Orpheus FAQs, Tips and Techniques
|?||Can I use Orpheus at the same time as other FireWire devices?|
|Most FireWire devices are perfectly compatible with Orpheus. However, some devices, including many external hard drives, are not compatible and will cause audio drop-outs.
In order to guarantee that drop-outs do not occur, we recommend that you do not share the FireWire bus with other devices.
Note that there may be more than one FireWire port on the same bus.
Most expansion cards have several FireWire ports on a single bus.
All Apple Macs have a single internal FireWire bus. However, they may have several FireWire ports on this bus, and they could be a mixture of S800 & S400 ports.
Devices cannot interact if they are on different FireWire buses. If you have a FireWire expansion card as well as built-in FireWire, you will have two separate buses, so you can put Orpheus on one and a hard drive on the other.
You will also cut available bandwidth if you put your hard drive on the same FireWire bus. When recording, audio data has to be streamed from Orpheus, to the DAW and then to the drive. When playing, audio data has to be streamed from the drive, to the DAW and to Orpheus. This effectively halves the number of channels that can be used. If the hard drive is on a separate bus, the full channel count is available.
|?||How many Orpheus units can be daisy-chained together at the same time?|
|If you have more than one Orpheus unit, you can daisy-chain them together. This allows you to use all audio channels for all units, perfectly synchronised together.
At sample rates up to 48kHz, you can daisy-chain up to 6 units to give 48 channels of analogue I/O. Alternatively, you could daisy-chain three units with ADAT enabled, giving 24 channels of analogue I/O and 24 channels of ADAT I/O.
At sample rates up to 96kHz, you can daisy-chain 3 units to give 24 channels of analogue I/O. Alternatively, you could daisy-chain 2 units with ADAT (S-MUX) enabled, giving 16 channels of analogue I/O and 8 channels of S-MUX I/O.
At higher sample rates, only a single Orpheus unit can be used.
|?||How does Orpheus compensate for system latency?|
|In order to minimise the risk of audio drop-outs, we recommend that you set the latency fairly high. See the Stability and Latency section of the manual for more information. In addition, your DAW will introduce some latency as it buffers audio.
Round-trip latency delays are usually irrelevant when a suitable low-latency foldback mix is used.
Consider a vocalist singing over a backing track that is already recorded on the computer.The backing track is played to the Headphone outputs (say) and the vocal is being recorded on AI1. If a foldback mixer is not used, the vocal will have to be mixed in the DAW. The vocal will already be delayed by the input latency amount before it is recorded, and there is a further delay due to the output delay before the vocalist hears her own voice in the headphones. The round-trip delay may be unacceptable.
The solution is to use a foldback mix. Open the HP mixer tab on the Orpheus control panel and select 'Mixer' from the drop list. Ensure that the vocal is not monitored as it records in the DAW, and send the pre-recorded track to the Orpheus HP outputs. The vocal will be mixed with the DAW output in hardware and sent to the headphones, but the unmixed vocal will be recorded independently by the DAW on AI1.
Finally, you need to compensate for the recording delay. Professional DAWs usually have a 'Pre-delay' setting, or sample offset value, that you can set equal to the round-trip latency, so that it is played back in time with the pre-recorded backing track.
|?||How can I apply insert effects, such as reverb, to the low-latency mixes?|
|Orpheus does not have built-in effects, but you can configure external effect inserts by using a foldback mix.
Choose one of the output pairs to use for your effects channel, for example AO7/8. Connect output 8 (say) to your effect input and connect the effect output to input 8.
Now open the Orpheus control panel and go to the 'AO7/8' tab and enable it by selecting 'Mixer' from the drop-list. Make sure that input 8 is muted, otherwise you will get feedback. Any of the other input channels that are panned to output 8 will pass through the effect.
The wet signal can be recorded on FireWire input 8, and can be monitored by enabling a foldback mix on another output pair. The dry signal can be recorded on its original input channel.
|?||How do I route the same DAW stereo signal to different Orpheus output pairs?|
|Orpheus mixes apply to specific output pairs. There is no way to directly route outputs to different channels. However, you can use a low-latency mix as an auxiliary channel to achieve the same effect.
