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Presonus Firebox Noise
Old 21st December 2009
Gear Maniac
🎧 10 years
Presonus Firebox Noise

Okay, I just build a very nice i7 desktop computer:

---------------------------------------------------------------- - XIGMATEK Intel Core i7 compatible Dark Knight-S1283V 120mm Long Life Bearing CPU Cooler - CPU Fans & Heatsinks

Two of these: - Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drives -Bare Drive - LG Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM SATA DVD Burner - Bulk - CD / DVD Burners - CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Power Supplies - GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD5 LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Intel Motherboards - OCZ Gold 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage Desktop Memory Model OCZ3G1600LV6GK

Windows XP 64-bit

Presonus Firebox w/ 64-bit driver

I hooked my Presonus Firebox audio interface up to it, and I am having a problem. There's a lot of noises popping up all over the place.

Noise 1: Every time the computer does something (ie I open a folder or start a program) a noise that sounds kinda like a 'squeal' comes out of the right speaker
Noise 2: When I load up windows, the windows theme music turns to very harsh distortion and just breaks up completely.
Noise 3: Playing music in Cubase 5, I get pop noises every two seconds.

My thinking is that this is either:

* a driver issue with a crap 64-bit driver from Presonus OR

*an issue with my motherboard and the 1394 connection being poorly isolated (The 1394 connection is VERY close to my CPU). Maybe it is picking noise up from the processor. In this case, I can at least buy a PCIe 1394 card or use one of my additional internal 1394 connectors (meant to attach to the case) and figure out how to hook one up to the interface.

Please help me! I am too broke to drop money on another cheap interface. I want to actually save up for a good one.
Old 21st December 2009
Gear Maniac
🎧 10 years
The squeak heard halfway through this mp3 and derivations of it is the "noise 1" I described.
Old 21st December 2009 | Show parent
Gear Maniac
🎧 10 years
I loaded up VLC player and played a song. It played, but it was so jittery I could hardly listen. This has to be a driver issue! Is there anything I can do about it?!
Old 22nd December 2009 | Show parent
Gear Maniac
🎧 10 years
There were two problems:

1. A driver issue - I installed Windows XP 32-bit and problems 2 and 3 went away.

2. A ground-loop issue. I threw an IMP2 DI Box after my 1/4" output from my firebox, and this into an XLR cable into my monitor. The noise is completely goneheh

However, the volume is significantly reduced when I put the IMP2 and XLR cable in the chain, and I am also wondering but can't tell, if my highs are dulled. I know very little about impedance load matching, etc. I know that my problem can be solved perfectly with the right DI Box. I just don't know which one.
Old 5th February 2010 | Show parent
Here for the gear
🎧 10 years
I have this same issue (#1) with an Asus P5N-e SLI motherboard. Getting a PCI-E 1394 card will most likely not solve your problem. I take that back, I would try disabling your onboard firewire in the bios, and trying a pci or pci-e card at the lowest slot you can. Also if the problem happens on two computers, try another firewire cable with a ferrite core.

Plug the box into a laptop or another computer and you will probably find that it goes away. (e.g. It's a problem with the motherboard.)

p.s. The windows 7 drivers just came out for the firebox... They won't fix this problem unfortunately.

Old 7th February 2010 | Show parent
Here for the gear
🎧 10 years
I went out and bought a new 1394 PCI card to test and the noise is lower, but still there... I believe the cable might be the issue. I will have to go buy a new one and find out.

Will post my findings in a day or so...

On a second thought... If the firebox works fine w/o noise on my macbook with the same cable, then the cable is probably fine.
Looks like I need a new mobo, and sleep.
Old 7th February 2010 | Show parent
Gear Head
🎧 10 years
Are you getting these issues from the headphone jack or monitors?

I found that using a pair of balanced cables for my monitors helped.
Old 7th February 2010 | Show parent
Here for the gear
🎧 10 years
Originally Posted by samsquarewave View Post
Are you getting these issues from the headphone jack or monitors?

I found that using a pair of balanced cables for my monitors helped.
My whole chain is balanced. :\

I get the noise with my headphones as well. (Unbalanced)

Now the only thing I don't get, is that if it's the mobo, then why does my line6 USB dongle (di-g doubles as an I/O) sound perfectly clean?

So far:
  • Firebox --> Firewire Cable 1 --> Onboard Firewire = Interference
  • Firebox --> Firewire Cable 1 --> 3rd Party PCI Card = Interference, but quieter
  • Firebox --> Firewire Cable 1 --> Macbook = No Interference
  • Firebox --> Firewire Cable 2...
  • Line6 DI-G --> USB Cable --> Onboard USB --> = No interference
Audio Chain: I/O --> Balanced Cables --> Mackie Big Knob --> Balanced Cables --> Nearfields.
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