Topic: Fireface 800 to usb-c

How do you connect your Fireface800 to new ports of Mac  : usb-c and/or thunderbolt 4 ?

I've been to a AppleSore, they sold me 2 adapters : Firewire>ThunderBolt 2 and Thunderbolt2>usb-c

It works, but NOT always. My MacStudio makes bips till I turn it off, event if un unplug the Fireface.
Then when I reboot it works, but not always.

How did you make it work perfectly ?

Thnaks

Re: Fireface 800 to usb-c

So I never got the "daisy chain TB 2 --> TB3/USB-C with these adapters" thing to work.   What I instead two years ago worked reliably, and I'm still using it:

I ordered this TB3 to PCI Chassis (any similar should work) --

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B075R … &psc=1

And I ordered a PCIe card with a TI-based FireWire chip (again, any similar should work) --

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07R5 … &psc=1

So that got me running solid, no issues, and I've done tons of projects with this setup on both an iMac Pro and (later) an M1 Pro Max (Apple Silicon) MacBook Pro.  I'm running Monterrey 12.6.

All this to say: bets might be off after MacOS Ventura 13.0 ships.   If you go with the above solution, bear in mind you might need to keep that specific Mac on Monterrey for a long while (possibly forever if the rumors are true that Apple kills firewire drivers compatibility off in Ventura).

HTH & good luck!   This really is my favorite audio interface ever, and was worth the above spend & workaround.

3 (edited by nicocaumon 2022-09-28 12:32:17)

Re: Fireface 800 to usb-c

What a crazy thing you talk about with incoming Ventura

Finally my issue came from a usb hub. My computer had powering issues.
Finally everything works fine with a powered hub smile

Re: Fireface 800 to usb-c

nicocaumon wrote:

What a crazy thing you talk about with incoming Ventura

Why is this a crazy thing? I’ve also read that Ventura is unlikely to support FireWire. I’d love to be wrong, though.

5 (edited by TX-Jdub 2022-09-29 04:47:10)

Re: Fireface 800 to usb-c

I'm just kind of hoping against hope that enough firewire devices _outside_ of the audio interface niche will also be impacted: this could cause the developer community to create some kind of workaround code or method to "fake" firewire device as a native TB3/4 device. 

Totally dreaming.  But it's just insane to think my trusty and favorite interface ever, the FF800, may finally be felled by Apple's imperious & merciless killing off a thing people use.   

But, USB-C and TB just moved everything away from Firewire. 

I would hope maybe RME could work up some kind of upgrade coupon or something for those FF800 / UCX faithful who have their serials etc. 

Of course people got a ton of longevity and ROI from these interfaces, well beyond the cost. 

If we eventually have to pour one out for the FF800...

If it's really heading to the scrap heap...

...it could make environmental sense (and be good for the planet) for Apple to instead allow development of some kind of TB firewire software device wrapper etc.

Re: Fireface 800 to usb-c

Absolutely. I rely on an old MOTU Ultralite Mk 3 fFireWire only) for gigs when I need to fly and my UFX+ is too big and heavy. The Ultralite is bus-powered via FireWire and it’s a fantastic alternative to the much bigger and heavier UFX+. Apple removing FW support would be a real pain in my behind.

7

Re: Fireface 800 to usb-c

No one knows how this will end. In the current Ventura beta kernel based drivers still work.

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

8 (edited by TX-Jdub 2022-09-29 20:35:40)

Re: Fireface 800 to usb-c

MC wrote:

No one knows how this will end. In the current Ventura beta kernel based drivers still work.

Thank you Matthias, and can-confirm on my M1 based Mac-mini running the latest beta of Ventura: my RME FF800 still shows-up and gloriously works (Totalmix and all). 

Apple is about to seed the final builds in the next two weeks, so we're all kind of waiting to see what comes.   Apple is mum, but I'll be quite unhappy with them if they remove the FW capability.   I won't be mad at RME, who designed the best dang long-lived FW audio interfaces I have ever had the pleasure of using.   

Good luck to us all, see you in a few weeks when Ventura ships, to report back!  smile

Re: Fireface 800 to usb-c

TX-Jdub wrote:

and can-confirm on my M1 based Mac-mini running the latest beta of Ventura: my RME FF800 still shows-up and gloriously works (Totalmix and all).


Hello, TX-Jdub, any news about the latest beta of Ventura on your M1 based Mac mini?
Do FF800 still works?


