Re: Hardware Alert: FireWire solutions with Agere FW chip

Hi,

I have a macbook pro that works perfectly with my fireface 400 (apart the mbp headphone output hiss and tone noise problem ) but now i would like to buy an imac too. I would connect the fireface 400 to the s400 port of an external 500 gb G-drive connected to the Imac firewire 800 port. Will this configuration work?or i need to daisychain through firewire 800 only?


Thanks

202

Re: Hardware Alert: FireWire solutions with Agere FW chip

2) Use the Belkin FireWire Hub, don't know if there are dropout audios or but 2 or 3 users are saying that this works... how good?
-> in the next days the belkin hub (ebay) will arrive - I'll tell you if it (hopefully) works! Otherwise I'll buy the apogee ensemble - this will work also with iMacs...
3) Use a F800 to F400 but Meld is saying that he has the audio dropouts... (anybody else tested?)
-> the cable didn't work for me...

203 (edited by diafebus 2009-01-11 14:22:35)

Re: Hardware Alert: FireWire solutions with Agere FW chip

diafebus wrote:

well i own an iMac 2,66ghz 20'' aluminium...
the same problems as everybody who owns them.

I readed the f*cking 4 pages and i have no solution... maybe it's better to change topic title.. u.U
well to resume this all 4 pages I think that there are 3 solutions..
1) Use a Lacie HD to use as a hub, I tried with 2 HDs, one Iomega(don't work) and Lacie(working, but this HD is not mine...) and i had the dropout audio in playbac, not in recording so... no alarming but disturbing to follow the audio...
2) Use the Belkin FireWire Hub, don't know if there are dropout audios or but 2 or 3 users are saying that this works... how good?
3) Use a F800 to F400 but Meld is saying that he has the audio dropouts... (anybody else tested?)

*EDIT 4) the repeater wire of firewire linked here... i'll try this one wink http://www.lindy.de/ieee1394a-firewire- … 32908.html or here http://www.lindy.co.uk/firewire-extensi … 32908.html

well can anybody up the more information for that 3 points which will be more useful to people than discusing about chipsets...

thank you! by the way! i tried RME FF400 thru a G5 and it seems to be high quality! tongue... hope to use with my iMac...

ok so we've got 4 possible solutions and one guy is going to test point 2, let's see how do it will work heheeh then i found the repeater cable... http://www.lindy.co.uk/firewire-extensi … 32908.html from UK... i'm registered there because i don't understand deutsch and i don't know why the account from .co.uk do not works in .de web page, so i'll send a mail them to see if they can send the item to me in spain!

is the same wire than here? http://cgi.ebay.es/Firewire-Active-Repe … .m63.l1177 i'll try it, is not so expensive.

Re: Hardware Alert: FireWire solutions with Agere FW chip

I?m still amazed that either RME or Apple has made any (visible) attempts to solve this ridiculous problem! It?s like two grumpy kids blaming each other. I?m also starting to doubt RME since all other FW-interfaces seams to work with Lucent (or are they not working as well as they could have with another FW-chip)?

205

Re: Hardware Alert: FireWire solutions with Agere FW chip

Grumpy kids often come with ridiculous statements, that's right. RME interfaces do not have any problem with Lucent chips.

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

Re: Hardware Alert: FireWire solutions with Agere FW chip

Timur wrote:

This Repeater cable work like a charm for the Fireface 400: http://www.lindy.de/ieee1394a-firewire- … 32908.html

no audio dropout? if not i'll buy immediatley
thanks,

Re: Hardware Alert: FireWire solutions with Agere FW chip

Hi, I got the Lindy Repeater and the FW400 works fine with my MBP now. What exactly is this cable doing to make it work?

Could I please recommend that you ask all your stockists to issue a warning about compatibility with the MBP and point the in the direction of the cable. It should be flagged on your site (*definitely* in the support section) as a cure. If make more of an effort to inform your customers before they purchase then it will save them a lot of time!

