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MOTU 1248, 8M, 16A Thunderbolt interface Audio Interfaces
Old 2nd January 2019
  #3811
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Monkey Man's Avatar
 

Great report, Brother Gradivus.
Old 3rd January 2019
  #3812
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gradivus View Post
...

One drawback to some might be that it can't handle too many virtual instruments and plug-ins at low buffers, but this will depend on which VIs, plug-ins and computer you use.

...
are you using USB or TB?
I just got 828ES and found the same.
When working with just audio I can get to crazy low buffer levels (32) with super low latency without hiccups. but whenever VI are in game it bahaves even worse than by Focusrite I used to have.
Especially when I run NI Maschine software with number of instruments launched ... thing go cracking very fast.
And I do have crazy fast PC (i8700)

I'm on USB right now, next monday I will get TB3>TB2 adapter to verify how that is on TB.

btw. DA is also SUPERB :-D
Old 3rd January 2019
  #3813
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michalgrim View Post

are you using USB or TB?
Thunderbolt with the apple adapter TB2 > TB3 direct into the iMac Pro.

I agree, when it's just audio it can handle way more. I think part of the problem could be the iMac hardware and the single proc. Still waiting on a proper tower from Apple...

Also, I did get Vienna Ensemble Pro to check performance loading all the VIs inside of it even though it's running local. MOTU said that will improve performance. That's next week's project I'm also going to do way more testing at various buffers and keep a text log of the performance with specific VIs. I also noticed that even at high buffers when mixing (1024, 2048), adding certain plug-ins to tracks during playback give some nasty CPU spikes where I get an alert that the system is overloaded, even though there is no audible problem and I can just click continue and keep working and the processing is actually low. It did it a few times with SPL Transient Designer and Waves C6. I think twice, some of the live MIDI dropped out for a second when adding a plug-in during playback.

Still, with my limited testing, I'm not getting any latency problems where it's messing up my performance when recording via MIDI. That's primary for me along with the quality.
Old 3rd January 2019
  #3814
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gradivus View Post
I think part of the problem could be the iMac hardware and the single proc. Still waiting on a proper tower from Apple...
Not sure about this, Brother G; michalgrim experienced the same issue running on his "crazy-fast" i8700 PC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gradivus View Post
I also noticed that even at high buffers when mixing (1024, 2048), adding certain plug-ins to tracks during playback give some nasty CPU spikes where I get an alert that the system is overloaded, even though there is no audible problem and I can just click continue and keep working and the processing is actually low. It did it a few times with SPL Transient Designer and Waves C6. I think twice, some of the live MIDI dropped out for a second when adding a plug-in during playback.
Back in the day it was always a good policy to stop / pause playback before adding plugins.

Even back then, it was never officially stated by any DAW manufacturer that one ought to do this, but I well remember that over at MOTUNation practically everyone worked this way - hit the spacebar, instantiate and hit the spacebar again.

It makes sense that these days DAW's would theoretically be more-resilient in this regard, but I can tell you that when I resume recording one day I'll still work this way just for good measure.

Try it maybe and see if the spikes, overload pop-ups and MIDI dropouts manifest? If possible, wait a second for the playback buffers to fill prior to instantiation.
Old 4th January 2019
  #3815
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monkey Man View Post
Back in the day it was always a good policy to stop / pause playback before adding plugins.

Even back then, it was never officially stated by any DAW manufacturer that one ought to do this, but I well remember that over at MOTUNation practically everyone worked this way - hit the spacebar, instantiate and hit the spacebar again.

It makes sense that these days DAW's would theoretically be more-resilient in this regard, but I can tell you that when I resume recording one day I'll still work this way just for good measure.

Try it maybe and see if the spikes, overload pop-ups and MIDI dropouts manifest? If possible, wait a second for the playback buffers to fill prior to instantiation.
Yeah I used to do that years ago, but newer versions were fine with adding plug-ins during playback. Helps with productivity and just when the ideas are flowing. DP8 is when I really started to notice skips in the audio and weirdness if I just closed or opened certain plug-in windows during playback. That was on old ass computer though.

