Weird cracking and distortion noises on UR824

Hi, I just received my UR824 this past Friday, I installed the latest drivers v1.0.4, and it is also making some horrible noises like digital distortion when I playback audio, the audio sounds horrible for like 10 or more seconds, it doesn´t matter the asio buffer size, it can be 256, 64, or even 2048 and it doesn´t matter, changing the asio buffer size doesn´t resolve anything, this happens like every 5 or 10 min, this can happen even with a single audio track in the DAW with no plugins, so the size of a project doesn´t seems to matter either, is just randmon noise and distortion at random times.

This never happened to me with my previous audio interface, I´m really disappointed, I really need to know if this is just a driver issue and it can be solved in future updates, or this means that I got a bad unit, and I need to send it back for repair?

I just can not believe that cheaper 99 dollar interfaces have a better performance than a 799 dollar unit :confused:

One other issue I´m having is that when I´m working with a heavily load project, suddenly a horrible loud distortion sound occurs, that almost damaged my ears and blow up my monitors, and the DAW freezes for a like 10 or 20 or more seconds, this also happens every few minutes.

Ok you can blame my heavlily load project and my computer, but this didn´t happened with my previous interface, the DAW just freezes, but no sudden horrible loud distortion ever happened, it´s not possible that in order for me to find out that I´m overloading a project, I have to risk my ears and my monitors when this sound occurs… I mean, I don´t mind if the DAW freezes, or if I have to restart my machine, or any other inconvenient, but come on! What´s the deal with that noise? I´m literally afraid to use the interface, because if I use it with a very low volume just to clearly hear what I´m doing, the noise is still loud enough to give me a heart attack (because it happens too sudden) and damage my ears and my speakers.
I´m doing everything I can to make my projects lighter, converting midi to audio, freezing tracks, etc. but then again, that noise is not normal, and it´s really dangerous for me and my equipment, and again changing the asio buffer size doesn´t resolve the problem.

Yesterday I was playin a little with my midi controller and Addictive Drums and when I played too fast, it seems like the interface can´t handle the audio and just freezes and makes this horrible noise, like a beep but too distorted.

So… again: A driver issue or a defective unit?

I have a shiny new 799 dollar interface just resting there, because I´m afraid to use it, I don´t want to end up deaf or death from a heart attack!

My sistem: Windows 7 64 bit, Core i3 2.53Ghz, 4 Gb ram

I have the same problem you described.

Me to I had to up the buffers to unacceptable level to stop the crackling and now have to direct monitor everything which is not what I wanted.

Having had problems with my PCI INfrasonic Quartet card - crackles,… - I have been looking into this also.

I have uninstalled the driver and removed the card, cleaned the registy with CCleaner and installed the Win7 64bit driver of an Edirol UA25-EX USB card. My problems are gone.

But, and this might be relevant, I had problems with the on-board audio interfering with the Quartet card. So I disabled it in the BIOS.

In Devices > Device setup > VSTAudio system, I checked “Activate Steinberg Audio Power Scheme”

When you get a deafening, overdriven sound it looks like someinput may be set for something very sensitive (mike?) whilst a guitar or organ is attached.

Only trying to help…

Thanks Henius for the help, first of all, when I get that noise I don´t have anything connected to the unit, I´m just mixing.
About the on-board audio card, it´s disabled, but I do it from windows contro panel, not from the bios (maybe I could try that).
And about the driver, do you think that I can use some other Asio driver, I think I read a post once, from a guy that uninstalled the steinberg driver (he was using an UR28M i think) and installed Asio4all drivers and all he´s problems disappeared, maybe I could try with a different asio driver, could you recommend me one?

But my original question remains: Do you think this is just a driver issue? Or could be a hardware issue too?

Someone from Steinberg???

Normally the best ASIO driver is the one that has been created by the card manufacturer for the card and for that specific operating system. Normally, under devices you can also choose the default ASIO driver that Cubase adds for those who do not have a specific driver with their card. You could use that.

Man, I understand your frustration! And the uncertainty: should the hardware be replaced or not?
I’m not of much help, but I try to think with you.

  • have you tried installing the driver and using the hardware on another computer? Not to run Cubase, but to listen to, say, some YouTube, a cd, … That way you could confirm it’s the card or reduce the problem to your own computer.

  • have you tried uninstalling the card and listen to some recorded music/a cd with the on-board audio?
    Is the driver of your previous soft fully uninstalled? With evt. CCleaner to remove thraces left in the registry?

  • where did you buy the hardware? Have you tried contacting them personally with your problem?

  • have you tried other forums like for example gearslutz or kvraudio?

  • could you evt. install a trial of, say, Reaper and try to use your card from there?

    the more you know, the better.

Thanks Henius you are helping me.

I haven´t tried to use the device with another computer, but I will try…

I completely uninstalled the previous driver (from Alesis) with Revo-uninstaller and cleaned de registry with CCleaner.