Thanks,
Marco

10 (edited by TX-Jdub 2022-10-22 22:14:50)

Re: Fireface 800 to usb-c

No I don't have any news yet, I am one beta update behind but will install the latest onto my test machine, an M1 Mac Mini where my FF800 has worked fine (via my Thunderbolt PCI chassis w/ a TI Firewire 800 card in it) .  Final Ventura Release Candidate just went out, so will test with it...

I typically run my FF800 on my M1 Max MBP, but I have kept that on Monterrey. 

I am hoping for good news and will post an update.   Final Ventura release is coming in a week or so - I have heard.  But not sure if it will coincide with the iPadOS & iOS 16.1 release on Oct 26th or not.  Apple usually updates Ventura right after that, so I suspect  (if the Release Candidate works still) that we will have our answers soon, either way.

Re: Fireface 800 to usb-c

Update: So it worked on Sunday for me, using what I thought was the Release Candidate but I found was the last beta before RC.   But it worked fine.   Ventura just shipped, so now it's "truth or dare" time. 

I'm going to install this onto my prod machine (I have to, anyway, for other reasons) so will see ya'll on the other side and report back if my trusty FF800 can still be seen over my Thunderbolt PCI chassis & Firewire card.  /fingers crossed

12 (edited by TX-Jdub 2022-10-25 04:35:03)

Re: Fireface 800 to usb-c

UPDATE: IT WORKS!   

RME guys, Mathias: IT WORKS!!  Fireface 800 WORKS IN VENTURA AT RELEASE TIME!

I am sitting here looking at Totalmix and Fireface settings, and playing a playlist in Apple Music (I still call it iTunes lol).   System audio is set to FireFace 800 and operating quite smooth, just as before (I was on Monterrey up to an hour ago, and now am on 13.0 Ventura).

So, I should restate my signal chain for anyone reading this -- because I am absolutely *NOT* using Apple's "Thunderbolt to Firewire" dongle thingy.   I am using a Thunderbolt PCI Express Chassis with a TI chip-based Firewire 800 PCI-E card in it.   From there, it's just Firewire 800 cable (very high-quality cable) over to my FF800.   From there my FF800 is connected to a Dangerous Music D-Box --> Yamaha HS-50s (and various headphones) for listening. 

I have never had 100% reliability with the Thunderbolt --> firewire dongles, but the PCI Chassis approach gets it done, every time. Trust.

And Apple left Firewire in Ventura!!

I am now going to turn up my music, sip a Cognac in celebration, and go to bed.

Enjoy the good news folks, Firewire is still on the (Ventura) menu... and boy am I happy.

RME you guys built a helluva product, and it's extended yet another year in the Apple world.  smile

Pics --

https://imgur.com/Ja7ko6a

https://imgur.com/Xbp22cj

https://imgur.com/5uTG5tQ

13 (edited by dlab 2022-10-25 05:22:45)

Re: Fireface 800 to usb-c

Thanks for testing! I also have a shiny new Mac and no intention of swapping my trusty FF but have the upgrade fever as usual. Holding out pretty strong this time? (12hours since drop already? :-)) Anybody had a luck with TB3->TB2->FW setup or can we assume that it is in principle the same?

Asking for a friend who is too lazy to downgrade if things don’t go well….

Thanks!

Re: Fireface 800 to usb-c

TX-Jdub wrote:

UPDATE: IT WORKS!   

RME guys, Mathias: IT WORKS!!  Fireface 800 WORKS IN VENTURA AT RELEASE TIME!

…….

And Apple left Firewire in Ventura!!

Great news!!!
Thank you very much!

Re: Fireface 800 to usb-c

dlab wrote:

Thanks for testing! I also have a shiny new Mac and no intention of swapping my trusty FF but have the upgrade fever as usual. Holding out pretty strong this time? (12hours since drop already? :-)) Anybody had a luck with TB3->TB2->FW setup or can we assume that it is in principle the same?

Asking for a friend who is too lazy to downgrade if things don’t go well….

Thanks!

I have the same question. My current data chain is mac mini -> Apple Thunderbolt display -> Fireface 400. I'm not game to try the Ventura upgrade just yet, because my main backup sits on an external thunderbolt drive.
However, I think we should all note that the writing is on the wall. Apple wants to get rid of kernel extensions, and I don't think FW devices work without them...

