Topic: UFX+ Thunderbolt dropouts

Experiencing the occasional dropout with the UFX+.

Using Thunderbolt (startech adapter with PCIe card)
Asus z170-A
i7 6700K
Windows 7 64 Pro
Cubase 8.5

Exactly the same machine has run for years with no dropouts with the Mutliface/Hammerfall PCI card. Everything is identical apart form the UFX+ and the Thunderbolt PCIe card. Same BIOS. I think I might have updated the USB drivers actually but I'm not using any new USB devices (was going to try the UFX+ aver USB but decided to go with TB instead).

Ran LatencyMon 4.02 for 1.5 hours - all green under 29 micro secs with affirmative message. The only thing that went red was some page faults.

The dropouts are pretty infrequent - I can be working for hours/all day without problem and then seemingly out of nowhere it will burp. It has occurred when just playing a vst or a piano library with Kontakt - not recording. I can't seem to reproduce the dropout myself which is annoying. I wish there were some logs that could provide some more info.

Re: UFX+ Thunderbolt dropouts

Just an idea ...
If I remember right somebody from forum last recently told, that a BIOS upgrade cured his issues.
Do you use the latest BIOS version for your mainboard ?

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10 Pro 2004, Cubase 10.5.20, UFX+, XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, ARC USB

Re: UFX+ Thunderbolt dropouts

ramses wrote:

Just an idea ...
If I remember right somebody from forum last recently told, that a BIOS upgrade cured his issues.
Do you use the latest BIOS version for your mainboard ?

Thank you Ramses! I'm not on the latest BIOS - I was hesitant to upgrade because I heard some talk of an Intel security patch thing that impacts the CPU performance but it's worth a shot - i'll give it a go.

4 (edited by Chi 2020-08-01 15:11:07)

Re: UFX+ Thunderbolt dropouts

ramses wrote:

Just an idea ...
If I remember right somebody from forum last recently told, that a BIOS upgrade cured his issues.
Do you use the latest BIOS version for your mainboard ?

Unfortunately the bios update didn't help sad

Still getting the very occasional dropout. It's very strange - I have no idea how to proceed.

LatencyMon runs for hours with no errors apart from page faults - says everything should be good for audio work.

The only thing I noticed was the the CPU meter in Cubase hit the red when the dropout occurs. Prior to and after the dropout the meter is very low, like 3%, under no apparent stress but something causes it to spike momentarily.

I've never had this issue before, 5+ years on this same system, with the Multiface so it's really odd that it started happening since switching to the UFX+.

Any ideas about how I could narrow this down would be really appreciated.

Re: UFX+ Thunderbolt dropouts

What happens if you use a supported USB3 port from chipset ?

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10 Pro 2004, Cubase 10.5.20, UFX+, XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, ARC USB

6 (edited by Chi 2020-08-01 17:46:20)

Re: UFX+ Thunderbolt dropouts

ramses wrote:

What happens if you use a supported USB3 port from chipset ?

I don't really have any - the USB3 ports on this mobo are Asmedia 3.1 (unsupported) or the Asus 3.0 which another member here who has the same mobo has reported to be a bit iffy (he moved to TB which solved his issues)

I'm also committed to TB since I need the MADI I/O..

7 (edited by ramses 2020-08-01 18:02:26)

Re: UFX+ Thunderbolt dropouts

MADI / full channel count works with USB3.

I only want to offer to you a possibly viable workaround, I have no thunderbolt card, I can't comment to it.

ASMedia has different chipsets, this card with ASM2142 worked for me, but I use it mainly for backup purposes:
https://www.heise.de/preisvergleich/sta … 03149.html

If you can get a card with FL1100 chipset, see manual (->supported), then it should work as well:
https://geizhals.de/sonnet-allegro-4-po … 48037.html

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10 Pro 2004, Cubase 10.5.20, UFX+, XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, ARC USB

8 (edited by Chi 2020-08-01 18:25:25)

Re: UFX+ Thunderbolt dropouts

ramses wrote:

MADI / full channel count works with USB3.

