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MOTU 1248, 8M, 16A Thunderbolt interface Audio Interfaces
Old 25th January 2017
  #2971
Lives for gear
 

d gauss previously posted the link to other forum, when an user was complaining about latency compensation.

This user essentially have seen three problems.. and it looked like total disaster.

The first was that local vs network I/O offset.. o.k. I've mentioned in previous posts.

The second was sub-sample (eg. non-whole number) round-trip delay of the interfaces, which he had tested using 11025 Hz square wave.
Well some interfaces have that characteristics.. one of the reasons are used conversion chips, which has its filters running at over-sampled rate. Group delay of the filter is of course aligned to samples, but at this higher rate.. so whole chip then has sub-sample delay at some rates, unless its further aligned using internal delay. Again, in practical use, this shouldn't be an issue, unless you have lot of square-waves to record.

The last one is changing roundtrip delay of interface with each reboot.. He was using DAW recording, when he measured that, which is good, because lot of auto "pinging" insert plugins doesn't have accurate detection (even couple of successive pings leads to different figures).
Personally that would bother me much more than previous issues, if I'd be using some analog inserts, which will be compensated in using DAW, so if you make some preset or settings for that, it might be off the next day. This might be also issue of particular driver at his system.
I've personally installed MOTU AVB interface with the older 1.x driver at some Windows system and this wasn't really happening there.. RTL was fixed.
However it's my anecdotal experience, if that really happening at some configurations with recent drivers (I can't really test it now, because installation was part of previous engineering "gig"), this will be probably worth of some support ticket or bug report.

Michal
Old 26th January 2017
  #2972
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Monkey Man's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Travisvictor View Post
Pablo 1908,

USB3 is a higher bandwidth connection than USB2 which allows us to offer the same channel count as Thunderbolt: up to 128 channels!
So why wasn't USB3 used throughout the AVB line, instead of USB2?

I asked about this 2 years ago when I realised I couldn't add TB to my 2012 Mac tower, and you guys said that there was "no compelling reason" that USB3 would be preferable. Well, I'd say a 128-channel count vs 64 at 1x sample rates is pretty compelling, wouldn't you?

I've got USB3 cards in said Mac, so I'd have been set to go years ago had you employed USB3 alongside TB across the 19" AVB line. Instead, it's been a terribly-frustrating game of watching this thread and waiting for this logical "development" and for a clue as to when we could see coloured meters on the units themselves (asked about that too for very-legitimate reasons a year ago).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Travisvictor View Post
Adding a 624 or 8A to your setup would allow you to expand your system substantially.
Why should we have to do this in order to gain the USB3 performance you mentioned, Travis? Does it make sense that the "baby" interfaces should sport a viable alternative to TB (for this purpose, certainly), that allows legacy Macs access (finally) to decent channel-count performance, when the "senior", pro-spec'd-and-priced interfaces don't?

Finally, I see Slate is going to offer a PCI-based hookup solution for those who don't have TB. I asked MOTU from the get-go about this possibility, 'cause I've been blown away by the rock-solid stability of my now-15+ year-old PCI-based AudioWire setup. As I've stated many times here, I get the jitters just thinking about switching to USB2 for the AVB system, which I've been keen all along to upgrade to for the sound alone.

Thoughts, Travis? Do I continue to wait for a USB3-based update to the 19" line... with coloured metering? Could the existing interfaces be upgraded to USB3?

Lastly, sorry about the matter-of-fact, sightly-fed-up-with-the-wait tone of this post; it's in fact a first for me, and I can put it down to the seemingly-endless wait, the research I've had to undertake and even the partial sale of my MIDI setup in order to try to accommodate the USB2-imposed channel-count limitation... which I now learn could have been avoided all along.

All I've ever sought was a sound-quality upgrade to my CueMix / 3x 24I/O, PCI-based MOTU setup.
Old 26th January 2017
  #2973
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I agree that out of those three problems, the delay between local and network inputs is the easiest to deal with in a recording situation. The sub sample round trip delay will make it impossible to do parrallel processing using an external analog processor without phase cancellation, and the changing rtl will make the delay offset for external inserts/processing have to be recalculated every day, what a nightmare.