Thanks,

Alex

Re: Hardware Alert: FireWire solutions with Agere FW chip

A couple of questions regarding the repeater fix:

1. Does it have to be that particular repeater? There are similar items closes to home on ebay such as:
Firewire Repeater (Ebay)

2. Anyone else have any luck with info on driver/firmware updates?

3. Do you need a hub or can you just use the repeater cable?

----------------

I just purchased a macbook white as a more inexpensive laptop to use with my firewire interface for live/home and thought it was the interface. when i tried different cables and a second unit and had the same problem, i started searching and found out I had the crappy lucent chip as well. Since I purchased my mac through a 3rd party with financing and all that, they won't take it back so i need a fix of some sort

I just don't want to spend extra money getting something from the UK while I'm way over here in Canada and could get something less expensive. Thanks all for the ongoing research and info.

-Dave

209

Re: Hardware Alert: FireWire solutions with Agere FW chip

You can just use the repeater cable. A FW hub like in the external Lacie or WD HDs is a (multiport) repeater and works the same way.
The Lindy repeater cable is tested and fixes the Firewire problems of the LSI/Agere FW chip built into the recent Apple notebooks and iMacs. Other repeater cables and FW hubs should also work but are not tested, so there is no guarantee for success.

The upcoming revision 7 of LSI/Agere chip seems to work without the problem. We don?t know, when the new chip will replace the current revision 6 in Apple products, but will of course post it here when solid information are available.   

best regards
Knut

Re: Hardware Alert: FireWire solutions with Agere FW chip

Is there any word on this fix working with other companies' products such as motu?

Re: Hardware Alert: FireWire solutions with Agere FW chip

Fattcamp;3822348 wrote:

A couple of questions regarding the repeater fix:

1. Does it have to be that particular repeater? There are similar items closes to home on ebay such as:

Looks to be exactly the same as the Lindy one. I don't think there are others on the market anyway.

3. Do you need a hub or can you just use the repeater cable?

You just use the repeater cable as if it was a normal cable. No hub or anything else needed. In fact it is sort of a one port hub.

There are some 1-port hub (one input one output) solutions out there, usually for industrial use-cases with even screw-on ports. You could try one of those, too. But the Lindy cable (which that ebay offer seems to be) is a proven solution (by me :-P).

Re: Hardware Alert: FireWire solutions with Agere FW chip

MC wrote:

RME interfaces do not have any problem with Lucent chips.

?

213 (edited by y0wza 2009-02-10 17:09:49)

Re: Hardware Alert: FireWire solutions with Agere FW chip

Admin Knut wrote:

The upcoming revision 7 of LSI/Agere chip seems to work without the problem. We don?t know, when the new chip will replace the current revision 6 in Apple products, but will of course post it here when solid information are available.   

best regards
Knut

Curious if you know what the identification of rev 7 of the LSI/Agere chip looks like. When I hold down Command + S on the iMAC it shows the 1394 information as 'OHCI Lucent ID 5901'. I'm not sure if the 5901 is a revision identification or what. Any thoughts? Also, under boot camp there was no way in Windows XP to see the 1394 hardware identification. This was all done at an Apple store so I had no way to use any third party apps.

Re: Hardware Alert: FireWire solutions with Agere FW chip

i have the same problem i have the new aluminium macbook pro and FF400. will a express card/34 slot firewire which can be attached to the macbook pro  help...to solve this problem if it has a different chipset, and how far is the hardisk daisy chaining successful....pls comment..

Re: Hardware Alert: FireWire solutions with Agere FW chip

I just bought the new white MacBook (Jan 09 with Nvidia), it has Lucent ID 5903 chipset. So far everything seems to work just fine with my fireface400, have been testing it for a while. I am not using any hubs or hard drives between the mb and ff.

Just thought to mention.

216

Re: Hardware Alert: FireWire solutions with Agere FW chip

balanced wrote:

I just bought the new white MacBook (Jan 09 with Nvidia), it has Lucent ID 5903 chipset. So far everything seems to work just fine with my fireface400, have been testing it for a while. I am not using any hubs or hard drives between the mb and ff.

Just thought to mention.

Could you please put bootcamped vista/windows 7 on it, do some testing and let us know? Be sure to try the expresscard!

Thanks
Randy

Re: Hardware Alert: FireWire solutions with Agere FW chip

balanced wrote:

I just bought the new white MacBook (Jan 09 with Nvidia), it has Lucent ID 5903 chipset. So far everything seems to work just fine with my fireface400, have been testing it for a while. I am not using any hubs or hard drives between the mb and ff.

