Presonus Firebox - dropouts galore!

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by AlMiller, Jan 28, 2006.

  1. AlMiller

    AlMiller Guest


    I just bought a Presonus Firebox recording interface and can't get the dropouts to go away at any setting. I've tried high, medium and low cpu settings on the firebox. I've tried setting the latency as high as 25ms. I've tried shutting down every service on the PC I could get away with. I also shutdown networking. For testing, I'm just trying to play a simple mp3 file using quicktime or any playback software. The file plays but there are dropouts every couple of seconds. Anyway, here's my setup...please help.

    HP Media Center PC
    PROC - AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core, 2.0Ghz, 3Gig memory
    Drive - 250Gig, 7200.
    OS - Microsoft Media Center
    Recording interface - Presonus Firebox..firewire interface.
  2. LostGoose

    LostGoose Guest

    Sorry, I just realized that you shut down networking. I had the same problem and solved it by disabling wireless networking. I was experiencing dropouts with midi. That problem seems to be gone, with wireless disabled. I'm still having awful problems with midi vs. Firebox vs. Cubase LE. My project currently includes 3 audio tracks and 2 midi tracks. When I try to record a 3rd midi track, it hangs Cubase, sometimes requiring reboot. I find that using my Yamaha UX16 midi interface, the problem goes away. I'm new at this, and the learning curve is steep. For what it is worth, audio seems to work well.
  3. AlMiller

    AlMiller Guest

    Wow, there are 81 looks at this post and you are the first to respond. I guess I'm on my own on this one... :(
  4. Lerxst

    Lerxst Guest

    I know you are running Media center for an OS, but did you try the tuning tips here?

    and have you posted this issue on the Cubase forums??
  5. AlMiller

    AlMiller Guest

    Hey thanks,

    Those look like some good tips. They all look like they're designed to free up the cpu. It seems strange to me that a dual processer 2Ghz 64 bit pc would require such assistance just to record and play back audio expecially when the specs for the Firebox only require a 300Mhz PC.
  6. McCheese

    McCheese Well-Known Member

    Mar 24, 2005
    Are you running any other firewire things at the same time? It's likely that all the FW ports are on the same bus, so maybe it's getting hitched up by that. Also maybe try a third party FW card.

    Just my ideas.
  7. LostGoose

    LostGoose Guest

    Noisy recording using Firebox


    I'm desperately trying to get my own system working well and tripped across this:

    Go to this web site and scroll down the page until you find

    Cubase LE for Mac OS X & PC Windows

    Go into this forum and read the sticky topic regarding

    Optimize processor scheduling for Windows XP PCs

    If you haven't done this already, it might help.

    Good Luck!
    Lost Goose
  8. lazo

    lazo Guest

    To Almiller; Did you resolve this problem? It's definately not due to a luck of computer power. Your set up is way above what most have.
    To loose goose; I had a huge problem with the Presonus Firebox, Cubase LE and a Music XPC computer. I could not record 8 bars of midi without it locking up. The tech support at Steinberg said I wasn't the first. I had to dump Cubase LE and SE and switched to Sonar. Voila, problem solved.
  9. I have been working with a friend for several hours trying to resolve this issue and have found several things which you should all know about the way these firebox devices interact with your computer.

    (history- recelntly installed XPsp2 and had baought new firebox firwire sound card. before that had pci Creatives Audigy 2ZS. removed pci card which was also the 1394 port and put in pinnacle firewire card using default Texas Instruments OCHI drivers. after installing XP everything worked fine for a week but then it got screwed somehow.. and a repair was done. after this point the firebox stopped working.. so one would assume the problem was driver related or software something. tried reinstalling various hardware drivers and updating other drivers to no avail and then discovered what the problem was detailed below...)

    1. As the firebox gets information from your computer it uses a Bus that when PIO mode devices transfers data, the firebox stops recieving data and waits for the PIO device to finish which creates those rather annoying clicks. I dont know exactly why, but its a hardware thing - PIO/UDMA/DMA are ways hard drives & CDROMs can pass data to the system bus and they get priority over other devices.

    2. If your settings in the BIOS are not set to use UDMA for your hard drives & cdroms each time they operate they will take the bus away from other devices.

    When Logic was clicking and the sound cr**ping out it felt like the computer was acting very slow in general, to me this seemed like data transferrence problem between windows and the hard drives. In the device manager i opened 'IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers' and went through the advanced settings of the primary and secondary IDE channel devices to check that they were all using UDMA, the Primary master was set to PIO! and no way to change it, i reinstalled and updated IDE drievrs from ASUS for a P4S800 MB, no change... check BIOS again and noticed the primary master was set to be a CDROM! BINGO! changed that to auto and it found the HDD and checked the bootup order to make sure that was going to still boot off the first HDD and rebooted and instantly everything was sweet! I don't know why that HDD was even working but i guess choosing CDROM just uses PIO mode and automatically finds the device whether its a HDD or CDROM...

    Please let me know via ICQ (16650970) if this helps anyone, I'm sure no ones has their primary hdd set to be a CDROM in the BIOS (found on the first BIOS page generally) but the point to this is that if theres a data struggle on the Bus which is used by the firebox to get info from the hdd's then it will wait untill its free, sometimes if you dont have the latest IDE drivers for your motherboard whether its IDE or not upgrade them and this might fix your problem...

  10. media center you say?

    i recently bought an m7330n media center pc I have been told that the media center edition is not compatable with cubase, at least yet. I got this info from stienberg. they told me it only worked with xp home and xp pro.
    so I got a copy of pro and installed it .I should mention I am using the presonus inspire, a similar firewire device. with mce I was not getting clear audio if at all . with xppro I can operate the system to record but on playback it is crackly. I too have tried every setting under the sun and went so far as to repartition my harddrive to keep it from using certain resources such as sound card and drivers etc . however the sound card like in so many other systems is integrated with many things, video, the firewire ports and drivers.I have not resolved my issue(or the one that is currently growing with hp and steinberg and presonus)as of yet I do however have some limited ideas.another soundcard? additional ports or anything else to make the asio signal path clear of the multi media card. anyone have any bright, practical ideas?I am now equally deperate as I have shelled out some cash for a product that certainly in my eyes does not live up to the title "media center"and yes I tried to simply shut off the realteck ac97 audio. yes in the bios as well.
  11. I figured out hp media center and presonus drop outs!

    Hey Al, I had a very similar problem with same computer, same DAW, and a presonus inspire, which is essentially yours without midi. the trick is ... add another firewire card! and partition your hard drive so that you can have the original media center edition operating system on one, the recovery console on the one its on now, xp professional on the largest one. For instructions on how to multiboot and repartition refer to the help and support center in the control panel.I was desperate then I was saved if you have more questions refer to cubase forums. I have a topic about my hp m7330n media center computer it asks if I am screwed. there are lots of other good pieces of advice in the same section. p.s. I bought the new card at walmart for $25. works great! I had 30 some tracks processed and playing back simulntaneously,what a joy! what a relief! Anymore questions? I check here frequently. good luck!
  12. Kent L T

    Kent L T Active Member

    Oct 28, 2003
    Home Page:
    Not sure if this applies to your systems or not but I ran across this the other day
  • AT5047

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