Echo Support

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do I optimize Windows 7 for audio?

    1. Roll back to the Win7 legacy FireWire driver:

      1. Go to: Start > Control Panel > System and Security > System > Device Manager
      2. Expand "IEEE 1394 Bus host controllers"
      3. Select your IEEE 1394 (FireWire) controllerClick on the icon "Update Driver Software" at the top.
      4. Select "Browse my computer for driver software"
      5. Select "Let me pick..."
      6. Select "1394 OHCI Compliant Host Controller (Legacy)"
      7. Choose Next and it will install.
    2. Set your computer's power for high performance:

      The CPU may not be running at full speed all of the time. This can have a detrimental effect on your computer's audio performance. To set your computer's power for high performance:

      1. Go to: Start > Control Panel > System and Security > Power Options
      2. Create a Power Plan > High Performance
      3. Choose "High Performance"
      4. Click the "Change plan settings" button.
      5. Make sure both power options are set to "Never"
    3. Disable system sounds

      System sounds can interrupt audio. Make sure that they are disabled by doing the following:

      1. Go to: Start > Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Sound
      2. Go to the "Sounds" tab
      3. Under "Sounds scheme" select "No sounds"
      4. Uncheck "Play Windows Startup sound" if checked
      5. Click "Apply" then "OK"
    4. Enable DMA (Direct memory access) on each IDE channel

      This allows data to be transferred directly into the memory and can improve audio performance. To ensure that DMA is enabled:

      1. Go to: Start > Control Panel > System and Security > System > Device Manager
      2. Expand the IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers category then double click on each one of the IDE channels
      3. Under the "Advanced settings" tab, make sure the "Enable DMA" box is checked in Device Properties

      Please note: this only applies to some hardware and if this option is not available, you should not worry about completing this step.

    5. Set processor scheduling to "Background services"

      This will improve the performance of your audio drivers on your computer.

      1. Go to: Start > Control Panel > System and Security > System
      2. Go to "Advanced system settings" and select "Settings" under "Performance"
      3. Choose the "Advanced" tab
      4. Set processor scheduling as "Background Services"
      5. Click "Apply" then "OK"
    6. Disable Windows Firewall, anti-virus and spyware software

      Disabling Windows Firewall, anti-virus and spyware software ensures that no interference will occur during audio recording or playback and also ensures that the maximum resources are available.

      Note: To remain secure while your firewall and anti-virus software are disabled, it is strongly recommended that you temporarily disconnect from any internet connections when working with audio. Don't forget to turn it back on when you want to browse the internet.

    7. Disable Visual effects

      The visual features in Windows 7 can use resources that could otherwise help to improve audio performance. It's good idea to disable some of the visual features by doing the following:

      1. Click on "Start" and in the "Search " box type: "SystemPropertiesPerformance" and press "Enter"
      2. On the visual effects tab select "Custom"
      3. Un-check: "Animate windows when minimizing and maximizing" to help prevent glitches when minimizing and maximizing.
      4. You can also experiment with disabling other visual effects in the custom list to see how they might improve audio performance.
      5. Once finished, press "OK"

      If you wish to optimize your Windows 7 graphics for the best performance click on "Adjust for best performance". While this will improve computer performance, it should be noted that Windows 7 will appear a lot less aesthetically pleasing.

    8. Disable Windows services and third-party devices:

      One way in which you can free up valuable resources in order to improve audio performance is to disable unnecessary Windows 7 services:

      1. Go to: Start > Control Panel > System and Security > Administrative Tools and select "Services"
      2. In the "Standard" tab, click at the top of the "Startup type"columnto sort by Automatic, Automatic (Delayed Start), Disabled. or Manual.
      3. Click on the Stop button in the Menu bar to stop a service
      4. After configuring all services that you desire to change, reboot to see the effects of your tweaking.

      Note: Do not use "msconfig" to stop services. It basically is "disabling" a service. Use the above procedure and set to "manual" instead for testing purposes.