The reason I'm personally concerned about the delay between local and network inputs, is that I was planning on setting up a networked avb sytem in the future to both record live concerts as well as mix front of house and stage monitors all from the same sytem. In a fast paced live sound environment I do not want to have to worry about what mic is on what channel because of delay offset etc. I have seen it written(I think its in the manual, have to doublecheck, it might have been mrmiller way earlier on in this thread), that the delay between local and network inputs is compensated for, as soon as you enable any avb streams on your device, the latency is supposed to be slightly increased on your local device so the delay would be compensated for. If that has changed, or does not work correctly as intended, I would like an awknowledgements from the motu reps on whether this is planned to be fixed. If there is no plan to fix it then I will plan on setting up a different rig instead, I just want an official clarification on the matter

Last edited by duncansound; 26th January 2017 at 02:53 AM..
Old 26th January 2017
  #2974
Gear Maniac
 

Hi, satisfied WIndows 10 owner of a Motu1248 here.

One quick question: How wolud you guys use a drum kit via MIDI in a recording situation in combination with the Motu1248 as this doesn't have MIDI inputs. Just use antoher interface for the MIDI or are there more elegant solutions?
Old 26th January 2017
  #2975
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jlaws's Avatar
What drum kit would you be trying to connect?
Old 26th January 2017
  #2976
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jlaws View Post
What drum kit would you be trying to connect?
Hi and thanks for helping. It would be a Pearl E Pro Live triggering Steven Slate Drums 4.

I have an RME babyface arround, but im concerned about the latency offset when tracking a guitarist live via the Motu1248.
Old 26th January 2017
  #2977
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jlaws's Avatar
I thought the e pro live could do midi over USB? Also, you can use another interface's MIDI input without having it being used as your main DAW interface. Or am I misunderstanding your setup?
Old 26th January 2017
  #2978
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jlaws View Post
I thought the e pro live could do midi over USB? Also, you can use another interface's MIDI input without having it being used as your main DAW interface. Or am I misunderstanding your setup?
Hey you are understanding it perfectly
I'm just concerned about a scenario where I would use the pearl e pro to record live with a guitarist via the Motu. In that case they would obviously arrive with different latencies on my hard drive. Or am I overthinking this. Because obviously with MIDI you don't have the AD conversion.
Old 26th January 2017
  #2979
nms
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nms's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by duncansound View Post
I would think all the ad/da converters on all devices in the motu avb line would have the same latency
They don't all use the same converters. If conversion quality is a top priority for anyone make sure to check specs on other units against the 1248 to tell if they're the top grade or lesser. The 24ai for example has lower grade converters than the 16a/1248. At $1000 I guess it's not feasible to include 24ch of Cirrus Logic 5381 converters (as used in Symphony & Orpheus). It's not typical at all to find the converters used in the 16a/1248 in a unit retailing near that price. On the other hand, the 24ao (which has no preamps) does use the same great ESS Sabre 32 Ultra converters as the top models.

Quote:
Originally Posted by safetyfirst View Post
Thanks so much for your insight! Completely get that but I thought that the interface should be able to switch flawlessly between different cycles. At least it worked for a while without any problems. Thanks again!
Switching is one thing. 2 sources live at the same time is a different story and creates conflict. You need to switch off your DAW audio if your OS is set to a different sample rate before playing anything else. Stopping playback in the DAW isn't enough. Your choices are either being diligent about switching off the DAW audio or just set your OS at the same sample rate as you work at in your DAW. The latter being most trouble free, but also meaning all OS playback at other sample rates is subject to real-time sample rate conversion. Personally I keep my OS at 44.1khz and just switch off my DAW audio when not in use. It's one button to press in Live so that's easy enough.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellofishy View Post
So I did a loopback test and found that they are not sample accurate. The output of the 24ao seems to be a bit delayed as compared to that of the 1248 when I use the 1248 as my primary interface with the 24ao connected with AVB
When daisy chaining any converters I've ever used you typically need to use sample delays in the DAW to line everything up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by duncansound View Post
The sub sample round trip delay will make it impossible to do parrallel processing using an external analog processor without phase cancellation, and the changing rtl will make the delay offset for external inserts/processing have to be recalculated every day, what a nightmare.
Sub sample delays are extremely common. Working at 88.2 or 96khz makes it a nonissue though generally where parallel processing is concerned. Another way to get around it completely is running your dry source through the converters so they are subject to the same delay. I strongly advocate working at 88.2 or 96khz though if your machine and workflow permits.
Old 26th January 2017
  #2980
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The converters chips are different in some of the avb line, but they may still have the same number of samples of latency.
Old 26th January 2017
  #2981
Quote:
Originally Posted by duncansound View Post
The converters chips are different in some of the avb line, but they may still have the same number of samples of latency.
Motu would never know, what latency is caused by MADI and ADAT converters connected to their AVB devices. If they choose to sample align their own converters, that wouldn't solve the "issue" for their 112D and mostly lead to slower roundtrip figures, than their current design!

It would be nice, if there would be a manual delay compensation for every digital input, but I don't know if this is something, people would really care and use in 'real world situations' outside of square-wave experiments and measurements. However I would like it...

For new users, reading through this thread, this topic is discussed to a length, where they might wrongly assume, that this is a major disadvantage of the AVB concept. But this topic has existed for all the years of digital audio!

If you ever used a simple soundcard with 8 analog in/out + onboard ADAT Port with an additional ADAT converter connected, you had the same problem! We are not talking about the 3-10 ms latency in a typical DAW, we are talking about the <1ms latency of different converter designs! It doesn't matter what connection is used (ADAT, MADI, AVB, Dante, AES50, or whatever...), this topic is a problem specific to the combination of various digital devices. If you use an analog summing box with such a setup (perhaps a combination of a UAD Apollo and RME ADI8) you will face the same issue.

Most people are simply not aware of these things!

In most recording situations this topic certainly is a non-issue, because moving your mic to get a specific sound would perhaps have a larger impact on the latency than the difference in conversion latency! Even if you track a complete orchestra or a live concert, the various mic positions will differ anyway and cause much bigger latency issues due to their placement. If you record stereo channels, or surround sources, than you should ensure, that they are connected to the same converter.
Old 26th January 2017
  #2982
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by duncansound View Post
The sub sample round trip delay will make it impossible to do parrallel processing using an external analog processor without phase cancellation..
While you're true, exactly as NMS already mentioned.. it's fairly common thing, because whole sample delay might be nice, but it is just one attribute for picking of the particular chip.
For example converters in my home RME AIO has something like .24 sub-sample error for latency compensation at 44.1k..
In reality it does comb filtering and phase shift, when both blended with dry signal, but in reality it's not so dramatic. Generally maximum error is up to .5 sample, even with worst phase shift within that range and 50/50 blend, it is slightly more than -2dB at 20k with very gentle high roll-off IIRC. As you typically blend some dirtier box (eg. driven bus comp for drums), it isn't necessarily so apparent. Also as NMS said.. at 96k this roll-off moves even higher.
However that is also one reason, why when someone often incorporate various analog bus effect at his work.. I would tend to recommend some analog summing box or insert switcher with blending.. I'm not really believer, that it is somewhat theoretically superior to DAW summing (lot of useless threads about that IMO), but it greatly streamlines workflow with outboard and also put all of those phase alignment issues out of equation regardless of used converters.

Quote:
The reason I'm personally concerned about the delay between local and network inputs, is that I was planning on setting up a networked avb sytem in the future to both record live concerts as well as mix front of house and stage monitors all from the same sytem. In a fast paced live sound environment I do not want to have to worry about what mic is on what channel because of delay offset etc.
Honestly, I don't think it's as wild as it seems to be.. remote network connected stage-box is typically separate from local I/Os. Even if one will be using some analog multicore with common connection box at stage (which somewhat rare and defeats purpose of networked audio), it's rather easy to mark all the lines coming to local I/Os.. and just avoid connection of some stereo source (overheads, keys) channels to two different converters. Eg. from my point of view.. not much head-scratching about that. For the alignment with the rest.. I'd let it be, that offset is like 7 in. of distance.

