Topic: Fireface UFX: defective or bug?

I have had a Fireface UFX for about a month, and sometimes it will mess up when powering up. I'm wondering if I have a defective unit or if it's perhaps a Firmware bug that occurs with how I have setup things in Totalmix?

The main issues:
-A bunch of noise (sounds like digital clipping) present in all Analog inputs and outputs (according to unit's front panel and TotalMix), and Muting something like the Main Out has no effect (I have to turn off my speakers or the noise continues, even on Mute). The signal is not perfectly constant in each channel (comes and goes) and will happen regardless of whether I have something actually plugged in to that channel or not. No signal is shown on the digital inputs, I'm not using digital outs so I don't know if noise is coming out of there or not.
-Inputs 9-12 are unresponsive to changes in Input Level or 48V on/off.

When it occurs:
-A short period of time after powering on the unit. The time seems random, sometimes it's a few seconds after powering up, or it may take as much as 5 minutes before it starts.
-The noise lasts for a few seconds or up to a minute.
-Sometimes, from power up until the noise stops, the lights for "TRS" and "48V" are ON for all channels 9-12, regardless of how they're actually setup or whether 48V really is on or not. Other times, the display is correct, but changes are still unresponsive.
-When the noise clears, everything is back to normal, channels 9-12 are fully responsive again, have the lights on or off correctly depending on their state, and the problem never comes back as long as the unit stays on.

Frequency:
-Most times I power the unit on, but not every time. If I just power down the unit for a few seconds then back on the problem does not occur (unfortunately, this makes it much harder to troubleshoot)

Setup:
I'm using a MacBook Pro running OS 10.6.8, 64-bit.  I have updated the Firmware to the latest version (351/141/340) as well as both the USB and Firewire drivers this morning just in case, but the behavior remains unchanged (I was previously using 349).

This happens whether I'm plugged in using Firewire or USB. However, if the unit is stand-alone, it runs problem-free (or at least I've been unable to reproduce).

There appears to be nothing else wrong with the unit; I can see and assign all inputs and outputs just fine in Mac OS, and get it to behave exactly as I want after the "noise" part is done (channels 9-12 do not respond to changes until the noise clears). And sometimes the problem doesn't occur at all.


Does anyone have a clue what else I should try? or if there's a way to determine if my unit really is faulty? My local store currently has the UFX on backorder so I have no immediate alternative to test on.

Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks!

Re: Fireface UFX: defective or bug?

Small update:
-The problem DOES occur in stand-alone as well.

3

Re: Fireface UFX: defective or bug?

Definitely defective unit.

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

Re: Fireface UFX: defective or bug?

Thanks for the reply.

If I Save Workspace using TotalMix to a file on my computer, and replace the unit with a new (non-defective) one, and Load the file, would it effectively keep all my settings intact so I don't have to re-do all my setups and stored mixes?

That's the way I understand it, but I want to be sure since it seems I'll have to do this between gigs with little testing possible in between.

5

Re: Fireface UFX: defective or bug?

Yes, it will do that.

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

Re: Fireface UFX: defective or bug?

Hello
I have the same problem.
So, I need send the unit back to You for repair ?
Does the repair is very complicated, how many time it will take?
Best regards

Re: Fireface UFX: defective or bug?

Rafata, I don't know where you're located but the answer, unfortunately, is "longer than you'd like".

I'm in Montreal, Canada, and sent my unit back beginning of November, and was told it would be 1-2 weeks. But I just got off a call with the rep today and was told it could take until end of November.

Unfortunately for me, that also means I'll lose paying gigs, since I have no solution that wouldn't cost me more than the revenue of said gigs. Would have expected either a trade-in or a quick repair seeing as this is a $2k unit which was just over a month old.

I hope you're luckier than me!

Re: Fireface UFX: defective or bug?

Rockstar wrote:

I'm in Montreal, Canada, and sent my unit back beginning of November, and was told it would be 1-2 weeks. But I just got off a call with the rep today and was told it could take until end of November.

I'm the RME Product Specialist for Canada and my direct number is 416-789-6848. Please phone or email me at your earliest convenience.

best regards,
Blair Francey
Fireface UCX & ARC; 24" iMac/OSX 10.6.8; MusicXPC C1 P4 PC/WinXP SP3

Re: Fireface UFX: defective or bug?

I've been having the exact same issue with my UFX. Unit went back to Synthax for repair and came back saying all that was found was a loose internal ribbon cable and that the unit tested fine. But, unfortunately, the problem persists. As you mentioned -- the problem is intermittent -- whenever it's in the error state, it will eventually just magically resolve itself and everything will be working normally.

Just to add a bit to the symptoms list -- it seems as though this problem is more easily reproduced if I leave the unit unplugged (AC unplugged from the wall) for a long period of time (> 8 hours). In ALMOST every case I've done this, and then powered the unit up, I am able to induce the problem.

