Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

Focusrite Saffire Pro 24 - Artifacts, Connectivity,Latency

  1. #1

    Posts : 1
    Windows 8 Pro 64-bit

    Focusrite Saffire Pro 24 - Artifacts, Connectivity,Latency

    I recently upgraded to Windows 8 Pro, from Windows 7 Professional. On Windows 7 my sound card (name on subject), was performing almost fine, with some occasional drop outs which disappeared by shutting down and powering up the card. The card is connected by FireWire 800.

    On Windows 8, I'm experiencing the following:

    - frequent dropouts (sound of artifacts, very distorted sound, disappears by restarting the card, as above)
    - FireWire connectivity issues (FireWire connection indication of sound card goes off and on - blinking - and during that time - 4-5 seconds - there's no sound coming out).
    - DPC Latency measured with DPC Latency checker is from intermediate to critical (the software warns that device drivers such as network or video drivers behave badly, hence the increased latency). I've tried to isolate the cause of this by disabling all kinds of devices but nothing changes. Same levels of latency, same problems.

    I must say that Focusrite has released official driver updates and firmware for it's managing software, MixControl.

    I have already communicated with Focusrite and at first sight they seem to think it has something to do with other devices. I also reinstalled MixControl (the driver & firmware update), because the proposed so (because it was installed before I upgraded to Windows 8).

    Any suggestions?

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2

    Webster NY US
    Posts : 325
    Win 7 / Win 8

    According to Focusrite's site, they are "fully compatible with Windows 8": Focusrite Audio Interface Compatibility Windows 8 .: Focusrite Answerbase. They don't elaborate on what their validation process is. I have a Scarlett 2i2 I have yet to try.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3

    Sunnyvale, CA USA
    Posts : 283
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center (64-bit)

    I have the Saffire Pro 14 running fine on Windows 8 Pro 64-bit.
    Mix Control 3.1, standard Windows firewire drivers.

    No dropouts or latency issues.

    These settings:

    48kHz sample rate, 256 samples latency (buffer size), Firewire driver latency - 'medium' (not 'short' - that makes dropouts).

    DPCLat does not seem to work well in Windows 8 I am told. Here's my Latency Monitor details. I had similar results in Win 7.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4

    Firewire "800"? The Saffire's are rated for the 1394 interface (400) and really need a T.I. chipset in the PC. Most Firewire devices use the DICE or DICE II chipset in the devices and they like to see a T.I. chipset at the PC end.

    Latency settings can cause some of these problems too or buffer settings in the recording program. I used to have a Saffire Pro 40 that I used with Sonar and I had to set the buffer in the Saffire Mix control to 512 and same way with the buffer in Sonar. I wound up with 12ms of latency which was a problem at times. The Saffire Pro 40 failed and estimate to fix it was within $50 of what it cost so I dumped it for a Roland Octa-Capture, which is USB. Latency is a lot less and its more stable than the Firewire devices (I've had several).

    One other thought. On Vista and Win 7, Focusrite states to use the "Legacy" Firewire drivers and not the default Windows drivers. I don't know if this is also an issue in Win 8, but something to consider. To get the Legacy Driver on Win 7 and may be the same on Win 8 (I don't have that running right now), go to the Device Manager and click on the 1394 controller entry. In the Drivers section, click on "update driver", then Browse My Computer for Driver, and finally click on Let Me Pick from a list of Device Drivers on my Computer. Select the 1394 OHCI Compliant Host Controller (Legacy).
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5

    Sunnyvale, CA USA
    Posts : 283
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center (64-bit)

    I have the Firewire VIA chipset (non-TI) and it works fine with the Saffire. I use Sonar with latency set at 256 samples. The legacy firewire drivers are not needed or recommended for Mixcontrol 3.1 on Windows 8.

    In fact, on Windows 7 I never had trouble with the standard Firewire drivers even though legacy drivers were recommended.

    I did , though, have trouble with certain versions of NVIDIA drivers, but not the most recent.

    In MixControl there are two settings for latency - one is buffer size, which I set at 256, the other is a term they use called 'Firewire Driver Latency' which I need to set to 'Medium' to avoid dropouts. I don't know what this latter setting actually does, but I think it does not affect the audio latency, maybe something to do with Firewire interrupts or DPC events.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6

    When I upgraded my system (an older one, not the current system) from Vista 64 bit to Windows 7 64 bit I forgot to change the Firewire driver to the legacy driver, but it appeared to be working OK. However, when I loaded it down and was using all 8 analog channels in my Saffire Pro 40, I started to have some dropout problems. I remembered about the Legacy driver thing and changed it and the dropouts were gone. That was with Sonar 8 (I think 8.5.3 PE). The motherboard I had at the time was an Intel DP35DP and it had a T.I. Firewire chipset on the motherboard.

    I'm now using X2 PE.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7

    Sunnyvale, CA USA
    Posts : 283
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center (64-bit)

    Here is an older post I made about NVIDIA drivers that generated some response:
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8

    Sunnyvale, CA USA
    Posts : 283
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center (64-bit)

    I've run 46 audio tracks using 2C B2 reverb in each channel with no problems. B2 a CPU killer, but I don't experience any dropouts at 48kHz with 256 sample latency.

    I've run projects with 16 channels of Chromaphone and 6 Kore effects using Reaktor and Guitar Rig with lots of processing and not the slightest issue.

    Everyone's system is different and we all have our own unique set of problems. You just have to find out the combination of ingredients that work for you.

    And every time you change an essential kernel service retest your audio gear.

    There always had been reports about Firewire chipsets - TI versus others, yet motherboard people and Microsoft still have WHQL versions and there are standard Firewire support validation tests that need to pass to get certified.

    It's a complex issue. Many of these reports may be from video users who were the first to adopt Firewire.

    I've had some serious issues with a certain Firewire disk disk drive, in Windows XP and MacBook Pro in the past, but that drive vendor is no longer in business. I went through 11 model failures in one year and eventually dismantled the drives and I still use the internal disks with no problems to this day. I believe it was a firmware issue on the drive, not a system driver problem.

    Hear for yourself:
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Focusrite Saffire Pro 24 - Artifacts, Connectivity,Latency
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