Home Recording FireWire Interfaces

FireWire interfaces connect to the FireWire port in your computer. FireWire ports come in two varieties: FireWire 400 and FireWire 800 are inexpensive and are available on laptop computers as well as desktops, which makes FireWire interfaces more versatile than PCI-based systems.

For example, you can easily move the interface from computer to computer. If you have a laptop and a desktop computer, using a FireWire interface allows you to switch between the two computers by simply moving the FireWire cable from one computer to the other.

If you want to do some location recording, this is a big plus because you can take your interface and laptop to a great recording room, record the drums, for example, and then bring the audio back home for mixing and editing in your studio.

A FireWire interface connects to the FireWire port in your computer.
A FireWire interface connects to the FireWire port in your computer.

FireWire interfaces generally come with eight to ten inputs and outputs and cost from about $500 to $1,500.

When using a FireWire interface — and if you want a lot of inputs and/or outputs — a problem can arise if you also have a FireWire hard drive to which you want to record audio.

Basically, having the FireWire interface and the FireWire hard drive on the same FireWire bus is asking for trouble, because you’re sure to reach the data-transfer limit of FireWire. So make sure that the two FireWire devices are on different buses (data channels).

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