DM3200 wont lock at 88.2 or 96

cmaffia

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2 x DM3200, DA-3000
I am still using the beta driver for the firewire card Redbus gave me a while back..I even tried the 1.21 drivers and they react the same way. The firewire card Im using has TI chipsets. I am using Windows 7 64 bit version and up until now I have been recording in 44.1 and 48 Khz without issue Today was the first time I tried a project at 88.2. Problem is the FW wont lock at either 88.2 or 96! It says locked in the DM3200 under slot 2 but the FW control panel software says unlocked for both sample rates. Please help!
 
Hi Charlie,

First thing to look at: your Windows audio drivers. There's a setting (right click on the audio driver hardware icon in the Control Panel - go to 'Advanced') whereby you instruct Windows to shift the 'default setting' from 44.1 to 96kz. Make sure you save that change.

Next: power down both the PC and DM. Power up the DM and shift the sample rate from 44.1 to 88.2 (or 96kz); you'll get the message to restart the board - hit enter. Then, power up the PC. If this solves the problem, the DM/Firewire driver menu will show locked at the higher S/R.

Hope this does the trick. (I'm not in my studio right now and may've messed up a step or two.) But essentially, you have to sync both the DM and Win7 in order to lock 88.2/96kz - at least that's the way it is on my rig.

CaptDan
 
Thanks Dan. If I am following your instructions on how to change the audio driver to shift from 44.1 to 96, they don't line up :) I don't see any of those options.

Changing playback and record to default formats of 96 or 88 24 bit does not remedy the situation if that is what I am supposed to do. I am either changing the wrong drivers or I am missing something. It doesn't let me save those options until the board is configured for 96 or 88. still shows unlocked in the utility as well.
 
when I reduce input and output to 16 tracks instead of 32 tracks it locks at 88.2 and 96k. Is this normal?
 
cmaffia said:
when I reduce input and output to 16 tracks instead of 32 tracks it locks at 88.2 and 96k. Is this normal?

Can't say for sure because I always keep my firewire output at 16 tracks, and input (from DAW) at 32. Since I never use more than 2 or three inputs simultaneously, that setting reduces PC CPU load.

Regarding the Win7 ASIO settings: I'll have to go down to the studio tomorrow and check the procedure; I probably missed a step in my description. But since you're able to get a lock at lower track count, there's something else going on. Have you tried increasing the buffer?

CaptDan
 
Thanks Capt. The only way I can get it to lock at the higher speeds is input and output both have to be 16 tracks. I tried every buffer size. I never had a droppout reported at 48khz since I got this new workstation and the buffers have been 128 and 256.
 
After working with Redbus last night and troubleshooting through the night, here's my email to Redbus on this issue:

After much experimentation I solved the problem but I am not happy about it (nothing to do with Tascam.. I will explain).

I purchased but never used 2 PCIe firewire cards when I purchased the Sweetwater workstation because I was paranoid that the one that came with it was going to give me problems.

I never used them because I didn't experience an issue until last night. Well I still have them. One is a PCIe TI chipset and the other a PCIe VIA. chipset I tried both and the VIA works perfect.

What sucks is that the the Sweetwater machine comes with only 2 PCIe slots which were fully populated with two UAD-2 cards and 4 PCI slots. So to get this to work I have to give up a UAD card.

Why not get a VIA PCI card you may ask? Because when my UAD 1 card didn't work in the Sweetwater workstation, my research as to why led to Sweetwater admitting that the PCI slots in the motherboard they chose emultates the legacy PCI protocol and some cards may have a problem... I believe thats why at the higher sample rates the PCI card they provided didn't work with the DM3200. To prove my theory further I took the PCI firewire card from my XP machine that had absolutely no problems at 96khz and put it in the Sweetwater machine... same problem, it would not lock.

I need to contact Sweetwater and ask them why I paid $1700 for their "music" workstation. The reason I was willing pay a premium was to have both the professional support and peace of mind that a music company built this machine so I wouldn't have these types of incompatibilites. I built my XP machine by myself for a fraction of the cost and had zero issues with all my hardware and software.

Ok my rant is over. OH one more thing... it seemed that there was a big difference in test results between the firwire drivers v1.21, beta 3 and beta 4.

I could not lock with 1.21, beta 3 reported dropouts and beta 4 is the sweet spot. So it is definitely a combination between the Tascam drivers and the type of PCIe card in this sweetwater machine.

