Helpful Reply(Resolved) The issue of firewire incompatibility

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Mosvalve
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2016/03/22 20:54:44 (permalink)

(Resolved) The issue of firewire incompatibility

I am curious as to what is actually incompatible with what, the firewire card and motherboard or the firewire card and the interface that is connected. I have a situation with two identical pc's with identical firewire cards but different interfaces.
The interfaces are a Focusrite Saffire pro 40 and a Saffire pro 24 and Mixcontrol 3.4. Mixcontrol 3.7 was tested also and made no difference. The firewire cards are Vantec cards with a VIA chipset. In my old PC (HP) I used a SIIG card with a TI chipset and it works perfectly with my Pro 24 but does not work with my interface in my new PC so I picked up the Vantec in hopes it will work and it works perfectly in the new PC.
However the pro 40 does not work with the Vantec card in either PC. I did not test it with the SIIG yet though. I was wondering if anyone knows for sure if it's the interface that needs to play well with the card and not necessarily the card and the motherboard?
Sonar Platinum is not a factor here as it does not have to be launched for Mixcontrol to fail. For a sort explination of what is wrong. Mixcontrol does not communicate with the interface. I will get more detailed if need be.
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post edited by Mosvalve - 2016/03/23 22:39:44

BobV 
 
 
 
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mikedocy
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Re: The issue of firewire incompatibility 2016/03/22 22:24:48 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby mettelus 2016/03/23 01:11:40
Did you try the 1394 Legacy driver? That is the usual fix.
Windows 7 should already have it. You have to select it.
Go to Device manager/IEEE 1394/Driver/Update Driver/Browse my Computer/Let me Pick.
Choose the 1394 Legacy Driver, reboot.
 
And for those people running windows 8, 8.1 or 10 the 1394 legacy driver is not included.
You have to download, install, then switch the driver per the above instructions.
Here is the download link. it works for Windows 8, 8.1 and 10:
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2970191
post edited by mikedocy - 2016/03/22 22:48:17
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mettelus
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Re: The issue of firewire incompatibility 2016/03/23 01:02:49 (permalink)
I believe all the Saffire units should run on the VIA chipset, but Focusrite did say there was an issue with Win10. I didn't realize the legacy driver could be downloaded, so that is nice.
 
In addition to that driver, the only other thing that comes to mind is the firmware in the interface. Does the 40 run on one machine but not the other? If so, Mike's comment on the legacy driver may be the solution for you.

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Pragi
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Re: The issue of firewire incompatibility 2016/03/23 04:44:30 (permalink)
I remember that the via firewire chipsets are often the cause for 
difficulties, but my expieremce on that  is years ago.
Since I´m running a firewire card with TI chipset 
I forgot about problems soundcard wise.
regards
 
post edited by Pragi - 2016/03/23 10:03:39
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Jim Roseberry
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Re: The issue of firewire incompatibility 2016/03/23 05:55:58 (permalink)
With Firewire, it's down to the specific Firewire chipset... *and* the specific audio interface.
Most times, when you see folks having issues with a Firewire audio interface, they're NOT using a TI chipset Firewire controller.  Using a quality TI chipset Firewire controller increases your odds of success (compatibility).
 
The SIIG TI chipset Firewire controller is a good one... and works well with most Firewire audio interfaces.
If you're having issues with an audio interface connected to that controller (especially an older Firewire audio interface), try using the "Legacy" driver (as was mentioned).
 
 
 

Best Regards,

Jim Roseberry
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#5
AT
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Re: The issue of firewire incompatibility 2016/03/23 09:58:52 (permalink)
my via FW chip works fine w/ TC in Windows 7.  But many people have "fixed" an interface problem by using a TI chipset.

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fireberd
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Re: The issue of firewire incompatibility 2016/03/23 10:54:33 (permalink)
I had a Saffire Pro 40.  It would ONLY work with a T.I. chipset interface.  I tried it on others and it either would not connect or have intermittent connection.  The Saffire Pro 40 (and most audio equipment) use the "DICE" or "DICE II" chipsets and they only want to "see" (work with) T.I. Chipsets.
 
Here is what Focusrite says about the chipsets:
 
https://support.focusrite.com/hc/en-gb/articles/207546925
 
 
 

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Mosvalve
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Re: The issue of firewire incompatibility 2016/03/23 14:12:30 (permalink)
fireberd
I had a Saffire Pro 40.  It would ONLY work with a T.I. chipset interface.  I tried it on others and it either would not connect or have intermittent connection.  The Saffire Pro 40 (and most audio equipment) use the "DICE" or "DICE II" chipsets and they only want to "see" (work with) T.I. Chipsets.
 
Here is what Focusrite says about the chipsets:
 
https://support.focusrite.com/hc/en-gb/articles/207546925
 
 
 


This is not true because the pro 40 was and still does work great on my HP PC with a VIA chipset. My Pro 24 is currently working with a VIA chipset on my new PC but my SIIG card with TI chipset doesn't work in my new PC.

BobV 
 
 
 
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Re: The issue of firewire incompatibility 2016/03/23 15:06:45 (permalink)
Why are you not using Mixcontrol 3.7 for both Focusrite's download seem to recommend them for both.
 
I am running a Pro 40 with 3.7 on a TI chipset under windows 10

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Re: The issue of firewire incompatibility 2016/03/23 17:40:01 (permalink)
Mosvalve
This is not true because the pro 40 was and still does work great on my HP PC with a VIA chipset. My Pro 24 is currently working with a VIA chipset on my new PC but my SIIG card with TI chipset doesn't work in my new PC.



It depends on the exact Via chipset... and the specific audio interface.
Not every Via chipset Firewire controller will work with your audio interface.

Best Regards,

Jim Roseberry
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mettelus
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Re: The issue of firewire incompatibility 2016/03/23 19:20:39 (permalink)
Have you tried emailing Focusrite directly? They have always responded quickly for me and would be the best resource (plus they seem to keep track of what doesn't work with what). There are six variables at play - MOBO, FW card, interface, FW driver, interface firmware, and MixControl version.
 
That article Jack linked is a good read, and I saw two things I didn't realize in it - "TI XIO2200A - tends to work with most systems, however there are known compatibility problems when used with Z170 and X99 motherboards." and "Please note that you need to be on the Standard Windows Driver to use the OHCI Tool.  If you are on Windows 7 using the Legacy Driver please revert to Standard Driver..."
 
After seeing that second one I think I am actually on the standard driver vs. the legacy one. Their link is broken, and my VIA driver is from 2006 (6.1.7601.17514) - when I googled the legacy driver it seems to actually read "(Legacy)" at the end of the driver name, which mine does not have.
 
Edit: I just ran their OHCI tool and got these results:
OS: Microsoft Windows 7 64-bit Service Pack 1 [6.1.7601]
  CPU(s):
    Processor:  Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-2600K CPU @ 3.40GHz
    Physical:  1
    Cores:     4
    Logical:   8
    L1 Cache:  32 KB   (8)
    L2 Cache:  256 KB  (4)
    L3 Cache: 8192 KB  (1)
  Installed RAM: 8159 MB

  Microsoft 1394ohci.sys [6.1.7601.17514]
  Microsoft ohci1394.sys [6.1.7600.16385]
  Microsoft 1394bus.sys  [6.1.7600.16385]

Looking for OHCI 1394 Host Controllers...

1:
  Vendor : (1106) VIA Technologies
  Chipset: (3044) VT6307/VT6308
  Revision: C0
  Status :  Active
  Details:
    Subsysten VendorId: 1043
    Subsystem DeviceId: 81fe
    Max # isoch Rx contexts: 4
    Max # isoch Tx contexts: 8
  Max 1394 Speed Capability: S400
  Support:  Compatible, no known issues.

Done.

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fireberd
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Re: The issue of firewire incompatibility 2016/03/23 19:36:18 (permalink)
I found a link to the OHCItool.exe that Focusrite references in the article I linked.
 
Click Me 
 
Focusrite in the article states:
If you are unsure about the compatibility of your firewire chipset, please download and run OHCItool.exe. If it reads "This controller is not compatible with DICE drivers" or "Compatibility Unknown", then you'll need to replace your firewire card with a compatible one.
 

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kitekrazy1
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Re: The issue of firewire incompatibility 2016/03/23 20:42:21 (permalink)
Jim Roseberry
Mosvalve
This is not true because the pro 40 was and still does work great on my HP PC with a VIA chipset. My Pro 24 is currently working with a VIA chipset on my new PC but my SIIG card with TI chipset doesn't work in my new PC.



It depends on the exact Via chipset... and the specific audio interface.
Not every Via chipset Firewire controller will work with your audio interface.




I don't think VIA has every updated their chipset past 2001.

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Re: The issue of firewire incompatibility 2016/03/23 21:30:10 (permalink)
kitekrazy1
I don't think VIA has every updated their chipset past 2001.



