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External sound card via firewire.

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I'm trying to use an audio interface with my firewire port for recording/listening to music, but after I turn on the unit, connect it to my computer, and change the audio properties to run through the unit itself as an external sound card instead of my internal Realtek one, this is where I run into problems. The sound will initially be ok just playing back mp3s through Winamp--but once I do absolutely anything, minimize any window, open up a new one, anything, all sounds on my computer distort horribly and play back at half speed. There is no problem with the interface itself, and I've installed all the current and correct drivers that came with it, uninstalled, reinstalled the most current from the company's site and they are all recognized no problems--so I am thinking this is some kind of firewire problem but am inexperienced in the area and could not find any online solutions to this.
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It certainly sounds like a driver issue, however you updated them. Hmm.
A couple of questions:
- If you have multiple firewire ports, have you tried them all?
- If you are able, have you tried using another computer to test the functionality of the device?
- Have you tried using different applications to play music?
(and finally)
- Have you tried playing different file formats and are able to confirm that the same problem occurs?

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