There aren’t many positive ways to spin this: if you’re a user of Digidesign and M-Audio products and looking to use current operating systems, very often you’re out of luck. In some cases, this isn’t so surprising — given issues with Leopard, I actually suggest running Mac OS X Tiger if you can until some issues are resolved. And while I have one machine here running Vista happily, suffice to say Windows XP remains the choice for many, as drivers from a variety of vendors mature.

Still, I think it’s bad to see drivers missing altogether this late in the game — especially in the case of Windows XP SP3, a minor update to a six year-old OS. Maybe some of this isn’t M-Audio’s fault — maybe OS driver development needs to be easier. But either way, when a major music hardware vendor is this far out of sync with the software shipping on new machines, it’s a problem. And while their loss may be good for their competitors in audio hardware, it’s not terribly good for the music tech industry in general.

(Okay, Digidesign/M-Audio — before you start throwing things at me, I’m not saying this to be mean or to single you out, I’m saying this because I hear this all the time from your customers. I think if there are problems on the Apple/Microsoft side, then that’s worth examining, too. But I do think this is a situation that could stand some improvement.)

Digidesign + Vista

Digidesign Windows OS Requirements

On the Digidesign side, the good news is Pro Tools 7.4 LE and M-Powered are now supported on Vista — sort of. The bad news is, you need 7.4, there’s still no support for Pro Tools HD, and Digidesign hasn’t yet qualified SP1 for anything. (M-Audio has made the same statement.) Now, I’m used to Digidesign’s lagging OS support, and to be honest, I think being cautious about support is a good idea. But in this case, SP1 largely involves fixes for Vista — some of them very significant issues. It’s a little odd that you could qualify Vista without SP1, containing most of the same fixes installed as HotFixes, but not SP1 itself, even though the latter is more likely to be stable and compatible in almost every other respect.

Then it gets odder. Vista Home Premium is still not supported by Digidesign, despite being identical to the supported Ultimate and Business editions in regards to music, audio, and driver support. Maybe Digidesign has some reason for doing this, but I can’t imagine what it is, and they’re not saying.

M-Audio + XP SP3

If you’re using M-Audio hardware, I recommend holding off on updating to Windows XP SP3. For starters, SP3 doesn’t really offer anything essential to audio users to begin with. But more importantly, I’ve seen a number of reports that M-Audio hardware refuses to install on SP3. That’s a major oversight. Unfortunately, there’s not even any information on M-Audio’s site other than a general statement that their drivers haven’t been "qualified" for SP3 (which I suspect means very little to users trying to get specific fixes):

M-Audio XP SP3 Statement

What makes this so odd is that this is what Digidesign has to say about Windows XP Service Pack 3:

"There are currently no known compatibility differences between systems with XP SP2 or SP3. All compatibility information regarding Windows XP Service Pack 2 also applies to systems with Windows XP Service Pack 3." [Emphasis Digidesign’s]

Yet despite massive incompatibility with SP3, a minor service update that’s been available to developers for many months, M-Audio condescendingly tells users in a support document that we should "rest assured that supporting Service Pack 3 is a top priority for us."

M-Audio + Vista

M-Audio’s support for Vista, which had been lagging badly, has now improved somewhat:

M-Audio Vista Driver Development

Among the drivers still missing as I write this, though, is M-Audio’s flagship audio interface and control surface, the Project Mix I/O. And while Roland/Edirol, MOTU, RME, and others have supported 64-bit Windows, M-Audio has no support whatsoever.

M-Audio + Leopard

Mac OS X is slightly better off, but a significant number of drivers are lagging. The entire FireWire line and Project Mix I/O, among others, remain in beta.

M-Audio 10.5 update

Got experience with drivers on current OSes? Let us know.

  • amoeba

    i can't speak towards digidesign, but i have banished all m-audio from my studio (except for the class-compliant axiom, which i truly love).

    i'm running 10.5.2 on my macbook, and have not had any of the troubles many people speak of (is it limited to macbookpro's?). we often run our midi clock sync over a wireless airport network. in fact we actually get a few ms less of latency by doing so, and the coolest part is the video crews can tap in and feed off our signals – makes for a super-tight A/V experience for sure!

    the only hiccups in our setup seems to be ableton's crappy grasp on sync. i'm almost ready to try something else, but i love Live, even when i hate it.

    not to defend apple or any other vendor, but as a developer i know that every new os versions becomes more and more complex, so i understand some issues will always crop up (and hopefully be addressed quickly). but i really got fed up with m-audio's lag in interface driver updates. i have since moved to a motu ultralight and couldn't be happier. motu historically stays on top of mac support/updates extremely well. little bugger is rock solid and very well spec'd out.

    here's to everyone's audio bliss! may you find your happy place.

