MOTU HD192 & PCI-424 vs. ProTools 192 I/O & HD1
Shaft
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#1
26th October 2005
Old 26th October 2005
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MOTU HD192 & PCI-424 vs. ProTools 192 I/O & HD1

New to DAWs here - help me slutz!

Leaving software platforms aside, is there a significant sonic difference between the PT HD1 & 192 I/O and the MOTU HD192/PCI-424 core systems?

I really like the MOTU's 12 xlr in and outs. And at $1799, it's quite the deal. But sonically, does it hold up?

I've started my mic collection and I know I need some good pres. But out of the box is there a big difference?

I'll be recording a basic rock set up - drums (OH and close, 8-12 mics) guitar, vocals and bass.

Thanks much.
#2
26th October 2005
Old 26th October 2005
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I might get flames for this, but I think the motu has better converters, especially DA conversion.

Both need good external clock though

regards
Shaft
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#3
26th October 2005
Old 26th October 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I Lurk
I might get flames for this, but I think the motu has better converters, especially DA conversion.

Both need good external clock though
Ignorant question here, but how does the clock effect the sound?

Thanks, I Lurk. Oh, and some flames might make this fun. Any takers?
#4
26th October 2005
Old 26th October 2005
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there is more than just sonics to consider when deciding on which platform to invest in... here are some of the things I find:

+ Certain plugins that lots of "pros" use are only available for TDM.. McDSP stuff, Cranesong and some key DUY stuff, only available for TDM.
+ TDM plugins are like 2-3 times the price of native plugs...
+ To my ears, Protools has a certain sonic sound, that you hear all over the radio, so if you like that sound it's faster to get there by using what alot of "pros" use...
+Native gives you WAY more freedom since you are not "tied" to a particular company/hardware...

Both products are pretty comparable sonically I think at this point, so I think your decision has to be based on some of the other stuff I mentioned above that pure Hardware spec comparison...

my 0.02

r.
#5
26th October 2005
Old 26th October 2005
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External clocks...my 2 cents...

In any digital system the quality of the sampling and reproduction of your analog signal is dependent on the consistency of the clock producing that pulse at which it is sampled (44.1Khz, 48Khz, 88.2Khz....) Every piece of gear that is digital has one of these clocks built in but I, and many others have found that an external clock (Like he apogee Big Ben or Lucid GenX) does a much better job of this and will lead to better imaging and other improvements in the sound quality.

-Chris
#6
26th October 2005
Old 26th October 2005
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XHipHop's Avatar
 

#7
26th October 2005
Old 26th October 2005
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I can't compare the 2 directly, but I agree about the external clocking comments. To my ears, the MOTU192's D/A improved substantially when I clocked it to my RADAR24.

Even so, I think the HD192 is a great deal for the money, and sonically in a different league from all other MOTU products (except for the 896HD, which uses the same converters).
#8
26th October 2005
Old 26th October 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zakco
I can't compare the 2 directly, but I agree about the external clocking comments. To my ears, the MOTU192's D/A improved substantially when I clocked it to my RADAR24.

Even so, I think the HD192 is a great deal for the money, and sonically in a different league from all other MOTU products (except for the 896HD, which uses the same converters).
are you SURE they use the same converters?! Because they are much cheaper and have preamps on every channel...there has to be a difference, no?
Shaft
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#9
26th October 2005
Old 26th October 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XHipHop
Oh, and keep your posts in one forum! Double-posting = tutt
Sorry - wasn't aware that double posting was bad mannners. My bad.
#10
26th October 2005
Old 26th October 2005
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I have used both quite a lot and I think they are equally good. I bought a UA2192 to clock my MOTU and that made some improvements for sure.
#11
26th October 2005
Old 26th October 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XHipHop
are you SURE they use the same converters?! Because they are much cheaper and have preamps on every channel...there has to be a difference, no?
Well....no I suppose....I'm just going on what MOTU told me when I enquired. They told me that HD192 and 896HD use the same converters while the 2408/24io/896/traveler etc use a lower grade converter.

I own both the HD192 and the 896HD. I haven't done a proper A/B test, but both sound pretty decent to my ears. Certainly a notch above the 24io (which I sold to get the HD192).

