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Noisy Mac Outputs w/ Firewire Devices? Tried This? Audio Interfaces
Old 8th September 2007
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
semtek's Avatar
 

Noisy Mac Outputs w/ Firewire Devices? Tried This?

Saw this in an import of EQ mag and it looked interesting. If I have my MOTU 828 connected to the firewire bus of my Macbook I get noise and clicks whenever I open a finder window, and at other seemlingly random points. Others (as below) seem to have a similar problem with their native outs. I'll try it when I get my computer back from repair but has anyone else come accross this?


From O'Reilly Digital Media Blog:



This was news to me, so I assume it’ll be news to others. I’ve been living, teeth clenched, with the noisy audio output on my G5 Mac since I bought it a few years ago. Apparently the knowledge of how the quiet the durn thing down has been around since 2003, but I’d never found it, despite a few “I can’t stand it any more!” Google searches. And apparently it was also news to Electronic Musician, because I came across the fix in their May, 2007 issue.
The problem is this: despite the G5’s wonderful suitability as an audio platform, its analog audio output can produce a LOT of background noise - and it’s ugly noise, to boot (the digital audio output is fine). When I first heard this crap coming up through my mixer, my first instinct was, of course, to blame my Wintel PC - that’s how ugly this noise is. But lo and behold it was the Mac. Kind of like reflexively blaming the cat, and this one time it turns out to be the dog.
Anyway, it turns out there’s an easy and free fix (requires OS 10.4.3 or higher):
  1. Go to Tools - Downloads
  2. Click the link for ” Computer Hardware Understanding Development (CHUD) Tools
    version 4.4.4″ to download the CHUD tools. If you want to go straight to the download, click here.
  3. Double-click the DMG file to mount the disk image, then double-click the CHUD pkg file to install the CHUD tools.
  4. You should get a new Processor item in your System Preferences panel:
  5. Click the processor item and, in the next panel that appears, de-select the Allow Nap checkbox:
Voila! The noise is gone! I’d be happy, if I weren’t so mad about the last three or so years.
Some notes: The Electronic Musician piece, a sidebar in a review of the Mackie Onyx Satellite written by Rusty McCutchin, links the noise to the connection of a Firewire audio interface. I had the problem with just Firewire drives connected, and no Firewire audio interface (I was using a pre-Firewire TC Electronic Gold Channel, connected by lightpipe). And McCutchin cites an artice at xlr8yourmac.com for more information - dating back to 2003!
Old 15th April 2011
  #2
Gear Nut
 

Only bummer is, this doesn't work for MBPro's

At least I haven't found a link that says it does. I had this same issue with my G5, downloaded this app, and worked great. Now, with my MBPro - Apogee Duet, this horrid noise is back. Aaaaaahhhhh! Help!
Old 16th April 2011
  #3
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brody Murakami View Post
Only bummer is, this doesn't work for MBPro's

At least I haven't found a link that says it does. I had this same issue with my G5, downloaded this app, and worked great. Now, with my MBPro - Apogee Duet, this horrid noise is back. Aaaaaahhhhh! Help!
I can't help posting when I see an Apogee Duet noise thread ... there are SO many. Is your problem the ground loop noise variety (random computery/fax noises) or the very soft hiss that's worse with sampling f in multiples of 44Khz and improved at 48Kz and related to impedance? Or ... something else ...?
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