    9. Disable third party devices:

      Disabling unnecessary third-party devices can also free up valuable resources and clear up annoying pops and clicks. (See 3. How do I diagnose the cause of pops and clicks? below.)

      1. Go to: Start > Control Panel > System and Security > System > Device Manager
      2. To disable an unessential device right click on it and choose disable

      Note: Do not forget to re-enable this device if it is needed at a later time

    10. Install the latest BIOS and chipset driver for your motherboard

      BIOS: Basic Input/Output System is an electronic set of instructions that a computer uses to successfully start operating. The BIOS is located on a chip inside of the computer and is designed in a way that protects it from disk failure.

      You will need to know the manufacturer of your motherboard and what chipset it has. Look at your computer specifications manual or use "Sandra".

      Go to the chipset manufacture's website to download and install the latest chipset driver for your motherboard.

      Much of your hardware is built right into the motherboard and depends on the chipset to make it work properly. Installing the proper chipset drivers will improve the performance of your IDE and/or SATA busses, improving data transfer speeds.

      Chipset drivers also have a great deal of influence over your systems power saving features. Improper or out-of-date drivers can cause your system to hang on entering or exiting hibernation or sleep mode.

      Most popular chipset URLs:

  2. How do I roll back to the Windows 7 legacy FireWire driver?

    For those having issues in Windows 7 with FireWire devices, try rolling back to the legacy FireWire drivers.

    1. Go to: Start > Control Panel > System and Security > System > Device Manager
    2. Expand "IEEE 1394 Bus host controllers"
    3. Select your IEEE 1394 (FireWire) controller
    4. Click on the icon "Update Driver Software" at the top.
    5. Select "Browse my computer for driver software"
    6. Select "Let me pick..."
    7. Select "1394 OHCI Compliant Host Controller (Legacy)"
    8. Choose Next and it will install.
  3. How do I diagnose the cause of pops and clicks?

    If you are experiencing pops and clicks in your audio, there are a number of things that you can try:

    1. Install DPC latency checker. If you are experiencing, pops, clicks, and dropouts, this is the first step to take. Download this free utility and read the documentation carefully. After you run the utility, you may need to disable wireless, webcams, network cards, etc.
    2. In Windows, go to System properties>Advanced>Performance and set to "Adjust to Best Performance."
    3. If running FireWire from a laptop, you may need to purchase a third-party FireWire adapter. Some built-in FireWire chips do not perform well. If you are running more than one AudioFire, you may need to purchase an additional FireWire adapter.
    4. Run the ASIO FireWire Analyzer (if you have an AudioFire product). It comes with every driver. Make sure you download the Readme as well as this contains the documentation for this utility.
    5. Your buffer size may be too small or too high. Recommendations:
      • 44.1K or 48K sample rate: buffer 128 <-> 256
      • 88.2K or 96K sample rate: buffer 256 <-> 480
      • 176.4K or 192K sample rate: buffer 512 <-> 960
    6. Make sure your software and OS have the latest updates. Check for BIOS updates as well.
    7. Trim your system down to the bare essentials. Initially, work with only one device. Do not add additional devices until your first device is running smoothly. Do not run any plugins. Add plugins only after everything else is running correctly.
  4. What PC motherboards and chipsets are compatible with my Echo hardware?

    The vast majority of motherboards and chipsets are compatible with the AudioFire, PCMCIA, ExpressCard, and PCI-based interfaces.

    To find out the maker of your motherboard or chipset, we recommend using a utility called Sandra.

  5. What if I am having performance problems with my dual-core or multi-processor motherboard?

    We have had some reports of performance problems with dual-core and multi-processor machines. If you are experiencing decreased performance with either a dual-core or multi-processor motherboard, you might want to try this patch from Microsoft. (However we recommend that you update to SP3 if you are running XP.)

