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View Full Version : New MacBook Pro problems w/ FireWire Audio??? DUET




MowingDevil
Sep 25, 2008, 09:21 PM
So I've got myself setup for the MBP and have already purchased the Apogee Duet (which I planned to run off the f/w 400 port) and a Glyph PortaGig hard drive for my audio bin (for the f/w 800 port). Reports have come out that suggest Apple has done away w/ the 400 port to make room. What does this mean for the Duet? I wonder if they will have 2 800 ports or just one. I know the 800 ports are backwards compatible but who knows what kind of glitches there may be with it as an audio input. Anyone have experience running the Duet into the 800? ....is it compatible? This is a major concern for me and I may just end up getting the current model instead...although there's that GPU issue lingering.



Luap
Sep 25, 2008, 10:35 PM
If you are talking about MBP's that have not even been released yet, then it's way too early to say. But I would be very surprised if Apple got rid of FW400. Its too useful still.
Whats more the Apogee Duet was apparently designed in co-operation with Apple, so it would be somewhat strange for them to shut out a top end interface from one of their own top end Macs. Doesn't make any sense.

And even if FW400 did go, there is no reason why it wouldn't work just fine on a FW800 port. As you say, it is backwards compatible.
Even with a hard drive on the same bus, you'd have tons of firewire bandwidth left for plenty of data. 400 or 800.

Duet is a great little interface by the way :) A little simplistic when it comes to features, but it sounds top notch.

MowingDevil
Sep 25, 2008, 11:57 PM
I know they haven't been released yet. In case you haven't seen the front page news here: http://www.macrumors.com/2008/09/25/aluminum-macbook-and-macbook-pros-spotted/

Like I said they're just reports. I really hope they're not accurate.

There's working and then there's working well. I just don't want any Mickey-Moused adapters etc to have to deal w/ in the signal chain.

Luap
Sep 26, 2008, 10:19 AM
It might be true. It might not be true. But its worth keeping in mind that rumour sites, even this one, get very little, if any real information. And what little they do get leads them to pulling the rest of the specs out of their backsides.
While possible, I think it unlikely.. Especially as the 'space saving' excuse seems a bit weak. Even the smallest laptops have plenty of space for a full range of ports. MBP's are certainly no exception.

You'll just have to wait and see I guess.

Loge
Sep 26, 2008, 04:49 PM
Duet runs just fine into the FW800 port, although you will only get FW400 bandwidth. I ran it that way until I got my FW800 external drive. It is compatible, you just need a 400 to 800 cable.

MowingDevil
Oct 1, 2008, 09:53 AM
Duet runs just fine into the FW800 port, although you will only get FW400 bandwidth. I ran it that way until I got my FW800 external drive. It is compatible, you just need a 400 to 800 cable.

K, here's what I'd like to know....IF the new MBP only have a single FW port from now on in...how would you hook up your DUET *and* an external FW drive? The reason I ask is it sounds like I have the same setup as you and am conerned about this possibility. I can only hope that this rumour pertains to the MB and not the Pro lines. I don't think you can daisy chain the Duet with a portable hard drive could you? ...I wouldn't think this would be desireable even if its possible when recording audio.

Plumbstone
Oct 1, 2008, 01:53 PM
Most FW drives have more than 1 FW port, in fact alot have 2x800 ans 1x400 which work just like a hub.

In the current version of the MBP, and even the MacPro, there is only a single Firewire bus anyway with an internal hub to create more ports so using the extra ports on an external drive shouldn't make any difference.

Loge
Oct 1, 2008, 04:32 PM
The problem is if the external drive is using bus power, then while daisy chaining should work in theory, there probably won't be enough power to supply both the Duet and the external drive.

Not very good options include running a extra USB cable to the external drive to supply power (I have a lead for this, it is intended for those who are using 4 pin FW), or attaching my external drive directly to USB (missing out on FW800), or running a powered FW hub.

I really hope they retain 2 FW ports on the updated models.

