Alan’s Broken Audio Interface

2023-08-20 – I (still) Don’t Have A Decent Audio Interface

My MOTU 828MkIII, which I’ve used since 2009, won’t interface with either my MacBook Pro, nor my desktop PC anymore. As a result, I can’t:

  • Record more than 2 mics at a time (I could record 10 before),
  • Make videos about how I record/produce anything in my main professional sound program (which runs on the windows side of my MacBook, and my Desktop PC)

So it’s a very serious limitation on my creativity!

Potential Solutions:

  1. Sept 5, 2023: I took the unit to my chip repair guy and have spent $262.50 having him try to repair it. So far, no success, but he’s checking one more thing. Cost: $262.50 CAD
  2. Find and buy a used Motu 828 to replace the old one. They’re harder to find now because they’re an old device. Last one I say was around $500 on Kijiji. Estimated cost: $500 CAD
  3. Buy a new, more modern Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 to replace and upgrade the MOTU, and set me up for years of future success. Cost: $891.45 CAD

Details Of The Problem:

When I was recording Levee Breaking 777 Mix at the Sophia Sound Temple, I (again) accidentally plugged my firewire cable in at a weird angle into the back of my Motu 828 MkIII, which I’ve used for 16 years for all my sound production. It’s annoying because the IEEE 1394 cable is relatively easy to plug in okay upside down (the wrong way), but it definitely doesn’t work that way, nor is it good for the unit.

MOTU won’t service their unit anymore because it’s old; I have one quote from a local chip repair guy who looked inside and said that there’s a bunch of corrosion build-up on the motherboard of the unit, on top of the physical port issue. I got him to go ahead with the $262.50 to clean up and re-solder all corroded leads, but that did not solve the issue. So I have it back with him to look more specifically at the firewire components.

To go on doing further troubleshooting, he said he would require either another MOTU 828 MkIII to test against/salvage parts from, or the service schematic for the unit.