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questions on firewire interface

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by jazzplayer, May 9, 2007.

  1. jazzplayer

    jazzplayer Member

    hello, i am a musician, but new to recording work. i wish to do a professional quality recording in the most affordable way. so i prefer to buy a firewire interface rather than a usb interface. a yamaha personal firewire interface GO46 has caught my attention. it has two firewire ports, both are 6-pin type. however, my dell laptop has only one 1394 firewire port, it is a 4-pin firewire port. after doing a lot of research, i now know that there are two kinds of firewire cable. One cable has both a 6-pin connector and a 4-pin connector, and the other cable has 6-pin connectors on each end.

    my questions are as follow:
    (1) if i use a 6-pin to 4-pin firewire cable to connect the firewire interface to my laptop, does this affect the sound quality when the sound comes to my laptop?

    (2) my laptop has only one 1394 firewire port, but fortunately it also has a cardbus slot. if i buy a firewire card for adding two firewire ports to my laptop, and then record the sound to an external drive instead of to the laptop drive, will this affect the sound quality also? because i am afraid that it will be just like converting a guitar cable jack plug with a jack plug converter, the sound will be losing a lot.

    (3) why do most of the personal firewire interface comes with two firewire ports? isn't one port is enough?


    thank you for your help and professional knowledge.
     
  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    The extra pins are used for powering the firewire device. If your device has an external mains power adaptor, then a 4-pin cable is fine for the data transfer. Alternatively, the CardBus Firewire interfaces usually have 6-pin ports, sometimes via an adaptor cable, but beware of power consumption when powering external devices from a laptop.
    Firewire is a digital interface format. The only way you would affect the sound quality is by (1) dropped data due to bad connections etc or (2) inability of the laptop to keep up with the flow of data from the audio interface to the hard disc. Having an external Firewire data drive and the audio interface on the same Firewire adaptor gives you a good chance of the data streaming directly from the audio interface to disc, but your software has to be able to set up the system to do that. It can't happen if the audio interface is on the native Firewire port and the hard drive is on the CardBus port.
    The second port is for "daisy-chaining" another device.
     

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