  6. What FireWire card do you recommend for my AudioFire?

    We recommend more recently manufactured FireWire cards with a Texas Instruments chipset. If you are encountering problems with the built-in FireWire in your desktop or laptop, we suggest that you try a PCMCIA or ExpressCard FireWire card and disable the built-in FireWire.

    The following FireWIre chipsets have produced good results:

    • Texas Instruments: TSB12LV26
    • Texas Instruments: TSB43AB23
    • Texas Instruments: PTSB41LV03 (This is an older chipset and does not work well at 192K with our AudioFire 12.)
    • Agere: FW323-06
    • Agere: FW323:05

    We have had mixed results with the following FIreWire chipsets. Newer cards with these chipsets have produced better results:

    • Via: VT6306
    • Via: VT63061

    We do not recommend:

    • Ricoh chipsets
  7. What if my FireWire performance has decreased since installing Windows XP SP2?

    If you noticed a decrease in your FireWire performance after installing Windows XP Service Pack 2, try downloading this patch from Microsoft. (However we recommend that you update to SP3 if you are running XP.)

  8. Is my hardware compatible with an Echo product?

    Each of our product families requires a different hardware interface to the computer. The interface required by each product family is described below.

    AudioFire family: AudioFIre 2, AudioFire 4, AudioFire 8, AudioFire 8a, AudioFire Pre8, AudioFire 12 -- requires a 400 Mbps FireWire interface. (But 800 Mbps to 400 Mbps adapters should work fine.)

    Indigo family: Indigo io, Indigo dj -- Requires a PCMCIA (Type II CardBus) slot. (ExpressCard slots will not work!)

    Indigo DJx and IOx require ExpressCard slots. (We do not recommend PCMCIA-to-ExpressCard adapters).

    Echo 3G and Echo24 family: Layla3G, Gina3G, MiaMIDI - Requires a PCI slot.* (We do not support PCI-e at this time.)

    *All PCI products are compatible with 5V PCI, 3.3V PCI and PCI-X.

  9. Is my software compatible with Echo products?

    All our products come with Core Audio, WDM, Direct Sound, MME, ASIO and GSIF* support.

    *GSIF is not supported in 64-bit Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7.

  10. What converters are used in Echo products?

    All our products use high quality 24-bit oversampling converters from AKM or Cirrus Logic. These are the converters used in our current product line:

    • Echo2 - AKM4621 and AK4396
    • Indigo DJx - AK4396
    • Indigo IOx - AK4620B
    • AudioFire 2 (Newer models) - AK4620B
    • AudioFire 2 (Older models) - AK4620A
    • AudioFire 4 (Newer models) - AK4620B
    • AudioFire 4 (Older models) - AK4620A
    • AudioFire 8 - CS4272
    • AudioFire 8a (Newer model w/ ADAT) - AK4620B
    • AudioFire Pre8 - AK4620B
    • AudioFire 12 (Newer models: FireWire ports' beveled edges pointing down) - AK4620B
    • AudioFire 12 (Older models: FireWire ports' beveled edges pointing up) - CS4272
    • Layla3G - CS4272
    • Gina3G - CS42426
    • Indigo dj - CS4392
    • Indigo io - CS4272
    • MiaMIDI - AK4528
  11. What are the different Echo driver "families"?

    In order to speed driver development, each of our products is grouped into a driver family. With this system driver updates are carried out on entire families of products rather than having to update each product separately. Also, the driver for all of our PCI products is based on the same core of programming code. In this way, when improvements are made to one family, they are easily carried over to the families.

    This list shows which products are in each driver family:

    • AudioFire family (echo1394) - AudioFire 2, AudioFire 4, AudioFire 8, AudioFire 8a, AudioFire Pre8, AudioFire 12
    • 3G family (echo3g) - Layla3G, Gina3G
    • Indigo family (echondgo) - Indigo dj, Indigo io, Indigo, Indigo DJx, Indigo IOx
    • Echo24 family (echo24) - MiaMIDI, Mia, Layla24, Gina24, Mona
    • EchoGals family (echogals) - Layla(20), Gina(20), Darla24, Darla(20)*

    *The EchoGals family is no longer supported. Drivers can be found on the Windows Drivers page and the Mac OS X Software page.

