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MBox2 noise problem - Sound familiar?
Old 13th September 2006
  #1
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jahtao's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
MBox2 noise problem - Sound familiar?

Hi guys. I'm hoping someone will recognise this problem and give me the low down.

I hear a constant whine over my speakers when using my Mbox2 after loading up Protools. Its not audible from its headphone output, doesn't change with different USB ports, different audio cables, or when i FULLY disconnect all my other gear.

Anyone had similar problems with their mbox2?

Anyone know why this could be? Electircal fault? Grounding issues?

I'm on a dual 2.0 G5. I've had it 5 months but never used it until now (woops). Help!

Any ideas at all are massively appreciated : )
Old 13th September 2006
  #2
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TheReal7's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
How are you runing your signal to these speakers? have you tried other speakers?
Old 13th September 2006
  #3
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ajcamlet's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
i have the same problem. i think it has something to with either the USB cable itself, or the Female USB connector on the backof the the Mbox. If i move the cable around the sound of the whine changes, but never goes away.

I always thought i had to do with crappy sheilding inside the Mbox or something to do with ground. dunno.
Old 13th September 2006 | Show parent
  #4
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OK. i hopped over to the DUC. Apparently this is a known bug to which therre is no fix for. The only thing they recommend is downloading an app that turns off processor "nap". Some folks say it helped, some say it didnt.
Old 16th September 2006 | Show parent
  #5
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🎧 15 years
Hi guys thanks for your input.

ajcamlet: I Don't know if you noticed but that's me over there on the DUC : )
The allow Nap / CHUD Developer Tools thing you refer to is for another, different noise problem! It doesn't help our 'whine' noise problem, trust me.

TheReal7: No but i have used used headphones plugged into a Mackie mixer and the problem persists.

I am clearly not the only one with this problem. Anyone else out there? Lets try and crack it eh?

I'll see if i can find another USB lead to use, i've tried everything else...
Old 17th September 2006 | Show parent
  #6
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theblue1's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Sounds like your problem is a bit different than my own with a laptop-MOTU 828mkII (FW) combination. (Don't have the prob, thank goodness, with my tower.)


With my laptop's internal sound routed to the "the CR power amp" (ie, a Yamaha prosumer preamp-power amp combo) AND the MOTU powered up and running into a different input, I got an electronic "whirring" noise over either input channel (but not on any others). Disco'ing either audio signal or the FW cable stopped the noise.

(I don't think it was a FW controller issue, per se, but I made a point of following MOTU and everyone else's reco to get a FW interface for my tower with a Texas Instruments chipset, and everything's been fine. But I think it's more a matter of bad shielding in the small notebook that allows some kind of ground loop. [But not hum. This other noise.] A guess.)


Anyhow, that does sound different than yours, but hopefully it'll add to your knowledge base on the issue and might come in handy.
Old 17th September 2006 | Show parent
  #7
Deleted d8b3f49
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Yep, I have this problem. My Mbox2 is for non-DAW audio (iTunes, system sound, etc.), and I use a ULN-2 for DP, so it doesn't really bug me too much. I just mute it on my mixer when not in use.

Like other folks have said, I haven't found a solution. Seems like a design vulnerabilty that no one at Digi has identified. Sloppy QA.

You might have better results asking for people to chime in who have NOT had this problem. Ask them to describe their system in detail, see if you can ID what's different from yours.
Old 18th September 2006 | Show parent
  #8
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🎧 15 years
Cool. Yeah good thought. Right now i'm thinking it relates to the poorly designed G5 power supply which i'm investigating having switched out by Apple (for free). Could be wrong...

...so the question is: Wildstar what computer do you have?! Is it a G5 dual 1.8 or 2.0?!
Old 18th September 2006 | Show parent
  #9
Deleted d8b3f49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jahtao ➑️
Cool. Yeah good thought. Right now i'm thinking it relates to the poorly designed G5 power supply which i'm investigating having switched out by Apple (for free). Could be wrong...

...so the question is: Wildstar what computer do you have?! Is it a G5 dual 1.8 or 2.0?!
Neither! I'm running a G4 Dual 1.25. Yep, don't laugh - a G4. But you're right - it could be your power supply. Maybe the problem is a combination of Apple's occasional bad power supplies and some power design flaw of the mbox? Combine the two and you get noise. Fix one, and maybe it goes away.

