Texas Instruments?
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Thread: Texas Instruments?

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Unhappy Texas Instruments?

    I'm posting this because everyone has a problem, it seems to be the same problem all round...
    I don't know if its any of the other M-audio products or just the ENTIRE firewire series, but why does every product in the firewire range only work properly if you have a Texas Instruments chipset?
    They make great pocket calculators by the way... Texas instruments.

    I'm fed up.
    When buying the box, if somewhere, something or some one had told me, "get a dedicated PCI firewire card with a TI chipset before you buy this," I still would have got the card, probably, but got all the right stuff from the get-go too.

    Now I'm sitting with a paper-weigh and I'm out of pocket. And I know there are those of you out there who'll say, "Just get a TI chipset pci card," And I really would love to, but why should I?
    WHY will an average PCI not card do?
    WHY does it have to be TI?
    WHY WHY WHY.

    M-audio is a known brand. Its international; I'm from South Africa (I still have a 56k dial up... :-) I use awsome ADSL at work!) and I bought one, from a local store. (ok, they did close down... hehe.) Don't they have what it takes to work around this whole debacle.

    I just don't see why this stupid Texas Instument thing is such an issue. Yes I know the whole 'quality' story will come into play here but its like that with everything isn't it. Is it really the same in this case though?

    I've seached through it all. The entirety of every solution always culminates with Texas Instruments. Have it, or do without it and do without making your music. Its just a sad situation.

    I really don't want to throw blame around and flipantly declare that I'll never buy an M-audio product ever again, I will because I've never had a problem like this and I still trust M-audio and the customer support is still very good. But I just want to know if it is only me who sees the burning irratation in this problem. It all comes down to money. It may not seem like such an issue to a lot of you until you sit in my position, I'm sure a lot of you have too

    The Bottom Line is that we're mostly musicians on this forum. Money isn't all that available to most musicians. I personally can't afford to buy another anything for a while. These TI cards cost like R1000, which is a LOT... er $80... thats the cost of a cheap guitar, or about two hours studio time with session musicians; albeit bad ones.

    Forgive me for venting. How does everyone else see this?
    Last edited by DavidStanhope; 03-23-2009 at 12:55 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    24

    Default Ditto

    I'm with you. If it makes you feel any better, I have a friend who is having similar issues on a Presonus Firestudio.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm plenty pissed at M-Audio about this, but I've been throwing more of a fit at my computer's manufacturer for putting crap components in a $2k laptop that I bought last month. Make sure you post on comments and forums for your computer manufacturer so other's don't make the same mistake we did. Let's get the word out...All firewire cards are not created equal!

  3. #3
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    South Africa
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    Unhappy

    I really Just Don't see why M-audio can't, like any other manufacturer, for any other product, at least 'recommend' the firewire series for use with TI chipsets; they don't even have to say it WILL NOT work if you don't have TI, just a little recommended thing in the small print...
    I hate that I have to go through all this now. It really grates me, not anger, just complete dispondency, because, in the end I will always HAVE to get a new PCI card with a TI chipset.... I just don't see why I should have to

  4. #4
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidStanhope View Post
    I know there are those of you out there who'll say, "Just get a TI chipset pci card," And I really would love to, but why should I?
    WHY will an average PCI not card do?
    WHY does it have to be TI?
    WHY WHY WHY.

    I just don't see why this stupid Texas Instument thing is such an issue. Yes I know the whole 'quality' story will come into play here but its like that with everything isn't it. Is it really the same in this case though?
    Firewire was developed by a partnership of Apple, Texas Instruments, and several other companies. Firewire is a great method for transferring streaming data like audio and video, which require a lot of bandwidth and CANNOT have the signal interrupted without serious degradation to the signal. Because this format was developed by Apple, the architecture does not work as well with traditional PC’s.

