The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Daisy-Chaining Firewire = Performance Loss?
Old 9th September 2007
Lives for gear

Daisy-Chaining Firewire = Performance Loss?

With a laptop with a single firewire port, if you plug in an external harddrive and then use that harddrives extra firewire port to plug in say an audio interface, would there be a significant performance loss over having both plugged into individual firewire ports (assuming you have two)? would it be better to use a usb device if you dont have 2 firewire ports?
Old 9th September 2007
Gear Guru
kafka's Avatar
There's no inherent problem with daisy-chaining Firewire devices. However, some devices don't play well together on the same interface due to bandwidth requirements. The issue isn't specific to daisy-chaining them, and you'd likely run into the same issues if they were plugged into the same interface. One solution would be to pick up an additional FW interface on a PC card. Generally, you're better off storing your audio to an internal drive, although I myself have had good luck with FW drives.

FW oversubsciption would be given by clicks and pops, drops, or buffer overruns while writing to disk. Absent these problems, you're probably OK.

Due to inherent design limitations, USB generally isn't suitable for streaming audio, either to your drive or for an audio interface. If you're not using the USB for anything else, a limited audio interface (i.e. M-Audio Transit, etc), might be fine. I would not use USB for an external drive.
Old 9th September 2007
Lives for gear

Right, I am just trying to decide how to manage an external harddrive as well as a firewire audio interface because most laptops i have seen only have one firewire port...
Old 22nd May 2010
Lives for gear

Bump on this re: Digi 002r / lacie D2 and new Macbook pro with only one FW800 port.

Is this a stable setup? I usually use the full PTLE track count of 18 when recording. Would this be a problem?
Old 22nd May 2010
Lives for gear

Just done a test now on my ageing powerbook with only 1gb ram. I left the PB running on a weak battery, hooked the Lacie D2 to the FW800 port then hooked the 002 to the D2 via FW400.

Recorded 18 tracks (002/octopre/rme adi-2) whilst playing back 14 tracks of audio. Did this flawlessly for 15 mins with ever diminishing battery life.

I think I'm going to go for the i5 MBpro instead of going back to an older refurbed C2D MBpro with an expresscard slot.
Old 22nd May 2010
Lives for gear
leaper's Avatar

Daisychaining an interface and hard disc through firewire will theoretically work, but these things are so system specific that it's impossible to guarantee.
For example, I'm doing okay with a mobile system that comprises Fireface 800 and A Lacie D2 firewire drive connected to an early PPC minimac. I'm actually getting at least 18 tracks to record simultaneously without glitches (Computer Firewire 400 to Fireface, Firewire 800 from Interface to hard drive). This is using Logic 8 as DAW software.
Old 22nd May 2010
Lives for gear

Agreed. I've got to say that the research for this purchase has taken the best part of a week to try and iron out the pros and cons and the actual specs.

I am going to go for an i5 though. I think it is better to go for something current rather than a two year old model with express card. There are some good deals around at the moment and some with no quibble refunds.
Old 22nd May 2010
Lives for gear
cinealta's Avatar

It should not be a problem. Read Metric Halo's technote regarding daisychaining firewire devices:
Old 22nd May 2010
Lives for gear

Thanks for that. Confirms what I have learnt over the past few days but good to hear from a reputable manufacturer, and not have to aggregate many different and often false posts on the web.
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.

Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread Starter / Forum
Mr. G / Geekslutz forum
TheReal7 / Music Computers
chrisrulesmore / So much gear, so little time
j-uk / Music Computers
Tom C / High end

Forum Jump
Forum Jump