1 (edited by titirom 2010-01-15 11:14:58)

Topic: distortion/clicks problems on may 2009 macbooc pro

Hello everybody,
I have two problems on my fireface uc, we are talk about in this post :
http://www.rme-audio.de/forum/viewtopic.php?id=6590

But it seems it's possible than two are not related. Thus i open a new post for separate the problems.

I have some small distortion/clicks/pops  on my macbook pro. Random distortion/clicks appear on record and playback  (one short each 5, 10 minutes)but not on direct entry so with the correct setup on matrix mixer i can hear a perfectly clean sound and recorded it with clicks.Impossible to record one shot without at less one or two small clicks/pops even with a 1024 samples buffer. More often it's small clicks and rarely it's a small but noisy distortion.
My setup: Macbook Pro unibody 2.8 may 2009 with 4gb Ram running 10.6.1 snow l?o clean install, latency 64 on logic 9 clean install,  fw 91 and driver 1.19.

On bootcamp/xp,  i have only rare small clicks/pops with or without errors (counter 0/4) after 20 minutes test, not perfect but better.



p.s.:Sorry if my english is bad, i don't speak very well.

Re: distortion/clicks problems on may 2009 macbooc pro

I've just noticed an important thing : when i work on 96 kHz, the problem seems coming less often, "Just" a small random distortion each 15/20 minutes.
In 44Khz the problem coming back.

Re: distortion/clicks problems on may 2009 macbooc pro

There are two possible sources I can think of:

1. The Firewire port on new Macbooks might still not be trouble-free even though it has a new revision chipset (still LSI/Agere). You'd need to put a hub/repeater in between to try getting rid of possible problems.

2. CPU Speedstep issues in your DAW. You can try to circumvent these by creating additional load. On OS X download the trial of "Coolbook" and set the "Load" slider upto 10.

That will heat up your CPU because it creates constant CPU load and thus make the fans work hard. But it's the only way to make sure that the CPU is *not* dynamically switching clock-rates up and down while you are recording.

On Windows you can try Prime95, and set the power profile to "Maximum Performance", but it's less foolproof than the Coolbook method. Also try setting the priority of your DAW to "Realtime" via Task-Manager.

Also on Bootcamp absolutely make sure that you stop/kill KBDMGR.EXE (if you are still using Bootcamp 2.1, I forgot the new name of that process with Bootcamp 3) and either download the Broadcom WLAN drivers from "Microsoft Update Catalog" or disable WLAN via device-manager. Also disable "ACPI compliant control method Battery" (or anything sounding similiar to this under the Battery tree).

Re: distortion/clicks problems on may 2009 macbooc pro

Also on Bootcamp absolutely make sure that you stop/kill KBDMGR.EXE (if you are still using Bootcamp 2.1, I forgot the new name of that process with Bootcamp 3)

BootCamp.exe

regards S-EH

5 (edited by Timur 2009-11-13 13:19:28)

Re: distortion/clicks problems on may 2009 macbooc pro

I was told by someone that it had another name than Bootcamp.exe (which was the name in the Bootcamp 3 Beta package). I had a Snow Leopard DVD here, but gave it back until my problems are solved with Apple (which likely means getting a new model including SL anyway).

Re: distortion/clicks problems on may 2009 macbooc pro

Hi Guys,
Timur, thank you again for yours advices.
I had read a lot about the firewire issue and that was one of reasons for me to buy a fireface uc. So i'm not using at all the firewire port.
On the other hand,i thought about a usb supply issue and  bought a belkin alimented usb hub. But it wasn't that.

For the CPU Speedstep, after testing with CoolBook load CPU at 10 i noticed an interesting thing, not good but interesting : it's worse, more clicks and pops !!

but i have a good new: on bootcamp/xp the problem seems to be solved.  For my configuration, Prime95 adds errors but with the all others advices, it seems to work now.
My clean snow l?o install had kept the old Bootcamp 2.1 i had before so i can't confirm the new name of the bootcamp 3 process.

i thought, maybe the problem is something related with the power management of the new fixed battery ?

