Motu 828mkII Problem (A Whole Lot Of Whistling)

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by OriginalDub, Mar 9, 2005.

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  1. OriginalDub

    OriginalDub Guest

    I recently reloaded my computer and started over from scratch (spyware issues). Before the reload my Motu was working, but I always has a problem with it whistling. Although the whistling was much less frequent, maybe once every 2 or 3 minutes. I had XP as my operating system with no service packs. I had cubase installed and everything worked just fine, except for the occasional whistling which could have been fixed if I lowered my sample buffer to 128 (which I just did but still it doesn't help my current issue).

    My motu 828mkII just started whistling every other second on playbacks of any audio/music file. My OS is XP with SP2. The thing is just yesterday I was able to play music files just fine with only the occasional whistle, so SP2 doesn't seem like the issue. When I first noticed the problem it happen after I tried to install Cubase SX and a few VST plugin (which I had installed before) , then all of a sudden I couldn't play any type of sound from my PC with any program.

    I uninstalled Cubase and the plugin and had the same problem. I also uninstalled SP2 and replaced it with SP1 and the problem still occurs. I also tried some of the tweaks that Sweetwater sent me to optimize my PC for my audio interface, and that didn't work. I also called Motu support and they suggested that it was probably my firewire card (which is in pci bus) or my firewire cable. Or possibly my computer has too many cards installed (because I have a video capture card, the original soundblaster sound card, an ide hard drive controller card, a cable modem card, and then the firewire card) but that doesn't sound right because it was working fine before even with all those cards (and SP2). It seems like the PC & the motu are having a hard time full duplexing during playback.

    Anyway the strange thing is that I am able to play my keyboard or use my microphone (which are hooked up to my motu) no problem. I am even able to record them and have no problem (meaning no whistling or pauses) with the recorded material. Only when I try to play the material back thru the motu it whistles every other second, but if I play it back thru my sound blaster card the record file plays just fine. I can even play a music file with my windows media player (while it's whistling every other second) and record it with another program (I use cool edit or goldwave) and it records the music file played on the windows media player with no problem and the recording doesn't have all the stops and whistles from the playback that I hear thru windows media player (or whatever program I use to play an audio/music file with.

    So basicly I want to know what causes my motu to whistle every other second ONLY on playbacks and what can I do to fix it that I haven't already tried? I paid way too much for my equipment to not be able to use it. It's only a year old so I doubt that the equipment is broken, it's probably just a setting or a corrupted driver or something. Speaking about drivers I also uninstalled them and reinstalled and then updated the drivers from v 3.0 to 3.4 (which I downloaded from and the problem still persists.

    I will try to buy another firewire cable tomorrow and in one last ditch effort try installing my motu on an entirely different computer system. If it works, then I have to go and look about replacing the PCI Firewire card. Unless some of you wonderful folks who knows about this product/issue can help me before it has to come down to that.

    Please help!!!


    Also my PCI Firewire Card is a Texas Instruments card so compatibility shouldn't be an issue... unless it's broken.
  2. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Well-Known Member

    Feb 9, 2005
    South Florida
    Home Page:
    Could you describe the whistling?

    For a whistling type of sound I would guess that you're hearing either some sort of feedback or digital noise.

    One possible reason why you only hear it only on playback could be because you are using Direct Monitoring. With that enabled, the audio you hear during recording isn't the audio from Cubase, it's just the audio from the inputs on the 828 routed directly to the 828's outputs. So, during recording you're hearing the direct signal, but during playback, you are hearing the audio via the firewire interface. That would seem to indicate a problem with the computer/firewire card.

    Another possible cause is a bad ground. I use the 828 mkII with a laptop. I have to throw a ground lift on my laptop and my external hard drive or they introduce a high pitch whine to the audio on the 828. But for me, that would happen most of the time...not just at playback. Pick up a couple of ground lifts and put them on different equipment and see if that helps.

    Another good test would be to use the 828 as just a standalone mixer. Hook something up to it like a stereo or portable CD player and see if you get the 'whistling' then.

    If possible try a different computer or if you can get your hands on another 828 to test with try that.

    If motu says too many cards..prove them wrong. Take out all unnecessary cards and give it a test. Maybe something has fizzled out on one of them and that could be introducing noise on the firewire card.

    You might want to check on They are motu friendly and motu knowledgeable.
  3. Deusx

    Deusx Active Member

    Feb 21, 2005
    what is meant by ground lift, i am also looking forward to buy a motu 896hd interface and when i read this thread i am very confused, because if such thing happens with me after i spend my money on it , it would be a total disaster for me, because where i live i don't have any services centers who can help me if i get a problem with it. and because i would have to buy the product from abroad.

    i made a thread in the recording studio on buying a soundcard.
    man i am confused.
  4. OriginalDub

    OriginalDub Guest

    Thanx a lot pr0gr4m....

