From previous posts I\'ve been led to believe that Firewire is far superior to USB when connecting externals like hard drives, sound cards and midi to a laptop.
My laptop has no built-in firewire ports.
My question is this: If I were to hook up a cardbus firewire adapter containing two firewire ports, can I expect performance to be solid if I hook up a HD and an audio/midi interface to the firewire adapter? Or would that be overstressing the hookup?
I\'d appreciate any information and advice you\'d care to share with me.
Just got the PCMCIA FW 800 card today along with the Lacie D2 FW 800/400 USB 2 250GB drive
Powerbook G4 1Ghz
1 GB RAM
Using Logic's EXS-24 sampler with Virtual Memory enabled (a.k.a disk streaming) was able to get without any hitch from the FW 800 drive and the PCMCIA cardbus:
24 tracks of very very busy and heavy note-sustained midi parts. I only have my template set up for 24 audio instruments. Could have done more, but didn't.
The music piece was a minute long.
Once I added two mono audio tracks without plug-ins, the system got held up. The audio was coming from a separate FW 400 drive. The error message was 'Core audio- Disk is too slow or System overload' Since I know the FW 400 drive can handle a lot of audio tracks being recorded and played back simultaneously, I chalked it up to 'system overload' which I guess means a CPU overload.
I copied the audio from FW 400 to FW 800 and got the same message which confirms it for me further that it's not 'disk is too slow'.
That being said, if it is a CPU hang-up going with one FW 800 drive might be the better solution. Since it seems audio comin from a separate FW drive didn't improve the overall perfromance (i.e. just adding 2 tracks of mono held up the system)
With just that one FW 800 drive I could do:
5 mono audio tracks no plug-ins
9 midi tracks (busy as described above)
All of this is great news for me, since I don't normally write orchestral; pieces nor do I write wall-to-wall of notes (busy pieces) as the test was. It will fit my small ensemble writing quite well and proves to be a mobile solution in that sense (and with Logic's freeze function should be fine enough).
Of course this wasn't a spic and span test by any means, but hope it helps others get their coordinates when buying laptops as music machines. If you have any suggestions as to how to test further, give it a holler and I'll try my best.
Lastly, audio and midi off of the FW 400 drive alone was
5 tracks mono audio
7 tracks of midi
Surprisingly there wasn't a huge bump up in performance from FW 400 to 800