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  #1  
Old 08-15-2015, 02:47 PM
jclark5093 jclark5093 is offline
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Default 11R SPDIF intermittent problems?

I have my 11R (which is a very capable monitor stand for my iMac, for those who never thought to try...) connected to my Saffire Pro 40 via SPDIF, but using an audio RCA cable (it's the only thing I had around, when I purchased the 11R I didn't know there was a difference, never used SPDIF before, only ADAT).

It works.

Sometimes.

Sometimes it doesn't. No equipment has been moved, nothing has changed, other than power cycles (or shutting down for the night and turning on the next day).

Does it stand to reason that there is something wrong with my settings? Hardware defect? Or is this the kind of thing that happens with a 3ft run of cable with the wrong impedance? I will buy a pair of SPDIF cables from amazon if that is what I *need* but from everything I can find on google and DUC, audio cables should work fine for short runs.

Thanks for any advice!
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  #2  
Old 08-15-2015, 03:41 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is online now
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Default Re: 11R SPDIF intermittent problems?

Define not work. Eleven Rack Input and/or output? not working? No signal at all? clicking? drop outs? What are you feeding this with to drive a signal? Have you tried to confirm some other way that the signal is actually there? What do the relevant meters in the Eleven Rack front panel rig display show (scroll to the far right of the rig)?

Short audio cables should work most of the time. Weather your particular cable will, we cannot guess. Start by gettign things set up properly with a correct impedance RCA S/PDIF (or video) cable, ideally one you know/can test works elsewhere.

When things don't work is the Eleven Rack working at all? Test with a guitar and monitors directly connected to the Eleven Rack (don't power cycle, the S/PDIF problem happens... just plug stuff into the ER and test if the guitar works (remember to set the Eleven Rack input to "guitar In")). How old is this ER/where did you get it? What version is the unit? (last letter of serial number on label on back panel).

You can also troubleshoot things by testing what you have with other devices, lie the S/PDIF in on a consumer audio preamp or the S/PDIF out on a computer or MP/3 player etc. driving the interface S/PIF in.

Make sure you have the clock settings correct and the Digital In on the Eleven Rack set correctly.

If you want more help describe your setup in enough detail so we can see what you are doing.
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  #3  
Old 08-15-2015, 04:04 PM
jclark5093 jclark5093 is offline
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Default Re: 11R SPDIF intermittent problems?

Sorry for lack of detail.

What I mean by "not work" is its not passing any signal at all via spdif when this occurs. I have input set to guitar in, and when I use it standalone I get guitar amp sound out of speakers and headphones. The analog outputs work correctly so far. I have not tried the rear "to amp" and I have not tried the AES either. (Why they neglected to include ADAT is beyond me)

When I monitor the spdif input in pt or Saffire Mix Control software, I get peaking clicking noises, seemingly random, but consistently; there is no silence.

I do not have any other spdif gear to test cables on, I suppose I can order a couple from Amazon and test with those. My particular cable *does* work, but not always, and that is what made me concerned. And my gear has not moved since it last worked.

I will double check the clock settings, I only have the 11R sending to the SP40 and not recieving spdif so it should be internal. Does the sample rate need to match at that point? Again, I'm new to SPDIF gear.

I got this 11R new from Sweetwater about 35 days ago and only a week ago did I try using the spdif at all. Not sure the revision, should be new, but was bundled with perpetual licenses (10/11/12 and iLok) if that gives a hint to the age of the unit. I will check the S/N when I am back in my studio.

Getting the feeling maybe my money would have been better spent on PositiveGrid plugins... I'm not a guitarist, but do mobile recording so figured it would save me from bringing an extra amp for the guitarist to get a variety of tones.
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  #4  
Old 08-15-2015, 04:47 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is online now
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Default Re: 11R SPDIF intermittent problems?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jclark5093 View Post
Sorry for lack of detail.

What I mean by "not work" is its not passing any signal at all via spdif when this occurs. I have input set to guitar in, and when I use it standalone I get guitar amp sound out of speakers and headphones. The analog outputs work correctly so far. I have not tried the rear "to amp" and I have not tried the AES either. (Why they neglected to include ADAT is beyond me).
I am sure ADAT (especially ADAT In) was not included to keep the Eleven Rack feature reduced/price down vs. other products.

