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Firepod/FP10 vs Firestudio Project
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richardpyra
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10th October 2007
Old 10th October 2007
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Firepod/FP10 vs Firestudio Project

I know there's a few other threads about Presonus products, but I haven't yet seen anyone who's used the Firestudio Project, or broken down the pros and cons (in a practical sense of course.. I can compare specs, but I'm relatively new to recording, so I don't know realisticaly what the differences would be).

Anyway, I'm shopping for an interface with at least 8 mic preamps. The Presonus line is quite attractive to me at the moment because of the price (on a budget for sure). I'm open to other ideas, but from what I've researched, Presonus offers the most bang for the buck.

From what I understand, the Firestudio has better better preamps, but some features from the Firepod were omitted...
Basically I just want to know if the extra $100 is worth it, or if I'd be better off getting the Firepod for $399.
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10th October 2007
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i have a firestudio, it's ok, the software is a bit buggy (on pc anyway) some times i get pops and clicks some times the sound card needs to be rebooted. the pre's are clean enough, i would like a bit more volume on them but.

i regret rushing out and buying it, wish i saved the extra money for an rme fireface... which im doing now.
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10th October 2007
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What OS are you running? (xp/vista), and is it a high-spec computer? (or should I say.. what is your firewire running through? (firewire card or onboard, and whit kind of motherboard/firewire card do you have?)
That sounds like a real downer... I wonder if that's a common problem.

Also.. is it the Project or just Firestudio?
As I understand it the Firestudio Project has some updates to it. (maybe that's only up from Firepod standards?)
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10th October 2007
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I switched from 2 Firepods and a Central Station to one Firestudio (calling the FS a "Firestation" in a previous thread, either here or @ another forum). The FS has more digital connections than the FP (ADAT S/MUX primarily). It's supposed to have better jitter management, and cleaner pres too.

I did like the FP, but aside from a few minor bugs, the FS is at least as good if not better. To me the digital ADAT connectors were worth the change (for my Focusrite ISA428 pre).
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10th October 2007
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PreSonus <- Firestudio Project

So then that should be the equivalent to a Firestudio minus the ADAT/SMUX support.. And I need that basically if I need to record with more than 8 mics right?
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10th October 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richardpyra View Post
PreSonus <- Firestudio Project

So then that should be the equivalent to a Firestudio minus the ADAT/SMUX support.. And I need that basically if I need to record with more than 8 mics right?
i would get two firepods, unless you definitely need those 5 zero-latency headphone mixes. the firepod driver is stable, the firestudio project driver may not be, and presonus don't seem to be too quick with updates. two firepods give you up to 18 mic channels as opposed to 10 with the firestudio project.
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10th October 2007
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I have a Firepod and have not regretted going that direction. I think the RME Fireface 800 would be an improvement, but you'll need another $1100 for one. I agree with the post above and think 2 FP10's are a great deal. BTW, both of the records below were recorded through a Firepod....
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11th October 2007
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Welp..I bought one, and the pre's do sound great...unit is very quiet The driver thing could be an issue though. Search for spike on the presonus forums and you will see what I mean. Basically there is this weird issue where the CPU spikes in a repetitive sawtooth manner. I noticed dropouts here and there, so I took a look, and noticed mine was doing same thing. Not as bad as the ones mentioned on forum, but bouncing to 8-10% every 5-6 seconds just like a sawtooth.

It seems to affect the firestudios only (I tried a firebox which did not exhibit this behavior) This has been going on for months on the regular firestudios and has yet to be fixed, so the fact that it is happening on the new FS project model scares me...

They claim that the spikes will not have any effect on audio, but I say otherwise if you are loading up the goodies in your DAW...

Ya can't have your cake and eat it, I tell ya. I might return this unit if I don't get a decent answer. I don't need all the pre's at all, I just want a decent interface with decent drivers and a few good pre's without blowing $$$!! Kind of at my wit's end at this point...

