Topic: Workaround for Fireface/iMac problem

I just received this from a Fireface user (David Berry):

"Following posts on the RMS forum on the website and on the Apple forum regarding the problem using an RME Fireface interface with the new metal iMac I have managed to create a work-around solution so that people can still use there Firefaces and iMacs together.

After some experimentation I have managed to get my Fireface 800 working perfectly. It seems there is a problem with the iMac connecting directly to certain Firewire devices (apparently Apple know that this is a problem and are presumably working on a fix).  It is easy to get round the problem by using an external harddrive to act as a hub (I use a Lacie Firewire Drive). Providing your harddrive has two firewire ports on the back you can get the harddrive to mount and then plug the Fireface 800 into the back on the other port. Bizarrely -- but more importantly if you are a musician -- the fireface cranks up and everything now works fine. I have tested playing all sorts of sounds out of the iMac - Music/DVD/Logic and it all works perfectly. I presume there is a fault in the driver or something on the iMac - but for now at least we can get on writing music until a fix is released..."



Regards,
Daniel Fuchs
RME

Re: Workaround for Fireface/iMac problem

thanks! great work!

now i am HAPPY!!!!

Re: Workaround for Fireface/iMac problem

Some more information is available here...

Apple Forum Firewire

Apple Forum iMac

Best

David

Re: Workaround for Fireface/iMac problem

it's ok for me


thanks for this workaround

5 (edited by paviglianiti 2007-08-31 19:13:27)

Re: Workaround for Fireface/iMac problem

New iMac 20", Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz, 1 G Ram\Fireface 400
Great, it works for me too! ...many excuses for blaming RME's drivers... as always simplicity is the right path to walk...daisy-chain, daisy-chain...
Just one more thing: it so happens that these major OS and Extensions failures always occur when brand new commercial-only operative systems (i.e. 10.5 Leopard)are thrown upon the market; I'm sure developers over at Apple do a great job, but I really can't prevent myself from thinking that business strategies stand foremost.Don't like feeling "forced" to buy anything!
Thanks again David Berry and you all guys at RME.

Ciaoooo Davide

Regards
Davide

6

Re: Workaround for Fireface/iMac problem

Some more information: It seems the problem is indeed hardware based. Apple for the first time uses a PCIe to FW controller in the new iMacs, from Agere. Obviously this one needs some driver optimizations to operate as good as the formerly used PCI TI chips.

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

Re: Workaround for Fireface/iMac problem

this is really annoying. I received my iMac today and spent 2 hours already trying to make this work..

here's for getting 1st generation macs...i should have known this by now....

just out of curiosity, does this behavior also happens with the fw800 connections (1394b)?

I'm using it using 1394a.

this is really annoying...

Re: Workaround for Fireface/iMac problem

i haven?t tried it with i 1394b connection yet... don?t have the cable.
but this workaraound functioned flawlessly until i started getting problems with stuttering. i?ve read about people experiencing the same thing, and the problem related too the ASA-controller they where connected too. i get a lot of pops and clicks on my recordings.

so probably the firewire connection between my external drive and mac isn?t capable of handling this sort of business all too well. i have also tried reducing the bandwidth used by the fireface. I hope apple brings us a solution soon...

Re: Workaround for Fireface/iMac problem

I don't have a fw800 cable as well, that's why I wanted to know before buying one. I connected it through a fw HD and it seems to be working fine but i haven't done any serious audio work. just listening itunes and stuff. so far so good.

my fear is that this is an underpowered fw plug and can't be fixed by software updates...

let's hope...

Re: Workaround for Fireface/iMac problem

pix wrote:

my fear is that this is an underpowered fw plug and can't be fixed by software updates

That?s my fear as well, especially after talking to some users of the new alu-iMac, and even apple-support.
That was the reason for me to cancel my order of the iMac and get the MacMini and the 20" apple-display instead. With this and the FF800 I have no problems whatsoever, at least as far as I can tell from the first day working with it.

