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20flight



Joined: 06/11/13
Posts: 12
RME Fireface 400 to thunderbolt problem.
      #1073419 - 06/11/13 04:08 PM
I have a problem!

I have just invested in a brand new iMac to use with my RME fireface 400. I have previously been using it with an old MacBook that has been coping very well considering! The connection on the MacBook was/is FireWire 400 to 400. The new iMacs have decided not to have a FireWire port at all so I have had to buy a FireWire 400 to 800 lead then an apple converter to make it thunderbolt. When I first plugged it in it wasn't working at all. After some research I found that I had to power the RME independently via a power supply. This seemed to fix the problem and I am now hearing sound through my speakers again. The problem I have now is every so often the music is interrupted by a loud beeping noise. A bit like white noise but more solid and urgent sounding. I have changed the power supply and re installed the drivers for the fireface. I'm at loss as to why it's not working and would welcome any thoughts anyone may have.
I have included an mp3 link of the sound that is made below.

My worry is that the FireWire to thunderbolt chain is just not efficient enough and will never work.

My new imac is 2.7GHz quad-core, 16gb ram and 1TB fusion drive. It is vastly superior to my old MacBook (white version) and everything worked fine with the old set up.

https://soundcloud.com/twenty-flight/mac-beep

Any help would be most welcome.
Thanks


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Richie Royale



Joined: 12/09/06
Posts: 4266
Loc: Bristol, England.
Re: RME Fireface 400 to thunderbolt problem. new [Re: 20flight]
      #1073493 - 07/11/13 09:40 AM
I presume where you say you have re-installed the drivers, that you have the latest ones from the net and not ones supplied with your FF?

Thunderbolt is much more powerful than FW and there are other users who have FW devices running via TB into newer Macs without trouble. Have you tried a different FW cable? Otherwise, I can't think why it wouldn't be working. What OS does your new iMac have?

--------------------
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http://www.mixcrate.com/richieroyale


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Exalted Wombat



Joined: 06/02/10
Posts: 5346
Re: RME Fireface 400 to thunderbolt problem. new [Re: Richie Royale]
      #1073511 - 07/11/13 11:50 AM
Your sample doesn't sound like a digital connection breaking up. More like a system sound, or even a demo version of a plugin reminding you it IS only a demo!

Apple's design philosophy seems to be to make the basic computer as elegantly minimal as possible, but then require a mess of adapter cables when you want to actually CONNECT anything. Compare certain over-styled audio interfaces which are too compact to mount a standard jack, let alone a microphone connecter.

But enough of Why I Don't Like Apple :-) If this doesn't sort out, you'll get expert advice at the RME forum:

http://www.rme-audio.de/forum/


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20flight



Joined: 06/11/13
Posts: 12
Re: RME Fireface 400 to thunderbolt problem. new [Re: Richie Royale]
      #1073525 - 07/11/13 12:30 PM
Quote Richie Royale:

I presume where you say you have re-installed the drivers, that you have the latest ones from the net and not ones supplied with your FF?

Thunderbolt is much more powerful than FW and there are other users who have FW devices running via TB into newer Macs without trouble. Have you tried a different FW cable? Otherwise, I can't think why it wouldn't be working. What OS does your new iMac have?




I have downloaded the new updated driver from the rme wewbsite. I've even changed the thunderbolt connector and its still making the same noise. I'm on the new Mavericks osx but i was running that on my old macbook too, without any problems.

I'll keep searching!!


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20flight



Joined: 06/11/13
Posts: 12
Re: RME Fireface 400 to thunderbolt problem. new [Re: Exalted Wombat]
      #1073528 - 07/11/13 12:32 PM
Quote Exalted Wombat:

Your sample doesn't sound like a digital connection breaking up. More like a system sound, or even a demo version of a plugin reminding you it IS only a demo!

Apple's design philosophy seems to be to make the basic computer as elegantly minimal as possible, but then require a mess of adapter cables when you want to actually CONNECT anything. Compare certain over-styled audio interfaces which are too compact to mount a standard jack, let alone a microphone connecter.