MowingDevil
Oct 1, 2008, 09:56 PM
See this *exactly* what I'm afraid of. I don't want to have my peripherals all hooked up to adapters, daisy chained, extra cables, band-aids etc. It just works the way it is:

MBP<---Duet (FW 400)
MBP<---External FW 800 drive

As most probably do, I don't like to record audio to the internal drive, instead leave that for running the OS & Logic. This is a setup that just works and in the past I've found when you update one thing it can start a chain reaction w/ conflicts and issues you didn't foresee. I'm afraid if this happens I'll be sticking w/ the Penryn MBP for as long as I possibly can (and will be praying that Nvidia GPU holds up during AppleCare). When the time comes I'll just have to update the entire system.

So the MBP seriously only has one FireWire bus? ...and both the 400 & 800 ports are funelled into the same pipe? I suppose that might explain why they might want to get rid of the 400 then.

MowingDevil
Oct 17, 2008, 09:47 AM
Okay, so now we all know whats going on w/ the new notebooks.

...and as you can imagine I'm in a bit of a pickle here. Can anyone verify that you can daisychain a Duet (400) into an external HD (800)...so that they both function properly AND they are both bus powered?

The whole point of me getting them was they could be bus powered w/ the MBPs firewire ports and they'd be fast.

I am lead to believe that anytime you daisychain an 800 device w/ a 400 one it dumbs the 800 down to 400 as well. Can anyone verify that? ...is it just for HDs or would an audio iinterface do it as well?

Thanks

Loge
Oct 17, 2008, 10:19 AM
...and as you can imagine I'm in a bit of a pickle here. Can anyone verify that you can daisychain a Duet (400) into an external HD (800)...so that they both function properly AND they are both bus powered? Thanks

Will try this set up later on tonight using just the FW800 port on my merom MBP. FYI the hard drive I have is a Lacie Rugged 500GB triple interface.

Luap
Oct 17, 2008, 12:43 PM
Even FireWire 400 can handle a LOT of full bandwidth audio tracks without breaking a sweat. I forget how many, but we're talking dozens.
If you are using a Duet, which is essentially only stereo (2 tracks) then no matter what bit/sample rate you are recording at, you won't even nearly max out FW400, even with a hard drive on the same bus.

So even if your FW800 port is being knocked back to 400 capacity, you are losing out on pretty much nothing.
If you were planning on recording/playing 48 or more audio tracks simultaneously, then you could worry perhaps.

While im here.. I've got 4 or 5 devices running off the same FireWire 400 port (I've left the 800 port unused). This includes 2 Firewire audio interfaces (One of which is a duet) and a hard drive or 3. and probably something else which i forget too. Can't say i've ever run into any bandwidth related problems.
As for power, to be on the safe side, I use a small Belkin powered FireWire hub. I've not tried it without the power adapter though. My setup is a home rig.

MowingDevil
Oct 17, 2008, 05:55 PM
Ok, it sounds very promising that daisychaining won't present a problem. Now I just need to confirm that bus power provides enough juice for both devices.

Loge
Oct 17, 2008, 06:01 PM
Ok, it sounds very promising that daisychaining won't present a problem. Now I just need to confirm that bus power provides enough juice for both devices.

So far so good. Using Logic Pro to record one instrument into the Duet, writing the audio to the external drive seems OK. Playing back iTunes library (stored on the external), listening through the Duet headphone port also seems OK.

I'll keep it hooked up like that for the time being, and report back if I run into issues.

MowingDevil
Oct 18, 2008, 01:10 AM
Thanks Loge, look forward to your updates.
Are they both being powered through the same bus or AC?

I really want to know if an 800 port can power both the Duet & an 800 HD.

Loge
Oct 18, 2008, 05:11 AM
Thanks Loge, look forward to your updates.
Are they both being powered through the same bus or AC?

I really want to know if an 800 port can power both the Duet & an 800 HD.

Yes they are both powered through the same bus.

MowingDevil
Oct 18, 2008, 08:06 AM
Well thats definitely good news!