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MOTU Ultralite Mk4, glitching, dropouts and the X99 chipset

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Discussion related to installation, configuration and use of MOTU hardware such as MIDI interfaces, audio interfaces, etc. with Windows

MOTU Ultralite Mk4, glitching, dropouts and the X99 chipset

Postby entilza72 » Thu May 04, 2017 7:39 pm

Sharing some remedy info that future Intel X99 chipset (motherboard) users might find useful.

I recently bought a new MOTU Ultralite Mk4 USB audio interface, and straight away it was glitching and popping on playback. Moving the mouse (also on USB) made the glitching worse until it would drop out all together. Recording was impossible - the MOTU device would freeze in Windows. The PC speed was not an issue - its current gen and is a beast, designed to edit 4K in realtime. There should be no slowness to cause the glitches.

I contacted MOTU support who (after waiting a week to get to the support request) identified the issue as an incompatibility between their products and the Intel X99 chipset on my motherboard. That was basically the end of their support. They don't appear to be working on this issue.

(For those who don't know, X99 is considered "current generation" and was released mid 2014. It is 2.5 years old. The X99 controls all IO in the computer, from USB to the PCI-e bus.)

This blew my mind - basically, they know their products won't work with new Intel PCs. Too bad for the customer!

The helpful folks on homrecording.com thought it sounded similar to a thread on Steinberg's official forum (a competitor to MOTU). https://www.steinberg.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=157&t=96319
I poured over that thread. The problems sounded identical, right down to mouse use increased the symptoms.

I noticed all impacted users who posted full specs either had X99 or Z97 chipsets, and one of a couple of Nvidia Geforce GTX cards. I also had one of those cards installed, a GTX 970. I had an old GTX 560 stored, so I installed it and the problem has gone! No more glitches, pops, dropouts, freezes or driver crashes.

The X99 and Z97 control all IO to the processor, including USB buses and the PCI bus that the video card sits on. This three-way conflict is not surprising as X99 sits at the top of that pile. Adding a PCI-e USB card did not help me, but it did lessen the glitching noises somewhat.

I have no doubt this is a MOTU driver issue, not using the X99 properly. I can't believe this may have been hanging around for 2.5 years with no resolution. I have informed the manufacturer, but I am glad I have found a workaround (albeit a highly inconvenient one - video cards aren't designed to be swapped in and out several times a day).

I am also curious as to why I can't find anyone complaining about this, yet MOTU were very sure that X99 users can't use their gear.

Happy to answer any questions.

Kind regards,
Ent.
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Re: MOTU Ultralite Mk4, glitching, dropouts and the X99 chip

Postby paletti » Wed May 10, 2017 9:29 am

Well you`re not alone my problem is exactly the same an Intel chipset that came with the Acer aspire V5-519G,whatever i do no go it just dont like the 44.1 khz,brand new super laptop i use for life performance and studio work,never had any issues this year i`ve had it and used it with Yamaha 01v96i and avis solo no problems ever.
Now i got this motu 624 and only problems.
I connect it with an 8 year old pc no mproblems at all it`s driving me mad.
Motu + Intel + windows 10 is no go.

Peace
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Re: MOTU Ultralite Mk4, glitching, dropouts and the X99 chip

Postby terrybritton » Wed May 10, 2017 11:01 am

For me, it was an Nvidia driver issue. Reinstalling in custom mode, and checking the box for a "clean installation" solved the issue. (828 mk3 hybrid and MIDI interfaces were going wonky.)

There are so many factors that can affect these busses relied on to transport media info in realtime. One sometimes has to experiment until it magically seems to "fix itself"! I had such a thing happen a few years ago, where simply playing a shell game with my USB ports fixed a strange webcam problem. (The "enumerators" had gotten mixed up. Suddenly it fixed itself!)

Terry
Computer: Dell XPS 8700-1751BLK | Intel Haswell Core i7 4790@3.6Mhz | 16GB DDR3 1600Mhz | Windows 10 Pro x64 |
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Re: MOTU Ultralite Mk4, glitching, dropouts and the X99 chip

Postby hansgetze » Sun Aug 06, 2017 2:22 pm

Have the same problem, on Z97 chipset.
Never found a solution since I bought it 8 months ago (If I remember correctly.
I tried so many things like diabling core parking, reinstalling, removing GPU, sample rates, etc...
Motu drivers are simply bad.
We need to wait for a real fix, this interface is the best bang for the buck that's pretty sad.
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Re: MOTU Ultralite Mk4, glitching, dropouts and the X99 chip

Postby terrybritton » Sun Aug 06, 2017 5:51 pm

I really should mention something else as to glitches with my MOTU boxes (Ultralite and 828, both mk3 hybrid) - I think the "Motu Audio Wave for 64 bit" Windows-Audio driver is the root cause of many problems. (The problem I had above that was a catastrophic failure of the MIDI ports was an Nvidia driver, but I got rid of ALL my other problems when I disabled the "Motu Audio WAVE for 64 bit" driver and started using Voicemeeter to get system audio into my MOTU boxes instead.)

The Windows Audio drivers in question cause much glitching simply by virtue of the fact that they perform no sample-rate conversion whatsoever - when a piece of audio comes through that has a different sample rate (like a Windows theme sound or something like a video at a different sample rate) then these boxes SLOWLY shift their actual internal hardware sample rate, which seems to drive Windows crazy!

Good luck with tracking down your problems, but do try doing this.

Terry
Computer: Dell XPS 8700-1751BLK | Intel Haswell Core i7 4790@3.6Mhz | 16GB DDR3 1600Mhz | Windows 10 Pro x64 |
MOTU 828 mk3 hybrid- USB

DAWs and Live: MOTU Digital Performer 9.1.3 | Samplitude Pro X3 Suite | Cantabile 3 Performer
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Re: MOTU Ultralite Mk4, glitching, dropouts and the X99 chip

Postby hansgetze » Mon Aug 07, 2017 8:22 am

That's a good input. Thank you for this quick answer.

I'll try this out but that doesn't remove the fact that motu isn't working enough on their drivers for windows.
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Re: MOTU Ultralite Mk4, glitching, dropouts and the X99 chip

Postby terrybritton » Mon Aug 07, 2017 3:27 pm

hansgetze wrote:That's a good input. Thank you for this quick answer.

I'll try this out but that doesn't remove the fact that motu isn't working enough on their drivers for windows.


I'm not sure I would say MOTU is not working enough on their drivers for Windows as much as they have an approach that isn't shared by all.

I think, from observing these drivers' behavior, that the idea they had was that people would only use this computer dedicated to their DAW, and so would not be changing sample rates or bit-depths once they are set in place. The very fact that the Windows drivers actually signal the hardware to perform an internal change to the sample rate, rather than rely upon sample-rate conversion, is a strong indicator this is their attitude. They simply do not imagine us using the same computer for YouTube and other entertainment!

Vincent Burel and his Voicemeeter application is a blessing for us Windows users. His 30+ years in DSP programming really shows, and his sample-rate conversion and inter-device interfacing really expands what we are capable of doing with these professional interfaces.

Terry
Last edited by terrybritton on Wed Aug 09, 2017 5:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
Computer: Dell XPS 8700-1751BLK | Intel Haswell Core i7 4790@3.6Mhz | 16GB DDR3 1600Mhz | Windows 10 Pro x64 |
MOTU 828 mk3 hybrid- USB

DAWs and Live: MOTU Digital Performer 9.1.3 | Samplitude Pro X3 Suite | Cantabile 3 Performer
Keyboard Synths: Kawai K5000s, Korg Wavestation
Controllers: NI Komplete Kontrol S-88, Akai MPK249, Behringer BCF2000; NI Maschine Jam; Peavey PC 1600x
Rack Modules: Ensoniq ESQm, Yamaha TX81Z, Lexicon LXP-5

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Re: MOTU Ultralite Mk4, glitching, dropouts and the X99 chip

Postby Blackout » Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:21 am

hi I am new to this forum but have lived on the Steinberg forum for over 10 years.

I had the Steinberg UR824 interface and "had a gutful" of it skipping and dropping out. So trashed it and invested in a MOTU 8A this week.

I have Intel X99 with Nvidia GTX950 combination. Now when I see this thread, I am scared.

The MOTU drivers are crashing and behaving...badly. I keep getting windows popups that MOTUProAudio file has crashed..press OK.

it seems I have gone from one bad experience to another? I am using USB3 I wonder if using Thunderbolt connection will make a difference. That's about my only other idea...please tell me that MOTU are working on this. Otherwise this 8A is less than a week old its going back to the store with a big raspberry ....
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Re: MOTU Ultralite Mk4, glitching, dropouts and the X99 chip

Postby mikehalloran » Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:53 am

.please tell me that MOTU are working on this

For a direct response from MOTU, best to contact them directly by registering your hardware and submitting a trouble ticket (Tech Link) at motu.com.
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Re: MOTU Ultralite Mk4, glitching, dropouts and the X99 chip

Postby terrybritton » Wed Aug 09, 2017 5:09 am

Blackout wrote:hi I am new to this forum but have lived on the Steinberg forum for over 10 years.

I had the Steinberg UR824 interface and "had a gutful" of it skipping and dropping out. So trashed it and invested in a MOTU 8A this week.

I have Intel X99 with Nvidia GTX950 combination. Now when I see this thread, I am scared.

The MOTU drivers are crashing and behaving...badly. I keep getting windows popups that MOTUProAudio file has crashed..press OK.

it seems I have gone from one bad experience to another? I am using USB3 I wonder if using Thunderbolt connection will make a difference. That's about my only other idea...please tell me that MOTU are working on this. Otherwise this 8A is less than a week old its going back to the store with a big raspberry ....


See my post above and ditch the MOTU Audio Wave driver (Not the hardware driver)
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=63375&p=544846#p544815

Terry
Computer: Dell XPS 8700-1751BLK | Intel Haswell Core i7 4790@3.6Mhz | 16GB DDR3 1600Mhz | Windows 10 Pro x64 |
MOTU 828 mk3 hybrid- USB

DAWs and Live: MOTU Digital Performer 9.1.3 | Samplitude Pro X3 Suite | Cantabile 3 Performer
Keyboard Synths: Kawai K5000s, Korg Wavestation
Controllers: NI Komplete Kontrol S-88, Akai MPK249, Behringer BCF2000; NI Maschine Jam; Peavey PC 1600x
Rack Modules: Ensoniq ESQm, Yamaha TX81Z, Lexicon LXP-5

Videos: https://www.youtube.com/terryleighbritton
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Re: MOTU Ultralite Mk4, glitching, dropouts and the X99 chip

Postby Blackout » Thu Aug 10, 2017 3:57 am

hi terry I did see your post, but I don't like the look of that thing, it looks like a toy plus I cant possibly fathom/accept that using a 3rd party driver software instead of the manufacturer one in a pro-audio setup could be a step forward towards stability...
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Re: MOTU Ultralite Mk4, glitching, dropouts and the X99 chip

Postby terrybritton » Thu Aug 10, 2017 4:39 am

Blackout wrote:hi terry I did see your post, but I don't like the look of that thing, it looks like a toy plus I cant possibly fathom/accept that using a 3rd party driver software instead of the manufacturer one in a pro-audio setup could be a step forward towards stability...

Well, that's my point - the MOTU Windows Audio drivers are hooked into the unit's internals so that whenever anything throws a sample rate change, the box is forced to change internally to that sample rate. So, I would AT LEAST disable the MOTU Audio Wave drivers and not use this box for system audio AT ALL to arrive at that stability you are looking for.

Voicemeeter is not a toy - this programmer has years of Pyramix and other DSP programming under his belt. It does sample-rate conversion on the fly, so your box is not tempted to switch sample rates internally - that's all I'm suggesting using it for. Use ASIO for your DAW, of course.

Terry
Computer: Dell XPS 8700-1751BLK | Intel Haswell Core i7 4790@3.6Mhz | 16GB DDR3 1600Mhz | Windows 10 Pro x64 |
MOTU 828 mk3 hybrid- USB

DAWs and Live: MOTU Digital Performer 9.1.3 | Samplitude Pro X3 Suite | Cantabile 3 Performer
Keyboard Synths: Kawai K5000s, Korg Wavestation
Controllers: NI Komplete Kontrol S-88, Akai MPK249, Behringer BCF2000; NI Maschine Jam; Peavey PC 1600x
Rack Modules: Ensoniq ESQm, Yamaha TX81Z, Lexicon LXP-5

Videos: https://www.youtube.com/terryleighbritton
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Re: MOTU Ultralite Mk4, glitching, dropouts and the X99 chip

Postby hansgetze » Sat Aug 12, 2017 6:14 am

Voice Meter is currently not wroking for me.
I think it's simply because I have a Nvidia Graphic Card and a lot of users remove the problem by removing it...
Since I make video effects, I'll consider changing brand unfortunately
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