Just thought to mention.

Does it run fine at 32 samples?

218 (edited by balanced 2009-02-14 06:07:15)

Re: Hardware Alert: FireWire solutions with Agere FW chip

Randy:

Unfortunately I do not have the time to start installing and testing win on this machine right now, sorry.. (I switched finally after 10 years of win ups and downs to get rid of most of the testing, so far seems to work..)

This model does not have expresscard slot.

Gilbert:

Have not tested yet at 32 samples since I do not need so low latencies but can test later, probably this weekend. Seemed to work pretty ok at 128 samples, if I remember right. I could put about 70% load on processor in Live (according to CPU Live meter) without glitches. Comparable to my HP nx9420 with pretty similar specs and TI chipset/XP.

This test gave me about 61% of CPU burden with 8 tracks.


Cheers

219 (edited by balanced 2009-02-14 06:04:17)

Re: Hardware Alert: FireWire solutions with Agere FW chip

Gilbert, I am running my ff400 at 32 samples and playing back a Live set while writing this. Performance is not great of course, 15% CPU hit while running the Live "editing arrangements" tutorial while enabling ins and outs 1-8. But it seems to work without dropouts. If I use fx to burden the CPU over 25% (Live meter) it seems to start dropping out (the playback at least)

Since I was checking out this forum and thread particularly myself before ordering my Macbook (white Jan 09 with Nvidia) I thought this could interest some.

Remember this is just one configuration and maybe all the new white Macbooks are not made of precisely similar parts. I played it safe and ordered through Apple store so I have still some days left to return it if it would not work for some reason. At least in my location (Finland) it works this way.

Cheers

Edit: btw it seems that my ff400 is running fine with firewire bus power. my ff400 serial is 22678597, I remember this had something to do with it being able to do this?

220

Re: Hardware Alert: FireWire solutions with Agere FW chip

I'm a bit confused. The Mac Books do not have FW anymore. Are you saying you bought a new 13" model and this one does have again? Can not see it on the site you linked to...

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

221

Re: Hardware Alert: FireWire solutions with Agere FW chip

It?s the "old" white plastic Macbook with new internal hardware, which is still sold by Apple.

Re: Hardware Alert: FireWire solutions with Agere FW chip

Exactly. Apple just updated the display adapter, frontside bus and put more memory on that basic model for the old price. Since the display adapter is the same as in the new Macbooks and Snow Leopard will support OpenCL this could be good. I guess nobody yet knows precisely what the OpenCL will do for OSX though.

223

Re: Hardware Alert: FireWire solutions with Agere FW chip

Aaaah, thanks.

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

Re: Hardware Alert: FireWire solutions with Agere FW chip

balanced wrote:

If I use fx to burden the CPU over 25% (Live meter) it seems to start dropping out (the playback at least)

So? the performance of the Lusent (Agere) chips is apparently not so good... On a good machine, you should be able to push it to at least 80% CPU load without dropouts at the lowest latency setting.

Re: Hardware Alert: FireWire solutions with Agere FW chip

Gilbert wrote:
balanced wrote:

If I use fx to burden the CPU over 25% (Live meter) it seems to start dropping out (the playback at least)

So… the performance of the Lusent (Agere) chips is apparently not so good... On a good machine, you should be able to push it to at least 80% CPU load without dropouts at the lowest latency setting.

I don't think this is a problem of the LSI/Agere performance, but rather of Ableton Live. Using the same set on the same hardware I can get only upto around 50% CPU load (Live's meter) on OS X at 64 samples, but upto around 65% on Windows. The number of tracks is 30% higher on Windows then. At 512 samples there is a hard wall at 80% in Ableton Live on OS X, but on Windows you can go upto 100%.

So using Live on OS X for measuring hardware performance seems like a bad basis to begin with.

Additionally I used a TI based ExpressCard and it used around 3-5% more CPU load with the very same setup. The ExpressCard chipset might be to blame for this though (is it the same as the FW chipset?)!

