1 (edited by EvilDragon 2022-09-08 19:17:19)

Topic: UFX+: Intermittent buzz/dropouts

I noticed this started happening today on my UFX+ (which is now 4 years old, and had a replaced power supply).

Very sporadically (like once every 5-10 minutes), I notice this specific short buzz happening in the signal I'm recording over front panel inputs (for now I tried inputs 9 and 10, so two leftmost ones). The buzz actually ends up in the recorded signal, it's not happening only on the output to my speakers.

You can hear this on these two DI guitar samples:

https://app.box.com/s/dzv0peuczij6agqf417z2ggm4y091fsc
https://app.box.com/s/wykevcwi2s0vd6ma5bvkobrj38a3mgr1

I tested my computer with LatencyMon and everything is green/checks out. However I'm not convinced this is a software related issue (otherwise why would the buzz appear in the recorded audio?).

My UFX+ is set at 128 samples buffer size, runs at 48k, and is connected to my compuer through USB3 (Thunderbolt connection seems to be shot - I'm not sure if it's the cable or the TB addon card, or TB chip inside UFX+ that blew during a thunderstorm caused power outage over a year ago). Above examples were recorded with Reaper.

I can provide any further info necessary in order to troubleshoot this, just tell me what. I'm getting desperate sad

A very happy RME UFX+ & ARC owner smile

Re: UFX+: Intermittent buzz/dropouts

It seems the cause of this issue was the Wi-Fi antenna that I had connected in order to be able to connect to the Internet until Ethernet sockets in the walls that we have in our new house were functional. As soon as I plugged into the wall socket for the Internet connectivity, I couldn't notice this buzz reappearing. Apparently the 2.4 GHz/5 GHz dual band operation of Wi-Fi antenna occasionally created an interrupt with my wireless peripherials (keyboard+mouse), which created a short deadlock in the system which also somehow affected the audio...

Strange that LatencyMon didn't see any of this as problematic, though. But it seems I'm back in action and everything working smoothly - I hope!

A very happy RME UFX+ & ARC owner smile

Re: UFX+: Intermittent buzz/dropouts

Excellent work tracking this down EvilDragon! And thank you so much for reporting back with your findings. I'm sure it will help others who may experience problems like this in the future smile

-Steve

4 (edited by EvilDragon 2022-09-08 18:43:11)

Re: UFX+: Intermittent buzz/dropouts

Egh... sadly, no it seems that it still happens on occasion. I don't know what's going on sad

A very happy RME UFX+ & ARC owner smile

Re: UFX+: Intermittent buzz/dropouts

Now it's not a buzz, it's intermittent dropouts (like just a 100 ms of silence right in the middle of playing, I don't see a CPU spike, and again LatencyMon says my system is fine for handling realtime tasks... I really wonder if something bad happened to my UFX+ after replacing the power supply and moving houses.

A very happy RME UFX+ & ARC owner smile

6 (edited by EvilDragon 2022-09-08 19:06:47)

Re: UFX+: Intermittent buzz/dropouts

Here's audio directly from DUREC, it catches all the dropouts. My CPU is not even 10%, and this is with all Internet programs disabled (was still connected online, though - but I unplugged the network cable and it was still happening).

https://app.box.com/s/43r5xdepx6960q95qpug5vtf3ylbymt9

A very happy RME UFX+ & ARC owner smile

Re: UFX+: Intermittent buzz/dropouts

Have you tried recording in standalone mode with durec (no computer connection) to see if AD/DA is working? If that’s ok, then it probably points to software/cable issues

Re: UFX+: Intermittent buzz/dropouts

I haven't. This is recording a softsynth, but it also happened with guitar input. Seems to happen no matter which output I listen - mains, phones 1, phones 2. This is all over USB3 since my Thunderbolt connection doesn't work anymore (don't know if it's the chipset on my mobo, or the cable, or the chip inside UFX+).

I will try hooking it up to my laptop and see if the same thing happens. If it does, it's not my computer. I also tried a different USB3 port on the back of the case, same thing.

A very happy RME UFX+ & ARC owner smile

Re: UFX+: Intermittent buzz/dropouts

OK so I have just tried UFX+ with my old and trusty MS Surface Pro 4 (with 2.5 GHz i5 CPU), over USB3, using exact same USB cable which I have it hooked up with my main desktop machine.