Quote:
I have seen it written(I think its in the manual, have to doublecheck, it might have been mrmiller way earlier on in this thread), that the delay between local and network inputs is compensated for, as soon as you enable any avb streams on your device, the latency is supposed to be slightly increased on your local device so the delay would be compensated for. If that has changed, or does not work correctly as intended, I would like an awknowledgements from the motu reps on whether this is planned to be fixed. If there is no plan to fix it then I will plan on setting up a different rig instead, I just want an official clarification on the matter
I have checked AVB series manual and their FAQs, but haven't found anything regarding that alignment.
But I agree, it would be nice, that @mrmiller or @Travisvictor could chime-in.. with short confirmation of that.. To me it is not for single support case, but rather for generic explanation or new point at their AVB FAQ page.

With regards to other manufacturers.. I'm not really sure, if that gets compensated by local I/O delays. Frankly I have never read anything about that in live gear at similar categories with remote stageboxes (like Soundcraft, A&H etc.). So I wont be so surprised, it there will be the same offset as reported with MOTU gear. Of course, when you have some all-digital board and all I/Os goes through same paths from remote stageboxes with same converters, it inherently doesn't have this issue.

Michal
Old 27th January 2017
  #2983
Lives for gear
 

I apologize for taking this thread so far in this direction. I was not trying to bad mouth the motu avb line, or the avb network technology in general. I like my 1248 a lot, it sounds fantastic for the money, very close to as good to my ears as my 2x mytek 8x192 and 3x lucid 88192 that I use in my studio.

I simply wanted to get clarification from the motu reps on whether the local/avb network audio delay was supposed to be compensated for or not, and if the compressor autogain would ever be able to be disabled.

The subsample latency would be inherent in the hardware implementation and unable to be changed in firmware most likely, and as mentioned its quite common in other converters. The changing RTLs reported by someone earlier Im sure is caused by some bug in that version of the driver or there is a problem with his system. If its a bug Im sure Motu will get it sorted out, if this was a widespread problem I'm sure more people would have noticed it by now.

I deal with having different converter latencies between my mytek 8x192 and lucid 88192 units very easily in my recording studio, but its something I'd rather not deal with in a live sound situation if setting up an ideal system. Its not going to be a problem in most live sound situations for most users I agree.

Subsample latency I would not like to deal with in my recording studio where I use analog inserts and frequently do parallel processing on individual channels and submixes, and on the master bus when mastering, but on a live rig I'm not worried about it at all.

If the motu avb lines channel compressors add the ability to disable the auto gain feature in a future firmware update, the mixer will finally be totally useable to me for mixing a live show. If that happens then I'll probably just buy a 112d to connect locally, and b16 stage boxes, and I wont have a time alignment issue since all analog I/O will be over the avb network, all using the same model hardware. I see a big potential for this system in the future, if they could add the option to have delay on the outputs in the future, you could set up a complete live sound rig with all processing done right on the avb mixer.

Last edited by duncansound; 27th January 2017 at 09:48 AM..
Old 27th January 2017
  #2984
Gear Addict
 

no need to apologize, as it is an issue of genuine concern. now that NAMM is over, i do wish MOTU would address these issues here. (a different, frustrating problem to this end is that i am unable to email tech support--i can only call--after registering my devices online, for some reason, my account does not provide me any way to open an official ticket. r.)
the 16A is a spectacular sounding unit. i've just been very let down pairing it with an 8A (which is supposed to have identical converters) and the various delay issues that have crept up. also, the latest driver instability (OSX) has been frustrating.

Quote:
Originally Posted by duncansound View Post
I apologize for taking this thread so far in this direction. I was not trying to bad mouth the motu avb line, or the avb network technology in general. I like my 1248 a lot, it sounds fantastic for the money, very close to as good to my ears as my 2x mytek 8x192 and 3x lucid 88192 that I use in my studio.

