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Do I need a built-in DSP with a firewire interface?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Tommy el Gato, Sep 13, 2008.


  1. Tommy el Gato

    Tommy el Gato

    Jul 6, 2007
    I'm looking at getting some sort of firewire digital audio interface so I can run things like Mainstage, Amplitube, etc with my bass onto my MacBook. In particular, I'm looking at a Focusrite Saffire. I've noticed that the LE version is cheaper, which is appealing, but it doesn't have a built in DSP. Do I want the built-in DSP? Or do things work better without it? Or is there another interface I should be looking at?
     
  2. winston

    winston Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    East Bay, CA
    If you like the bundled effects the interface has (and you plan on using them) it will take a bit of the DSP processing load off your computer, especially if you want to run high sample rates/low buffer sizes. If you mainly plan on recording a direct or mic'ed amp sound and tweaking tones later you'd probably be fine without it.

    If you're doing remote recording via computer battery power I'd guess the DSP interface would probably draw more juice.
     
  3. Tommy el Gato

    Tommy el Gato

    Jul 6, 2007
    hmm, I really like the idea of saving my computer a little bit of the processing load, but if I'm not using the bundled stuff - like if I'm running Mainstage instead - will it save my computer any processing load? Especially if I'm running it for live purposes.
     
  4. winston

    winston Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    East Bay, CA
    No, you're only saving computer processing power when you're using the Saffire's built-in FX instead of comparable ones on your computer.

    Here's what the Saffire FAQ says about onboard FX : "One instance of both Compression and either EQ or Amp Modelling can be applied to both analogue inputs 1 and 2 as well as foldback reverb in dual mono or stereo mode."

    So basically its built-in DSP lets you take care of EQ/compression and reverb on two input channels. That's cool but I don't think it's saving a ton of processor power. You'd probably get a more noticeable performance increase by maxing out the RAM on your computer.
     
  5. Tommy el Gato

    Tommy el Gato

    Jul 6, 2007
    thanks for the help m8. A purchase is about to be made. :D
     

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