I had no such intermittent dropouts, at all!

In the meantime I also noticed the firmware was behind a few versions, so I flashed UFX+ to latest version that's on the website.


Now, back on my main machine, in MADIface USB settings, I have noticed every time a dropout happens, there's a number that changes in USB Diagnosis - the first two change (currently it sits at: USB Diagnosis 3 | 5 | 0, 0 crc5/16, 0 crc32 err).


What can we make of this?

A very happy RME UFX+ & ARC owner smile

Re: UFX+: Intermittent buzz/dropouts

I've read this a few times now. It's certainly not clear...

But most seems to point to the mobo of your main machine. I suppose you've tried every BIOS setting provided?

What make and model is it?
Does is it have a backup BIOS? Have you tried that?

MB Pro - FireFace 400 & DigiFace USB
ADAT gear: Korg, Behri, Fostex, Alesis
Appsys.ch ADAT over UTP

11 (edited by EvilDragon 2022-09-12 13:50:56)

Re: UFX+: Intermittent buzz/dropouts

The mobo hasn't changed in years (since 2015) and things worked just fine up until a bit over a month ago (over the very same USB3 port and the very same USB cable).

It's an ASRock Z170 Extreme 4. I didn't try the backup BIOS (it does have one), as I also have time-sensitive work to do, and messing around with BIOS is just something I don't have time for... sad

A very happy RME UFX+ & ARC owner smile

Re: UFX+: Intermittent buzz/dropouts

Here's a video of this thing happening sporadically during basic youtube video playback

https://app.box.com/s/mk4lgze46z5ewdyq385v1g5a0k8cx7xu

A very happy RME UFX+ & ARC owner smile

Re: UFX+: Intermittent buzz/dropouts

Hate to tell you this, but the ASRock Z170 Extreme 4 is known for BIOS corruption. And that could be the cause of TB no longer working and your audio problem.

When you can find the time, clear CMOS and try backup BIOS. Procedure for clearing CMOS, in case:

https://forum.asrock.com/forum_posts.as … ry-removal

MB Pro - FireFace 400 & DigiFace USB
ADAT gear: Korg, Behri, Fostex, Alesis
Appsys.ch ADAT over UTP

14

Re: UFX+: Intermittent buzz/dropouts

As the video shows this is not about TB, but USB. And the video clearly shows lots of USB errors in the Settings dialog.. If that worked before then something DID change. And the issue is not on the UFX+ or RME driver side. Check your USB cabling, the USB chip drivers, the ports that you use etc etc etc. The error finding process has been described in this forum quite often.

Sometimes a simple replugging clears contacts. Sometimes a Windows update might have ruined the system. Many possibilities...

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

15 (edited by EvilDragon 2022-09-14 11:55:15)

Re: UFX+: Intermittent buzz/dropouts

Right, I tried different USB ports, same thing. But let me literally try each and every USB3 port that I have )some were taken with other stuff but I can shuffle around). I don't recall doing any updates to USB chipset myself, so I guess Windows update might have done it. I'll try to rollback if I still can...

Matthias, can you tell me if there's an easy way to check if the TB chip on UFX+ is operational, short of getting a new TB cable (they're expensive goddamn...)? TBH I would much rather go back to TB connection since it was really rock solid forever, but as I mentioned before, after a certain lightning strike I couldn't get things to connect through TB anymore - and I don't know if it's about TB in UFX+, about the cable, or about the TB riser card on my mobo (and getting those would be damn near impossible now considering mobo is pretty old...)

A very happy RME UFX+ & ARC owner smile

Re: UFX+: Intermittent buzz/dropouts

cyrano wrote:

Hate to tell you this, but the ASRock Z170 Extreme 4 is known for BIOS corruption. And that could be the cause of TB no longer working and your audio problem.

When you can find the time, clear CMOS and try backup BIOS. Procedure for clearing CMOS, in case:

https://forum.asrock.com/forum_posts.as … ry-removal


Gosh... I can't say this ever happened, although I did flash the BIOS a couple of times in the past 7 years. TB not working I really wonder if it might've been the lightning strike (since I, in my infinite wisdom, plugged my computer into the wall socket, even if I have all my audio gear connected through the Furman power conditioner with overvoltage protection and whatnot...).

