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Echo Audiofire 12 Nightmare
Old 21st January 2011
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Echo Audiofire 12 Nightmare

I at this point reckon I'm stuck with the Echo AudioFire 12 till I can afford something better. I like the way it sounds all right when it works. Which is not most of the time. The drivers seem to be the worst I have ever experienced. They are super unstable. Many many hours spent upgrading downgrading crossgrading and trying to get my PC (satellite a505 with a SIIG firewire expresscard) to work.

It seems like they are just straight squirrely. Many phone calls to Ken and Marcel at Echo, last request was for me to send the unit back for inspection, but I've got work I need to do.

The driver I'm running is 5.5.5.

Any obvious solutions besides get a MAC?
Old 21st January 2011
  #2
send it in! I have two of these using in ProTools 9 and they work great, no issues at all with drivers, poor performance. Your unit is probably in need of repair.......otherwise you are just going to spend more hours pulling your hair out than you need to!
Old 21st January 2011 | Show parent
  #3
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lejon's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vern View Post
send it in! I have two of these using in ProTools 9 and they work great, no issues at all with drivers, poor performance. Your unit is probably in need of repair.......otherwise you are just going to spend more hours pulling your hair out than you need to!
We also have two of these in our studio w/ mac & Logic 9. Drivers are unstable, pops and clicks occur occasionally + there is a unfixed issue with core-audio aggregate device that results delay differense between the two units. It's a nightmare and we're also searching for an alternative as soon as we can afford something really better. And oh, another problem: The units are starting to die, because they don't turn on every time you turn powerswitch on.

- Leo
Old 21st January 2011 | Show parent
  #4
Lives for gear
 

What OS are you running?

I'm running one with W764 - on an Asus motherboard with on-board firewire (with the better chipset.. can't remember which one it is right now).. I have never heard so much as a crackle and it's been ROCK solid. So - there's my vote for 'good experience'.

Now - as to your bad experience:

Most of the time that I've run into audio driver issues in the past - it was because there was too much crap running in the background, and something was banging heads with the audio driver. I've always been pretty crazy about running my machines with pretty minimal background processes (though not THAT insane.. they do have network connectivity, etc) so it's pretty simple to troubleshoot.

Did you buy this computer pre-made? Are you using the OS install that it came with? Chances are there are a BUNCH of things running and installed that you don't care about.

One other thing.. have you heard of other users having good luck running FW audio off of an expresscard? I haven't ever used the things, so I don't know anything about them.

Just some ideas to think about.
Old 21st January 2011 | Show parent
  #5
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Jimsi's Avatar
 

make sure your firewire interface has the TI chipset...chipsets are that flakey... I know, I had my Nighmares with other chipsets, all firewire interfaces need decent chipsets, i also sw on som forums the express card having issues even with TI, try another card if possible the echo units are some of the most rock solid audio interfaces and drivers around...just my 1Cents 1pence worth...
Old 22nd January 2011 | Show parent
  #6
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thanks for the prompt replies. I may check into getting another firewire card. seems like the jury is somewhat split on the drivers. I was thinking I may have just needed a mac, but sounds like there's some trouble over there too. i've hacked a way to trick it into working, stable no, but minimally workable. i just can't go without it long enough to send it away for a week right now. so i'll keep on with it until i can have a look at an AD16 or something else really nice.

thanks y'all.
chenry
Old 22nd January 2011 | Show parent
  #7
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hgen's Avatar
 

It will be the firewire card for sure. Echo have a great reputation for rock solid drivers.
Old 22nd January 2011 | Show parent
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by lejon View Post
We also have two of these in our studio w/ mac & Logic 9. Drivers are unstable, pops and clicks occur occasionally + there is a unfixed issue with core-audio aggregate device that results delay differense between the two units. It's a nightmare and we're also searching for an alternative as soon as we can afford something really better. And oh, another problem: The units are starting to die, because they don't turn on every time you turn powerswitch on.

- Leo


Are you using a wordclock to synch the two units?



-tINY

Old 22nd January 2011 | Show parent
  #9
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lejon's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tINY View Post


Are you using a wordclock to synch the two units?



-tINY

Yes. We have checked, double checked everything and discussed about this problem several times. Echo replied that they are aware of this issue and they just wait Apple to fix it. So far, apple has done nothing.
Old 22nd January 2011 | Show parent
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lejon View Post
Yes. We have checked, double checked everything and discussed about this problem several times. Echo replied that they are aware of this issue and they just wait Apple to fix it. So far, apple has done nothing.
ouch. so much for the 'get a mac' answer.
Old 22nd January 2011 | Show parent
  #11
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Jimsi's Avatar
 

and apple will never do anything ... to their already sold units... bypass the internal firewire.
Old 22nd January 2011 | Show parent
  #12
Gear Addict
I have a AF8, and had many problems (check with DPClat) when switched to windows 7.

The solution for me was to disable C1E in bios. That's what was causing cyclic interrupts.