But enough of Why I Don't Like Apple :-) If this doesn't sort out, you'll get expert advice at the RME forum:

http://www.rme-audio.de/forum/




It makes that sound through iTunes, spottily, garageband, logic. and web based music. Can't think of any explanation apart from the signal chain is too long and apple haven't considered that people would want too use firewire still!! Very annoying.

I'll try RME, thanks


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Richie Royale



Joined: 12/09/06
Posts: 4266
Loc: Bristol, England.
Re: RME Fireface 400 to thunderbolt problem. new [Re: 20flight]
      #1073544 - 07/11/13 01:15 PM
Have you checked whether the noise still appears with the RME disconnected?

--------------------
http://soundcloud.com/richie-royale
http://www.mixcrate.com/richieroyale


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Exalted Wombat



Joined: 06/02/10
Posts: 5346
Re: RME Fireface 400 to thunderbolt problem. new [Re: 20flight]
      #1073552 - 07/11/13 01:42 PM
Quote 20flight:


It makes that sound through iTunes, spottily, garageband, logic. and web based music.




Check one thing. Take the RME away and listen through the computer's internal speakers. Has the sound gone away?

If not, what's running in the background? Mail, a messaging service, Skype? Could it even be your hard drive warning of a S.M.A.R.T. error? Not unknown on brand new equipment.

Edited by Exalted Wombat (07/11/13 01:47 PM)


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20flight



Joined: 06/11/13
Posts: 12
Re: RME Fireface 400 to thunderbolt problem. new [Re: Richie Royale]
      #1073604 - 07/11/13 07:14 PM
Quote Richie Royale:

Have you checked whether the noise still appears with the RME disconnected?




The noise doesn't seem to happen when the RME is disconnected. Unfortunately.


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20flight



Joined: 06/11/13
Posts: 12
Re: RME Fireface 400 to thunderbolt problem. new [Re: Exalted Wombat]
      #1073606 - 07/11/13 07:16 PM
Quote Exalted Wombat:

Quote 20flight:


It makes that sound through iTunes, spottily, garageband, logic. and web based music.




Check one thing. Take the RME away and listen through the computer's internal speakers. Has the sound gone away?

If not, what's running in the background? Mail, a messaging service, Skype? Could it even be your hard drive warning of a S.M.A.R.T. error? Not unknown on brand new equipment.




It doesn't beep when not connected to the rme and when it is connected i can just have iTunes open and nothing else and it will still have the same problem.


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20flight



Joined: 06/11/13
Posts: 12
Re: RME Fireface 400 to thunderbolt problem. new [Re: 20flight]
      #1073607 - 07/11/13 07:17 PM
Thanks for your replies tho guys. I think I'm snookered on this. I think I'll have to return the mac and buy one with a FireWire port in.


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John Willett
Sound-Link ProAudio


Joined: 07/03/00
Posts: 12170
Loc: Oxfordshire UK
Re: RME Fireface 400 to thunderbolt problem. new [Re: 20flight]
      #1073618 - 07/11/13 09:21 PM
Have you fully discussed this direct with RME?

It could very well be a bug they need to fix - and if they don't know about it they can't fix it.

--------------------
John - Sound-Link ProAudio
President - Federation Internationale des Chasseurs de Sons


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mjfe2



Joined: 11/10/09
Posts: 561
Loc: Cambridge, UK
Re: RME Fireface 400 to thunderbolt problem. new [Re: John Willett]
      #1073629 - 07/11/13 10:32 PM
Quote John Willett:

Have you fully discussed this direct with RME?

It could very well be a bug they need to fix - and if they don't know about it they can't fix it.




I agree. RME are very good at replying to personal emails, as well as providing forum support.


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Exalted Wombat



Joined: 06/02/10
Posts: 5346
Re: RME Fireface 400 to thunderbolt problem. new [Re: 20flight]
      #1073632 - 07/11/13 10:47 PM
Quote 20flight:

Thanks for your replies tho guys. I think I'm snookered on this. I think I'll have to return the mac and buy one with a FireWire port in.




You're certainly not snookered until you've contacted RME. Their people respond very quickly to this sort of thing on the forum I mentioned a few posts ago.


