as OSs evolve further.

That said, some Firewire mixers will make fine standalone mixers, even without their Firewire functionality. And some have ADAT inputs and outputs as well as Firewire too, eg the Allen & Heath R16. So you could still hook them up to your computer over USB by adding an RME Digiface USB or some such.

Don't get me wrong, there are some bargains to be had in Firewire gear, **if** you're prepared to freeze your computer system at a certain OS or OS revision. These mixers, RME Firefaces etc etc. But I wouldn't personally go down that road if I had the budget to get what I wanted with USB, Dante, Thunderbolt etc. instead.

Are there specific models you're thinking of?
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Re: FireWire mixers? Will they work with an external card?

Postby CS70 » Thu Sep 17, 2020 6:45 pm

seriousnewbie wrote:It seems like all of the requirements that I need in a mixer are with mixers (discontinued) that are FireWire.

Which kind of requirements? And which mixer are u looking at?
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