    PC’s base the architecture on a system of interrupts and typically use synchronous data transfer. Firewire uses Asynchronous data transfer, or a specialized version of Asynchronous data transfer called Isochronous data transfer. Synchronous transfer will guarantee that packages will be delivered, but will not guarantee that they will be delivered at a certain time. Asynchronous transfer guarantees that packages will be delivered at a certain time, but if there is interference or delay, the packages may be dropped and will not be re-sent. This means that no data will be lost when using synchronous mode, but it could happen that packages are delivered late because they are re-sent if they are lost for some reason. For audio, it's useless if packages arrive late. Late audio is delayed audio and pauses in the audio. The guarantee that audio is delivered on-time is what s important to digital audio and that's why FireWire audio devices use the asynchronous transfer. Any lost packages will appear as audio drop outs in this case. So, as you can see it is important that firewire data is not interrupted, however, PC architecture is built on the concept of interrupts. This may sound like PC’s won’t work at all, but they can work well if the data is managed correctly.

    This is where the controller chipset is VERY important. Because timing is so important, there are many controls which manage the firewire bus to ensure correct bandwidth and high transfer rate. The firewire controller must initialize and release firewire devices connected to the computer, communicate with all firewire devices connected to the bus, assist those devices in dedicating a single clock for the timing of the whole firewire bus, manage the electrical power distributed to the devices, construct a hierarchy of device priority in the system, and manage the data being transferred. This is not a place where you want your system to be compromised. There are several firewire chipset developers now that are building chips that are significantly cheaper than Texas Instruments, however, to make a cheaper controller some corners are cut. M-Audio cannot simply say only use Texas Instruments chipsets, because some of these other controllers actually work and M-Audio does not want to endorse any particular manufacturer. But when problems are encountered it is the first place to look, and when a chipset is in question, we recommend what definitely works.

    Even if your motherboard has an on-board firewire controller with a Texas Instruments chipset, you may encounter problems because all onboard devices are run through the Southbridge of the processor. This means that there is a lot of traffic that the firewire signal must compete with for access to the processor (all USB, onboard audio, onboard video, serial ports, network controllers, etc...). Data coming from all of these devices creates a bottleneck and greatly increases the chance of the firewire signal being interrupted. To avoid this on a PC, we always advise installing a dedicated firewire card. This is because the PCI bus runs to the Northbridge of the processor. The Northbridge provides more reliable access to the processor because it only manages the data from the PCI, AGP, and memory.

    Sorry for throwing so much “tech” at you, but you did ask WHY.

  5. #5
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    Default

    This is exactly the sort of answer I sought out. I know that I am always going to have to but another PCI card, and even that one may not work, TI or otherwise.
    But Paul, you can not deny that if this information was there, and available then life would be easier.
    As a consumer, if my washing machine says 'don't use that type of powder because the bromine granules may poison you and will ruin your washing machine,' then I will instead use the recommended brand. it is not so much an issue of branding as it is helping the consumer get the most out of the product.
    I would always have purchased my M-audio product; the dissatisfaction only arrises because I am only now made aware of the fact that using certain variations of firewire may cause instability. If I knew it when I bought the card I would be bummed, but not have to go through all of this to solve my problem.
    What cards can I use? Is there not a list of pci firewire cards that M-audio can recommend? Just recomend, not endorse.
    It is a problem, for everyone, not just me, I can't walk into ANY computer hardware shop ANYWHERE in my province and find a genuine TI chipset card; I've tried, so are there any other makes you can reccomend?
    The internet also poses a problem in that most online stores think South Africa is 'somewhere in mexico.' Plus there is the added issue of the postal system in Africa; its not the most reliable, even using DHL or FedEx, theres still risk and I have always had problems unless I fork out for Platinum or gold type shipping.
    I just want to get to the end of this street, plug my guitar in or mic my piano up and record a clean signal.
    So Please tell me what PCI card(s) M-audio can recommend...

  6. #6
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    Default

    SIIG 3-Port PCI or 2-Port PCIE

    ADS Pyro

    UniBrain Fireboard Blue

    Any of the new Sismo designed cards by LaCie

  7. #7
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    Default

    You can get a cheap Belkin card at an office supply store. Just look at the board for a Small Texas Shaped Symbol and a (TI) for Texas Instruments. The one I bought works Great. Good Luck, Man.

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