7 (edited by titirom 2009-11-17 16:31:48)

Re: distortion/clicks problems on may 2009 macbooc pro

hi everybody,
After try many things, i can add some informations:
I work now with a 128 buffer in logic 9.02 . I  downloaded a small program named Lineln very useful for try different buffers size and with a monitoring input switch. Also tried garage band, logic seems not be the problem.

For now, I'm not sure the problem come also on playback only. I can playback a song with itunes or vlc without clicks, and on the same time with logic, mix in the clicked sound of my instrument monitoring or recorded.

And like i said before: more problems on 44 kHz and more problems on CPU high load.

Now the fireface seems work well on windows, seems it's not a hardware problem, I'm very confusing.

Is somebody ,with a recent macbook pro, can take a moment to try CoolBook (it's free for this testing) with CPU load at 10, 44 kHz and monitoring on in music software or LineIn http://www.rogueamoeba.com/freebies/ (click on pass thru)

Also all suggestions are welcome.

8 (edited by titirom 2009-11-21 14:35:37)

Re: distortion/clicks problems on may 2009 macbooc pro

Hi,
I had an idea to run dpc Latency on windowed parallel and try CoolBook with different settings.

This is with full load CPU:
http://img248.imageshack.us/img248/6286/dpcfull2.jpg



This is with CPU load 0:
http://img340.imageshack.us/img340/7356/dpcmini44.jpg

Clicks and pops comes with red peaks.
Well, what can i do with that ? maybe some osx process to kill ?
I continue to seek.

Re: distortion/clicks problems on may 2009 macbooc pro

Parallels increases DPC latencies when you increase CPU load, even more so if you are using more than one CPU core for the VM. This is due to Parallels itself.

The latest version 5 has some optimizations for multi-core VM settings and I'm in contact to a developer in order to squeeze a bit more performance out of it (not only CPU related).

Concerning Logic on OS X. I can run buffer sizes downto 32 samples with the UC and Logic 8 on Leopard (and even lower buffers with other apps). Next week I will finally get my 2009 Macbook Pro with Snow Leopard (still Logic 8). I will report back then.

Re: distortion/clicks problems on may 2009 macbooc pro

Timur, as always, thank you for your commentary.

Your parallel information is very useful however i noticed than on OS X CoolBook , i had the same type and frequency of clicks/pops.(a lot on high load CPU and some on low load CPU)
Do you know if an equivalent of DCP Latency Checker exist on mac os ?
For me the 32 samples buffer works also but with some clicks/pops.
I really would like to know if i have an Hardware computer or fireface hardware problem HeadScratch
Well, I'm waiting  for your future macbook test and try to find more ideas.

Re: distortion/clicks problems on may 2009 macbooc pro

Actually this is the point where I would advice to ask a professional in your vicinity for help. I know that *I* can find most culprits on most systems, or better to say: make any systems that is not defect (or hampered by bad BIOS/hardware) run at its best.

But I have my price and I'm most likely not around your corner (I had someone send me his Macbook Pro for setting up once). There has to be someone in your reach that can take a look at your setup, because at some point remote diagnosis reaches its limits. wink

That being said, on your OS X setup I wonder if there are any daemons or software spiking the CPU or running at very high priority when your short record dropouts occur?

You can use Process Monitor, IStat Menu or (Terminal) Top to watch your CPU closely. You can use (Terminal) nice/renice or the GUI tool Benicer (if I remember right) to have a look at priorities (read the MAN pages for nice and renice to get an idea of how to interprete the numbers, it's a bit complicated).

Re: distortion/clicks problems on may 2009 macbooc pro

Hi timur,
Again thank you for commentary :-)
I continue my research with your lighting.

13 (edited by titirom 2010-02-28 13:32:14)

Re: distortion/clicks problems on may 2009 macbooc pro

Hello everybody,
The problems seems to be related with the frequency for example at 176400 Hz even with small CPU load and a 512 buffer  it's full of clicks/pops.
And in windows XP, i have also problems with 176400 Hz but much less.