I doubt that VIA hasn't refreshed their product line in over 15 years.  I'm using an SIIG card with a via chipset and it works fine with my Motu. 
 

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Re: The issue of firewire incompatibility 2016/03/23 21:43:46 (permalink)
I knew I had read something from RME about this. Prepare for more detail than you need but here you go. One of the main issues is the voltage in the chipset.

http://www.rme-audio.de/e...echinfo/fw800alert.htm

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Re: The issue of firewire incompatibility 2016/03/23 21:52:55 (permalink)
SF_Green
I knew I had read something from RME about this. Prepare for more detail than you need but here you go. One of the main issues is the voltage in the chipset.
http://www.rme-audio.de/e...echinfo/fw800alert.htm

They are talking about 1394B which is firewire 800.
It doesn't really help this thread since we are concerned with 1394A, which is firewire 400.
Thanks for posting the link, though. It does offer some insight into the RME. They don't have any incompatibility problems with any of the firewire 400 boards.
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Re: The issue of firewire incompatibility 2016/03/23 21:54:55 (permalink)
You say you haven't tried the SIIG card... I think that's the next logical step.
 
I've been through four FW devices, with two different PCs (including a Saffire 24), and have never had FW compatibility issues.  FWIW, both PCs were built by me - using components known to be "DAW friendly" - and the FW card was always a SIIG (PCI and PCIe) with TI chipset.  This was on Win 7 and 8.1.
 
Are you using a PCI FW card?  Be aware that some of the newer system PCI slots are "bridged", which have been known to cause problems for some users.  You should be using PCIe if possible and, of course, TI chipsets.  As Jim suggested, if all else fails, try the legacy FW driver.

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Mosvalve
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Re: The issue of firewire incompatibility 2016/03/23 22:24:31 (permalink)
I want to thank everyone for all the great info. It turns out that the Pro 40 will only work with the Vantec VIA PCIe card using the legacy driver. Go figure. My Pro 24 works fine with the Vantec VIA PCIe card using either driver. You gotta love computers.
 
Thanks so much for all your help.
 

BobV 
 
 
 
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Re: The issue of firewire incompatibility 2016/03/24 09:19:41 (permalink)
I know this thread is marked solved.
 
However, a note on the OHCItool.exe.  I tried running it in Win 10, native and in compatibility mode and it never finds any 1394 controllers.  However, I booted up Win 7 and ran it and it found the 1394 controllers without problems. 
I don't know about Win 8/8.1 but I suspect it won't run on that either.

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Re: The issue of firewire incompatibility 2018/10/10 04:33:44 (permalink)
fireberd
I know this thread is marked solved.
 
However, a note on the OHCItool.exe.  I tried running it in Win 10, native and in compatibility mode and it never finds any 1394 controllers.  However, I booted up Win 7 and ran it and it found the 1394 controllers without problems. 
I don't know about Win 8/8.1 but I suspect it won't run on that either.


Older thread, I know, but Firewire hasn't died yet. It is, however, riddled with problems (99% caused by Microsoft). This is an informative read: https://support.focusrite...gb/articles/207546925. Furthrmore, at the bottom of the article, a revised ohciTool.exe is available. I'm on Win10, and it worked.

Also, it should be noted that in other article online, Focusrite stated that the legacy 1394 driver (which is no longer included in Microsoft Win 10 and subsequent builds) is NOT required for modern Saffire interfaces. Read it here: https://en.audiofanzine.c...ws-10-problem,p.2.html

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mettelus
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Re: The issue of firewire incompatibility 2018/10/10 05:59:14 (permalink)
[***Heads up, this is a 2 1/2 year old thread***]
 
That particular driver has gotten attention because there are a lot of comments about it not being backwards compatible. For the VIA chipset specifically, that also worked well in Win7, but in newer OSs support only references TI chipset cards. For me, Win10 (1803) also triggered an issue in MixControl 3.6 (even on a TI chipset card) that was observed in the Macs, specifically that audio output was disabled unless the FW latency was changed in MixControl (and not possible if used as the default Win10 device).
 
Both the legacy driver and MixControl 3.4 are pre-Win10, and that combination seems to function wthout issues in Win10 for most folks using Saffires. Just of note, that second article is from 2016, and since then ALL FW (Saffires) are legacy... Focusrite doesn't sell them anymore... there are no "modern Saffire interfaces" now.
post edited by mettelus - 2018/10/10 06:52:16

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