Use DPClat and see if you have any conflicts with drivers.
Old 23rd January 2011 | Show parent
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guze View Post
I have a AF8, and had many problems (check with DPClat) when switched to windows 7.

The solution for me was to disable C1E in bios. That's what was causing cyclic interrupts.

Use DPClat and see if you have any conflicts with drivers.
Yes, I believe that disabling C1E was recommended pretty much by everyone when I was building my new box. My particular motherboard would inject some odd noise if that was enabled.. disabling it did the trick.
Old 23rd January 2011 | Show parent
  #14
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rodreb's Avatar
 

Pardon my ignorance but, what is C1E?
Old 23rd January 2011 | Show parent
  #15
Gear Addict
a power saving feature that can be enabled/disabled in BIOS
Old 23rd January 2011 | Show parent
  #16
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rodreb's Avatar
 

Ah, Thank you.
Old 23rd January 2011 | Show parent
  #17
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Found a good eplanation:

C1E (Enhanced Halt State): C1E is the simpler of the two components. It can be enabled or disabled in the BIOS, and performs independently of the operating system. C1E has two configurations - idle, and load. When CPU usage is relatively low, this feature lowers your processor's multiplier to its lowest setting (usually 6x) and slightly lowers its vCore. During a CPU-intensive application, it will raise the multipler to its maximum value, and will provide a small boost in vCore to compensate. In our example, C1E will make your processor run at either 6x or 9x the FSB.
Old 3rd August 2011 | Show parent
  #18
Gear Maniac
 
Robert King's Avatar
Echo AudioFire 12 doesn't turn on

Quote:
Originally Posted by lejon View Post
We also have two of these in our studio w/ mac & Logic 9. Drivers are unstable, pops and clicks occur occasionally + there is a unfixed issue with core-audio aggregate device that results delay differense between the two units. It's a nightmare and we're also searching for an alternative as soon as we can afford something really better. And oh, another problem: The units are starting to die, because they don't turn on every time you turn powerswitch on.

- Leo
Hello there!
I have the same problem with my card. In the beginning it was just a few times I had to push the power button to initialize the sound card, but I am up to sometimes hundreds of times to get it initializing
I have to leave it on now, because I am scared it won't switch on any more. Do you have any advice? What's wrong with it? Worth sending it back? I live in the UK!
Old 3rd August 2011
  #19
Mac is no more likely to work. It's an issue of the fw chipset in your motherboard.

Even of your expresscard is TI the host controller would have to be to and even then it's not guaranteed to work.
Old 3rd August 2011 | Show parent
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hgen View Post
It will be the firewire card for sure. Echo have a great reputation for rock solid drivers.
Agreed.
Old 13th March 2012
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chenry View Post
I at this point reckon I'm stuck with the Echo AudioFire 12 till I can afford something better. I like the way it sounds all right when it works. Which is not most of the time. The drivers seem to be the worst I have ever experienced. They are super unstable. Many many hours spent upgrading downgrading crossgrading and trying to get my PC (satellite a505 with a SIIG firewire expresscard) to work.

It seems like they are just straight squirrely. Many phone calls to Ken and Marcel at Echo, last request was for me to send the unit back for inspection, but I've got work I need to do.

The driver I'm running is 5.5.5.

Any obvious solutions besides get a MAC?
The problem probably lies with the fire wire card chip set. It should be Texas instruments or you will have issues. Some Macs have switched to different chip sets for fire wire and having problems now too. In future you will need to check into these types of things before you buy.
Old 13th March 2012
  #22
Gear Maniac
 
Robert King's Avatar
Echo Audiofire 12 initialize problem

Hello!
In my case I had to send the Audiofire 12 to 'Hand in Hand' the new local UK Echo distributor and they changed the firewire card in the Echo unit and all is working now as it should .... It took them quite a long time though and I bought another converter to cover that period. Other than that they have been helpful.
Old 13th March 2012
  #23
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Quint's Avatar
For people who read this thread in the future, you should be aware that there are three completely different issues being simultaneously discussed here, not one, even though it may appear that way.

One has to do with non-TI firewire chips in people's computers. This is a known problem for ALL firewire interfaces but has a simple solution. Get a TI firewire card inside your computer.

The second issue has to do with the firewire port/chip inside the Audiofire going bad. A typical symptom of this is when your unit will turn on but the console won't pop up on the computer monitor and none of the green lights on the meter display will light up because "nobody's home". Echo is very helpful on this matter and sent me a user replaceable card for pretty cheap when mine went out.

The third issue is the actual drivers but VERY FEW people have issues with this. If you are, try rolling back to version 4.8 or try the brand new version 5.7. Version 5.5 seems to be where some people have had problems.

I hope this helps prevent any further confusion. None of the solutions are complicated or expensive. Just be aware that all three problems exist so that hopefully you don't go barking up the wrong tree.
Old 13th March 2012
  #24
Lives for gear
I'm on an iMac and Mbp and I just started having problems with my AF12 yesterday.