  • footube42

    i've also dropped m-audio gear because of their lack of driver support and moved to motu.

  • Ray

    I think Digidesign/M-Audio and/or Apple should be singled out, it's ridiculous. I didn't spend £1300 on a Macbook Pro, £300 on a Firewire 1814 and £170 on Pro Tools M-powered for it to occasionally work! Sorry, I'll calm down now… I'm running 10.5.2 with the m-audio beta drivers. To get it to work, I have to turn on the 1814 and open the preferences, change the sample rate up to 48000, then turn it back down to 44100 (which doesn't always work), then fire up Pro Tools and hope for the best! When in Pro Tools I've experienced harsh clicks when adding certain plug-ins and a fair bit of jerky behaviour. If I close Pro Tools and try to work in Audacity or just play itunes, the audio stops working completely or sometimes it will lose the 1814 all together! Brilliant. As Amoeba says, I do understand that new OS versions get more and more complex, but I too am getting a bit sick of M-audio. Hurry up, I've got mixes to do!

  • Psykohed

    I agree. Its always been the running joke that if you use Pro Tools don't plan on upgrading your OS for at least 2 years after it's released. It's always been that way. It seems now that Digi owns M-Audio they are following the same path. I've written to M-audio often and although sympathetic, they have no answers as to when they will be current. I switched from PT to Logic years ago, so I'm all good. My concern is with Torq. I hope I don't have to make a switch to Serato or Traktor (which really sucks). If they can't get it together this year then I'm done with them forever.

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  • I use win Vista and have a firewire audiophile card. Damm!, i have a lot of glitches, i cant use it to play my songs in partyes, or cant use it to dj'ing.

    Everyday i enter the m-audio site to see if theres an update to they drivers, but nothing.

    I think i will be another one to change of brand.

  • Phillippe, unfortunately, just seeing glitches could come from almost anywhere. In addition to updating your M-Audio drivers, you can try updating other drivers on your system — that may actually fix the M-Audio issue.

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  • Timothy

    So far I've had better success, actually, with my M-Audio Firewire Audiophile than ever before with these new beta drivers for Leopard. I've similarly banished M-Audio products in general, but kept the little box kicking around for when it would come in handy.

    The driver used to suffer from a terrible UI lag (buffer stuttering, volume control freezing) upon making any adjustments to the mixer, along with numerous other signal routing bugs that had to do with power management on the mac platform. The beta drivers push a firmware update onto the box, and while I haven't tested it thoroughly (routing bugs particularly), the fixes to the UI bugs which have been there since the beginning (3 years, at least?) are finally making this box much more usable!

    Seems to me those bugs could've been squashed *very* trivially had anyone in the company cared enough to go through the code.

  • Dale

    Generally, I don't expect quality products or support from m-audio. This is based on my historical experience of both their products and their support.

    May be due to their financials. Perhaps cheaper products lends to less investment into driver updates and support for their products over the lifetime.

    The short-term thinking of them may be to sell hardware. That makes money; income. Driver updates are an expense. And if probably difficult to judge how investment into driversa ffects sales.

    Serato/Rane is an example of far superior customer support and driver/software updates. m-audio, a partial competitor, could learn much from emulating them. But I doubt they will as they've passed on that opportunity for years.

    Buyers, like you and me, are also short-term thinkers. Its the disposable society that we are: cellphones, snacks in plastic, and now audio interfaces.

  • unclean

    I'm running Leopard on my MBP2.2 & M-audio audiophile FW and had no problems… Strange…

  • I bought a digirack 2 with PT LE last year and when I upgraded to Leopard, my whole setup just stopped working… I said to myself: "Okay, let's just wait a few weeks, the drivers will be there soon, this is reactive companies"…

    I just bought an apogee ensemble and logic studio and I'm not going back to digidesign. Need to be able to craft my art, not wait for them to start working on drivers when the os comes out when they know they should start working when the os betas start seeding…

    It's increadible to buy expensive software+gear to have them becoming furniture 6 month later…

    At least logic doesn't need hardware to start working and is updated fairly fast even if there still are some glitches here and there

  • george

    i might be wrong but since apple migrated to intel they have been issuing more than the necessary number of updates. in the meantime microsoft, being clever as always, thought they could change their hardware abstraction layers to the point where you have to issue a different driver for every new service pack coming out.

    frankly, this sucks. think you're buying a musical instrument and a few months later something happens and it changes its sound and you can no longer keep accurate timing with it, or, for some reason, it would just fail to produce any sound.

    this just goes to show the perverse idea of focusing on the office market (since it's the largest) and everything outside of that slowly fades into blur. the range of hardware is expanding, the range of products companies like Digidesign offer is expanding too, and now we get the range of software configurations expanding, simply because people are no longer convinced to upgrade to the latest. (and with good reason)

    i think we need to adopt a general line of thinking – something along the lines of – "the golden configuration for audio on XP is this SP, that update, these services disabled", same for Vista, and same for OS-X. There used to be such a site for audio on XP but I can't find it now.

