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HELP! Firewire + Workstation Problem (High freq. Whistle)

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by Unheard, Feb 1, 2011.

  1. Unheard

    Unheard Active Member

    Hello everyone,

    A while back i purchased a Yamaha Motif XF6 (A synth Workstation), and i connected this device to my P6T Motherboard Firewire slot. 6 pin <-> 6 pin.
    Also, my KRK's are connected to the back of the Motif XF6.

    Everything works fine UNTIL i plug in the Firewire connector from the PC to the Motif to Record.

    It starts to make a very high Frequency Whisle/Noise/Beep. Its not VERY loud, but it gets VERY annoying after a few minutes.

    Here's some things i tried to fix this problem:
    -Plugged the AC Plugs in other boxes
    -Played around with the cables to see if the signal got better (no)
    -Got a PCI Firewire card, didn't work.
    -Got a better isolating Firewire cable - Didn't work.

    I THINK it has to do with the fact there's already a AC plug running to the Motif, and with the 6-pin FW plug (which also delivers some electricity) they kinda crash into eachother somehow.

    ... I hope you clearly understand my problem, else ill be happy to clearify some things.

    Thanks in advance Everyone!!

  2. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    This sounds like a feedback loop in the DAW routing. Make sure the output of the DAW isn't somehow feeding the inputs.
  3. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Is the whistle a continuous pure tone or does it change in character or intensity as you perform different actions in the computer?

    Does the Motif run when just powered through the FireWire cable? If so, do you get the whistle when configured like this?
  4. Unheard

    Unheard Active Member

    TheJackAttack: This sound is also around without any programs started up, though, i did try to change the sample rate, the whistle does change, but doesn't go away.

    Bosswell: It does kind of change, also - What i noticed is that it reacts to my Harddrive, when something loads up - The whistle also stops.
    The Motif isn't able to run without the main AC Adapter

  5. Unheard

    Unheard Active Member

    does it change in character or intensity as you perform different actions in the computer?
    In fact, yes.
  6. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Unless you can do some swapping around, this is going to be tricky to diagnose, and there is not necessarily a complete solution.

    You should try to borrow another FireWire-equippped computer and plug your Motif into that. See if the whistle is still there, of the same intensity and comes and goes with disk activity similar to the way in which your own PC behaves. It could well be that you get a different noise with another computer, maybe less, maybe worse than with your own.

    There are ways of isolating FireWire connections to reduce this type of effect, but none of them are particularly cheap. It may in the end come down to accepting that there are some combinations of gear at this level that give background problems, and spending money to re-engineer the setup is the only way to work round them.

    Sorry not to sound more positive, but one reason that pro studio gear costs what is does is that it is designed and built so you can (usually) plug one piece into another without encountering this type of problem.
  7. Unheard

    Unheard Active Member

    Hello Boswell,

    Thanks for responding! ;

    If the Whistle responds to my HDD, could that mean it's a grounding problem? Because i already tried a cable with different isolating, but that didn't change anything...

    Maybe a DI box ...?

    Not sure what to do.
  8. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    I don't think it's a grounding problem as such. It may be a power noise problem, in that it might improve if you were to use a 6-pin to 4-pin FireWire cable and go through a 4-pin FireWire adaptor at the computer end so that no computer d.c. power went down the cable.

    A DI box is not going to help.

    In my previous post I suggested trying a different computer.
  9. Unheard

    Unheard Active Member


    Getting another PC here with Firewire gonna be a challenge but i will try.

    Also, i think 6 pin to 4 pin is a very good suggestion, but my Computer doesn't have a 4 pin slot .... hmm
  10. mdb

    mdb Active Member

    Plug your computer/screen and all your hardware into the same outlet on a power bar or power conditioner. Unplug your printer and any firewire external drives or other devices. I had the same problem with a Firebox and could hear the mouse movement on the screen as well as my HD through the speakers. I put EVERYTHING onto the same outlet and it went away. It's probably a ground loop. If you are able to run a dedicated plug from your panel do it.
  11. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    That's why I mentioned a 4-pin adaptor. You can get these for digital cameras and the like that come with a 4-pin cable and people need to plug them into 6-pin FW sockets.

    Even another desktop PC you could transfer your PCI FireWire card to would give some information, but I think the 4-pin FW trial is liable to be more rewarding.

    Don't be discouraged. These are often the sort of problems that you have to nibble away at over a period of time as and when you get the opportunity and the chance of exchange equipment. In your case the whistle may be annoying during monitoring and mixing but at least it should not be captured in your recordings.
  12. Unheard

    Unheard Active Member

    Thanks for the replies :)

    I found a 6 to 4 pin converter, and i found a FW PCI card WITH a 4 pin slot.

    Unfortunatly ... doesn't work. As soon as i plugged it in the very high peep came in again .....

    Gonna try to plug everything into the same box now!

    And yeah ... and really cant work with this annoying peep.... gets on my nerves after 20 minutes :(
  13. Unheard

    Unheard Active Member

    So i contacted Yamaha....

    He's asking me if my power supply gives enough Volts, and concludes something is ****ing it up in the setup.

    Also, he keeps on HINTING me on getting a Texas Instruments Chipset. Because this is the most compatible with the Motif.

    The hell does he want me to do, buy a new Motherboard???

    This is really frustrating.
  14. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Nomt another motherboard, a new firewird card. For a desktop you would get PCIe card. For a laptop an Express Card wit a TI chipset.
  15. Unheard

    Unheard Active Member

    Yeah, i figured that out when i started looking ... hehe, Thanks :cool:

    I guess it would be worth it to give a PCI-E Firewire TI card a shot ......

    But please, keep the suggestions coming. hehe
  16. mdb

    mdb Active Member

    Try SiiG. It's been an excellent card for me. Mine is a 4-port and I don't see one on their site anymore, but here's a link...

    SiiG Firewire 400 PCIe cards

    I'd be surprised if that fixes your problem, but possible. Regardless you'll be happy with the card.
    Lame to spend money on a potential fix if it doesn't cure the disease.
  17. Unheard

    Unheard Active Member

    Yeah i agree.

    Thanks for the link, looks like a excellent card!

    I'll put it on for my favorites, and ill wait until i get a new Yamaha Answer.

    Because i would find it kinda strange if this would fix the problem. Because the slot of my Motherboard gave the exact same beep as when i put it into the Firewire PCI card. The signal didn't become less or more.

    It WAS a cheap Firewire card... but still.
  18. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Not all firewire chips conform to the IEEE 1394 standard despite being labeled firewire. Cheap chips have been an issue with audio video editing since the start of firewire. Your mobo onboard chip is not likely TI either but most motherboard manu list what it is somewhere. In the past several years not all SiiG cards have TI chips either so just double check at the SiiG website first.
  19. FidelityHigh

    FidelityHigh Active Member

    I've had this problem. Having a RME FireFace 400 I found out that it was super-finicky about what type of Firewire cable will work with it. I'd suggest the clear "braided" Firewire cable (which was supplied with the unit). Any other Firewire cable had the high-piched whine.
  20. Unheard

    Unheard Active Member

    Wew, really FidelityHigh?

    You able to look up the type nr./model of this cable? Never really heard of the word "Braided".


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