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More MOTU PCI-324/424 OS X Driver Instability Reports
Posted: 3/3/2003
Last Updated: 10/17/2003 (reports on latest driver update)

10/7/2003 Updated MOTU Drivers:
" New version of PCI-324 OS X driver is available, version 1.03. (the PCI-424 linked page also lists v1.03 dated 10/7/2003) I have not had a chance to go home and install it, so no user report from me, but definitely something people might want to know about if they are having trouble, such as myself, with kernal panics.
Says (date) 10.07.03 on the website. I check for an update about once a week, so I was pleasantly surprised to see it. No details as to what is new in this version, however.
Regards, Gary G. "

See below for initial reader reports on the 1.06 driver update. The "Firewire Software" link there also lists a 10/1/2003 dated 1.06 driver:

" Installer contains a version 1.06 driver update for the MOTU 828, 896 and 828mk2. The install for the 828mk2 also provides the MIDI Drivers, Firewire Cuemix Console, and the Firewire SMPTE Console. This version contains minor compatibility updates for OSX 10.2.7 and G5 computers.
Earlier versions of the firewire driver may cause a kernel panic under 10.2.8. The current driver fixes this problem. "

I don't own any MOTU products but if these updates help let me know for posting a report here. (Include system/card/software details in reports - thanks)

(original article header/intro follows from spring 2003)
Monday's (3/3/2003) news had a reader report on instability after installing the MOTU OS X drivers noted in Friday's (Feb. 28th, 2003) news. Several other readers with PCI-324 or PCI-424 cards wrote in reply to the post yesterday noting they also had similar problems after the driver install - however not all users reported identical problems. One reader noted he had not seen any problems so far, although most all others did note problems of some sort. (I can't reply to all the emails but posting them here and thanks to all that wrote.)

Reader Reports: (most recent first)

= 1.03 (PCI-324/424) and 1.06 (Firwire) driver reports follow =

(added 10/17/2003)
The latest Firwire drivers work great under 10.2.8, but do not work at all on the release version of Panther. I have a 828 and Digital Performer 4.1. Digital Performer seems to work ok, but the firewire drivers cut in and out (assuming you finally get them to work).
Hopefully there will be a new round of drivers forthcoming...
Eric D. "

(added 10/17/2003)
I downloaded and installed the 1.0.3 driver in hopes that it would solve that occasional kernel panics I get with my PCI-324 (connected to a MOTU 2408 mkII). Sadly, the kernel panic have only increased.
Now when I'm playing iTunes through the MOTU interface, I get kernel panics about every 5-8 hours. With the last driver it was every few days.

The other night I lost quite a bit of work. I think the problem is only with system output (i.e. for iTunes, system sounds, and other apps) and not for programs that can be specifically configured to use the driver. For example, I've never had a kernel panic when actually recording and playing back in Digital Performer or Peak.
HTH, John "

(added 10/16/2003)
Hi Mike, unfortunately the new MOTU PCI-324 drivers (v1.0.3) don't seem to be any better than the previous version. I got 3 kernel panic within an hour while working with Logic 6.3.1. On the Logic Users Group I read that all PCI-324 users seem to have that problem.
I looks like the only way out is to buy the PCI-424 card (upgrade from MOTU for $295). The PCI-424 drivers are told to be reliable.
Best, Ray "

(added 10/15/2003)
Just installed the update and while I haven't had a chance to see if there is any improvement as far as kernel panics (I'm not hopeful considering all the other reports), I did notice that when you go to About MOTU PCI Audio Console it still says 1.01 in the version number. I don't know what to say about this except that I think it's lame. I deleted my 1.01 and tried again to make sure and the 1.03 does seem to install 1.01. Either that or they didn't update that little 'about' graphic. It's been seven months since the update and folks on other boards are psyched to at least be able to replace their pci324 with a G5-compatible pci424 for $295+shipping (which I think is too much considering the aggravation pci324 owners have been put through), but it looks like this driver update doesn't do anything to help my situation.
(he later wrote)
Just wanted to let you know that this update still causes kernel panics on my 10.2.8 MDD dual ghz tower. (PCI-324 card) I can't even run iTunes reliably."

