pro audio/thunderbolt suspicions

Discussion in 'iMac' started by turtlesongs, Apr 13, 2013.

  1. turtlesongs macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2013
    I just bought the 2012 iMac, reluctantly, because of lack of firewire. The guy at the store assured me that the adapters provide solution. My interface is firewire 400. There are no thunderbolt - 400 adaptors. So I had to daisy-chain 400 - 800, then 800 - thunderbolt. Salesman assured me no problems. Reality suggests otherwise. First try - half volume, lost frequencies, crackles and pops. Second try, fuller volume, questionable frequency range, ... but can I trust it at all for professional work?

    Any pro audio engineers our their that can attest to the reliability and professionalism of daisy-chained adaptor solution? Help!
  2. Nuke61 macrumors 6502

    Jan 18, 2013
    Columbia, SC
    I have no personal experience with this, but as a simple suggestion instead of using two adapters... what about TB to FireWire and then a bilingual cable?
  3. Giuly, Apr 13, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2013

    Giuly macrumors 68040


    It's completely unprofessional, get a PowerMac G4 instead.
    Seriously though, FW is digital and doesn't concern itself with analog things like volumes/amplitudes and frequencies, so there's something else wrong with your setup.

    On a completely unrelated matter, FW400 has been banished from Macs for a long time, that's why you find FireWire800-to-400 adapters everywhere, after all it's just a different plug with 3 more pins.


    Or you skip the adapter and get it as a cable.
  4. turtlesongs thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2013
    straight advice needed

    Okay, I just heard of these 'bilingual cables' but there is still the need for one adapter which makes me uncomfortable.

    Here's my argument: the new set up (no firewire, requires adapters) is a step DOWN, not an evolution. Apple was wrong to remove BOTH firewire 400 and 800 protocols at a time when the pro peripheries on the market are still firewire devices.

    I'm pissed that I bought the iMac in haste (my laptop was old and bugging out and I'm in the middle of a project and I wanted to get back to work fast). So, partly my fault for being hasty, partly Apple's for screwing us out of firewire and assuring me it's good with adapters.

    YES or NO: adapter between firewire 400 and thunderbolt - reduced power, bandwidth?

    YES or NO: As a dissatisfied and pissed off customer, do I have a case to argue AGAINST the exchange policy at the Apple Store and DEMAND a full refund, so that I can order a Power Mac directly from Apple at a reduced price for the fact that I feel mislead and raped by Apple?

    PLEASE - SOMEBODY out there that has actually used the new iMac with Logic or ProTools running large sessions and has something DEFINITIVE to say...

    It's been HELL for me, with crashing hard drives and bogus warranty policies at G-Drive, with Apple salesmen telling me lies and crap and misleading me, with the 6 weeks and more of stress and hemorrhoids and sore shoulder and poor sleep and DELAYED WORK. The G-Drive is something else. But it all mixes in to the larger picture which is this: the computer world is EVIL like everything else down here on this pissed-over planet.
  5. AppleNewton macrumors 68000


    Apr 3, 2007
    1 Finite Place
    Make sure to get a firewire 400-800 cable, adapters can be used but the cable is a better option in my opinion to reduce interference and technicalities considering your going to Thunderbolt Adapter..more adapters on the chain the chance performance issues occur.

    Also, ensure the firewire 400-800 cable is double shielded, that also helps with interference.
    Generally you shouldnt have to worry too much about any issues, thunderbolt's ability to accept large amount of data each way you should have plenty of headroom for your large sessions to transport data back and forth without much issue.

    i wouldnt worry too much, i know its a new system and its not giving you the like for like results, try thew new cable and single TB-FW adapter and should be able to pick up where you left off.
  6. Nuke61 macrumors 6502

    Jan 18, 2013
    Columbia, SC
    i'm sorry to hear that it's going so badly for you. Since it sounds like you just bought your iMac, have you considered taking it back to the Apple store for a refund and getting a Mac Mini instead? The Mini comes with Thunderbolt AND a FireWire 800 port. [​IMG]
  7. talkindrum macrumors newbie

    Oct 23, 2008
    Hey, i hear ya bro i want to upgrade my 2007 imac but the new ones dont have firewire "as you well know" and the guy at the store told me the same thing about the TB ADPT. my interface is FW-400 as well... but i think if you go with the TB out - to 800 to 400 cable it should work fine and if not, make an appt. @ Apple store & take it all in and show them... they WILL help you!
    I will be doing the same thing soon ...
  8. Djfremen macrumors newbie

    Apr 3, 2013
    It costs more but here's what the pros are doing:



    Thunderbolt to Magma Box.
    Magma box hosts PCIe siig fw400 card with Mac compatible chipset.
  9. talkindrum macrumors newbie

    Oct 23, 2008
    Another thing that i am pissed about besides the F/W issue is doing pro audio we need hard drives @ 7200 RPM, less than that and you can get hickups & glitches, clicks, pops, etc... you have to buy a 27" or spend $250 or more for the flash drive .. jeeez
  10. JackTre macrumors newbie

    Jan 22, 2013
    My firewire interface works with a 400-800 firewire cable and thunderbolt adapter.

    Are you using an external power supply with your interface? Thunderbolt will only bus power 7W.
  11. canadax14 macrumors newbie


    May 22, 2012
    Dude, just upgrade your external sound card setup to USB 3. Firewire is outdated. I work in a pro studio and we are already switching over all of our old cards to USB. There are a ton of great options out there from Focusrite, TC Electronic etc.
  12. Phazer macrumors member

    May 19, 2010
    London, UK
    I am a music producer, and work with Logic 9 on the new late 2012 iMac, 27" i7, 680mx, 1tb fusion drive and 32gb of ram. I use a focusrite Saffire pro 40 which is a FireWire 400 interface, and have the apple thunderbolt-FireWire adapter, and then just use a FireWire 400-800 cable. No issues at all.

Share This Page