Maybe try connecting the Mbox to a laptop running off battery power? Just to see what happens to the noise.

Power supplies can be such a noise nightmare. Good luck!
Old 19th September 2006 | Show parent
  #10
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i've got the same issue with my mbox2 as well. i use it with a dual 1 gig G4 tower and a 1 gig iBook G4. annoying sound, isn't it? my keyboardist brought her iBook G4/Mbox2 setup over to my studio and it did the same. drives me crazy; fortunately I don't use my mbox2 very often.
ben
Old 19th September 2006 | Show parent
  #11
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Harley-OIART's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
This will be a short post so sorry if I skimp on details :

The problem is the Computer. Download 'CHUD Developer Tools' for OSX, and go to the processor page, then click the Checkbox that says 'ALLOW NAPPING' so that the box is now UN-CHECKED (or Off if you will).

This should cure the problem.

Only downside to this fix, and it is a fix, is that everytime you start the computer you have to disable napping again if you are planning to use pro-audio and need to get rid of the noise. The solution for this is to write a script in OSX that automatically disables napping for you at system startup. Downside is I have no idea how to write this script yet, but i am sure someone does / has already.

(Disclaimer) The above post was is about fixing the noise generated by many macs when using core-audio. It sounds like a high-pitched whine with intermittent but steady beeps / chirps. Supposed reasons for the problem are... Ground Loop in Firewire Buss, Ground Loop in USB Buss, Powersupply issue, Crappy design somewhere in the computer.

Possible other solutions I have not tested but am looking to try are : Buying a Top Notch PCI Firewire Card (PYRO PCI 64-Bit Firewire Card) , Getting an HD rig =), or writing a script to disable napping since that seems to cure it.


Peace All.

(P.S. > I use a Dual Processor 2.0GHZ G5 Second Genereation)
Old 19th September 2006
  #12
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Vocalvoodoo's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by jahtao ➑️
Hi guys. I'm hoping someone will recognise this problem and give me the low down.

I hear a constant whine over my speakers when using my Mbox2 after loading up Protools. Its not audible from its headphone output, doesn't change with different USB ports, different audio cables, or when i FULLY disconnect all my other gear.

Anyone had similar problems with their mbox2?

Anyone know why this could be? Electircal fault? Grounding issues?

I'm on a dual 2.0 G5. I've had it 5 months but never used it until now (woops). Help!

Any ideas at all are massively appreciated : )
I've had the Mbox2 whine on my PC, but it's intermittent. I haven't had the whine for a number of months now though, but unfortunately I have no idea what I did to get rid of it.
Old 19th September 2006 | Show parent
  #13
Deleted d8b3f49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harley-OIART ➑️
This will be a short post so sorry if I skimp on details :

The problem is the Computer. Download 'CHUD Developer Tools' for OSX, and go to the processor page, then click the Checkbox that says 'ALLOW NAPPING' so that the box is now UN-CHECKED (or Off if you will).

This should cure the problem.
(P.S. > I use a Dual Processor 2.0GHZ G5 Second Genereation)
Thanks for the information!

Isn't "napping" a G5-only function? IIRC G4's don't do chip napping like G5s. Please correct me if I'm wrong...
Old 19th September 2006 | Show parent
  #14
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🎧 15 years
The Mbox 2 whine is different to the CHUD fixable whine that affected earlyish G5's this was caused by the cpu switching states very quickly in the same manner that some swtiched mode psu's can exhibit this kind of problem.

Installing CHUD and turning napping of wont fix it.

Its a problem with the mbox 2 and is known about by Digi but in there typical fashion wont actually admit to it publically,

I know of a university where a friend works that has installed about 60 of these units on G4's and G5's and about 30% of them all have this issue. They are slowly returning them all one by one to digi for exchange.

Its not an earth loop or anything of that nature but a physical problem with the hardware.

Take it back to the shop and DO NOT accept no as answer.