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20flight



Joined: 06/11/13
Posts: 12
Re: RME Fireface 400 to thunderbolt problem. new [Re: mjfe2]
      #1073659 - 08/11/13 08:18 AM
Quote mjfe2:

Quote John Willett:

Have you fully discussed this direct with RME?

It could very well be a bug they need to fix - and if they don't know about it they can't fix it.




I agree. RME are very good at replying to personal emails, as well as providing forum support.






HI guys,

I have spoken to RME thanks, and there were very quick to respond. The chap thought that all new iMac seem to have a problem with the thunderbolt to firewire converter and theres nothing we can do! I'm a little devastated to be honest but it just means the iMac has to go back.

I appreciate everyones input though. Sadly on this occasion i may be thwarted.


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Exalted Wombat



Joined: 06/02/10
Posts: 5346
Re: RME Fireface 400 to thunderbolt problem. new [Re: 20flight]
      #1073678 - 08/11/13 10:53 AM
Quote 20flight:

I have spoken to RME thanks, and there were very quick to respond. The chap thought that all new iMac seem to have a problem with the thunderbolt to firewire converter and theres nothing we can do! I'm a little devastated to be honest but it just means the iMac has to go back.





Blimey! I know Apple like to lead, we are meant to follow, but have they really just made all Firewire audio interfaces obsolete?


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Richie Royale



Joined: 12/09/06
Posts: 4266
Loc: Bristol, England.
Re: RME Fireface 400 to thunderbolt problem. new [Re: Exalted Wombat]
      #1073686 - 08/11/13 11:26 AM
Quote Exalted Wombat:


Blimey! I know Apple like to lead, we are meant to follow, but have they really just made all Firewire audio interfaces obsolete?




No.

http://global.focusrite.com/answerbase/will-the-apple-thunderbolt-to-firew ire-adapter-work-with-my-firewire-saffire-interface

Quote:

The testing confirmed that there are no problems using one of these adaptors to connect your Saffire and that the hardware and software works in exactly the way it should.






http://www.presonus.com/news/press_releases/PreSonus-FireWire-Interfaces-C ompatible-with-Apple-Thunderbolt-Adapter

Quote:

PreSonus has confirmed that its FireWire interfaces, including the StudioLive-series mixers, are fully compatible with Apple’s Thunderbolt to FireWire 800 adapter (Apple part number MD464). Interface users can expect performance to at least equal, if not exceed, the performance with a regular FireWire 800 port.




http://www.soundonsound.com/forum/showflat.php?Number=1015237

Quote:

The MOTU Traveler, both the original and the Mk 3, work very well on my Macbook Air using the FW-Thunderbolt adapter.




Quote:

We're using MacBookAirs with Thunderbolt-to-Firewire adapters and have had zero problems running an ancient Edirol FA66 FW interface and various MOTO FW interfaces. Very impressed.




Quote:

I use a MOTU Ultralite. It's connected to my MBP via a firewire 400 to 800 cable, plugged into the Apple thunderbolt to firewire adaptor.




Thunderbolt has been on Macs since 2011 too.

--------------------
http://soundcloud.com/richie-royale
http://www.mixcrate.com/richieroyale


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Exalted Wombat



Joined: 06/02/10
Posts: 5346
Re: RME Fireface 400 to thunderbolt problem. new [Re: Richie Royale]
      #1073698 - 08/11/13 12:44 PM
Quote Richie Royale:

Quote Exalted Wombat:


Blimey! I know Apple like to lead, we are meant to follow, but have they really just made all Firewire audio interfaces obsolete?




No.





Good! But the quotes you found seem to be from a year ago. Macs have had a new os since then, and hasn't there also been new hardware very recently? If the iMac in question HAD a Firewire port, this thread wouldn't exist.

If this IS about very recent hardware, running a very new os, there's a chance Apple will sort it out. But if we're thinking of "returning within 7 days of purchase" waiting is risky. Tough call. I suppose Apple can hardly argue about incompatibility with FW being "unfit for purpose"?

I don't see a flood of complaints on the RME forum. But if an official RME source said there are problems...


