Re: Hardware Alert: FireWire solutions with Agere FW chip
My latest mails to them are still unanswered...
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My latest mails to them are still unanswered...
I must say at this point I am quite dissapointed. After doing some research, I determined that the Fireface 400 would be the best way to have a high resolution audio interface for my Macbook. I received the FF today, and tried to set it up. After no luck getting the FF to be recognized by my MB, I discovered these forums. While I understand that this incompatibility may not be RME's fault, it is obvious that RME has known about the problem for many months now, and indeed there is no mention of the problem when one looks for information on using the product or buying one. The RME website certainly makes it clear that the FF is compatible with all late model Macs.
Apparently I now own a FF 400, which I cannot use, unless I purchase a different computer. I am hoping that I am wrong here, and that an update will be forthcoming which will take care of the problem, but at this point that does not seem to be the case.
I am asking those more in the know than I, do I need to just return the FF 400 and look for another solution?
MacBook, 2.4 GHz, 2 GB RAM, OS 10.5.2, Lucent FW controller
The FF will be detected and Settingsdialog/TotalMix will work. Just when you try to start an audio playback it doesn't work. If your FF is not recognized at all, then something else might be wrong.
Apparently I now own a FF 400, which I cannot use, unless I purchase a different computer... I am asking those more in the know than I, do I need to just return the FF 400 and look for another solution?
It is a stupid problem, yes - but I still wouldn't see it that bad... What you can always do is a) use the "firewire-hub-workaround" (inserting something like an external harddrive between Mac and FF) or b) get a firewire-expressCard (preferably one with TI chipset (maybe a Lacie...)) - and you will have a lot of fun with a wonderful audio interface...
i own a fireface 800 and while it's working perfectly for me on my imac 24" 2.33ghz (the old, white one), i'm a little irritated about rme's behaviour with the whole agere firewire chip mess. i've been watching this for some time now and while it may not be initially rme's fault that apple uses a somehow incompatible firwire chip i think it would be wise for rme to try to find some kind of a solution. the way i understand it there are other firewire devices that work perfectly with the agere chip so it should be possible for rme to write some kind of a firmware update or whatever to adapt to the new situation. but right now (and for some time now) rme isn't doing anything at all: you provided your customers with a workaround and that's it? honestly, i'm gravely disappointed. from a company like rme i would have expected some kind of a fix (apparently you are not even working on a fix, or are you?), or, if a fix is technically impossible, some kind of notification on your website so your customers and your potential customers know about the situation. i'm sure that a pretty large chunk of your customer base is working with apple products. but...nothing! i do sell rme hardware from time to time, but considering rme's behaviour regarding this issue makes me think about it twice. you guys really didn't handle the situation very smoothly...i'm sorry but i have to say i'm disappointed...
all the best,
So you know what is going on in the background here, what is technically possible or not to fix this, what communication is going on, what we can say or not about this, and what might happen tomorrow - wonderful.
We handled the situation as best as possible by giving out information very early and declaring the products as 'incompatible'. Which other company would have dared to do so?
But obviously we do not have a blog running that tells anyone every second what confidential things are happening behind the scenes. And this will not change.
I completely agree with johnthemiracle. If you think that I spent 2,500 Euro for my e.Mac and 1.200 Euro for the FF800 and I cannot use them together, this is really frustrating. I don't say RME is guilty, but I think RME could push more strongly on Apple, because, if this problem is not solved there are more probability for RME to lose customers than for Apple. It is sufficient for people to look for a different audio card working good with the iMac. In any case I went on Apple support web site writing the same things I wrote in this forum, but at the moment I didn't receive any answer from Apple (really a rubber wall!) while I received only one comment from another member having the same hardware and the same problem. Furthermore I was unable to find out here in Naples and neighboroud, both in Apple stores and other computer shops a firewire cable for the 800 port to check if with this connection I could overcome the problem. Sincerely I dislike to buy this cable via e-shop paying 20 Euro for transportation for something whose price is 12/13 Euro.
