Is there a USB audio interface with 8 ins and outs?

All of them that I have found only have two, everything else is Firewire and I don’t have a Firewire interface. Will I need to get a Firewire interface card too?

There are 4 and 8 input USB devices available (try Google) but Firewire is far more popular as dropouts can be a major headache with USB audio devices, and the more inputs/outputs the worse it gets.

I haven’t found more than 2 IO, but I was afraid that bandwidth may have been the issue. I’ll look at PCMCIA firewire cards - this is for a windows laptop. Thanks!


No, it’s a connection philosophy. FireWire connections not only trade data back and forth, but housekeeping as well. That’s why it’s highly recommended for video capture and production of all types. FireWire connections will not stop to purr and lick themselves in the middle of a capture or playback. USB drives and devices leave the housekeeping up to the drive or device and there are very frequently problems with unexplained holes and interruptions in the show.


Or to put it another way, USB networks are “Host based”, which means that the computer is the master, and the USB devices are slaves. Firewire is “Peer to Peer” based, which means that all devices are “intelligent” and can negotiate the best way to control data transfer.

In practice this means that a multi-channel Firewire device can tell the computer that it requires a certain amount of continuous bandwidth and the computer will allocate the necessary resources to it, whereas with USB, the device has no way to communicate its requirements and is allocated bandwidth according to how much the computer thinks it can spare at any given moment. The effect of this is that a 400 Mbps Firewire connection can be considerably faster than a 480 Mbps high speed USB connection when it comes to continuous data transfer.

Hadn’t studied 1394 that much, this is helpful, thanks! Now I need to start looking for that PCMCIA firewire card…

can M-Audio Fast Track Ultra USB 2.0 assign its separate imputs to individual channels for simulteanous recording on audacity?