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Line 6 Fail To Fix Usb Drop-out Twice And Then Blame Me For The Problem


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#1 db0451

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 07:41 AM

(I’d like to make it clear that the spurious capitalisation in the title was added automatically by this forum, not me, because I’m not illiterate.)

I had to send my POD X3 Live back to Line 6 for a second time because the USB audio drop-out bug had not been fixed by their first attempt. Especially recording, but also playback, will eventually lose the connection to the computer and cause it to lock up whenever it tries to reacquire the X3 Live, resulting in crashing of music software and later an inability to shut down as the system tries to find an audio device that no longer exists (even though it is still plugged in). Sound familiar?

Well, I got it back today. And look what I was told on the paperwork:

tried recording with Ableton Live application and had no issues, recorded and played back fine. Soak tested as a sound card without any issues. Would suggest that customer reinstall Pod X3 Live drivers and recording application.


What, am I imagining that this issue occurs on two separate computers, one of which HAS just had the drivers newly installed for the first time ever, and with various different recording applications running various different I/O protocols, controls that I already specifically put in place because I’m not a total idiot and know to test things properly before reporting them? I have no idea how stringent your ‘soak test’ is, but it apparently is not good enough. And neither is your reply here.

Yes, I have performed a factory reset and re-flashed the firmware, too, before anyone throws yet another platitude at me. As expected, these did nothing. What next? ‘Try buying a new USB hub’? Anything to shift the blame onto me, I guess.

This is simply not good enough. I was told on the phone that I might be given a new motherboard. If you were so confident that there’s no problem with my current one, why not just shut me up by giving me a new one anyway? It’s not like you’re doing anything else with the surplus of boards you presumably have.

The POD X3 Live is a fantastic device on paper. A shame, then, that it doesn’t work in reality as it claims to on paper.

And it’s even more of a shame that you apparently can’t be bothered investigating this properly, instead trying to secure plausible deniability of guilt by defaulting to the old method of questioning the other elements of my setup and, by extension, blaming me for the problem.
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#2 phil_m

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 07:45 AM

What next? ‘Try buying a new USB hub’?

 

Are you actually using a USB hub? Those historically have not worked well with Line 6 stuff.


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#3 db0451

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 07:52 AM

No, and just this moment before checking back, I re-read the guide to USB problems and realised that they recommend that we buy USB cards, not hubs. Still, how likely is it that the internal USB buses on both of these computers are broken in such a way that the problem exactly resembles the X3-specific USB dropout problem? And how likely is it that they could be that way without producing any problems even remotely resembling this one with any other device?

To be fair, I can’t absolutely rule this out as I haven’t yet bought such a card and therefore invested any more of my money in this extremely irritating problem (if I’m not misremembering, I had to pay for the outgoing postage on the first RMA!). However, I have severe doubts that it would change anything, especially due to the coincidences that I mentioned above. Maybe I will buy and try a USB card once I can face turning the X3L on again, but I’m reluctant to do either at the moment, for the same reasons.


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#4 silverhead

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 09:04 AM

Hmmmmm.... your situation is quite unusual. Please confirm that you had the X3 repaired directly by Line 6, rather than at an authorized Line 6 service centre or at an unauthorized location. Please don't take offense at the latter possibility - we just need to know to help advise you.

 

Normally the hardware fix to the USB Dropout issue on the X3 is 100% reliable. It certainly was for me. The details are spelled out in Technical Bulletin #52 which is available to all authorized service centres (and not available to unauthorized locations). If these procedures were followed I think it is highly likely (and, other things being equal, at the same time highly unlikely) that there are USB connectivity problems with both your computers. Or, it is possible that your X3 has a fault that is different than the USB Dropout and may not be covered under warranty.

 

Don't give up on this - continue to work with Line 6, following their suggestions. Ask them specifically if they followed Bulletin #52. Make sure you are not using any USB hubs, and perhaps buy a returnable USB card as a test. Persistence will pay off. Try to keep your justifiable frustration under control as you work with them.