I only want to offer to you a possibly viable workaround, I have no thunderbolt card, I can't comment to it.

ASMedia has different chipsets, this card with ASM2142 worked for me, but I use it mainly for backup purposes:
https://www.heise.de/preisvergleich/sta … 03149.html

If you can get a card with FL1100 chipset, see manual (->supported), then it should work as well:
https://geizhals.de/sonnet-allegro-4-po … 48037.html

I see - might be worth investigating but it doesn't really make much sense since TB 'should' in theory offer slightly better performance and be less susceptible to driver/sw/hw conflicts.

Do you have any reason to suspect the TB driver/HW to be the issue here?

9 (edited by Chi 2020-08-02 01:04:14)

Re: UFX+ Thunderbolt dropouts

I should add...

All C-states and power saving disabled in BIOS.

No GFX card - using the inbuilt from CPU.

Networking disabled in the BIOS.

High performance profile in Windows.

10 (edited by lightbox 2020-08-01 20:50:20)

Re: UFX+ Thunderbolt dropouts

Chi wrote:

I'm also committed to TB since I need the MADI I/O..

MADI works perfectly fine for me with UFX+ via USB3

11

Re: UFX+ Thunderbolt dropouts

lightbox wrote:
Chi wrote:

I'm also committed to TB since I need the MADI I/O..

MADI works perfectly fine for me with UFX+ via USB3

Thank you wink - that's good to know and I will of course try this route with a USB card if nothing else seems to work.

Having already invested in the recommended TB card and StarTech adapter I would really like to see there is any way to use them. TB should work from what I have read and supposedly has less issues than USB with shared bus/resources - but yeah, I will try USB if all else fails.

I have sent a mail to RME support to see if they have any ideas what might be happening.

12 (edited by ramses 2020-08-01 21:27:07)

Re: UFX+ Thunderbolt dropouts

Chi wrote:
lightbox wrote:
Chi wrote:

I'm also committed to TB since I need the MADI I/O..

MADI works perfectly fine for me with UFX+ via USB3

Thank you wink - that's good to know and I will of course try this route with a USB card if nothing else seems to work.

Having already invested in the recommended TB card and StarTech adapter I would really like to see there is any way to use them. TB should work from what I have read and supposedly has less issues than USB with shared bus/resources - but yeah, I will try USB if all else fails.

I have sent a mail to RME support to see if they have any ideas what might be happening.

What issues with USB ? wink https://www.tonstudio-forum.de/blog/ind … cks-de-en/

Always depends on the combination of HW / BIOS / drivers ...

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10 Pro 2004, Cubase 10.5.20, UFX+, XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, ARC USB

Re: UFX+ Thunderbolt dropouts

Chi wrote:

Experiencing the occasional dropout with the UFX+.

Using Thunderbolt (startech adapter with PCIe card)
Asus z170-A
i7 6700K
Windows 7 64 Pro
Cubase 8.5

Exactly the same machine has run for years with no dropouts with the Mutliface/Hammerfall PCI card. Everything is identical apart form the UFX+ and the Thunderbolt PCIe card. Same BIOS. I think I might have updated the USB drivers actually but I'm not using any new USB devices (was going to try the UFX+ aver USB but decided to go with TB instead).

Ran LatencyMon 4.02 for 1.5 hours - all green under 29 micro secs with affirmative message. The only thing that went red was some page faults.

The dropouts are pretty infrequent - I can be working for hours/all day without problem and then seemingly out of nowhere it will burp. It has occurred when just playing a vst or a piano library with Kontakt - not recording. I can't seem to reproduce the dropout myself which is annoying. I wish there were some logs that could provide some more info.

