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Small Remote Rig with Apollo Firewire Recorders, Players & Tape Machines
Old 10th January 2018
  #1
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chrismeraz's Avatar
 

Small Remote Rig with Apollo Firewire

I currently do all my recording in the studio. However, it would be very helpful if I coul go and make a two-channel or three-channel recording on location sometimes.

I already have an Apollo, some great mics, and a huge PC. If I could just replace the PC with a laptop, I think I would be all set.

How do I find an adequate laptop with an approved Firewire connection for Apollo? All the approved Firewire adapters are built for a desktop computer with PCIe slots.

I'm shooting for very high quality recordings. What are my options?
Old 10th January 2018
  #2
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Look for an older or refurbished laptop with the Texas instruments fw chipset or a cardslot that allows you to use a fw card.
Old 10th January 2018
  #3
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chrismeraz's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2manyrocks View Post
Look for an older or refurbished laptop with the Texas instruments fw chipset or a cardslot that allows you to use a fw card.
How sure are you that it will work without an officially approved firewire card? Has anyone else tried it?
Old 10th January 2018
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrismeraz View Post
How do I find an adequate laptop with an approved Firewire connection for Apollo? All the approved Firewire adapters are built for a desktop computer with PCIe slots. ?
Get a Macbook Pro with either a Firewire connector (older/used/refurbished) or newer (new/used/refurbished) with a Thunderbolt connector. Then get a Thunderbolt to Firewire adapter cable from Apple or Belkin and connect to the Apollo.

The odds are somewhat better that it will work in this way than with a PC laptop, but there are no guarantees...none at all

At least you can buy the Thunderbolt/FW adapter cable for little money, and borrow your many friend's Macbooks and try it out. They do have Macbook Pro's don't they ...?

You can even run Windows XP/7/8/10 on the Macbook in Bootcamp mode, if you feel yourself missing the PC platform. Try to get one with an older operating system (Snow Leopard/Mavericks/Yosemite...stay away from High Sierra)

Your Apollo website will advise on which OSX version works with the device, if you don't use Bootcamp to run Windows
Old 10th January 2018
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrismeraz View Post
I currently do all my recording in the studio. However, it would be very helpful if I coul go and make a two-channel or three-channel recording on location sometimes.
What are my options?
Hi Christopher,

If a small rig is what you want and the channel count - 2 or 3 - so modest, why not forget about buying a laptop and just buy a Mixpre-3? Preamps and ADC are excellent. Obviously, other dedicated field recorders would do the job too...

Just a thought.

Cheers,

Roland
Old 11th January 2018
  #6
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^I agree that you have to weigh the benefit of just buying a Mixpre-3 against buying an older laptop. If you want to narrow the odds of the FW working, you need to research which chipset was used in the approved cards and then see if you can find a current card with the same chipset. Back in the day, laptops came with FW ports because people were downloading camcorder files via FW onto their laptops. My old HP laptop had such a port, but it didn't work with my Focusrite. I ended up buying a card with a TI chipset and it worked for me. I can't tell you which card or laptop will work for you.
Old 15th January 2018
  #7
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chrismeraz's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by norfolksoundman9 View Post
Hi Christopher,

If a small rig is what you want and the channel count - 2 or 3 - so modest, why not forget about buying a laptop and just buy a Mixpre-3? Preamps and ADC are excellent. Obviously, other dedicated field recorders would do the job too...

Just a thought.

Cheers,

Roland
I had a look - there doesn't seem to be any storage built-in, right? There's no hard drive? It looks just like a preamp to me, maybe I missed something.

The goal is very high quality piano solo recordings in a concert hall or in a private home (places where they have better pianos than I have in my studio). Everything else, I can do in my studio.
Old 15th January 2018
  #8
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jimjazzdad's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrismeraz View Post
I had a look - there doesn't seem to be any storage built-in, right? There's no hard drive? It looks just like a preamp to me, maybe I missed something.
No "hard drive" but the MixPre-3 records to SD cards, which is functionally the same as having a SSD drive.
Old 15th January 2018
  #9
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrismeraz View Post
I had a look - there doesn't seem to be any storage built-in, right? There's no hard drive? It looks just like a preamp to me, maybe I missed something.
You certainly have 'missed something'! The MixPre-3 is a field recorder, in this case with, as Jim has said, recording to SD card. The Sound Devices website flags up the recording capability very clearly (MixPre-3), so perhaps you were getting muddled with the earlier Mixpre-D (which has no recording capability) rather than the new MixPre-3/6/10 series? Anyway, worth checking these out as an alternative to finding a laptop with firewire.

Cheers,

Roland
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