[... but I think RME could push more strongly on Apple, because, if this problem is not solved there are more probability for RME to lose customers than for Apple... Sincerely I dislike to buy this cable via e-shop paying 20 Euro for transportation for something whose price is 12/13 Euro
a) I think that it is more than obvious that Apple realised their fault - all new models have TI chips again...
b) So you spend thousands of ? for a Mac and then complain about 7 ? for a cable that might well solve your problems... you are really funny!
But honestly, this discussion is pointless from start to finish. RME proved their quality again and again and it is by far the company with best driver development and bug fixing I've ever seen.
Thank you RME!
i'm sorry, but i'm very confused.
in all the posts latly about the mac problem i still didnt understand what's end up.
if i'll buy a mac is it going to work with my ff400 or there are still going to be problems?
If Agere (Lucent), there will be problems.
obviously apple is about to release new imacs next week, hopefully they revert to the old chipset/include a working pcie one.
just to be clear and shure.
"- You can use an FW 800 to FW400 adapter cable. This way the Fireface 400 will work too (using the 800 port)
thats mean that i connect my FF400 TO THE FW800 port with an adapter and it's working without any problems?
even if i'll buy a macbook today?
this whole thing is confusing me. how will the ff 400 work with an alum imac if i have the ti chipset? i dont care if i have to go throught a hard drive. i only have 1 fw 400 port anyways so i have to do that. thanx for any help...
You have the good FW chipset so you don't need to worry. It?s the new Agere chipset that means trouble.
just spoke to apple support, after one hour of explaining and arguing
they did not move an inch. they deny that theres a problem with
the firewirechipsets in any of the current models and that
RME is to blame for not complying with the firewire standard.
get this - they really do not know about the issue,
despite posts in their official discussion board AND someone
official verifying the problem. i'm really disappointed.
worst support ever. rising marketshare makes everyone
Apparently, they are also trying to hide the problem:
http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jsp … p;tstart=0
(see last post) EDIT: well.. post 6.
and this is not the first time:
And here are some more info...
the new imacs released this monday again incorporate the agere firewirechip,
so until further notice, these machines are incompatible. sad thing.
-please excuse my english-
After a long process, of seeing what was wrong and what was actually functioning, also after writing to the rme support, I decided to post my experiences with my fireface 400, and the workaround i found.
First, my equipment:
(please keep in mind the numbers in the list, I will use this numbers for various combinations.
1- Fireface 400 (bought february 2007)
2-Apple Macbook Pro- 2,16-3 gig ram- TI CHIPSET-
2.4-Firewire 400 port
2.8-Firewire 800 port
3- the original that comes with the FF 400
4- new one (shorter)
5- new one (larger)
6- Firewire 400 to firewire 800
7- "Lindy" express card -two firewire 400 ports- with TI Chipset
-I had some time ago, a powerbook G4. The mother board had to be changed, because it had a lot of troubles -going to sleep randomly-
-I bought this macbook pro.
-from september 2007 to febbruary 2008 my equipment functioned perfect, both with bus power or ac adapter. I use it mainly for recording concerts.
from end of february, I started to hear suddenly a very loud digital noise, coming out of any output connected. in both bus and ac. and the frequenz sample jumped randomly, from 44.1 to 10398767 and back to 98786565 so....weird and no pattern.
I wasnt able to clarify the reason or error.
-the fireface did NOT show any through the software.
1+2.4+3 or 4 or 5:
Didn't work. BUS and AC adapter
-at this point I had already reached rme support...they sugested all this (trying diferent cables). Also, found this forum. And the ones in apple about the failures in the AGERE chipset. BUT: I have TI chipset in my computer.