Was your problem ever resolved? Can I ask what was done to it to resolve it? Glad to know I'm not the only one (but sorry to hear about your problems)!

Re: Fireface UFX: defective or bug?

Hello again
My UFX was repaired by RME service (no local dealer crew) and so far everything is working properly.
In delivery note I have just: "internal connection repaired".
It seems to be common problem with "the oldest" UFXs.
I'm very suprised that RME company don't announce any kind of official statement.

Re: Fireface UFX: defective or bug?

I have to say, I'm getting pretty frustrated regarding this issue. As previously posted, I'm experiencing the exact same issue as the OP stated. It went in for repair at Synthax (in the US) once, but they were unable to find the problem on the first go-around. I pointed Jeff from Synthax to this thread, and he contacted RME directly two weeks ago about a fix for this issue, but he has still not heard back from them. I too have sent direct communication to RME (last week) but have heard nothing. Jeff has been very good to me -- offering to ship it back for free for another look, but until I know that it's going to come back completely fixed, I simply can't afford to lose it for another 3 weeks.

The fact that, from previous posters, it appears that RME is aware of the issue, but is not addressing it, or helping to direct my local distributor/repair center as to how to fix this problem, is getting very frustrating.

I've posted a YouTube video demonstrating the problem: http://youtu.be/PsmTQud-zPo

Can anyone from RME help?

12

Re: Fireface UFX: defective or bug?

Sorry, your mail got loost in the flood. The unit might need additional fixing, please contact Jeff about that.

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

13 (edited by pianogineer 2012-02-08 14:47:12)

Re: Fireface UFX: defective or bug?

Hi MC,

I realize that, and am already in contact with Jeff. My concern is that the unit has already been out for repair once, but tested fine at Synthax and ceme back with the same issue. I don't want to send it out again unless I know it will be fixed.

Based on talking with other users it seems like RME is aware of the exact cause of this issue, and potentially knows how to fix it. Can you provide Jeff with any insight as to what the problem and fix is so that we can make sure it gets fixed this time around?

Thanks

Re: Fireface UFX: defective or bug?

I must admit I'm getting extremely frustrated with this issue. I feel like my problems are falling on deaf ears at RME. Can someone at RME please answer these two questions directly?

1) Has RME ever fixed a unit with this issue?
2) If so, can you please help direct Synthax as to how to fix my issue, to be sure that it gets fixed this time around?

I think it's somewhat ridiculous that I am having to involve myself with getting my unit fixed as much as I have. Seems like there is virtually no communication between RME and its distributors, which is making me feel like RME is not standing behind its products, and simply diverting all responsibility to its local distributors.

Re: Fireface UFX: defective or bug?

Hi, Matthias did send me email about this, sorry I didn't respond to you right away. Please check your inbox.

Regards,
Jeff Petersen
Synthax Inc.

Re: Fireface UFX: defective or bug?

Great -- thanks Jeff. And thanks to MC for contacting Jeff about it. Sorry that I sounded aggravated, it's obviously just frustrating when the hub of your studio/live rig is not working correctly. Glad things are in motion...

17 (edited by Kyle 2012-02-14 03:08:06)

Re: Fireface UFX: defective or bug?

Hi RME support, I have Roughly the same poblems and I am based in Taipei / Taiwan.
(see my last post SLuggish sound "sh...sh..." on UFX
It's quite unacceptable with this class of product to fail like this ...

Question : what's the international warranty policies of UFX ? One year / 2 years ?
Is there any exchange policies. I know AVid do it right and replaced my MC mix and control with my local distributors.

I am constantly in PRODUCTION and need the UFX in my chain. May return it for repair but prefer an exchange.

Rme support :

Please tell me the best and the fastest way to replace my unit !

Cheers !

Re: Fireface UFX: defective or bug?

Kyle wrote:

Question : what's the international warranty policies of UFX ? One year / 2 years ?
Is there any exchange policies.

Hi Kyle,

The warranty is 6 months from your date of purchase, and is fully described on page 102 of the latest Fireface Manual V1.8. Please contact your local reseller where you purchased your UFX to discuss repair or replacement with them

best regards,
Blair Francey
Fireface UCX & ARC; 24" iMac/OSX 10.6.8; MusicXPC C1 P4 PC/WinXP SP3

Re: Fireface UFX: defective or bug?

Thks Francey for the info. Just 6 months for the warranty ! That 's why i raise this question, I wanted to be sure. Because I was told by the retailer that it 's at lest 1 year ! Has it changed since ? Half a year seems to be a NO GO !

Re: Fireface UFX: defective or bug?

It depends on your local distributor and laws. In the US warranty is 2 years.

