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EricWatkins
06-23-2008, 06:51 PM
Hi, I've been fighting with a new DAW and plenty of other new equipment for the past few months and though the situation keeps getting better, I keep running into studio- growthitis. The latest is my MOTU 2408. I've had it hooked up and running great for a week or so now. No problems really at all until yesterday. As I was playing some itunes, I noticed that my right monitor was quite a bit louder than the left. So I then started experimenting with all the possible audio programs such as Cubase SX3 and WMP and QT. They all seemed to suffer this. So then I start trying my hardware which is all conected to a DM-4800 and then bussed by TDIF to the MOTU. Still the right monitor was way louder. So then I unplugged everything and plugged a hardware synth straight into the monitors (Alesis M1 actives). The synth sounded fine and had equal panning. So, then I have to consider the crossover in my Sub which is a M-Audio BX10. So I plug the synth through the sub and everything is still good. After all of this, I notice that the volume on my 2408 is all the way down. I had been using the main stereo out on the back of the unit. I should also point out that the headphone output seemed fine throughout all this testing. So anyway, I start inching up the volume on the 2408 with everything rewired like it was originally with the main stereo out feeding the sub and it feeding the M1s. As I upped the volume, the stereo field started to balance out. When I turned it all the way down, my right speaker is still cruising along without the left. Now the left speaker does get louder with the increase in volume but it just never goes all the way down. So after trying the onboard software for a bad setting or something, I came up dry. Cant find anything. So then I tried plugging into the analog outputs 1 and 2 instead of the main outs. Instantly the signal was balanced and way more hot. WAY more hot. I usually kept my M1s cranked and just backed off the input from a mixer or something. Now I dont have that so I had to push my m1s back to "2". On top of that, my sub is still making it into the sound field with the gain all the way down. I guess this is a testament to how hot the signal is leaving the analog 1 and 2 outs. So I'm wondering if anyone with a 2408 on PC has any suggestions for me. The main outs just have this stereo problem and I'm wondering if it's a bad pot or something from the volume knob itself. The 2408 is brand new and I would bug Sweetwater about it but I have been at work all day and am just getting around to mesing with this stuff at almost 9 pm. Any help would be much appreciated.

johng
06-23-2008, 07:37 PM
There are two sets of "main" outs on the back of the MOTU 2408mk3. One is affected by the volume knob, the other is not. Perhaps you have inadvertently got one of your cables plugged in one set of outs, and another cable in the other set, so that one side is affected by the volume pot but not the other.

You may even have two "lefts" or two "rights," but the main thing is, this double-outs thing may be your problem.

Baggins
06-23-2008, 08:13 PM
I've had this same balance problem on two different 2408's. Here are two known solutions:

1. Check out the Black Lion retrofits.
http://www.blacklionaudio.com/motu_firewire_mod.html

Much is said on the integrity and quality of the analog circuitry in the MOTU units-- at least the ones made before 2007. Issues and opinions abound from the MOTU-faithful, but those who have gotten the modifications done are virtually unanimous on the improvements.

2. Consider a different/better interface, which is my approach. I'm keeping my 2408mk3 for digital pass-thru and will add one or both of the Apogee 16x boxes-- or the UA 2192 as standalone ADDAs.

Few things are more annoying than listening to a playback and having the stereo image start to drift off-center.

Nick Batzdorf
06-23-2008, 08:15 PM
The other thing is to understand the CueMix Console software. Its top row knobs control the input levels going into the onboard mixer AND the computer, and the faders below that control the onboard monitor mixer. If you have a signal going through both, that could do bad things.

You could have it adjusted wrong.

Nick Batzdorf
06-23-2008, 08:16 PM
I use a PCI-424 card with two 2408s for digital inputs from slaves (as part of an aggregate device with other interfaces for analog I/O), and they work perfectly. But that's on Mac; I did have some problems a few years ago when I tried the PCI-424 on a Windows machine.