(added 10/13/2003)
I just bought A dual 2GHZ G5 to run my with 896's. As soon as you plug in the 896 it just causes a kernel panic. v1.06 did nothing for me. I'm hoping that MOTU soon solve this incredibly irritating problem.
Dan R. "

(added 10/13/2003)
On my just received AL 15" PowerBook I installed DP4 from the CD, then installed the DP4.1 update from the MOTU download. I also installed the downloaded v1.06 Firewire driver for the 828.

However the system crashed whenever the 828 Firewire cable was connected. Since the description of what was fixed in v1.06 matched my symptoms I decided to try a reinstall.

I used sudo to delete the MOTU* files from /system/library/extensions/. There was the MOTUFireWireAudio.kext and another MOTU file, I don't remember its name but it contained PCI (presumably something for a PCI expansion board).

Then a ran again the install for the downloaded v1.06 Firewire driver, choosing the 828 option when prompted.

This fixed the crash. My 828 is now working normally when connected to the new PowerBook.

Apparently the order that I performed the DP and Firewire installs ended up with the wrong version of something being installed. I didn't experiment so I don't know if that sudo delete step I did was actually necessary. I did that because it seemed that the previous attempt at installing the Firewire driver didn't get the job done.
-ct "

(added 10/13/2003)
Tried the new PCI 324 driver 1.03 (2408 original) on a dual 800 OSX 10.2.8. and Logic 6.3.
Still the same problems with sync to external wordclock: mousefreezes and kernel panics
regards, Marc "

= older driver reports follow =
Here's the first reader feedack on the 3/24/2003 driver update.

" I just had my first crash less than 24hrs after installing the v.1.0.1 of the motu pci-324 drivers. I have a dp867 running 10.2.4 and my card is a MOTU 2408. I did a bit of recording last night and everything seemed okay. Then today while doing nothing but IE and chat my mouse froze up. This didn't look like the kernel panics i was having constantly with version 1.0, it seemed this time like i lost power to the usb kbd and mouse. i wasn't actually doing anything in IE, just mousing between two windows and noticed that my mouse had stopped respongind. Unplugging and replugging the kbd and mouse didn't help.

I had no such stability problems since removing the version 1.0 drivers so i'm doubtful that this is a coincidence.
(he later wrote)
Just had my second freeze-up after only a few hours, this time while chatting in AOL Instant Messenger. The sound card starting making random high pitched noises and the cursor started blinking rapidly in the chat window and again I lost power to the kbd and mouse. "

I had hoped that the update would will help readers that noted some instability/problems with their original drivers from Feb. 28th. For those that reported problems in the past, if this update helps let me know. (Include system/card/software details in reports - thanks)

Note - reports below were with the first driver release of Feb. 28th

(added 3/6/2002)
" Re: MOTU OS X driver:
I have had mixed results with this driver. Installed it on Dual 800 G4 with 424 card. It immediately fixed one of my most annoying problems with the system - I have two 2408 Mk3 and am running four DA-88 machines through them for 32 track digital transfers. Had serious problems getting them to lock up under OS 9 - always got huge distortion on the 2nd 2408 for a few seconds, then they managed to find the word clock and lock up, but by then the transfer was ruined. Same thing with every new recording. Now they only do this once at the beginning of the session, but from then on they behave themselves, stay locked on the DA-88 word clock and transfer all the digital information no problem.

However, I have had problems getting them to work with Logic 5.5. Logic crashes frequently when it tries to use the MOTU 424 drivers. When I do get Logic to even start (about once in every 5 tries) the slightest change will crash it - changing sample rate, selecting a different driver, etc. I got some audio through to Logic for a while, even though Logic wanted to use a 44.1 sample rate instead of the 48 that was on tape - however, later on the audio stopped showing up at on Logic's meters.