MBPro(15"/2.33GHz/2GB), MacMini(2GHz/2GB),OSX Tiger10.4.10,LogicPro7,FF800

Re: Workaround for Fireface/iMac problem

pix wrote:

my fear is that this is an underpowered fw plug and can't be fixed by software updates...

a) The iMac issue is not about underpowered, since the FF800 is also affected.
b) Many new Macs (esp. Macbooks) have insufficient buspower to run the FF400. But it will work with the external power supply.


Regards,
Daniel Fuchs
RME

Re: Workaround for Fireface/iMac problem

I just ran into the same problem, connecting a FF800 to a new 24-inch/2.8GHz iMac via the 400 port; but connecting the FF800 directly to an iMac via the 800 port worked fine, without the need for a hub in between.

Mark.

Re: Workaround for Fireface/iMac problem

Apple released an update to the iMac today, but it only contained driver updates for the video cards, and i tested the FF800 afterwards, but there was nothing new.

Re: Workaround for Fireface/iMac problem

Hi Bob,

Yes, same MW. :-)

I only managed to spend an afternoon checking out the new iMac (running tests and the like), but it seemed completely stable once connected via the 800 port. It's true, there aren't so many PCIe options right now, and the iMac is certainly good value for money (the 2.8GHz model is pretty fast -- 180 PlatinumVerbs!) if you take into account the 24-inch monitor. I didn't try low buffer sizes on the iMac, but I've used the Fireface with a 32-sample buffer on a Mac Pro before.

Mark.

Re: Workaround for Fireface/iMac problem

So.... does the 800 connection work?  Forgive my ignorance, but I bought these things so I could "plug and play".  I dont have extra hard drives lying around to daiy chain, and I just want it all to work.  Who is responsible?  Apple?  is there a solution forth-cuming?  I'd appreciate a really simple "dumb-it-down-for-the-bass-player" response.   

Thanks all.  you do good work.

16 (edited by Holger 2007-09-23 12:23:53)

Re: Workaround for Fireface/iMac problem

I would like to share my experience with FF800/Mactel 2,66 GHz: at first launch all LEDs sequentially lit. I followed the workaround with PRAM reset -> works now with 400 and 800 Firewire.
EDIT: unfortunately only for one day... Today I was unable to bring it to life again. Oh oh...:(

Re: Workaround for Fireface/iMac problem

Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You !!!!!!

Re: Workaround for Fireface/iMac problem

I'm having the same problem. New Imac, New FF400. Won't sync or work at all. I have a Pleiades Icecube external hd that works flawlessly, tried piggy backing off this - no good. The FF400 appears to work fine with the previous model Intel iMac (same software, Logic 8, etc).
Latest firmware, drivers, fully updated OSX, reset iMac, no joy.
Any suggestions? I'm almost ready to return the iMac to Apple!
Cheers, Nado.

19 (edited by toto 2007-10-27 17:07:29)

Re: Workaround for Fireface/iMac problem

The ff 800 cable works fine with me, but i had to drive 8 hours to get it.

Re: Workaround for Fireface/iMac problem

new iMac update available

Re: Workaround for Fireface/iMac problem

The iMac update didn't help me at least. (FF400)

22 (edited by Lotus 2007-11-17 14:00:46)

Re: Workaround for Fireface/iMac problem

Hi,
I'm really new at this and i would appreciate a bit of help because i'm not sure i understand whats happening. I've just bought a iMac 2.4 with silver casing. It came with Tiger not Leopard. I also bought a Fireface 400 because i was told it would be the best interface for me. I can't seem to get it working. The Fireface Mixer will only display the matrix window, not the input, output etc when asked. Also i just can't get any sounds to come out!
My iMac is not connected to the internet, my other computer is and when i tried to download the driver update to see if that would work i just got a load of weird text all over the screen, nothing i could save to a memory stick and put in the iMac.
Please Help!!!!
Bear in mind that i'm an idiot when it comes to technology!!!!