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Richie Royale



Joined: 12/09/06
Posts: 4266
Loc: Bristol, England.
Re: RME Fireface 400 to thunderbolt problem. new [Re: 20flight]
      #1073729 - 08/11/13 02:39 PM
I saw two others with issues on the RME forum. It seems to be a Mavericks specific issue.

There are other things that are working though, including Focusrite FW interfaces.

http://www.dawsons.co.uk/blog/osx-10-9-mavericks-compatibility

--------------------
http://soundcloud.com/richie-royale
http://www.mixcrate.com/richieroyale


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Exalted Wombat



Joined: 06/02/10
Posts: 5346
Re: RME Fireface 400 to thunderbolt problem. new [Re: Richie Royale]
      #1073766 - 08/11/13 06:21 PM
I'd love to know just who he talked to at RME and exactly what was said. If RME were aware of an issue, it's uncharacteristic for them not to announce it openly (though they remain in denial over the quality of some of their connecters and breakout cables :-)


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Matthew Ottewill



Joined: 14/05/07
Posts: 15
Re: RME Fireface 400 to thunderbolt problem. new [Re: Exalted Wombat]
      #1073812 - 09/11/13 12:16 AM
You've probably already checked this but is you device setup correctly with the OSX Audio MIDI utility?

The beep sounds like a system alert telling you there is a conflict in a setting. It might be worth trashing the preference file and configuring the utility again.

--------------------
www.projectstudiohandbook.com


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20flight



Joined: 06/11/13
Posts: 12
Re: RME Fireface 400 to thunderbolt problem. new [Re: 20flight]
      #1073985 - 10/11/13 07:58 PM
I can't remember what the mans name was from rme but I emailed them and they rang me back that morning. He 'thinks' there is a problem specifically with new iMacs. Not any other macs, Mac Pro MacBook Pro etc. and only new ones (late 2013) It's not the thunderbolt connecter specifically. It's the communication between that and the mac.
As for mavericks, my 2009 MacBook (white one) is running the new osx and it all works perfectly. I can't speak for other FireWire devices as I have only tried the fireface with the new iMac. Apple still haven't gig back to me after passing all the details if their 'technical team' but if they do I will update the post. They did admit that some people have been having problems with the new fusion drive tho. Dropping sounds ams making click sounds. But not like the beep I've experienced. The pro apps team I spoke to hadn't heard of this problem before.


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20flight



Joined: 06/11/13
Posts: 12
Re: RME Fireface 400 to thunderbolt problem. new [Re: Matthew Ottewill]
      #1073987 - 10/11/13 08:02 PM
Quote Matthew Ottewill:

You've probably already checked this but is you device setup correctly with the OSX Audio MIDI utility?

The beep sounds like a system alert telling you there is a conflict in a setting. It might be worth trashing the preference file and configuring the utility again.





Whilst talking to the pro apps team from apple I completely reset everything and re installed the drivers etc. The beep then happened within 10 seconds!! Very frustrating.


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20flight



Joined: 06/11/13
Posts: 12
Re: RME Fireface 400 to thunderbolt problem. new [Re: Exalted Wombat]
      #1073988 - 10/11/13 08:05 PM
Quote Exalted Wombat:

Quote 20flight:

I have spoken to RME thanks, and there were very quick to respond. The chap thought that all new iMac seem to have a problem with the thunderbolt to firewire converter and theres nothing we can do! I'm a little devastated to be honest but it just means the iMac has to go back.





Blimey! I know Apple like to lead, we are meant to follow, but have they really just made all Firewire audio interfaces obsolete?




I'm starting to think they don't really care that much and just expect everyone, including the Audio companies to upgrade their systems to thunderbolt. The first apple guy I spoke to was trying to tell me how much faster thunderbolt was. Even after I'd explained how it wasn't actually working and the speed was therefore irrelevant.


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20flight



Joined: 06/11/13
Posts: 12
Re: RME Fireface 400 to thunderbolt problem. new [Re: 20flight]
      #1074049 - 11/11/13 01:33 PM
It seems both sides are blaming each other. Apple have said its a third party issue and RME have said its the new iMacs. I therefore have no choice but to return the Mac. Very disappointed with this outcome.


