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  #1  
Old 03-03-2017, 03:20 AM
terhardp terhardp is offline
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Default Mbox 3 + Windows 10 = Bad Lightshow

Recently, I've tried to install and test the latest stable version of Windows 10 on my studio system since according to Avid, my primary interface (Mbox 3) is now compatible. I've tried to record both MIDI and audio in the latest version of REAPER 5, which is now my main DAW, playing with the standalone versions of my KOMPLETE 10 apps, even tried to work in Pro Tools 11 which seems to work fine, even without any Windows compatibility settings turned on.

However, there is one issue that annoys me quite a bit: strange behavior of LED indicators on the unit, that wasn't present on my Windows 7 installation. Here is what I've been experiencing:

1) When booting up the system, power LED often starts to blink and stays that way all the time. The only solution seems to be disconnecting and reconnecting the USB cable or system restart which often doesn't help. I've also read that this blinking is sometimes caused by mismatch between the sample rate setting in Mbox Control Panel and in Windows Sound Settings, however setting them to the same value hasn't solved the problem for me;

2) On Windows 7, when the system boots up, along with the power LED, indicators for Multi, Phantom, Mono and Dim light up and stay that way until the shutdown. On Windows 10 however, they do not turn on at all after the startup unless I do the USB reconnecting trick;

3) When I shutdown the system on Windows 10, all the lights on the unit stay on unless I throw the switch on my PSU. On Windows 7, they automatically turn off after the shutdown.

Even though my programs seem to be working fine, at least during this short test, the mentioned issue bothers me quite a bit so I went back to Windows 7 for the time being. But I would greatly appreciate if someone could guide me in the right direction on how to solve this. Is this a driver issue? I suspect that Avid really hasn't done any actual testing of Mbox 3rd gen devices on Windows 10 and they've simply stamped the latest Windows 7/8 driver as Windows 10 compliant, hence the problem. So far, Mbox 3 served me well and I don't see the need of purchasing a new interface, even though I've migrated from Pro Tools to REAPER for the most part. But since Microsoft will stop supporting Windows 7 relatively soon, I would like to be able to upgrade to Windows 10 in due time. One can only hope that Avid will release the "real" Windows 10 driver for Mbox 3 before EOS, so any insight on what causes this problem would be most welcome.

P.S. Please forgive me for possible double posting. I'm aware there were some threads about this issue before, but they didn't help me sort this out.
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  #2  
Old 05-29-2017, 07:16 AM
terhardp terhardp is offline
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Default Re: Mbox 3 + Windows 10 = Bad Lightshow

To those who are annoyed by the above mentioned issue (like myself), here is a little update and a "solution" which is far from ideal, but at least it's something.

To begin with, I've bitten the bullet and went from Windows 7 to 10 as the primary OS for my DAW. For better or worse, Windows 10 is here to stay so one should try to adopt it. Currently I'm running the latest version (Creators Update) while at the time of the last post, I was running Anniversary Update.

So far I haven't had any issues with any of my production software or hardware, but the problem with Mbox 3 LED's is still present. However, I have found a little trick which helps to some degree.

I've made a preset in Mbox Control Panel application which has sample rate set to 48000, which is the same value used in Windows 10 sound settings. So when I boot up the system, I open the mentioned application and reload the preset. At this point, all the indicators on the unit (Multi, Phantom, Mono, Dim) light up as they should. However, the blue power LED is still blinking, but if I temporarily change sample rate to 44000 and then back to 48000 it starts to light permanently. Less than ideal, but it works (kind of). So far, it seems that setting the Mbox as the default Windows audio device or not doesn't help with the power LED issue. I must experiment some more.

All the LED's still stay on after the shutdown. I'm solving this with throwing the switch on my PSU to off (which may not be a bad idea anyway even though I use UPS for my equipment).

All in all, I think all this confirms that those issues are being caused by the "latest" Mbox 3 driver which is (judging by the release date - 2014!?) just an old Windows 7/8 one, being hastily declared as Windows 10 compatible by Avid. The good thing is that everything works OK so far (fingers crossed). But it would be most welcome to see properly updated Mbox 3 drivers in the future. One can only hope...

Last edited by terhardp; 05-29-2017 at 07:26 AM.
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  #3  
Old 06-28-2017, 02:36 AM
terhardp terhardp is offline
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Default Re: Mbox 3 + Windows 10 = Bad Lightshow

To the ones that have the same problem with their Mbox 3 on Windows 10, I'm happy to say that I've finally determined the cause and the permanent solution!

The culprit is the new Fast Startup option in Windows 10 Power Options which is enabled by default. From what I've read, it puts Windows kernel and drivers in the state of hibernation. This doesn't play well with Mbox 3 drivers, as the device doesn't turn off properly and during the next boot up it forgets the set sample rate which should be fixed by the settings in Mbox 3 Control Panel application.

Now with Fast Startup turned off, my Mbox 3 finally turns off after the shutdown. When booting up, the Power LED start to light as it should and when the login screen appear, MULTI, PHANTOM, MONO and DIM light up as well. No more resetting the Mbox Control Panel nor fiddling with the PSU switch.

The funniest thing is that I've stumbled upon the solution by trying to solve another problem. All of the sudden my DAW system refused to shut down when I chose the option from the Windows key. I've checked the Internet for the possible causes to this, and one of the most mentioned advices was to turn the Fast Startup off. Two birds with the one stone.

The downside is that with Fast Startup turned off, my system takes a bit longer to shutdown. But as I'm using SSD's for my OS, programs and sample libraries, this is tolerable.

All in all, I'm glad this is finally over and I hope I've helped someone at the same time.
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