Built-in (internal) interface 0%
ISA card 1%
Nubus card 1%
PCI card 49%
FireWire 400 31%
FireWire 800 6%
USB 1.x 7%
USB 2.x 6%
Analysis: This poll was taken among visitors to “Craig Anderton’s Sound, Studio, and Stage” forum. It’s pretty clear built-in interfaces get no respect — and come to think of it, they shouldn’t (digital interfaces like SPDIF are okay, though).
PCI cards, which tie in to the computer’s guts more closely than FireWire or USB, were the interface of choice for almost half of those who responded. FireWire 400 came in with almost a third of the users, but FireWire 800, USB 1.x, and USB 2.x were in single digits. And somewhere, somehow, a NuBus and ISA-based card are doing the interface thing — and tonight they’re going to party like it’s 1999. Well, make that 1989.
But, But, But . . . RME, MOTU, and Echo interfaces got quite a few mentions — the following comments are representative.
“Just moved from PCI to FW400 on the MOTU Traveler. Seems smooth so far.” —Sylver
“I answered FW400, since I mostly use the MOTU 828mkII with my laptop. But after I build my next desktop (around some kind of Pentium M, I swear), I suspect I’ll go back to using my Echo Mia PCI card (along with an SB Live for Soundfont DSP). Whatever I build will have FireWire so I can go either way — which will be potentially important, as the Mia’s analog I/O is stereo, while the MOTU offers 10/12.” —theblue1
“Pulled my PCI 9652 card, and have gone with the RME Fireface800.” —g8bassplayer
“Just went from USB (Mbox) to FW400 (M-Audio FW Solo). Much better response, in my opinion.” —Christopher Robin