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Need Saffire Pro 40 & Reaper help, please!

hdrabach

So..I've spent the last few days troubleshooting my new setup. First, here's my set up:
Computer: Windows 7 PC; i7 Intel; 16GB RAM; 2 SSD drives, blah blah blah
Interface: Saffire Pro 40
DAW: Reaper 4.25 (latest edition).
For the life of me, though I believe I have setup and resetup everything in both MixControl and Reaper correctly, I cannot get any audio signal to record for inputs 3-8; only the front (channels 1 and 2) will record anything to my PC.
I've already checked all connections, cables, mics, snake inputs, phantom power issues...so now I am not sure what to do. I "think" I have followed all the setup correctly in both Reaper and MixControl (but both have a steep learning curve, so I'm not 100% sure).
If anyone has good field experience with both/either of these software, I'd appreciate some troubleshooting advice. Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.
Sincerely,
Howard
August 14, 2012 @01:23am
Andrew_Malloy

First, check to make sure you are using ASIO drivers, you may need to enable the inputs 3-4 in the software. You should be able to assign the tracks to record from those inputs and record once you have done this.
August 14, 2012 @08:23pm
hdrabach

First, check to make sure you are using ASIO drivers, you may need to enable the inputs 3-4 in the software. You should be able to assign the tracks to record from those inputs and record once you have done this.

Andrew, thank you. Actually, to the tenacity and patience of Kyle, one of your PC experts in tech support, we figured out, after a lot of trial and error, that the problem was operator input-related. Apparently, I did not check the order of preamp inputs on the back of the unit before I had someone else install it into my rack. Apparently, they are ordered right to left, not left to right. I'm a shmuck, but a happy-that-his-studio-is-back-up-and-running shmuck. (oops).
August 15, 2012 @06:25pm
hdrabach

First, check to make sure you are using ASIO drivers, you may need to enable the inputs 3-4 in the software. You should be able to assign the tracks to record from those inputs and record once you have done this.

Andrew:
You all helped me so much last time that I have another one for you. When I attempt to use phantom power on the Saffire Pro 40, OR phantom power from an external pre-amp into the Saffire, there is an incredible amount of noise introduced on the track (crackling, white noise, etc.) to the point where I cannot get a clean, recordable signal. The noise is almost gone when I use a passive mic; still it lingers. Any ideas on what might be causing this, and how to possibly troubleshoot it? Thanks in advance for any assistance you might provide.
-Howard
November 19, 2012 @01:04pm
Andrew_Malloy

Ideally, you would want to make sure that you are only using phantom power on microphones that require it. Typically dynamic microphones are transformer loaded and the DC voltage is blocked by the capsule. There really shouldn't be problems like this in your system. I would strongly advise taking a good look at your cabling to make sure they are not causing the problem. Also, proper gain staging will always minimize noise in your recordings.
November 19, 2012 @02:07pm
hdrabach

Ideally, you would want to make sure that you are only using phantom power on microphones that require it. Typically dynamic microphones are transformer loaded and the DC voltage is blocked by the capsule. There really shouldn't be problems like this in your system. I would strongly advise taking a good look at your cabling to make sure they are not causing the problem. Also, proper gain staging will always minimize noise in your recordings.

Andrew:
Thanks. I tested the cables through different inputs (direct, via snake, with passive [sm57] and active [KSM27; Bluebird] mics, swapped out mic cables. Also, I tried using the Saffire's resident phantom power, and routing through an outboard pre phantom power (Summit Audio 2BA-221) without the Saffire's phantom power. If I used phantom power, regardless of whether it was the built in Saffire or the outboard pre, the noise was extreme whether the track was record enabled or not (huge static off and on and continuous, white noise in between, etc.) The crackling and noise would send the VU meters past 0db at times, often into the "red".
Running an SM57 via the same cable, whether through the recording snake, or directly into the Saffires inputs yielded little to no noise. I would describe the noise as "crackling static" in that it ebbs and flows, almost like there is a connection issue somewhere. Then again, I don't know if it's a "dirty" power issue. It's running from the same power source grid as my PC (into it's own outlet, though) and the PC has no issues. A few months ago, running ProTools with my old DIGI 002 board into my old MAC, I never experienced this particular issue in this same studio.
Any other ideas as to the source of the problem or a way to troubleshoot? I'm wondering if, like last time, calling in and having your technical engineer take control of my PC would enable a solution better? In any event, let me know, and thanks in advance for any additional advice you may offer.
November 19, 2012 @04:09pm
TimOBrien

Have to ask since it's so common: What firewire chipset are you using???
(you can find out in the device manager under the IEE-1394 tab)
Firewire interfaces are VERY picky about firewire chips and can cause the type of connection symptoms you describe; TexasInstruments chips are the only ones you want to use...
November 20, 2012 @02:26pm
hdrabach

Have to ask since it's so common: What firewire chipset are you using???
(you can find out in the device manager under the IEE-1394 tab)
Firewire interfaces are VERY picky about firewire chips and can cause the type of connection symptoms you describe; TexasInstruments chips are the only ones you want to use...

OK. Here's what I was able to find out:
Device Type Manufacturer: 1394 OHCI Compliant Host Controller (Legacy)
Not sure what that means. I just assembled this PC in August. Everything is up to date. In any event, does this information tell you anything? Sorry - I'm a newbie when it comes to this end of audio.
November 21, 2012 @02:19am
TimOBrien

If it was me I would pick up a Belkin or SIIG firewire card with TexasInstruments chips.
They are not expensive and are the gold standard.
Motherboard chipsets are iffy at best (unless it specifically says TI chipset)
November 21, 2012 @01:51pm
Andrew_Malloy

If it was me I would pick up a Belkin or SIIG firewire card with TexasInstruments chips.
They are not expensive and are the gold standard.
Motherboard chipsets are iffy at best (unless it specifically says TI chipset)

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/FWCardPCI/
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/FWCardPCIe/
November 21, 2012 @02:18pm