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  #1  
Old 03-16-2010, 09:40 AM
chemasol chemasol is offline
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Default crackle noise that sounds like a sync issue with new MBox2 and iMac

OK, here's the setup. I bought a new MBox2 to go with my new iMac. Intel Core 2 duo, 3.06 gHz. I had to download and install the PT 8.0.3 update. All that seems to be working fine.

BUT - occasionally, out of the blue and with no identifiable catalyst, it starts crackling. The crackle almost sounds a little like static (I put those words in here for future searches, because those were words that I used to search). Playback in PT and iTunes (not running at the same time) are both showing the same symptoms. So it must be a problem with either the box or the driver or something common between them. I am using the box as the general audio out for the whole system.

The noise sounds like what I have experienced before as a sync issue, as if something isn't clocking right. I have tried different USB ports and a new cable. I have noticed that the USB out on the MBox2 seems a little wiggly and feels very cheap (compared to what I paid anyway). I have also yet to buy an external drive for the audio sessions, but that still shouldn't affect the playback from iTunes, I don't think, but I could be wrong. I ran iTunes from the internal drive on an original MBox and a titanium laptop and never had a problem.

Restarting the computer does not ameliorate the problem. Rebooting (unplugging and replugging) the MBox2 does, for a while. But if I do that with the computer on, I get the kernel panic crash. So that's not good. I do not want to have to restart the machine every couple hours.

Has anyone else experienced this problem? Does anyone know what the problem is and if there is a fix? I searched through the threads and couldn't seem to find anything. There were threads on the processor nap thing, but that doesn't sound like the same problem. Apologies if this is a repeat post. Thanks.

here is the system profile

Model Name: iMac
Model Identifier: iMac10,1
Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo
Processor Speed: 3.06 GHz
Number Of Processors: 1
Total Number Of Cores: 2
L2 Cache: 3 MB
Memory: 4 GB
Bus Speed: 1.07 GHz
Boot ROM Version: IM101.00CC.B00
SMC Version (system): 1.53f10
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  #2  
Old 03-16-2010, 10:15 AM
HorizonsDOUG HorizonsDOUG is offline
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Default Re: crackle noise that sounds like a sync issue with new MBox2 and iMac

Im having the exact same problem but with a MacBook. Any help?
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  #3  
Old 03-16-2010, 10:22 AM
chemasol chemasol is offline
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Default Re: crackle noise that sounds like a sync issue with new MBox2 and iMac

update from original poster, now the problem won't go away! restarting is not helping anymore. I feel you Doug, this is driving me nuts!
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  #4  
Old 03-16-2010, 11:51 AM
Obsidian Dragon Obsidian Dragon is offline
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Default Re: crackle noise that sounds like a sync issue with new MBox2 and iMac

I suspect two problems.

First, in Protools you are probably getting crackling due to your hard drive not being able to keep up wiht the streaming of multiple tracks of digital audio. This is why it is necessary to have a separate, fast hard drive for Protools sessions. For iMacs and Macbook Pros that only one internal drive, this usually means an external Firewire drive (USB drives are not supported).

Second, The core audio driver is far from reliable and since iTunes is running through that, it is likely the issue. Simply run your iTunes through regular computer speakers or get something like the Presonus Central Station, Presonum Monitor Station, or Mackie Bog Knob and the 1/8" to 1/4" cables to switch your computers output to your powered monitors. I'd avoid the core audio driver if at all possible.
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MacbookPro14,3 - Intel Core i7 3.1 GHz, 16 GB
MacOS 13.6.7 running Protools 2024.3.1

Mac Studio M1Max - 64GB
MacOS 14.5 running Protools 2024.3.1
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  #5  
Old 03-16-2010, 01:53 PM
chemasol chemasol is offline
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Default Re: crackle noise that sounds like a sync issue with new MBox2 and iMac

I just exchanged the box, since I bought it last week. The noise is gone, for now. But one of the input channels is completely bunk. The knob just spins in circles and doesn't do anything. Super bummed on both Guitar Center and Digidesign. Which is sad because I've been using their stuff since Sound Designer II. What a hassle.
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  #6  
Old 03-16-2010, 04:46 PM
Obsidian Dragon Obsidian Dragon is offline
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Default Re: crackle noise that sounds like a sync issue with new MBox2 and iMac