If playback is stopped there's no spike or dialog window. Considering this is a brand new, modern system with everything running off NVME drives, I'm surprised there's a spike that would pop up an error, even if things are still playing back fine.
Old 4th January 2019
  #3816
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Well, that's good that a short pause prevents the anomalies, Gradivus; it's something at least... for now.
Old 4th January 2019
  #3817
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wilkinsi's Avatar
Any sneak preview as to what MOTU will show at Namm?
Old 4th January 2019
  #3818
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My guess ... AVB mixer
Old 5th January 2019
  #3819
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Just to confirm, is there any compatibility between MOTU and Presonus AVB?j

For example, can a MOTU 8M connect to (and control) the Presonus StudioLive 16R or the NSB16.8 via AVB?

There seems to be some mixed messaging about this. Thanks!
Old 5th January 2019
  #3820
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cereboso View Post
Just to confirm, is there any compatibility between MOTU and Presonus AVB?j

For example, can a MOTU 8M connect to (and control) the Presonus StudioLive 16R or the NSB16.8 via AVB?

There seems to be some mixed messaging about this. Thanks!
MOTU claims compatibility with the AVB spec fully, but Presonus clearly states that they are only compatible with other Presonus devices prior to their latest StudioLive series. In theory this means a StudioLive III + 8M should "just work", which is interesting except that this only covers audio streams, not mixing (which is where a lot of the complexity comes into play).
Old 5th January 2019
  #3821
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ModularOverkill View Post
MOTU claims compatibility with the AVB spec fully, but Presonus clearly states that they are only compatible with other Presonus devices prior to their latest StudioLive series. In theory this means a StudioLive III + 8M should "just work", which is interesting except that this only covers audio streams, not mixing (which is where a lot of the complexity comes into play).
Thanks for the reply. Do you know if this includes the StudioLive Series III Rack Mixers (32R, 24R, 16R) as well as the consoles?
Will the MOTU devices be able to send and receive audio from them as well as control their remote preamps?

Is this the same for the networked stage boxes (NSB 16.8 and NSB 8.8)?

This thread seems to indicate that it will work but I just wanted to ask here as well and see if anyone has any experience with it.
PreSonus Forums | Series III 32 and MOTU AVB | StudioLive Series III

Thanks!!
Old 5th January 2019
  #3822
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cereboso View Post
Thanks for the reply. Do you know if this includes the StudioLive Series III Rack Mixers (32R, 24R, 16R) as well as the consoles?
Will the MOTU devices be able to send and receive audio from them as well as control their remote preamps?

Is this the same for the networked stage boxes (NSB 16.8 and NSB 8.8)?

This thread seems to indicate that it will work but I just wanted to ask here as well and see if anyone has any experience with it.
PreSonus Forums | Series III 32 and MOTU AVB | StudioLive Series III

Thanks!!
Sorry, no direct experience, just repeating what my research showed (since I'm still hoping/praying/searching for a control surface to manage all my AVB streams).
Old 7th January 2019
  #3823
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loujudson's Avatar
8M first use.

Hope for a suggestion - I am an experienced engineer and work with Pro Tools. Several years ago when they first came out, I got an 8M for a remote recording interface, but haven't used it much. I followed this thread for a while but after a few hundred pages stopped monitoring it.

In my home studio I've been using a trusty Digi 002 since 2004, but I think it finally bit the dust and stopped showing up on my iMac a few days ago, where I've been using it since 2014 (it has BLA mods so I kept on using it). I have a few other cheaper interfaces, and have been using an audiophile D/A, but it doesn't record.

So now I want to start using the 8M for the studio, but I'm not seeing it show up on the iMac even using the Discovery app. Tried the same USB cable with another interface and that one shows right up!