When the time comes to upgrade, I'll be sticking with RME because of their commitment to customers.

16 (edited by TX-Jdub 2022-10-26 21:31:31)

Re: Fireface 800 to usb-c

I always advise waiting is best, often waiting until the ".1" update, but I had a driving need to upgrade for something else I'm testing (on Stream Deck) so I kind of had to move my own main rig forward.   And I have 2 other rigs I keep behind on OS, so I had an "out" to adjust if Ventura wasn't compatible.   But I am SO glad it is!   

FireWire 800 is still fully-supported in Ventura, at least from the standpoint of my own use-case: Thunderbolt PCI-E chassis enclosure + FireWire PCI card.

I can't speak for FireWire 400 but I have to imagine it's the same.  I think so long as a good Texas Instruments' chipset FireWire PCI card is used, you're assured Ventura can see it via a Thunderbolt Chassis approach.   I cannot comment on dongle use, or using an Apple Thunderbolt Display -- but I imagine that should work too.

Main thing is a good connection chain that you knew worked well on Monterrey +having a good FW driver that initialized in Monterrey = it should work in Ventura.

YMMV and always take care --- but in my case I am soooooo HAPPY that my FireFace 800 will carry-on awhile longer.   I can't tell you how much I love this interface, it's just insanely clear and allows my ears to get the data they need and the workflow I want.   Job well-done RME, this workhorse was built so well...

Re: Fireface 800 to usb-c

I'm using MacPro M1 Max -> Caldigit TS3 Hub -> Apple TB3/TB2 Adapter -> Apple TB2/Firewire 800 Adapter -> Fireface 800 setup, which is working flawlessly on Monterey.

Would be nice to know if this setup also working on macOS Ventura before installing the update.

18 (edited by dlab 2022-10-27 10:41:17)

Re: Fireface 800 to usb-c

I will bite the bullet, started installing it now… I have M1 iMac ->TB3->TB2->FW (FF400) - all dongles from Apple - let’s see

Re: Fireface 800 to usb-c

dlab wrote:

I will bite the bullet, started installing it now… I have M1 iMac ->TB3->TB2->FW (FF400) - all dongles from Apple - let’s see

Ok @dlab!
Thanks for your "test".

We are anxiously waiting.

20 (edited by dlab 2022-10-27 11:24:28)

Re: Fireface 800 to usb-c

All Good

https://i.postimg.cc/tCmm2DBG/FF400.jpg

Re: Fireface 800 to usb-c

GREAT!!!!
TOP!

Thanks @dlab for your work!

Re: Fireface 800 to usb-c

Thanks RME! my Echo Audiofire died like two macos ago...

Re: Fireface 800 to usb-c

dlab wrote:

Thanks RME! my Echo Audiofire died like two macos ago...


Oh yes, right!

Thanks RME!!!

Re: Fireface 800 to usb-c

nicocaumon wrote:

How do you connect your Fireface800 to new ports of Mac  : usb-c and/or thunderbolt 4 ?

I've been to a AppleSore, they sold me 2 adapters : Firewire>ThunderBolt 2 and Thunderbolt2>usb-c

It works, but NOT always. My MacStudio makes bips till I turn it off, event if un unplug the Fireface.
Then when I reboot it works, but not always.

How did you make it work perfectly ?

Thnaks

I use the same Adapters.
It works perfect.

Be careful using the adapters!

I always switch off the FF800 before i unplug the cable between MacBook pro and the FF. Unplugging without switch off FF can damage the FF!

You should use a short cable with quality between Apple and RME FF.
I tried it with any cables and there are great differences in dependable use with cheap cables.

Btw.: The FF800 works perfect with Ventura and my MBpro M1max and the RME Driver.

thx
Franky

25 (edited by stub 2022-11-01 15:04:22)

Re: Fireface 800 to usb-c

My FF800 only partially works with Monterey 12.6, on M1 MBP. The MIDI driver (and MIDI) stops working if the MBP sleeps. So I must shut-down rather than sleep. However, TotalMix crashes (becomes unresponsive) most days, so I have to force-quit TotalMix in order to shut-down. I tried taking TotalMix out of the "login items" but it launches anyway, and crashes at some point, as before.

I'm using the two Apple adapters method. This all worked flawlessly with my 2012 MBP, but there are different adapters in this setup.

Performer, Teacher, Composer