The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
MOTU 24io Clock Freakouts Audio Interfaces
Old 2nd June 2017
  #1
MOTU 24io Clock Freakouts

Apologies if this is the wrong forum, but it was the closest I could think of for my questions.

For your convenience, the tl;dr is:

I have two 24ios that have freaked, either losing clock (in a banshee shriek most of the time) or refusing to sync to clock at all. This is the 3rd or 4th time I've had this issue, and MOTU has done either a refurb swap or repair each time, and I'll probably send these to them one more time for a fix.

What I'm wanting to know is *why* this happens. Some component has died, but I don't know which one. Is it just a design weakness of the 24ios? Some chip that is known to be flaky? Overwhelmed power supply? Is there some part I could replace on my own? Is it the 2408 or 424 that might be the issue?

Finally, have any of you that own 24ios ever run into this problem? If so, how often?

The "right" answer at this point is to migrate to AVB or some other interface, but it's going to be hard to replace 72 channels of I/O all at once. I'd like to squeeze at least another couple of years out of these guys if possible, but I'm reaching the end of my patience.

Here are the gory, long-winded details...

My setup: Mid-2012 Mac Pro with three MOTU 24ios and an original 2408. 24ios are connected directly to outboard gear (synths, drum machines, and effects). The 2408 is only used to send SPDIF out to a Presonus Central Station which drives the monitors.

The issue: I set everything up a few months ago after a move and everything has been operating flawlessly. I don't ordinarily power down the 24ios or the Mac, though it does go into sleep mode and wakes without any problem. I went out of town for four days last weekend and powered down the studio before leaving.

This week, when I powered everything back up, one of the 24ios (let's call it Unit C) went through the "looking for clock" sequence, but then freaks out and lights up almost all LEDs. It reminds me of when R2D2 got zapped and every appendage shot out at once. It never syncs to clock. This behavior occurs whether the Audiowire cable is connected or not.

Unit B syncs to clock successfully and responds to clock changes, but within 15 minutes I start getting static / bursts of noise, one or two of the channel meters will spike, then I get a blast of noise and it loses clock, lighting up random LEDs. The only thing that fixes it is power cycling, but the problem always comes back in 10-15 minutes.

Unit A is behaving perfectly, as is the 2408. I can change clock rates, etc. I don't know if this has any bearing on anything, but Unit A is an older one with the unicorn stamped in the rack ear. The other two are younger.

What I've tried:
  • The power selector reset trick (110/220 switch back and forth several times)
  • Reseating and swapping the Audiowire cables to various ports on the PCIe 424
  • Leaving powered off for 24 hours and trying again
I have not yet moved the 424 to a different PCI slot, but I don't really think that's going to make a difference.

What I suspect: The only thing I can think might have caused this is some sort of power spike, though I don't think we had any electrical storm activity while I was gone. Everything's plugged into Furman rack-style surge protectors. As I mentioned above, this has happened to me multiple times, so either there's a design weakness, or the 24io is the most electrically (emotionally) unstable piece of gear in the studio. Nothing else has ever had a problem.
Old 5th June 2017
  #2
Well, after contacting MOTU today, it looks like these things are dead for good. They say they don't have the parts to repair them anymore, so I'm guessing the root cause is a fragile proprietary chip. If anyone knows anything I can try before selling them for parts, please let me know.

I wish they'd put out a replacement for the 24io in the new AVB line with the same analog IO in a single rack space, but ah well. Time to get new IO and rethink my whole studio workflow.
Old 6th June 2017
  #3
Gear Nut
 

