firewire audio device cuts out randomly

  1. Posts : 4
    se7en ULTIMATE

    firewire audio device cuts out randomly

    well, not randomly. after a certain amount of playback in itunes, the audio stops. the music stops playing, although the play button is still pressed, the time slider will not advance. i have searched around and not seen anyone describing a similar issue, so i decided it was time to post. my system is as follows:

    \\ q9450/p5n72-T prem/8 gb ddr2 1066/8800gts g92 512 x2/trupower1000/wd raptor OS hdd

    my audio device is an external firewire box from focusrite called the saffire. this is the original saffire, not the LE.
    I am using the power supply.

    I have previously followed instructions on focusrite's website for optimizing audio in vista, and made most of the appropriate adjustments, including setting the firewire driver for my computer to legacy. the problem persists. it has not always done this, only within the past 6 months or so. the only way to fix the problem is to open the saffire ASIO buffer utility and changing the ASIO buffer size. I have tried every single combination of buffer settings that this dialog offers, and none of them seem to fix the problem.
    good audio lasts longer when firefox/chrome is not open.

    anyone seen this before? it is annoying, i'd rather not have to adjust latency every 5-10 minutes.
      My Computer

  2. Posts : 8,137
    Windows 10 64 bit

    If the time slider is not advancing that would sort of say it's an iTunes problem and not the Saffire.

    I have a Saffire Pro 40 unit (and Sonar) and they have now issued Win 7 32 and 64 bit drivers that fixes the problem of having to use the legacy driver.
      My Computer

  3. Posts : 4
    se7en ULTIMATE
    Thread Starter

    thanks for getting back to me, dude. i thought it might have been an itunes problem, but it also happens in windows media player. this is more of a work computer, and it seems that anytime i strain the processor even slightly when playing back media, this happens. i like to work AND listen to music though, and like i said, most times its not even intense software causing the problem, it's my web browser. it seems almost as if it's losing the connection, but the problem is fixed by adjusting the latency, so i'm guessing it's the firewire. someone on the focusrite faq mentioned that at times, pci bus latency can be an issue, and they offered some software to adjust this, however this software is not supported by windows 7 at all, not even in compatibility modes.

    oh, and also, when this happens, if i click my sound icon, it shows the green bar (audio level) to be not at zero, but somewhere up the slider, and stuck there, not moving. if there is any other info that i'm forgetting that might help you (or anyone else) to see the problem, let me know. also, i'm going to check if these new windows 7 drivers are available for my older unit.
      My Computer

  4. Posts : 4
    se7en ULTIMATE
    Thread Starter

      My Computer

  5. Posts : 8,137
    Windows 10 64 bit

    Do you have a T.I firewire chipset? This seems to be a big issue with a lot of audio firewire connected devices. Many devices, including Focusrite, use the "Dice II" chipset and that does not work well with some firewire chipsets. On the Sonar forum whenever someone has problems that is the first thing that is mentioned is the T.I. chipset.
      My Computer

  6. Posts : 4
    se7en ULTIMATE
    Thread Starter

    fireberd, thanks for being the only one kind enough to offer some help. i can tell you're pretty stumped here, but I thank you for your suggestion. I looked into it, apparently the p5n72-t comes with the VIA6308P firewire chipset.

    for anyone's info, i have yet to make any progress on this issue haha
      My Computer

  7. Posts : 2
    Windows 7 Home Premium

    I have exactly the same problem with a Saffire and new Sony Vaio running Windows 7. It doesn't matter what the audio software is - in my case I'm trying to use DJ DSS and lose the audio after just a handful of minutes.

    I appreciate your latency workaround - it's ugly but is better than nothing. I'd planned to use this setup for a live show and will be screwed if I can't get this working.

    Please let me know if you find a solution - I'll do the same.

      My Computer

  8. Posts : 2
    Windows 7 Home Premium

    Just got this reply from Focusrite support. Sounds like they may have interpreted this as a drop-out problem rather than audio completely stopping. Regardless, I tried downloading the tool and disabling a bunch of devices. I've had audio running solidly now for an hour or so (as opposed to previous best of just a few minutes). There's nothing conclusive yet -- I was suspecting my wireless device as everything seemed to improve after disabling it. However, having re-enabled it, everything is still working good. Who knows though - maybe just turning it off/on could make a difference?

    Can't say I've found the tool very useful -- it indicates quite a few "red bars" even while audio is working OK but your mileage may vary. Anyway, I'm way way more encouraged than I was a few hours ago, even if this is still far from ideal. It's a start at least. And for my live show I won't need wireless, so there's a chance I might get away with it :)


    Thanks for your mail. Can you please try this tool (DPC latency checker) and let me know if you see any red bars that correspond to the FW light blinking on the Saffire?

    DPC Latency Checker

    If you do see red lines, it is likely that high DPC latency is the cause of this problem. In that case you can disable processes from your Task Manager (ctrl+alt+del) and check the DCP tool to see if that helps.

    If you do not see any red lines, and the issue persists, it may be an IRQ or hardware conflict.

    To test this, can you please try disabling the following devices from Device Manager?

    - All network adapters
    - All other sound devices
    - Bluetooth
    - Any card reader
    - Modem
    - Any other unnecessary device you might have

    Then restart your computer and test the Saffire. How does it perform now? Does the Saffire still drop out?

    If you have multiple firewire adapters, it might be worth testing both at this stage. I recommend disabling the one that is not in use at the time though.

    If the issue is still persisting, could you please send the system information .nfo for your computer? To obtain this file, go to START MENU -> PROGRAMS -> ACCESSORIES -> SYSTEM TOOLS -> System Information and save the system info as a .nfo file. Please send this file and any additional info you have regarding your hardware and peripherals (particularly details of your firewire card).
      My Computer


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