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Discussion in 'Recording In Progress' started by Charlie Bernstein, Dec 1, 2020.
Aside from prices, what's the difference?
Yes, I'm a total techno-weenie.
Lots of discussion about that here: https://www.tdpri.com/threads/usb-or-thunderbolt.1025930/
The difference between USB and Thunderbolt would probably be more of a question of Mac versus Windows as USB C is interchangeable with Thunderbolt 3
There is the fact that audio does not require a lot of data signal and USB C/Thunderbolt is overkill, but a lot of newer macs have thunderbolt and it's a good connection.
USB C/Thunderbolt can power a device and transmit data which can be helpful, but probably not a problem you would need a solution for in almost any situation.
They are probably talking about USB 3.0 for these i/O boxes and unless there is a long run of either cable I have no idea if the Clarett i/O box needs the data rates Thunderbold/USB C provides.
When I was looking around, I found that most of the T-bolt devices out there were T-bolt 2, and not 3, which is what is in the current Macs, and fully USB-C/3 compatible. I didn't see any point in buying a T-bolt 2 device, honestly. It requires an adapter and you don't get "3" speed capability. But, if you have a good T-bolt 2 equipped older Mac, then it's probably a reasonable option, though you'll need an adapter if you update to a T-bolt 3 system.
P.S. I looked at that earlier thread and it does confuse things a bit by not distinguishing between T-bolt 2 and 3, which are not plug-compatible, and also conflates USB-C and USB 3.x. The last requires USB-C, but many of the interfaces out there with USB-C cable connectivity are still USB 2.0 devices.
...which is just fine because USB 2.0 has enough bandwidth to carry 200 channels of 24-bit, 96 kHz audio and can provide enough power to run any small audio interface.
USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt are overkill for this application.
With USB3 and Thunderbolt being backwards compatible it’s kinda of moot. As mentioned USB2 is sufficient for all but the heaviest loads.
FWIW I’m still using an RME Fieface 800 and a Presonus preamp bank via optical. replacement eminent in the next year. Strong leanings to Ethernet ADDA like Focusrite DANTE.... we shall see.
I think that's an optimistic channel count in the real world, but point taken about bandwidth. This article suggests 40 channels, but that's still quite a lot for most home recorders. I just was clarifying that a USB-C port on the interface alone doesn't mean much. I think most of those devices actually come with a cable that's only USB-C on one end, in fact, it really makes me wonder why they bothered, though I suppose it is a tiny bit smaller!
Thunderbolt does supposedly have lower latency. Don't know because I could not find a T-bolt3 interface when I was looking. (Maybe there was one but it was above my price filter!)