NI Audio 4 vs Presonus Firebox
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  1. #1

    Default NI Audio 4 vs Presonus Firebox

    Hi all,

    I need me a new soundcard with more than one set of outs and for about 200 i have the choice of these two bad boys that seem to be both very well respected in this place.

    Any pros and cons that anyone could advose on with these?

    Many Thanks
    Gav
    M I S T E R M O L E Y M O L E
    part of the digital revolution

  2. #2
    DJTT Moderator bloke Karlos Santos's Avatar
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    Dude,
    The Pros and Cons of these 2 units are very similar.
    Ive got the Firebox and an Audio 8 (which is just a bigger Audio 4).

    Can i assume your using Traktor? If not what im gonna say is rubbish?

    The first question are you ever likely to use timecode ? If the answer is "hmm maybe" then dont bother with the Firebox. You need the A4 for timecode (despite what you may be reading at the moment) if your serious about DJing and may use timecode in the future you need an N.I. card.

    Both cards are similar spec and sound very much alike. I would say the the Firebox is a tad louder , dunno why it just is.

    If you arent gonna use timecode then the main and probably crucial difference is that the Firebox is FireWire. Have you got a FireWire input because no matter what anyone will tell you FireWire gives you total piece of mind. Zero latency, and a connection that isnt troublesome or delicate. You dont get USB errors with firewire (obviously).

    The Audio 4 is a very durable tough card but the Firebox is made from molten iron extracted from the heart of a star. It is the most solid piece of kit i have ever seen, Seriously , i have thrown mine in by gig bag and around DJ booths like a football. Ive seen the Skate vids for the Audio 4 so i guess its also very strong.

    The Audio 4 has standard RCA outputs. The Firebox uses 1/4 inch jacks so you will probably need to bodge some leads together but thats not a real problem.

    The Firebox has Midi in via spdif connection (you get the lead in the box). Very handy for contollers.
    The Audio 4 has no Midi connection. And powers by USB
    The firebox (depending on your laptop) needs the power adapter to jump start ( you can disconect when its started but why bother, just power it from the mains).
    The Firebox has 2 firewire outputs.

    The audio 4 has no mic inputs, the Firebox has 2.


    Overall the A4 is a great soundcard for 2 channel timecode setups or 4 internal channels.
    The Firebox is the perfect card for non-timecode use.

    You wont regret buying either card, but personally if you are never gonna use timecode, get the Firebox.

    Hope that doesnt muddy the water even more.

  3. #3
    Tech Mentor silver fox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karlos Santos View Post
    The Firebox has 2 firewire outputs.
    hey dont mean to hijack but wat is the use of having 2 firewire outputs

    i have a M-Audio Firewire 410 and it also has 2 firewire outputs.....why?
    fart.

  4. #4
    DJTT Dominator JesC's Avatar
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    daisy chain...firewire ext hd or anyother FW device
    Controllerist: Think different | SoundCloud | MixCloud | Twitter |

  5. #5
    Tech Mentor silver fox's Avatar
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    oh weally.... so like a midi through....but firewire
    fart.

  6. #6
    DJTT Moderator bloke Karlos Santos's Avatar
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    Exactly. Take my old iBook for instance . I use the Firebox as the soundcard and i use both FireWire inputs/ouputs. One for input from my Lacie FireWire External HD and one to the laptop. Without 2 FW ports i would have to use USB for the HD. All this connected to the laptop via one FW port ...Just nice.

  7. #7
    DJTT Dominator JesC's Avatar
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    Think of it as a Firewire Hub on each device.
    Controllerist: Think different | SoundCloud | MixCloud | Twitter |

  8. #8
    DJTT Moderator bloke Karlos Santos's Avatar
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    Yeah and having the midi connection as well means ive got my Faderfox going thru the Presonus as well. It just does everything i need .
    Its like the fricking utility belt of soundcards.




    I have been drinking, im going to bed now its 4am.

  9. #9

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    Karlos !! .... many thanks for that review very very very very helpful.

    As for timecode i'm not sure .. maybe maybe not so its a b it of a tough decision

    Is there any issues with buying a firebox from USA ? they seem so much cheaper even after postage!
    M I S T E R M O L E Y M O L E
    part of the digital revolution

  10. #10
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    One other thing to bear in mind - if you're using a laptop and are lucky enough to have a fullsize firewire port you should be OK. If, like me you have a mini one, and are doing lots of gigs - USB is probably your best option. I've had the FW card drop out on me so many times from just a little knock.

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