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about all the Firewire Laptop issues Audio Interfaces
Old 9th January 2007
  #1
Gear Head
 

Thread Starter
about all the Firewire Laptop issues

So, i've had several soundcards, echo audio, m-audio, hoontech(ewwwwwwthatsucked), and now lately, Motu Ultralite.


So, i plugged it in and played around, it worked great, until it didn't.
clicks pops and hassle screeching through all outputs.

wierd.

so after a while i found a pattern, that whenever i was surfing, it screeched.
so i turned off my network, and yay! it works!

but now, lately, it's started screeching even without network running (wireless or cable doesnt matter) and it screeches all the ****ing time.

i've searched all over, and this seems to be the issue with All Firewire interfaces ive come across user reviews to.

(all models firewire)
Mackie Onyx 400F
M-audio
Presonus
RME fireface

didn't find any information on first search for echo audio, alesis io sollutions or focusrite cards...

Apparently all the manufacturers dont seem to care wether or not its gonna work for you, they've designed it for One setup, and it doesnt look like they tried a whole lot of diffrent computersetups and firewire chipsets before settling... most claim it will work using TI chipset, but thats simply not true. and it doesnt work with using a FW card hooked in either. for some perhaps, but not everyone.

So, a while back i saw this flashy comercial thing in a paper, from MOTU,
"USB2.0 is FAST" or something like that.

So, is firewire simply **** for mobile purposes? or do you need to be extremely informed on all chipsets on your computer before even buying a card? (this can be hard since i had to search forever and mail people before i found out what exactly was in my laptop)

So maybe USB20 is preferable?
and why hasn't Firewire interface makers informed consumers that they might get trouble? okay they might lose customers, but seriously, in the long run, who the hell's gonna trust a company that misinformed you for money? (not me)

and which company still makes stuff with some soul behind it? and not just money as their focus?

I am however curious if this is also the case with metric halo stuff... pretty hard to find anything from users...
Old 9th January 2007
  #2
Lives for gear
 
XHipHop's Avatar
On my macbook, i was originally using the litte headphone out into a pair of apple speakers and whenever i was surfing the web i was hearing a little faint crackle in the left speaker. Even if i turned the volume ALL THE WAY DOWN, i still heard that crackle.

After i got an echo audiofire 2 i started using that with a big set of minitors to listen to this comp. Just yesterday i noticed the same crackling in the left monitor. Even if i turn the volume all the way down in the echo interface software thing.

I have no clue what it is but i'll live with it because it only happens when i'm surfing the web.

So just to sum up...i hear the same thing through my apple headphone output built into the computer AND my soundcard.
Old 9th January 2007
  #3
Lives for gear
 
AlexLakis's Avatar
 

My 4 year-old Toshiba Satellite laptop has worked just fine with my Presonus Firepod. It also worked just fine with my DIGI 002. All firewire. The laptop certainly wasn't built with pro audio in mind, and isn't optimized for such. Guess I got lucky? Funny, cuz I don't usually have much luck with this kinda stuff...

One thing I can say is that the mini 1394 cables/connectors can be kinda iffy. Sometimes a little bump can set errors off. I'd recommend buying a nice firewire cable with good connectors, and keeping it out of harms way.

I can surf the web while recording 8 channels thru the Firepod...If you're experiencing crackles surfing the web or while moving the mouse, I'd suspect the video card.
Old 9th January 2007
  #4
Gear Nut
 
DonM's Avatar
 

It took me three laptops to get my MOTU Traveller to behave - Wireless off was a big part - and having the right 1394 card (TI chipset obviously) but I've done 16 tracks at 24/48 without a blip for very very long orchestral recordings now - knock on silicon...

-D
Old 9th January 2007
  #5
Gear Nut
 

I was struggling with this also... Without going into all the troubleshooting details, I determined that I just had to keep trying laptops until I found one that worked (have to buy from a retailer with a return policy of course!). I tried 3 different Toshiba Satellites without any luck (FWIW all of them were dual core - my wife's single processor Satellite M70 works great), and tried them with a bunch of different interfaces. Those computers just weren't going to work, regardless of how I tweaked the system. Recently got an HP pavilion dv5230 and it's GREAT. Works with everything straight out of the box. I think it's just about finding the right computer and hanging onto it. If it helps, I found that Intel chipsets work better than non-intel... Hope this helps. Brent
Old 9th January 2007
  #6
Lives for gear
 
danasti's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonM View Post

(TI chipset obviously)
That's the key with firewire that chipset is the best for audio via firewire, even with a desktop. At least for PT LE, IME. Also dump ultility software like virus stuff (Norton) and anything that performs checks or runs in the background.