I realize this is a very complicated situation, and that the 424 card, 2408 Mk3 and OSX drivers are all quite new, so I am hoping that either I am making some simple mistake in setup, or else MOTU will fix the driver soon. When I uninstall the MOTU driver Logic acts normally again. . .
Best of luck to all of us
Blair F.
Douglas College Music "

(added 3/5/2002)
" PCI-424 card, OS X 10.2.4, 1.25 ghz dp mdd mac. No problems here.
BTW, the "strange screen" your reader described is a kernel panic. (Yes, Jag's KP screen is different from the dump/register text, etc. screen seen in 10.1.x-Mike)
I've seen these sometimes on my powerbook when using "PocketMac" software to connect a pocketpc to the mac. After one, my hard disk became corrupted, so I would recommend that users use a disk utility afterwards to verify the disk.
Jim W. "

(added 3/5/2002)
" Ok - Is it just me -or- Are MOTU users some of the biggest whiny bitches ?
Granted, my rig is just fine:
Quicksilver 867MHZ, 1G ram, OS 10.2.4, MOTU 2408mkII + EMI 2|6 USB. Works FLAWLESSLY w/ Peak 3.2.1 & Live 1.5.2 & Deck 3.5.1 GRANTED -> I haven't clocked ANYTHING to digital yet, all my work has been in the analogue domain.
The only common link(s) I find amonst the whinerati:
1) DP machines
2) Spark app
3) Clocking digital source.

(And with #3 in mind, are they clocking correctly ?)
So - Do they understand the merits of clocking all digital audio devices from a common clock source ? (and distributed cleanly, rather than daisy chain one to the next to the next ?)
Do they understand that you always need clock to the interface doing the recording ? After recording, clock isn't so important (internal or otherwise as long as EVERYTHING DIGITAL IS CLOCKED TO SAME SOURCE)
Maybe NO ?!
Maybe I'm lucky ?!
Keep up the incredible good work - I visit 8-20 times daily. Cheers
John D'Agostini
(he later wrote)
Awww, maybe I'm just being too harsh. I'm just tickled MOTU FINALLY released drivers.
Cause, OS X is SO NEW, right ?! "

Glad you didn't see any problems yet. Many people are seeing _kernel panics_, etc. with the drivers and they have a right to complain (and warn others) about it. That's not whining when adding a driver causes it (too many reports on this for it to be a fluke I think.)
If you depend on your mac, this sort of thing isn't going to make people say 'thank you sir may I have another' ;-) But hopefully it will be addressed in a future update. (How many first releases of anything are totally problem-free - very very few.)

(added 3/5/2002)
" Well 2 hours arfter I emailed you saying the only problems I have had with the PCI324 drivers were with SX I got the grey screen with the FFF-FFF-FFF- nonsense! (Jaguar's version of the Kernel Panic screen) scary!
Cheers Matthew F. "

(added 3/5/2002)
" i have 2408 mkI and the 324 pci card and have no problems. I am using it with logic audio platinum 5.5 and reason 2.0 is os 10.2.4. I have 15.gig of ram in a dual 800 with geforce4 ti. I am only using the 2408's blanced outs as of now. I haven't used any of the inputs. And i am running it at 48khz. I am still using built-in audio for everything else because i like the keyboard volume controls.
hope this helps
jesse "

(added 3/4/2003)
" I own a 466G4 with OS 10.2.4 1.25G Ram and a MOTU 2408 with PCI 324 card. I installed the drivers and initially had some issues. I crashed the Audio Midi settings utility while changing the PCI card settings. I have not seen the strange screen crash that was reported today (Matt's report in Monday's news -Mike).
The driver works but only shows two channels to the OS. However, my only multi channel audio program currently OSX compatible (Reason 2.0) sees all the outputs and can send audio to all 8 channels. This is a serious "Version 1.0" driver. I too have had no response from MOTU's tech support.
Jules R. "