 

Good luck.


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#5 db0451

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 09:18 AM

Hi silverhead, and thanks a lot for your reply.

 

The repair was done directly with Line 6 at Butlers Leap, UK.

 

I guess I will try it out with a USB card soon. Like I said, I’ve had a lot of trouble believing it could be an eerily similar problem with the USB buses of both computers. But I know I can’t rule it out until I’ve tried a card. For all my talk about using the scientific method to test this earlier, I concede that I didn’t cover this angle. But I’ve explained why, and I hope my reasoning is understandable.

 

You’re right that I’m frustrated. However, maybe I should have been more accommodating of the chance, however small, that both the computers might be exhibiting flaws that function equivalently where the X3 is concerned. I know I have to test that before being conclusive.

 

For those reasons, I acknowledge that the title of this thread and the tone of my initial post might be too conclusive and accusatory, and I’ll consider amending them. I thank silversight for being accommodating with my frustration and hope other readers can understand. The reason is that I’m only just recovering from the massive disappointment of earlier today (because, as I keep saying, I love this unit—in theory) and starting to consider less obvious nuances, such as the slight possibility of it being a problem with both the separate computers that I’ve tried, which just happens to behave exactly like the documented bug.

 

Either way, we’ll see how it turns out in the end. I’ll post back once I’ve tried a USB card. I hope I don’t have to confirm my original title! :/

 

Even if that does fix the issue, which is still a very open question and is a method that was never suggested to me by Line 6 directly… who should then be blamed for the incompatibility with various built-in USB buses? One cannot buy a PCIx card to add a new bus to a laptop, after all, so it’s hardly practical. Is this honestly just a case of computer-builders using bad chipsets, or is there anything Line 6 could have done to be more compatible with whatever flaws they supposedly have?

 

Anyway, thanks again.


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#6 silverhead

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 09:33 AM

The USB Dropout issue with the X3 was notoriously difficult to diagnose precisely, and to identify the reliable hardware fix. The reason for this is exactly what you refer to in your last paragraph. It  simply does not occur with all computers. It very much boils down to a hardware conflict with some, but not all, PC USB chipsets. I have seen cases where owners have used the X3 successfully for a couple of years, then upgrade their computer. Suddenly the problem appears due to the new chipset being used.

 

I don't think you can say that the computer manufacturer is at fault for using a 'bad' chipset, nor was Line 6 at fault for using usb-related hardware that was unknowingly incompatible with only certain chipsets. Rather than try to assign blame or avoid accountability, Line 6 spent a lot of time researching the issue and finding a hardware fix that is compatible with all (known) systems. I suppose they could have said "Oh, by the way, the X3 is compatible with the following chipsets, and not others. It's your problem if you use an unsupported chipset." They didn't do that; instead they identified a fix and offered it for free under lifetime warranty.

 

They want to find a way to fix yours, too. Rather than try to assign blame or accountability, try to work in good faith with Line 6 to get this resolved without finger pointing either way.

 

.... and don't worry too much about the tone/title of your original post. Believe me, I've seen MUCH worse. After all, this is a support forum. Most users only come here when frustrated. We're used to it.


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#7 db0451

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 09:44 AM

Are you saying that the fix should make the X3 work with all chipsets and that, therefore, the advice on that page about trying a card because some USB chipsets don’t work with the X3 (or other devices, since it seems to be written generally) should be inapplicable to my problem?

 

I presumed, rather, that some chipsets might always cause problems, with or without the (supposed) fix.

 

If you’re saying that presumption was wrong, then I don’t expect to make any progress by buying an add-on card. In this case, I hope I’ve misunderstood.


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#8 silverhead

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 10:03 AM

Are you saying that the fix should make the X3 work with all chipsets and that, therefore, the advice on that page about trying a card because some USB chipsets don’t work with the X3 (or other devices, since it seems to be written generally) should be inapplicable to my problem?.....

 

Yes - after applying the fix it should work on all chipsets and in general one shouldn't need to buy a usb card after the fix. That usb card suggestion is there as an alternative to needing the hardware fix, which can be quite inconvenient for some users.

 

However, your situation seems ambiguous. Was the fix correctly applied per Bulletin #52? is there some other problem with the X3? Are there other problems with both your computers (e.g. they are using internal hubs?) Using a dedicated usb card can help isolate and narrow down the potential problems.

 

Have you tried using all USB ports on your computer(s)? If you have a desktop PC (rather than laptop) the USB ports on the rear panel are less likely to use internal hubs; the front panel ports often do.


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#9 db0451

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 02:34 PM

Yes - after applying the fix it should work on all chipsets and in general one shouldn't need to buy a usb card after the fix. That usb card suggestion is there as an alternative to needing the hardware fix, which can be quite inconvenient for some users.

Just what I didn’t want to hear. So, it seems I am indeed SOL, as they say.

However, your situation seems ambiguous.

Sorry, but I don’t see how there’s any ambiguity. In the interests of being even clearer, though:

Was the fix correctly applied per Bulletin #52?

One would hope so, given that I sent it to Line 6 themselves and that I explained the problem clearly and made plenty of references to the lifetime warranty and exactly the behaviour that I was experiencing. Twice.

is there some other problem with the X3?

Not that I’ve noticed, but this one seems to be the biggest of them all anyway.

Are there other problems with both your computers (e.g. they are using internal hubs?)

One is a desktop; the other is a laptop. The desktop has a port or two that simply don’t work with any devices, but needless to say, that’s not a confounding factor here. The laptop has never presented issues with any USB peripheral.

Using a dedicated usb card can help isolate and narrow down the potential problems.

Sure, but thanks to what you said initially in your latest post, I’m leaning back towards this being a problem with the POD.

Have you tried using all USB ports on your computer(s)? If you have a desktop PC (rather than laptop) the USB ports on the rear panel are less likely to use internal hubs; the front panel ports often do.

Yep, I thought of this too. The front ports on the desktop can be temperamental, but the others are fine on both the deskop and laptop. The POD X3 intermittently pauses on the laptop, too. But everything I’ve tried, everywhere, has ended in a disconnection sooner or later. Recording speeds the process along especially fast. Example: I just had the POD playing sound fine for over an hour. I went to record something at the same time. Guess what? It dropped the connection within a minute, then crashed the Volume Control, and finally crashed the recording program. Just the usual, then. Useless. What am I going to do with this lump of electronics? Accept Line 6’s sage judgement and accordingly spend the rest of time looking for ways to blame myself for the problem?
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#10 silverhead

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 02:37 PM

I don't think I can be of any further help. You need to continue your discussions with Line 6 - or not. Sorry.


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#11 db0451

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 02:40 PM

Thanks anyway. You’ll excuse me if I’ll have to meditate for a while to build up the will to contact Line 6 again about this. I dare say I’ll do it eventually, but I’m not setting my expectations high next time around.

Do they still read threads ever, or will I have to go and copy and paste all of this into another location? I don’t know how many times I can face repeating the same explanations.
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#12 silverhead

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 05:01 PM

http://line6.com/support/tickets/


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#13 GilmourD

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Posted 21 July 2013 - 05:23 AM

If there's one thing I've learned in 20 years of being a PC tech is that sometimes hareware manufacturers miss the mark just by a tiny bit on specifications. I've seen PCs where certain USB devices (keyboards, mice, scanners, even hubs) won't work at all on some USB ports but work perfectly on others because some USB ports are controlled by the main chipset (southbridge on chipsets that aren't all-in-one chip solutions, back in the day when memory controllers were on the northbridge) and the remainder were on a specific USB controller chip.

 

It may be entirely true that this isn't a Line6 issue but an issue with your computer.

 

What model is your computer? If you built it yourself (or had it built) what motherboard is in it?