Good Luck

GFX
Old 19th September 2006 | Show parent
  #15
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🎧 15 years
I had stated in my original post that i am aware of the CHUD tools fix and that it doesn't work for this problem. Thank you for the thought tho'

For all others:

CHUD TOOLS DOES NOT WORK FOR THIS PROBLEM

CHUD TOOLS DOES NOT WORK FOR THIS PROBLEM

CHUD TOOLS DOES NOT WORK FOR THIS PROBLEM
Old 19th September 2006 | Show parent
  #16
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jahtao's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Cool, so i'll take it back! Can anyone confirm that this fixes it!
Old 19th September 2006 | Show parent
  #17
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I've called the shop, they say they're familiar with the problem and expect to give me a new MBox2 in a matter of days.

So far so good!
Old 19th September 2006 | Show parent
  #18
Deleted d8b3f49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jahtao ➑️
I've called the shop, they say they're familiar with the problem and expect to give me a new MBox2 in a matter of days.

So far so good!
Wow! What shop did you call???? I think I need to give them a call too. An admin should make a sticky out of this kind of information, since so many people have this problem with their #$%&@# Mboxes.

Cheers
Old 19th September 2006 | Show parent
  #19
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🎧 15 years
Turnkey in London. Like i said, so far so good. Don't want to speak too soon.

I'll keep you posted!

Be well
Old 25th September 2006 | Show parent
  #20
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🎧 15 years
OK so the shop didn't exude the same level of confidence in the flesh as they did on the phone. And the MBox2 didn't exhibit the flippin noise! They told me i hadn't updated the firmware to the latest version and gave me a disk.. erm... but actually i HAD updated the firmware and i've still got the noise so today i'm gunna have to demand new hardware.

peace
Old 25th September 2006 | Show parent
  #21
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🎧 15 years
Digi email tech support say try another USB cable (that and CHUD tools). I'll try the USB cable
Old 27th September 2006 | Show parent
  #22
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UnDeFiNeD's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Hey jahtao, it's "don_sangiorgio" from the DUC forums here, just thought I'd re-post what I posted on DUC.

Quote:
ok, so the saga continues...

I called tech support (very kind guy btw) and we ran trough possible conflicts (cable, usb port, running services/programs, service packs, etc...) for about half an hour.
We couldn't find what the problem was, so he suggested to install my unit on another pc.

So thats whats I've been doing till now. I installed it on my Sony Vaio VGN-S3HP (P-M 1.6gHz, 512mb DDRII, Chip:Intel 915PM).

I tested after 'stock' installation of PTLE 7.0...The noise was gone!!!!
So that would suggest it's:

- Either pc hardware related
- Related to the 7.1 update
- Or (small chance) it's due to other drivers/software on my main desktop pc.

So I went and installed the 7.1 update and the cs9 update to find that...the noise actually is gone!!!

So I am very much assuming it is a conflict with my internal hardware (usb chip or something) that is causing it, allthough according to tech support my configuration IS supported with the Mbox2.

So, thats all variables I can try and test (I don't have tons of mobo's at my place to test).
All I can do now is...ehhm...buy a new PC (I was planning to do this so for me thats no big deal).
But I still feel that Digi is to blame for not posting correct compatiblity lists for their hardware, afterall, how am I going to 'guess' that my hardware isn't going work properly with the Mbox2?






I can only ask Digi to check my desktops hardware(shown in the first post) and see what the exact problem is, so people like me don't get the same problems, or at least get warned their hardware isn't going to be compatible.
http://duc.digidesign.com/showflat.p...c=1&PHPSESSID=


I hope this helps a little bit? I don't have the means to further test this unit with different hardware, so I'll have to leave Digidesign to do that.
Anyway good luck in finding a cure!! keep us posted if u find anything else.
pzz
Old 4th October 2006 | Show parent
  #23
TTK
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🎧 15 years
Any more info on this? I have this problem with the MBox2 on a Mac.

Curiously, it only occurs when Pro Tools is open, regardless of if I'm in record mode. If protools is closed and I'm simply using the MBox to generate sounds through the monitors, the sound disappears.

Old 5th October 2006 | Show parent
  #24
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UnDeFiNeD's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
yep, thats the same problem I'm (we are) having.
Curiously that it can also happen on a mac?
I mean, if Windows and Osx share the same bug, it most be something bigger than just a software bug.
But the fact that my Mbox works great on my laptop, and bugs on my pc, suggests it's a hardware compatibility problem. But ur post kinda rules that out unless you have a "modded" mac in some way or another.