In User Options make sure that "Digital Output" is set to "Rig Outputs"--at least for starters.

OK so you are just trying to use S/PDIF out the Eleven Rack to the S/PDIF in on your 18i120.

What does the "Digital Out" meter show in the Rig view on the Eleven Rack front display? Meter moving as you play guitar? Plug in headphones to the eleven Rack.. does what you hear on those track with the Digital Out meter movements?

If the meter is moving OK moving then I suspect the problem is your cable or your 18i20 or Pro Tools. So good to exclude Pro Tools by looking at S/PDIF input from Mix Control as you are trying.

If that does not help then swap the cables you have now, try wiggling them etc. try to buy new proper cables, try to find/borrow other S/PDIF devices to test with (S/PDIF headphone amps, CD/DVD/MP3 players etc.).

You must manually set the clock rate on the Eleven Rack and on your interface/DAW to match. Check this first. Then you should be clovkign the Elevn Rack internally and the 18i20 from the S/PIDIF in.

Make sure Rig Input is set to guitar In. Don't assume, go check it. that is a leading cause of "Eleven Rack stopped working" problems.

The Eleven Rack will output on both S/PDIF and AES/EBU regardless of the Digital settings (that just affects which Digital Input is used).

Quote:
When I monitor the spdif input in pt or Saffire Mix Control software, I get peaking clicking noises, seemingly random, but consistently; there is no silence.
Well that is why I asked... it is a sign of a possible clocking problem. Maybe sample rate mismatch problem.

Quote:
I do not have any other spdif gear to test cables on, I suppose I can order a couple from Amazon and test with those. My particular cable *does* work, but not always, and that is what made me concerned. And my gear has not moved since it last worked.

I will double check the clock settings, I only have the 11R sending to the SP40 and not recieving spdif so it should be internal. Does the sample rate need to match at that point? Again, I'm new to SPDIF gear.
Quote:
I got this 11R new from Sweetwater about 35 days ago and only a week ago did I try using the spdif at all. Not sure the revision, should be new, but was bundled with perpetual licenses (10/11/12 and iLok) if that gives a hint to the age of the unit. I will check the S/N when I am back in my studio.
That is fine, I was checking for a known problem in old versions of the Eleven Rack, yours will not be affected.
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  #5  
Old 08-15-2015, 05:16 PM
Fezzler Fezzler is offline
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Default Re: 11R SPDIF intermittent problems?

I'd get actual SPDIF cable and not just use one. Connect the 11R in/out to FR SP40 in/out.
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  #6  
Old 08-15-2015, 05:19 PM
jclark5093 jclark5093 is offline
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Default Re: 11R SPDIF intermittent problems?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darryl Ramm View Post
In User Options make sure that "Digital Output" is set to "Rig Outputs"--at least for starters.

OK so you are just trying to use S/PDIF out the Eleven Rack to the S/PDIF in on your 18i120.
Yes, it's set to Rig Outputs, and it's a Saffire Pro 40 (not what the other guy is using, but they're probably similar other than USB vs FW)

Quote:
What does the "Digital Out" meter show in the Rig view on the Eleven Rack front display? Meter moving as you play guitar? Plug in headphones to the eleven Rack.. does what you hear on those track with the Digital Out meter movements?

If the meter is moving OK moving then I suspect the problem is your cable or your 18i20 or Pro Tools. So good to exclude Pro Tools by looking at S/PDIF input from Mix Control as you are trying.
The meter moves fine (about 1/4-1/3 of the way up) when metering Digital Out.

Quote:
If that does not help then swap the cables you have now, try wiggling them etc. try to buy new proper cables, try to find/borrow other S/PDIF devices to test with (S/PDIF headphone amps, CD/DVD/MP3 players etc.).
just ordered 2 SPDIF cables, Amazon says they'll be here tomorrow (Sunday delivery???)

Quote:
You must manually set the clock rate on the Eleven Rack and on your interface/DAW to match. Check this first. Then you should be clovkign the Elevn Rack internally and the 18i20 from the S/PIDIF in.
When I set the Pro40 to get clock from external SPDIF it loses sync. They are both set to 96kHz, I assumed that would be enough to let them both run internally clocked, but I will try with the 2 cables when I get them.

