I have a Mackie Onyx 1640 - big old mixer with an optional Firewire mixer expansion card installed. Yay for learning how to replace power supply capacitors.
I have a Dell Precision 3530 with a Thunderbolt 3 port; it came with Ubuntu installed; I’ve added the KXStudio repository and packages, and they along with the system’s firmware are all up-to-date.
I’ve gotten good results using a StarTech Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adapter, an Apple Thunderbolt to Firewire (9-pin) adapter, and a 9-pin Firewire to 6-pin Firewire Cable/adapter.
I’ve had 58 overruns in the course of seven days, which is nowhere near as good as the performance of my very old and slow desktop with a TI chipset-based Firewire PCIe card in it, but is completely fine for my needs, and better than the 2-channel usb interface (focusrite 2i2) that I used with the machine for a month or two (which was also okay but a little rough for playing software synthesizers at ~10ms latency.)
I’m running at 44.1kHz, 256 samples, for a latency of 5.8ms.
I tried this same setup with a Focusrite Saffire Pro 40 and could swear the routing of input channels was jumping around. I’d like to test it more, both to establish a more portable setup for myself and to provide the community with some knowledge, but can’t really promise a timeline on that. Would love to hear if others have tried.
I just want to report I’m very successfully running a Firewire interface that doesn’t require routing control software through a series of adapters into a Thunderbolt 3 port. I had trouble finding such anecdotes online when I bought this laptop a few months ago.