Quote:
Originally Posted by chemasol View Post
I just exchanged the box, since I bought it last week. The noise is gone, for now. But one of the input channels is completely bunk. The knob just spins in circles and doesn't do anything. Super bummed on both Guitar Center and Digidesign. Which is sad because I've been using their stuff since Sound Designer II. What a hassle.
It sounds like another trip down to Guitar Center to swap for another one. (What are the chances you get the same one you returned?) Do you still have the serial number just in case they put your defective unit back on the shelf behind the ProAudio counter? It wouldn't be the first time Guitar Center did something like that.
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MacbookPro14,3 - Intel Core i7 3.1 GHz, 16 GB
MacOS 13.6.7 running Protools 2024.3.1

Mac Studio M1Max - 64GB
MacOS 14.5 running Protools 2024.3.1
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  #7  
Old 04-02-2010, 09:05 PM
HorizonsDOUG HorizonsDOUG is offline
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Default Re: crackle noise that sounds like a sync issue with new MBox2 and iMac

Hey Chemasol,
Did the noise ever come back since you replaced it?
Mine is completely unbearable now....
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  #8  
Old 04-02-2010, 09:14 PM
chemasol chemasol is offline
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Default Re: crackle noise that sounds like a sync issue with new MBox2 and iMac

I brought the one with the bunk input channel back and the one that I have now seems to be operating just fine - the third box! I also had to go through a couple of hard drives to get one that didn't crash the system. So while, due to the hard drives, I cannot empirically 100% and definitively say that the box was defective, I strongly suspect (meaning 99% probability) that it was. And like yourself, my box got progressively worse (while using the same hard drive) until it was unbearable. New box, problem gone, simple as that. I hope you are within your return or warranty period, I would get a new box. Best of luck, buddy.
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  #9  
Old 04-22-2010, 07:58 PM
watkinth watkinth is offline
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Default Re: crackle noise that sounds like a sync issue with new MBox2 and iMac

Quote:
Originally Posted by HorizonsDOUG View Post
Im having the exact same problem but with a MacBook. Any help?
I've been using a MacBook Pro myself, and was having the worst noise from my monitors and couldn't figure out why. After a little bit of looking, I think the problem is a lack of power to the FireWire port of my MacBook Pro. Every time I would move the mouse, or my computer would do ANYTHING, I'd hear a crackle. One of the forum threads suggested that it might be a shortage of power, and to try and run their mBox through a powered USB hub. Well, I have an mBox 2 Pro Factory, and that doesn't have USB, and I don't have, nor do I know of, a powered FireWire hub. So, the next best thing was to plug the power supply for the mBox back in, since I removed it some months ago due to having been told that having power come from both the computer and a wall socket could cause problems. Turns out, the problems came when I STOPPED doing that. So, your best bet is going to be finding an AC power supply for your mBox and plugging that in. Good luck!!

--------------
MacBook Pro 2.4gHz 4GB ram, OS 10.5.8, 7200rpm 160GB hard drive

MBox 2 Pro Factory, Pro Tools 7.4, LaCie d2 quadra 500GB external hard drive
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  #10  
Old 04-24-2010, 09:24 PM
chemasol chemasol is offline
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Default Re: crackle noise that sounds like a sync issue with new MBox2 and iMac

That sounds like a good solution, but a pain in the ass. I had a better one. I returned the second defective box that I got from Guitar Center and got one that works. Problem solved. Also, to mention, I am still running iTunes from the internal drive and there is no noise. The real problems seem to be crappy manufacturing in the first box that I got and a lying salesperson at the Guitar Center in Phoenix that said the product was new in the box when it wasn't and had a broken knob when I took it home. The kid at the Tempe store was the one person I dealt with out of the three stores here in town that I had to deal with that had a clue. I hope he quits and gets a less bull-feathers job.

See the thread for the trials and tribulations I had. I am still hooked on ProTools because I think it's the most powerful and elegant software out there. But I am not thrilled with the hardware, for obvious reasons. On another note, I WILL NEVER BUY ANYTHING SIGNIFICANT FROM GUITAR CENTER EVER AGAIN. Perhaps the techies reading this (if they actually are) could transmit that message to their corporate superiors.
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