I will comment on the cheapness of the 896HD's build though...the knobs are VERY flimsy plastic, and the whole unit just screams cheap! Doesn't affect the sound, but I'm not convinced that it will hold up very well over time and heavy use....perhaps that's where they saved a few bucks to get the price point down.

-Z-
Shaft
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#12
26th October 2005
Old 26th October 2005
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From what I'm hearing here, especially with the addition of a good word clock, soncially the 2 are comparable.

It sure seems like quite a price difference for essentially parity hardware. Again, that's keeping the issues of software platform aside.

Surely there must be good plug-ins available for platfroms other than TDM—right? For the 10k difference in hardware, I can buy some nice pres and outboard for that matter.

Am I missing something? Whaddya think?
#13
26th October 2005
Old 26th October 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaft

Am I missing something? Whaddya think?
Do you have a commercial studio? Maybe some potential clients may choose another studio if you don´t have Pro Tools.

I run Logic 7 and Motu hardware and I never had to turn down a gig because of no Pro Tools. I am in Europe though. The US seems more Pro tools dominated.
#14
27th October 2005
Old 27th October 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XHipHop
are you SURE they use the same converters?! Because they are much cheaper and have preamps on every channel...there has to be a difference, no?
One more consideration, the HD192 comes with a PCI card that will accept up to 4 MOTU interfaces and features a great DSP powered sofware mixer for latency free monitoring. The 896 on the other hand is firewire, with a VERY limited cuemix function. To be honest, it sucks in comparison. Just my opinion.....

-Z-
Shaft
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#15
27th October 2005
Old 27th October 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by echorec
Do you have a commercial studio? Maybe some potential clients may choose another studio if you don´t have Pro Tools.
Purely personal use—my own project studio.
#16
27th October 2005
Old 27th October 2005
  #16
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Hey man,

I weighed that very question out a few months ago and put a ton of thought into it. For me it wasn't so much about the sound of the stuff, I think the Motu stuff sounds a little more pleasing then the HD96 boxes. There's something just a little less clinical about it, and really...it's such a close comparison that it's pretty much null. Pick 'yer favorite and make a record, 'cause any kind of noticable improvement is going to cost a lot more money.

For me it was a question of compatibility vs. capital outlay and what future upgrade path I wanted to be a part of. The last little PT rig I had was years ago...an 882 w/ PT III on a Quadra 800...'ya know...it might've been a Fool Tools project rig. Whatever. After one too many fits of fustration and "tech support" calls I jumped ship and smashed that sucker. I went to Logic 3.1 on a PC with an Adat interface and that was great until Apple bought Logic and I was left with some highly questionable software...

This time around I was replacing a 2" deck rather then augmenting it for a DAW for simple stuff. I needed tons of I/O and tons of tracks & processing and I really didn't feel like buying a $25K ticket on the HD2 runaway train. Rolling out a native software & Motu PCI rig cost a lot less and I have the option of swapping the hardware & software independent of each other. If I decide to change my software because it's getting in the way of progress I can keep my interfaces or vice versa. Exchanging files with Fool Tools only takes a couple extra steps...not a huge deal unless you're doing several changes a week. Even at my busiest I should only have to do that a couple times a month.

Neither rig is going to stand in way of the music...if it sucks it's pilot error. But, you need to compare the similar rigs, Motu PCI to PTHD. The little Motu 828's and Firewire interfaces...well...they're more like a 002. There's more to the converter then the converter chip. The power supply & analog circuit that surrounds the converter plays a fairly big role in the overall sound.