    It's not just the sound hardware vendors. We need a beacon regarding software 🙁

  • mediawest

    as someone who build pro DAW's for our post house here in hollywood, i have built 20 high end systems with XP. i have tried one vista setup with major issues on protools LE/003. not just digi drivers, but all the virtual instruments have compatability issues too.

    XP works great with 4gigs of ram and sata drives.

    my mac G5 is running protools tdm with no issues…so far…….

  • @george: Apple has been a bit update happy, but I don't think it's the Intel switch. This seems to go in cycles.

    And the problem is, there are too many variables. I don't think there IS a "here's the perfect setup for music."

    But the short answer is, in terms of maturity, I'd say Mac OS 10.4.11 — minus that buggy AirPort update from March, see previous post. On Windows, I'd still say Windows XP SP2… frankly, SP3, as well, since the problem here seems to be that M-Audio's drivers look for SP2, and when they don't find it assume they're not on real Windows. But even that isn't law — the machine I'm typing this on has been more stable on Vista than it was on XP, presumably because of some interaction of the different driver configurations on XP.

    I'm regularly in touch with some of these hardware and software vendors, and even with Microsoft and Apple. My sense is, in the long run, things will get better. But, for instance, some of the problems in Vista have to do with Microsoft being *more* restrictive about the way drivers are authored, which can create additional issues as you wait for the driver developers to sync up with those changes.

    While I don't think we can provide a simple answer — here's the perfect configuration — I'm working now on creating a wiki-style knowledge base on CDM where we can record people's experiences and create a basic picture of some of the things you can do. This stuff can work really brilliantly, of course. So we have to keep navigating developer mistakes and bugs, and keep getting detailed information to those developers so they do a better job.

  • ernesto (costa rica)

    It happened again, yesterday, in the middle of a live act of mine in a very important and crowded art gallery. Not nice. The FW 1814 just dropped out, the moog voyager started to do weird sounds as the midi signal from the computer faded away and blam!!!Live crashed. Right now i just hate m-audio and truly hate apple for this crappy OS. Not saying that everyone suffers this kind of problem, but mine is real and a really costly one.

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  • The way I see it, it's not that hard to at least make a prima fascia attempt to stay current. In my opinion, a large portion of a company's resources should be devoted to making sure their product line is absolutely compatible, so that there's never a lag of more than a week or two. (And yes, I practice what I preach with respect to Audio Damage. When there's an OS update that affects our product line, we stop everything else until it is addressed.)

    Now, that said, if D-Audio put, say, half of the resources they apply to coming up with new ways to repackage the same product line in to staying current, they'd be in much better shape. I wonder how the algorithm that defines their current actions looks. Something like "If number of customers that we'll lose by not being current is less than number of customers that we'll gain by finding a new way to stick a USB interface and a MIDI controller together in the same box, go with the second option."

  • I'm with Chris. Thing is, if these companies aren't in the business of writing drivers, they should open up either the drivers or the specs and let other people do it. (Case in point: the Creative Labs sound card mods that were better than those released by the company — until Creative decided to shut him down, apparently to satisfy their lawyers.) If they ARE in the business of writing drivers, well, they need to write the drivers. 🙂

    Also, in the case of the SP3 bug, the problem appears to be that the driver didn't recognize SP3 on the system. That to me says they didn't bother trying at all. They didn't test, they didn't bother. (That may be that they're outsourcing driver development, but then, where's their support and QA on this?) And that's bad.

    To anyone reading this who's in the business, I think we can say pretty safely that people will pay extra for better support. I'll be the first to go trumpet people doing an exemplary job. It's clear that, likewise, you lose business when you don't keep up — and the discussion here is relatively tame; have a look at what people are saying on forums and via word of mouth.

  • jade

    I'm realy waiting for those M-Audio win64 drivers, were are they?