Before you toss these things in the trash... have you tried using a word clock generator to feed clock directly to each 24io? It's been a long time but I recall having a 2408, a 2408 Mk2 or 3 and a 24o in my studio and having all sorts of clock issues until I bought a clock generator (I think it was a Ludic GENx6-96 or something like that). What I do recall vividly was that the clicks and pops and sync issues all went away when I ran individual clock cables from the GENX to the MOTU boxes.
'Might be worth a try. Best regards
Steve La Cerra
Old 6th June 2017
  #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Northamusi View Post
Before you toss these things in the trash... have you tried using a word clock generator to feed clock directly to each 24io? It's been a long time but I recall having a 2408, a 2408 Mk2 or 3 and a 24o in my studio and having all sorts of clock issues until I bought a clock generator (I think it was a Ludic GENx6-96 or something like that). What I do recall vividly was that the clicks and pops and sync issues all went away when I ran individual clock cables from the GENX to the MOTU boxes.
'Might be worth a try. Best regards
Steve La Cerra
I have not tried that, Steve - thank you for the suggestion! At this point, I'm not sure how much more "good money after bad" I want to invest in this, though. It's clear that the 424 line is on borrowed time.

I've been really fortunate that I've never had clock issues with the MOTU gear. The only time I ever had a problem was trying to connect a Lexicon MPX-100 to the 2408 via SPDIF, and that was solved by letting the Lexi generate clock when I was using it, then switching back to the 424 when I was through. Then I got an Eventide H3000 and somehow the Lexi wasn't used as often.

I'm now flirting with two paths forward:

A: Haul out the Mackie 32*8 and go back to my old-school style of working. There was a lot to be said for that, as I always seemed to get really nice sounding mixes. It would be interesting to try summing things back through the Mackie as well for final bounce down. The problem is that my outboard gear collection has grown significantly, and I'd be constantly patching things in and out, which has always been a mojo-killer for me.

B: Start moving over to the AVB stuff and stay in "virtual mixer" territory. The only thing really holding me back from this is $$$$$. I think it's the inevitable endpoint for me, though.

Thanks again for the suggestion!
Old 10th June 2017
  #5
Deleted User
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Releaux View Post
I have not tried that, Steve - thank you for the suggestion! At this point, I'm not sure how much more "good money after bad" I want to invest in this, though. It's clear that the 424 line is on borrowed time.

I've been really fortunate that I've never had clock issues with the MOTU gear. The only time I ever had a problem was trying to connect a Lexicon MPX-100 to the 2408 via SPDIF, and that was solved by letting the Lexi generate clock when I was using it, then switching back to the 424 when I was through. Then I got an Eventide H3000 and somehow the Lexi wasn't used as often.

I'm now flirting with two paths forward:

A: Haul out the Mackie 32*8 and go back to my old-school style of working. There was a lot to be said for that, as I always seemed to get really nice sounding mixes. It would be interesting to try summing things back through the Mackie as well for final bounce down. The problem is that my outboard gear collection has grown significantly, and I'd be constantly patching things in and out, which has always been a mojo-killer for me.

B: Start moving over to the AVB stuff and stay in "virtual mixer" territory. The only thing really holding me back from this is $$$$$. I think it's the inevitable endpoint for me, though.

Thanks again for the suggestion!
It sounds like you really do need a master clock. I just ran into this thread as I've experienced a bit of the same with my MOTU gear when I add other items into the digital chain like Behringer 8800s to the TDIF inputs. My setup is similar -- 3 2408s and a 24i/o.

I ordered an Avid Sync I/O off eBay for $40, which operates in stand-alone mode and offers up to 192KHz clocking; should arrive today in fact... At one point I had considered using my MOTU MTP AV as a clock master but figured it would only be good for 44.1Khz. I may yet try it.

Unfortunately my budget doesn't have ~$1,200 for an interface like the 1248 or the 16A...
Old 10th June 2017
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by dluther View Post
It sounds like you really do need a master clock. I just ran into this thread as I've experienced a bit of the same with my MOTU gear when I add other items into the digital chain like Behringer 8800s to the TDIF inputs. My setup is similar -- 3 2408s and a 24i/o.

I ordered an Avid Sync I/O off eBay for $40, which operates in stand-alone mode and offers up to 192KHz clocking; should arrive today in fact... At one point I had considered using my MOTU MTP AV as a clock master but figured it would only be good for 44.1Khz. I may yet try it.

Unfortunately my budget doesn't have ~$1,200 for an interface like the 1248 or the 16A...
For most of my studio's life, I've been able to avoid needing a clock. 99% of my connections were analog, and the only reason I was trying to get the MPX-100 in digitally was because I lost one of its analog output channels, but digital worked.