  12. Are 64-bit Windows drivers available for all Echo products?

    64-bit Windows drivers are now available for the 3G, Indigo, Echo24 and AudioFire families. We will not be releasing 64-bit drivers for the EchoGals family. In addition, the Indigo DJx and Indigo IOx are not supported in Snow :Leopard's 64-bit mode.

  13. What settings should I use in Sonar?

    SONAR supports ASIO and WDM/KS for low-latency access to audio hardware. The ASIO mode performs well and is straightforward to set up, requiring no special configuration. If you want to adjust the buffer size when Sonar is running, you do this in Options/Audio/General/ASIO Panel.

    If you prefer, you can also use SONAR in WDM/KS mode. However, our AudioFire product line does not support WDM/KS mode. Here are the required settings for using SONAR with our other products in WDM/KS mode:

    Within SONAR, go to Options/Audio.
    • On the "General" tab, set "Audio Driver Bit Depth" to 24.
    • On the "Advanced" tab, we suggest selecting "Trigger & Freewheel"
    • On the "Driver Profiles" tab, uncheck "Access Driver In Mono". Be sure to set "Stream > 16 bit data as" to "32-bit PCM, left justified".

    You may get a message that your audio devices are not compatible with the specified format; you may need to restart SONAR several times. Make sure each time that the settings are correct; once SONAR starts successfully without the "not compatible" message, be sure to run the Wave Profiler under Options/Audio/General.

    Note: When installing a new hardware device, you may need to delete the aud.ini file. Deleting this file resets the settings back to their defaults and facilitates installing new or different hardware.

  14. What settings should I use in Cubase?

    The settings in Cubase 3 and Cubase 4/5 are slightly different.

    1. In Cubase 3, go to Devices > Device Setup > VST Audiobay.
    2. From the drop down menu choose "ASIO AudioFire" or "ASIO Echo PCI" depending on the product you are using.
    3. If it asks you if you want to switch, say yes.
    4. Then go to "ASIO AudioFIre" or "ASIO Echo PCI" under VST Audiobay.
    5. From here there is a "Control Panel" button from which you can control the buffer size.
    6. Next go to "VST Inputs" and hit the "Reset" button.
    7. Do the same under "VST Outputs."
    8. The final step is to go to Devices > VST Connections.
    9. From here you set up your input and output busses. I would suggest starting from scratch and deleting the busses that are shown. Then add the busses you are going to use. Note that having all possible busses available may slow down performance. Now that you have set up the busses, you can access these busses from your tracks.

    Cubase 4/5 is similar to Cubase 3, except that the "VST Inputs" and "VST Outputs" pages have been conflated with the "ASIO AudioFire" or "ASIO Echo PCI" page. You should reset the inputs and outputs from this page. You will still need to setup up your busses in "VST Connections." If you are not using all of the busses, it is recommended that you only set up the busses you are using, as this can affect performance in Cubase.

  15. How do I set up the Echo console for the Indigo DJ correctly?

    The phones output is Analog 1-2 and the line output is Analog 3-4. In the Echo console, you can choose between the Analog 1-2 bus and the Analog 3-4 bus. In the Analog 1-2 bus make sure you have virtual output 3-4 muted. In the Analog 3-4 bus make sure you have the virtual output 1-2 muted. From within your audio application you can now assign your headphones output and your house (line) output.

  16. What if I have a product suggestion?

    If you have a new product suggestion or an idea for an improvement to an existing product, please email technical support. Please put in the subject line: "New Product Suggestion."

  17. My computer spontaneously rebooted. What gives?

    If you are running Windows XP, Vista, or Windows 7 and your computer spontaneously reboots, you probably have experienced what Microsoft calls a "bug check," but what everyone else calls the Blue Screen of Death (BSOD). The default setting for the BSOD is not to show the BSOD, but to reboot the computer. This isn't very helpful for tracking down problems.