For example, you could configure an auxiliary mix on the DO 1/2 tab, using headphone monitoring to check the levels, pans, etc. Next, ensure that the DI channels are muted on the DO 1/2 mix, and ensure that your DAW signal is sent to the DO 1/2 channels. Now connect the digital ports back-to-back, with a BNC or TOSLINK cable.
The DO 1/2 mix is now available as DI inputs on all other mixes. You can enable 'Mixer' on any other mix tab, solo the DI signal, and you will hear the DO 1/2 mix through those outputs. You can also use the master volume control to mute selected outputs.
You do not have to use the digital channel for your 'master' mix, but this is recommended in order to avoid introducing additional analogue noise. However, if you need the digital IO for other purposes, you could use one of the analogue mixers instead.
|?||Which operating system do I need?|
|Orpheus can be used with both Apple Mac and PC.
|?||Can I use a 64-bit processor?|
|Mac OS X Snow Leopard is fully compatible with 64-bit processors. Download SixtyFourSwitcher
On Windows, the Orpheus installer provides 64-bit drivers as well as 32-bit drivers. Windows 7, 8 and 10 x64, Vista64 and XP 64-Bit Edition are fully supported.
|?||Can I use Orpheus with Windows installed on an Apple Mac under Boot Camp?|
|If you have correctly installed Boot Camp and Windows on you Mac, you can use Orpheus as you would on any other PC.
You will need to take the following steps:
|?||How can I generate a log file showing which applications are installed?|
|On OS X 10.7 Lion, you can save a .spx file from the /Applications/Utilities/System Information app.
On OS X 10.6 or earlier, you can save a .spx file from the /Applications/Utilities/System Profiler app.
On Windows, you can download the free Belarc Advisor application. You can use this to generate a .html file containing all system settings.
If you need to contact email@example.com, please attach your system log.
|?||Do I need to install AppleFWAudio-2.2.0fc9-e1.pkg on my Mac?|
Under normal circumstances, you should not install AppleFWAudio-2.2.0fc9-e1.pkg. The correct FireWire Core Audio drivers will be installed on your system and upgraded when Software Update runs.
AppleFWAudio-2.2.0fc9-e1.pkg installs the FireWire Core Audio driver version that ships with OS X 10.4.11. You should only install AppleFWAudio-2.2.0fc9-e1.pkg if you are running OS X Tiger but are unable to upgrade to 10.4.11 for some reason.
Audio degradation may occur if you install AppleFWAudio-2.2.0fc9-e1.pkg on Leopard because Tiger drivers are not suitable for a Leopard system.
If you have installed AppleFWAudio-2.2.0fc9-e1.pkg on a Leopard system in error, you will need to restore your operating system. Software Update will not restore this automatically. You have two options:
|?||How do I install the software in Windows 8 and 10?|
In some situations we have heard of the Orpheus installer continuing to fail to run under the Compatibility Wizard. Windows 8 and 10 can have extra restrictions on copying files from network drives, so if you do have a failure in the Compatibility Wizard, copy the installer to a local drive, say, the desktop, and run it from there under the Compatibility Wizard.
|?||How can I add another FireWire bus to my computer?|
|Additional FireWire buses can be added to with FireWire expansion cards.
We recommend that you use cards that have an OHCI compliant Texas Instruments chipset.
Cards with S800 ports are not recommended because there are technical difficulties in manufacture that may cause them to be more unreliable than S400 cards. In any case, S800 cards are more expensive and provide more bandwidth than necessary for Orpheus.
|?||How long can my FireWire cable be?|
|The Firewire 400 (IEEE 1394-1995) standard specifies a maximum cable length of 4.5m.
It is possible to extend this range by using active repeater cables, or to extend it to many hundreds of metres by using fibre-optic extenders.
|?||How do I save Orpheus settings in hardware?|
|When you put Orpheus into Standby mode, it will check if any settings have been changed. If so, they will be saved to persistent memory.
This allows you to set the Master Gain value in Standalone mode without having to reconnect to the host.
|?||Can I use my FireWire interface with an S800 firewire port?|
|Yes, S800 is fully compatible with S400.
However, the connectors are different. You will need to use a bilingual, 9-pin to 6-pin IEEE-1394 firewire cable.
|?||Are external USB hard drives fast enough to use with Orpheus?|
|USB 2.0 has a maximum bandwidth of 480Mbit/s (60MB/s), whereas FireWire 400 has a maximum bandwidth of 400Mbit/s (50MB/s). However, differences in the way data is stored to disc mean that FireWire hard drives often perform better than USB hard drives.
For example, these benchmarks suggest that a USB 2.0 drive can write at a rate of 27MB/s and read at 33MB/s. Are these speeds sufficient for Orpheus operation?
Suppose you are recording on all inputs of Orpheus at 192kHz, and your DAW is set up to record 24-bit, uncompressed AIFF files. You will need to write (10 channels) x (192,000 samples) x (3 bytes per sample) every second. This is just under 6MB/s.
Similarly, if you play back all outputs of Orpheus at 192kHz, you will need to read (12 channels) x (192,000 samples) x (3 bytes per sample) every second. This is just under 7MB/s.
This means that USB 2.0 hard drives are more-than capable of streaming data with Orpheus at even the highest sample rates.
|?||How can I tell which firmware is running on my Orpheus?|
|Hover your mouse cursor over the Orpheus name box in the control panel. This is the first box in the Unit settings group, just above the Sync source drop list.
A pop-up box will be displayed showing the version of the firmware that is currently installed.
|?||Are the BNC Word Clock ports terminated?|
|Word clock ports are terminated internally with a 75 ohm load.
|?||Can I use Orpheus with Thunderbolt ports?|
|Yes! It is possible using a Thunderbolt to Firewire adaptor.
For some time Macs have had no firewire ports, but the Apple Thunderbolt to Firewire 800 adaptor when used with a standard firewire 400 to 800 cable offers good performance and has proved to be very reliable.
With modern Macs that have only USB-C connectors to connect all external peripherals, combining this adaptor with a Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 adaptor has also proved successful for use with Orpheus and ADA8s.
|?||Which DAW can I use?|
|Orpheus and ADA-8 can be used with any DAW or application that supports ASIO or WDM drivers (Windows), or Core Audio (Mac OS X).
|?||Can I use Logic Pro?|
|Yes. However, early versions of Logic Pro 8 had issues with FireWire audio interfaces. These issues were resolved in Logic Pro 8.0.2.
We recommend using Software Update to ensure that you always have the latest Logic patches. For more information, please refer to the troubleshooting guides: Logic Pro 7 and Logic Pro 8 & 9.
|?||Can I use FireWire interfaces with multiple Core Audio applications on OS X?|
|It is not recommended to use FireWire interfaces with multiple Core Audio applications unless you are running Snow Leopard (OS X 10.6).
Prior to Snow Leopard, OS X has a bug that results in audio degradation when a class-compliant FireWire audio device is connected to two or more Core Audio clients at the same time. For example, you could experience drop-outs in Logic Pro if iTunes is also being used in the background.
We recommend that you only connect to a single Core Audio application at a time. Please also ensure that Orpheus/ADA-8 is not your default recording or playback device in order to prevent accidental connection.
Apple have confirmed that this bug is fixed in Snow Leopard.
|?||How do I connect my DAW to daisy-chained units?|
WDM drivers still connect to channels pairs individually. The ASIO driver will automatically combine all audio channels into a single interface. You may need to re-start your DAW in order to detect the additional channels.
You need to ensure that all units are running at the desired sample rate using CSP sync before daisy-chaining them:
Note that you need to set all units to the same sample rate otherwise some channels will not be available. Use the Orpheus control panel to change sample rate for all units, or use the aggregate device sample rate (which can be set from your DAW).
Please also note that your interfaces must be used as the clock master because CSP sync is required. If you have external digital devices, you must synchronise them from wordclock or digital outputs.
|?||How do I configure the output channels used on OS X apps such as iTunes?|
|It is possible to use any available output of a FireWire Core Audio interface from within OS X. For example, if you wanted to play iTunes out from the Orpheus S/PDIF outputs, you would do this:
|?||Can I use Orpheus with Pro Tools?|
|There are three ways to use Orpheus with Pro Tools:
*On Windows 7, you must ensure that the latest Orpheus drivers are installed
†Pro Tools hardware does not support S-MUX, so you will not be able to use ADAT Direct mode to convert four channels at 96kHz.
|Trouble Shooting FAQs|
|?||Why do I hear audio drop-outs (clicks and pops) when my CPU is busy?|
|Your CPU needs a certain amount of time to process audio samples. We recommend that you optimise your computer for audio processing and disable any unnecessary applications. For more information, read the Stability and Latency section of the manual.
On Windows, CPU load can be reduced by setting the Buffer Time value higher. Note that drop-outs will be inevitable if this value is set too low.
Your DAW may also have options to change buffer sizes, and there may be other options available, such as the ability to freeze tracks.
Orpheus provides foldback mixers which can be configured for extremely low-latency monitoring. These operate in hardware, so they can take some of the load off the CPU.
|?||How can I tell if my digital inputs are correctly synchronised?|
|When asynchronous digital inputs are detected, the yellow 'ASYNC' indicator will light up on the Orpheus control panel's input tab. You will probably hear an intelligible signal broken up by periodic drop-outs and distortion.
Orpheus can accept sync sources from external devices. Alternatively, Orpheus provides a Wordclock signal, with superclock and base rate options.
For more information, please refer to the online manual.
|?||Why is the Master LED flashing?|
|The Master LED flashes when Orpheus is configured to use an external sync source, but no valid reference is supplied. Perhaps the reference signal cable is not connected, or it has a different nominal sample rate to Orpheus' current sample rate. When it is in this state, all audio is muted.
If you do not need to synchronise Orpheus to an external device, then you can avoid this problem by selecting Local or CSP sync in the Orpheus control panel.
If you are using DI, ADAT or WCK sync, you need to ensure that the external nominal sample rate is the same as Orpheus' sample rate.
|?||Why are only two sample rates available when ADAT is enabled?|
|The choice of sample rates is limited to compatible ADAT types.
For example, when you are using ADAT at 48kHz, the sample rate choices are 44.1kHz and 48kHz. These are the only valid sample rates that are possible with 8-channel ADAT.
In order to select a higher sample rate, you will need to set ADAT to None.
|?||I am running Windows XP on a PC with a FireWire S800 port, but my FireWire interface is not detected. How can I resolve this?|
|S800 ports suffer a performance decrease after installing SP2. This issue is known to affect XP running under Boot Camp on Apple hardware.
You can resolve this by applying Microsoft Hotfix KB885222
If you upgrade to Service Pack 3 after installing Hotfix KB855222, you may also need to apply Microsoft Hotfix KB955408
|?||Why are there only 4 ADAT channels at 96kHz?|
|The ADAT format allows 8 channels of digital audio on a single optical connector, but only at sample rates up to 48kHz.
At 88.2kHz and 96kHz, the S/MUX format must be used instead. S/MUX is a way of squeezing higher frequency signals into an ADAT carrier. Twice as many samples are transmitted for each channel, so there can only be half as many channels.
|?||How can I check that my PC is capable of streaming real-time audio over FireWire?|
|You can use Thesycon's DPC Latency checker tool to analyse your PC's audio streaming capability.
This tool will discover any 3rd party drivers that cause audio drop-outs on the FireWire bus. For more information, see the DPC Latency Checker Product Sheet
The Buffer Time value must be set higher than the maximum DPC latency, otherwise there will be audio drop-outs.
|?||Windows 7 has problems with FireWire drivers. How can I resolve this?|
|Please ensure that you have installed the latest control panel and drivers installed
|?||How can I eliminate audio glitches and reduce latency on my Windows PC?|
|Your CPU needs a certain amount of time to process audio samples. We recommend that you optimise your computer for audio processing and disable any unnecessary applications.
For more information, please read the guide to "Optimizing your Windows PC for audio".
|?||How do I measure the round-trip latency?|
|It is very easy to measure the round-trip latency of your audio interface using a DAW and a digital cable
Use these steps:
You can verify the delay with a null test. Invert the recorded track & mix with the original; the samples will cancel out exactly.
My question is not listed here - what should I try next?
You can do one or more of the following:
Download the Orpheus manuals for full product details.
Have a look at the Online HTML Manual (opens in new window) .
Contact your local distributor for help.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for specific problems not found above.