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View Full Version : Concerns with lack of FW on Macbook Pro




AutumnWind
Nov 28, 2009, 04:06 AM
first off, i'd like to say i was quite impressed by the knowledge of many of this forum's residents and value your opinions. my introduction to the forum was the "will logic replace pro tools" thread.

that said, (for those already groaning) it is not my intention to revisit the debate ;). however, i plan to purchase logic studio (9.0, i believe it is now) and took special note of junior's comment on the removal of FW and that USB is not a replacement in the audio world.

if i understand correctly (bear with me, i'm just starting in the field. absolutely clueless), i will need additional hardware to be able to begin composition and recording (other than a mic). if this is not the case, please correct me. if so, and macbooks no longer support FW, what USB hardware do i need to begin the process? is a keyboard necessary? perhaps, a silly question, but again, i have no knowledge at this point. i'm a songwriter and tired of waiting on others to complete a project.

also, if someone wouldn't mind explaining to me what makes FW much better than USB, i would greatly appreciate it :).



Fishrrman
Nov 28, 2009, 09:12 AM
"please correct me. if so, and macbooks no longer support FW, what USB hardware do i need to begin the process? is a keyboard necessary? perhaps, a silly question, but again, i have no knowledge at this point. i'm a songwriter and tired of waiting on others to complete a project."

All MacBook PROS (note emphasis) support firewire.

The entry-level "MacBook" (no "PRO") is USB-only.

If you get a MacBook Pro, your worries are unfounded. They have firewire connectivity and will do what you need.

pkoch1
Nov 28, 2009, 09:47 AM
also, if someone wouldn't mind explaining to me what makes FW much better than USB, i would greatly appreciate it :).

Firewire, although slower on paper (400Mb/s vs USB's 480Mb/s) , is a faster transfer rate than USB. It is a steady transfer, while USB is transferred in spurts that may peak at 480Mb/s. In audio, where you are writing 44100-192000 bits per second per track, you will want the steady transfer.

That said, if you are only recording one or two tracks at a time, USB should suffice.

juanster
Nov 28, 2009, 10:23 AM
I 'll start by stating I do not make music, but I have in the past and I am very comfortable (and fond of) Pro Tools.
If you are recording just a couple of tracks (like someone already said) you should be fine with USB, I woudl still not recommend it. Second thing, ifyou have a large HD in your MBP you shoudl be able to just record there (again I wouldn't but you can if you'd like). The keyboard is not a "necessity" you can do without, but you will find yourself getting very frustrated using the keyboard (if that's what you are intending to use?)
If you are getting really into it. Use whatever you have available before gogin and buying things. After you have worked a good 30 hours or so you ll know better what it is that you need/want/will make things easier for you. If you are serious about getting into song writing and making a living out of it you will need more things, but only you can find out what other things you need.
Like I sais after many hours of work you ll figure out what else would make things better and what it is that you need

AutumnWind
Nov 28, 2009, 01:36 PM
Firewire, although slower on paper (400Mb/s vs USB's 480Mb/s) , is a faster transfer rate than USB. It is a steady transfer, while USB is transferred in spurts that may peak at 480Mb/s. In audio, where you are writing 44100-192000 bits per second per track, you will want the steady transfer.

That said, if you are only recording one or two tracks at a time, USB should suffice.

Thanks. I appreciate the help :)

California
Nov 28, 2009, 01:58 PM
I also heard that there is a USB 'hiss" sound when recording on usb, though I could be wrong. I agree with above poster, firewire is the only way to go.

The last generation Macbooks in white still had firewire, btw. Only the new unibody white plastic Macbooks do not have firewire.

AutumnWind
Nov 28, 2009, 02:20 PM
The keyboard is not a "necessity" you can do without, but you will find yourself getting very frustrated using the keyboard (if that's what you are intending to use?)

I think we're on the same page, but just for clarification's sake, I was thinking I would need at least a 12-key board instead of just clicking a mouse on a key app for every note. I agree, that would probably get frustrating quickly.

If you are getting really into it. Use whatever you have available before gogin and buying things. After you have worked a good 30 hours or so you ll know better what it is that you need/want/will make things easier for you. If you are serious about getting into song writing and making a living out of it you will need more things, but only you can find out what other things you need.


The problem is I don't have anything available yet. I agree that I will need some hours of work to get a better idea of what will improve the process. I just want to make sure I have what I need to get started (eg compose and record). Initially, I will be recording 1 or 2 tracks at a time as you mentioned since I have no idea what I'm doing yet. I guess I'll go with FW since I will eventually build to a full Mac Pro as I continue to build a more encompassing studio. Why start with USB to go back to FW?

And thanks for your comments. You've been a big help. And thank you, California, as well. :)

deej999
Dec 1, 2009, 05:47 AM
The older macbook pros used to have multiple firewire ports. True. But they shared the same internal Firewire Bus. I don't think it's any different to using a good Firewire hub attachment or daisy chaining the FW interface via the FW external hard drive.

Works great for most interfaces.

deej