Strip down the OS to a very fast and basic system and no AOL type stuff. Nothing hidden.
Old 9th January 2007
  #7
Gear addict
I think know what your issue is. It has to do with Windows and how it allocates IRQ addresses. I will spare you most of the geek-speak, but there are only a limited number of these little buggers available in a Windows system and what Windows does is share these between sources that it considers expendable. What you want/need to do is get your Firewire bus on it's own IRQ. Find out what IRQ it is currently using and what's being shared and find a way to unshare it (ie: try disabling anything else on it). Sounds to me like your firewire bus is being shared with the network and/or wireless card and this is what is causing the issue. I've also seen them shared with video cards, mouse ports and a few other wonderful items that don't seem to play well with audio interfaces.

Assuming you have a chipset that is compatable (usually TI, VIA or Lucent), and you do not have a card that is also playing host to something other than 1394 (USB 2 - Firewire combo for example) this is where I would start.

In XP, Right click "My Computer", select "properties", go to the "hardware" tab and select "device manager". In this screen select "view" and then select "resources by connection". This will list all your IRQ channels and show you what it using what. Let me know what you find and I can probably walk you through some things.

BTW, it's not firewire that is sheit, it's Windows. You'll have the same problems with USB 2 if you have more hardware than IRQs available to handle them.
Old 9th January 2007
  #8
Gear Head
 

Thread Starter
Okay, tried it now.

see, it's not when im surfing, thats what it was initialy, it actualy worked quite good until very recently, just a few days ago.

before, i fixed it with turning off wireless. worked flawlessly, long periods of time, weeks without thinking about it. sometimes hours even with web running.

but now recently, everything BUT Asio running programs works.
i can play winamp and surf no problem, sometimes, when wirless goes off and pops on again i get glitches, and btw, it's not small glitches, it's extremly distorted digital noise. Very ****ing hazardous to ears. :(

In any case, i see no way to fix this, i turned everything off in BIOS that i could, firewire has it's own IRQ (19) that it previously shared with some USB thing and PCI Express thing. but i disabled those...
and it's just the same...

wierd thing I'm not even pissed about it, just kindah tired. even though i have work to do that i need my card for.

So i'm gonna search around for people with a successful setup using HP Compaq nc8430 2x1.63ghz 1gb ram

Thanks
Old 9th January 2007
  #9
Lives for gear
 
AlexLakis's Avatar
 

Have you tried disabling your onboard sound? Perhaps that is conficting with your ASIO drivers? (common problem)
Old 9th January 2007
  #10
Gear Head
 

Thread Starter
yup tried that too.
Old 9th January 2007
  #11
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tnjazz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by verb View Post
I am however curious if this is also the case with metric halo stuff... pretty hard to find anything from users...
What are you asking?

I have a ULN-2 and a 2882. No screeching here, if that's what you mean.

Best interfaces I've ever owned, hands down.
Old 10th January 2007
  #12
Gear addict
Wow, ok. You obviously have another problem. What kind of firewire card do you currently have in this machine? Post me the make/model please. And another question, have you checked this machine lately for viruses and spyware?

You may very well have a bad unit but check these items first. If it was working, you have to ask youself "what changed'? Did you add hardware, software, or introduce some little nastiness to the system. If you can honestly say nothing than the unit itself would be suspect. Don't overlook the obvious.
Old 10th January 2007
  #13
Gear maniac
 
Windtaken's Avatar
 

isolate the problem first

is it really the computers fault?
try a different computer

is it an RF problem or isn't it?
are you in an apartment? Maybe someone around you just got wireless. Try putting your computer and/or breakout box in a shielded environment. Try the microwave

is it screeching all the time or intermittently?
is it random or does it seem to be caused by something you're doing?

you can't really blame the manufacturers for your problem just yet.

FWIW when I had weird sounds in my fireface, it was cause the buffer setting was too low. It would make sense if you're having the same problem now regardless if the buffer setting is too low.