The 107db dynamic range on the firepod ADC seems crappy to me, but I would almost lean toward that unit at this point.
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11th October 2007
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^
Tat's so odd.. I don't understand how a company can release a product with such a rampant problem... Is there ANYONE who has NOT experienced these problems with the Firestudio/FS Project? (you're right, it's baffling how they could releasean 'updated' product with the same glitches)

Has anyone heard of Firepod owners having the same dropout problems?
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11th October 2007
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Then there was the issue of the firebox not really sampling at 96K....I think it is still an issue.. They have beta drivers, but they seem to release stuff with problems and the drivers are slow in the fixing. Yeah..I am truly bummed because the presonus stuff is, for lack of a better word, cool. Solid construction, good sounding preamps, great freebie software packs, etc. I was really hoping the fs project would be the last of the line for me. On the other hand, it seems that there are many happy firepod owners...
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11th October 2007
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The Firestudio Project is the 'next generation' model of the Firepod. The inputs and outputs are identical (Eight preamps + SPDIF and MIDI), however there are several big differences:

-Firestudio Project has much better A/D conversion: 114dB dynamic range vs. 109dB in the Firepod.

-Also the Project has a much improved jitter spec (below 20 pico seconds)

-The Project allows you to route 5 no latency mixes out of each of the outputs so that musicians can have separate mixes. The Firepod only allowed for one mix which was in mono.

-The Project has 48v phantom power switches for each pair of preamps whereas the Firepod supplies 48v for four channels at a time

-The Project has a much improved mechanical design- no wobbly knobs, no Firewire jacks sticking out.

-The Project has better metering (three segment LED vs. only one clip LED in the Firepod)

-The Project uses an internal powersupply (three prong computer style power cable). The Firepod uses a line lump (Brick supply with two cables coming out of either side)

-The Project ships with the new version of Cubase LE called LE4.

The only feature that the FP10 has over the Project is the ability to daisy chain multiple units. That is something that we will be adding but is not available today. If you need more than 10 inputs, the Firestudio is based off of the same basic design as the Project and gives you up to 26 simultaneous inputs and outputs.

Hope this helps,
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11th October 2007
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I am about to spend hard earned money on a either a firpod or a firestudio project.
The most important thing for me is zero latency to get vocals tracked directly into the box. The next most important thing is stability.
It seems that the firestudio project has what I need in the firecontrol function, promising zero latency but that the firepods have more stable drivers.
The posts about the spikes in cpu load using the firestudio project have really freaked me out and turned me off the firestudio altogether. If people are hearing it (or experiencing dropouts or whatever) then how can Presonus say it isn't an (audible) problem. There doesn't seem to be any denial about the fact of the spikes.
I want to go for the firepod, only I'm worried about latency issues.
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11th October 2007
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Just for the record, the Firestudio Project uses a new driver that is different from the Firestudio. In fact, we are right now reworking the Firestudio driver with the new changes that have been made for the Project.

However, my advice is to check out the Project from a dealer that will let you return it if it doesn't work for you. It's a big step up in sound quality.

The main reason we are continuing to manufacture the FP10 (Firepod) is to allow existing Firepod owners the ability to daisy chain another unit to add more channels.
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11th October 2007
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Rick, thanks for the heads-up on the driver situation. I guess more people will be glad to hear the news including the OP.
I generaly order my stuff from Thomann (in germany) and they have a 30 day, no questions asked return policy. They aren't showing the firestudio project in their catalogue yet, but you may have just persuaded me to give it a shot.
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11th October 2007
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Hi Rick,

You are giving me hope, too. Could you comment on the CPU spike issue? The FS project sounds killer, but this CPU spike thing is driving me nuts. Any ballpark ETA for an updated driver?
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11th October 2007
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Im using 2 Firepods, so far no issues and im getting use to the sound and the way it works, using Cubase 4
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11th October 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ricknaqvi View Post
The Firestudio Project is the 'next generation' model of the Firepod. The inputs and outputs are identical (Eight preamps + SPDIF and MIDI), however there are several big differences:

-Firestudio Project has much better A/D conversion: 114dB dynamic range vs. 109dB in the Firepod.

-Also the Project has a much improved jitter spec (below 20 pico seconds)

-The Project allows you to route 5 no latency mixes out of each of the outputs so that musicians can have separate mixes. The Firepod only allowed for one mix which was in mono.