  • Niels Larsen

    Hi all,

    I’m Niels Larsen, General Manager of M-Audio. I am posting here not to throw things at Peter:-) for writing this article but to recognize to you all that we are aware that we are disappointing many of our users. With OS updates not being entirely voluntary anymore it gets increasingly frustrating for users to suddenly find that their systems don’t work from one day to the next.

    I am sorry that we are prolonging this frustration by being late in delivering compatible drivers. It affects many of our loyal users and it therefore also affects our business.

    So what’s the current status? I have tried to outline for you below where we are as of today:


    Today we posted release drivers for our Firewire Solo/Audiophile/410/1814/Ozonic and NRV-10. We still have work to do on Profire Lightbridge and Projectmix but outside of these two products our Leopard development is complete. I hope users who have experienced problems with the beta drivers will find the new drivers trouble-free.

    XP SP3

    The statement from that Peter referenced in his article above was correctly quoted. We actually did ourselves a disservice by not providing more information and have corrected that today in the following link:

    Of course we also have to fix the installers that don’t work under SP3. It’s not only frustrating for our users, its also a burden on our tech support team. We will provide more information about that during next week as we get a better overview of the timeline.

    Projectmix and Vista 32

    We posted the 32 bit release driver for Projectmix about a week ago and that leaves Transit, Mobile Pre and Ozone still in beta.

    Vista SP-1 & Vista 64

    We have been recruiting for beta testers on our website for a little while but the truth is that we are still some way off with both of these two projects. We have to finish our other Windows projects completely before we can fully engage but I hope you are getting a sense from the above that things are looking up on that front. Before long, our development should be focused entirely on these two issues and as we are in beta already we hope that development will go relatively smooth.

    We are fully aware that Vista 64 is a big deal particularly because of the RAM constraints within Vista 32, so we take this seriously. We plan to give a timeline update on our website once we have put Vista 32 and XP SP3 behind us.

    Going forward, I hope you will see an improvement in our support as our driver team is growing with new hires and an increased commitment to support OS updates in a timely fashion. I appreciate that we are not perfect until the day that we are able to launch driver update within minutes of a new OS revision. Recently we have been far off that mark and need to at least get closer to perfect.

    Thanks for listening.


  • Don

    Three weeks ago at the Digidesign Road Show they said they would supprt 10.5.2 in 4-5 weeks. Checks in the mail, it's only a cold sore…

  • i hope m-audio take all this opinions and make something…

    What do you think?

  • Lurk

    Im sure theyre doing what they can. Its not like there is a bunch of leopard support from anyone right now.

  • Well, right … right now, Leopard 10.5.2 is not really something *anyone* is advising that you use. 10.5/10.5.1, I don't know. "Certified" would imply that the whole thing works — including whether Apple's stuff is functioning properly, which at the moment, isn't totally set in stone.

  • There have been many times in the last 3 years that I've regretted my choice of the M-Audio Firewire 410. The drivers have been insanely not ready for prime time. Lots of glitchy audio, especially when moving the sliders around while sound is actually going live through the system. It's been a constant annoyance to not be able to adjust ANYTHING in the M-Audio interface panel.

    That being said: I've just installed the final Leopard drivers (I'm running the questionable 10.5.2 on a MacBook Pro 2.16 Core 2 Duo) and while I haven't done extensive testing in Logic or Ableton Live yet, I will say that I'm not getting any glitching from my regular system audio thru iTunes, and I can actually move the sliders around without any glitching there either. It's about freakin' time! Kudos to M-Audio for finally fixing this hugely annoying issue, but it's taken them WAY too long. Frankly, if I was using my rig more for digital DJing or using it professionally, I'd have ditched M-Audio altogether years ago.

    As for doing professional work with any DAW, the best thing you can possibly do for yourself is to buy a system solely for use as a DAW, then don't update it until you absolutely have to, and after you know all the driver issues and OS update issues have been worked out. If it ain't broke, don't fix it! Yes it's a more expensive solution but hey, we all spend big $$ on gear, between audio interfaces, software, virtual instruments, etc. I' starting to feel like it would be worth it for me to just buy a plain-jane MacBook and dedicate it for musical purposes. That way, I can update my personal machine whenever I want and not cause so many issues.

  • @Jason — I agree, but I'd go even further, and say that you probably don't want to break your *personal* machine, either. 😉 So it's even possible and desirable with one machine that's also for personal use to be cautious about upgrades and verify compatibility. I have to say, when stuff has broken, it hasn't been because personal uses of a general-purpose got in the way of "pro" audio work — it was that something just plain didn't work.