Maybe it just has something to do with sufficient USB current to the Mbox, 500mA ain't much and alot of usb-chip factories make usb-chips that do not supply that current (including apple!) so anyone with this problem have a powered (active) Usb hub or something?
So we can at least rule THAT out before we call Sculder and Mully
Old 5th October 2006 | Show parent
  #25
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This thread is great. Useful information, minimal Digi-bashing - excellent.

Thanks for the updates, guys. Does the 7.0 to 7.1 update also include a Core Audio driver update? Just curious - I'll investigate myself. If so, it might affect the problem I'm having (which is noise whether running PT or using the Mbox 2 as a Core Audio device.)
Old 5th October 2006 | Show parent
  #26
TTK
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnDeFiNeD ➑️
Maybe it just has something to do with sufficient USB current to the Mbox, 500mA ain't much and alot of usb-chip factories make usb-chips that do not supply that current (including apple!) so anyone with this problem have a powered (active) Usb hub or something?

Not sure what Digidesign recommends for Windows, but for Macs they say the Mbox needs to be plugged directly into the harddrive and not any sort of USB adapter. Has anyone tried to use a powered adapter and does it help or hurt?
I'm using a Mac Mini, by the way.
Old 5th October 2006 | Show parent
  #27
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by wildstar ➑️
This thread is great. Useful information, minimal Digi-bashing - excellent.

Thanks for the updates, guys. Does the 7.0 to 7.1 update also include a Core Audio driver update? Just curious - I'll investigate myself. If so, it might affect the problem I'm having (which is noise whether running PT or using the Mbox 2 as a Core Audio device.)

No change from 7.0 to 7.1 here. Still noisy. My guess is its a software glitch in PT which is why it appears in both XP and OSX on a variety of machines.

They are due to Release 7.3LE soon. i believe in October. interesting to see if this is still an issue.
Old 5th October 2006 | Show parent
  #28
TTK
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🎧 15 years
When I initially got the MBox2, I was working with files that had already been recorded, so I did not discover this noise until later. The high whistling sound is definitely going to "tape." You can see its waveform during pauses in the performance.

My question is, has anyone completed and mixed a recording using primarily tracks with this noise? Does it increase as you keep adding tracks? I imagine it wouldn't be as obvious on a louder, busier piece - especially in the same key as the whistling noise (!) - but if you're doing something quieter or more ambient, I would think it would be obvious in the end.

What's your experience been like?
Old 5th October 2006
  #29
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🎧 15 years
I was recently able to track down the wine problem with my mbox2. Mine is only happening with mic input 2 with a RME ADi-2 hooked up to the S/PDIF connections and the clock set to internal on the Mbox2. If the clock is set to external, which it usually is because I clock off of the RME, the wine goes away.

FWIW, using a 3rd party USB cable can cause some problems too. I was using a 16 footer from Belkin, and that cable causes a real bad hiss with a different kind of slight wine buried in the hiss.
Old 5th October 2006 | Show parent
  #30
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UnDeFiNeD's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
great info peepz,

lets sum this up (digital or analoge summing? )

It seems the noise:

- is platform independent (OSX/XP)
- problems vary (or disappear!) when using different computers with the same unit.
- only comes up when the DAE, ASIO or Coreaudio driver is engaged.
- apparently gets bounced to disk (although I did not noticed that myself, but I work in Cubase SX3, so maybe thats a different story when bouncing, non-realtime etc.)
- Changes when using an outboard clock (extreme jitternoise maybe??)

Let's complete that list with some more info, so we have something Digi can work with to fix this, cause up 'till now they do not recognise this problem.


What I would like to see tested, but can't, is to:
-Try it on a powered usb-hub, I know it ain't recommended, but if it has something to do with supplying current, that test might clear it up.
Don't worry, it won't blow up your Mbox2, if it does, u'll get mine instead (but I must warn u, mine has a noise problem )

- try an outboard clock on the s/pdif and clock to that, Vocalvoodoo already pointed out a change in noise, lets see other units try that.


We'll break this thing, don't worry. If else we are providing valuable info to Digi to find a fix or at least a cause to this problem.

pzz
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