Test:
Coolbook CPU load 10
buffer 128
32000 Hz seems good
44000 Hz clicks and pops
48000  Hz clicks and pops
64000  Hz seems good
88200  Hz full of clicks and pops
96000  Hz seems good
128800  Hz seems good
176400  Hz full of clicks and pops
192000  Hz clicks and pops


Test:
Small CPU charge
Buffer 128
32000 Hz seems good
44000 Hz  rare clicks and pops ( every 5 10 minutes)
48000  Hz rare clicks and pops
64000  Hz seems good
88200  Hz clicks and pops
96000  Hz seems good
128800  Hz seems good
176400  Hz full of clicks and pops
192000  Hz seems good


Sorry to insist but is somebody can try the cookbook full load CPU record test  and/or the 176400 Hz frequency on a recent macbook ?
I guess if nobody have a flagrant problem on 176400 Hz means my fireface have an hardware problem.

PS: Hi Timur, have you received your Macbook  ?

Edit: After more testing "seems good" = very rarely problems, but not "no problems"

Re: distortion/clicks problems on may 2009 macbooc pro

I got a 17" Macbook Pro now (preloaded with Snow Leopard). I still have my image of Leopard, but since I messed with the OS X Speedstep driver/kext I need to get it working first (version mismatching because I forgot to backup the kext when I did the update to 10.5.8).

I'll report back as soon as possible.

Re: distortion/clicks problems on may 2009 macbooc pro

Hello Timur,
Thanks and see you soon.

Re: distortion/clicks problems on may 2009 macbooc pro

Hi timur,
Do you had some time for testing FF UC with your new macbook pro ?
Especially if you can try the 176400 Hz frequency, the clicks problem in record monitoring is evident in my configuration.
thank you for future reports.

Re: distortion/clicks problems on may 2009 macbooc pro

Sorry for taking so long. I broke my Leopard clone and didn't find time yet to even start the Snow Leopard installation. Since I got the new MBP I am only working on bootcamped Vista and didn't work on music at all.

Over the next few days I'm still quite busy, but I didn't forget about you. wink

Re: distortion/clicks problems on may 2009 macbooc pro

Thanks timur,
Take your time :-)

Re: distortion/clicks problems on may 2009 macbooc pro

I also experienced this problem.  I could not record audio without an occasional click or pop occurring.  I tried removing all of the other USB devices, changing the sample rate, buffer size, and USB port, but the pops always happened.  I could record cleanly using my Virus TI's USB audio interface, so it seems to be a problem with the Fireface UC and a 15" MacBook Pro Unibody.  I bought the MacBook last April, and it has the ExpressCard slot and removable battery.  It is running OSX 10.5.8.

Re: distortion/clicks problems on may 2009 macbooc pro

Hi GrooveNinja,
Do you noticed a difference in number of clicks/pop related with frequency, especially when you record in 176400 Hz ?

Re: distortion/clicks problems on may 2009 macbooc pro

titirom wrote:

Hi GrooveNinja,
Do you noticed a difference in number of clicks/pop related with frequency, especially when you record in 176400 Hz ?

I did not try 176.4 KHz, but 44.1, 48, 88.2, and 96 KHz.  The pops seemed to be less frequent at the higher rates.

Re: distortion/clicks problems on may 2009 macbooc pro

GrooveNinja,
Can you please try the 176400 Hz to see if we share exactly the same problem ?

23 (edited by Timur 2010-01-14 13:08:56)

Re: distortion/clicks problems on may 2009 macbooc pro

Fireface 400 on latest 2009 Macbook 17" 2.8 gHz using Leopard 10.5.8 with Ableton Live 7 (rev. 7 LSI chipset, no repeater cable used):

Recording a single guitar track for about a minute @176.4 kHz can be done without clicks downto 96 samples (corresponds to 24 samples @44.1 kHz) regardless of CPU/Coolbook tricks. With 64 samples (corresponds to 16 samples @44.1 kHz) regular interval buzzing/clicks happen without Coolbook and regular but quiet clicks happen with Coolbook.

