1. Register NOW and become part of this fantastic knowledge base forum! This message will go away once you have registered.

need firewire on laptop-dont have it

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by nmrecording, Mar 5, 2011.

  1. nmrecording

    nmrecording Active Member

    Ive been recording for about 9 years and use a desktop. My pc is a workhorse but I need to have mobility

    Just got a quad core laptop with a ton of ram, more than capable of handling recording but they dont make laptops these days with firewire , mainly cuz its not a highly used consumer input...

    I use a focusrite saffire pro 24 channel recorder

    my laptop doesnt have a firewire input, only usb. Ive tried looking for a usb to firewire converter but am comming up short. I see some cables with usb on one end and firewire on the other end but fortunately I read up on them and I have yet to find one that actually converts the signal, theyre just dead cables with usb on one end, firewire on other but they dont actually convert the signal

    Does anyone know of any way to fix my connectability issues?

    sorry for poor grammar and spelling, its quite late for me.

    Thanks for reading and any info on this.
  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Don't try to convert USB to FireWire. Get a FireWire board to go into the Express Card slot. Make sure the board uses the TI chipset.
  3. lambchop

    lambchop Active Member

    Truth be told, laptops with express card slots seem to be in short supply these days. I've been looking myself and lenovo seems to be one of the few manufacturers that still make laptops with an express card slot.
  4. nmrecording

    nmrecording Active Member

    my old dell inspiron had the express slot, this new inspiron does not.. Its not even a feature they sell anymore .
    its depressing because of the quad core 2.4 processor n 8 gigs of ram would work as a fine mobile recorder....

    So with that said, what are my options? a usb pciexpress adapter then a firewire pcie card inserted? I hate using adapters but I will do what I have to, I cant think of any other way
  5. Jeemy

    Jeemy Well-Known Member

    No offence, but you've jammed yourself into a corner. The fact your laptop doesn't have Firewire means its just not quite got what you need. Are you within 30 days on this purchase? Can you return it and get something more suitable for your needs. Quad core/8g etc is all fine and well but a 1G processor and 1G ram will handle input fine, its all about the mobo being able to accept, to decent tolerance, a quality input.

    Take care with Lenovo. Very budget interiors and heaps of failure issues. Moved, let us know how you get on.
  6. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    I'm afraid I have to agree that you need a different computer. With no firewire or express card slot that computer is no good for recording. Research is the key.
  7. lambchop

    lambchop Active Member

    So Jeemy, I'm curious. If you have a problem with lenovo, what brand laptop would you recommend researching?
  8. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    I'm not Jeemy but I'd look at the PC Audio Labs or Rain Recording laptops.
  9. Jeemy

    Jeemy Well-Known Member

    I have no idea. But my wife installs laptops for a living at about 20 schools, with about 80-200 laptops per school, and Lenovo won the contracts for 3 years running and steadily got worse, to the point where the techs were actively avoiding her calls and making up crazy stories. Turns out there were major issues primarily based around the internal PSU/transformers not supplying enough power to the parts that needed it, in school terms this ended up with displays not working and bluescreens; which are damning enough before you try to get to steady multitrack audio.

    I've always been a Mac person and am still using the same 1G/1G tit. powerbook which still works flawlessly. So I couldn't recommend a PC laptop. I've tried to use Dells in the past having owned a shedload and found the bus speeds to be lacking. So although I will naysay Windows/PC based frameworks thats purely because I have owned the bad ones. I am sure there is lots of good out there and I'm behind on the market, but I will reiterate that I am very conscious that Lenovo laptops are extremely bad news currently.

    When you are seeing (albeit one stage removed) a spread of 1000+ laptops and failure rates are over 10% it would be remiss of me not to say anything. She spends more time boxing em up and sending em back than imaging them.

    I used to do home installs for people and would always buy them Acers, they seemed really reliable. But I have never, ever used a PC laptop for audio just because back in my day (I do graphics, video and audio), Macs worked, PCs did not. I keep one PC to run Sage for my accounts and thats it.
  10. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    There is a Thinkpad on the PT8 approved list so at least one model may be acceptable. I'd still go to a daw builder for best results.
  11. Jeemy

    Jeemy Well-Known Member

    If asked after 2 beers, I'd adamantly say to just go Mac, they have always seemed so much more steady. I sold my last Powerbook for £300 (maybe $500) to buy the next one up which cost me £900 ($1400?) new - and I'd guess you'd get the one I use now for $500 s/h.

    For me it just felt like if you were on a Mac, doing a long 3D or video render, or a bounce to 2-track, or a big graphics filter operation, the keyboard and mouse might stop working but the operation would process without a problem, the computer might slow down until it was done. With a PC it would always seem to be fine and then suddenly wimp out on you. I just felt like PCs didn't prioritise tasks and allowed nervous mouse-clicking to confuse them during processor-intesive operations, if that makes sense. Thats heavy legacy now and I'm out of touch with what is best.

    Isn't PCIe meant to be really solid? Again it depends on bus speeds but it might not be the worst idea in the world, apart from flimsy insertion and risk of breakage, to try the adaptor idea out. Especially if you could get your retailer to recommend it to you and agree to accept a return if it did not function how he told you it would when trying to make the sale?
  12. Jeemy

    Jeemy Well-Known Member

    oh um in the interests of completeness the council she works for went with HP this year instead. i've never had a problem with HP gear but again, no experience in audio applications,
  13. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    The problem with general population pc's for audio is that the manufacturers aren't concerned with efficiency on the memory controller or buses. The i7 and i5 machines are better than it's been for a while but still not necessarily the best for pro audio. When I do recommend on occasion a consumer PC I always recommend visiting the Avid website for their approved list since that is the most problematic DAW for computers.

    By the same token, I have and occasionally still work with Mac's and have seen failures with some of those machines as well. I have a buddy in San Diego that went through four Mac's of various types in three years. I do recommend Mac Pro's for folks that like that platform. I recommend DAW builder PC's for those that are serious about audio on Windows platforms. Unless I know the individually I don't normally recommend DIY since there is no support other than that individual.

Share This Page