Lotus

Re: Workaround for Fireface/iMac problem

My Imac 2.4 Intel Core 2 Duo (running 10.5.1, 3 gig memory) will not recognize my FF800 even after using my firewire drive as a hub, or using my powered hub as a hub. I hope this problem can be resolved quickly by SOMEONE who is aware of the issue or my FF800 will be unusable.

Re: Workaround for Fireface/iMac problem

Lotus wrote:

when i tried to download the driver update to see if that would work i just got a load of weird text all over the screen

Right-click the link, "save target as"

Just clicking on the file link works in Safari, but other browsers don't know how to handle the file.

Regards,
Jeff Petersen
Synthax Inc.

Re: Workaround for Fireface/iMac problem

Hi everyone,

How are things going for all the imac/firewire victims? No new posts here within a week - does that mean, everybody got their system working? Would be good news for me since I ordered a new imac aswell (didn't know about the firewire problems earlier).


Regards

Andreas

fireface 800 imac24/2,8GHz/4GB/1TB

Re: Workaround for Fireface/iMac problem

Another soon-to-be-iMac/FF400 owner here. 9-pin/6-pin cable ready and waiting...

Regards,
Todd Lawton

Re: Workaround for Fireface/iMac problem

New iMac + FF400 + 9-pin/6-pin cable = working great. Took 2 minutes for this Mac n00b to set up. Thank you RME smile

Regards,
Todd Lawton

28 (edited by astroschnautzer 2007-12-13 15:23:45)

Re: Workaround for Fireface/iMac problem

New iMac + FF400 + 9-pin/6-pin cable = NOT WORKING!!!! All the same hickups as before and fireface software acting funny.... Driver shows up in software as "fireface 400 (E7B)" ,is this normal? FF400 works great on pc...DAMN! I?m running leopard.

Re: Workaround for Fireface/iMac problem

astroschnautzer: which driver version are you using?

Regards,
Todd Lawton

Re: Workaround for Fireface/iMac problem

Todd wrote:

astroschnautzer: which driver version are you using?

newest.

Re: Workaround for Fireface/iMac problem

Have you tried using 2.55b, from the included driver CD? This works fine for me. Would be interesting to see if we have exactly the same problem...

Regards,
Todd Lawton

Re: Workaround for Fireface/iMac problem

Also, eslewhere in this forum (some way back), it's suggested that plugging the FW400 cable into the right-hand-side FW400 port (assuming you're viewing the unit from the back) might help.

Regards,
Todd Lawton

Re: Workaround for Fireface/iMac problem

Todd wrote:

Also, eslewhere in this forum (some way back), it's suggested that plugging the FW400 cable into the right-hand-side FW400 port (assuming you're viewing the unit from the back) might help.

nope, does not help. Will try the old driver.....

Re: Workaround for Fireface/iMac problem

Todd wrote:

Have you tried using 2.55b, from the included driver CD? This works fine for me. Would be interesting to see if we have exactly the same problem...

no, this does not work either... even worse: The fireface software keeps on popping up activating itself so you cannot use any other program on the computer, had to install the 260a back.

Re: Workaround for Fireface/iMac problem

I?m new to macs, what about if I clean the whole computer and install leopard again, do you think it could work? On pc:s when you couldnt get something to work this helped often.

Re: Workaround for Fireface/iMac problem

No joy using the right hand side FW for me, either. I have the same software problem asastroschnautzer, but not with 2.55b. Am reluctant to mess about installing different FWAudio extensions (as mentioned here) while everything is working OK under the old driver. I remember someone mentioning in one of these threads that reinstalling Leopard and putting the RME driver in first fixed his problem, but without knowing the specifics of his problem, why doing this worked and if it's certain to work for everyone, I'd hold back on touching your OS until the RME guys have had a chance to respond.

Regards,
Todd Lawton

Re: Workaround for Fireface/iMac problem

Todd wrote:

No joy using the right hand side FW for me, either. I have the same software problem asastroschnautzer, but not with 2.55b. Am reluctant to mess about installing different FWAudio extensions (as mentioned here) while everything is working OK under the old driver. I remember someone mentioning in one of these threads that reinstalling Leopard and putting the RME driver in first fixed his problem, but without knowing the specifics of his problem, why doing this worked and if it's certain to work for everyone, I'd hold back on touching your OS until the RME guys have had a chance to respond.

well , I havent got anything important on my computer since I have not been able to make music because of this problem, so i may as well try this because i havegot the time and it could always get my soundcard working , wich would be nice.