Didn't work. BUS and AC adapter
I finally bought the 7:
1+3 or 4 or 5+7
Only Ac adapter (external express card doesn't give the Bus power)
No noise, no problems at all!!! BUT: the airport signal stop working EVERY time i disconect the express card. I have to reset computer to get it working again....
apple doesn't care too much about...or untill now they haven't posted something clear. I think they have focused the production to hobby matters, or "nice" and "life" activities: pictures, tunes... i mean...ilife. And NOT to the hard and professional use they once had. They are getting close to what is now PC...specially with leopard
It is very very tiring to deal with things that sould be repared or investigated by the companies. Time lost, energy, and of course...money.
-rme works fine.
-NOT ONLY the Agere chip has problems...at least in may case: I have TI chip.
The only workaround that worked for me: New express card with Firewire 400 port ("Lindy" express card -two firewire 400 ports- with TI Chipset)
Now let's see how long that will work...!
back to making music!...that doesn't has to do with digital world...
hello, new here, though watching this space for quite some time...
i own an RME FF400, which i love indeed, as it gave that special sound to my recordings, it reallly did!
sadly, i am switching permanently on MAC, due to the constant PC failures (all the time). thing is, after doing a research on the net, i found out this specific card has a serious problem against the new iMacs (i'm waiting for the new one to arrive, 3.06ghz, 24", with the Agere chipset, i'm told).
soooo, what is the best/only solution? i really really don't want to give out the ff400 and get another one. but if it is not working, i will do it. as i am working professionally on audio, i cannot stay without an audio card for more than a few hours. imagine it if it's not working!!!!!
should i get that 400to800 adaptor to connect it?
should i buy a hdd with fw ins and daisy-chain?
should i forget these all and go with another card?
Thanks copilcos for your detailed explanations of your experiences.
I have an Santa Rosa MBP 2.2Ghz. I just tried the SIIG 2X Firewire 400 with my FF400. It glitches even more than in my original firewire port... Why so much pain to create and produce.
By the way I had an MOTU Ultralite and it worked perfectly. But as I'm a sound freak, I had to "upgrade" for better A/D D/A conversion.
So I guess it's not only the Agere hardware that make FF400 glitching like that.
On other hands, my FF400 works perfectly with my Quad Core 2.66Ghz... Just don't know what to think.
I made my test in 32 and 64 of buffer size samples for real time monitoring with 2 compressor and one EQ.
Considering to switch again with MOTU.
Have a nice day everyone
This saga is still a bit of a mystery for me. Can RME confirm that you are within the fire wire specification and that it?s the Agere chip that is not, or is the answer not that simple?
If I were to guess, it?s this part of RME?s "special" FW solution extra sensitive to the Agere chipset;
"That's exactly what RME do. The Fireface stops audio for about 3 ms (!), this way resetting the sample position on every case of lost packages/drop out. It works fantastic, is an outstanding unique feature of RME hardware, and once again shows the tremendous possibilities when not relying on a fixed chip solution." *
This is of course just a wild guess but it?s a bit weird that some interfaces work with the Agere and some don't.
I would be extremely pleased if someone at RME could spread some light on this topic.
What is the other workaround for this?
because i will have a mac book and they dont have fw800 port ony 400.
The answer is not that simple. And it is not about our FireWire compatibility, more about the one between the TI chip that we (and Apple!) use and the Agere one. Our special solution does have nothing to do with this.
I think this thread is losing it's usefulness quite rapidly. I would suggest that someone how knows this issue really well should summarise the useful things into a single message (what this issue is about, what are the effected pieces of hardware, how to identify the Agere chip without installing anything, what are the symptoms, the things you can do to work around this if you already have an agere mac and a link to this thread if you really want to confuse yourself), sticky that and un-stick this one. I don't own a mac but I'm considering switching to that at some point of time so this is just a comment from a frequent reader.
Have a nice springtime and make good music!
true, you get kinda lost through these 3 pages of comments. lots of models of macs involved and in the end i am going to ask one more time. what to do!!
Has the problem been fixed yet?
I agree with Eki77.
The more I read about the Agere chip, the more I am confused. So I thought I will ask you directly.
I use the Fireface400 and am thinking about the 24 inch imac. I am thinking about it simply because it is quiet and I think I can keep the computer in the same room as I record (which I am surprise that not more people had point out.)