Regards,
Jeff Petersen
Synthax Inc.

Re: Fireface UFX: defective or bug?

Thank you for the clarification Jeff

best regards,
Blair Francey
Fireface UCX & ARC; 24" iMac/OSX 10.6.8; MusicXPC C1 P4 PC/WinXP SP3

Re: Fireface UFX: defective or bug?

Sorry to see some users are still experiencing this.

To give you all an update, my unit went to RME for repairs early November. After a lot of back and forth, I finally got a brand new unit from the retailer in early December (just days before the Holidays rush). I don't know how long it took to actually repair the faulty unit beyond that.

The good: I have a brand new unit, without the problem, been working great since I've had it (and I've used it A LOT). Restoring all my previous settings was as simple as "Load Workspace".

The bad: The time it took to get a replacement! If a unit is taken in for repairs, I would expect that they know what the problem is and can easily fix it. This was obviously not the case and it should have been immediately flagged for replacement.

Re: Fireface UFX: defective or bug?

This  is a bit scary. I love my ufx  Can I ask The rme tech crew to post the fix here for those of us with some knowledge and skills to carry out the repair?
Of course you dont want unskilled people tearing them open but for those who have no warranty it would be a nice thing to do .

24

Re: Fireface UFX: defective or bug?

This fault is currently under extended warranty, don't worry. There will be no repair charge for this exact problem, internal connectors not working correctly.

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

Re: Fireface UFX: defective or bug?

Hi
Long time RME user, first post b'cos I've never had an issue!
My Fireface UFX does this on Analog inputs 3 & 4 pretty much every time I turn it on.
After a minute or so it spits out white noise for 30 seconds then I'll often get through the day without another glitch.

If its a connector issue, is it just a question of reseating a ribbon or does it need to go in for servicing.
If so who do I contact in the UK?

cheers
Phil

26

Re: Fireface UFX: defective or bug?

That sounds more like a different issue. Just contact Synthax UK.

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

Re: Fireface UFX: defective or bug?

Hi all
I believe I have a similar problem;
Today there was some exstensive noise comming from my studio.. digital noise even whit main out muted.
On the UFX digital noise comes on all 12 analogue channels! - I've just upgraded firmware and usb software and that didn't fully help. Now the noise stays a bit before it goes away and I can use the analogue channels on the UFX
Using the remote control to change the main volume makes the noise come back for 3 seconds
Selecting a specific snapshot makes the nose come for 1 second. Turning off my computer makes the noise go away (it doesnt show on the units meeter aither)...

Please, what can I do to make this stable again?? ... would hate to blow my clients ears with this noise

cheers
JT
Norway

Re: Fireface UFX: defective or bug?

Hi,

I like RME for its workflow and stable drivers.
But...
My fireface 800 psu fried a few years ago with a rost smell of fried electronica coming out of the unit...I send it to repair.
I decided then to upgrade to ufx which seemed to have beefy or more stable psu...now guess what... I have the same syndroma as you guys....
My inputs meters  are blinking as hell and the unit shows a totally strange erratic behaviour....and have the same "let it off for at least 8 hours in order madness to show on..."
Sometimes it shows another behaviour pattern...no blinking at all...correct outputs, correct signal output on the rme unit screen and totalmix...but no sound coming from the ufx...after 20-30 min of trying to tweak everything (til just power cord plugged)..it eventually decides to work again....
Furthemore...my ufx screen stays blue sometimes...sometimes it bleeds....

well...I feel somehow over frustrated... what can I do?
I live in Switzerland...it is out of garuantee..Do i need to send it back to sythax? :'( (studio off....

Re: Fireface UFX: defective or bug?

Any comments from RME about this? Thank you.

Re: Fireface UFX: defective or bug?

Hello,

indeed this looks like a hardware issue, sorry. Please contact the retailer or local distributor.


Regards
Daniel Fuchs
RME

Regards
Daniel Fuchs
RME

31 (edited by AtomAudio 2017-03-06 20:50:54)

Re: Fireface UFX: defective or bug?

Hello Daniel,
thank's for your answer.

Regards

Mat

32 (edited by AtomAudio 2017-03-11 10:36:53)

Re: Fireface UFX: defective or bug?

The pattern of events leading to the failure of the unit and the recovery is amazingly identical each time I try to understand what is going on. It is clear that I have to send my unit to repair.
The ufx begins its starting operation normally in appareance...the outputs on the totalmix and ufx screen are correct but there is no sound coming out ot the unit....
Then...after let's say...about 7-10 minutes...often after a pc restart...the unit begins with those clipping on several inputs and outputs... after 2-3 pc restart or eventually sometimes an ufx restart or also after unplugging and repluging the usb cable......the unit stabilizes itself and works for hours and hours...
You shut it off a few hours....and you begin another cycle....
I'm wondering what it could be....maybe heat related...I don't know.

