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Focusrite Saffire Pro 26 Sync Problems
Old 21st January 2009
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Focusrite Saffire Pro 26 Sync Problems

I got a pro 26 and I love it... when it works. I can't get it to sample beyond 48khz, the connection gets lost. Also, sometimes I loose the sync lock, until I go back in and select the wordclock to sync. I have the power source hooked up on the interface and my laptop, the newest drivers (properly installed), and am using Nuendo 3.2. Do I possibly need a new firewire card, and if so, what would you recommend?

Thanks, Mike
Old 23rd January 2009
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
I hate to do this but BUMP

If anyone else uses one and has any tips or ideas to help me figure my problem out I will be mucho appreciative
Old 23rd January 2009
  #3
GS Community Manager
 
Whitecat's Avatar
Probably not what you want to hear but the Saffire 26 is pretty flaky with wordclock IO full-stop - it's pretty poorly implemented and could be considered a severe shortcoming in what is otherwise a decent sounding box for not too much money.

A different clock source would be my first avenue of attack - if you even have another WC master, try that, sometimes the Saffire will hold sync with some clocks better than others.

Otherwise try clocking via SPDIF or ADAT if possible, those work much better for whatever reason.

Doubt that a new Firewire card will sort it, but you never know.
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #4
Deleted 55b0690
Guest
What kind of chipset does the firewire card have?

Focusrite recommends that you DONT use one with NEC chipset
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
The chipset is RICOH OHCI

Terminal, what clock would you recommend that isn't too costly?
I'm trying to save for a good set of monitors and anything else right now would deduct from those funds...
Old 23rd January 2009 | Show parent
  #6
GS Community Manager
 
Whitecat's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeyr4444 ➑️
The chipset is RICOH OHCI

Terminal, what clock would you recommend that isn't too costly?
I'm trying to save for a good set of monitors and anything else right now would deduct from those funds...
Why do you need to clock externally...?

Personally, if I'm using a bunch of digital gear that NEEDS to be housel-clocked I just use a Black Lion Audio Microclock. But if I can run clock along the digital connections that's just as good. Based on everything I've read and heard, I believe that external clocking invariably will hinder conversion, but I don't want to get into an argument about that here... it'll get out of control quickly.
Old 24th January 2009 | Show parent
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
I'm caught in a moment of confussion, or stupidity, what do you mean by external clocking? I'm not using the external clock, I probably could have explained better. When the internal clock isn't working, I click on the wordclock button, which temperary lights up, finds nothing's connected, and then goes back to the internal clock. So the saffire should be doing all the clocking, it won't sample beyond 48kHz and if I try to change to a higher sample rate it looses the sync. Sometimes, at the lower sample rates, it drops the sync, continues to record but stops monoriting.
I'm sorry if I'm missing out on something, this stuff can get frustrating.
Old 24th January 2009 | Show parent
  #8
Lives for gear
 
FeatheredSerpent's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
When you say it won't sample higher than 48, are you setting the project sample rate in nuendo, and the interface won't follow, or are you changing the sample rate in the interface's control panel and it just won't lock?

My old tascam interface was doing this and I can't remember for the life of me what it was that was causing it

But I had no other digital gear at the time so it must have been either a driver or a firewire issue - if you don't have other digital gear hooked up then that's exactly what it is.

The first thing I would do, especially as it is the cheapest thing to do, would be to get a new firewire card with a Ti chipset.

I have had success with Lucent and the newer via chipsets too, but Ti seems to be the only one guaranteed to work across the board.

Also start with a clean slate.
If your firewire chip is onboard, go into bios and disable it.
UNinstall the interface drivers, shut down, if it's pci then uninstall old firewire card, install new card, boot up, reinstall interface drivers.

Also it could be something as simple as a dodgy firewire cable.
Old 24th January 2009 | Show parent
  #9
GS Community Manager
 
Whitecat's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeyr4444 ➑️
I'm caught in a moment of confussion, or stupidity, what do you mean by external clocking? I'm not using the external clock, I probably could have explained better. When the internal clock isn't working, I click on the wordclock button, which temperary lights up, finds nothing's connected, and then goes back to the internal clock. So the saffire should be doing all the clocking, it won't sample beyond 48kHz and if I try to change to a higher sample rate it looses the sync. Sometimes, at the lower sample rates, it drops the sync, continues to record but stops monoriting.
I'm sorry if I'm missing out on something, this stuff can get frustrating.
Sorry, I was under the impression you were trying to use an external wordclock source of some type and having trouble syncing, which is actually a common problem with the Saffire - the wordclock implementation is questionable at best. I have a very hard time syncing my Saffire to external sources via WC reliably. If you have nothing connected to the WC inputs, don't touch that button on the control panel, you're liable to confuse the box...