Re: Workaround for Fireface/iMac problem

Incidentally astroschnautzer, since our problems are   obviously similar but not identical, what spec is your iMac? I'm running a 20" 2.4 2gb, OS X.5... A lot of people are reporting problems with subtle differences. I wonder if the specification is affecting this, or if it's just "luck".

Regards,
Todd Lawton

Re: Workaround for Fireface/iMac problem

Todd wrote:

Incidentally astroschnautzer, since our problems are   obviously similar but not identical, what spec is your iMac? I'm running a 20" 2.4 2gb, OS X.5... A lot of people are reporting problems with subtle differences. I wonder if the specification is affecting this, or if it's just "luck".

24" 2,4 3gb os x 10.5.  Tried to install leopard again: does not work even with the old driver.

Re: Workaround for Fireface/iMac problem

This is very frustrating, I thought that if I buy apple and rme things will definetly work as it should without any "pc" problems etc, way was I wrong... I guess I have to sell the imac or the fireface...well I think I will be selling the fireface although its not rme:s fault but apples or ageres or whateveritwas.

Re: Workaround for Fireface/iMac problem

Hmm. Just don't get anything from Tapco/Tascam/Mackie instead, as they're clearly having the same problems! ;-)

Regards,
Todd Lawton

Re: Workaround for Fireface/iMac problem

People seem to be reporting similar issues regarding MOTU products elsewhere...

Regards,
Todd Lawton

Re: Workaround for Fireface/iMac problem

My FF400 is currently playing back with NO driver installed. With 2.60, the FF itself is recognised by the computer (i.e. it doesn't remain in Host mode) and again plays back fine, but Settings goes crazy and won't talk to the FF. With 2.55b, everything works fine. Who can explain THAT... neutral

Regards,
Todd Lawton

Re: Workaround for Fireface/iMac problem

Hi everybody, I am also new to Mac, with a new 20"imac and a Fireface800.
I am with Leopard.
As mentionned, nothing was working with a firewire400 cable, but with a FW800 (9/9) everything works but (BUT !) when I plug an audio device (static mic, akg 414), and want to record with Logic studio, I can't receive any sound.
However, in the Fireface Total Mix board, the sound is coming.
I am also new to home recording and any information would be very usefull...

Re: Workaround for Fireface/iMac problem

10.5.1 arrived last night, for me. Anyone with a broken FF care to tell us if Apple magically fixed the problem? wink

Regards,
Todd Lawton

Re: Workaround for Fireface/iMac problem

Todd wrote:

10.5.1 arrived last night, for me. Anyone with a broken FF care to tell us if Apple magically fixed the problem? wink

it arrived long time ago for me, did not fix it.

Re: Workaround for Fireface/iMac problem

works now with alu imac 24 through a fw800 harddisk!!

Re: Workaround for Fireface/iMac problem

My IMAC (2.8 ghz) just arrived, I want to buy a Fireface. Is this smart, or shall I take my PC again?

Re: Workaround for Fireface/iMac problem

I have the same iMac and it runs perfectly with a fireface 800. I have it directly connected with the fw800 port through a fw800 cable.

fireface 800 imac24/2,8GHz/4GB/1TB

Re: Workaround for Fireface/iMac problem

"I have the same iMac and it runs perfectly with a fireface 800. I have it directly connected with the fw800 port through a fw800 cable."

Has this approach been researched and approved by RME?  Is it pretty certain that the FF800 will work with the new iMac's through the fw800 port? 

I ask because I have a FF800 and have been planning to get an iMac.  If this is a proven/approved solution, great!  So...what does RME say about this solution? 

BTW, I have been very happy with the FF800 so far, but it's time to update my computer, my old G4 is getting older every day.