RME Fireface 400 SPDIF recording

Audio, MIDI and other software, not including effects or instruments
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spamisevil
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RME Fireface 400 SPDIF recording

Post by spamisevil » 22 Mar 2009, 21:01

Sorry for what may seem like a really basic question but I can't seem to record into software through the SPDIF input on my RME Fireface 400 interface. I see signal in the TotalMix application, so I know the sound is getting into the computer (Intel Macbook Pro), but I can't get the software to see the signal when I select the appropriate input in the software. I've tried with both LIVE and LOGIC Pro 8 to select inputs 9 & 10 and enable the track for recording but I don't get any input signal in the software. Any suggestions much appreciated.
John Oliver
Macbook Pro on Leopard 10.5.8. Logic 8, Live 8 and a host of plugins

_system_
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Joined: 22 Mar 2009, 21:32

Re: RME Fireface 400 SPDIF recording

Post by _system_ » 23 Mar 2009, 10:03

Hi John, sorry to hear you have had trouble getting input via spdif - should be a no brainer. I am aware of the same inquiry on the RME forum you posted. Seems like you have eliminated hardware as a fault if totalmix is showing levels. So let me setup my own test in OSX with my FF400 and logic, live etc to see what happens and what might intervene.

*Make sure you download and install the latest firmware and driver for the FF400.

*In your Fireface settings, make sure the SPDIF input is set to coaxial, assuming it is the coaxial input you want to use.

*In your Fireface settings you can see the Autosync reference, showing hopefully spdif and the sample rate coming in. The sample rates must match, and be slaved to your spdif. Whatever the sample rate is, try setting up your logic or live project with that sample rate.

Did some testing:
In logic, a sample rate mismatch will not prevent any input, but will throw the famous 'unrecognized sample rate error'. For example in logic there are preferences for audio and then there are project settings. Each project can have its own sample rate so make sure your project setting for sample rate matches the incoming rate. Also beware that changing these values with the software open will not eliminate errors. If you change the project sample rate, you must restart logic and re-open the project fresh - then logic will record at the new rate without throwing up an error. I tried all of this in Logic, while changing the sample rate of my spdif source. None of my adjustments ever caused the spdif input to be lost completely and I was able to record the spdif input at 44.1 and 48kHz. This includes changing a variety of fireface settings related to spdif. My spdif source was a RME MultifaceII in 64studio Linux, coax to coax.

My system is still at 10.4.11, which is different from yours. This might be an issue, but I think you need to check some things I have mentioned first regarding firmware and drivers. You should also be well aware of what the sample rate is of your spdif source. If this is a mystery then I might suggest getting a technician or engineer involved.

I think Digicheck was suggested elsewhere as an additional check without involving host interactions. Might be worth looking at to see if it can scope the input.

Hope this helps,

Jonathan Adams Leonard
Lead Specialist, Synthax Inc
RME | ALVA | AXON

spamisevil
Posts: 25
Joined: 28 May 2004, 13:18
Location: Vancouver
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Re: RME Fireface 400 SPDIF recording

Post by spamisevil » 23 Mar 2009, 13:03

I have the latest drivers and followed your suggestions but I am not able to record in Logic. I assume that if the signal is coming into TotalMix on the top level that the signal should show on the next level down if the software is doing its job. right?

There is another variable that may have a role to play in this: I have the ADAT optical out connected to another ADAT optical device that is currently turned off. Could that be an issue?

Both LIVE and LOGIC receive input from the analog ins properly.

This is a mystery to me. Is there any software for the Mac that will check the hardware to make sure there is nothing wrong with it?

Thanks,
John
Macbook Pro on Leopard 10.5.8. Logic 8, Live 8 and a host of plugins

spamisevil
Posts: 25
Joined: 28 May 2004, 13:18
Location: Vancouver
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Re: RME Fireface 400 SPDIF recording

Post by spamisevil » 16 Oct 2009, 11:16

Update: I know that the hardware is fine. It's a mystery to me why Logic can't see the S/PDIF input. I tried all of the suggestions you mention below, Jonathan, including latest firmware update, but there is no input to Logic. I know that the fireface is receiving the signal at 44.1 kHz with autosync ref showing SPDIF, and when I patch it to the analog outs I can hear an beautifully undistorted signal. But no matter what the settings in Logic, I am not able to get a signal in Logic. I've put out a new question on the board about this. I am very frustrated.

Thanks for any help.

John

Macbook Pro, Leopard 10.5.8

spamisevil
Posts: 25
Joined: 28 May 2004, 13:18
Location: Vancouver
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Re: RME Fireface 400 SPDIF recording

Post by spamisevil » 16 Oct 2009, 16:50

Well I finally figured it out! There is a setting in the RME interface software called "Limit Bandwidth." This was set to "Analog", meaning that the interface was only polling the analog inputs. Apparently, this is a feature of the interface to allow better CPU performance by shutting down the digital inputs when they are not in use. Choosing "Analog+SPDIF" solved the problem!

The moral of the story: always read the entire manual from cover to cover!

Thanks for your help.

John
:)
Macbook Pro on Leopard 10.5.8. Logic 8, Live 8 and a host of plugins

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