Help With An Alternative Interface

O

over16bit!

Guest
Hi everyone.

First of all, I'd like to apologize if this is in the wrong section. Anyways...

I had just bought a Firestudio Mobile by Presonus a few days ago from Guitar Center, and it has been giving me nothing but problems. It just doesn’t want to sync up. Now to be totally fair, it is actually my computer causing the problems as the box itself does work. It’s just that I keep losing connection to my computer. Vista has some real schisse drivers for firewire and I can never keep a connection for more than a couple hours tops (usually only about 15 -30 min), then I’ll spend another few hours trying to reestablish the connection, time and time again plugging and unplugging my box and it’s just so much of a hassle. I’ve done pretty much everything in the book (update drivers, roll back drivers, switch to legacy drivers, etc etc) and I still just cannot hold a connection.

I really want to keep this box, I really do. It’s a great interface with plenty of ports and recording quality is awesome. That said though, I can’t live with this problem. It is way too much of a hassle having to spend more time trying to reestablish a connection than actually getting work done. It’s one thing if it only happened every now and then; that’s just an annoyance and I can live with that. What I have on my hands though is not an annoyance, it is a serious problem and it must be dealt with. Unfortunately, I gripe at the fact that I will have to return this great interface within the next few days while I still can in exchange for another one running on USB, or at least has the option to run on USB. So with that said, can anyone point me to another similar interface that is no more than $350? Since I have to pay a restocking fee (which would be about 50 bucks), I’m only willing to pay no more than a $100 difference.

I’m not a big fan of M-Audio, but I heard that the Fast Track Ultra was pretty good so I may just bite the bullet and get that. Two less inputs, but that’s an acceptable trade-off if it means that it will actually work (at least most of the time). So, what interfaces do you suggest that I take a look at? It has to be USB (since firewire pretty much doesn’t work for me) and must have at least 6 inputs and at least 2 mic preamps. Also needs the MIDI ports too. Just look at the FSM or FTU for reference if needed.

Thanks in advance

EDIT: Whoops, sorry, I meant 'Alternate Interface', not alternative. Sorry about that
 

jg49

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2008
Location
Frozen Tundra of CT
It sounds like you are having problems with your OS more than your computer, have you tweaked Vista? I would try this before returning your Presonus which is a nice interface, if of course it works troublefree. Here is a couple of links and remember disable anti-virus and wireless features also.
Tweaking Vista for Music Production

http://recording.org/music-computers/37548-how-make-windows-run-better-music-production.html

It is also possible that your firewire chip is incompatible but it is definitely worth investigating these changes as well as buffer settings before throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
 

TheJackAttack

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2008
Location
currently Billings
Hmmmm. I didn't have many issues with Vista when I ran that prior to Win7. Question #1, is this a laptop or desktop. Question #2, are you using onboard firewire or and add on card. Question #3, have you tweaked the OS at all. (start [="http://www.blackviper.com/WinVista/servicecfg.htm"]here[/])
 

hueseph

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2005
Location
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Just some other pertinent info from Presonus' compatibility list:

• ATI RADEON 9000/9001 IGP video chipset. Symptoms are consistent click and pops
during audio playback. This video chipset is only found in PC laptops and is entirely
integrated as the computer’s only video controller. PreSonus strongly recommends that
users do not purchase a system with this chipset as there is currently no workaround for this
incompatibility.
• USB/firewire and s400/s800 combo cards. Symptoms usually include no audio
recording/playback but the device will install and sync and erratic audio performance.
Rarely combo cards will prevent the device from installing or achieving a stable sync. We
recommend firewire cards that have s400 firewire connections only.
• Firewire cards with NEC chipsets. Symptoms include installation issues, erratic audio and
extraneous static and noise.
• Motherboards with nForce4 chipsets. Symptoms include reduced to very poor
performance especially if using the onboard firewire connection. Installing a PCIe (not
PCI) FW400 only card with an approved chipset is a known workaround, but may not allow
full performance.
 
O

over16bit!

Guest
@jg49

Yeah I know it's the OS, my bad, that's sorta what I meant. :tongue:
As for the links posted, I only saw one thing that I didn't do, which was to change processing scheduling, which turned out to not resolve the issue. Other than that though, I've done everything else. As for my firewire chip being incompatible, it shouldn't be, because I have a friend who has a very similar build to mine (only difference being GPU, sound card and RAM) but he uses XP, and it worked perfectly with no problems at all. It is as you've said, it's the OS. Thanks for the help though good sir.

@hueseph

Thank you for the suggestion, but as I've said, I've already done things like drivers.

@TheJackAttack
Well then maybe I'm just unfortunate :frown:
1: Desktop
2: Onboard
3: Yes sir I have
 

TheJackAttack

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2008
Location
currently Billings
You likely need a different firewire card. Onboard cards-unless they are Texas Instruments chipsets already-rarely work properly with audio interfaces. As recommended by the manufacturer, stick with a 400 speed card or an 800 speed card but NOT a combo unit. Also, check Presonus for specific compatibility regarding your machine.
 

jg49

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2008
Location
Frozen Tundra of CT
So I guess you do have a computer hardware issue, my bad. Most of the time when I get a good sync with my Presonus equipment and someone else's computer I can resolve the issues with tweaks but I guess not in this case. Usually if you sync and can record and it drops after 10 minutes it is because of a bottleneck or something like microsoft office trying to go online wireless, but like I said if your sure you got all that then I woulds try the firewire card, $35-$45 solution. As far as the statement "As for my firewire chip being incompatible, it shouldn't be, because I have a friend who has a very similar build to mine (only difference being GPU, sound card and RAM) but he uses XP, and it worked perfectly with no problems at all." Different is different and no logical conclusion can be drawn, similar is not exactly the same.
Otherwise the M-A Fast TRack or the Motu are alright, never been a big fan of either.
One final option is a dual boot system if you believe that you are having a Vista compatability issue, which is what I use in my studio. There are drawbacks but you can completely dedicate the OS to recording, stripping all extraneous programs, freeing up CPU and ram that can be better used by your recording program IMO.
Did you try changing your buffer settings, this will only work if your dropouts are during recording not just when idle?
 

soapfloats

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2008
Location
Cincinnati, OH
I'm not sure I'm completely buying the firewire solution...

