When did it become OK to use USB2 for Audio?

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Re: When did it become OK to use USB2 for Audio?

Postby peakae » Sat Sep 14, 2013 8:01 pm

RME are the only ones that come close to firewire performance.
If you look at :
http://forum.dawbench.com/showthread.ph ... e85e1f6f63

Scroll down to DAWbench Low Latency Performance Rating

Many newer interfaces like steinbergs own units, have DSP direct monitoring with FX. or in case of the UR22 a simple mix knob you can turn to mix the playback and input. However low latency VSTi is still an issue depending on how sensitive you are.
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Re: When did it become OK to use USB2 for Audio?

Postby distante » Sat Sep 14, 2013 8:13 pm

Fabio Bartolini wrote:Yes, indeed, the nominal bandwidth is not the actual file write speed.

But same is for the USB2, 480Mbps is the maximum bandwidth, not the average - and depending on many factors as well (drivers, system configuration, the device itself).

I looked at the write benchmarks, most modern drives are well above the maximum USB2 bandwidth - and that is an average: there are not so many that fall below 60MB/s and those are mostly Ultra ATA100, which is a dinosaur of a standard now.

In any case, more than sufficient to write a number of channels which is unavailabe on most USB interfaces.
Of course, this would change dramatically if you record at 192kHz. So, it's not just black and white ;-)


Yes, you are right. Besides, if you work at 192Khz I can bet that the first problem will be that you will need more preamps with ADAT :P
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Re: When did it become OK to use USB2 for Audio?

Postby Rhino » Sat Sep 14, 2013 9:11 pm

Fwiw, I regularly run file backups, between regular native SATA drives, as well as external USB2 and USB3 ones.
While the speed of USB3 file transfers definitely has caught up with native drives, the CPU load is still almost as high as it was with USB1. And this is not machine-specific by any means.
The extra layer of complexity (the whole USB shebang) takes its toll, and it's greedy.
Audio is exactly the same, you need two "bridges" (to USB & from USB) that just don't exist with native PCI/PCIe cards, likewise with Firewire, obviously.
Another side-effect are the mentioned driver/chipset incompatibilities you just don't have with PCI/PCIe ...
And then, there are huge differences in driver quality, RME routinely being among the best, ever since I can recall.

All that said, bottom line :
If you need uncompromised performance and stability, PCI/PCIe is the way to go for desktop users, no two ways about it.
On some recent boards PCI slots have been bridged from PCIe instead of having their own native bus, so in that case PCIe is undisputed king.
Decent PCIe cards start below €150 new (e.g. the small ESIs), so they are affordable for almost everybody.
If you're stuck with a notebook or something similar, you're forced to accept the above drawbacks, but at least do detailed research before buying an interface, ideally try before you buy.
And you usually get what you pay for (see the mentioned DAWbench results).
ymmv,
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Re: When did it become OK to use USB2 for Audio?

Postby Rotund » Sat Sep 14, 2013 10:47 pm

I'm another from the old days when USB 2 was considered a curse for audio.
Now I'm about to spring for a new interface and I'm thinking about the UR824.
I have decided that I will test the UR824 for 2 weeks with the option of
exchanging it for the RME Raydat if things don't go as planned.

I guess things have changed quite drastically since those early days of USB 2.0
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Re: When did it become OK to use USB2 for Audio?

Postby distante » Sun Sep 15, 2013 12:57 am

Like I said, I use an UR824, also, now I'm recording directly to an external HD in a USB(3) (this one http://www.thermaltake.com/products-mod ... C_00001642)

So far no problems... so far...
Hear and See "Corazón" a Rock Song made with Steinberg's UR824 and Cubase 7

Do you want to show your music or any audio work made with Cubase? fb.com/groups/Made.With.Cubase/

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Scarlett 2i2 and Cubase 7 on Windows 8.1 ( Laptop 64bits system )
*Always the latest version avariable.
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Re: When did it become OK to use USB2 for Audio?

Postby thermionic » Sun Sep 15, 2013 11:20 am

It's great to see a Tech Support/Moderator joining the discussions - thanks Fabio :0)
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Re: When did it become OK to use USB2 for Audio?

Postby artguy » Sun Sep 15, 2013 11:34 am

Fabio Bartolini wrote:it could be a USB(3) Controller issue, it might be worth checking if the Motherboard manufacturer provides an updated driver (if not a hardware controller issue, of course).


If I may add to this, I have found that not only an updated driver fixed my issues with USB3/USB2 backwards compatibility but also UEFI BIOS updates, notwithstanding any controller problems that may be present.
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Re: When did it become OK to use USB2 for Audio?

Postby Blackout » Sun Sep 15, 2013 12:26 pm

i was ready to buy an audio interface when USB 3 landed. i thought "im not gonna buy old technology now...im not gonna be that sucker that buys the model thats just about to be superceeded...im waiting for the new wave of usb3 interfaces to arrive". been waiting over 2 years now. They just havent surfaced.

I could just imagine whole R&D departments throwing their hands up in the air in sheer disgust when USB3 arrived just as they had spent millions on developing their USB2 interface. I dont blame them all for not wanting to rush to invest more again just to make their projects usb3.

so i just figured screw it , theyre backwards compatible anyways and i had a renewed confidence in Steinberg hardware once they released Win7 drivers for the Midex8. I swore i would never buy another Steinberg hardware ANYTHING after their poor effort with driver support and the Midex8 in particular but i feel the company has turned a new leaf and seen the error of their ways. So I brought the UR824. Very happy. Awsome unit.

Sometimes i wander how they dont see the flow-on effect of burning a customer with poor driver support for one product and dont understand that this then will convert to poor sales for their new hardware in the future. Anyways Steinberg have been given "one more chance" i think by many (including me) with their new company rejuvenation and positive customer direction. I hope they dont burn me again with future drivers for this UR824 because that will be THE END.

anyways the UR824 is usb2 and works great with mu usb3 port. theres two main USB3 chipsets. NEC/Renesas or VIA. The NEC ones are considered much more stable and efficient.

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Re: When did it become OK to use USB2 for Audio?

Postby artguy » Sun Sep 15, 2013 12:34 pm

Blackout wrote:Sometimes I wonder how they don't see the flow-on effect of burning a customer with poor driver support for one product and don't understand that this will then convert to poor sales for their new hardware in the future.


I believe it is all due to the Yamaha/Steinberg partnership no more no less.
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Re: When did it become OK to use USB2 for Audio?

Postby stevont » Sun Sep 15, 2013 3:09 pm

Lot's of really great posts. Thanks to everyone for sharing.

I'm hopeful that Apple continues to offer FW800 on the MBP for a few more years. It appears to be already gone on the new MacPro desktop.
Since I started this thread I've been doing some research on Thunderbolt hubs. The only ones available seem expensive - not to mention that a TB cable alone costs nearly $50.
Hopefully someone will come out with a TB hub that addresses the legacy connectors (FW, eSATA, DVI, HDMI) rather than wasting money on more USB3 connections.

Here's another questions for those who are up to speed with the new USB protocol:

Does plugging a USB2 device into a shared USB3 port hobble the entire port down to USB2 speed like when we plug FW400 item into a FW800 port?

Thanks
s
Proudly using Cubase (mac) since 1989.
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