I'm using a UFX+  and I previously had the same problem while using Cubase.  I set the ASIO guard in Cubase to "High" and it solved the problem.
Go to "Studio" at the top of the Cubase screen and then to "Studio Setup"  and look for "Asio Guard Level" in the open dialog box and set the level to "High".   This may help you with the drop out problem.

UFX+ x2 ; Babyface Pro x2; UFX Original;  Windows 10 64 bit ; Intel core i9 9900KS CPU; 64 Gig DDR4

14 (edited by Chi 2020-08-01 21:39:01)

Re: UFX+ Thunderbolt dropouts

ramses wrote:

What issues with USB ? wink https://www.tonstudio-forum.de/blog/ind … cks-de-en/

Always depends on the combination of HW / BIOS / drivers ...

Indeed it does.

Here is one case where the guy had some stability problems with USB3 in his setup. I will be using similar HW too which is why I went with TB. I have seen other users have issues running with USB when other devices share the same controller.

https://forum.rme-audio.de/viewtopic.php?id=30802

It should run fine on both USB and TB since it was made for that - however it is documented to not be OK with all USB controllers/chipsets whereas I haven't seen anything similar about TB. Of course this could be wrong but I haven't read anything to suggest there are particular TB configs that don't work.

15

Re: UFX+ Thunderbolt dropouts

RuffRider wrote:

I'm using a UFX+  and I previously had the same problem while using Cubase.  I set the ASIO guard in Cubase to "High" and it solved the problem.
Go to "Studio" at the top of the Cubase screen and then to "Studio Setup"  and look for "Asio Guard Level" in the open dialog box and set the level to "High".   This may help you with the drop out problem.


Wow - I somehow missed your post before now!

This is amazing - thank you! So you experienced the same sporadic dropouts too - just out of nowhere and not very often?

https://steinberg.help/cubase_pro_artis … ard_c.html

I just had a quick read about this ASIO guard and it looks like it introduces an extra buffer and will increase latency - it also says that it is not to be used for realtime-dependent signals or external effects and instruments. I'm already running with a 256 buffer so it feels wrong that the PC should need more than that to be stable - especially when the CPU is not being taxed at all. I have tested running a decent sized project down at the lowest 32 buffer and it seems to cope (albeit with a big CPU hike). The type of dropouts caused by buffer overruns don't seem to be the same as what is causing the dropouts i'm seeing.


https://www.steinberg.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=71712

ASIO guard also seems to be for playback tracks and not monitoring and realtime. I'm seeing the dropouts occur when there is no playback tracks - just playing realtime VST instruments. hmm..

I will try your suggestion and report back after a while to see how it goes wink

Thank you so much for this smile

16 (edited by RuffRider 2020-08-02 19:38:17)

Re: UFX+ Thunderbolt dropouts

@ Chi
Also if you are using a NVIDIA graphics card - when downloading the driver from the NVIDIA website make sure you search for the "Studio Driver" and not the "Gaming Driver".  And when installing the driver do a custom "clean" install and only install the graphics driver.

UFX+ x2 ; Babyface Pro x2; UFX Original;  Windows 10 64 bit ; Intel core i9 9900KS CPU; 64 Gig DDR4

17

Re: UFX+ Thunderbolt dropouts

RuffRider wrote:

@ Chi
Also if you are using a NVIDIA graphics card - when downloading the driver from the NVIDIA website make sure you search for the "Studio Driver" and not the "Gaming Driver".  And when installing the driver do a custom "clean" install and only install the graphics driver.

Thanks RuffRider smile

I'm using the integrated GFX of the CPU so no card or drivers.

Did you experience the same type of sporadic dropouts - just out of nowhere and not very often and could be many hours between?

Re: UFX+ Thunderbolt dropouts

Chi wrote:
RuffRider wrote:

@ Chi
Also if you are using a NVIDIA graphics card - when downloading the driver from the NVIDIA website make sure you search for the "Studio Driver" and not the "Gaming Driver".  And when installing the driver do a custom "clean" install and only install the graphics driver.