    ... I will try those fix actions. Possibly the only one I wouldn't be able do is the one with a 'try a new 828', because I don't know anyone with or where I could get a 828 to use just as a troubleshooting method. I will have to take my 828 over on of my friends house to test in on another PC.

    Although out of my 5 cards that I have install, I need/want all of them except maybe the hard drive controller (IDE card) and if the motu support guy was right I should be able to take it out because he said SP2 recognize HD over 120 GB (which is the only reason I need the hard drive controller card in there, because I have two over 120 GBs). But I will take out all except my video card just to test out that theory, and like you said make sure that wasn't the problem. I just hope I don't electroshock one of my PC components and cause more harm to my computer in efforts to fix another problem, which usually happens.

    Also the whistling sound that I hear isn't while the audio is playing. The audio will play perfectly clear and then it will pause for a second (95% of the time accompanied by a high pitched whistling sound). Next it plays perfectly (with no whistling) and then a second later it pause (whistles), and so on and so on. So I don't know if the whistling you heard from you motu before you got the ground lift is the same thing as the whistling I hear.

    I think the problem most likely is the issue with the direct monitoring because while I was installing and setting up cubase I did see something about 'direct monitoring' and the box was checked. So I guess that would narrow the cause to the firewire card or cable (which the motu tech guy said was the most likely cause and that's is what I figured would be the cause since the 828 operates just fine in all other operations besides playback).

    I also had this problem with the repeated whistling before when I set up another user profile for my PC (when my family came over to visit) and for some reason I couldn't play anything when logged on to the new user xp profile but once I logged on to my normal login profile (the one I install the motu drivers on) it worked perfectly. So that means since I reload my computer a little while ago, it could be having a similar issue with the new profile. Although I reloaded my PC about a month ago, and it was working fine before I installed cubase so i's most likely not that... although I can't rule it out while I'm troubleshooting.

    Lastly Hassan, I know what you mean. I live out here in Hawaii and, to my knowledge, there are no service center I can go to for help. So all I can do is troubleshoot myself and try to fix the problem through trail and error and/or read online forums to see if anyone has had a similar problem and what they did to fix it. But I wouldn't worry man, most people don't seem to have much problem with their motu. I have a lot of misc cards (PCI & IDE) on my PC (my buses are filled to the max now), XP, SP2, etc, etc, so my set up is a bit different than most, I think. And before this recent problem my motu 828mkII worked perfectly (except for the occasional whistle every 2 or 3 minutes which didn't affect my music production or vocal recordings much). I can't tell you to buy one, but I can say that my problems aren't the norm (at least I don't think) with the product. Although when I called motu & sweetwater I though it would be an easy fix, because I'm sure my 828 isn't the only one that producing a whistling sound, but I guess I was incorrect. I believe if your PC, or whatever computer you're going to hook this up to, has a firewire port already built in that would eliminate any problems that someone without it (such as myself) may encounter with a pci firewire card. And then, if you have XP as your OS, you can change the sample buffer from 1024 to 128. At least that's what the Sweetwater Optimize e-mail said to do if you have XP.

    And thanks once again pr0gr4m, I try those things that you said and If one of them works I will post which one and what I ended up doing to fix it. Also I read about the website in another thread on this site and I posted a duplicate of this thread on that forum around the same time yesterday. I'm going there now to check out what did said. Peace.
  5. Deusx

    Deusx Active Member

    Feb 21, 2005
    thanks for the reply OriginalDub i hope that you'll soon resolve your trouble.
  6. OriginalDub

    OriginalDub Guest

    Found new error message

    "CueMix State is not in Sync because the Audio Stream is not in Sync!"

    This was the error I had flashing (in yellow in all caps) in my Cuemix Console. Does anyone know how to find this problem? Or what causes it?
  7. Atlantis

    Atlantis Guest

    The whistling (as well as clicks, distortion, and flanging of the sound) happens because the interface loses connectivity and goes out of sync with the PC. I had the same problem when I first bought my 828mkII a year and a half ago and used the older drivers that shipped with it, and updating to the new drivers fixed it.

    However, buying a new PC at the start of this year and installing all new hardware as well as SP2 (the FireWire card is still the same however, and a Texas Instruments one at that), the problem has come back. I've contacted MOTU technical support several times, and they've concluded that it's most likely the FireWire cable that has 'broken', which makes absolutely no sense to me as it only happened upon getting new hardware. It's the MOTU drivers at fault, I'm sure, as they don't work in conjunction with the new PCI-e and other modern hardware. I'm not sure about using it in a Mac environment, but it just doesn't seem to work well in a modern PC environment at all.

    For me, the problem happens whenever the hard disk is in use, like when I try to play a music file while moving files to another directory or hard drive, there'll be a constant whistling noise as the interface loses connectivity and breaks the audio up. That's why it's almost impossible to mix tracks down as it involves having to read multiple audio files from disk, which is a really hassle.

    My solution: Sell it and buy a new interface, at least that's what I intend to do.
  8. inLoco

    inLoco Active Member

    Jul 25, 2004
    the firewire card may not be compatible!
    try sending a mail to motu techs with your firewire card! they may tell you that one has conflicts!
  9. Atlantis

    Atlantis Guest

    Not sure if this was directed at me or the original poster, but the interface used to work fine in my old PC, running the same Texas Instruments card as I do now.
  10. iernzmoney

    iernzmoney Guest

    Motu 828 whistling , with audio stuttering and pausing

    Motu 828 whistling , with audio stuttering and pausing

    :shock: I read pretty much everyones view on what it might be, but im think its something to do with windows missing files, its currupt somewhere, because Im experiencing the same problems with the whistling and pausing every few seconds when ever im playing an Audio file.

    Im running a Dual OS (operating System ) on my computer with two removable 80 gig drives with WinXP installed , well I tried a new fire wire cable, DID NOT FIX THE Problem, I tried uninstalling motu sofware / drivers, and even downloading new Codec Audio drivers, nothing worked , then I rebooted my computer and selected my second OS in the dual boot up . i played an audio file and it worked fine , it worked perfect . But I still would like to solve my first problem which leaves me to believe , that my OS on the first partition is corrupt in the system somewhere.

    Can someone please help.
  11. jbullwns

    jbullwns Guest


    Look if your firewire connection is firewalled. Wenn its firewalled, turn it off and you might loose the problem. It worked for me.
  12. sheld

    sheld Guest

    Hello "I havent had time to read through all these post so ignore if this has already been suggested"

    I too have had a similar problem a while back with my motu 828mk2 The first thing i did was contact motu,

    The problem was the thing needed recalibrating, they talked me through this on the telephone,it took about five minutes and everything has been fine ever since.

    I suggest you look through your manual and see if there is instructions
    on how to recalibrate, if you have no look ill see if i can remember how to do this, it was quite easy at the time.

    Good Luck
  13. sheld

    sheld Guest

    Ive just realized how old this thread is :oops:
  14. LiquidEyes

    LiquidEyes Guest

    I'm getting a similar problem

    (oops -- duplicate posting) :oops:
  15. LiquidEyes

    LiquidEyes Guest

    I'm getting a similar problem

    Hi there

    I'm getting a similar problem. I've had a 828mk2 for over a year now, and it's worked absolutely perfectly until I connected it to a different PC (with an almost identical spec).

    Now I get sporadic bursts of white noise over the ADAT inputs. This only seems to happen when I set my sample rate to 44.1 kHz -- the problem goes away if I change to 48 kHz instead, but that's not good enough I'm afraid! The noise occurs at random, but typically every few minutes.

    And since I bought a second 828mk2, I'm having even greater problems. As soon as I connect and power up the second unit, my audio performance is absolutely crippled. Intuitively you might think this was a bandwidth problem but I suspect it is something subtler, like synchronisation between the two units.

    The CueMix Console slows to a crawl with the second unit connected: the user interface is very unresponsive, the menus take ages to appear, and so on. I also get a message flashing up every now again in the top part of the window, which says something about "NOT IN SYNC" -- but the message disappears too quickly for me to read it properly! As soon as I switch off the second unit, CueMix Console goes back to normal -- nice and responsive.

    Audio playback is useless with the second unit switched on (even with basic applications like GoldWave or Windows Media Player which are only playing through the main outputs). The audio is stuttered and has intermittent high-pitched noises (sounds like a buffering problem to me). Again, if I power off the second unit, the stuttering stops.

    Here are some notes I've made on the problem...

    system info:
    * firmware v1.01
    * driver version

    * "Enable full Wave support for legacy (MME) software" -- disabled
    * "Enable Multi Channel Wave Synchronization" -- enabled

    alternative settings I have tried:
    * sampling rate makes no difference (have tried 44.1, 48k)
    * clock source makes no difference (have tried changing between internal #1, internal #2, or from SPDIF input)
    * have tried disabling the extra ADAT inputs/outputs
    * latency seems to make no difference either (have tried various settings from 128 samples per buffer up to 2048)

    I'll let you know if I have any luck. All suggestions appreciated! :)
  16. Kreal

    Kreal Guest

    I got the same problem with 2 Motu 828mk2 after installing brandly new drivers! Everything word by word! Downgrading to old drivers - and everything ok. But latency make difference for me - i cant sync two motu with 512 samples per buffer or lower, only 1024!
    Cubase completely freeze when i try 512 buffer or lower... My system is Athlon64 3400+/Asus K8N (NForce 250)/Texas Instrument Adaptec 3 port FW controller.
  17. GentleG

    GentleG Guest

    ok, this is a shot in the dark,
    but here is what presonus has to say about xpsp2 and their firepod:

    Q: I am running Windows XP SP2 and can install the drivers for the FIREPOD with no problem, but the sync light stays red.
    A: This is due to a problem in XP SP2 that can be fixed with a patch released from Microsoft at this site: Follow the instructions on the above site to install the patch. When you reboot after installing this patch, your FIREPOD should sync up right away, showing a blue sync light.
  18. Kreal

    Kreal Guest

    Thanks a lot! I will try this patch. Its related to some problem in SP2 with FW controllers limit bandwitch to 100mbits instead of 400mbits.
  19. LiquidEyes

    LiquidEyes Guest

    GentleG -- I've already tried several hotfixes, including that one. Cheers for the suggestion though.

    Well, MOTU tech support insisted the problem was most likely to be

    1. a service pack 2 issue, or
    2. a problem with non-Texas Instrument Firewire chipsets.

    They flat refused to give me any more assistance until I eliminated these possibilities. Unfortunately getting rid of SP2 is non-trivial -- i.e. you have to rebuild your entire machine!!! (-- unless you originally had SP1 and then you installed SP2 over the top).

    Nevertheless, having run out of things to try, I reluctantly reinstalled Windows from a SP1 disc instead of SP2. (I spent nearly a week setting up that damn PC, configuring Windows, my network, installing all my music software, office software, utilities, security stuff, latest drivers, printers, Windows updates and latest software patches!! Grrrrr!)

    As you can imagine I wanted to scream when I plugged in my two MOTU cards ... and still got the playback glitches. EXACTLY the same as before.

    Again reluctantly, I bought a Texas Instrument FireWire card to replace the existing two I had already tried (one Lucent chipset, one VIA). Despite the NEC chipset being the only one they officially declare to be problematic, MOTU wouldn't make any more suggestions until I tried a TI card. Do you know how hard it is to find a TI card? I spent about 4 hours on the internet trying to find one, and phoning up all the FW card manufacturers since many of them don't declare the chipset on their websites.

    Eventually found one -- it was a bit steep at £40, since it has SATA and USB on it as well, but I didn't have a lot of choice. Installed the card...

    Still doesn't work. Exactly the same problem. AARRRGHHH!!!

    So now the ball's in their court. MOTU say they'll get back to me but that was almost a week ago.


    I read a post by a guy called Kreal! As per your suggestion, I tried going back to some older drivers (v3.3.2). What do you know ... now it's MUCH better behaved (no thanks to MOTU). I hardly get any glitches. I do still get the occasional glitch -- where the audio playback cuts out and I get a whistle for half a second or so -- but nowhere near as often as before. Maybe every 20 mins or something? More irritatingly, I also get sporadic system hangs, which only seem to happen when playing audio.

    So it looks like their drivers are a bit dodgy. Unfortunately the problems I'm getting now are much more sporadic, so I fear it's going to be much harder to pin down.
  20. LiquidEyes

    LiquidEyes Guest

    Kreal -- do you mind listing your exact system configuration please?

    I'm keen to find out if we have any hardware/software/drivers in common that might be the thing that's conflicting with the latest version of the MOTU drivers.

    Are you running any of the following:

    * MSN Messenger
    * ZoneAlarm

    * ATI graphics
    * AOpen CDR/DVD combo drive

    PCI cards
    * wireless network card
    * USB 2.0 card

    * external USB hubs
    * Edirol MIDI interface

    ...or anything else that might be causing the problem?

    MOTU are very insistent that their drivers are reliable (well they would say that!) and that very few of their users have problems like ours -- they say it's likely to be a conflict between the MOTU and something else. I really need to get to the bottom of this! I'm presently going through the tedious process of disabling each bit of hard/software in turn to see if the audio glitches and system crashes go away...
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    The New AT5047 Premier Studio Microphone Purity Transformed

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