Thanks Tom

Adding further

As much as I really like Sweetwater, I can't recommend their Creation Stations

1. DVD ROM died twice (They did reimburse me the second time and I bought one locally)
2. UAD 1 Card didn't work (They did sell me a UAD-2 Duo at cost for my problems)
3. I swear this USB MIDI issue with the DM3200 has to do with this machine! I have no Surface Control in Cubase for a minute unless I launch the TMC utility first)
4. PCI Legacy slot emulation.. which cause both the UAD-1 card not to work and now the Firewire card. So because of this incompatibility I had to spend an extra 279 dollars for a UAD 2 card + 20 dollars for the replacement PCIe firewire card.. but then I can't use one of the UAD 2 cards I purchased in order to get the firewire to work which is another 300 bux. OK rant really over now :)

Thanks for listening and I hope this info helps someone in the future.
 
Hey Charlie, glad you got it kinda 'sorted'.. For a complete picture, could you tell us which model and type of motherboard this Sweetwater workstation uses?
 
Thunderbolt will give us firewire brake out boxes.... This says alot about the trouble ahead...
 
I don't think there's trouble ahead. The PCIe VIA card works fine and I don't see them going away anytime soon. The problem is I paid a lot of money for a brand new workstation that came with 4 legacy PCI slots that aren't even 100% compatible and only 2 PCIe slots!!! Bad design choice Sweetwater....it should have been 4 PCIe slots and 2 crappy legacy slots instead.
 
cmaffia said:
Bad design choice Sweetwater....it should have been 4 PCIe slots and 2 crappy legacy slots instead.
Yeah, that's exactly my setup, which is why I asked about the main board (although my build is older). They don't say which board it is, and that's strange.. It's an Intel board with Intel chipset, but no type mentioned.

I'm using Asus P6TD with USB3 expansion and on-board VIA firewire chip, and with my Emu 0404 PCI card installed I still have two PCIe slots open. I didn't try the 88.2 / 96k sample rate yet though, but I think I'm curious now..
 
Well, as my late great Dad used to say: "That's a hellava note!"

Sorry you're having these hardware issues with an alleged audio-specific PC. But it seems any random Win7/PC can exhibit problems to varying degrees; I've experienced anomolies with my rig occasionally too. These issues tend to increase at higher sample rates, but most all can be dealt with by reducing processing-hungry plug ins.

All that said, it seems to all boil down to VIA compliance, compatible drivers, and enough PCIe slots to go around. Thanks for the heads up; your 'rants' are always worthwhile reading, IMO. :)

CaptDan
 
I have the board setup for 88.2 with 256k buffer setting on normal

Could someone tell me if this is a good result.

4 minute song, 48 continuous tracks with no processing on any of them,1 dropout occurred according to the IF FW control panel
 
Wow. What an experience! I remember that configuring windows for 88.2 was a pain, but all of your other stuff should work as well. What a PITA. To answer an earlier question, yes, you can run 32 channels over fw at the higher sample rates. That's how I have mine setup. Wish I coulda been there to help. I'm in Ocean City MD with the family.
 
So it looks like I can set my buffers to 256 at 88.2 with the beta 4 driver and not have any drop outs with 51 continuous unprocessed tracks. I haven't tried less than 256 or more than 51 tracks but I'm happy with that. Come Monday I'm gonna have a nice conversation with Sweetwater about some sort of compensation for this epic fail. I mean geez they sell the DM3200...how difficult would it have been to take one off the shelf and do some quick tests with one of THEIR computers before making them available to the public?
 
It seems like no matter how high or low I set buffers eventually the FW control panel reports drop outs. Last night I was working on a project in 88.2 for 3 hours with the buffer set to 512 and at the end there were 6 dropouts in total. It's not a lot, I never heard them, is this normal at these higher speeds? Never saw one at 48khz at 128. Even if I bump up to 1024 or higher, I get the odd drop out,
dPC checker shows 150uS to 400uS.

Thanks
 
That has to be either the driver or the buss in the Creation Station. I'm running the beta driver on a Mac running 10.8.4 (and previously ran the last released driver on a couple of different Mac OS's), and I haven't dropped a sample event one time since I plugged the console in 21 months ago.
 
Thanks, the only way it is zero drop out solid is if I configure the dm 3200 as either 16 inputs I/0 or 16 inputs 32 output or 32 inputs and 16 outputs. I should get my money back from Sweetwater if a brand new machine with these specs can't do full 32 I/0
 
256kbs buffer and >32 DAW tracks is pretty damn good. I'm running 1028 on my PT setup, with 96kz 32 DAW tracks and 16 DM inputs. As I said, I don't need 32 bidirectional tracks.

However, my workflow may be different than yours; I don't experience tracking latency with higher buffers because I monitor on the DM's stereo bus. So, technically I could (and have) set buffer @ 2048 when I need to.

Still, I agree with you that a PC built from the ground up as an audio specific machine should perform better than you've found so far. There shouldn't be any dropouts, although - occasionally - the DMFirewire app reports inaudible dropouts which might occur when the DAW transport is stopped.

In any event, I'd like to hear what 'Sweat'Water says when you disCUSS the issue with 'em. :)

CaptDan
 

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