Playback @176.4 kHz is only possible with a minimum buffer of 256 samples and a maximum load of 10%, the higher the buffers the higher the load can be. With 512 samples (corresponds to 128 samples @44.1 kHz) around 50% is possible.

Playback with AU Lab an a single instance of an AU instrument seems to be about the same.

Next check is the UC...

24 (edited by Timur 2010-01-15 11:42:33)

Re: distortion/clicks problems on may 2009 macbooc pro

Fireface UC on latest 2009 Macbook 17" 2.8 gHz using Leopard 10.5.8 with Ableton Live 7:

Recording a single guitar track for about a minute @176.4 kHz *cannot* be done without clicks even at 512 samples regardless of CPU/Coolbook tricks. Since the UC even uses a bigger safety-buffer at double/quadro sample-rates the performance is obviously alot worse than the FF400's.

Playback @176.4 kHz is possible with a minimum buffer of 53 samples in Live (lowest setting available) and a maximum load of 20-25%, the higher the buffers the higher the load can be.

Playback with AU Lab and a single instance of an AU instrument is possible downto 24 samples (lowest setting available).

My conclusion: Playback is vastly superior to the FF400, but recording seems to be suffering from some unidentified issues! (Using a FF400 as input and a FFUC as output seems to be a killer combination though wink).

I did not try Windows yet.

Re: distortion/clicks problems on may 2009 macbooc pro

Hi timur,
How are you ?
Seems it's not a problem with my FF UC hardware in final.
I 'm almost sure you must have the others frequency problems too (it's less easy to hear because it's more random).
Also seems it's not a snow l?o problem.
Something related with latest macbook pro 2009 ?

I found a small tool named Process Wizard who can be useful : http://www.lachoseinteractive.net/fr/pr … 296e20b371
With this tool we can see and modify program priority  and kill process.
But for me, change logic priority to high changed nothing in the problem.
And the new Logic 9.1 in 64 bit changed nothing also.

RME team  do you tried FF UC on recent macbook pro ?

Re: distortion/clicks problems on may 2009 macbooc pro

I did not check the other frequencies (too time consuming atm), but only the one which you reported to be the most problematic in order to easily reproduce the problem. As far as I can tell Ableton Live already uses the highest possible priority 99 on OS X anyway.

All 2008/2009 Macbooks (Pro) and the new Imacs 21"/27" use the same Nvidia chipset 730i/9400M so there should be no differences between their USB ports and performance.

Re: distortion/clicks problems on may 2009 macbooc pro

Timur,thank you for report.
Maybe we have a problem only with the two graphic cards macbook pro version (9400 and 9600 nvidia).
We need more reports.
Please guys (and girls), post your experiences with recent Macbook pro all versions.

RME team, it seems the 176400 Hz problem is 100 per cent reproducible,can you try it with recent two graphics card  Macbook pro ? maybe that give you a clue for the others frequency problem.

Re: distortion/clicks problems on may 2009 macbooc pro

By 730i/9400m chipset I did not mean the graphics, but the north/south-bridge combination. Among many other things this is the chipset responsible for the USB ports.

It's a good idea to check whether switching the graphic changes anything though. It should not, but I will do that for a try.

Re: distortion/clicks problems on may 2009 macbooc pro

This morning, i installed a fresh snow leo in an external usb DD.
Just the minimum: RME 1.19 drivers and LineIn software (for testing audio entry, see above),nothing else.
Testing with AC power supply.
Testing with only battery.
Testing with and without WIFI, BLUETOOTH.
Testing 9400 and 9600 modes.
And: same problems.ed:

30 (edited by titirom 2010-01-20 11:35:21)

Re: distortion/clicks problems on may 2009 macbooc pro

Hi guys,
Some news here. I could test a other FF UC and the result is  exactly the same, so i am really sure now, with the Timur' s mac test in complement, that we have a problem 100 per cent reproducible with recent macbook pro.
I work on 96 kHz and i have also some rare clicks and drop out. So finally, all the frequency seems concerned.
RME team, please say something, do you know about this problem and do you work on it ?