So what might I need to do to get this to work? I've ordered a Thunderbolt cable, but until that arrives it ought to work on USB, right? Suggestions welcome!
Old 7th January 2019
  #3824
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wilkinsi's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by loujudson View Post
Hope for a suggestion - I am an experienced engineer and work with Pro Tools. Several years ago when they first came out, I got an 8M for a remote recording interface, but haven't used it much. I followed this thread for a while but after a few hundred pages stopped monitoring it.

In my home studio I've been using a trusty Digi 002 since 2004, but I think it finally bit the dust and stopped showing up on my iMac a few days ago, where I've been using it since 2014 (it has BLA mods so I kept on using it). I have a few other cheaper interfaces, and have been using an audiophile D/A, but it doesn't record.

So now I want to start using the 8M for the studio, but I'm not seeing it show up on the iMac even using the Discovery app. Tried the same USB cable with another interface and that one shows right up!

So what might I need to do to get this to work? I've ordered a Thunderbolt cable, but until that arrives it ought to work on USB, right? Suggestions welcome!
Try this in order:
1) Download and install the latest MOTU AVB Audio Driver, restart the computer (Mac's need to be forced into recognising new software this way, not just PC's)
2) connect the 8M (or other MOTU AVB interface) via TB and Ethernet, and then set the 8M TB as the audio device in System Preferences
3) Launch the MOTU AVB Discovery app, or type in http://localhost:1280 into your web browser, and you should have access.
4) Remove the Ethernet cable (but re-attach for firmware updates or adding a second MOTU AVB device).
Old 7th January 2019
  #3825
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Monkey Man's Avatar
 

Wilkinsi, I think you must've missed this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by loujudson View Post
I've ordered a Thunderbolt cable, but until that arrives it ought to work on USB, right? Suggestions welcome!
Old 7th January 2019
  #3826
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loujudson View Post
Hope for a suggestion - I am an experienced engineer and work with Pro Tools. Several years ago when they first came out, I got an 8M for a remote recording interface, but haven't used it much. I followed this thread for a while but after a few hundred pages stopped monitoring it.

In my home studio I've been using a trusty Digi 002 since 2004, but I think it finally bit the dust and stopped showing up on my iMac a few days ago, where I've been using it since 2014 (it has BLA mods so I kept on using it). I have a few other cheaper interfaces, and have been using an audiophile D/A, but it doesn't record.

So now I want to start using the 8M for the studio, but I'm not seeing it show up on the iMac even using the Discovery app. Tried the same USB cable with another interface and that one shows right up!

So what might I need to do to get this to work? I've ordered a Thunderbolt cable, but until that arrives it ought to work on USB, right? Suggestions welcome!
Do you have a recent enough version of OSX?
Old 7th January 2019
  #3827
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loujudson's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by explorer View Post
Do you have a recent enough version of OSX?
10.9.5 Mavericks at the moment. I have some legacy software that I like, and the lit. says 10.8 and up...

I'll try it tomorrow with Tbolt. Maybe I should add the ethernet with USB? I gather that is what is needed to update firmware. Other wise I did everything Wilkinsi mentioned.
Old 7th January 2019
  #3828
Gear Maniac
Do you all know how the MOTU USB interfaces are fairing with OSX Mojave?

I have a 2018 Mac Mini with Mojave and looking at getting an Ultralite mk4. This thread on the motunation forum isn't encouraging:
MOTUnation.com • ANYONE have the Ultralite Mk4 working flawlessly on Mojave?
Old 7th January 2019
  #3829
I used my 1248 for years over USB with Mavericks (2008 Mac Pro) with no issues

Now on a 2018 iMac with high Sierra, via thunderbolt which is definitely better on this computer - the USB bus was sketchy for audio
Old 7th January 2019
  #3830
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardtoe View Post
I used my 1248 for years over USB with Mavericks (2008 Mac Pro) with no issues

Now on a 2018 iMac with high Sierra, via thunderbolt which is definitely better on this computer - the USB bus was sketchy for audio
That's good to know. Well, after shutting down last night, today it shows up! Looking good.
Thanks!
Old 8th January 2019
  #3831
I'm running an 828es via USB on my cheese grater with great success.
Old 8th January 2019
  #3832
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HCMarkus View Post
I'm running an 828es via USB on my cheese grater with great success.
Thanks. I don't know how different that is from the 8M with AVB, but once I connected the ethernet to it and upgraded the firmware it showed right up! Works fine, sounds great, and I'm a happy camper now.