    If you are experiencing blue screens, here's how you can help us track it down. (These instructions are for XP, but Vista and Windows 7 are similar):

    1. Select Start/Control Panel/System
    2. Go to the Advanced tab and click on "Startup and Recovery"
    3. Uncheck "Automatically restart"
    4. Set the memory dump to "Small Memory Dump"

    Now, next time you get a blue screen, look at it. See if the crash occurred in echogals.sys, echo24.sys, echo3G.sys, echondgo.sys or echo1394.sys; if it did, then it's probably something we need to fix. Restart your computer and find the most recent .dmp file - this is the memory dump. It's probably in the \WINDOWS\minidump folder. Zip up the .dmp file and send it to Echo technical support along with a description of how it happened. This will help us track down the problem.

  18. AudioFire products not recognized

    Symptoms

    Sometimes AudioFire products are not recognized in XP, Vista or Windows 7 after new drivers are installed. The AudioFire product is listed as a Multimedia Device in the Device Manager.

    Cause

    XP, Vista or Windows 7 cannot find the AudioFire drivers.

    Products Affected

    All AudioFire products: AudioFire 2, AudioFire 4, AudioFire 8, AudioFire 8a, AudioFire 12, AudioFire Pre8.

    Solution

    In XP, when "Found New Hardware Wizard" dialogue box appears, choose "Choose from a list or specific location". Then select "Search for the best driver in these locations" and check the box "Include this location in the search. Click the browse button and point to the "Program Files/Echo Digital Audio/AudioFire/driver" folder.

    In Vista or Windows 7, go to Device Manager and click on Multimedia Device. Go to the driver tab and click on "Update Driver..." Then choose "Browse my computer for driver software." Point it to the "Program Files (x86)/Echo Digital Audio/AudioFire/driver" folder or the "Program Files (x86)/Echo FireWire//driver" folder.

    Last updated: 06/30/2010

     

     

  19. Known USB Issues

    19.1 Intel 5/6/7 Series Chipsets: System hangs after device unplug

    Chip Set: Intel 5/6/7 Series Chipsets with ICH10

    CPU: CPU: Intel i3/i5/i7

    Operating Systems: Windows 7 32/64 bit, Windows 7 32/64 bit with SP1

    Problem description:

    When the device is unplugged while audio is playing, there is a possibility of the system hanging afterwards. Also, there is a possibility of a crash (BSOD).

    Possible workaround:

    Do not connect the device directly to the PC. Use an external USB 2.0 hub and connect your device to this hub.

    19.2 Installation problems on Windows XP

    Problem description:

    If the device’s USB descriptors are designed in such a way that the Microsoft USB audio class 1.0 driver (usbaudio.sys) is installed automatically when the device is connected, this can cause a problem. Under certain conditions, the usbaudio.sys may hang and block further driver installations. It may not be possible to properly shutdown the system in this case.

    Possible workaround:

    To avoid that, the Microsoft USB composite driver (and USB audio class 1.0 driver) is loaded automatically, you can set the bNumConfigurations field in the USB device descriptor to 2. For a GET_DESCRIPTOR request for configuration index 1, simply return the same configuration descriptor as for configuration index 0.

    19.3 Driver does not work with Fresco Logic USB 3.0 host controllers

    Operating Systems: Windows 7 32/64 bit, Windows XP

    Problem description:

    The TUSBAudio driver does not work if the audio device is connected to a Fresco Logic USB 3.0 host controller.

    Additional information:

    The USB host controller driver stack provided by Fresco Logic has issues. The current USB frame number reported by the bus driver is not correct. Some older versions of the driver always report zero as current frame number. Newer Fresco Logic host controller drivers (3.5.36.0) report a current frame number that is about 128 milliseconds in the future.

    19.4 We have had mixed results with the following USB controllers:

    Etron EJ168A

    VLI VL800