As I've drawn up sketches for replacing the 48 channels of input and output that I've lost, I ended up with two scenarios:

A. Add a 16A and a 24i with one Behringer ADA8200, and run this system in parallel with the remaining 24io and the 2408. MOTU confirmed that both systems could run simultaneously.

B. Bite the bullet, retire all of the 424 gear, and move to AVB. By making a couple of effects units and synths "optional" that could be patched in when needed, I could make this happen with two 24Ai and two ADA8200s.

I was torn between the two and hoped that a deciding factor would appear with one of those being significantly less expensive than the other, but total implementation cost with cabling, etc., is only different by about $50. Final decision day will be Monday, but I think I'm going with B. There are some trade-offs, but I can live with them. Eventually, I'll add a 1248 when I upgrade to a Thunderbolt-capable computer.

I think you're correct that a clock is in my future. I was looking at the Antelope Audio OCXHD, but hadn't even thought about picking up an older unit on the cheap to get started. Thanks for the tip!
Old 8th November 2017
  #7
Here for the gear
 

Hello! I have had the same exact problem. happened pretty much the same time too. was working flawlessly then, around June of 2017, just started freaking out. cant even use now. I Was wondering if you ever ended up finding a resolution for this. I am tempted to try the external master clock, but its more money than I can shell out for a shot in the dark solution.
Old 9th November 2017
  #8
Lives for gear
FWIW, I have a 2408 which gets blackburst from a Rosendahl generator; the generator is also sending wordclock to a bunch of other gear in the room (Finalizer+, Orville, standalone ADC/DAC...)

Everything was fine until I updated my OS. That required me to update the MOTU driver. The driver, for some reason, slips to Internal Sync every now and again. Then I have to reassign it to video sync and power cycle the 2408 to make things happy again.
Old 28th November 2017
  #9
Here for the gear
 

Possible Fix?

I have had this same issue and may have found a fix. Have a 424 card with a 24 I/O. it was doing the same banshee freakout noise. I am pretty sure it is a clock issue between the interface and the computer's internal clock itself. I am currently on os Sierra. the issue seems to be all the other apps with sound causing sample rate discrepancies between apps. most apps probably are designed for 44.1k or 48k. odds are most people are recording at 88.2k or higher. when they clash, I believe this is what triggers the clock issues.

in system preferences-->Audio: I assigned all audio IO to the outputs on the motherboard like there was no 3rd party soundcard at all. (make sure to switch the sound effects too). then I set my DAW (Logic X) to output and input to the 424 card exclusively. it has been running smoothly all day. I will follow up in a week or two just to make sure. I am sure PC will Let you do something similar.

i should note that i am using an mixer with my system so i have one channel on the mixer for the main output of the computer mobo to hear audio not in logic,
and another channel getting my output from the 24 I/O specifically for Logic. then power everything down and back on starting with the 24 io


If anyone has had this issue and tries this please let keep me posted if this fix works.
Old 2nd November 2018
  #10
akr
Here for the gear
 

????

Same issue.
What about the trick you described in the first post?

QUOTE
The power selector reset trick (110/220 switch back and forth several times)
Old 3rd November 2018
  #11
akr
Here for the gear
 

Anyone?
Old 3rd November 2018
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by akr View Post
Same issue.
What about the trick you described in the first post?

QUOTE
The power selector reset trick (110/220 switch back and forth several times)
Hi AKR,

The power-select trick is to power off the 24IO (I also removed the power cable, not sure that's required), and then rapidly move the voltage select switch on the side of the unit back and forth several times.

Here's the technote: MOTU.com - How do I reset my unit to its Factory Defaults?

Make sure that you put it back to the proper setting before turning things on again. This procedure worked for me several times over the years but, as noted in this thread, not this time.
Old 4th November 2018
  #13
Lives for gear
 
Radardoug's Avatar
 

All that procedure does is wipe the contacts on the power switch. It wont be any kind of system reset.
Old 6th November 2018
  #14
akr
Here for the gear
 

Not working for me
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump