We had a guy drop in the store with a machine today. He just couldn’t get the MIDI to work at all, and the problem appeared to happen on the OS and not the software level.
We would go into the Audio MIDI Setup utility, and after spinning the beach ball for a little while, the MIDI tab would tell us that it was “Unable to Launch MIDI server”. Turns out, Digidesign was to blame. I think they are quickly turning into the audio world scape goat ala Microsoft, and for a good reason too.
UPDATE: One of the people who commented on this post, franck, may have come up with a solution, or at least a temporary fix. I don’t have an Ultralite on hand so let me know if it works out for you. And make sure to comment if it doesn’t – maybe we can at least make MOTU listen and absorb the costs of getting this worked out. Seriously, what the fuck.
After going through the list of drivers under /Library/Audio/MIDI Devices/ I noticed there were some Digidesign drivers present. What has happened was the customer had a MacBook Pro which was acting weird, so they’ve rented out an older PowerBook G4, and transferred all the data from the MBP via the Migration Utility. Along with that, o’course, they’ve transferred over all the Digidesign drivers and shit that was left over from their installation of Pro Tools.
I’ve booted into the safe mode (holding Shift while booting up the PowerBook, no less), and trashed everything Digidesign related. The guy has previously used an 002, and those have MIDI ports, so my guess was that the MIDI drivers from Digidesign took over the system, but due to some incompatability, they have blocked the MIDI server altogether.
After the restart, MIDI worked! It seems like the world gets better with every single Digidesign thing you get rid of. Hope this helps some of you who are having the same problem.
Now, we’ve tried to update the firmware on the UltraLite that the guy has now, and that’s a whole ‘nother story. To sum up, we just couldn’t do it. It seemed like the interface wouldn’t go through the process entirely, and 3 out of the 20 times that we’ve attempted to install the firmware, it would seem to actually do it succesfully, and tell us to power cycle the unit. However, every time we would, on the little LCD screen it would say “CPU not valid”, and boot back into the firmware uploader.
I’ve searched the internet, and found absolutely nothing, which is really rare. Just recently I found a website about breeding frogs as pets. But no trace of UltraLite related problems! Over the past few months, I’ve had problems finding support for MOTU products in general, and while I kind of like Digital Performer, lack of support is one thing that still scares me off about it. I’ll just stick to Logic and Cubase for now, I guess.