Now, the thing is that the “noise” happens only with DAW software, the noise doesn´t happen while listening to music or a CD, or watching Youtube videos or even with other software like Guiar Rig 5, I can be playing with Guitar Rig for 4 hours with the asio buffer size at 64 samples with out any problem, not even a little glitch or pop or noise, nothing! but once I use a DAW like Samplitude Pro X which is the main DAW I use, or Presonus Studio One, or Cubase, I even downloaded some trials like Sonar X1 and Reaper and the problem is the same with all DAW,s.

I really believe this is a driver issue because like I said, the problem doesn´t happen when listening to music, youtube videos, movies, or software like Guitar Rig, and if this was a hardware problem I suppose that the noise would happen with any audio source, but I´m just guessing.

I got the unit from Sweetwater, but I´m from Mexico, so that´s why I want to avoid as much as possible to send the unit back for warranty, because of the shipping costs, and that´s why I want to be sure first.

It´s really strange this problem, because only happens with DAW software, I would really appreciate if someone from Steinberg tell me if it is just a driver issue, I don´t mind to wait for future driver updates

Are you using it with an USB HUB? I have noticed problems when used in that way.

Hi Antonio! It´s nice to read you over here. I´m an Hispasonic member.

And no, I´m not using an USB HUB, it is connected directly to USB port on my laptop. Antonio, you said you have noticed problems when used that way, so do you own or have used a UR824? Or do you mean any audio interface in general?

I have to comment that the loud distortion noise is happening only in Samplitude 32bit version, and now I´m sure that it is a Samplitude 32bit issue, because it happened the other day, using the onboard audio card of my laptop with Asio4all drivers, so at least now I know that the biggest problem was Samplitudes fault and not the UR824.

But the other issue is still there, the crackling noise, like dirty degraded audio, this isn´t a loud noise like the other, it´s just like if the audio were dirty and degraded to the lowest possible quality, crackling and distorting. And this happens with every DAW, except Nuendo :S I don´t know why, the other day I tried the UR824 on a friend´s PC, and he uses Nuendo, we tried with many DAW´s and the problem was still there, just like in my laptop, but with Nuendo, we where using it for hours, we even mixed a complete song, and we didn´t have any problems at all, the UR824 behaved like a champ! Just perfect! (We tried this 2 different days, and the result was the same)

I think that although this devices are made to work with most DAW software out there, obviously the best performance your gonna get, is with Steinberg software. But Nuendo it´s too expensive for me, and the Cubase version I tried was de Cubase AI6 version that came with the interface. So maybe I will have to seriously consider the idea to make the change from Samplitude to a full Cubase version. I have to admit that I loved the way the interface worked with Nuendo, the integration was superb, and I´ve never felt it so solid and stable.

And in the meantime wait for future driver releases, and hope that they improve the unit´s performance.

Thanks Antonio, I know that you have lots of work, and I really appreciate that you are here trying to help, I hope that I can resolve this issue soon…

I have one right now, but I use it in Mac.

I don’t think that this interface is intended to be Steinberg only. The only thing that I can suggest is try to have a clean windows setup in another hard drive to be sure that there is not anything messing around. If it’s not working as it should, contact to Steinberg. The support service is pretty good.

I know they aren´t intended to be Steinberg only, but I did really noticed that the performance was a little better, no noises or crackling at all, but still, it can be used with any DAW.

About the Steinberg support, I tried that, but it seems that they don´t give support in my country Mexico, they say that I have tu contact Yamaha Mexico. I will try to do a fresh windows install as soon as I have the time.

Thanks for the help.

A stupid question, have you tried to change the buffer size of the ASIO driver?

Yes, change the Asio buffer size was the first thing I tried, and it doesn´t help

I would help a lot if you but your Computer Specs… Mac or Win.

I have the UR824 and don’t have any of these issues… Used it on a Laptop as well…

My computer specs are in my first post: Asus laptop, Windows 7 64bit, Intel Core i3 380M, 2.53Ghz, 4Gb ram


Do you connect usb cable into usb2.0 port directly ? (not usb3.0 port ?)


Yes, directly into usb2.0 port, my laptop doesn´t even have usb3.0


I have had the same troubles with my UR824.
I updated my Bios (Systemboard is about 2 years old) then the performance was much better and the ur runs without noises.
But in your case maybe the new driver from 6. August 2012 will be the first choice. You can find it on the downloads. You had to scroll down to see the new drivers.

hope it helps

P.S. I am running 3 UR824 and record 24 tracks at 44.1kHz or 16 Tracks at 96kHz. Using an Intel Core2 Quad Q8400 with 8GB Ram, Win7 64bit.

Hi fkoe6!

Thanks for the help, you´re giving me hope.

Sorry if this is a stupid question, but when you say you updated your Bios, you mean the Bios
of your computer right? I haven´t tried that, but I´m going to…

And Thanks! I wasn´t aware that there was a new driver update! I´m gonna install it right
now and try it, and I´ll report back.

Another question I have if is someone knows if there is a firmware update for the UR824?
I´ve only seen driver updates, but no firmware updates.

Question: Do you recommend to uninstall previous drivers completely? Or can I just install the new one over the last one?


I see, and you still have same issue (noise) ?
You said you already installed latest driver ?
I wonder what causes cracking, mine works well without problem
(core i 5, 8gb ram, win7-64bit, w/ latest tools)