Re: Hardware Alert: FireWire solutions with Agere FW chip

Gilbert wrote:
balanced wrote:

If I use fx to burden the CPU over 25% (Live meter) it seems to start dropping out (the playback at least)

So? the performance of the Lusent (Agere) chips is apparently not so good... On a good machine, you should be able to push it to at least 80% CPU load without dropouts at the lowest latency setting.

Are you running Live also Gilbert? Just wondering what laptop would do that at 32 samples?

Re: Hardware Alert: FireWire solutions with Agere FW chip

balanced wrote:
Gilbert wrote:
balanced wrote:

If I use fx to burden the CPU over 25% (Live meter) it seems to start dropping out (the playback at least)

So? the performance of the Lusent (Agere) chips is apparently not so good... On a good machine, you should be able to push it to at least 80% CPU load without dropouts at the lowest latency setting.

Are you running Live also Gilbert? Just wondering what laptop would do that at 32 samples?

Nope, Cubase. But I don't see why Live would be any different in this regard?

Re: Hardware Alert: FireWire solutions with Agere FW chip

Try running Coolbook with CPU Load at 10 (demo version wont allow to set CPU clock-rates directly).

Re: Hardware Alert: FireWire solutions with Agere FW chip

Gilbert wrote:
balanced wrote:

If I use fx to burden the CPU over 25% (Live meter) it seems to start dropping out (the playback at least)

So? the performance of the Lusent (Agere) chips is apparently not so good... On a good machine, you should be able to push it to at least 80% CPU load without dropouts at the lowest latency setting.

Thanks for your comment Gilbert. I grabbed my old MOTU 828 mk1 from the shelf and started comparing latencies. At 64 samples myff400 seemed to start dropping out at 56% of cpu burden while 828 made it til 75% when playing a Live set. the difference was quite a few reverbs..

hmph.. What is exactly your experience, does the firewire hub/drive between the ff and mb effect on this or is this the best I can get? If so I might need to find a new home for my ff.

230 (edited by Timur 2009-02-17 11:41:24)

Re: Hardware Alert: FireWire solutions with Agere FW chip

balanced wrote:

At 64 samples myff400 seemed to start dropping out at 56% of cpu burden while 828 made it til 75% when playing a Live set. the difference was quite a few reverbs..

This is about the same results I get with a FF400 on OS X and Ableton Live. If this can be fixed via a driver update then I'm all for it, especially since you get the better retults with the 828.

For me Live shows the same resuls (and 20-30% performance difference between OS X and Windows) not only with the FF400 though, but also with the NI Kore 1 and the inbuild Realtek. But the fact that you can reach upto 75% really seems to tell us that it's all in the drivers.

Re: Hardware Alert: FireWire solutions with Agere FW chip

the drivers or the drivers and the hardware.. quote from the motu tech notes:

"If the FireWire installer warns you that you're running a FireWire card with the NEC chip, you should replace said card with a card that uses the TI (Texas Instruments) or LSI (formlery Lucent/Agere) chip."

so they are are actually saying that this supposedly crap agere is ok for them. at least it seems to work..


would be nice to have a comment on this from the RME side.

232

Re: Hardware Alert: FireWire solutions with Agere FW chip

hallo zusammen/yo

the new 17" Macbook Pro has hit the apple stores here in sunny california. Who wants to go down and find out what the revision of the firewire chip is? I'd go but am tied up today.

233

Re: Hardware Alert: FireWire solutions with Agere FW chip

We would be interested too. The 17" MBP has not reached German retail stores yet.

best regards
Knut

Re: Hardware Alert: FireWire solutions with Agere FW chip

Randy wrote:

hallo zusammen/yo

the new 17" Macbook Pro has hit the apple stores here in sunny california. Who wants to go down and find out what the revision of the firewire chip is? I'd go but am tied up today.

+1 here's hoping it's the rev 7...

Re: Hardware Alert: FireWire solutions with Agere FW chip

There is an older outdated LSI chip available (PCI based) which should also work with the fireface.
The newer PCIE chips from LSI are called FW643 (FW800, PCI ID 5901) and FW533 (FW400, PCI ID 5903). You need Rev. 7 of these chips to run with the fireface without workaround. They are also called FW643-E and FW533-E.

