CONFIRM: Connecting iMac 2017 to FireWire audio interface

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Jodeo, May 4, 2019.

  1. Jodeo macrumors regular

    Jodeo

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2003
    Location:
    Middle Tennessee
    #1
    I have a 2017 iMac with Thunderbolt 3. I also have a great FireWire 400 audio interface (Presonus). There are no other ports on the Presonus that'll connect to the iMac.

    Before sinking money into this, I need to know if this is what I need to purchase:
    1. Apple TB3 to TB2 adapter (~$50),
    2. Apple TB2 to FireWire 800 adapter (~$30), AND
    3. FireWire 800 to 400 adapter or cable (~$10).
    Is this correct? (I can't seem to find a TB3 audio interface for ~$100 that would be a better overall value than these cables.)

    Has anyone done this? If so, how bad is the audio latency?


    Thanks.
     
  2. HDFan macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    #2
    I am using, or have used, all of the adapters to hard disks with no problem. Don't know about latency. At some point it is worth it to just replace products having older ports with new ones with current ports to get additional features which are usually available on current hardware and software. Depends, of course, on the size of the original investment.
     
  3. Jodeo thread starter macrumors regular

    Jodeo

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2003
    Location:
    Middle Tennessee
    #3
    And there's the rub: The original investment.

    To replace the audio interface I have now would be a couple hundred bucks.

    I'm quite surprise no peripheral makers didn't create a dock with FW400 or 800 once TB3 first came out. There's a LOT of FW gear out there, especially in audio. (For storage, I agree it isn't worth the investment as prices have come down so far.)
     
  4. HDFan macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    #4
    Pushing the point does it make sense spending $100 on cables to preserve a $200 device?

    They did, for Thunderboldt 2:

    https://eshop.macsales.com/shop/Thunderbolt/Dock/OWC/Thunderbolt2-Dock/

    I have one and It does work. However I had a lot of problems with USB optical devices continually ejecting so I eventually stopped using it and am going to sell it.
     
  5. Jodeo thread starter macrumors regular

    Jodeo

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2003
    Location:
    Middle Tennessee
    #5
    It's either try to save a $200 device with $80 or replace it with closer to $500.

    Even so, it didn't work.

    I spent $80 on
    * FW 400 - FW800 cable (4+ star reviewed on Amazon),
    * FW 800 - TB2 cable (Apple), and
    * TB2 - TB3 cable (Apple).

    Mac OS doesn't detect anything on either TB port and the Presonus Firestudio Mobile's indicator flashes red and blue - meaning no signal is detected. (I do have the Presonus Universal Control app running, btw, and I also have it plugged in using the power supply.)

    I tested the FW adapter on my old iMac with FW800. It recognized the FireStudio right off.

    I then tested the set-up with the next cable (FW400 > FW800 > TB2) with my wife's 2013 MacBook Air. The FireStudio drew power but that's it - it wasn't recognized by the Mac (though the first cable, FW800 to TB2 was in System Report) - even with the Presonus drivers installed.

    I haven't tested the TB2 to TB3 but I suspect that's not the issue.
    Very disappointed that this didn't work.
     
  6. Partron22 macrumors 68020

    Partron22

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2011
    Location:
    Yes
    #6
    What's the Presonus hooked up to inside the case?
    All my old Firewire drives we SATA hookup.
    If that's the case fore your device, you just need to pull the board out and plug it into a USB 3 SATA caddy.
     
  7. Jodeo thread starter macrumors regular

    Jodeo

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2003
    Location:
    Middle Tennessee
    #7

    It's an external device, not a board or internally-installed peripheral. It has its own FW400 ports which I believe are soldered to the internal board in its casing.
     
  8. Partron22 macrumors 68020

    Partron22

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  9. jzuena macrumors 6502a

    jzuena

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2007
    Location:
    Lexington, MA, USA
    #9
    That's actually surprising, since the TB3 - TB2 - FW worked to pull video from a HDV camera with a FW800 to FW400 4 pin cable. Presonus even states that they support what you are trying. Maybe you have a bad TB3-TB2 or TB2-FW adapter?

    Now I'm glad I went with a low-end USB M-Audio Fast Track when I wanted to try out audio recording. Even with a couple of computer upgrades in the last 10 years or so, System Preferences - Sound still shows it as both an input and output sound device. I think one of my amps can send to the computer via USB as well. TB3-based boxes should be out by the time I ever think of getting serious.
     

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8 May 4, 2019