Topic: Rme Audio. A Disgusting Experience

My reason for this post is NOT indented as slander against RME or it’s staff.
I’m going to keep this very brief as I can.
I bought a brand new Apple imac core i5 quad core processor.
27-inch: 2.7GHz
·    2.7GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5
·    2560 x 1440 resolution
·    4GB (two 2GB) memory
·    1TB hard drive1
AMD Radeon HD 6770M with 512MB

Bought a Fire Face UC.
The importer and tech in my country told me it would work fine with the computer as long I download the new drivers from RME website.
The web site boasts:
‘The compact Fireface UC has been uncompromisingly optimized for highest performance under Windows and Mac OS’

With the interface power only connected, I selected ‘AP’ function.
Installed updated drivers.
Playing back audio via fire face was crackling.
Took my interface to the head RME  tech in my country.
Was told by the tech the cause of this was corrupted firmware by Apple Lion OS.
Was told interface was now updated. Should be all-good.
Got home, connected everything up. Problem still there.
Contacted RME tech support:

They said:
“We have never, i.e. not once, heard of an incorrect firmware install due
to a corrupt download by a specifc browser, much less one that would
lead to such specific problems. You are free, however, to re-download
the firmware and try again. I am also unsure what the comment on
"guarantee a clean install" refers to. There are no known problems with
the firmware install being corrupted.”

“There are also no known issues with Lion. The only caveat is described
No record of safari corrupting files.
He said Firmware would not be responsible for crackling playback and that this sounded more like a hardware problem that could be fixed.

Took my computer and interface back to the head RME  tech in my country.

Again was told updated firmware was corrupted and my apple computer is responsible.
He says he installed updated firmware into my computer via USB stick.
It began to work. Great.
Got home, connected everything up.
Was working fine for a few hours then crackling noise appeared again.
The store gave me another interface.
Powered up interface. Went to select AP mode.
It would not engage. Clicking fast slow, every way imaginable.
Would not engage. The people at the store could not get it to engage either.
RME tech support said:
Please try carefully pulling the encoder out a bit. This is a known
phenomenon, though a rare one.”
Tried but it did not work.

Two conflicting opinions between RME tech Germany and head RME tech in my country.

I am very disappointed that despite contacting the board of director of AUDIO AG and finally RME head of development, none of you bothered getting back to me.

Re: Rme Audio. A Disgusting Experience


According to Innovative Music in Australia, your retailer has fully refunded you, is that right? Therefore I must admit we did consider the case closed...

As I have said in my emails, neither does Lion (or a specific browser) lead to "currupted" firmware downloads to the very best of my knowledge and past experience, nor will a "corrupted" firmware installation specifically lead to "crackling". There are many possible reasons for such problems, but in most cases, the audio interface is not the cause, but rather the victim, so to say. I.e. the audio playback is already distorted when it reaches the driver. This may be due to various potential performance issues, such as WLAN components that could interfere etc. Without further examination of the phenomenon and potential causes, it can not be simply determined that the crackling originates at the audio interface, in this case the UC.
The distributor's theory obviously did not claim to be the only possible valid explanation or solution - just one measure to rule out an issue that they have seen, among poossible other reasons. Apparently, the cause is Safari, not Lion, and it is not limited to RME gear. As I have said, I have not seen this happening, but that does not mean it is totally impossible. We have full trust in their technical competence, of course, and I see nothing wrong with two different possible explanations being offered initially. There may be more than one possible cause of an issue.

When you said the encoder would not switch the second unit to AP mode, I suggested to try pulling it a bit, which is indeed a rare known issue, incidents of which you will be able to find on this forum. This was obviously not the case here. You then went on to provide a video demonstrating the alleged problem switching the firmware, which, however, very clearly shows that you simply failed to perform the required double click fast enough to be effective. I replied wih a short video attached to a mail showing you what kind of speed was required, and how even I missed it on occasions. This prevents accidental switching in standalone mode, and is fully intended.

I'm sorry to reiterate that I would not consider this to be an issue that would require the attention of a board of directors or similar body/individual. You were given clear instructions with regard to the required speed of the double click, or lack thereof, and chose to ignore them (and also failed to mention this aspect in your public rant here, which is unfortunate).

Since you seem to have now decided to go for a refund, I'm afraid that there is not much we can do at this point and the cause of the crackling may remain unknown - unless you experience it with another audio device as well.

Daniel Fuchs

Daniel Fuchs

Re: Rme Audio. A Disgusting Experience

I have never said I did not believe your explanation for the crackling playback.The problem is
the opinion of Innovative Music (I didn't mention any names in my post, but since you have it's to late to be discreet) is totally different to yours, and it should not be.
Maybe you guys should choose a better tech for international affairs...
Regarding the  AP & PC function I understand 100% what you are saying.
I actually told you after my video, that I did try your suggestions of pulling out the encoder a bit and clicking faster.
It still did not work.The person in the store who also owns the same model could not get it to work either.
If I was able to engage this function effortlessly with the first unit then surely you can see that it is not a case of user error.Common sense shows you that.'Damage control' is another issue altogether though.

Regardless of what issue someone has, it is my belief that it is very rude and arrogant when the head of major a company does not bother responding AT ALL in any way or form to a customers or potential customers serious complaint.

Re: Rme Audio. A Disgusting Experience

Nice edit to your initial post!

5 (edited by timberghost 2012-12-07 09:55:30)

Re: Rme Audio. A Disgusting Experience

This might be a stupid question---- but when you say 1TB is drive one.....does that mean that--- it is the drive where the OS is installed to ? The drive that Mac OS Lion is on? I was just looking at the newer iMac's which have the very lowest ram you can get pre-installed is now at 8 GB.....hmm that's the lowest Apple now installs and you have only half of that? I don't know who your Audio Professional Consultant was but he put your parameters for a computer insomuch that it can barely "fight it's way out of a wet paper sack". I think 4 GB is skimpy as hell.....sorry! Also what drive are you trying to save your media files to? Surely you aren't trying to write your audio/video media to the OS drive? You have to have two separate hard drives in order to be successful with recording high quality audio in your can't have the OS drive  trying to read the operating system code and the DAW's code and trying to write the audio/video media to the exact same drive?ed: Another thing is the new iMac's use a rather "SUCK" 1TB SATA Drive that only spins at 5400 rpm ( SATA HD'S are just ok now....better now for storage and not performance and certainly not anything to be too excited about---- but you gotta have at least a 7200 rpm Drive with a 32MB data buffer (5400 RPM---really?)---- but better yet a 64MB memory buffer should almost be the minimum for a SATA Drive.Your hard drive is quite simply ---too damn slow of a hard drive. Even if you have a separate hard drive for the recording of the media to the scratch disk (The drive the DAW writes to). My son and I built a computer with an AMD processor that is slower than your Core i5 cpu but it has 16GB's of RAM and two very fast SSD( solid state drive) which write at 550 MB's read and 500 MB's write(that smokes your 1TB 5400rpm drive).....this is truly the kind of performance you need if you want no crackling in your low latency audio. Now if you are using an external drive to "write to"----  (that's why techs at these support sites want you to list the system in COMPLETE details, otherwise I may not be writing this)--- using Thunderbolt or please....the minimum USB 3.0(which smokes Firewire) ( NOT USB 2.0)?
I stand corrected and apologize but in only a lesser degree, because your 5400 rpm drive--- is seriously--- "butt slow!"
Sell the iMac and buy a Mac Pro if you can't change the primary HD on the iMac. If you can upgrade the HD's on the iMac(though I doubt it) go with SSD's all the way and you might hit the jackpot on clean Digital Audio. One more last there any on board audio codec's running in the background at the same time as your awesome new UC?? If so, disable "ALL" on board audio however you do that on a MAC. That alone could be a huge source of conflicts to the system......and last check the latency settings for the UC....peace and good recording to you!

6 (edited by timberghost 2012-12-07 09:18:24)

Re: Rme Audio. A Disgusting Experience

"redlogic" ----a forum member here said to get different drives for the MAC.....he/she sounds like they know what drives to get for a MAC so I would ask them, also talk to other folks who use MACs with the specific DAW you use and make some inquiries on what exact MAC system they have and how it is configured. "redlogic" posted in my "PC Computer or Mac Pro"  thread here in the miscellaneous index of the forum, so I would pick their brain. A happy day is coming >>>I promise if you just keep digging! Make sure your DAW has the latest drivers as well! Sounds like software to me too.

Re: Rme Audio. A Disgusting Experience

With RME Equipment......99.9 % of the time it's never a hardware issue..

Re: Rme Audio. A Disgusting Experience

Timberghost, the last post was in May, so you may not get any answer from the OP anymore. wink

Re: Rme Audio. A Disgusting Experience

Thx Timur!

Re: Rme Audio. A Disgusting Experience

Timberghost - I am the store person who was actually dealing with this customer. It was all sorted by giving him a full refund on a product that wasn't working for him. I don't think we'll see him here again.

Regarding the rest of your off-topic post about hard drives, you might need to look into your facts. HIS 27" iMac was the 2011 model that actually has the full-sized 7200rpm HDD of 1TB capacity. Also, there are no issues with recording to your OS drive for the majority of home users. We do it every week in store to demo RME products to our clients.

You might want to look into the "5400rpm" drive that you mention ... and the fact that it's standard in the new 21.5" iMac ... the 27" (due in Jan) iMac actually contains a 3.5" bay, it comes STANDARD with a 3.5" 7200rpm 1TB HDD.