Try putting your computer through a lot of work. Get the CPU and everything running hard. Does the screeching increase? It may be time to format your computer.
Old 10th January 2007
  #14
How many firewire devices are on the bus?
You can only run ONE at the time, if that is a converter.
Firewire daisy chaining is a joke. SCSI was a million times better.
good luck.
Old 10th January 2007
  #15
Gear Head
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by opium89 View Post
Wow, ok. You obviously have another problem. What kind of firewire card do you currently have in this machine? Post me the make/model please. And another question, have you checked this machine lately for viruses and spyware?

You may very well have a bad unit but check these items first. If it was working, you have to ask youself "what changed'? Did you add hardware, software, or introduce some little nastiness to the system. If you can honestly say nothing than the unit itself would be suspect. Don't overlook the obvious.
Okay, i dont know the firewire card...

where im looking it just says Texas Instruments OHCI compatible 1394 thingy

well it doesnt say thingy, but im translating from swedish here

hehe

I keep my machine clean of viruses and other stuff.
actualy the only thing i've installed since it worked is SSL freeware limiter, but i havent been able to try it...

i think i can honestly say that nothing changed that im aware of. i have windows updates On however, so my guess is some kindof update ****ed it all up.

im gonna buy another interface. i've realized im not gonan use the digital ins neway
Old 10th January 2007
  #16
Gear Head
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reptil View Post
How many firewire devices are on the bus?
You can only run ONE at the time, if that is a converter.
Firewire daisy chaining is a joke. SCSI was a million times better.
good luck.
only one. the ultralite.
Old 10th January 2007
  #17
Gear addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by verb View Post
Okay, i dont know the firewire card...

where im looking it just says Texas Instruments OHCI compatible 1394 thingy

well it doesnt say thingy, but im translating from swedish here

hehe

I keep my machine clean of viruses and other stuff.
actualy the only thing i've installed since it worked is SSL freeware limiter, but i havent been able to try it...

i think i can honestly say that nothing changed that im aware of. i have windows updates On however, so my guess is some kindof update ****ed it all up.

im gonna buy another interface. i've realized im not gonan use the digital ins neway
I'd personally be taking a much closer look at that firewire card but let us know how it turns out if you get another unit.

Good luck to ya!
Old 10th January 2007
  #18
Lives for gear
 
danasti's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by verb View Post

i have windows updates On however, so my guess is some kindof update ****ed it all up.
Anything running in the background, like I said before, can cause issues.

Cntrl-ALT-del, then click on processes will show you all the stuff running on your PC. You can set up different boot configurations.
Old 10th January 2007
  #19
I had a similar, somewhat subtle "electronic noise" problem (mouse-movement related, possibly video card related) with my Dell laptop and my MOTU 828mkII -- but ONLY when the MOTU audio out and the laptops sound out BOTH plugged into differenit inputs on the amp I use for my NS10m's.

The sound occurred in EITHER (or likely bothe simultaneously) audio output as long as they were both connected to the amp and the Firewire is conected.

When I brought in a new tower, with this in mind, I made sure I bought a Texas Instruments chipsetted FW PCI card, as MOTU recommends. No such problem under the same conditions.

Obviously, it's one thing to make sure you have a TI chipset when you're buying an add in card (I googled up Firewire cards along with "Texas Instruments" and got a number of options) -- it's a whole 'nother when you're buying a new laptop, it's hard to get that info, I suspect in a lot of cases. Hell, when I was looking for my laptop, I had enough trouble just finding the HDD drive speeds (one of the reasons I bought from Dells refurb store -- they actually have that info where a lot of other vendors don't. In fact, I thnk a lot of NEW Dell machines don't have that info in their wrire-ups.)
Old 11th January 2007
  #20
Gear addict
Old 11th January 2007
  #21
Gear nut
 
island-dave's Avatar
 

I've got a 3 year old 17" powerbook with both firewire 400 (to a mackie onyx interface) and firewire 800 (to the external hard drives) and haven't noticed any odd sounds.

I was getting a strange sound when I tried to connect my monitors directly to the headphone out jack, but it turned out to be the plug end of a 1/8" mini monster cable picking up some RF from the internal disk. I connected it to the Echo Indigo PCMCIA interface and the noise was gone...

good luck,

Dave-G
Old 9th June 2007
  #22
Gear interested
 

Noise/Ultralite

Quote:
Originally Posted by verb View Post
only one. the ultralite.
I've found that the MOTU drivers overwrite the registry entries for the MS FW Hotfix (KB885222). Try reinstalling the hotfix.

ramalama
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