Digital Noise on Cubase Artist 7 recording


I have been running Cubase SX1 for years (without issue) and have recently upgraded to Cubase Artist 7 running on a brand new AMD platform. My list of hardware is thus:

ASUS F2A85-M PRO with 24Gb Memory
Saffiro PRO 14 Firewire.

Software wise, I am running Windows 7 64 Bit SP1 with latest Saffire Drivers & firmware and have just update Artist 7 to the latest build. My problem (and has always been with this setup) is that when I record a new track (vocal/guitar etc) I seem to get a LOT of digital noise where there are gaps in the recording. This happens even without anything plugged into the Saffire sound card so, is not a faulty microphone, for example.

I’ve upgraded my firewire card to the one recommend by Saffire (the chipset is Texas Instruments) and the problem still persists. Its difficult to describe the sound but its very obtrusive.

Anyone else experienced the same thing? Help!