/Uwe

balanced wrote:

the drivers or the drivers and the hardware.. quote from the motu tech notes:

"If the FireWire installer warns you that you're running a FireWire card with the NEC chip, you should replace said card with a card that uses the TI (Texas Instruments) or LSI (formlery Lucent/Agere) chip."

so they are are actually saying that this supposedly crap agere is ok for them. at least it seems to work..


would be nice to have a comment on this from the RME side.

236

Re: Hardware Alert: FireWire solutions with Agere FW chip

I am about to order the latest MBP 2.4G ,I think it has the Lucent 5901 chip , can anyone tell me if this works with the FF800 , I don't really want to add a express card if possible . And also can anyone explain how to check to see if the Chip is REV 7  or REV 6 .
I had the the FF800 plugged into the latest White Macbook with the 5903 (fw400)Chip and everything seemed to work ok.

Confused ?

Re: Hardware Alert: FireWire solutions with Agere FW chip

Hi,
Ive read this with interest after battling and failing to get fireface 800 working on Belkin 1394B firewire 800 card Card Part # F5U602. Can you test on this card please and determine if it should also be a blacklisted interface?
(I successfully got ff800 to work under Windows XP SP3 using a different onboard FW400 port.)

I have now ordered a Lacie FW800 card to see if that makes a difference.

The firewire 800 behaviour is curious. I have no other device to test FW800 and I notice that upon reboot , XP resets the sidspeeed for the belkin card to 2 (ie 400/800). At no stage was I ever able to click on the 1394b network adaptor in network connections and see any speed other than 400Mbps.

In device manager , upon clicking on the fireface 800, the usual message was ; 'the device is enabled but not functioning properly'



Setup details:

Fireface800:
hardware rev: 2.7
driver: 2.95
driver date: 30-1-09

system details:

Operation system (version/service pack) : windows XP SP3 (with hotfix from  article 955408) running on Gigabyte EP45 extreme motherboard with Intel quad core.
RAM amount ; maximum (4 Gb)
Network adapters ; onboard realtek RTL8168  CP8111 PCIE gigabit ethernet.
Graphic card ; Gigabyte gv-3d1 dual 6600GT 256Mb
Other installed soundcards ; 2 x M-audio 1010LT, and driver for MOTU 828MkII is still installed though no longer used except through fireface ADAT.
A native instruments USB audio device is installed
5 x MIDI USB devices are installed (2 x CME, 1 x emagic, 1 x akai mpd24, 1 x Yamaha 256)
Which audio software (version) shows the problem?; I dont even get that far. THe problem is erratic but either I cannot boot
the PC, or Adobe Audition 3/ Ableton live 7.14  hangs when it tries to access fireface or clicking on taskbar fireface icons has no effect. sometimes the interface does not initialise correctly (red light still on when windows has booted)

238

Re: Hardware Alert: FireWire solutions with Agere FW chip

ctgarvey wrote:

I have now ordered a Lacie FW800 card to see if that makes a difference.

When I'm interested in a  firewire card, I go to the manufacturer website, look in the user manual and sometimes can determine what firewire chip they are using. Either they state it, or show you for windows what you'll see in device manager. Device manager will usually show whether its TI, ricoh, or agere or whatever.

Cheers
Randy

Re: Hardware Alert: FireWire solutions with Agere FW chip

Hello guys,
I did a video to show that the newest MacBook Pro 2.53Mhz (early 2009) works perfectly with the FF400.

How to use RME Fireface 400 with the newest MacBook Pro 2.53Mhz (early 2009):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVw9pBT_oX8

I basically use a HardDrive FF800 La Cie D2 Extrem as a HUB. Works good smile

Those machine are beast !!

icipascal

Re: Hardware Alert: FireWire solutions with Agere FW chip

Just bought the latest MBP 15" (2.4 alu model) and it has the Lucent chipset. The FF400 doesn't work via the FW800 port, like described the FF seems to reset itself after a couple of seconds. Nevertheless the ExpressCard workaround works flawless so far:

http://www.exsys.ch/index.php?main_page … cts_id=306

Thought i just share that experience.

