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Computer Hardware Audio interfaces, MIDI interfaces, control surfaces, MIDI controllers & USB MIDI keyboards (not motherboards or system components)

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Old 6th October 2008 , 04:05 PM
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Default Mac firewire issues ?

Just had a rather interesting conversation with a techie from Focusrite, who was ringing to chase me up to send the unit in for repair...

Anyhow I said to him I'd noticed some new distortion from the headphone outs. It's deffo coming from some adc or dac process, because its the tell tale high pitch chirp sound you get from a processor.

He told me they've had this complaint a lot, but it's not down to them. It's Apple's fault with how they configure their firewire connections to the processor. The noise is the cpu of the computer, not the convertor inside the focusrite box.

The amount of distortion is linked to how hard your mac is working. In particular, he said becomes more noticable when the 2nd core kicks in..

What gets me is that the distortion doesn't appear on the spdif output, or the main analogue outputs. Just the headphone sockets...

So who's telling the truth ?
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Old 6th October 2008 , 04:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EdRyan View Post
What gets me is that the distortion doesn't appear on the spdif output, or the main analogue outputs. Just the headphone sockets...
No good news I'm afraid, but I see you are not alone
Apple - Support - Discussions - High Frequency Noise from Headphones ...
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Old 6th October 2008 , 05:40 PM
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and the game of ping pong begins but to be fair i too have seen dodgey firewire chips in apples older mac books (agere), so i think focusright may actually be right
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Old 8th October 2008 , 02:44 AM
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The documented problem with macs and firewire is with the IC controller, not the actual firewire chip itself. Apple were caught with their pants down by not using TI controllers, which many pro developers seemed to have settled on as the standard. That caused a problem with connections effectively being wired up wrong..

The focusrite technie was telling the truth. I've just been doing some timestretching in Logic, and the noise becoems significantly more audible when the processor is doing something intensive..

This one, is a different but almost as bad issue. Effectively, when the cpu is busy, it transmits unwanted noise along the firewire connection. This is passing through the sapphire into the headphone ports. Like I say that's the odd thing. It doesn't pass to the main outs...so I'm wondering if there's something funny going on here as well

The problem is that if I'm using something like live for warping and dj-ing, that is quite a heavy cpu load, meanining it will always be noisy on the headphones..it can be really irritating at times !
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