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#14 yruama

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 07:47 AM

I had to send my POD X3 Live back to Line 6 for a second time because the USB audio drop-out bug had not been fixed by their first attempt. Especially recording, but also playback, will eventually lose the connection to the computer and cause it to lock up whenever it tries to reacquire the X3 Live, resulting in crashing of music software and later an inability to shut down as the system tries to find an audio device that no longer exists (even though it is still plugged in). Sound familiar?

Yes it's very familiar for me, and this is NOT the USB Drop-out. This is a bug from microsoft. The problem exist since win 7 and happen with wide range of audio-USB hardware and computer. To be sure, next time the sound stops, just try to play/record something with an ASIO software. If it works, it will confirm the microsfoft bug. I know few solution/workaround :

 

Use a PCi/USB card : I didn't test (i use a laptop), seems to solve problems but produce sometimes other issue :-s . It's seems also solve some "crack and pops" issue.

 

Use ASIO mode only - It work but it's (very) restrictive :

In the windows mixer, disable the POD X3 for playing and recording. You will be unable to use the pod X3 in DirectX mode (for example, you will be unable to use audacity)

When you want to record something, just use an ASIO sofware (reaper, cubase, ableton live ...)

When you want to jam with youtube, guitar Pro, winamp ... just branch the phone output of you computer in the CD/mp3 input of the pod.

 

 

 


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#15 db0451

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Posted 03 September 2013 - 08:01 AM



Yes it's very familiar for me, and this is NOT the USB Drop-out. This is a bug from microsoft. The problem exist since win 7 and happen with wide range of audio-USB hardware and computer. To be sure, next time the sound stops, just try to play/record something with an ASIO software. If it works, it will confirm the microsfoft bug.

This is interesting. Thank you for the suggestion. To be clear, you mean that, once the POD seemingly crashes, I should try using another application that communicates using ASIO only, and if it can still find the POD, it means the problem is caused by Windows/Microsoft? If so, I might not have ever tried that, so I will test it out next time.

 

[edit] But… as I said above, I have encountered what seems like the same problem, plus with intermittent gaps in played audio, on another computer running Windows Vista. So I might be a bit pessimistic that this can all be blamed on a new problem in Windows 7. Are you sure it was only introduced in 7? [/edit]

 

[edit 2] More generally, do you have any links to detailed information and/or discussions about this supposed bug? I have never heard of it and cannot find much on a search, so I really want more info in order to assess whether it might be relevant to my problem. [/edit 2]

 

Actually, the POD seemed to work flawlessly for almost two weeks using both DirectSound and ASIO. However, just as I was starting to feel more optimistic, it crashed again like before.


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#16 yruama

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 02:38 PM

I firstly encountered this issue with my pod studio. If you search something like "ux2 sounds stop" or "ux2 stop randomly working" you will probably find some thread about in the old line 6 forum. With some people, the problems start after uptating to win 7 : no problem before win 7, sound randomly stop working after win 7.

 

I personnaly experienced this with ux2 :

 

compaq cq61 SF (laptop with win vista basic) : random  artifact (short gap) in pod farm/ASIO with wifi enabled but work well with wifi disabled

compaq cq61 SF (same laptop upgraded win 7 pro) : same as before plus sound randomly stop working, but only 1 or 2 times per month

hp sleekbook (laptop with win 8) : random sound cut in pod farm, some artifact (sound like corrupted mp3) with VLC/Winamp/..., and randomly stop working, generally after 1 or 2 hours.


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#17 db0451

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 02:54 PM

Your first reply implied that you had encountered the problem with a variety of USB audio interfaces, which I took to mean by both Line 6 and other, unrelated companies. It also made it seem like this was a Windows-specific problem known to other users. I was hoping for links to other discussions that would provide a lot of information that I could compare to my own experiences and possibly solutions that I could try.

 

The new post makes it sound like this is something that you personally have encountered with gear by Line 6, and like it is not something other users have verified as a problem with Windows and USB audio on a generic level. It sounds more like two bad USB buses/chipsets.