  • maudio projectmix drivers dont work at all on mac os 10.5.2. there is a whole bunch of people having the same issues. i have an projectmix I/O which was running smooth with my old g4 powerbook os 10.4.11 since i got a new macbook with os 10.5.2 there is no conection posible between the two machines. i called maudio tech support and they said that they wouldn't work on the drivers till 10.5.3 comes out. so best thing to do is sell all that crappy gear and get a decent hardware setup. fuck maudio and apple. get a phone with wifi for the web and an akai mpc that ll do much better work than shitty laptop setups. cheers, g.

  • @jason – I can understand that thinking, but what of us who don't use audio programs and interfaces professionally?

    I bought an MBox 2 Mini about a year ago as my prior Edirol USB audio interface had crapped out. I bought the MBox because I thought "hey, digidesign, they should do hardware right, even the small / low-end stuff. And Pro Tools LE as part of the deal. Sounds great!"

    I'm only now realizing that perhaps I'm not Digidesign's target audience for the MBox. I think they're targeting professional engineers and musicians who work in larger Pro Tools studios so that they can have a little portable version of the studio. They don't care about the hobbyists; the small musicians; the experimental home studios. Well, maybe they care a little bit. But that's not their main market.

    Professional studios will dedicate their DAW workstations. Professional studios / engineers know that Digidesign is a creaky old and slow dinosaur, but the apparent stability is worth the wait. They know not to upgrade those dedicated machines.

    The hobbyist does not know this. But what does Digidesign have working on Mac OS X 10.5? (and only 10.5.1 at that)? The professional grade Pro Tools HD — not LE.

    So when I bought a new iMac a few months ago, I went through a period of extreme instability until I realized that my MBox was the cause. (It seemed to work OK on my old PowerPC iMac under 10.5). The iMac has become my DVD player, TV, stereo, etc, as well as studio centerpiece. Having a good audio interface that works outside of the DAW is critical for me.

    Fortunately, I had bought Kore 1 from Native Instruments last year, and the Kore 1 controller has an audio interface (they took this out of the Kore 2 controller). The main reason I bought Kore 1 was to get a good deal on the Kore 2 software when it came out. I had no interest in its audio interface. But now, that's what I'm running everything through. The MBox is now a bloody paperweight. Over six months since the release of Mac OS X 10.5 and still no sign of support from Digidesign.

    Meanwhile Digidesign continues to crank out new instruments and plug-ins, and add new features to Pro Tools; all of which appear to be attempts to catch up to offerings from Native Instruments and Ableton. But guess what? Digidesign has totally lost me to those companies anyways. Live, Kontakt, Reaktor, Kore, Massive, etc, all run beautifully on this machine. And Apple has FINALLY made Logic usable with the Logic 8 releases. And even the Kore 1 controller works beautifully under Mac OS X 10.5.2.

    I get the feeling that Digidesign just doesn't care. And I don't care about them. I council other small / independent / hobbyist engineers to steer clear of them.

    This HAS to be impacting Digidesign / AVID. They continue to miss Wall Street projections and underperform. They're just not nimble enough. And they have so much competition now in both the video and audio departments that they really can't afford to let that competition win users just because those users can't use Pro Tools or whatever on their new laptop that they picked up to do music on the road or at home.

    This affects a lot of the big old behemoths. Adobe, Quark, etc; I'm finding better, faster, cheaper replacements that meet my requirements. I just feel like a fool for believing that maybe this time, my experiences with Digidesign would be different. I'm done with them all. As soon as I CAN use my Mbox and Pro Tools again, I'm going to export all of my old projects out into something I can use in Logic and/or Live, and sell the damn thing.

  • I love the MPC. I think it's one of the greatest boxes ever built. If an MPC could replace a computer, I'd be interested, but for many of us, it can't. End of story.

    But yeah, this is what frustrates me — there's nothing that says a computer can't be *more* solid than a hardware box for computers. Apple screwed up 10.5.2, and so we have to retread this tired debate all over again.

    Now, as for not shipping drivers at all, that's another matter. And unfortunately, music vendors have to do double the work — not only to complete their jobs, but to keep up with various things Microsoft and Apple are breaking. Seriously.

    I don't think the answer is necessarily to switch to Linux, but I certainly don't want to hear the "we can't do Linux because of support costs" argument ever again. 🙂

  • Zoomorph

    firs of all i must say that i'm a resent buyer of a m-audio firewire 410, and were looking forward to get home to use my new product, as soon as my new computer arrived. it then did, and i pluged my new hardware together, only to find that it diden't work with the drivers i got. in my darkest hour, i hopefulley went to find the newest drivers on the website, but with no luck. what kind of a professionel pruduct is this, i thought to my dispair. WHEN will the new drivers arrive, and WHY has they not been made yet?