1) Does the 6 to 9 pin firewire wire really work? Are there any news about the new imac.
It works for us and for Apple. What else can I say...
It works for us and for Apple. What else can I say...
Can anyone comment regarding the latest revision of the FW643 chipset?
Any news from Apple or is it the usual "wall of silence"?
Apparently the ECHO cards are also affected although they run, but not so well. A friend has a MB (Agere/Lucent) and he gets crackles and pops below 256 samples.
hi i posted this already in another thread that seems to be dealing with the same issue, but maybe there are more answers here
hi there i am a new user to this forum.
i recently was asked by my FF800 to install the latest drivers and did so. its now version 2.60a
since then, and not once before, i have the red host light issue.
i followed previous instructions and checked which firewire controller i have and its the Agere.
my two big questions are
why the change, why did it previously work faultlessly?
and who, when and how will it be fixed?
I am running 2.4 Ghz intel core 2 duo, 4 gb ram. OSX version 10.4.11
huahahaha... You really ask, when it will be fixed? Our only hope is, that some american people will take Apple to court for selling not-working firewire chips and not being concerned for pissed users... but we in europe will not get help from that... have you mentioned, that Apple seems to completly ignore this whole story??
Why make music? I have stopped this because it is just not working with my new Mac!
dude, you're weird.. you stopped making music because your new mac is not compatible with your card???
change back to pc and do some
or sell the firewire audiocard and buy a usb one..
you know what, it doesn't have to be an rme to make music..
also, if you delete the fireface_settings file from the applications folder, it will work, trust me!! maybe somehow limited, but you can make music again. i did the same
just try it! i got a new imac 3.06 2 weeks ago, in the beginning had a problem. i was only using the fw400 cable to the fw400 port on my computer. the ff settings window wouldn't close, staying all the time in front of my desktop :S
i was angry and deleted the fireface_settings file that was in my applications folder. all of a sudden, it continued working!!!
then, i saw that i could only change the buffer size (from all the settings available) but i could listen to music again, working on cubase/ableton/logic without problems and everything else seems fine! no problems recording, no problems playing back
for those who have this problem, just try it. if it doesn't work for you, then i might be the only lucky one
Which revision of the chip (FW643) are we talking about anyway?
The new LSI/AGERE chips are starting to be very widely used in new motherboards.
For example the entire ASUS P45 (use the name Asus P5Q-XXX) lineup all use FW3227 chip. Anyone know if it will work or not? I have a FF400.
Which about the FW643, which is card based?
Is there more news on the firewire issue? There have been some updates for the imac and OSX during the last few weeks.
I'm still not sure if I can add an external FW800 drive to the Lucent iMac with an Apogee Duet..
It works for us and for Apple. What else can I say...
doesn`t work for me (24" imac FF400)... have to have a firewire 800 hardisk between imac and FF400 to work...
We're talking about a new revision of the chipset now anyway.
And what about the older ones? Do we get fixes??
Someone said in a post that you can use a 1394b to 1394a adapter, any confirmation on this from the manufacturer?
New MacBooks Pro "Penryn", have TI inside - I've tested three models 2, 2.5 GHZ 15' and one 17' - all showed the "TI" in the firewire string. Tested in Lucerne, Switzerland.
So I've bought one 15' :-)
Hi troubled RME owners, I have the following alum iMac:
Model Name: iMac
Model Identifier: iMac7,1
Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo
Processor Speed: 2 GHz
OS X 10.5.4
I recently bought a Firewire 800>400 cable.
I can finally get the iMac to communicate with the Fireface 400 now via the innermost Firewire port. Haven't tested recording or any audio sequencers yet but playback on iTunes seems to be good although I get the occasional audio dropout.
The Fireface 400 worked fine on my previous G4 and Toshiba laptop with PCMCIA Firewire expansion card.
I'd lke to try a Firewire hub or external Firewire hard disk but they're not cheap.