Does anyone know? Have anyone heard? Why no one is jumping on the USB 3.0 audio interface wagon? Could not find one anywhere? Could it be possible they’re waiting for “Light Peak” by inteL? I hear light peak is capable of about 20 GBs per second. But because of the high cost of fiber optics they will be using copper on most motherboards which will bring light peak down to around 11 or 12 GBs per second.

But enough speculation. Imagine a USB 3.0 - 5 or 6GB transfer rate on a Quad CPU system with a 64bit OS, if everything is optimized t would seem to be awesome! In theory it should reduce latency and increase track count capability, allow more plugins,and totally eliminate the need for such expensive plugin devices such as UAD, etc.

USB 3.0 has been out for a while now. Seems someone would have capitalized on it but as far as I can see no one has. Seriously, such speed and bandwidth can turn the recording industry and post production completely around. Why has nobody jumped on this? Seriously curious-

It’s possible (and I’m just speculating) there may be a conspiracy. Consider this. There all ready making studio laptops, right? How much more will it cost them to put some decent converters in that laptop? With speed bandwidths like that and steadily increasing there may no long be any need for ASIO drivers. Consider a whole milt-billion dollar industry will go under, just like that? If it doesn’t happen now it’s bound to happen later as computer speeds increase and device bandwidth becomes larger and larger. The computer has killed more multi-billion dollar industries (and jobs) more than any other device. The pro-audio industry is not immune. One day the computer will become so elaborate the it will likely exceed hardware capabilities. There may be a possibility there are those that can see the handwriting on the wall, and that.s what they are paid to do. They may be holding back progress. You say no way. Don’t forget, Intel did it for years until the competition entered into the picture (AMD, etc.).

Does that seem so strange? An economist once said, if they cured cancer today the US and possibly the world would go into a depression, that’s how much money they make off of cancer treatment. If I remember correctly the last disease they cured was polio or leprosy. That was a very long time ago. Treatment “not cure” is the preferred choice. It was suggested that they may have cures for every disease that exist, but money is a great deterrent against their implementations.

Okay, I know it sounds a bit extreme-
But ultimately the computers will only get stronger, and very likely the software makers with it.

Thunderbolt is the copper version of Light peak, and has been available on new Macs for nearly a year. There are virtually no devices for Thunderbolt because it was licensed exclusively to Apple (AFAIK), but that will change over the next few months. However, as Thunderbolt has to be built into the motherboard, it is only available on new builds, hence no manufacturer is in that much of a hurry to bring out Thunderbolt interfaces. It is also (according to some of them) more complicated than they originally thought, so that is why there has been a delay even on interfaces previously announced.

Regarding USB 3 (or Thunderbolt) soundcards, I don’t really see the need. Latencies are already so low that they are virtually non-existent, so they will make no difference. Sure, they will make streaming from disc faster, but that can already be solved by having more drives, using SSD or even disc cache, as in pro Tools 10.


Okay, I now i went off the deep-end about the conspiracy theory. But I disagree with you about the present latency being sufficient for every task. My experience is that it depends on the work-load of the project at hand. Yes is may be presently sufficient for some setups. But start throwing multiple tracks, effects, video, plugins, overdubs, etc, that’s not going to be the case. Not saying these things can’t be done presently with work arounds, people seem to find a way to work with what they have. But I am saying it will open up more possibilities and capabilities.

Also, merchants have never really cared about whether or not the present state of things are sufficient (latency, etc.) and said to themselves “so I won’t bring anything out to make money.” They could care less, money is a merchants motivator. It just seems strange to me that no one has brought anything out for Thunderbolt or USB 3.0 Of course I know they eventually will, it’s inevitable. Also, why not just use fiber optics on motherboards to make the 20GB/s Light peak protocol available. Somebody would pay of it, right? When has price ever been the concern of a merchant? I can hear them now; “Oh I feel so sorry for the consumers, I don’t want to make them pay this horrendous price for my product, I love them so much I won’t do that to them, so I’m going the make it cheaper for those wonderful people.” Don’t think so.

If their is no market, there is o point in spending a huge amount of money to produce a product. Give it a couple of years and there will be quite a few products on the market, particularly Thunderbolt. I think that for USB3 we will have to see how many motherboard developers include it on their motherboards.


The UAD Apollo is the first Thunderbolt interface I have seen. Not USB 3 though.


  1. It’s not released yet.

  2. It’s firewire, not Thunderbolt

  3. There will be a Thunderbolt adapter, which is scheduled for release later this year, but as we’ve seen, precious few hardware manufacturers have managed to make the deadlines on Thunderbolt equipment, so there is no guarantee that it will even exist before 2013. Or 2014. Or…


Actually it is both FireWire and Thunderbolt.
The Thunderbolt card installs into the Apollo unit, and gives you full Thunderbolt IO.
It is scheduled for “summer 2012”, we shall see.

That’s what I said. Firewire first and then some time in the future Thunderbolt. Currently it is only Firewire.