-The Project has 48v phantom power switches for each pair of preamps whereas the Firepod supplies 48v for four channels at a time

-The Project has a much improved mechanical design- no wobbly knobs, no Firewire jacks sticking out.

-The Project has better metering (three segment LED vs. only one clip LED in the Firepod)

-The Project uses an internal powersupply (three prong computer style power cable). The Firepod uses a line lump (Brick supply with two cables coming out of either side)

-The Project ships with the new version of Cubase LE called LE4.

The only feature that the FP10 has over the Project is the ability to daisy chain multiple units. That is something that we will be adding but is not available today. If you need more than 10 inputs, the Firestudio is based off of the same basic design as the Project and gives you up to 26 simultaneous inputs and outputs.

Hope this helps,

Man, where's that thread that says Presonus has no customer support!?
I didn't even call Presonus, a rep came straight to me! lol

So at this point the only thing keeping me on the fence is a possible driver issue... I guess I could always call Guitar Center and see if people are returning their new Firestudio Projects... (speaking of which, I'm in Vancouver, BC, but I want to buy my interface south of the border.. Can anyone recommend a good music store between Blaine and Seattle? Preferably closer to Blaine if possible)

Get this.. average price for a new Firepod in my area is $499... From what I've seen they are $399 in the States! (and the Canadian dollar is higher too!)
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11th October 2007
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FYI, the Firepod is no longer in production. there were some left that were being sold at $399. It has been replaced by the FP10 which is essentially the same thing. The FP10 is $499.

Thanks for the information, Rick. I've just recorded 4 records with my Firepod in the last 8 months and have been debating getting a new tube preamp vs upgrading to a Firestudio and Digimax. Sounds like the Firestudio and Digimax might be in my future. The Firepod is an excellent buy and a great way to get into multitrack recording though....
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12th October 2007
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The Firestudio Project offers some nice features. It's just a shame that it is so damn ugly. I mean, the 3-segment meters don't even justify the ugliness. It looks like the Firepod's older ******** brother. It's silver, blue, black, green, orange and red. They only forgot purple and brown. Unfortunate...
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12th October 2007
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^
It could be fuschia for all I care, as long as it sounds good.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a graphic designer by profession, and I understand the value of aesthetics, but music gear is a lost cause in that respect for the most part... Even the piece of gear looks good on it's own, it's going to contribute to a tapestry of clashing colors that is your rack.

(Then again, lots of people are willing to sacrifice functionality for slick industrial design.. look at all the iPod owners out there..)




.. but I digress.. One thing I haven't been able to find an answer for.. Are these recording interfaces usually Firewire 400 or 800? As far as I could tell, the Fireface800 is the only Firewire 800 interface that I've seen. The reason I ask is that I'm considering picking up a Mac mini just to use Logic (and maybe final cut pro) on... (yes, I'm a graphic designer that loathes Mac OS... get over it) The Mac mini only has a firewire 400 port, which I'm hoping will be enough, since you can pick up a current-spec Mac mini for $400-500.
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12th October 2007
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I'd still like to know about this CPU issue and why it has been happening on the firestudio line since last November. Does it just happen on certain brands of firewire chipsets and the usual blah blah blah? I'd like to know if I should keep this unit or not.

Could someone else out there running with a firestudio project (or even a regular firestudio) on Windows run a quick test?

Simply close all programs, open up task manager (CTRL-ALT-DEL) and click the 'performance' tab and see if you are getting the sawtooth pattern on your CPU.

The FS-ON.gif attachment is what my CPU looks like with the firestudio plugged in with NOTHING running (save for a browser window)

The FS-OFF.gif is with the unit off. I ran separate process explorer utility and found that the spike is from a DPC (deferred procedure call) process. High CPU consumption by these processes is indicative of a hardware issue or device driver bug.

Sure it's only 10% (on my system...worse on others), but that does not bode well if I haven't even loaded up any progs yet, and spikes lead to dropouts--period. I'm not trying to pee on the parade...I really dig presonus and what they are doing in the market...Hopefully, however, someone could answer:

1) why has this issue not been fixed since last november on older firestudios
2) why is this happening on new firestudio project (probably similar chipsets inside)
3) how may others is this happening to
4) how soon will this issue be properly addressed

Rock on!