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G-Doubleyou



Joined: 10/02/06
Posts: 1356
Re: RME Fireface 400 to thunderbolt problem. new [Re: 20flight]
      #1074058 - 11/11/13 02:45 PM
I've seen several posts at different forums, about issues with new macs with the Fusion Drive.

The fusion drive uses firmware to determine "Frequently Used Files", and stores them in flash memory for quick recall.

At this point nobody KNOWS the time period needed for a file to become "Frequently Used".

There is also speculation that the rotational speed of the the hard drive portion is 5400rpm, yet to be confirmed.

In my opinion the Fusion Drive, is only suitable as a System drive.

It also may not be suitable for DAWS.

It's firmware, you can't cut it off, it will always be looking at the files on the hard drive.
Not suitable for recording to itself.

Open an existing project, some audio files are on the flash part, some on the hard disk.

How does that work?

What happens when a file becomes "Frequenly Used" when your project is open?

Here's a thread about the issues on Gearslutz.
http://www.gearslutz.com/board/music-computers/877537-potential-audio-prob lem-new-imacs.html



--------------------
G-Dub
Studio G-fx 15inch quad-core i7 Macbook Pro Logic9.1.8, LPX 10.0.3


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20flight



Joined: 06/11/13
Posts: 12
Re: RME Fireface 400 to thunderbolt problem. new [Re: G-Doubleyou]
      #1075232 - 19/11/13 04:14 PM
Quote G-Doubleyou:

I've seen several posts at different forums, about issues with new macs with the Fusion Drive.

The fusion drive uses firmware to determine "Frequently Used Files", and stores them in flash memory for quick recall.

At this point nobody KNOWS the time period needed for a file to become "Frequently Used".

There is also speculation that the rotational speed of the the hard drive portion is 5400rpm, yet to be confirmed.

In my opinion the Fusion Drive, is only suitable as a System drive.

It also may not be suitable for DAWS.

It's firmware, you can't cut it off, it will always be looking at the files on the hard drive.
Not suitable for recording to itself.

Open an existing project, some audio files are on the flash part, some on the hard disk.

How does that work?

What happens when a file becomes "Frequenly Used" when your project is open?

Here's a thread about the issues on Gearslutz.
http://www.gearslutz.com/board/music-computers/877537-potent...






Thanks for the suggestion, the problem is it's happening with every single piece of audio coming out the mac. So not just recording projects. Youtube, spotify & everything.
I've sent it back now. Back to square one!


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G-Doubleyou



Joined: 10/02/06
Posts: 1356
Re: RME Fireface 400 to thunderbolt problem. new [Re: 20flight]
      #1075304 - 19/11/13 09:14 PM
Quote 20flight:

Quote G-Doubleyou:

I've seen several posts at different forums, about issues with new macs with the Fusion Drive.

The fusion drive uses firmware to determine "Frequently Used Files", and stores them in flash memory for quick recall.

At this point nobody KNOWS the time period needed for a file to become "Frequently Used".

There is also speculation that the rotational speed of the the hard drive portion is 5400rpm, yet to be confirmed.

In my opinion the Fusion Drive, is only suitable as a System drive.

It also may not be suitable for DAWS.

It's firmware, you can't cut it off, it will always be looking at the files on the hard drive.
Not suitable for recording to itself.

Open an existing project, some audio files are on the flash part, some on the hard disk.

How does that work?

What happens when a file becomes "Frequenly Used" when your project is open?

Here's a thread about the issues on Gearslutz.
http://www.gearslutz.com/board/music-computers/877537-potent...






Thanks for the suggestion, the problem is it's happening with every single piece of audio coming out the mac. So not just recording projects. Youtube, spotify & everything.
I've sent it back now. Back to square one!




The mystery grows, there seems to be general flakeyness, with audio, an Apogee Tech joined the thread, and stated that they alerted Apple to some of the issues.



--------------------
G-Dub
Studio G-fx 15inch quad-core i7 Macbook Pro Logic9.1.8, LPX 10.0.3


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benniferj



Joined: 11/06/07
Posts: 316
Loc: Camberley, Surrey, UK
Re: RME Fireface 400 to thunderbolt problem. new [Re: 20flight]
      #1076353 - 26/11/13 01:14 PM
Did your mac ship with Mavericks?

