Crackling noise with firewire audio interface on hackintosh running ML 10.8.2.

Not open for further replies.
Dec 27, 2012
i7 3700K 4 x 3.5 Ghz
  1. MacBook Pro
Classic Mac
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
Solved: Crackling noise with firewire audio interface on hackintosh running ML 10.8.2.

Hello guys,
I put this thread already into the audio section but got not help so far. This is why I decided to post it here as well. I think I have a hardware problem but am not sure about it however. Here is a link to the original thread but I copied the whole thing below as well.

Hello , I built a custom mac to work with audio and have a very annoying problem. I have a persistent crackling noise on my monitor speakers which is changing upon scrolling in windows open closing windows or programs (CPU related effect?). The trouble seems to be in the build since the noise does not change its volume, if I change the volume using the monitor level control at the interface itself. I have no other gear connected via firewire. I used the onboard firewire first but bought an additional exsys firewire PCI-e card with Texas instruments chip set with no success. I of course use the latest driver I could get my hands on (saffire mix control 3.1) . I tried the following other things already:

  • Switching the firewire cables to check for a broken cable
  • Disabling onboard audio in the BIOS
  • Disabling firewire network via preference pane
  • Disabling WiFi in the status bar
  • I have no bluetooth (that I could disable)
  • Trying symmetric (balanced 6.3 mm plugs with two isolating rings instead of unbalanced) cables
  • Pulling the cable of the LCD monitor (because I read the some guy who had trouble with graphic card interferences experienced that the noise was gone with no LCD monitor connected)
  • connecting all power supply cables of devices that belong to the audio setup to one and the same socket (to get rid of any ground loop humming)
  • I wrote the Focusrite support but they wont help because it's a hackintosh (I know I shouldn´t have told them…)

I attached a recording of the noise I am talking about hoping someone may is familiar with that and can help. I have no latency or syncing issues as the Bit Rate is set the same in audio-midi settings (in the utility app), in saffire mix control and my DAW (ableton). Right now I am a bit clueless. What I will do is unplugging the graphic card and try to use the onboard graphic only to see if maybe I have a PCI-e IRQ problem or something like that. But honestly I have no idea how to check if the PCI-e slot are somehow shared. Also I will use another Focusrite interface of a friend to see if it is that one works. In the following I have a list of the setup I am using:​

Intel Core i7-3770K 4 x 3.5 Ghz central processor unit

16 Gb Corsair Cl9 Vengeance low profile blue PC3-12800 RAM

Alpenföhn Brocken cooler

Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H main board

Gainward GeForce GTX650Ti 1 Gb GDDR5 HDMI/2 x DVI graphic card

580W be quiet! Straight Power power supply unit

2Tb Seagate 7200 rpm 64 Mb SATA 6 Gb/s 3.5" hard drive

120 Gb Samsung 840 series SATA 6 Gb/s 2.5" SSD

TP-Link TL-WDN4800 450 Mbps Dual Band PCIe wireless LAN adapter

Fractal Design Define R4 Black Pearl case
Exsys EX-16450 PCI-e firewire card with Texas Instruments chipset

Focusrite Saffire Pro 14 and Mix Control 3.1 connected via 6pin firewire using the exsys firewire PCI-e card.

Please help if you have any idea what could cause the problem!

Since I can hear the noise already upon startup and in BIOS I assume its hardware connected. The interface works (with my laptop) and all cables are fine. The noise comes from the build since it cannot be influenced in volume using the interfaces volume poti. So I took out part of part from my hardware…
I tested to only use the onboard graphics which did not help. I also took away the WLAN adapter. I took out all RAM but one and tried different slots on the motherboard. I changed the motherboard against a new one hoping the motherboard was defect. No change. The next thing I will try is to use other RAM because there is a build of JaneDoe78 which is essentially the same (even the same interface) but the RAM. He is using GeIL 8 Gb RAM. Is there anybody with a similar problem? Its driving me crazy :banghead:

Please help. I want to work with music not computers!

Problem solved…
The problem were my monitor speakers somehow. Although they work fine together with my notebook they have a problem sharing the mass with my Mobo. I found out when I hooked some more expensive Monitor Speakers up using the same cables. They worked fine and everything was OK. So I decided my own monitor speakers dont get any mass now :lol:
I put some duck tape around the mass clamps of the power strip where I plug them and the noise is gone. Maybe the speakers are not made for the european market where we use 220V or the transformators are crap or whatever I don't have a clue about things like that. Its the Yamaha HS50 which are pretty cheap but still OK for that price. I know I should not take away the grounding of the speakers but its the only thing that make them work. So I gues I stay with that since the speakers have no outer metal parts that could give me a electric shock.
Thanks man this helped me out. Exact same problem with noise scrolling pages or really anything graphical. Running an Apogee Duet 1st generation on Lion, but I've had the same problems on ML. Don't know if it has to do with yamaha speakers either, but I'm using the HS80's. Anyway duck tape on the ground pin worked!
I am glad I could be of help with that problem, although its not quite the kind of fix that I like to do ;)

I want to buy the same ExSys card too. No Syba around here, so it works OOB?

Can I ask what AI you're using?

thanks for helping
Yes the card works fine. But actually the onboard firewire of the GA-Z77X-UD5H does the job as well. Since the noise did comes from the grounding of my power strip and was not related to the onboard firewire.

Good luck with you build :thumbup:
Not open for further replies.