 

Can you confirm or correct any of this? I thought we were onto something, but now I am nowhere near so sure. I do appreciate the help, but hopefully you can understand what I mean here. This sounds more like your bad luck with hardware than a verifiable problem with Windows. The latter would have taken a lot of weight off my shoulders.

 

I was going to post the results of a couple more tests I have done since last time, but I need to re-do them to make sure there was no interference from other things/coincidences, because some of the results are very strange if they turn out to be true.


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#18 yruama

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 05:14 AM

Your first reply implied that you had encountered the problem with a variety of USB audio interfaces, which I took to mean by both Line 6 and other, unrelated companies.

 

No. I found a thread in the Line 6 forum where some peoples encountered the problem with a variety of USB audio interfaces and some other people who tried a variety of computer and Window version. Unfortunatelly, I can't find this thread (nor other references) again, it was in the old line6 forum.
 

 

The new post makes it sound like this is something that you personally have encountered with gear by Line 6, and like it is not something other users have verified as a problem with Windows and USB audio on a generic level. It sounds more like two bad USB buses/chipsets.

 

 

no, it's something that me and other people encountered. I don't think it's a buses/chipset problem because it happen only with win 7 & 8. Some people solve the problem by installing a win XP in dual boot. (but win XP may not compatible with recent computer)


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#19 Mutha1967

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 03:37 AM

Hey there DB0451,

 

I share your frustration.  I actually modified the POD myself by installing a powered 24MHz crystal oscillator to provide the clock for the OBS UART.  While I noticed a huge improvement, I still have problems with USB audio.  The POD had gone from the original problem of complete (random) Audio drop out (usually requiring at least a power off of the POD to sometimes a complete computer reboot to get it working again) to at least playing audio fine for a while and then randomly it would the audio would go super distorted.  A simple restart of the audio, ie reload you tube video or close and restart Windows Media player.   Like Yruama above, I too had noted that after doing the mod, there was no audio dropouts when using ASIO drivers.  Just to clarify if you're not sure, ASIO drivers are typically used with professional audio equipment and software as they provide very low latency compared to Windows WDM drivers.  In my care I was using Cakewalk SOANAR recording software.  So after reading these posts and Yruama's suggestion I thought.. what the hell, I'll unplug the POD for the USB3 card I have installed in my PC and connect it to one of the USB2 ports that are built into the mother board.  Low and behold, it works and works great.  So I do think there might be something in what Yruama is saying.  Perhaps a driver compatabillity issue between line 6 and MS's Window 7 WDM / Directsound Audio drivers.  Shrug, don't know enough about how the drivers interact with the OS.

 

I'd suggest you try some different PC, perhaps something older with USB2 or a windows XP based system and see how you go.  Bit of a bummer that it's flaky like this, I'd like to know my POD will work with any PC I connect it too, but I'm at lease now happy that I can play along with you tube how to play clips and use my recording software without problems.

 

Hope this helps you in some way and thanks to both you and Yruama for giving me the idea to change the USB ports.  Will try it on my laptop later :)

 

Mutha


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#20 squay

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 02:43 PM

Hi- I just wanted to chime in because I was able to resolve a similar issue on my Windows 8 machine recently.  I went though all the steps to reduce DPC latency, run LatencyMonitor, use slimdrivers to update all drivers, turn off unneeded processes, etc. with little gain.

 I noticed in my application log that I had several "ESENT" alerts that corresponded with the Audio crashes.  Most were associated with Windows update , even though I had auto updates turned off.

I disabled the "Windows Update" service in my Computer Management/Services console.  I also paused the Windows Indexer under Control panel/Indexing options ( it was another ESENT error culprit ).

I stopped getting the ESENT alerts.  It seems that even with AutoUpdate off, Windows update keeps checking in & crashing, causing large pagefaults.  

I went 3 hours with no ESENT alerts or corresponding audio drop offs.

Only downside is you must enable service & reboot when you want to run Window updates.

Have a look at your App log for ESENT alerts-  If you see them, try this.

Hope it helps!


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