EricWatkins
06-24-2008, 03:27 AM
Thanks for the responses everyone. I'm heading off to work in a few but I'l look more into this tonight.

Eric

A.Leung
06-24-2008, 03:37 AM
understanding "cue Mix" software is paramount in getting the most out of your 2408's.
NOT the easiest software to get as the literature can be a bit daunting.

Nanto Warrior
06-24-2008, 12:12 PM
Out of interest, does the MOTU 2408 MK II (NOT MK III) have XLR preamp inputs on the unit? A friend is selling me this model.

A.Leung
06-24-2008, 12:20 PM
it does not

EricWatkins
06-24-2008, 05:44 PM
Thanks everyone for all the input. I've got to tell you, I'm getting SO fxxxing pissed off at the frustration of equipment lately I just want to fxxxing scream!!! I decide to go from a Dell DImension with an Maudio 1010lt card which, despite it's obvious short comings, was rock solid within it's limitations. Then I go get a new Quad made just for audio and a digital mixing console. Nothing but problem after problem after bug after problem. Nothing ever working as advertised by companies. This MOTU was actually a very expensive fix for the short comings of Tascam's windows drivers. Instead of using the firewire interface of the Tascam board which is supposed to give me 32 channels in and out of the PC and doesnt work for shxt, I put the 2408 between the two for a 24 channel bridge of TDIF. That works just fine but now I cant even monitor my audio because the analog circuitry in the 2408 is fxxxed. To continue last night's story, today I fired everything up again (after an 11 hour work day). Same problem. So I turn my monitors way down and crank the volume on the main volume knob. Suddenly the stereo field shifts hard to the other side. So then I plug into the headphones and put on a set of cans. Sounds all distorted and raspy. I jiggle the jack lightly and hear pop, crackle fizz. I repeat this with another set of cans. Same thing. I cant begin to tell you how much time I have lost dealing with this kind of shxt! I'm supposed to be getting creative and this is just killing me. I dont think I've ever suggested a bad word ever previously in hundreds of posts and I apologize for the implied profanity but right now I'd like to have reps from MOTU and Tascam both right here so I could slap the dog piss out of em.

As far as suggestions on the Tascam DM-4800, dont even bother. I went through 2 months of forum help, tech support (non existent), and Guy from Sonica Labs even replaced my original Hush system because we thought it might have something to do with the configuration. Not a Gigabyte board or Intel board with or without an external fw card with the suggested TI chips will work with DM.

What a royal PITA. I'm really discouraged more than ever. To make things worse, I have invested a lot of money to expand my studio and I couldnt take a clients money for anything right now. The best I could do is take the dongle from my Quad and stick it in my Dell again (which is now a slave) and do what I can with it. Otherwise I could put the Maudio in the Quad but that's no good for routing all my hardware, just to play in-the-box. What a damn joke.

Anyway, I'll put in the call to sweetwater and figure out if I want to risk another 2408 or not. I really want to keep the console for tracking and mixing so the 24 channels of TDIF on the 2408 are perfect. To do the same with ADAT and like an RME, I'd have to buy an additional ADAT card for the mixer which has already caused me serious pain. Sorry for the long post but I honestly think I'm just venting now. If anyone has any suggestions for any other configuration, I'm all ears. I should also mention that the MOTU was a nice idea because it can stay in my PC rack and leave with me to record on location with it's analog ins.

Thanks for listening to a raging idot.

Eric

A.Leung
06-24-2008, 05:58 PM
Wow - eric, I' really feel for you. I've used MOTU in so many different set-ups and studios and have never had problems like what your experiencing. THey tend to me a littel more MAC friendly yes but it should NOT be giving you the grief its dishing out. Did you try PM'ing LEX. I think he's got 4 working with a PC set-up. We've got 4 here on one MAc system and 2 others in another room. All MAc based systems but connected to PC slaves.

EricWatkins
06-24-2008, 06:11 PM
Thanks Allan. Seems I just got a bad one as I can see that it's an analog issue. I mean, the headphone jack is doing one of those things where you here the music sort-of and then you jiggle the jack and bam, it's there, oh but now it's gone and so on and so forth. I'm going to get a sore back from pulling the Sonica Hush out of the rack so many damn times. Lol. Well, now I'll further test the customer service of Sweetwater. This is exactly why I wanted to buy from a company that prides themselves on that platform. I'm sure I'll be sending it back as soon as work lets up enough to allow me the hour it's going to take during the day.

Only scary thing is what Baggins is saying. It seems that there are many that have had some trouble with them on the analog side. I'll fill you in on whatever happens. Thanks.

Eric

A.Leung
06-24-2008, 07:54 PM
I'm sorry I didnt see your post a long time ago. My first suggestion would have been to return it immediatley, Do you know anyone that could swap one out for you for a day so you can test i t maybe? Other options I do sometimes is (well -I'm lucky and live in Hollywood/LA so its more convienent) but what I'll do is call an audio rentals place and rent gear for a while to get the hang of it or to see if theres any compatibility issues. I've rented DA-88's and ADATS when those were popular to see how I got along with them. I think ARS rents stuff in the Motu world right down from me here...

johng
06-24-2008, 08:01 PM
Only scary thing is what Baggins is saying. It seems that there are many that have had some trouble with them on the analog side. I'll fill you in on whatever happens. Thanks.

Eric

I think Baggins is exaggerating the incidence of problems, at least as far as the MOTU 2408mk3. I have six of them and have not had a single problem, and I use them all the time.

Moreover, judging by the absence of complaints on the motu-mac board about these units, I would say they are extremely reliable. Most manufacturers' boards are full of complaints and I've seen zero about these units.

A.Leung
06-24-2008, 08:20 PM
Yes i'd say exaggerated as well. Its difficult. When it happens to YOU its like it happens all the time. And just because it happens ONLY to you - it aint any easier and it aint very comforting.

A.Leung
06-24-2008, 08:26 PM
Wow- my typing i s getting worse and worse. And I want to explain why. I REFUSED to pay lots of money to these overlay key manufacturers so I made my own. I am trying to tech my self all new key commands in Logic Pro so I never have to touch the damn mouse! So I MADE my o wn stickers but it COVERS teh QWERTY letters and numbers.. so Im kind of lost now with typing. sorry... (youll see lots of 'M's that should be "Bs" and vis-versa...) Soon -Ill be talking like this but since so amny of you are geniouses youll still get what Im saying.


olny a gneius cuold raed tihs frist tmie.

OneThrow
06-25-2008, 12:40 AM
olny a gneius cuold raed tihs frist tmie.

That leaves me out then. And I thought you always wrote like that.:D (I know tired old joke.)

EricWatkins
06-25-2008, 03:56 AM
Wow- my typing i s getting worse and worse. And I want to explain why. I REFUSED to pay lots of money to these overlay key manufacturers so I made my own. I am trying to tech my self all new key commands in Logic Pro so I never have to touch the damn mouse! So I MADE my o wn stickers but it COVERS teh QWERTY letters and numbers.. so Im kind of lost now with typing. sorry... (youll see lots of 'M's that should be "Bs" and vis-versa...) Soon -Ill be talking like this but since so amny of you are geniouses youll still get what Im saying.


olny a gneius cuold raed tihs frist tmie.


This is funny. Lol. Thanks again for all the suggestions. I'll call Sweetwater today and arrange for a new unit. I really want for the 2408 to be the one for me. It just has the feature set that makes the most sense by a long shot. and I'd really like to add more MOTU i/o in the future for mobile recording. Hopefully Sweetwater will be as good to work with as Sonica who I should have mentioned, had been a saint throughout all the problems I've had.

Eric

Nanto Warrior
06-25-2008, 04:41 AM
Wow.....MOTU a nightmare for PC eh? Here I was thinking about 'investing' in the MOTU 8 pre. (Which by the way should depreciate before I spend a DIME!)