I guess I will try to clear CMOS and re-flash BIOS over the weekend. If this magically makes TB alive again there will be no happier person than me, but I'm sceptical...

A very happy RME UFX+ & ARC owner smile

17

Re: UFX+: Intermittent buzz/dropouts

EvilDragon wrote:

Matthias, can you tell me if there's an easy way to check if the TB chip on UFX+ is operational

Sorry, no other way than to use a known working system.

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

Re: UFX+: Intermittent buzz/dropouts

OK, thanks! I guess let me ask some friends if they have a Mac system with TB1/2 connection...

A very happy RME UFX+ & ARC owner smile

19 (edited by EvilDragon 2022-09-17 16:34:31)

Re: UFX+: Intermittent buzz/dropouts

A friend came over with his MacBook and we tried hooking UFX+ via TB and MacBook didn't recognize it (of course we installed the drivers first). So it can be either the TB cable or TB chip in UFX+ is fried. I guess there's no other way than to shell out for a new cable and then if that doesn't work, TB is fried for good on my UFX+. sad

USB dropouts are getting worse and worse sad Tried a different USB3 cable, all the USB3 ports on my mobo, it's all the same thing happening regardless. sad

A very happy RME UFX+ & ARC owner smile

Re: UFX+: Intermittent buzz/dropouts

Mystery, I think, is solved...

It's the damn USB hub! I have this one: https://www.conrad.com/p/manhattan-1615 … er-1284613

So it seems as soon as I unplug it, UFX+ is happy and doesn't produce a single dropout EVER. But... I have that hub for a reason, and I've had it actually for longer than I've had the UFX+, so my question is - why did it start to misbehave now? Or does it matter what I have plugged in it? This is what I have plugged onto that hub: eLicenser, iLok 3, LinnStrument, Korg nanoKEY Studio, NI S49mk2 (not always turned on), NI Maschine 3 (not always turned on), Logitech c922 webcam. Nothing really special, and these things were always there.

So... what gives?

A very happy RME UFX+ & ARC owner smile

21

Re: UFX+: Intermittent buzz/dropouts

I am not even sure it is the hub. One of the attached devices might have gotten a driver update and when starting to communicate disturbs other transmissions...

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

Re: UFX+: Intermittent buzz/dropouts

Hmmmm ok. I will attempt to test with the hub plugged in and then having just one device hooked up to it, rinse repeat until we go through all the devices and see when the dropouts come in.

Now I fear it might actually be the combination of multiple devices, and that's gonna be a lot of time to troubleshoot...

A very happy RME UFX+ & ARC owner smile

23 (edited by EvilDragon 2022-09-22 18:51:29)

Re: UFX+: Intermittent buzz/dropouts

OK.

I think I have finally found the culprit. Unfortunately, it seems to be my LinnStrument... As soon as it's connected, dropouts do happen. With it unplugged, it's all clean. So alright, it's not the hub, it's not iLok (tbh I suspected that one the most, since dongles are just a mess frankly)...

Oh well, let's contact Roger Linn and see why is this happening.

EDIT: ACTUALLY, to be 100% correct, it's the combination of LinnStrument AND the USB hub. If I hook up LS to my front USB3 port on the computer case, it's all fine. So this might be due to USB power delivery, LinnStrument demands 300 mA for operation, and since I already have like 7 things hooked up to that 10-port hub...

A very happy RME UFX+ & ARC owner smile

24

Re: UFX+: Intermittent buzz/dropouts

I doubt power delivery. Hooking that thing up to a different port frees resources on the other one...

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

25 (edited by EvilDragon 2022-09-23 14:05:23)

Re: UFX+: Intermittent buzz/dropouts

It's weird either way. I have the UFX+ connected to a completely different port from the one that hub is hooked up to (I don't connect UFX+ to the hub, that would be crazy of course). So it should already have enough resources, no? But somehow Linnstrument into any port of the hub -> dropouts, and Linnstrument into any other port not taken by the hub or UFX+ -> no dropouts. Well, ok, I'm happy again.

Also... I bought a new Thunderbolt cable. Still nothing, my computer doesn't see UFX+ at all. Will call my friend over with MacBook to do another test, but it seems increasingly likely to me that something went wrong with Thunderbolt on the UFX+ itself - either the port, or the chip that does the TB thing?

And my UFX+ is out of warranty now sad

A very happy RME UFX+ & ARC owner smile