My system is ASUS P5LD2 MOBO w/ P4 3.6ghz 1gb RAM
Attached Thumbnails
Firepod/FP10 vs Firestudio Project-fs-.gif   Firepod/FP10 vs Firestudio Project-fs-off.gif  

Last edited by vcovco; 12th October 2007 at 01:58 AM.. Reason: entering system spec
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12th October 2007
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^
There's no Firestudio Project on there yet...


I was nearly sold on the Firestudio Project, but another hitch has been thrown into the mix... I have a Firepod available to me from my local shop for $280 (no drivers or software though.. they were taken out for some reason, but otherwise the unit is supposed to be new)

A spare $200 could get my mic collection started nicely... I'm so torn!
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12th October 2007
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Not to start anything, but I to am looking at upgrading interfaces. Currently running m-audio fw1814 w/m-audio dmp3 pre. I want something that I can use the pre's on the interface mostly. I like the firestudio project but I have now have another option now, The Fucurite Saffire Pro 10. Same price and I here good things about the fucusrite pre's. Two many good choices in this price range lol............
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12th October 2007
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Well...if Presonus could fix this CPU thing, I would write 'I love firestudio project' on my bum with a sharpie and walk around naked at the next AES. (although...that might hurt sales as opposed to helping )

Seriously...the thing sounds great. For me, I am torn between this or the Echo Audio Audiofire 4. The AF4 pre's and converters sound just as good to my ears...very quiet and lots of headroom...112db dynamic range on converters. I only need a few pre's and several line inputs. Too bad the AudioFire 8 did not have more pre's or it would be a great alternative for others.

The annoying thing about the echo stuff is that the asio latency is not that great and the drivers are such that no other apps can share the outputs. I know you should be concerned with audio just for DAW, but I like to monitor/edit in apps outside of Cubase.

Not familiar enough with the focusrite stuff, but it looks to be good alternative
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12th October 2007
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I ran a test and the firestudio is using sometimes ten percent with a spike
and almost no CPU usage when the unit is turned off

what really bothered me was when I had my computer hooked up to the
INTERNET I was getting up to a 50 percent CPU spike
can someone explain this?


duo core 2.4 BFG mobo ( not a big fan of the drivers BTW)
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12th October 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richardpyra View Post
^
There's no Firestudio Project on there yet...


I was nearly sold on the Firestudio Project, but another hitch has been thrown into the mix... I have a Firepod available to me from my local shop for $280 (no drivers or software though.. they were taken out for some reason, but otherwise the unit is supposed to be new)

A spare $200 could get my mic collection started nicely... I'm so torn!
Get the Firepod. If you decide not to, where is it? I want it.
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12th October 2007
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I moved to 2 firepods and reaper from m-powered/1814/ada8000 a few months ago, best move I ever made in audio. I think the firepods sound great, are easy to set up and use, and clients have been very happy. Lots more compliments now than ever before. If you can get one in good shape for 280, that is a steal- do it asap! The driver disc that ships with it is so out of date it's not funny, download the new drivers from the site, and the loss of cubase le is no big deal. If you really want it, PM me and I'll send you mine, which I'll never use. Reaper works flawlessly with this interface I do have to say.
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15th October 2007
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Been researching a bit more and it seems there are numerous headaches with firestudio and Sonar 6. Wondering if anyone can confirm? I know the topic at hand is FS Project, but as far as i can tell, the regular FS is pretty much same unit (especially as it exhibits same annoying side effects.)
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15th October 2007
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Actually the Firestudio Project uses a new v.3 driver that has addressed the issues we were having with Sonar and the Firestudio2626. We have Sonar 6 running on about 4 machines here at work (I also have it on my own laptop) and it is playing nicely.

We are going to be updating the Firestudio2626 driver to this new version 3 one as well. We are working on that right now.

As with all computer devices from any brand, my advice is to try one with your system and work with a dealer that will let you return it. If you have a chance to check out one, please let me know how it works for you.

Kind Regards,
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