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#1248493 - 10/05/13 08:40 PM Update!!! This forum could use some traffic, so...
xray1999 Offline
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Registered: 04/19/99
Posts: 1583
Loc: New Brunswick, Canada
Anyone know how to check if your FW port is crapping out on your PC? I got me a M-Audio Project Mix and a new (to me) quad-core tower with on-board FW. I've had them hooked up and working but the audio going from the PM to the computer is glitchy and full of clicks and pops. Playing songs from the computer sounds fine through the cans plugged into either headphone jack on the PM.

The controller side of the PM is a bit flaky as well. Sometimes it works perfect and other times I can fight with it for hours before it will cooperate. I've read up on problems people have had with the PM, but nothing really like I'm experiencing.

A friend of mine mentioned last week that it sounds like a bad FW port, either on the computer, or the PM itself. But I have no idea how to check. Maybe it's time for a trip to the local pc guru. Any thoughts and/or advice greatly appreciated.

Ray


Edited by xray1999 (10/19/13 10:18 AM)
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#1248570 - 10/06/13 09:29 AM Re: This forum could use some traffic, so... [Re: xray1999]
uptildawn Offline
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Registered: 12/15/01
Posts: 8095
Loc: Iowa
FW and M-Audio FW devices have a long history of connectivity problems...... Not all M-Audio and not all FW...... just a general history that's well-documented, even on M-Audio's forums.

Clicks and pops sounds like either a clocking issue, or buffer settings that are a bit too low. Too low buffer settings (in my experience) are usually accompanied by stuttering playback and/or distortion as well. Clocking issues (again in my experience) aren't usually a problem unless there's more than one digital device hooked up to the computer at the same time, in which case there's some conflict over master/slave settings, usually.

FW cards are sometimes a problem, or at least have been in the past, if they do not use Texas Instrument chips in their construction..... Have you checked for incompatability issues between your M-Audio and the chips used on you FW card?

M-Audio drivers have often been the issue behind flakey connection and performance problems with their various FW interfaces. Have you made sure to install the latest available drivers for your interface and computer-type from M-Audio's website? Have you tried installing an earlier driver version to see if the problem lessens, or goes away? (Always keep driver update installation files stashed away on your PC somewhere to be able to quickly reinstall, if something goes wrong).

We used to have to periodically reinstall M-Audio driver files on a batch of lab computers using the FW410 series interfaces, which I otherwise really liked using, because the computers would drop the interface connection on a whim.
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uptildawn

2013 Iowa City JazzFest sets!
Dr Lonnie Smith Trio w/Jonathan Kreisberg on guitar
Pharoah Sanders Quartet
Fred Hersch Trio
These are post mixes set to single camera video (by Rich Rauch).

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#1248736 - 10/07/13 08:03 AM Re: This forum could use some traffic, so... [Re: uptildawn]
xray1999 Offline
Planeteer


Registered: 04/19/99
Posts: 1583
Loc: New Brunswick, Canada
Thanks for the reply utd. Yeah, I've ran into clocking issues before but nothing this severe, and it usually affected playback as well, but the audio from playback is flawless. I've tried changing the buffer settings but that made no improvement at all.

 Quote:
Have you checked for incompatability issues between your M-Audio and the chips used on you FW card?


No I haven't. You could be onto something there. I had an issue with my V-Fire one time where I hooked it to the on-board fw on a previous computer and it wouldn't communicate at all. I installed a pci fw card and it picked up the V-Fire right away. Now if I could only remember where I put that fw card... damn you, Sometimers disease!

As far as drivers and firmware are concerned, I'm pretty sure everything is up to date there, although I am running Win7 64-bit and the latest drivers are for XP/Vista. Still, they seem to do the trick in compatibility mode for now. I've been thinking about reformatting and installing XP but I'm not sure what kind of hardware compatibility issues will arise. It's a fairly new computer and I've had hardware issues before when upgrading o/s formats which makes me a little gun-shy about the whole process.

First things first: I gotta locate that fw card and try it and at least eliminate that possibility. Thanks for the suggestions.

Ray
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#1252044 - 10/19/13 10:15 AM Re: This forum could use some traffic, so... [Re: xray1999]
xray1999 Offline
Planeteer


Registered: 04/19/99
Posts: 1583
Loc: New Brunswick, Canada
Just a quick update on the sitch: it was indeed, the on-board fw port that was the culprit! I went to Digital World in Fredericton and cleaned them out of what they had left for pci fw cards and the first one I popped in had a LSI chipset and it works flawlessly! No crackling or glitching, just pure unadulterated pristine sound!!! I'm super-stoked about this because here's the rest of the story:

My boss went to an auction and won a unit that had a bunch of music gear in it. He kept most of it as he has a daughter that's into music. But he didn't have a clue what this "M-Audio thingy" was. He said he thought it was a mixer but they couldn't get any sound out of it. He didn't think it was any good so he brought it into work and was putting it in the tech gear recycle room when I happened by. I said that it looked like a computer interface for audio production. He just gave me one of those blank stares like I was talking a foreign language or something. I told him I "dabbled" a little in recording and asked if he'd mind if I took it home and tried it. He said, "It's all yours. I hope you can fix it and get some use out of it."

That's when I spotted a big aluminum pc tower case that looked pretty cool. I said to him, "hey that pc case would look good in my studio too. Can I take that as well?" "That's just our old server" he said. "But if you can make use of it, go for it." Once I got home I took the computer to my uncle and he checked it out, reformatted it and put on a fresh copy of Win7 64-bit Ultimate. Turns out it's a quad-core 2.7G with 4 Gb of ram and a 500Gb hdd, and it works perfectly... except for the firewire port, which finally brings me back full circle. \:p

So, considering I've seen Project Mix's going for anywhere from $600 up to a grand on kijiji and ebay, and computers that spec out similar to mine are going for around $400-$500 range, I'd say I scored big-time on this one! At least $1000 upgrade and all I spent was $15 at Digital World for a hand full of firewire cards. If I throw the 3 left-over cards on kijiji for $5 each, my investment will be back to $0! Helluva bargain that be, buddy!
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#1262578 - 12/02/13 06:53 AM Re: This forum could use some traffic, so... [Re: xray1999]
Doofie Offline
Doofie
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Registered: 04/04/02
Posts: 8612
Loc: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
A great score! Happy motoring.
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#1266097 - 12/17/13 11:35 PM Re: This forum could use some traffic, so... [Re: Doofie]
JazAddict Offline
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Registered: 05/17/04
Posts: 17114
Loc: The West Coast of Florida
Helluva story xray
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