Re: distortion/clicks problems on may 2009 macbooc pro

Well, I can say that I had some clicks at 44.1 kHz when using the UC for rehearsal during Beta when using Leopard, but I attributed that to the PA system in the room and later used the FF400 for the tour. Since then I did not need the UC's inputs for anything serious, so maybe the clicks where in fact coming from the UC.

I am now in the middle of doing a fresh Snow Leopard and Windows 7 installation while keeping my Leopard + Vista harddrive in the backhand. Maybe we can work this out, but I fear that at the moment RME is mostly busy with fixing the Firewire issues in W7 and SL, so the UC might have to wait.

Re: distortion/clicks problems on may 2009 macbooc pro

Hi timur,
Thank you for commentary.
I understand that RME have some problems with snow l?o and the fireware version of FF but a small feed-back would be nice, i do music daily and i just would like to know if the problem is taken in account to wait a little for drivers or firmware.

I add that yesterday the drop out appeared in work on Logic midi software instrument track.

Re: distortion/clicks problems on may 2009 macbooc pro

hi,
I do some test with a 64 bit boot (booting with pressing 6 and 4 keys ) and... same problems ed:

34 (edited by titirom 2010-02-02 22:08:22)

Re: distortion/clicks problems on may 2009 macbooc pro

I forgot to tell that finally, the big short distortion appear in playback with logic pro at least one time each day.
For now, live concert with a logic mix is strictly impossible.

Re: distortion/clicks problems on may 2009 macbooc pro

hi guys...
i have the same problems. but i own a macbook unibody....
the clicks remain even when i'm workin on my iMac (both with Leopard) and i don't know if they are "physical" on the tracks or just in playback.

i switched from m-audio fastrack to FFUC and as i opened old logic projects i encountered "sync problems"... i didn't know what to do so i kept on switching from 44 to 48 and so on until the problems disappeared...

but clicks won't disappear...

L

Re: distortion/clicks problems on may 2009 macbooc pro

Hi lucaflea,

For me, after many tests, clicks come on both, "physically" in records (you can try a loop on a clicked part to confirm it) and in logic pro or garage band playbacks too.

Can you precise the type of your macbook please (one or two graphic card) ?

Do you made some record tests on your Imac or do you only read project coming from the couple Macbook pro/ fireface UC ?

You can also do some different frequency tests (especially 176.4 kHz full of clicks) and buffer tests on both computer.

Re: distortion/clicks problems on may 2009 macbooc pro

hi.

i've already tried these settings:

buffer 128:

44,100 khz: 1 "click" in 2 minutes
48 khz: no clicks in 2 minutes
176,400: clicks everywhere


my macbook: 2.4ghz Intel core 2 duo
                   4gb ram
                   

                   graphics
    NVIDIA GeForce 9400M:

  Modello Chipset:    NVIDIA GeForce 9400M
  Tipo:    Monitor
  Bus:    PCI
  VRAM (totale):    256 MB
  Fornitore:    NVIDIA (0x10de)
  ID dispositivo:    0x0863
  ID revisione:    0x00b1
  Revisione ROM:    3385


let me know...
thanks
luca

Re: distortion/clicks problems on may 2009 macbooc pro

another try...

buffer 128, 48.000 --> 3 minutes: no clicks!!

but i had to reboot the macbook because the audio coming from "inside" the mac was distorted...
after the reboot everything seemed in place...

or i hope so...

luca

39 (edited by titirom 2010-02-28 12:30:41)

Re: distortion/clicks problems on may 2009 macbooc pro

Thank you for reports,

At the end, it seems it's not a two graphic cards Mac book pro problem only.

48 kHz work better but i'm pretty sure you must have random clicks coming like for me, for now, i'm working in 96 kHz and pray each time i make a record.

What's happen with the Imac ?

