Linking M-Audio FW410 & PreSonus FireStudio?

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by dukeonuke, Feb 6, 2008.

  1. dukeonuke

    dukeonuke Guest

    Can I daisy chain the FW410 to the Firestudio via firewire or not? I've got the FW410 plugged into the Firestudio and the connection is bus powering my FW410 but I'm not getting any signal through to the FireStudio's interface on my MAC Pro.

    If that's an impossibility, then can I just use the lightpipe/optic cable conections to feed the sound from the FW410 through the FireStudio and then to my MAC?

    Somebody toss me an intelligent bone here please.

    Many Thanks!
  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Apr 19, 2006
    Home Page:
    You may be out of luck on both of those counts.

    I've not tried to use multiple different FireWire devices on a MAC, but it is likely that you can have only one FireWire device driver active at a time. So if the Presonus Firestudio is operational, the M-Audio FW410 will not be seen, and vice versa.

    When it comes to linking the two units, you can't use a lightpipe directly, as the optical output from the FW410 is S/PDIF, and the Firestudio optical ports are ADAT. The two use incompatible protocols.

    Your saviour may be that the FW410 has a coax S/PDIF out as well as optical, and the Firestudio has coax S/PDIF in. So link up the two coax S/PDIF ports, set the Firestudio clock to come from S/PDIF and you could be in business.
  3. dukeonuke

    dukeonuke Guest

    Thanks for the help Boz! I'll give that a shot.

  4. gdoubleyou

    gdoubleyou Well-Known Member

    Mar 19, 2003
    Kirkland WA
    Home Page:
    Go into the Audio/Midi setup utility, and create an aggregate device.

    Then all I/O on both devices will show up.

    Probably want to give the 410 it's own FW port, or get a hub.

    Also you Mac Pro is equipped with 24bit audio with optical SPDIF I/O.
    Requires special combo cables that plug into.

    Check the Belkin site for details on the combo cable.

  5. dukeonuke

    dukeonuke Guest

    Got it working! FW410 powered off firewire connection on FireStudio. Plugged RCA cables into S/PIDF's. Have to use FW410 & FireStudio software controllers independently to control the analog ins. FW410 S/PIDF signal shows up on the FireStudio software controller.

    Another Question: What's the word on Optical vs. RCA S/PIDF connections? Is one better then the other?

    Can't Optical Be used to route multiple signals, where RCA can only be one signal?

    Thanks Folks!

  6. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Apr 19, 2006
    Home Page:
    That's great that you got it working!

    There are two main types of optical signal formats: ADAT lightpipe and S/PDIF. The optical arrangement is usually identical, but the content is different:

    ADAT uses a 256-bit frame per clock (44.1 or 48KHz) to carry the equivalent of 8 channels at 24bits. The bitrate is 12.288 Mbps at 48KHz/channel.

    S/PDIF is only a 2-channel format, but the rate and wordlength are not fixed, but are described in header blocks. For the example of 24-bit 48KHz, the bitrate is about 2.4 Mbps.

    Now the point is that the 2-channel S/PDIF format can also be carried as electrical logic signals on an RCA connector, or (with slightly modified headers) as AES/EBU differential signals on XLR connectors.

    It's a simple matter to convert from S/PDIF optical to S/PDIF electrical (RCA), and with only a little more effort to AES/EBU. To convert to and from 2 channels of an ADAT stream is much more work, as the signal needs to be reconstituted and then re-formatted in the other format.
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