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> Presonus FireBox Review, Article
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post Fri 1 Jul 2005, 12:03
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Presonus FireBox Review
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CmdrLaForge
post Fri 1 Jul 2005, 12:03
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Thanks for the great article. I will get one of those !
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tkt2rde
post Fri 1 Jul 2005, 15:22
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Nice Review.

I'm curious if you tested the Firebox with any Firewire 800 devices connected to your G5. The reason I ask is that I had purchased an M-Audio FW410 for use on our G5's. Unfortunately, I found out the hard way that if you utilize external Firewire 800 drives (in our case Lacie D2)... you cannot use the FW410. M-Audio claims that it is a G5 bus issue. After two months of trouble-shooting and no resolve, M-Audio arranged for me to return the unit. Now I am looking for an alternative. The M-Audio engineer that I spoke to mentioned that Edirol's Firewire interfaces use half the bandwidth of the M-Audio and may work alright. I contacted Edirol, and although they said that I "should not have any issues"... they wouldn't guarantee that I would not have the same issue. I certainly do not want to go through this all over again. The Firebox looks like a unit that has the features we need and a great price point... but does it work with external FW800 drives?

Thanks.
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yimkin
post Fri 1 Jul 2005, 22:21
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hi

dunno if this helps but the advice i got re FW800 was that it steals most G4 and G5 CPU, so disabling most peripherals. i.e the issue may not be at the soundcard end, its more like Apple have included it but the OS and hardware only just supports it at this stage.

Having said that, I swapped an Maudio 410 card for a Firebox, and after a bit of tweaking buffers it works great, and the sound quality is top notch. I'd read about problems with logic and spdif but i think these are sorted now. The only criticism i'd make is that the otherwise excellent software mixer does not show signal levels, which seems a bit of an omission. If enough of us pester them maybe they'll update....

best
xyx
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CmdrLaForge
post Sat 2 Jul 2005, 08:21
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QUOTE (tkt2rde @ Jul 1 2005, 14:22)
Nice Review.

I'm curious if you tested the Firebox with any Firewire 800 devices connected to your G5.  The reason I ask is that I had purchased an M-Audio FW410 for use on our G5's.  Unfortunately, I found out the hard way that if you utilize external Firewire 800 drives (in our case Lacie D2)... you cannot use the FW410.  M-Audio claims that it is a G5 bus issue.  After two months of trouble-shooting and no resolve, M-Audio arranged for me to return the unit.  Now I am looking for an alternative.  The M-Audio engineer that I spoke to mentioned that Edirol's Firewire interfaces use half the bandwidth of the M-Audio and may work alright.  I contacted Edirol, and although they said that I "should not have any issues"... they wouldn't guarantee that I would not have the same issue.  I certainly do not want to go through this all over again.  The Firebox looks like a unit that has the features we need and a great price point... but does it work with external FW800 drives?

Thanks.

Hi,

that doesn't sound really good. I intended to use the Firebox with my Powerbook and an external drive like Lacie D2. Both on Firewire ports.

But what I hear from you it doesn't work.

Should I better go with a USB product like an M-Audio?

Thanks
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vsmith1
post Sat 2 Jul 2005, 10:29
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I've recently purchased a Firebox. I have a PowerBook G4 Al 12" 867MHz with 10.4.1. I use it in the single FW400 port. I have a SmartDisk VST 10GB external FW drive. I have found that it is better to attach the Firebox first to the PB and then attach the HDD to the Firebox.

Other than that I'm very pleased with the Firebox - no drivers, no PSU.

Vince

BTW Presonus know about the problems installing Cubase LE on OSX 10.4 and will ship registered owners an updated version when Steinberg sort out the installer. I use mine with LIve and GarageBand.
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zeebee
post Sat 2 Jul 2005, 19:44
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Firebox is the best..I researched for months, the M-audio 410 seems by most users reports and even x-employees to be a nightmare...
Fire box for its price is an amazing unit.. So great for travel gigging... Get this unit! It works great with my powerbook..

peace Z
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tkt2rde
post Sun 3 Jul 2005, 00:18
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I should note that the M-Audio FW410 did work with our D2 drives if plugged directly into the back of the 410 via Firewire 400. It is only if you attempt to use the D2 plugged into the G5's firwire ports that it causes issue. If Firewire 400 speed is fine for you, then this unit will work with D2 drives. I use the D2 firewire 800 drives to edit video, and the extra speed is critical... so the inconvenience of having to cut down to firewire 400 speeds, just to be able to utilize the M-Audio unit made it unusable for me.

Has anyone tried using an 800 speed drive with the Firebox?
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digimusic
post Sun 3 Jul 2005, 17:26
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sorry,
the firebox has a problem. it is about the zero-latncy monitoring. the problem is that the box routs music threw the softwaremixer (in other words threw the computer)---this sucks the cpu dry.
it has been tested and when the softwaremixer is off the cpu sucktion slows down, but when the mixer is on its crap
sorry...
search on this and other sites and read tghe (horror)stories


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when the tough gets going the tough gets going (micheal.j.fox 1985)
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arvidtp
post Sun 3 Jul 2005, 23:21
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Ummm... digimusic i have to disagree with you on that one. I own a firebox.

Here's the deal with the mixer: it sends commands to the firebox to control its internal digital mixer for monitoring - no audio travels to and from the computer besides that which is normal and must come in for recording/go out to hear things. I also note that CPU usage by the interface when plugged in, though it is more than it should be, is not generally affected by quitting the mixer. There is not actually any audio going through it, despite Presonus's failure to describe this as the case in the manual. Also, the unit still monitors audio using the last config you set it for when the mixer is not running (implying that the mixer software does not actually handle any audio). The firebox only forgets those settings once powered down.

And, if you get a non-defective unit, as i did first time, it works very well. Despite a small CPU drain, which is understandable since # of channels and audio quality is higher than that of the mac's built-in audio and the firebox has no special hardware like the RME cards, i can use my firebox quite adequately on my powerbook G4 1.25GHz, and I do realtime performance using my trumpet and MaxMSP with lots of effects and on the fly sequencing/craziness as well as some pretty CPU intense Logic sessions. The firebox really does not deserve such criticism.

best,


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-Arvid •• Squish the Squid Productions, Modest Machine

•• digitally augmented trumpet, TOOB, flugelhorn, cracklebox, percussicube, no-input-mixers and Macbook Pro, 2.4 GHz 15", MacOS 10.5, MOTU Ultralite, Logic Studio 9, MaxMSP 5, JackOSX ••
•• Electronic-experimental, jazz, digital instrument design, electronics, unique software and performance.••
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