Re: distortion/clicks problems on may 2009 macbooc pro

is there any way RME can fix the problem?
in 2 weeks i'm goin' to record a full band through the FF UC but if i can't fix this problem i'm goin' to sell the FF...

i haven't tried it with the iMac, i'll do it today...

thanks guys,
luca

41 (edited by titirom 2010-02-28 12:42:42)

Re: distortion/clicks problems on may 2009 macbooc pro

For me, it's too late for resend the UC to the dealer.
I know that RME team have problems with the firewire version and even they say nothing here, i hope they helping us after resolved the firewire problem but i can't say more.

Re: distortion/clicks problems on may 2009 macbooc pro

for me too...
let's hope...

Re: distortion/clicks problems on may 2009 macbooc pro

RME team,
Do you tried the 176.4 kHz frequency, i know that's not an usual frequency but with a recent macbook pro, you can surely hear the problem and maybe that can give you a clue ?

Re: distortion/clicks problems on may 2009 macbooc pro

yes.. i've tried... full of clicks!

today i tested the FF UC with my iMac Aluminium with 44,100 and no clicks occurred...

am i lucky?

45 (edited by titirom 2010-03-03 01:31:46)

Re: distortion/clicks problems on may 2009 macbooc pro

Lucaflea,

Sorry if i wasn't clear, that wasn't a request for you (you said you tried the 176.4 kHz frequency in a previous post :-) ), it's a request to the RME team.

If the Imac work really without problems, it's an interesting information... more tests or/and reports are welcome.

Re: distortion/clicks problems on may 2009 macbooc pro

(To the RME ppl reading this)

Hello guys,

I'm looking for a good mobile sound card, for playback (mostly from MainStage, so the Logic engine) as well as for mobile multitrack recording (about 10-12 tracks into Logic). I don't want to be locked down to a specific interface type that only lasts a couple of years (cfr. PCMCIA, expressCard...). Plus, I want to be able to use it on the MacPro in the studio, so that makes me look for a FireWire/USB device.

After having bought my MacPro, when I was ready to buy the FireFace 400, I read about the whole FireWire chip incompatibility problem so I stepped back from buying it.

A couple of months after, I read about the Fireface UC and I was stoked! Looked pretty awesome, plus no complaints in the forums... now that I prepare to buy that one I found this (and similar) threads, which are open since 10/2009 and which don't even hold a single statement from the RME support?!

When I spend about a grand for an audio interface (note: the MacBook Pro onboard sound doesn't pop!!!), I don't accept any types of problems and if they do occur, I expect help or at least feedback from your support! The "most recent" MacBook Pros are on the market almost a year now. Being the high-end audio manufacturer you claim to be, you should've been able to fix these problems in the meantime! The way you make the guys hang on here is simply frustrating... give us at least a sign of life!

That being said, I won't buy the Fireface UC neither because of all that trouble... RME products used to be rock-solid, I loved it (I own the Hammerfall series), but the newer models are just unusable, I'm sorry I have to say it sad

Sorry if this post may seem rude, but you feel the level of frustration here...

Anyways, best regards,
Mike

Hardware:
- MacPro May 2007 / 2x DualCore Xeon / 6GB
- MacBook Pro June 2009 / Core2Duo @3GHz / 4GB

Re: distortion/clicks problems on may 2009 macbooc pro

i think we all are frustrated sad

i hope i don't have to sell my FF Uc....

Re: distortion/clicks problems on may 2009 macbooc pro

Well guys i'm feel so frustrated too sad

Re: distortion/clicks problems on may 2009 macbooc pro

... , but the newer models are just unusable

I couldn?t agree from the user experience we get. From several hundred interfaces every month the number of problems is quite low. And as you wrote, you only judge from second hand readings. Just give the UC a test in your configuration.   

Btw. this forum is not a replacement for the official RME support. The RME support people are really busy in the official channels and can only read and post here in their spare time. So please all users with serious problems contact the support with mail or by phone, describe your problem in detail and the used system and I?am sure you will get an answer.

best regards
Knut

Re: distortion/clicks problems on may 2009 macbooc pro

Admin Knut,

Thank you for your response(finally)

I thought that since my first post, RME team had opportunity to see this post and say something and i thought that was helpful for the community.
 
Ok  i'm  going to write an email.