Topic: Noise coming from inside a Macbook Pro 13 connected to a Fireface 400


I have a Fireface 400 that I bought one month ago. It is plugged to my Macbook Pro 13 (3rd generation) with a 400/800 Firewire cable. I have installed the most recent RME drivers on my computer.

Whenever any sound is played in any program (Ableton Live for example), there is a slight high pitched noise coming from inside the Macbook, near the Firewire plug.
I tried all the sample rates available in the interface, the noise frequency is different for each setting but still the noise is there. If I raise the sample rate, the frequency of the noise raises as well.

I tried my Fireface 400 on several other Macbook Pro 3rd generation (13, 15, 17 and Mac Mini) and the same problem occurs also. I tried two other soundcards (Presonus, Saffire), but that noise is present only with the Fireface 400.

I compose electroacoustic music so I need to work in a quiet environment. The noise is low but nevertheless audible.  Under those conditions, that parasite noise is a real problem to me.

- Does anybody would happen to know the origin of this problem?
- Is there a way to make that noise disappear?
- Is it a problem that could be solved by a future driver upgrade?
- The problem seems to come from somewhere near the Firewire, and since the Macbook Pro has Firewire 800 connectic and the Fireface 400 has Firewire 400 connectic, could switching to a Fireface 800 make the noise disappear? If so, is there a way to exchange the soundcard? I bought it brand new from Univers-Sons, a serious french store.

I love working with the Fireface 400 which is an awesome card. Still, It is not possible for me to work with this noise. So I would really appreciate if a way to solve that problem could be found.

Thanks in advance for your answers.

2 (edited by jwloader 2010-03-19 15:40:48)

Re: Noise coming from inside a Macbook Pro 13 connected to a Fireface 400

I have similar problems with the FireFace 400 running on my mid-09 Macbook Pro and my early-09 Mac Pro. 

The problem seems to manifest itself when the FireFace is set to draw power from the FireWire bus.  I can consistently get my Mac Pro to emit a high-pitched whine (at around 8000 Hz) when I connect the FireFace 400 using  bus power.  It seems to be less consistent on my MacBook Pro.

Try switching to AC power using the supplied power supply (don't forget to switch to EXT power on the back of the unit) and see if that helps - that worked for me.