(added 3/4/2003)
" I have a Motu 2408mII which uses the PCI324 card I am running a G4/933 with 768mb of ram and I am using OSX 10.2.4. I have not had any problems with the 324 with apps such as itunes or Reason2 or Abelton live 1.5 but Cubase SX is where big problems start.
If you activate more outputs in SX the signal will be duplicated on the next buss and the 1st buss will be a crackiling noise but the signal that was duplicated onto the next buss will be fine.
I have tried every configuration possible but to no avail.

From what I have heard on Cubase.net the PCI424 is working fine but alas not the 324 which kinda sucks as Motu will not sell PCI424 cards seperately to 324 users.
This driver issue makes me wonder if Motu have done this deliberately in order to sell more PCI424 systems! (Note that PCI-424 owners also noted some problems however.-Mike)
Cheers Matthew F.
(he later wrote)
Well 2 hours arfter I emailed you saying the only problems I have had with the PCI324 drivers were with SX I got the grey screen with the FFF-FFF-FFF- nonsense! (Jaguar's version of the Kernel Panic screen) scary!
Cheers Matthew F. "

(added 3/4/2003)
" I've got a 2408 with the PCI-324 card. I installed the drivers a couple of hours after they came out. No problems at all. I don't do any gaming at all, but I've run several hours of Unity and iTunes through the thing without a glitch.
I'm running 10.2.4 on a DP-800 with 1.5 gig ram.
Michael C. "

(added 3/4/2003)
" Hi Mike,
Unfortunately after trying the new PCI-324 drivers I've had my first ever system freezes in OSX.
I'm running a MDD dual-867 with OS 10.2.4 and a 1224 & 2408mkII.

I also could see no way to set the monitor output, and there's no Cue Mix console for PCI-324.

Pretty disappointing, I've been looking forward to these drivers for a long time, but I had to uninstall them.
Hopefully MOTU will address the freezing/kernel panic issues right away. Fortunately they usually are pretty good about fixing bugs...
Sal "

(added 3/4/2003)
" Yep, exactly the same problems with my motu 324/2408 mk2 system. Running OS X 10.2 , massive crashing & Kernal Panics using Imovie2, & cracking & fuzz when using Cubase SX.
Ru Cook, U.K
(I asked if he was running 10.2.0 or a later version)
..it's actually 10.2.0 ...MOTU don't specify that you need a newer update... & that's part of the trouble with these things..if MOTU were to say.."right then, everyone has to run 10.2.4, we would all know where we stood'..as it is they say 10.2 upwards on their site....ah well, the joys of being at the cutting edge eh?
warm regards
ruxx "

I only ask for specific OS X version info since it's good to note (as later OS X updates have revised drivers, etc.)

(added 3/4/2003)
" I too have had the same experience with MOTU's PCI-324 driver for os x. I have the dual 1 gig MDD G4 also with 768 ram and 10.2.4. After installing the PCI-324 software I was listening to itunes through the driver (connected to the 2048) and during a track change I got the same crash where the screen grayed out with a kernel panic. I have not been able to repeat the problem since but the driver is clearly not stable enough for professional use, which in this field is unacceptable. However under os 9 the driver performs fine.
Thanks, Adrian C. "

(added 3/4/2003)
" I can add to Matt's comments (from Monday's news) about the MOTU card drivers for OS X. I'm using the driver with a PCI-324 card and a MOTU 2408 (MkII). Often, if I have the driver's control panel open as well as Apple's AUDIO/MIDI set-up, the latter will crash when changes are made to the former. Unfortunately, the drivers do not seem to work properly either (when not crashing). The routing functions do not work properly in the control panel. In Logic Platinum, I can't get any inputs to work (although the output routing seems to work).