Thanks RuffRider smile

I'm using the integrated GFX of the CPU so no card or drivers.

Did you experience the same type of sporadic dropouts - just out of nowhere and not very often and could be many hours between?

Yes I did experience the same type of dropouts as you mentioned - even on Cubase Demo songs.

UFX+ x2 ; Babyface Pro x2; UFX Original;  Windows 10 64 bit ; Intel core i9 9900KS CPU; 64 Gig DDR4

19 (edited by bullmoon 2020-08-05 23:00:05)

Re: UFX+ Thunderbolt dropouts

You might reference my recent post about the UFX+ and TB3 on PCs. I think you will not get stability or full functionality.  I could never get glitch-free audio nor get Asio Direct Monitoring to work.  With USB3, it's all fine but requires a very high quality cable.  Interestingly, my TB3 port works fine as a USB-C 3 port for the FF UFX+.

I sent my Startech adapter back to Amazon as well as the TB cables - all very expensive for something that didn't work.  I feel sort of OK that my TB3 card in the computer at least gives me a couple of USB-C style ports; pricey option, but they work and probably work as TB3 also, just not with the UFX+ and those adapters, Apple or Startech.

Good luck.

20 (edited by Chi 2020-08-06 00:26:07)

Re: UFX+ Thunderbolt dropouts

bullmoon wrote:

You might reference my recent post about the UFX+ and TB3 on PCs. I think you will not get stability or full functionality.  I could never get glitch-free audio nor get Asio Direct Monitoring to work.  With USB3, it's all fine but requires a very high quality cable.  Interestingly, my TB3 port works fine as a USB-C 3 port for the FF UFX+.

I sent my Startech adapter back to Amazon as well as the TB cables - all very expensive for something that didn't work.  I feel sort of OK that my TB3 card in the computer at least gives me a couple of USB-C style ports; pricey option, but they work and probably work as TB3 also, just not with the UFX+ and those adapters, Apple or Startech.

Good luck.

Thank you very much for this information bullmoon! That is very interesting  indeed. What a great suggestion to try things over USB via the USB-C port of the TB3 card. I hadn't even thought to try that and I was kind of reluctant to fork out for more cards after getting the TB3 Card/cables/adapter etc..which are not cheap.

I've been way to busy to test the suggested ASIO-Guard settings in Cubase but honestly was not that optimistic about it. I will still try it though.

I'm not sure how quickly I should expect a response from the official RME support either - I sent a mail about 5 days ago but have not heard anything back yet - I really want to hear what their advice @MC or @Daniel.

..but i'm very encouraged that you and others have everything working with USB smile

Any chance you could post a link to the USB-C cable you are using? I bought a high end USB3 cable but it has the regular A and B connections. I will need to find one with USB-C.

Re: UFX+ Thunderbolt dropouts

I have had good USB3 performance using the cable that came with the UFX+ and this extender:
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00 … &psc=1

And also with this USB-B to USB-C cable both on USB3 and TB3 ports:
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B01 … &psc=1

I think shorter cables are better, but I needed to get about 9 feet to a computer room.  I tried probably 5 cables and those two above were the only ones that were reliable.

Apparently all TB3 ports also support USB3, but not all USB3 ports will do Thurnderbolt. I have not had a new computer in 12 years, so this is all new to me. smile

22

Re: UFX+ Thunderbolt dropouts

bullmoon wrote:

I have had good USB3 performance using the cable that came with the UFX+ and this extender:
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00 … &psc=1

And also with this USB-B to USB-C cable both on USB3 and TB3 ports:
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B01 … &psc=1

I think shorter cables are better, but I needed to get about 9 feet to a computer room.  I tried probably 5 cables and those two above were the only ones that were reliable.

Apparently all TB3 ports also support USB3, but not all USB3 ports will do Thurnderbolt. I have not had a new computer in 12 years, so this is all new to me. smile

Awesome! Many thanks bullmoon smile