I simply wanted to get clarification from the motu reps on whether the local/avb network audio delay was supposed to be compensated for or not, and if the compressor autogain would ever be able to be disabled.
Old 27th January 2017
  #2985
Lives for gear
I tried to update my drivers yesterday, anything above 1.6 on windows 8.1 (64-bit) doesn't work. I'll try to get in contact with MOTU, with V1.6 access to the MOTU web front end has been slightly hit or miss over USB. Although I am able to record at 64 / 128 samples absolutey fine, which is pretty cool and it is a great sounding unit..
Old 27th January 2017
  #2986
Here for the gear
I spoke to MOTU (you can call them, BTW. They are actually quite helpful!) about latency offsets and it turns out that all of the AVB boxes are capable of network latency compensation. However, this is not an automatic process.

For example:

16A #1 is connected to the computer. 16A #2 is connected to the 16A #1 via ethernet. One would assume to route 16A #1 's analog inputs and 16A #2 's AVB streams directly to the computer. This is not actually the correct way to do this.

What you'll want to do is route ALL inputs to the AVB mixer and then route 'Post Mix FX' to the computer. By doing so, 16A #1 's analog inputs will be offset by the network latency amount (0.625 ms according to MOTU's website).

If the channels are not routed through the AVB mixer, 16A #1 won't know to make any adjustments.

I agree that a sample delay in the AVB mixer would be a nice touch but the above steps fixed offsets on my two 16As... :-)
Old 28th January 2017
  #2987
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Hi @apetrak1,

thanks for the update, good news.. d gauss previously also mentioned about that, but latter he edited the post.. so I've just assumed it won't help him.
So at your config, that routing via post FX mix outputs helped, so at the DAW all the inputs are aligned..without any offset?

Michal
Old 28th January 2017
  #2988
Gear Addict
 

apetrak1, please go back a page or two and read my posts on this. my units are already setup as you describe (and i described as well). however, my 8A arrives 23 samples later than my 16A.

Quote:
Originally Posted by apetrak1 View Post
I spoke to MOTU (you can call them, BTW. They are actually quite helpful!) about latency offsets and it turns out that all of the AVB boxes are capable of network latency compensation. However, this is not an automatic process.

For example:

16A #1 is connected to the computer. 16A #2 is connected to the 16A #1 via ethernet. One would assume to route 16A #1 's analog inputs and 16A #2 's AVB streams directly to the computer. This is not actually the correct way to do this.

What you'll want to do is route ALL inputs to the AVB mixer and then route 'Post Mix FX' to the computer. By doing so, 16A #1 's analog inputs will be offset by the network latency amount (0.625 ms according to MOTU's website).

If the channels are not routed through the AVB mixer, 16A #1 won't know to make any adjustments.

I agree that a sample delay in the AVB mixer would be a nice touch but the above steps fixed offsets on my two 16As... :-)
Old 28th January 2017
  #2989
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by apetrak1 View Post

What you'll want to do is route ALL inputs to the AVB mixer and then route 'Post Mix FX' to the computer. By doing so, 16A #1 's analog inputs will be offset by the network latency amount (0.625 ms according to MOTU's website).

If the channels are not routed through the AVB mixer, 16A #1 won't know to make any adjustments.

I agree that a sample delay in the AVB mixer would be a nice touch but the above steps fixed offsets on my two 16As... :-)
Ok, thank you for this info, but if I have 4x 16A: I have 64 channels / analog inputs, that I could record at once over USB/Thunderbolt - but the mixer only has 48 inputs, how should it work then?
Old 28th January 2017
  #2990
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by duncansound View Post
I like my 1248 a lot, it sounds fantastic for the money, very close to as good to my ears as my 2x mytek 8x192 and 3x lucid 88192 that I use in my studio.
Hi,

I am curious as to if you could elaborate on that, the reason being is that I have a Mytek 192 ADC (which I assume sounds basically the same as the 8X192 units) and I am interested in the MOTU 1248? Trying to decide if I should get the 1248 and feed it SPDIF from the Mytek, or if they are so close that I might as well sell the Mytek and just use the 1248. So I am interested in what any differences you hear are, or for that matter if you know if I might lose as much or more of that difference going Mytek SPDIF to MOTU 1248 SPDIF (right now I use AES/EBU to go to my 1224).