Essentially mine is daisy chained with the AF8 and an eventide h8000fw, the AF12 is second in the chain. After hours of trouble shooting and tons of wire switching, changing the chain, disabling the chain and trying the AF12 directly into both the iMac and MBP, I've concluded that the FW has probably gone bad on the unit.

The drivers on the mac are pretty solid. I've had my AF8 for 6 years with no problems and the AF12 for 2. Even the Aggregate device worked flawlessly for the most part.

I did run into driver issues when I updated from 4.8 to 5.5 and had pops and crackles. I rolled it back to 4.8 and everything worked fine again until yesterday.

I can see that audio is going into the AF12 from the monitoring leds on the front but no firewire and the unit isn't being read by the midi scan on the mac. so, I'm in for tech support at the moment.

But otherwise I really can't complain about these units. They have really been plug and play and easy to use. The latency hasn't been bad at all but it isn't at RME levels however these are great for the price. This is first real issue I've had. I even had the AF8 working fine on the pc when I was using that set up for several years.

And thanks Quint for straightening that out. I really am glad to read that this could be a FW problem as I suspected and hopefully I can do the fix myself and not have to send the unit in. ETA: nope gotta send the unit in..
Old 17th March 2012
  #25
Gear Nut
 
TDT Music Group's Avatar
 

I currently have 2 AF 12's which send my channels out into my mixing console. All is well there, I use a older Gateway windows XP Media Center computer and run each on its own firewire bus along with using a bnc cable.

I recently won a auction on Ebay for a non-working AF 12 for 68.00 (it would turn on and light up but not connect to the computer). I called Marcel at Echo Audio and discussed the problem with him and he advised me to send it in. I shipped it in ($26.00 Fedex) and was told it could be a 3-4 week wait.

Here we are at the end of two weeks and to my surprise, a box was at my house waiting for me! They repaired my unit and shipped it back to me for..............FREE!!!

I'm still in awe.

Thanks alot Echo!

Im using drivers 5.7 and firmware 5.7.3
Old 17th March 2012
  #26
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I bought two AF12's some time ago and returned them cause drivers were fine with Windows XP but a complete nightmare with 7. Other than 192Khz not being supported I had all sort of issues, problems installing them, sample rate woulnd't change, large buffer sizes wouldn't work and various hiccups. Even though they had all those issues under 7 their last driver release was from months before and they said they wouldn't know when the next version was going to be released. I searched for some help here on GS and I found someone saying that they also closed their forum because of too many people complaining about driver stability and problems.

I returned them and bought a MOTU 24I/O, I couldn't be happier
Old 10th April 2012 | Show parent
  #27
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lejon View Post
We also have two of these in our studio w/ mac & Logic 9. Drivers are unstable, pops and clicks occur occasionally + there is a unfixed issue with core-audio aggregate device that results delay differense between the two units. It's a nightmare and we're also searching for an alternative as soon as we can afford something really better. And oh, another problem: The units are starting to die, because they don't turn on every time you turn powerswitch on.

- Leo
Leo,

Did you ever figure out what the issue was with the Audiofire12's not turning on?

I'm experiencing the same problem now with my own unit. It's worked solid for years now, but in the past six months I've had the unit not actually initialize when I press the power button. The power light comes on, but that's it, no sound, no meters, nothing else.

Thanks.
Old 10th April 2012 | Show parent
  #28
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s.d.finley's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by TDT Music Group View Post
I currently have 2 AF 12's which send my channels out into my mixing console. All is well there, I use a older Gateway windows XP Media Center computer and run each on its own firewire bus along with using a bnc cable.

I recently won a auction on Ebay for a non-working AF 12 for 68.00 (it would turn on and light up but not connect to the computer). I called Marcel at Echo Audio and discussed the problem with him and he advised me to send it in. I shipped it in ($26.00 Fedex) and was told it could be a 3-4 week wait.

Here we are at the end of two weeks and to my surprise, a box was at my house waiting for me! They repaired my unit and shipped it back to me for..............FREE!!!

I'm still in awe.

Thanks alot Echo!

Im using drivers 5.7 and firmware 5.7.3
Dewd!!!! That is a score big time! I don't understand why some people, like the guy you bought the echo from, just don't bother to contact the manufacturer when their item goes south.
Old 10th April 2012 | Show parent
  #29
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s.d.finley's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by shonuff View Post
Leo,

Did you ever figure out what the issue was with the Audiofire12's not turning on?

I'm experiencing the same problem now with my own unit. It's worked solid for years now, but in the past six months I've had the unit not actually initialize when I press the power button. The power light comes on, but that's it, no sound, no meters, nothing else.

Thanks.
According to most of the post, it appears that the internal FW card inside of your echo is at fault. Contact echo, TDT got his repaired for FREE!!! FREE!! I tell ya!
Old 10th April 2012 | Show parent
  #30
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Quint's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by s.d.finley View Post
According to most of the post, it appears that the internal FW card inside of your echo is at fault. Contact echo, TDT got his repaired for FREE!!! FREE!! I tell ya!
Yes, this is correct. The exact same thing happened to mine and it was the internal fw card. Mine wasn't free though....
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