And we’re off to the races. Last week, I wrote up a teaser on some of the new features in Windows Vista for audio, which launched a long and heated discussion of the new OS. (Read through comments for some specifics, including how Vista compares to Mac OS X and BeOS. Hint: BeOS wins.)

Now, late yesterday — and well over a month before the operating system is due to ship — MOTU announced it was shipping a public beta version of its audio drivers. As far as I know, this is the first public driver support for audio interfaces on Vista. See comments for word that RME shipped their Vista drivers a couple of weeks ago, though presently only for the Fireface; MOTU’s shipment covers their entire product line. Good job, RME and MOTU — and with weeks to spare before consumers get the OS. (These drivers also feature enhancements for all versions of XP, so all Windows users, have at them)

Windows Vista drivers now shipping as a public beta []

I’m guessing the Vista Ultimate box featured on MOTU’s site is a hint; no Vista Home Basic around here, thank you.

As some readers reported, some existing XP drivers will run in the 32-bit release of Windows Vista. However, some drivers may not work at all or may suffer degraded performance, because of a whole range of issues. That means you’ll want to use Vista drivers if at all possible.

MOTU’s Vista beta drivers will cover the full MOTU audio range, including FireWire, PCI, and USB audio alike, and perennial favorites like the UltraLite and 828mkII. Note that, for high-performance music applications, the new Vista drivers’ preferred operating mode is actually good, old-fashioned ASIO. While Microsoft has unveiled a new audio system in Vista called WASAPI, it’s not yet clear how useful it will be for music software; for now, ASIO remains your best bet. (I hope to have more details on WASAPI soon, especially since every time I think of the acronym I start craving sushi and WASABI.)

Also very important: drivers are required to be “signed” under Vista, or certified by Microsoft for playback. Digital certification of drivers for compatibility is nothing new; Microsoft had a procedure for signing for Windows XP and other editions. On XP, you’ve probably gotten the “unsigned driver” error message. What is new is that the bar has been raised in terms of what tasks require signed drivers. You can’t install unsigned audio drivers under the 64-bit Vista even with admin privileges, and you’ll have to jump through some hoops even on 32-bit Windows (some DRM-controlled playback won’t play with unsigned drivers, either). So, one important feature of the new MOTU drivers is that they’re signed. Again, I’ll have more technical details on this soon. I know some of you are developing drivers for Vista, audio or otherwise, so feel free to set the record straight while I wait on the official word from Microsoft on what’s changed. (Microsoft is hosting a driver compatibility document for Vista if you feel like pouring through it.)

  • kingmetal

    glad to see MOTU is still on top of the driver game. I'm not running Vista yet, but I'll throw the Beta drivers into my 828MKII in the next few weeks and battle test the latest drivers. never had a lick of problem with my 828 on any OS on any computer, its solid as a rock.

  • Adrian Anders

    Just waiting till someone is able to hack their way through the vista digital certification.

    This really pisses me off. I don't even intend on buying any DRM'd music, movies, and HD-DVDs, but they're still fucking with my audio performance. It's no business of my OS what hardware I choose to install on my machine.

    Sticking with XP until there are established ways of taking the MS bullshit off Vista. Give it a year or two, and it'll be hacked to ribbons, stripped, and ready to roll with DAW software.


  • Well, given that you'd need new 64-bit drivers for Vista 64-bit anyway, that's not as much of an issue … anyone bothering to write the drivers has been getting certified (though most haven't bothered to write the drivers, except for MOTU and Edirol).

    But as for 32-bit, I agree. I'm curious to try out unsigned drivers and see what happens. It may be okay.

  • Teej

    agreed, BeOS definitely wins. R.I.P.

  • RattyUK

    Would have preferred if MOTU had got off their backsides and actually updated Mach 5 as a Universal Binary. I can understand that they need to be in with Vista at day one but would prefer if they could keep on the ball with the other stuff.

  • Ha, too bad their existing drivers for the 828/intel mac's mess up the 828.

  • Pingback: » Windows Vista Audio Drivers Tips

  • Craig

    Actually, Vista support was added to the Fireface 800/400 interfaces by RME a couple of weeks back.

    – not a first for MOTU there im afraid.

  • Bryan, do you have a link to that 828 issue (FAQ / tech note / forum)? My 828 seems okay … maybe I remember updating the drivers but didn't.

    Thanks for the catch on RME, Craig. I had a feeling someone else might have gotten something out. I expect we'll see the floodgates open over the next few weeks.

  • Well, all I know is I downloaded/installed driver version 1.4.2 and now the 828 doesnt work with anything. And it was just sent to MOTU for repair in August of 2006 (i bought it on ebay)

  • Bryan, I'll have to test 1.4.2 with my 828 and see what happens. In the meantime, note that MOTU still has the previous driver release available for download, so you should be able to roll back to that.

  • Seemebreakthis

    Anyone tried the drivers yet? BTW MOTU released an 'official' version on Jan 15, so it is no longer beta.

  • Christian

    MOTO SUCKS ASS AND I will never buy another item from them.

    Their drivers new and old have so many problems loading that it just makes it not worth the hassle.

    Their support is amazingly horrible – that factor alone would prevent me from ever buying from them again.

    It took nine trys of installing and uninstalling before I could get the ultralite to work last time, and I was never really sure they installed correctly as the ultralite would just randomly disappear.

    After reformatting my machine, with nothing more than ie7, and Microsoft Office, and Winzip (to extract the driver installers) I still can't get it to work. I am on my 4th try.

    The driver installer goes through the entire process and then gets to the very last screen and then hangs, it never completes the install.


  • Christian…

    There are SO many variables of computers these days that you cant really say "they suck ass" and be taken seriously when there is otherwise nothing but exceptional praise from power-users out there, myself included. My bandmate had troubles with his own Ultralite so he hit Google for an afternoon and printed off a sheet of issues and workarounds and sat down to establish that the chipset in his firewire PCMCIA firewire card was an issue, which we solved with a quick swap-out.

    What im suggesting is that the onus is on you to utilise all resources to workaround your own configuration. Motu cant be held responsible for a microscopic percentile of uses spread across limitless configurations and at least 4 different OS's.

    For the record, go do some research on the pathetic track record of M-Audio! Once upon a time they were the best audio card drivers i knew, and i was proud of my invincible DELTA44. Then USB and Firewire came and nothing can ever be so easy as a PCI card on Win98…. 😛

    PS: Our Ultralites are amazing 🙂

  • Alfredo

    I have installed Vista and the new MOTU drivers for the traveler. With every software I tried the playback was terrible. It played well for the fist five seconds or a little more, then began all sorts of hi hiss and noises, pops, etc. Like some kind of buffer problem. No changes that I did on the buffer settings of my traveler had improved the situation. Did any one of you have this problem with any MOTU product?


  • Raphael

    Yes Alfredo, I have the same probleme with my MOTU 828mkII on VISTA,the noises, pops, etc. Like you said, some kind of buffer.


  • Dr. Digital

    I'm trying to run a Moto 828 "not the 828mkII"

    but the original 828 firewire.

    I can't get cuemix to work at all. Everything else does "smpte setup – audio setup" but no cuemix.

    I tried the new drivers but that made things worse, lots of pops and hiss. so I went back to the old ones so I'd have some kind of sound.

    Anybody know of a fix for this?

  • Dr. Digital

    I forgot, I'm running under XP

  • Jamie

    Why, oh why did I forgo my w2k? I 'upgraded' to xp pro with a clean install. I'm running 2 Motu 828s and I loaded the latest Motu driver… the good news is it works sometimes but most times one unit just flickers between 44.1/48k sample rates! AND, last night I recorded 16 channels just fine but this morning – same flicker story! I have yet to tackle the sync issues.

    Is there a link for optimizing XP Pro settings? I can't go on like this!

  • Jorge

    I've got the same problem of hearing clicks and hisses when running MOTU under VIsta. No buffer change helps. Does anybode know how can I solve it?

  • skopsko

    I have a problem with my motu 828 mk1.There are some issues with the out signal (dropped signal for a couple samples), that's happens only when i plugged in with my pc throught wirewire cable.

    Driver is, and os is xp with sp2.

    I think that the firmware is broken…

    So, anybody know how to fix this, where can I find latest vesion of firmware v1.01????

  • Ron

    After downloading and installing the latest 64 and 32 bit vista drivers from the motu site, 828 original causes vista both 64 and 32 (dual boot) to freeze on my new gateway quad core system. At one point before a freze, it gave me a memory dump blue screen. The led lights on the 828 still do the dance and the clock led still flash 44 to 48 and settles on 44. Looks normal but freezes. I checked all firewire connections and cable, all new. Checked voltage selector at 115V. I intend to use 828 on sonar 7 but haven't gone that far on installation. emailed MOTU Tech support but no response yet. Help 🙁

  • same problem here with the motu 828mk2, anyone having those hiss and pop problems beware cause theres more ahead soon this shitty interface will shut off for no reason then you will have to power cycle to get it on again, this is terrible,between motu and waves i dont know who's the btter theif any one else ahving this big issu?

  • Morphin

    same here, motu 828 original with a fresh install of Vista 64 on AMD X2 64 3800+, nForce 6100/430 Chipset (AsRock NF6G-DVI) = FREEZE on turning the interface on.

    Damn freezes with this interface and doesn't even support standby mode properly, at least it worked on Vista 32 somewhat. MOTU, GO MAKE BETTER DRIVERS. GODDAMN. This whole Firewire thing is flawed anyway. Why should a Firewire device crash the whole system??

  • Chris

    I have the exact same problem with original 828 and vista 64 on a gateway quad core. I bought the damn computer just to use in my studio and now it's useless because of MOTU. Even before that though I was forced to use the driver after the release of the 1.6 driver. Since that release there hasn't been a driver from motu that has worked with my 828. I love the interface, but I'm about to have to write off MOTU for their driver issues…. that's a shame.

  • Andrew

    My 828 MKII works fantastically in XP Pro 32-bit. I recently also got Vista 64-bit for this same computer so I can dual boot to either Vista 64-bit or XP Pro 32-bit.

    The 828 MKII still works great in XP Pro 32-bit. Unfortunately, I get dropouts and weird noises and all the LEDs lighting up when trying to use with Vista 64-bit. I do have the latest drivers for Vista 64-bit which came out about a week ago, but still doesn't work.

    I spent a LONG time on the phone with MOTU tech support and they swore their drivers are not the issue. Finally, I decided to reinstall Vista 64-bit to see if completely starting over might fix it. NOPE! Still unreliable. I think I'm going to just sell my 828 MKII and buy an EMU or an RME.

  • Preston

    Same issues here. I have had my 828mkII for a few years now. When I upgraded to Vista64, it would just not work or the audio is all garbled. I thought maybe it was the motherboard, but we just picked up a new Dell XPS and it has the same issues. Works fine on XP.

  • VR

    I am having a problem installing motu 828 mkII firewire drivers for vista 64. I downloaded file 64fw. but could not run setup audio file. It keeps giving me error 2753 "setupfwinstaller not marked for installation". Does anybody have the same issue? Thanks.


    Ayo guys… i got the same problem…

    1. I was unable to install the latest driver (driver ver. of my Motu 828MK2(USB2.0), cause Win Vista home prem.64 Bit responds with an error code (Code 1721).

    (Note: switch off the Account mangager from Windows Vista 64bit.. might fix this problem!)

    2. After the installation i had a bluescreen… no sound & no clue…

    3. Motu responds(next day):

    – I have to remove 2GB of RAM (if you use 4GB or more)…

    – or buy me a new OS(32 bit Vista)…

    Okay guys dream on… I got no time for this ish… ill buy me a new Interface… Motu is useless for me…

  • Well, I will sell my motu 828mkII as well, and will never buy any motu hardware anymore.
    I had many problems in the past, even on windows XP (had to disable dvd writers etc) in order to have a flawless system.
    now, I had to upgrade to a new system, and reading Jut Sauers’ comment I feel terrible.
    I have exactly the same. So, RME, here I come because I’m tired of companies selling things which they can’t support.

  • fletch

    i just bought a motu 828 and i cant get it to work on vista 64. i did finally get the drivers installed, but everytime i try to open any motu software it says that there is no motu audio device connected…..but it is connected and powered on. i even bought 2 different firewire pci cards and still same problem. i tried installing it on my laptop that has vista 32 and the same exact thing happenned. im still waiting on motu support(day 30, but im sure when they respond it will be some idiot who is just reading me steps from the owners manual.

  • sas84_heavyhitter

    This is ridiculous, it appears the same problem you are having with Vista 64 bit is that which I am now experiencing with Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit. Like JUT SAUER I am also working with 4GB ram (and not ready to downgrade to 2GB, if this be what MOTU are suggesting).

    Has anyone come up with any solutions. My interface is a MOTU 828 MKII and I am working with Windows 7 (using the drivers provided on the MOTU website)?



  • passing by

    i had came across this page when i was looking for a way to solve the unexplained blue screen that motu was causing to my vista set up.

    i think i solved it (3 days now without blue screen of death). i have a motu 828 mk II and i was having blue screen in random cases when i was opening some file or application that was using audio. so the solution was to run msconfig (type in run window in the start menu) then go to the services tab and de-click the service named "motu pedal handler".

    i hope it works for all.

  • UA-flamenco

    hi, All

    Same issues – clicks/pops and occassionally – the blue screen with MOTU Traveller (even MK3) and Windows7. but I tried to go usual way – read Tech support. I thoughts clicks is some FW1394 hardware intercommunication issues. Having read the MOTU tech notes, I first opted the SMPTE syncrho in MOTU audio interface window. clicks and pops disappeared and it became more stable. althgouh the story with blue screen repeats from time to time. I browsed forums – they recommend to switch to old version (legacy) of 1394 host driver. maybe it worth trying but only if you plug your MOTU with 4-to-6 connection to your notebook. Because notes usually do not have 6pin connectors at all. this causes constant problems. So I have to use external card (PCIe or PCMCIA) for plugging MOTU – then it works more or less fine… however, still overall it is not stable. We tried to record a live and the card let us down at 35th minute and just lost connection with the PC at all. and also at 24/96 mode it lost some frames occasionally VST are unstable still and I can get them work in realtime mode at all.

    I have 2 different type/age MOTUs (trav and Trav MK3) for today, and they both have the same problem on W7, so all I know for today –

    1) chose SMPTE synchronyzation when using card alone – at least try

    2) use small size buffer to prevent losing frames when you record

    3) use 6-to-6 cable only

    4) use external cards PCMCI is preferred if yuo may chose, as it is a parallen interface, which is better than PCIe, which is a serial one. Important: cards must be Texas Instruments ones only

    5) I will try switching off MOTU pedal

    6) I will try legalcy driver, but I doubt it will help on PCIe bus

    7) I will try XP, is nothing helps

    general suggestions:

    – run program monitor and disable all unnecessary programs when you record

    – switch off the firewall and antivirus

    – try to keep PC as clean from unnesessary programs as possible

    – switch off your Windows sounds on all programs that you use

    – select non-MOTU audio card to be used by W7 by default

    – use MOTU only in ASIO-based software

    – try to avoid using motu by several programs at a time


    hope this will help to survive until we found some new advise on this.

    previously I used to have XP+PCMCIA Taxas FW-card and NEVER had blue screen and NEVER clicks and pops. I changed the laptop and now have this trouble on W7. Fortunately, I did not sell it yet 🙂 so I may hope it may be useful))))

    the best medicine from everything is a hyliotine)))))

  • UA-flamenco

    yeah, switching off MOTU Pedal really works!

    I always thought that the reason for blue screen break out is interference inside the driver between 2 several connections, whcih cause faulty interruptions working. So, in case we switch MOTu Pedal Off – no device tries to access the 1394 card. So, in this case nothing interferes the data transmission, and the card works stably. send this to MOTU to varify !

    p.s. Not sure if we can use MIDI with Pedal off.

    hope thosuands will read this and this will resolve the problem

  • UA-flamenco

    hi all,

    those are latest tips on MOTU/Windows 7 on any notebook you may use –

    1) increase buffer size to 1024/512/256 (@48/44kHz), if not helps –

    2) turn off RT W7 audio driver in MOTU menu, if not helps –

    3) "update" 1394 driver to an old Legacy one from the list of already installed drivers, if not helps –

    4) turn off MOTU Pedal (run msconfig, check it off in autostart tab), if not helps –

    5) don't use on-board FW-card with 4-pin connector, install external ExpressCard or PCMCIA FW adapter. don't use only NEC-bases card, I worked with Texas Instruments cards, but also with a VIA card (i had 2 PC-Lab products)… if not helps –

    6) try installing XP as a second OS and test the same.

    drop me an email at ua.flamenco…. @ ….gmail…. com (use single dot instead of many dots) if you still have trouble, maybe i will be able to help you

  • i just changed my os to 7, no audio then.