So much possibility with the AVB I wish I'd started using it long ago. Thunderbolt cable arriving today so will see if it makes it even better than USB... :-)
Old 8th January 2019
  #3833
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For my situation, the 828es is a very nice product. I have a 1248 I bought used, so good deal. I have that in a basement listening room. I already mentioned that in my opinion, the touch screen software doesn't work very well with the regular menu screen, but since I don't want to use it anyway, I cured this by installing a pre touch screen firmware on the 828es. I don't have the motivation to work in this with motu, and I figure it will get ironed out on its own at some point.

What the 828es has over the 1248 for me: Built in midi plugs--I do have a keyboard and like midi over usb. 2 mic/hi impedance combo plugs on front of unit. Only minor issue I see here is that the trim control is not separate for the mic and hi impedance plugs. Front panel display is nicer with color and more surface area. It has a regular sized volume control knob on the front. The specs show that the mic preamps have slightly better specs than the 1248, but the line inputs slightly less--may not even be an audible difference for all I know. Also, has a xlr output option for monitor out which ties in nicely with my power amp xlr input. the mute button is nice as well as mono.

I was using a mackie big knob, but in less than a year it developed crackles and the low level was not the same on left and right, so that was an inexpensive disappointment. Isn't there a meme 'you only had one job'? Its simply a potentiometer in a box...

828es: By lowering the gain of the bryston 3b I use to power my speakers, and adjusting the trim value, I got the monitor output knob to work comfortably as a volume knob when I am listening to music--full to no volume is more than one turn, but that actually makes it nicer as there is more turn per decibel. The 1248 has a tiny knob for this in the corner of the unit and is intended as a trim knob, not something to touch regularly. Of course, all of this stuff can be avoided if one uses the web based control with wireless--but what if I don't?

The volume knob is called monitor level, and I did have to do some things in the configuration web page to designate which output plugs would be considered the monitor ones. For a while I was worried it was defective.

Complaints: Happy with the unit, but I saw some limitations I think can be improved:

1) The firmware requires an ethernet cable and the usb cable be unplugged. Its a pain in the butt, but obviously not a frequent task. I am guessing the update process uses TFTP (trivial ftp) so the ethernet cable is required, but how about the ability to update through usb as well.

2) The unit gets its ip address from DHCP only--cannot designate an ip address for the motu. So, I can't have two of them on the network and reliably know their ip addresses from one restart to the next. I guess that's true of one as well, but I have two. I am not sure if I can configure my DHCP server to assign a specific address based on the mac address of the unit, but I should be able to type in the holy trinity of ip and save it on the unit: Gateway address, ip address and subnet mask.

3) Its axiomatic at this point, but the user interface for the 'matrix' is a pain in the butt to figure out. This has been discussed here. Just some simple wording changes and color changes on some inputs and outputs will go a long way. Also, I haven't seen their latest help videos, but I learned more from a couple of people here than I did from the motu documentation.

Maybe I need to have it explained differently as I have computer and network knowledge which can make it easier for me to remember in context of these concepts, but I think all reviewers struggle with that interface. What if each type of source and destination had its own color and the squares on the matrix would adopt half of one color and half of the other so it was really clear which was connecting to what.

4) Too late now, but would usb3 capability reduce its latency? I am on windows and thunderbolt is a troublesome add in technology, but the usb2 is good enough from what I can see.

5) mic and hi impedence input on combo jack share a single trim control (as far as I can tell).

6) After looking at the documentation as much as I could, I think the output volume is controlled digitally, so that on low volumes, its something less than 24 bit resolution. If I am wrong about this, glad to be educated, but as I said I addressed this by turning the gain knob down on the power amp. Before, I was using the mackie big knob to avoid this issue.

Overall pleased with the unit, not surprising since I consider it for the most part a 1248 with a feature set more focused on single person music making, and I like my 1248 well enough. I am proud to say I feel I have mastered the matrix--I really hate having computer gear where I have not mastered the entirety of its configuration process.

AVB nowhere on my radar, but if I needed to, I could do it. I have a large tub full of ethernet cables and gear.

Last edited by ponzi; 8th January 2019 at 09:37 PM..
Old 9th January 2019
  #3834
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monkey Man View Post
Not sure about this, Brother G; michalgrim experienced the same issue running on his "crazy-fast" i8700 PC.
I seem to have resolved it.
I'm not sure whether this was moving to Thunderbolt (finally got the cable!) or optimizing Windows but it works creazy fast now.
When I just plugged TB instead of USB I had same issues.

But now I can run Maschine with huge VSTis at 4,7ms latency no crackling.

The issue I had before is that some factory sessions would crackle or my previous projects that I did with Focusrite.

I did remove all focusrite drivers, turned off some background services from other software, changed CPU priority to background rather that applications and ... it seems to work fine with parameters above. So if that stays this way ... I'm happy as hell.
Old 9th January 2019
  #3835
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Awesome, man!
Old 9th January 2019
  #3836
Quote:
Originally Posted by ponzi View Post
Complaints: Happy with the unit, but I saw some limitations I think can be improved:

1) The firmware requires an ethernet cable and the usb cable be unplugged. Its a pain in the butt, but obviously not a frequent task. I am guessing the update process uses TFTP (trivial ftp) so the ethernet cable is required, but how about the ability to update through usb as well.
I leave USB and Ethernet both plugged in all the time and all works well on my Mac Pro 5,1.

In order to update firmware, one just has to be sure the unit is making its ethernet connection via the ethernet cable, which can be verified in the Discovery App; if the unit shows a computer icon, it is connecting via USB. If it shows an icon that looks more like the 828 itself, it is connecting via the ethernet cable. In my situation, the 828es consistently goes with the ethernet cable connection.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ponzi View Post
4) Too late now, but would usb3 capability reduce its latency?
No... the 828es is USB2, so USB3 on the other end of a cable won't work; it will simply run at USB2 speed.
Old 9th January 2019
  #3837
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HCMarkus View Post
... No... the 828es is USB2, so USB3 on the other end of a cable won't work; it will simply run at USB2 speed.
I understand that, I was suggesting that the device might perform better if it had been implemented with a usb3 capability. Most of my suggestions would require the product to be changed at the hardware level--a few might be firmware changes. To the extent motu agrees with me it would only show up on a mark II version or a new product altogether.

As to the firmware updates, I do understand how it works, I was suggesting it can be improved. With my two motu avb units, the firmware update will not work until I unplug the usb cable. This is also the procedure transvictor told me to follow last year when I brought up my update problems. I believe that can be improved.

I am also reviewing my router documentation to see if I can have the dhcp server reserve ip addresses for specific mac addresses.
Old 9th January 2019
  #3838
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monkey Man View Post
Awesome, man!
I finally feel good about investment in 828ES - I tested all troublesome projects and they play without cracks even at 2.7 ms latency (48kHz, 32 buffer + 16 DAW buffer) reported by Maschine.

OH! MY! GOD!
Old 10th January 2019
  #3839
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Monkey Man's Avatar
 

LOL Double-awesome, man!
Old 10th January 2019
  #3840
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loujudson's Avatar
More on my 8M adventure: Got the Thunderbolt cable, plugged it in and removed the USB, and after a few tries got it configured. But not, though Pro Tools see it and I can select it, I get no audio and no metering on the 8M. Even going back to the USB, still no audio! Switching the USB to a different interface, that works, but not with the 8M. What could I be missing? I set it up for computer 1 & 2 to go to analog out 1 & 2, all that stuff on the AVB ethernet controls, but no output. What could I be missing?
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