Re: Hardware Alert: FireWire solutions with Agere FW chip

marcus wrote:

Just bought the latest MBP 15" (2.4 alu model) and it has the Lucent chipset. The FF400 doesn't work via the FW800 port, like described the FF seems to reset itself after a couple of seconds. Nevertheless the ExpressCard workaround works flawless so far:

http://www.exsys.ch/index.php?main_page … cts_id=306

Thought i just share that experience.

According to RME, the problem is fixed, I'm not to sure though...

Re: Hardware Alert: FireWire solutions with Agere FW chip

MC wrote:

RME interfaces do not have any problem with Lucent chips.

...

Re: Hardware Alert: FireWire solutions with Agere FW chip

I am using the Lindy repeater cable somewhat successfully. I still encounter some odd audio distortion with Sound Toys plugins (but only via Audio Units not the VST versions). Periodically my entire system has this distortion. I unplug the Fireface but then OSX won't make any sound (even if it all appears like it should). I plug the Fireface back in and it then won't make a sound. I restart the computer and everything is fine again.

The system-wide distortion is so similar to the Sound Toys distortion that it's definitely the same culprit causing it. I'm thinking the RME drivers are at fault, though I wonder if the Agere Firewire port on the machine could be contributing in some way?

Has anyone tested performance with the different Firewire chips? Do they make a difference? Is there better performance with a TI chip? I want to keep my card slot for the UAD-Solo but I also want my machine to perform reliably!

It annoys me a bit that RME have not explained why this problem affects their products but not those from other manufacturers. I'm sure you could buy an Apogee product and not worry at all!

Is there any word on an actual solution to the problem from Apple? From Lucent? From RME?

Regards,

Alex

244

Re: Hardware Alert: FireWire solutions with Agere FW chip

I had the same thought as Alexaz about selling my FF800 and buying the Apogee Ensemble. Having read some older reviews on the Apogee they had the same problems with the firewire chip in the Macbook Pro but have fixed the problem with the mid 2007 driver updates and now guarantee that their products will work with the latest macbook pro. Is it not possible for RME to do the same or is the problem bigger than that ? I would prefer to keep the ff800 but if it doesn't work properly with the Macbook pro when it arrives it will be just another ff800 on Ebay.

Nuff

Re: Hardware Alert: FireWire solutions with Agere FW chip

alexaz wrote:

It annoys me a bit that RME have not explained why this problem affects their products but not those from other manufacturers.

The reason for this is that this is simply not the case... See this Gearslutz thread, which has been mentioned here many times...

Distortion issues are not usually a symptom of the Agere/LSI issue.

Regards
Daniel Fuchs
RME

Re: Hardware Alert: FireWire solutions with Agere FW chip

Nuff wrote:

I would prefer to keep the ff800 but if it doesn't work properly with the Macbook pro when it arrives it will be just another ff800 on Ebay.

It will work with the repeater cable or a FW 800 connection.

Regards
Daniel Fuchs
RME

247 (edited by alexaz 2009-03-19 20:23:11)

Re: Hardware Alert: FireWire solutions with Agere FW chip

Daniel,

I apologize, you are correct that the the problem has nothing to do with the Agere/LSI issue.

In fact, I have just made an interesting discovery. The audio unit versions of the Sound Toys plugins distort if I have a buffer size selected that is not a multiple of 32. So with a buffer size of 32, no problems. Buffer size of 33, distortion. The weird thing is this doesn't happen with the VST versions. Most sequencers normally restrict you to multiples of 32 so I don't know why Ableton does it differently.

Anyway, I've noticed a few users post about Sound Toys distortion on here and for your reference the problem goes away with a buffer size that is a multiple of 32.

Thanks,

Alex

Re: Hardware Alert: FireWire solutions with Agere FW chip

I should say, this doesn't happen with the internal soundcard. 32 and 33 work fine as a buffer size. So it is unique to the RME (Fireface). If you look at your forum or do a google search you will see some other reports of RME/Sound Toys problems and indeed Sound Toys themselves have told me they have been told about it.

249

Re: Hardware Alert: FireWire solutions with Agere FW chip

Thanks for that feedback!

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

Re: Hardware Alert: FireWire solutions with Agere FW chip

No problems... any ideas on what is special about buffer sizes that are multiples of 32? I could make a guess to do with squares and binary and stuff but it'd just be a guess from a non-mathematician non-programmer so... !