I’m frustrated

Random cracking on EIE-Pro outputs

Hello just had my EIE-Pro and I love it but I have a (common?) problem: when connected to my desktop PC the EIE Pro sends random cracks in the outputs.

It's not repeating little cracks like when you sample with a too-low buffer, it's really one unique and gigantic "POP" or "CRACK" sound in the monitors like when you power your computer off forgetting to switch the monitors off before, and that's it. Sometimes, when this happens while the computer is playing some sound, there is a little silence right after the crack.

This happens even when not using any DAW, like doing nothing but gazing at the desktop idle screen. (Notice the EIE-Pro is used by Windows WDM sound layer.)

This phenomenon is random, maybe 10 or 20 minutes without any sound and then a crack, then 3 minutes and another one ...

This was an introduction to the problem. Now for some gory details.

Using Ableton Live, trying anything from 49-bytes to 1024-bytes buffers didn't have any effect. It really looks like the problem is not related to sampling at all. In fact, I don't even know if this cracks appears on records because I haven't tried to record anything yet, willing to stay on my old FW-410 until the EIE-Pro problem is sorted out.

I DON'T have the problem when it's connected to my laptop. Or, at least, I haven't noticed anything yet. So I focus on my desktop.

Somehow, I lowered the problem after a few tries:

- disabling wifi: no noticeable effect
- disabling sleep mode on all devices in Windows (screen, hard disk ...): no noticeable effect
- using a good USB cable: maybe a little better, hard to tell
- ignoring the motherboards USB ports and using a USB expander PCI card - GAIN

Not using the motherboards USB ports has been significant: cracks stopped occuring every two or three minutes to occur only every 10 or 20 minutes. At frst I was really happy but they still happens, just more scarcely.

There are other things I have yet to try:

- plug the EIE-Pro on another wall plug than the computer and the powered monitors
- unplug all unnecessary USB devices
- try older drivers
- why not: buy another socket-1155 motherboard that users have been successfull using the EIE-Pro with?

In case it's of any use, (comparing to other peoples having the problem?) : I have Windows 7-64B on a Gigabyte socket-1155 and Z68 chipset motherboard (GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3), a 3.5GHz i7 CPU (absolute high-end when I buyed it), 16 GB RAM at 2300MHz, 2TB-Raid 10 of HD plus a 256GB SSD for system and a 128GB SSD for RAID caching, a reasonable 700W Corsair PSU, a rather ancient but good nVidia graphic card (9800GTX+).

So, any user or AKAI representative: any advice?

(Yeah, I know there are phone numbers for support but to me this is last resort)

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UPDATE 1

Here are a few other things I tried after my first post:

- unplugged usb cable so eie pro is disconnectec from computer but still ON and monitors ON too : no poping cracks
- swicthed to driver 2.9.30 : still popping cracks
- routed windows play/record sound device to internal motherboard controller instead of eie pro (so Windows do not send any sound to eie pro) : still popping cracks

Will keep trying.

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UPDATE 2

This morning, I disabled all the network devices (wifi, ethernet) and had a long time before a click occured, but did not measured. So I did a few tries over the time to check what actually had an effect.

- wifi ON, ethernet OFF : 1 minute before a click, then 6 before next click, then 18

- wifi OFF ethernet ON : 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 25 minutes, 2 minutes

- wifi OFF Ethernet OFF : disabled 42 minutes ago, still no click.

Obviously, network activities can trigger the problem, while disabling both devices made the problem nearly disappear. I say "nearly" because this morning with all disabled, I eventually got a click but it was after more than 1 hour.

So, unless AKAI brings something better, I guess I can go with it.

Who needs to surf the web when recording music anyway.

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UPDATE 3 (LAST)

Yesterday, I timed the clicks a long time while working on another computer and it appears they are still occurring about every hour or so, sometimes having two clicks in a few minutes before quiet comes up for a long hour again.

I think I could have it even more scarcely occurring by disabling a few background activities, but in the end I gave up. Having no reaction from AkaiPro staff didn't encourage me keeping searching for a solution.

So I called the shop and they said "oh you shouldn't have bought the EIE Pro", (maybe they shouldn't sell it then?) and without any difficulties they agreed to take it back from me and exchange for another brand model with established quality and reliability.

I'm really not the kind of guy who likes to complain, when there is a problem I'm rather willing to find a solution with help from the manufacturer. You know, that's an engineer's everyday job. But this didn't happen with Akai Pro.

My knowledge of computers stuff makes me believe the EIE Pro has either a serious driver problem, or an electrical circuitry design flaw, or a manufacturing quality problem. To me, this model is generally not reliable and doesn't qualify for the "professional" mention it bears so proudly.

I sincerely hope Akai Pro will have a solution someday for the other EIE Pro users who have problems, and that they will make the model evolve towards the competition quality level.
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  • Hello Francis,

    Thanks for your very detailed post. Sorry for the delay but the Akai support team would like to help you out. Please contact the Akai technical support team to help you out over the phone with your symptoms. I've listed their contact number below to help.

    Akai Pro World Headquarters (United States Office)
    Support Contact: 401.658.3131

    Akai Pro UK LTD (United Kingdom Office)
    Support Contact: +44 1252 896040

    InMusic GmbH (Germany Office)
    Support Contact: +49 2154-81299-20/-25

    Akai Pro Japan Corporation (Japan Office)
    Support Contact: +81-3-6277-2231

    Akai Pro South America (Brazil Office)
    Support Contact: +5511 - 3222-6476
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  • This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled EIE Pro control panel ?.

    I'm rather dubious by the lack of a true control panel on the EIE Pro.

    I don't mean this message box where you choose your buffer size for latency, I mean a control panel.

    The M-audio FW410 I'm also using has a powerfull panel, you can route any inputs to any software outputs, change volume / pan settings on each track, save/load settings and reconfigure all this in a snap...

    This kind of control panel would really be usefull on the EIE Pro, given its 4 inputs 4 outpus capability.
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