Quote:
Make sure Rig Input is set to guitar In. Don't assume, go check it. that is a leading cause of "Eleven Rack stopped working" problems.

The Eleven Rack will output on both S/PDIF and AES/EBU regardless of the Digital settings (that just affects which Digital Input is used).
RIG INPUT: Guitar

but yeah, I could see how that would be overlooked. Thing is, I'm not even plugging a guitar in to get those click pop noises over digital connection...

Quote:
Well that is why I asked... it is a sign of a possible clocking problem. Maybe sample rate mismatch problem.
Looks like that is the real issue here, because audio works fine, but I don't have anything else to test the SPDIF INPUT on my Pro40 so I can't be sure of which end is causing the problem (assuming the new cables don't consistently work). I assumed it was not this cable because, as I mentioned, it DOES work SOMETIMES. Which is odd - I am not accustomed to troubleshooting intermittent problems. I like my things to either work or not work! I don't like to be teased!
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  #7  
Old 08-16-2015, 05:40 AM
billv billv is offline
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Default Re: 11R SPDIF intermittent problems?

I had loads of intermittent S/PDIF issues between my 11R and my Saffire Pro 40 until I got a high quality cable. Everything is perfect now.
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  #8  
Old 08-16-2015, 01:12 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is online now
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Default Re: 11R SPDIF intermittent problems?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jclark5093 View Post
When I set the Pro40 to get clock from external SPDIF it loses sync. They are both set to 96kHz, I assumed that would be enough to let them both run internally clocked, but I will try with the 2 cables when I get them.
!
Huh? One device needs to be set to internal clock and the other device needs to be set to clock from the other device, you have to do that, otherwise there is no way the clocks are in sync.

Always start/debug things as simply as possible. That would be with *one* S/PDIF cable. Connect the S/PDIF Out on the Eleven Rack to the S/PDIF In on the Pro 40, remove the other S/PDIF cable (and anything else unneeded) and set the Pro 40 to clock from the Eleven Rack. A bad cable or faulty device at either end of the cable can cause clocking problems. For grins also try 44.1 and 44kHz sample rates if you are still having problems after the new S/PDIF cable.

Last edited by Darryl Ramm; 08-16-2015 at 01:53 PM.
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  #9  
Old 08-16-2015, 02:20 PM
jclark5093 jclark5093 is offline
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Default Re: 11R SPDIF intermittent problems?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darryl Ramm View Post
Huh? One device needs to be set to internal clock and the other device needs to be set to clock from the other device, you have to do that, otherwise there is no way the clocks are in sync.

Always start/debug things as simply as possible. That would be with *one* S/PDIF cable.

I was using only 1 cable. With the 11R as master internal and the SP40 set to receive clock over SPDIF. This would cause the pro 40 to lose FW sync lock with the computer. That's what I meant, I thought that was standard terminology because that's what it says in Saffire Mix Control.





That said, I now have my 2 spdif cables, so that way I can send audio from the daw for reamping or a stereo instrument from the Saffire inputs routed to the digi in on the 11R.

Works immediately, 11R is set to clock slave, and when I change SR in Saffire Mix Control, the display on the 11R updates instantly to reflect the new SR when viewing the clock settings.

Seems like the cable was either too thin, or not enough copper, or who knows. Maybe the people who get by with RCA cables have been using older higher quality RCA audio cables made from better wire? Not sure, but even when it *was* working, the response was not this quick and reliable feeling. I'm confident in saying it was simply a matter of me using inadequate wiring.

All is now well in the world (at least until the AVID Marketplace reveals that new ELEVEN plugin that could or could not be a major upgrade from the rack and not be compatible with it...)
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  #10  
Old 08-19-2015, 02:00 PM
jclark5093 jclark5093 is offline
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Default Re: 11R SPDIF intermittent problems?

Just got around to opening a project that was set at 96kHz sr, and the 11R behaves in the same bad way again. It works fine at 44, 48, 88, but not 96...

The display on the 11R updates to show 96, but I get no signal, only clicks and pops like a clock mismatch sound that does the digital peaking thing.

Anyone Ever seen this? Maybe I should call Sweetwater tomorrow...
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