33 (edited by pmzilfo 2021-09-09 12:46:09)

Re: Fireface UFX: defective or bug?

Hi, I'm a proud RME UFX user from Cyprus. Absolutely adore my unit and depend on it heavily. This morning I turned on the power to my rack and after the RME turned on I had the absolute BEJESUS scared out of me! I had the sound of incredibly loud digital clipping coming through my monitors and my headphones that were also plugged into the UFX. In a panic, all I could do was just switch off the RME from its own power switch. After changing my underwear metaphorically speaking, I turned off my monitors and then turned on the RME again and then heard the noise was still coming through the headphones since I hadn't unplugged them, so I unplugged those immediately. What's interesting about this issue is that I had noise on ALL the analog inputs AN 1-8 and Mic9-12. The noise is not at 0dB on the meters of the RME mixer but probably somewhere halfway. I should have made a screenshot. Also my main out was muted but it seems this setting was ignored because the sound still came through my speakers when I first turned on the rack this morning.

I'm on Firmwarre v360 and Driver 3.21 which are the most recent as of right now).

My first guess was that it was a sample rate issue, so I opened up the Fireface USB Settings and changed my sample rate from 48k to 96k and then back. No difference. I turned it off and on again, no difference. After a few mins of trying I tried the sample rate change again. I switched from 48 to 96 and then when I switched back to 48 it stopped. Then I switched back to 96 and it started again. And then I switched back to 48 and it stopped. So if it was the sample rate then why didn't it stop before when I first tried to change it? And now, after doing some back and forth between sample rates it's not doing the noise any more. 48, 96, 192 all ok. So maybe it's not sample rate related and the unit just needed time to warm up and make better contact? I have no idea what's going on.

After reading the whole post thread I can say that my unit was also off overnight. I can't reproduce the problem now when I turn it on and off.

I'm really worried about this because I use this for my live gigs too and can't be without it. Does anybody know what the problem is and if it can be fixed by the user? I have no problem opening up gear and making sure stuff is plugged in properly or replacing a ribbon cable if I have a replacement. But don't know how I'd be able to work without the RME if it was gone for repair for weeks.

I bought this unit back in 2013 and it has been the rock-solid foundation of hundreds of gigs and thoudsands of hours of studio time. I do understand that professional gear requires maintenance once in a while and don't expect that it will work flawlessly over its entire lifetime. Would really appreciate any feedback about what I should do. The last post on this topic was from 2017. Was the problem solved? Do we know what is the problem and can I fix it myself and resume operation?

Thanks!

Edit:
Just found this video on YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4MmcnwQFKQ
Don't know if it's relevant but would make sense that after so many years of using it, one of the capacitors on the power board has reached the end of its life. If you look at the beginning of the video, that's what it looks like for me as well on the TotalMix. All the analog inputs have a noise signal. Anybody have any thoughts on this? Since I'm beyond my warranty, i should be able to open it up and just visually identify if there are any capacitors that are bulging and then take it to somebody competent to replace it.

Re: Fireface UFX: defective or bug?

Possibly the power supply, which would require service.

Regards
Daniel Fuchs
RME

Re: Fireface UFX: defective or bug?

Hi everyone, just an update on my previous post quoted below. The problem has been solved based on what I had seen in the youtube video, which was in my previous post. Daniel Fuchs btw yes it's correct it was a power supply issue! I opened up the unit and saw that two of the capacitors on the power board had bulged which indicates that they had to be replaced. I took it to a qualified electronics technician who replaced all 12 capacitors on the board. He explained that the capacitors on the power board are doing "heavier lifting" than the other capacitors found on the other PCBs inside the UFX. Their life especially under heavy use at higher temperatures, as we have in Cyprus, would be up to 10 years so it was worth changing all the power board capacitors instead of waiting for the next ones to inevitably fail.

Here's a photo before changing out the capacitors with the 2 bulging capacitors in the pink square and all the caps that were going to be changed marked with red arrows:
https://i.imgur.com/vATcpWN.jpg

These are the two bulging capacitors close-up:
https://i.imgur.com/SxXMHaj.jpg

This is after the 12 capacitors were changed:
https://i.imgur.com/1CJdaTi.jpg

Does anybody know the purpose of the big blue one at the top of the image? That one wasn't changed out.

My unit is working fine again. Back to business! Thanks to RME for building amazing gear!


Just a disclaimer:
I don't recommend that anyone should open up their RME unit and change out capacitors. If you're under warranty, send it in to be done professionally. My UFX is out of warranty and almost 10 years old now with thousands of hours of studio and live gig usage. It failed a few days before a gig so I took it to an electronics technician that specializes in musical electronic equipment.