Firewire Vs. Usb – Which is Better to Use For Audio Recording?

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Firewire Vs. USB, an age old question (at least in the

most recent few years since Firewire and USB became

available). In this article we’re going

to cover the


dissimilarities between

both of them so that you have the

specifics and can decide which is a superior system

to to use for you.

Firewire Vs. USB Data Transfer Rate

The major

difference worth

understanding in between USB and Firewire is the transfer speed. USB 2.0 moves data at

roughly 480 mbps while Firewire

800 transmits data at, well, 800 mbps.

As you can see, Firewire 800 transfers

data at virtually double the rate of USB 2.0. This proves to be

useful when you have to transmit significant

quantities of data in real time without

problems such as with digital audio recording.

Asynchronous Vs. Isochronous

While USB is predominantly

asynchronous, Firewire offers an isochronous mode, meaning it can carve out a

select devoted quantity

of bandwidth which different devices

cannot use. The stream of data is

able to flow without

restraint which means you do not go through any

glitches or collisions of data like you

can when using USB’s asynchronous setting where

that constant stream of

data is able to be affected by

other devices to make use of that same

pipeline, resulting in pops and issues on your recordings when you

are recording as some of the audio

gets lost.

It is not definite that this

will come about when using USB, but the probability is much more likely because of the design.

Firewire Vs. USB Cost

Keeping in mind the

preceding two points, Firewire

generally will cost you a bit more and is viewed more seriously than USB 2.0

for recording. It’s more

expensive both for firewire cables vs. USB cables and for

getting a Firewire port on your PC vs. a USB

port. Because Firewire is used for

very unique purposes that

the average person has little need

for like audio or video tracking,

very few computers and laptops

are built with Firewire ports already


Instead you either need to special

order your computer with a Firewire port already

installed, or you can get a converter card to

help it become

congruent with Firewire which is what I


Ultimately the decision of going Firewire

Vs. USB is yours to make, but now you are

acquainted with the essentials seperating both. You can try to purchase a USB

matching recording equipment from a web-

based store with a good return policy

such as Musician’s Friend or buy one in store at a

Guitar Center, then test it out and if you hear

any pops then you can simply take it back and swap it for a Firewire system.

To find out the exact recording

system which I use

myself in

vs-usb-which-is-better-for-audio-recording/”>Firewire vs. USB


respectively, click on the web link in this



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