    Please get moving M-Audio, and get your priorities straight! Good hardware is NOTHING without good software.

    If other hardware producers can produce software to meet the requirements from windows, how can it then be that M-Audio fails. And if they can't develope the software on their own, they should hire someone that can. Every other hardware producent does this.

  • I'm another one who is having problems with the M-Audio drivers for 10.5.2 (leopard).

    If I put my macbook pro to sleep and then wake it up, the audio from the SW RTN doesn't go to the outputs anymore.

    I wrote to the Latin America support and the anwser was: "do not put the computer to sleep. Maybe another version of your Mac OS will solve the problem"

    Can you believe that?? Now I cannot alow the machine to sleep and the M-Audio support tells me that Apple's gotta solve the problem.

    What a shame.

    Im thinking seriosly in selling my FW1814.

    Luis, from brazil.

    (sorry for the bad english)

  • cabbagerun

    It is ridiculous that one of the worlds largest makers of audio software cannot produce 64 bit drivers. We all know for better performance you need more ram. With a 32 bit os we are stuck with a little over 3 gigs of ram. Most motherboards handle 8 gigs. A 64 bit os breaks that barrier. Even competitors software have 64 bit drivers. We don't want an apology from Digidesign, we want 64 bit drivers.

  • audioguru42

    I am a (not so proud) owner of a Firewire 410. I had it hooked up on my XP sp2 machine until

    I recently upgraded to sp3 (with a clean install of course). To my surprise, I could not install

    the drivers for it. Come on, M-Audio, sp3 is not a big change. As a matter of fact, let me give

    you (M-Audio) an example of what "not a big change" is.

    Line "@0000791B:000D" of your decompiled "setup.inx" file buried within "FW_V32_5.10.00.5053.exe"

    reads "local_number3 = (local_number3 = 2)." It should instead read "local_number3 = (local_number3 >= 2)."

    All this line of code checks is to see if you have sp2 installed ( = 2). I just modded it so it would check if you

    had something greater than sp2 instead ( >= 2). i.e. sp3. That's it. One character in one line of code. That's

    "not a big change." After I changed that, it installed fine and I have it working once more on my cleaned machine.

    So, that's right, Niels Larsen. I had to totally bust the EULA to rectify a situation that should have never occurred.

    The same thing happened with Creative Labs a few months back (although "Daniel_K" did a hell of a lot more work).

    Which is why I'm left wondering. How is it that your company can not foresee people having a compatibility issue

    with clean installs of sp3? Even "with OS updates not being entirely voluntary," M$ gave enough room for this one

    (Vista, I can understand, but sp3?). I mean, the betas have been out for almost a year. And it's not like no one knew

    what it would be called, either (what's the number directly after 2? 3, right?).

    O.K., enough bashing. Here's how I did it (This took me better part of a day to figure out. I have mediocre programming

    skills, so I know enough just to get in trouble…)

    First, a little background. The file "FW_V32_5.10.00.5053.exe" (which you can download off of M-Audio's web site)

    is made with Installshield v12. It's packed pretty tight. Neither Winzip nor Winrar will extract files from it. So…

    I got my hands on Installshield Unpacker. Google it. It's the first hit.

    Now Unrar what you just downloaded then drag and drop "FW_V32_5.10.00.5053.exe" onto "IsXunpack.exe"

    You should now end up with some (not all, but the important ones) of the files contained within.

    What we're looking for here is "setup.inx" and the other contents in the "Disk1" folder.

    Now, go grab another tool called Sexy InstallShield Decompiler or sid 1.0 (again, just Google it.

    It's the first hit and then a link to some Chinese site). Now, open up setup.inx with sid.exe.

    Goto line @0000791B:000D. Highlight second "=". Left-click and change to ">=". Now, file_patch changes (for

    some reason, I had to do this a few times before it would stick…Close out sid.exe and re-open setup.inx to make sure).

    Now that we have the modded "setup.inx" file, the rest is just tricking FW_V32_5.10.00.5053.exe's files to install.

    Now, navigate to "C:Documents and SettingsYour_User_NameLocal SettingsTemp" (Set folders to view hidden files

    and folders to see Local Settings). Now, keep your Disk1 folder opened beside this one. Just to make life easier, go ahead

    now and delete everything out of your Temp directory (unless you really need it for some reason). In your Disk1 folder,

    (which should have the modded "setup.inx" file in there, btw) double-click setup.exe. Now, two file folders should

    appear in your Temp directory. The first one should just contain "_Setup.dll" and "setup.ini" Now, before you hit continue

    (if you've done everything right) on the dialog box to install, copy the folder "Disk1" into this directory. So you should have

    "_Setup.dll", "setup.ini", and "Disk1" (with the files in the folder) in this folder in the Temp directory. Now click continue

    and everything should now install!!!!

