Questions & Answers

FireStudio Project with an iMac 27" 2017: Will a FireWire 800 to Thunderbolt 3 Adapter get the job done?

+2 votes
asked Mar 15, 2018 in FireStudio Series by adamhamacher (230 points)
I've got myself into a bit of a pickle here. My new 27" iMac (running OSX High Sierra) only has USB and Thunderbolt 3 ports, no FireWire 800 like my old MacBook. (I can't even say I'm mad, FireWire is really old now) I was doing some Googling and what little info I could find seemed to tell me that using an older FireWire interface this way can be hit or miss.

Right now the only two options for me are to use Apple's Thunderbolt 3>Thunderbolt 2 adapter connected to Apple's Thunderbolt 2>Firewire 800 adapter.


Drop $300 on this fancy dock that supports FireWire, and just hope the interface works.

Anyone else gone down this road before? and if so what were your solutions? Thanks in advance for the advice!

4 Answers

+1 vote
answered Mar 27, 2018 by AlexTinsley (925,190 points)
Best answer

To get 1394 on your Thunderbolt 3 enabled Mac, you'll need to acquire 2 Apple Adapters and link them together, Apple designed it this way. 

- Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 Adapter ---> Thunderbolt 2 to 1394 Adapter --> BiLingual FW800 (9-pin) to FW400 (6-pin) Cable --> FW Audio Interface

0 votes
answered Jul 6, 2020 by radar23 (1,940 points)
Yep as   Alex said, I can also confirm this TB3 to TB2 to FW800 to FW400 train works.  I'm on a Windows 10 laptop, an Acer nothing fancy...
0 votes
answered May 30, 2022 by davedoty (140 points)

Using PreSonus FireStudio with Apple Thunderbolt 3

As an FYI, I am using my PreSonus FireStudio with firewire output/input into Thunderbolt 3 on an iMac Pro 2017 running Catalina.
Software: I manually installed the Kexts needed (using Pacifier to open and show the Kexts, etc. in the Presonus installer).
Hardware: I use a firewire 800 to 400 adapter, into an Apple Thunderbolt 2 adapter, then into an Apple Thunderbolt 3 adapter. Maybe $80 in cables. I have have Phantom Power working too.

I wanted to test this cable solution out because I am buying an Apple M1 soon and wanted to know if I had to 'upgrade' my two perfectly fine FireStudio interfaces.

0 votes
answered Aug 31, 2023 by (2,860 points)

I’m glad I found this post. I’ve been looking for the answer to this question and finally found the answer here.It’s good to get basic functionality from your investment. This is great to see, but we still need more votes to get what is IMHO the most financially beneficial feature request implemented:

With the implementation of this feature request, Presonus users will be equipped not only for faster creation of finished MIDI and other complete musical arrangements, but also fully prepared for sheet music presentation to live bands as well as music supervisors and/or directors as opportunities for exposure, promotion, live performance, television, and or media placements present themselves. Here are a few closely related examples of the potential end result for users of this request (there are an endless list of examples I could have used, but these are the first that came to mind, with the first link being the most relevant to this request):

There are several points covered in this post, but they all lead to substantial increases in Studio One user production efficiency as well as long-term end user monetary returns. So, if you’re at all interested in the prospect of not only saving time, but also making more money, be sure to take a moment to read about how this feature request will benefit you.)

Regarding Presonus feature requests, Presonus Studio One is my preferred DAW, but it currently lacks the ability to automate the Mute button for  MIDI/VST Instrument Tracks (*see pic:

As shown above, automation of this parameter has been faithfully used in other DAWs to get the job done quickly since at least the early 90’s, in the hay-day of loop/pattern based electronic music. Certain aspects of the musical arrangements are repeated, with other aspects being the  result of the incorporation of live instrumentation and/or intricate harmonies that result in a polished end result. Surprisingly the Mute button for VST/MIDI Instrument Tracks is already present in Studio One, but the full functionality of this parameter is currently not automatable for whatever reason.

With the implementation of this feature, in addition to the current time intensive and meticulous functions of muting and/or splitting individual MIDI events and/or muting MIDI notation from the piano roll, we would additionally have the exponentially faster and more intuitive option to arrange a whole song by simply muting MIDI notation in real-time using a write automation! 

An entire song could be arranged in a single playback, which is essentially the time it takes to listen to the song! In the best case scenario, MIDI notation would be muted in real-time as the playhead scrolls from left to right, which would happen in a way very similar to that of how audio waveforms suddenly appear when recording audio. In the event the seamless version of this feature request is not possible (i.e. real-time muting as playhead scrolls), I’m sure this request can be accomplished as a 2 step process. 

The first step would be writing the automation for the initial Mute button of each respective MIDI/VST Instrument Track to their respective automation Lane, which can be done in a single playback. The second half of this request is for the implementation of an offline process that allows for the mute automations written in the resulting MIDI Mute automation lane to translate to the piano roll. Users would simply click the VST Instrument track lane(s) they wish to print to MIDI, whether just one or several at a time, select the offline function. Once the offline funcion is completed, the resulting notation would still be visible but muted and the mute automation lane would be reset accordingly. 

We currently have limited use of this functionality using Audio Mute, with the difference being that MIDI mute automation mutes notation only, not audio. As a result, MIDI mute is much more effective at accomplishing the task of song arrangement with a considerably more clean and polished professional sounding end result, as the resulting audio is NOT truncated when using MIDI mute. When using MIDI Mute, VST Instrument release times for (dry) VST instruments remain intact and are allowed to sound the full duration of their decay, as well as any insert effects (i.e. reverb, delays, etc) for the VST instrument’s respective audio channel!

I submitted a request to add this basic function to Studio One, because MIDI arrangement would be exponentially faster if automation of this parameter was an option. As mentioned above, I want to reiterate that this basic functionality is a standard feature, which comes included in the majority of most all other DAWs. Studio One users shouldn’t be left behind on this time saving workflow.

The second half of this request addresses the need for mute automations to translate to sheet music via Presonus Notation software. In this same feature request, I included the option for the creation of an offline process that allows for the mute automations written in the resulting MIDI Mute automation lane to translate to the piano roll. Notation would still be visible but muted. 

Having the second part of this request implemented would allow for effective translation of MIDI- to-sheet music production, film scoring, as well as live instrument performance by band and  orchestras. Needless to say, Presonus users would be equipped not only for faster creation of finished MIDI arrangements, but also fully prepared for sheet music presentation to music supervisors or directors when the opportunity for live television and or media placements present themselves!

Please add your vote for the implementation of this both e$$ential and time $aving feature request: