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After having so many live performance troubles with the M-Audio Firewire 410, I looked around for the best alternative. My research lead me to the MOTU UltraLite mk3. People referred to it as “rock solid” and I had previously heard lots of great things about MOTU hardware. There’s not a lot of competition in this area for some reason. Anyway, I bought one.

Immediately I started having audio drop-outs. Firmware upgrades were involved. I filed a trouble ticket and I complained on Twitter. I read lots of posts and comments about MOTU’s “legendary” bad support (which was not so legendary that I knew about it before I bought one of their products). I wound up going back tonight to have a look at my ticket’s status and check this out:


Wow, ten days later and my ticket’s still Unread. I mean I guess appreciate that they’re up front about not caring, but maybe putting forth at least the illusion of customer service would be a better business strategy. I don’t know.

Posted on - May 1, 2009 [at] 12:46 am by Brad
Tagged in - , , ,

5 Comments on this post

Bill on MOTU
November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

MOTU sucks then. Pain in the hoop dude. A friend of mine was talking to me about the Traveller interface. Maybe not…

Nerdhappy on MOTU
November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

I’ve got an M-Audio Firewire 410 and never had problems with it… but I never play live. Maybe it was the smoke! ;)

What kind of issues did you have with yours?

Brad on MOTU
November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Well there are a few things that made me replace the 410. One was random pops and crackles. Which despite heroic efforts of optimizing the system I couldn’t remove completely.

Then on top of that it turns out the outputs on the 410 aren’t balanced (which isn’t their fault — I didn’t know I’d need that). So I need to get something new anyway.

I did manage to fix my issues with the MOTU Ultralite (for now) and it’s working better than the 410 ever did. But we’ll see if it holds. And knowing the company will be no help doesn’t fill me with a lot of confidence.

Justin on MOTU
November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Yeah, MOTU stuff can be hit or miss… If you can afford it, RME stuff is extremely solid from my experience.. but I still end up using MOTU stuff since often it ends up being easier/cheaper (i.e. if you want a bunch of mic pres integrated…)

Jason on MOTU
May 27, 2009 at 3:24 pm

MOTU stuff can indeed be hit-or-miss.
I am sure someone has already mentioned that you need to be sure you are using a firewire card with a TI chipset.

That will likely be the thing the MOTU guy tells you when he gets around to reading your email.

Assuming you are using Windows XP, You might also want to try out the firewire driver from UniBrain:

Comments are closed on this post.