Spinning poo machine
06-25-2008, 03:08 PM
Wow- my typing i s getting worse and worse. And I want to explain why. I REFUSED to pay lots of money to these overlay key manufacturers so I made my own. I am trying to tech my self all new key commands in Logic Pro so I never have to touch the damn mouse! So I MADE my o wn stickers but it COVERS teh QWERTY letters and numbers.. so Im kind of lost now with typing. sorry... (youll see lots of 'M's that should be "Bs" and vis-versa...) Soon -Ill be talking like this but since so amny of you are geniouses youll still get what Im saying.


Lol...

Baggins
06-25-2008, 06:33 PM
I think Baggins is exaggerating the incidence of problems, at least as far as the MOTU 2408mk3. I have six of them and have not had a single problem, and I use them all the time.

Moreover, judging by the absence of complaints on the motu-mac board about these units, I would say they are extremely reliable. Most manufacturers' boards are full of complaints and I've seen zero about these units.

Yes i'd say exaggerated as well. Its difficult. When it happens to YOU its like it happens all the time. And just because it happens ONLY to you - it aint any easier and it aint very comforting.

In order to diffuse what appear to be assumptions, I want to clarify that I made no assertions about the proportions of incidences or specific quantities of them. All I said was that issues and opinions from the MOTU-faithful abound, which is *not* at all to say that all opinions are negative. In fact, among the opinions that abound are positive ones as well.

It's not until one actually encounters a problem that any investigating into those problems would be necessary. If one does not have the problem there is little or no reason to investigate the issue at all. What good does it do to go to a doctor only to have the doctor tell you that he/she has never had the same ailment that prompted you to seek their help?

I've been around with this with MOTU, had new units and cards checked out, recalibrated my system, and the solution is to either do the Black Lion modification or to get a new unit, whether that's another 2408 or an interface from a different manufacturer.

That Eric's issue was familiar doesn't imply that it's widespread by any means. At least he now knows his experience is not unique... and neither is mine.

Please, let's not take things out of context.

EricWatkins
06-26-2008, 03:59 AM
Thanks Baggins. I understand where you're coming from and I think everyone is trying to just give thier own experience. I talked to my Sweetwater rep and I've got a new unit on the way. I dont even have to ship the old one back until the new one gets here. How "Sweet" is that? I just hope the next experience with the MOTU is a good one. When I bought it, I was thinking, "Wow, now I'm in the big leagues of soundcards". Haha, maybe almost. I'm sure the next one will probably be fine and if not, I'll probably have the mod done. The features are just too good on this unit. Thanks again everyone.

Eric

Baggins
06-26-2008, 04:23 AM
Hey Eric:

That's great news. Congrats. The Sweetwater guys are fantastic!

I just hope there were no misunderstandings here and that you get what you need. Gear can typically go funny and I'm glad that yours was new enough that it could be replaced. I've had my new ones for almost a year to attempt an exchange, so my remedy will be necessarily different. I'll keep at least one just for the connectivity conveniences, but I really need another DA option.

Anyway, sounds like you're going to be all set pretty soon. Best of luck!

johng
06-26-2008, 07:32 AM
In order to diffuse what appear to be assumptions, I want to clarify that I made no assertions about the proportions of incidences or specific quantities of them....

Please, let's not take things out of context.

I'm afraid it is you who made assumptions and assertions that were overly general, not me or Alan. Here is what you said:

"Much is said on the integrity and quality of the analog circuitry in the MOTU units."

This clearly implies that (a) there is a widely-discussed problem with the analogue portion of MOTU hardware -- an assertion I have never seen except for your post -- and (b) that the "problem" is common, or common knowledge, since you didn't qualify what you said.

I appreciate your acknowledging in this later post that your individual problem -- which you still haven't identified but which appears to be DA conversion -- is not necessarily widespread, but implying, as your original post did, that MOTU has some common problem is both inaccurate and misleading to others on this forum who may be new.