In that case, yes, definitely a new firewire card is on the cards and see if that helps.

Once you do that, if you still can't get the Saffire's internal clock to go higher than 48 I think a call to Focusrite is in order...
Old 24th January 2009 | Show parent
  #10
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Feathered, I think I'll try a new cable first, I could always use a backup anyway. Is the fact I'm using 6 to 4 pin possibly a problem?

Does anyone have any suggestions for a card for a laptop?

I almost forgot to mention the sample rate only goes up to 48 in nuendo, which might be pretty significant because it's the highest sample rate the programs letting me select.
Old 24th January 2009 | Show parent
  #11
Lives for gear
 
FeatheredSerpent's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
The only thing that a 6pin connection does differently is supply power, so it shouldn't be an issue.

It could also be that the firewire chip is fine and it's an IRQ conflict. Have you gone into device manager to check the resource tabs on things that may be sharing?

Make a note of the IRQ number on the IEEE1394 (firewire controller's) resource tab that the saffire is connected to, then check it against the value for your

display adapter
sata controller (if any)
ide controllers
Usb host controllers

If they all have different values then it is probably the firewire chipset and you should get a cardbus card.

Dual-port IEEE-1394 CardBus Adapter Featured TI OHCI Compliant IEEE-1394 Host Controller (US - first hit, you should be able to find cheaper)

Lycom PC-101 Firewire 1394a 400MBps Cardbus PC Card 3 Ports (TI Chipset) PC/MAC - Scan.co.uk (UK, very cheap).

Again, when you install it, do the same thing as above to make sure that there are no conflicts.

If there are and you can't re-allocate IRQs directly from the OS, you may be able to do it from within the BIOS by disabling automatic IRQ assignment, but whether or not this is possible will depend on your motherboard.

HTH

Matt
Old 24th January 2009 | Show parent
  #12
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
The display adapter has the same IRQ but all my controllers are different from the firewire controller.

Thanks for all the help, hopefully this solves all the trouble.
Old 23rd February 2009 | Show parent
  #13
Lives for gear
 
KeithMoonwannabe's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
It took me a while to find an expresscard that worked with vista but do you have a combo card of any kind on the cardbus? like firewire 400 and firewire 800 or firewire 400 and USB 2.0 (for example). At least with vista you CANNOT use a combo card.

Try a card that is firewire 400 only.

It has to have TI or Ricoh chipset. (this is per Focusrite)

They suggest using a SIIG or similar popular-branded firewire card.

I use a SIIG dual firewire 400 card, but it's an expresscard. But since finding the card that works I've had absolutely no problems. And my problem before was I had purchased a firewire 400 and 800 combo card thinking firewire is firewire how's that really a combo. DOH!

This was pretty much the only brand that I found that was Vista Compatible with a TI chipset.

I'd say if the SIIG has worked for me, especially on the dreaded Vista you should have very good luck with one of their cardbus offerings.

If our troubleshooting doesn't work I would definitely try emailing Focusrite they usually respond within a couple days and at least when I've had problems their solutions actually work.

And on the Saffire control panel what is your sample rate set at? Because you have to modify the control panel with the DAW closed and then modify it in the program. It's been this way for me on both my old Sony laptop running XP and my new Acer running Vista.

Try the new cable and then try a SIIG cardbus Firewire 400 card. Let me know if anything runs better. If not email Focusrite and I'd tell them all the steps you've taken and where they suggest going from here/there (whatever you wanna call that).
Old 22nd April 2009 | Show parent
  #14
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Hi, the Saffire is funny with changing sample rates. You have to use the Focusrite control software when moving beyond 48K. I use Digital Performer, and strangely it only lets you select 44 or 48 while the focusrite is tuned to one of those rates. However once you click a higher sample rate in the Saffire software, DP sees a new set of sample rate options.

When changing the rate, the unit takes a while and makes all kinds of digital noise. Sometimes it even becomes unresponsive.

I love the unit too, but these issues are becoming a real pain.
Old 22nd April 2009 | Show parent
  #15
Lives for gear
 
NorseHorse's Avatar
https://gearspace.com/board/music-co...-solution.html

Still not failproof.

On my end, the sync problems don't have to do with the Firewire connection. It's the Saffire itself.
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