Thank you,

Spoff
Old 28th January 2017
  #2991
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The Motu 1248 DAC is slightly better sounding than its ADC in my opinion. The DAC I could probably use without complaint in my studio compared to the 8x192 or lucid 88192. The 1248 ADC doesn't capture transients and bass in quite as good/pleasing a way as the mytek or lucid does to my ear, the mytek/lucid are a bit punchier in the low end, transients have more impact etc. These are tiny nitpicky differences mind you, if all I had was the 1248 I could get great results still. Its probably down to the analog input section, we can't expect motu to use the same quality of parts as mytek/Lucid, they are in completely different price classes. Don't worry you wont lose anything going spdif from your mytek to the motu

Last edited by duncansound; 28th January 2017 at 10:37 PM..
Old 28th January 2017
  #2992
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by duncansound View Post
The Motu 1248 DAC is slightly better sounding than its ADC in my opinion. The DAC I could probably use without complaint in my studio compared to the 8x192. The 1248 ADC doesn't represent transients in quite as good a way as the mytek or lucid 88192 does to my ear, the mytek is a bit punchier in the low end, transients have more impact etc. These are tiny nitpicky differences mind you, if all I had was the 1248 I could get great results still. Its probably down to the analog input section, we can't expect motu to use the quality of parts as mytek, they are in different price classes. Dont worry you wont lose anything going spdif from your mytek to the motu

Thanks for the info!


Spoff
Old 30th January 2017
  #2993
Gear Maniac
 

Looking at what slate did, I strongly believe that motu should sell a pcie card, to comunicate via ethernet with all the models, usb simply cannot handle large templates.
Old 1st February 2017
  #2994
Gear Nut
 
Rafter Man's Avatar
I’m not privy on the issues i’m reading about here from the past couple pages, but as a 16A owner who is looking to add an 8A, connected by the ethernet port, to increase my number of analog ins/out to accommodate my growing outboard collection, should I be worried about any of this?

To clarify, I don’t plan on using the AVB ins/outs. I’m just interested in switching all my monitoring to the 8A so I can use the 16A exclusively for my compressors, eq, preamps, etc.
Old 1st February 2017
  #2995
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by pablo1980 View Post
Looking at what slate did, I strongly believe that motu should sell a pcie card, to comunicate via ethernet with all the models, usb simply cannot handle large templates.
MOTU Wish List

Looking at what Presonus are doing with the StudioLive Series III consoles, I think MOTU should atleast make a hardware controller for the MOTU AVB interfaces or at least 96kHz AVB Digital Mixing Desk. Baked in DAW control would be great.

I think they should just have made all their interfaces to come with thunderbolt and USB 3. Right now if I start with an interface with USB 2 it becomes very limiting in terms of expandability.

Regards
Enoch
Old 2nd February 2017
  #2996
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rafter Man View Post
should I be worried about any of this?

quite possibly, as myself and other have experienced offset values that vary after reboots. that can play havoc with any type of outboard parallel processing you may do. i.e. compression.
Old 4th February 2017
  #2997
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Monkey Man's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by KimGitz View Post
MOTU Wish List
I think they should just have made all their interfaces to come with thunderbolt and USB 3. Right now if I start with an interface with USB 2 it becomes very limiting in terms of expandability.

Regards
Enoch
My thoughts exactly.

I asked about this atop this page. No response yet as to whether a software or hardware upgrade could enable a USB3 protocol on the existing port, or whether or not the line could be updated.
Old 5th February 2017
  #2998
Gear Head
 
cyclpsrock's Avatar
 

Any Mac users that can chime in on whether the 16A has the same problems that it does on Windows?
Old 8th February 2017
  #2999
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Monkey Man View Post
My thoughts exactly.

I asked about this atop this page. No response yet as to whether a software or hardware upgrade could enable a USB3 protocol on the existing port, or whether or not the line could be updated.
USB3 has more physical pins than a USB 2 port, thus there is *NO WAY* for software to enable 3.0 on a 2.0 port. Besides, thunderbolt is better than usb3 anyways :P
Old 8th February 2017
  #3000
Quote:
Originally Posted by magoostus View Post
USB3 has more physical pins than a USB 2 port, thus there is *NO WAY* for software to enable 3.0 on a 2.0 port. Besides, thunderbolt is better than usb3 anyways :P
Correct.
Aside from the pins/connection, it is a different controller.
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