Peace,
#17
27th October 2005
Old 27th October 2005
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pounce's Avatar
 

i use a hd192, and a lot of other guys i know are using them in commercial studio's. they are by far the best of the motu hardware, and i think the difference between them and the PT hardware is gotta be negligable. as has been pointed out, the software/client differences are of more consequence than any minimal hardware differences.

ps: i also work on tdm systems regularly, neither one is clearly superior. if you are thinking about getting the motu i wouldn't hesitate to recommend it. th eonly thing i'm inclined to mention is that the unit has a fan on it and you might want to put it into some sort of rack enclosure so that you don't hear the fan.
#18
27th October 2005
Old 27th October 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zakco
Well....no I suppose....I'm just going on what MOTU told me when I enquired. They told me that HD192 and 896HD use the same converters while the 2408/24io/896/traveler etc use a lower grade converter.
I believe that the AD converters at least are different--I think the HD192 uses the same AD converter as the Digi HD box, which if I'm not mistaken is the AKM 5394. The 896HD last time I checked uses the AKM 5385, a converter with quite different (lesser) specs. But maybe the DA is the same?
#19
27th October 2005
Old 27th October 2005
  #19
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I have Motus HD192, They're good units. Love the Cuemix system, very useful - though working OTB I don't need it that often. The only thing negative I have to point is that fan noise. So make sure you have a silent rack or something similar.

I clock to a Rosendahl Nanoclock, a good alternative to the Apogée - rock solid IMHO. You should consider it!

I wouldn't go PT because once you get into digidesign stuffs, it's like a monopolistic market IMO: you can only buy from "one" provider... and everything from plugs to interfaces will cost you 2x the price of the exact same plug or system on any other platform.

IF you work ITB, my recommendation would be: Motu HD192 + Rosendahl Nano + Magix Sequoïa V8.2 +UAD-1 or TC powercore thumbsup

Cheers!
#20
27th October 2005
Old 27th October 2005
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by echorec
Do you have a commercial studio? Maybe some potential clients may choose another studio if you don´t have Pro Tools.

I run Logic 7 and Motu hardware and I never had to turn down a gig because of no Pro Tools. I am in Europe though. The US seems more Pro tools dominated.
I am in europe too and i found out that a lot of the bands that come to me are really happy to see my PT Mix³ rig in the control room because their faves use it too so it makes them more sure that they can be that great too. I always tell them that pPT alone does not make a good record but at a lot of times it seems like i am talking to a wall after they first saw the rig. Hehe. I don´t know much about the stuff that Logic can do in this 'area' but in PT i can undo a lot of mistakes by the band with Beat Detective and all that which makes it for me really valubale and proves that PT (and me) really do let the band play better in a way. thumbsup
#21
27th October 2005
Old 27th October 2005
  #21
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I am currently in the same position of upgrading my Protools LE system. I am currently considering the HD192 and the Lynx convertors. I have spoken with a few serious Lynx ysers who swear by them. I think they are worth checking out as well.

Interesting that MOTU uses the same convertor chips as the PT-HD, I didn't know that.

I am considering going to CuBase, I recently read that there were trying to optimize their software to work with Multi CPU Chip configurations, which would seem almost essential for Multiple CPU systems.

This will be interesting for for Multi Core chips on a multi CPU mother board. You can probably build a nice Dual Multi Core Opteron machine which will give you 4 cpus worth of power.

NICE

Death to Pro Tools!! ( I like the software but I can't stand their BS monopolisitc tendencies).
#22
27th October 2005
Old 27th October 2005
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I own a couple 1296 box's and there is definitely a noticable improvement to their sound when I use Radar as the clock. The converters are much better in these that the ones in the 2408 mk3. I did quite a few back to back comparisions a while back.

-Brian
#23
28th October 2005
Old 28th October 2005
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How can Pro Tools have a certain "radio sound' when the radio compresses and destroys all mixes.
#24
27th November 2005
Old 27th November 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Middleton
I believe that the AD converters at least are different--I think the HD192 uses the same AD converter as the Digi HD box,
The chip ain't everything though, implementation has its importance. This chip was used in Benchmark media converters as well (the modular version) and it doesn't sound the same as MOTU and HD at all.

To answer Shaft'question about clocking:

This has to do with jittering. If the clock is not accurate (like in both PT and MOTU system I'm afraid), events are being recorded nano seconds late or early. This wouldn't be a big deal if you weren't playing them back at a different time.

This would cause distortion.

If you wan a more vivid example, it's like if you scan a picture with a straight line. If time is not accurate during the scan, the line won't be straight anymore when you reproduce it later.

Jittering is the cause of imprecise imagery in audio and lack of definition.

Hope this helps.

regards
#25
2nd July 2013
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2nd July 2013
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