If your issue is D/A conversion, ok -- the 2408mk3 is a $700 box with more than a dozen converters. Of course its converters will not compete with Lavry or Apogee or Meitner, which cost between $1,700 and more than $10k for a single stereo pair of A/D and D/A conversion. And Black Mountain basically upgrades the converters and makes other mods for a smart price -- no problem (though most discussion about converters is mighty subjective in general).

However, on a forum like this, with a mix of experienced and inexperience people, it is very important to describe issues with reputable manufacturers' gear in a careful way. Millions of people have listened to music made using MOTU hardware -- it works -- and what I object to is an implication of a widespread "problem" that appears to be simply a hankering for a better set of converters.

I like Lavry, for what it's worth.

Baggins
06-26-2008, 05:52 PM
I'm afraid it is you who made assumptions and assertions that were overly general, not me or Alan. Here is what you said:

"Much is said on the integrity and quality of the analog circuitry in the MOTU units."

This clearly implies that (a) there is a widely-discussed problem with the analogue portion of MOTU hardware -- an assertion I have never seen except for your post --

Please understand that the word "much" does not explicitly or exclusively mean "negative". Opinions indeed abound, and your opinion is no exception. That doesn't mean that your opinion or your experience are at all negative. The problem was Eric's and was one that I had and others have experienced.

Perhaps I should have mentioned more about the problems of others as well as my own, but it was Eric's thread and my intent was to reassure him that his problem was not unique.


and (b) that the "problem" is common, or common knowledge, since you didn't qualify what you said.

Once again, if one hasn't had a particular problem, it's less likely that they'd be aware of what those problems were or what the solutions to remedy those problems might be. I really mean no harm here. Honestly, I don't. But it reminds me sometimes of when the media reports the flu as being epidemic in proportions and yet I encounter no one suffering from it. Sorry for the awkward analogy, but I hope you see where I'm going with this.

If you ever run into any discussions about the Black Lion modifications done especially on MOTU units or have read some of the longish threads I've seen from users who've had them, perhaps it would be clearer. There are several extensive threads on unicornation.com that go into great detail about the issues. Less extensive were threads on bigbluelounge.com. Some of the most important technical information comes from Black Lion itself.

But while those who've had problems with their interfaces *may* only amount to a theoretical single-digit percentage of all owners of the same models, the awareness of the issue indeed seemed to be commonly known at least among those who've had reason to pursue the issue.


I appreciate your acknowledging in this later post that your individual problem -- which you still haven't identified but which appears to be DA conversion -- is not necessarily widespread, but implying, as your original post did, that MOTU has some common problem is both inaccurate and misleading to others on this forum who may be new.

My apologies if that was the interpretation. That was not the intent, and such conclusions go a little far afield of that intent. The use of the term "MOTU-faithful" was critical to placing the concerns in context rather than to suggest that the problems themselves were widespread where the *awareness* of potential problems were no secret from numerous reports I have seen or heard.


If your issue is D/A conversion, ok -- the 2408mk3 is a $700 box with more than a dozen converters. Of course its converters will not compete with Lavry or Apogee or Meitner, which cost between $1,700 and more than $10k for a single stereo pair of A/D and D/A conversion. And Black Mountain basically upgrades the converters and makes other mods for a smart price -- no problem (though most discussion about converters is mighty subjective in general).

However, on a forum like this, with a mix of experienced and inexperience people, it is very important to describe issues with reputable manufacturers' gear in a careful way. Millions of people have listened to music made using MOTU hardware -- it works -- and what I object to is an implication of a widespread "problem" that appears to be simply a hankering for a better set of converters.

I like Lavry, for what it's worth.

The focus of the thread was Eric's, and I'm glad that he has found a viable solution, but to reduce my own legit technical issues to a "hankering" of some sort was itself a mischaracterization.

Can we at least agree that we've both made assumptions and just leave it at that?

A.Leung
06-26-2008, 05:56 PM
Thanks again everyone.

Eric

Hey-i'll keep my fingers crossed for you. Let us know how it goes.