If so, that's a real shame, can you demand an installer for the previous version, Mountain Lion?

I haven't understood everyones excitement & urgency with upgrading to a new OS that's not really bug tested for audio yet...


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Jeraldo



Joined: 10/09/05
Posts: 2244
Re: RME Fireface 400 to thunderbolt problem. new [Re: 20flight]
      #1076876 - 30/11/13 04:35 AM
I'm a little surprised there's not been more discussion of the FW problem on the SOS forums, particularly the Mac forum.

There seems to be a great deal of trouble with the latest Macs that came with Mavericks. Additionally, Mavericks has caused some grief with some older Macs. The trouble reports re: FW haven't only to do with media interfaces, there are problems with FW drives. This was initially dismissed as a problems with Mavericks and utility software provided by drive manufacturers, but not with FW drives in general. That seems not to be the case.

The few people I know who "upgraded" their OS to Mavericks promptly returned their OS to an earlier version. Many were caught up by wanting/needing to acquire a new Mac and that, of course, comes with Mavericks. Apple makes it difficult but not impossible to get older OS, but running an older OS on newer Macs has become increasingly less likely because because of hardware and software mismatches. An older OS may work on a MacBook Pro or Mini but not an Air, etc.

It's frustrating to see this happen, I hope Apple will be motivated to get things working.

There do seem to be a sizable number of people who are doing fine.


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rACed2



Joined: 15/04/13
Posts: 60
Re: RME Fireface 400 to thunderbolt problem. new [Re: Jeraldo]
      #1076882 - 30/11/13 09:34 AM
Quote Jeraldo:

I'm a little surprised there's not been more discussion of the FW problem on the SOS forums, particularly the Mac forum.



Same here - although I don't think is a FW problem.
From what I've seen and heard it seems to be a Mavericks and fusion drive problem - I'm one of the 'lucky' ones - my imac is a early 2012 model and consequently without a fusion drive and still with a real FW slot, the upgrade to mavericks was painless and without any problem.
From what I've seen on the various forums I look at those with problems all seem to be people with a fusion drive using a thunderbolt to FW connector to their interface.
It would be interesting to know if anyone has a current model imac without a fusion drive that is having trouble.


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Jeraldo



Joined: 10/09/05
Posts: 2244
Re: RME Fireface 400 to thunderbolt problem. new [Re: rACed2]
      #1077027 - 01/12/13 09:50 PM
Quote rACed2:


From what I've seen and heard it seems to be a Mavericks and fusion drive problem .....
From what I've seen on the various forums I look at those with problems all seem to be people with a fusion drive using a thunderbolt to FW connector to their interface.

It would be interesting to know if anyone has a current model imac without a fusion drive that is having trouble.




Thanks for clarifying the issues!

With reference to drive problems, it seems people have thought their data has disappeared, but only directory sorts of things have been corrupted.

I have heard from users with real FW slots that FW drives don't spin down when they should, nor do they spin down on sleep. I think Mavericks may have made havoc with the internal drive spin down as well (for those with internal disks).

Agreed- it would be helpful to hear from Mavericks users who are using hardware-old or new- with "real" FW slots.

(Is new Mac hardware with FW slots now limited to the Mini and MB non retina Pro?)


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Quality Petrol



Joined: 27/12/11
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Re: RME Fireface 400 to thunderbolt problem. new [Re: 20flight]
      #1078381 - 08/12/13 01:39 PM
For what it's worth, I just got a Macbook Pro Retina 15" and am using my RME Fireface 400 without problem. It is connected via a firewire 400 to 800 converter cable which is hooked up to a thunderbolt input via the Apple converter cable. It ain't pretty, I admit! But it works.


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Exalted Wombat



Joined: 06/02/10
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Re: RME Fireface 400 to thunderbolt problem. new [Re: Quality Petrol]
      #1078390 - 08/12/13 02:31 PM
It only seems to be the new iMacs with this specific problem. The lack of dedicated ports on other Mac models can be an inconvenience, but as you say with the right selection of adapters they seem to work.


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May 2014
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