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Firewire Hiss Noise using Digi 003 Firewire Audio Interface

avid digidesign digi 003 firewire pro tools audio interface

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#1
Fire and Glass

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I am currently running a hackintosh in my studio with an Avid Digi 003 interface using firewire 400. Whenever I open Pro Tools and the firewire communication begins I get noise through my monitors. I am posting an audio sample of the noise. It is already happening at the beginning, then I should down pro tools, announce I am opening pro tools and as I click you can hear it breaks up the audio. This is really driving me nuts because I am trying to focus in on minute details in the audio and i cant with all this noise being so loud. Below is the hardware in using.

ASUS P7P55D-E Pro ATX Intel Motherboard
EVGA GeForce 9500 GT 01G-P3-N959-TR Video Card
Intel Core i7-860 2.8GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor
With a vanilla install of 10.6.3 updated to 10.6.4 using ######.
(I followed the guide on lifehacker)

I have read other forum posts on here with similar issue but most people were saying the noise was coming from the computer itself, and mine is coming through my monitors. If I cant find a solution through my current hardware I will try to purchase an external firewire card but I would rather save myself the $30 if I don't need it.

Thank you in advance

#2
Gringo Vermelho

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There is no audio sample of the noise attached to your post.

Try the other Firewire port (your motherboard has two).

Try a different Power Supply.

#3
Fire and Glass

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Well my motherboard only has 1 firewire port so thats out of the question. I will look into the power supply but like I said being a brand new build I feel like its unlikely. I ordered a new firewire card off amazon yesterday so hopefully that will be the fix. I will post here after I install it

#4
Gringo Vermelho

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Heh, yeah right. First rule of Hackintoshing is "know your hardware".

Like my Asus P5Q-E, your motherboard has two Firewire ports, one on the motherboard itself and one on the backplane. Maybe you should read your motherboard manual. I did.

It doesn't matter how new the build is if the PSU is badly isolated or cheaply made, or defective. The noise you're hearing is most likely caused by some kind of electrical interference, either from some component on the motherboard itself or from the PSU.

Think of it this way, if the CPU is the brain, then the PSU is the heart. Using a good quality PSU is very important, especially of you do more than surfing the web, checking email and running office apps.

#5
Fire and Glass

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thanks for all the help guys. I read the manual but i missed what you were talking about. i now see the other 1394 port but i need to buy an adapter to access it. i just purchased an external pci-e firewire card off amazon and OSX read it no problem but I still have the sound, so it has to be something else. Sounds like my next step will be a better power supply, or should I spend time trying to organize and shield my wires inside the computer?

#6
Gringo Vermelho

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Don't worry about the wiring inside your PC, there's not much you can do about that. IF the problem is electrical interference AND indeed originates from inside your computer (you haven't established that yet), then it comes from either a component on the motherboard itself, or a component inside the power supply, not a badly insulated wire.

It's also possible that the noise comes from outside your computer, from an external source. Is the Digi 003 bus powered or does it use an external power brick? Is there any way you can try it on another computer? You need to verify that it is not defective.
Likewise, if the noise disappears when you're using the Digi 003 on Windows on the same PC then obviously it can't be a hardware problem.
You should take all possible troubleshooting steps first before throwing money at the problem - like you did - see how well that went...

My motherboard came with a PCI bracket and a cable that attaches to the internal Firewire port. Look in the box your motherboard came in, maybe it's hidden away there.

#7
Fire and Glass

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trust me the less money i spend to get this fixed the better. i just want the fastest fix possible.

the digi just uses a standard 3 prong power cable that all other devices uses, its power supply is internal.

i should have stated that my first trouble shooting procedure was that I have a macbook pro i connected my digi 003 to and the noise went away, so it has to be a problem with the hackintosh hardware (both the hackintosh and my macbook pro are running snow leopard with pro tools 9).

i reposted the audio sample to this reply since it didnt post originally.

Attached Files

  • Attached File  Memo.mp3   955.33KB   4 downloads


#8
Gringo Vermelho

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You already know that the fastest fix possible is to use your MacBookPro when you want to make music.

Besides the constant hissing, the sounds that you hear after opening Pro Tools is the sound of your CPU and/or hard drive working. If you do some googleing you'll find that it is a common issue. Usually it's a simple grounding problem or a consequence of badly insulated or defective components in your PSU and/or motherboard.

Legend has it that in the 70's, way back when CPUs were much, much slower, there were programmers that were able to debug their programs by listening to that noise, the CPU was so slow that they were able to hear which part of the code it was executing.
Of course computers didn't have speakers at the time - this was done by placing a radio next to the computer and tuning it to a frequency that would pick up the noise.
This was later exploited to great effect, I don't remember the story but someone found a way to produce music, making the CPU execute a series of differently timed code loops, which the radio would then pick up. Not unlike how a modern sequencer works, thus bringing us back on topic.. :angel:

/EDIT *lol* I found some old dudes talking about it here: http://neil.franklin...gging_via_radio

The only way to be completely sure that it is a hardware issue, is to install Windows on your PC and try to use the Digi 003 with some Windows software. If the noise also appears in Windows, on the same hardware, then it is a software issue in OS X and not a hardware issue. If the same noise appears in Windows, then it is a hardware issue. If that is the case, I would start by investing in a high quality PSU. Or borrow one from a friend to test with.

#9
Fire and Glass

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Here are the things I have tried so far:

1. 3 Different firewire cables, exact same noise on all 3. The 003 has two fireports, i tried each cable on both ports, same noise

2. Bought the Syba 2 port PCI-E firewire card off amazon. Tried this with same 3 firewire cables, same noise on all cables, on both ports on the Syba firewire card and both FW ports on the Digi 003

3. Tried rerouting/organizing cables and seperating everything in side my tower and by my Digi 003. The same noise is still present

======================================================

Gathering what I can from this forum and tonymac86, there are only a few options left:
1. Ferrite beads on my cables
2. Power supply in the hackintosh
3. Motherboard in the hackintosh

I really dont think the problem is with the Digi 003 because when i connect it to my 2010 Macbook Pro, all noise is gone using the exact same everything.

I am really trying to tackle this in a process of elimination and cost effective way, so i really appreciate all the help your giving me, but im starting to get stumped. What do you think my next course of action should be?

#10
Gringo Vermelho

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I already told you what I think.
Before buying a new PSU or a new motherboard you should make absolutely sure that it's a hardware issue and not a software issue.
It's a Hackintosh, after all, you're not supposed to run OS X on your PC.

Grab any old hard drive and install Windows on it, XP or 7 will do. If the noise persists on Windows only then can you be sure that it's a hardware problem.

I'd first try plugging everything into a different power outlet in your house. Try unplugging everything from your PC that isn't necessary, including other expansion cards. Also try a different power cable for your PC.

If the noise persists, then I'd start looking for a new, high quality power supply. Read reviews here: http://www.hardwares....com/page/power





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