Here's why:

1. I run Vista-32 w/ a Firestudio and have had a myriad of sync/clock issues, including dropouts in the recording.
While not as persistent as the OP's issues, mine have ranged from annoying to crippling in their nature.
2. I've run the gamut on firewire cards.
3. Presonus' solution had always been to purge my system of all things Presonus, then reinstall.
Finally they decided the firmware on the unit itself may have been damaged and that I should send it in for tests/repair.
4. To remedy this once and for all, I bought a FF 800 - the system and it could never communicate.
After insisting I try a legacy driver, and finding none such driver existed*, they too recommended I send the unit in for bench testing.

So either I have really s****y luck when buying interfaces, or there's something else going on here.
 

jg49

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2008
Location
Frozen Tundra of CT
So do you think your problem is Presonus? (Trouble free for me two synced Fire Studio Projects.) Firewire cards? Your particular computer hardware? Vista? Sorry re-read your post a couple times and not sure what conclusion you wanted us to draw from it, especially since if I read it right the RME Fireface is having trouble as well, or is that just getting FF800 to sync with the Presonus?
 
O

over16bit!

Guest
Well, good news and bad news. I don't know what happened but suddenly my interface, once synced, will hold a solid sync until I turn off my computer. The bad news is that it still takes me a few dozen tries to get it synced up, but it's almost bearable now. I don't know how it happened; I sure didn't do anything. I just woke up and tried to get it up and running then once I got it synced, it never dropped. Now I just have to figure out how/what to do so I only have to plug it in once and it'll work. Cheers to that, huh? :tongue:
 
Last edited by a moderator:

TheJackAttack

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2008
Location
currently Billings
I don't know either. I have used a FF800 with XPSP2, XPSP3, Vista 32 bit, Vista SP1, Vista SP2, Win7 beta, Win7 RC 64bit, and Win7 Ultimate 64bit. I do use the legacy driver with Win7. [Same same with the Mackie Onyx 1640.]

In all cases the FF800 has been a rock and any issues were with external hard drives/usb. I will say when using my Glyph 050Q via firewire, it only likes to chain up via 400 speed. Which I find very odd but it is my only 800 speed Glyph drive. The workaround on it is to use eSATA or firewire 400 depending.

I have also had drop out issues with some USB externals when I did not make them myself. There is a great variety of quality in bridge chips out there.

I think a great deal of importance should be directed at the memory controller of the computer being connected to the OP's Presonus unit or Soap's FF800. If it is not up to snuff then no amount of tweaking is going to help out.
 

soapfloats

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2008
Location
Cincinnati, OH
I will say when using my Glyph 050Q via firewire, it only likes to chain up via 400 speed. Which I find very odd but it is my only 800 speed Glyph drive. The workaround on it is to use eSATA or firewire 400 depending.
I think a great deal of importance should be directed at the memory controller of the computer being connected to the OP's Presonus unit or Soap's FF800. If it is not up to snuff then no amount of tweaking is going to help out.

Interesting... the 050Q is my external HD for audio. I ran it via the 800 just fine w/ the Firestudio, but switched to 400 for the Fireface.
Care to elaborate?

To jg: I should have been more clear, sorry.
I have had issues getting both the Firestudio and FF800 to sync w/ my machine.

The FF800 was supposed to be a fix - but I cannot get it and my computer to communicate at all. I'll leave the details out for now - I only presented it as a separate device having somewhat similar issues.

Regarding the Firestudio, my issues mirror the OPs almost exactly.
It should be noted that the FF800 was used, so I'm checking that avenue out.

In summation, I wasn't drawing any conclusions - except for the fact that I was 99% sure that firewire was not the issue in my case, and consequently the OP's.
I was hoping some of you could help my find the right conclusion(s) :biggrin:
 

jg49

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2008
Location
Frozen Tundra of CT
Oh I see. Not well enough versed in advanced troubleshooting to decide, but my thinking (which has gotten me into some very deep shite) is that it is either a hardware conflict in your computer or a Vista ghost. I had problem after problem with my first Presonus unit, drivers, tweaks, must be the firewire card (Presonus support) but I set up a dual boot to XP and problems vanished. Granted Vista was less than a year old and I was not very patient but I am definitely a "Let's not reinvent the wheel" kinda guy.
 

TheJackAttack

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2008
Location
currently Billings
For those that have Win7 specifically and are having issues with a firewire connected device, check out the following bulletin at Microsoft. Do not request the hotfix unless you feel it is applicable as this is essentially a beta version.

[="http://support.microsoft.com/kb/981613/en-us"]Transferred data is corrupted or the data transfer stops between an IEEE 1394 device and a computer that is running Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2[/]
 
Top