    Shut down computer, connect Firewire 410 via firewire, turn on computer, watch as computer installs new hardware…

    Now, this took me about 12 hours of Googling and trying half a dozen dead-end ideas to get this to work. My point is,

    I don't work for M-Audio. I'm just a consumer of one of their products trying to use what I payed for. i.e. a WORKING

    product. I just still don't understand why their driver for this wasn't updated months ago in anticipation of a small hotfix


    Please, Niels, if you're listing: Just make that simple change to your code. If you feel that that change might make it

    unstable, that's what betas are for… And, also, IMHO, telling customers to uninstall and then reinstall sp3 just so they can

    install a driver for a sound device is really passing the buck (not to mention, potentially mucking up their system). How

    long would it take for your code monkeys to fix one character in one line of code as opposed to making dozens of people

    spend a couple of frustrating hours with something that's supposed to work out of the box?

  • Graham Davies

    It looks like M-Audio have fallen into the same mess that Panasonic did with their Laser Printers. They advertised the Printers as "Windows Compatible" and when Win98 was replaced with NT dropped all support. That was until they realised that they would have to buy back every printer! M-Audio I would check your literature, you may find you will need a lot of warehouse space very soon! At least Panasonic pulled all the plugs out to correct their error and still support the printers today…

  • Aaron Urbanski

    Guess what? I've had the same problems. I just upgraded from a Fast Track Pro (which worked wonderfully under Vista 32 but has now been sold to Guitar Center, never to return) to a Fast Track Ultra, and Vista does not even recognize the device. I've gotten it to work ONCE after 6 hours of Google searching, uninstalling and reinstalling every USB host controller and after multiple driver uninstalls/reinstalls and rebooting every 5 minutes, my machine still does not recognize that the interface is connected to the computer AT ALL. I want my money back and I sincerely regret selling the old device. So much for fancy new technology.

    Mainly though I'm pissed and disappointed with M-Audio's crappy driver development. Literally the only thing I was worried about was that the hardware would not interface well with my computer. Guess I've learned my lesson, and I'm probably going to return this thing because I'm sick of facing the same stupid issues.


  • Aaron Urbanski

    I apologize for my previous comment. Turns out the unit itself was bad, I exchanged it for a working one. All is now right with the world. 🙂

  • Edgar

    I have the same issue that Luseira above is having.

    I got Leopard last november and waited to upgrade my iMac until last week, until M-audio released the NON-beta drivers.

    At first it all looked magnificent. No more glitches or delays when using the system's volume control, but then, as is part of my rutine I put the mac to sleep;

    next time I woke it up and NO sound! I thought it was a once off but I've tried it several times and I have to shutdown and restart my iMac in order for the FW-410 interface to produce sound again!

    I can't believe the answer M-Audio gave to Luseira above; I won't be shutting down the mac everytime, and I won't leave it on all time either!

    I'm now full of frustration and looking into alternatives (hopefully some poor soul may want to buy my FW410).

    I have already scrapped all m-audio products I had in my wishlist; I can't be loyal to a brand that simply doesn't deliver.

    I challenge Mr. Niels Larsen to change M-audio strategy and forget about investing in new product development and channel that effort into keeping your current customers happy as opposed to attract new victims to throw their money to the bin.

  • Sergio Xavier

    I have a Firewire 410 and XP-SP3. I worked around the installer SP3 refuse installing the previus driver. It install and work well in windows XP.

  • Mr Bungle

    Being a Mac ProjectMix User, I too was upset at the glacially slow pace of M-Audio getting drivers ready. But the part that really rubbed salt in the wounds was that they seemed to be able to get application updates out the door with apparent ease (e.g.: Torq)…

    M-Audio should be working with Apple (and Microsoft) to have drivers ready AT LAUNCH, or within a month. 10.6 was announced at WWDC this month (HINT: get the dev kit guys!) and 10.5.4 is just around the corner, I'd like to think the updated PMIX driver for 10.5.3 will be out before 10.5.5 or 10.6!

  • Chrisser

    I am a recent Projectmix buyer. I so wish I had waited for the Alesis MasterControl to be released in September delayed due to the development of decent drivers I suspect.

    I had no idea I was entering the world of the sad M-audio user. I bought a new core 2 quad PC with Vista 64 to run Sonar in 64bit and 4gbs of ram to see it fly. Only to find (yes) no drivers for the PM. So I bit the bullet and downgraded to Vista 32 which came with SP1 as all new boxes do. So now I find audio glitching on record and that it may be some time before the current Microsoft primary OS is supported. Unbeleeeeevvvaaabbblleee!!!!!!

    Absolutley pathetic is one way to describe it. Verging on suicide from a business point of view is another. A slap in the face for the user and buyer.

    I can't downgrade to Vista 32 as I cannot remove SP1. The sp1 upgrade does not appear in the remove update facility. I can't buy XP professional anymore as Msoft have ceased supply. I deeply regret the £725 I spent on this useless doorstop and I to Challenge Niels Larsen to help me and the many other users left stranded by their complacent attitude to customers and driver development. SP1 and 64bit Vista support 'are some way off' well I wish I was from m-audio products.

    I strongly suspect that the SP1 and 64 beta drivers don't exist in any form.

  • Chris, I think you may be confusing SP1 and 64-bit Vista. You definitely can remove SP1; it's in add/remove Windows features I think. But you can't "remove" 64-bit — you need to reinstall 32-bit Vista. 32-bit Vista SP1 should work just fine.


  • Mr Bungle

    Looks like M-Audio have finally updated the ProgectMix drivers for 10.5.3!

  • audioguru42, thank you so much!

    i did a fresh install with sp3 so your solution was the only one for me, and it worked great.

  • xdurus

    I had a problem with the drivers for my audiophile 192.They would not install. When trying to install it said something like unable to install this OS not supported.

    The Fix is easy, all you have to do is change 2 of registry entries to trick it into thinking it is sp2

    Just follow these easy steps:

    In the start menu click on "run" then type "regedit" without qoutes

    then find the following reg entries:



    Change the value to "200" then it will look like this "CSDVersion"=dword:00000200"


    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersion]

    "CSDVersion"="Service Pack 3"

    and change to "CSDVersion"="Service Pack 2"






    You will now have sound.

  • Machinehead

    SP3 drivers for Firewire devices came out June 26th.

  • Machinehead

    oops, make that the 29th.

  • it's very cool that niels larsen from m-audio is posting to this site.

    niels, maybe you could fix a basic customer support issue?

    cuz if you lose the power supply for a prokeys-88 keyboard, you are in for a miserable experience.

    1. specs for power supply not posted on the keyboard itself. (that would have been optimal).

    2. documentation doesn't list in table of contents.

    a. look under "what's in the box", says 12 v, but how many amps?

    b. look under "technical info". oh that describes your trademarks?

    c.ok. found it under "before you connect your ProKeys88". it says 12V 500mA.

    d. went out and bought it. plugged it in,

    nothing. dead. didn't work.

    e.went online. rambled through your website trying to decipher your horrible UI. finally find page that says ProKeys 88 requires 9V 500 mA. contradicts the manual. whatever. what else can i do but try and buy it?

    e. ok. put in shopping cart.

    now i have to register to buy it.

    did that. now the shopping cart is empty.

    this is the worst UI.

    finally trick the UI into letting me buy it.

    but it does not itemize what i bought.

    hope it's the 9V power supply.

    uhoh. fingers crossed.

    what a horrible experience.

  • dam68

    Hi, i'm a recent projectmix user and its ridiculous that M-Audio won't getting driver ready for 10.5.2 (leopard). I don't understand why M-Audio set new products on the market without getting drivers for all os? I can't believe that from M-Audio…..

    Dam, from mauritius!

  • Ggozunso

    M-Audio has permanently dropped the ball. M-Audio fails. They now make you pay for support now, which is ludicrous for a company that creates its own problems and doesn't fix them.

    They are located in a big warehouse that I've brought my gear to for fixing and 100,000 yen says they will be out of that building by 2010 due to their disregard for the people that made them such a large company in the first place. I don't want to hear apologies from CEOs and general managers, I want to hear "Hey, we fixed it, because we pay our developers well and get quality employees." Not, we pay them just enough so they try to look like they are doing something useful so as to not lose their jobs.

    Don't get me wrong, there are geniuses in that company and digi too. But you higher ups aren't listening. Remember ladies and gentleman, if you keep picking away at the foundation you stand on, you will fall too.

    To end on a positive note though, my PT 7.4 system works fine with no bugs. My main beef is that if M-Audio fails as a company, then I'm going to have to switch to something else. (Which I don't want to do)For goodness sakes people, GET IT TOGETHER!

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