I'm assuming that this driver should enable the system (AUDIO MIDI setup) to access the inputs and outputs of the PCI-324 card (and the 2408), just like the Apple hardware. However, while the PCI-324 card show up as an option in Apple's AUDIO/MIDI setup (you can see that the sound input and output list includes all the inputs and outputs that you enable in the driver's control panel), no changes can be made with regard to volume, output, or routing. Although these settings are present, they are all grayed out.

I've had several system wide crashes while using the driver, but never predictably (none of which gave me the dialogue box that Matt refers to. Just a total freeze, including mouse. A first for me in system X.)

I have managed to get system sound (iTunes, etc.) out to the card and the 2408, but not in a predictable way (sometimes it shifts outputs). But I have to cut MOTU a little slack, this is a complicated system. Unlike in system 9, where the drivers accessed the hardware independently of the system, in OS X, they have to all work together, within a system they weren't designed for in the first place. MOTU is usually a good company, I'm sure they'll figure it out.
G4 533, 384 MB, OS 10.2.4. Logic Platinum 5.5.0 "

(added 3/4/2003)
" Now here's a MOTU OSX driver report:
After much anticipation, Motu delivered on time but to no avail. Problems with the driver caused us a whole day lost in the studio. We've got a PCI-324 with a 1224 & 2408 mk2 attached. The Mac is a G4 733 60gig 768mb. We had OSX 10.2.3 running on an additional 10gig IDE drive installed. At first we were running Reason with Cubase SX via Rewire just using built stereo outs - no problem. Then after installing the drivers, switched everything over to the MOTU on bus 1, loaded the same Cubase project, pressed play and we had nothing but high pitched crackle coming from the speakers. Switched on further busses to find the same crackle leaking out of bus 2 and that we'd lost 2 outputs altogether from the 1224 - Not even an option to select it in the Motu control panel! Tried to Rewire Reason into it and no change, even though there should have been more volume coming out. Very annoying.

We were able though to get clean audio out of the MOTU on all busses from Reason on it's own and straight from the Mac OS. Then things became pretty unstable. We tried the Rewire thing again only to find that Reason just would not load at all as a slave, saying that we should reinstall the program correctly (worked on it's own still tho). So then we finally gave up and ran MOTU's uninstaller which said it couldn't remove all the files. Then, no joy at all, even with the System set back to default outputs (without PCI-324) Cubase would not work with Reason (or on it's own for that matter). In the end we had to do a complete clean install of OSX and reinstall both Cubase SX and Reason agin to get us back where we started! This is obviously a matter between MOTU and Steinberg, but hopefully this will warn others of the grief these drivers will cause them. For now we will just have to live without our 18 outputs and use the nice little mini jack until MOTU sort their lives out.

As ever MOTU never responded to our emails.
Big respect, FACS "

(The first reader report from Monday's news follows)

" I wanted to to let you know that the new osX drivers released for my pci motu2408 (includes PCI-424 card) on Friday are really not working well at all. I installed them Friday after checking the site all day- I've been waiting on these drivers for six months since I got my new dp867 g4. I'm running 10.2.4 and I have 768m of ram.

Several times a day- mostly gaming but sometimes even just doing something like chatting or checking email- I'm getting this new type of complete system crash. First the screen gets covered over with a grey layer that you can still see the desktop through and then this white window appears which says:

    "You need to restart your computer. Hold down the power button for several seconds or press the restart button"

It says that in several languages and then at the bottom of that white window it sas "FF:FF:FF:FF:FF:FF"
(Jaguar's version of the Kernel Panic screen)

I uninstalled the drivers last night and the problem has gone away and I'm hoping it stays away.
Very frustrating though- and that crash freaks me out.
I've written motu but haven't heard anything from them yet. I'll keep you posted.
matt "

I don't own a Motu card, but if any other readers do (PCI-424 or -324) let me know if you've had similar problems. (include system, OS and card details in reports. thanks.)

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