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MOTU 1248, 8M, 16A Thunderbolt interface Audio Interfaces
Old 14th October 2014
  #601
Also, just a heads up—I'll be away on vacation traveling in China until October 29th and will have very limited access. I'll try to respond to any unanswered questions once I get back though!
Old 14th October 2014
  #602
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nms View Post
Which Genelec & Quested monitors are you using? If you're talking V3110's you should aim higher and go for a Hilo which also supports DSD. If you have TB then a Hilo TB would be a killer solution for you and allow you to chain your Orpheus over ADAT.

Like Apogee, it uses digital attenuation of the 32bit DACs.
We are running Genelec 1037c's and Quested lt20 for our main surround monitoring - so even way higher up the food chain than V3110's :-)
Our 3 front lt20s alone require 9 dac channels using digital xo + subs and surrounds we are at 16 active channels. Perfect fit for 16A. Why do you feel (multiple) Hilo's are a significant upgrade over the 16A in this application? Thank you for your thoughts!
Old 14th October 2014
  #603
nms
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lionsclaw View Post
Our 3 front lt20s alone require 9 dac channels using digital xo + subs and surrounds we are at 16 active channels. Perfect fit for 16A. Why do you feel (multiple) Hilo's are a significant upgrade over the 16A in this application? Thank you for your thoughts!
Oh wow.. that's a lot of monitoring DACs!

The Hilo is the cleanest mastering grade converter I've tested/measured/rubber gloved. There are no options to find that level of converter design in an 8ch interface.

Your circumstances are unique though so a little compromise seems inevitable. I'd probably be looking at a Symphony though if running Mac. The 16A is an excellent product, but Symphony still has a bit better conversion (at a much higher price tag). It depends how fussy you are about conversion really. In the grand scheme of thing there are so many other things that make a greater difference, as you know.
Old 14th October 2014
  #604
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmiller View Post
As jlaws said, it doesn't need to be connected to the computer directly. It simply needs to be accessible on the network, by connecting it to your wifi router, for example, or a network switch.

I explained the design decisions behind this a while ago, but reposting for convenience:
Thanks mrmiller and jlaws; I remember that previous post now about the design decision and reliability.

In my case I have a home studio and my Macbook connects wirelessly to the router downstairs where our internet service connection enters the house. A bit of a pain to have to disconnect my interface, take it out of the rack, connect it up in another room to the router, then connect to it wirelessly from my Macbook (sitting right next to it and the router) to do an update. But I guess in a pro situation the router is hardwired via ethernet into the studio so it's just a matter of connecting an ethernet cable when doing an update - in fact I suppose you could just leave it connected all the time.

In the end it will be much less trouble for me to just buy a TB-ethernet adapter and keep the interface racked in the studio when I need to do an update.

First world problems, haha. BTW, I echo the sentiments expressed in this thread by others about the presence of MOTU in supporting this new release. I've had nightmare experiences with other manufacturers in this regard. Mackie abandoned the 400F FW interface almost as soon as it was released, for example. It never worked for me on my old G4 - they blamed the company they contracted the driver to, who in turn blamed Apple, and of course Apple just didn't care or respond.

The fact that MOTU appears to have written the software and built the hardware and is doing support all in-house is a huge plus for me. I much preferred the sound of the 400F to the 828mkII I replaced it with, but did so gladly since the 828mkII just worked. If the 1248 converter quality is as good as the 400F I'll be very happy to upgrade to it. And of course from what I've read here, I expect it to be even better, so bonus!

ld
Old 14th October 2014
  #605
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nms View Post
Oh wow.. that's a lot of monitoring DACs indeed!

The Hilo is the cleanest mastering grade converter I've tested/measured/rubber gloved. There are no options to find that level of converter design in an 8ch interface.

Your circumstances are unique though so a little compromise seems inevitable. I'd probably be looking at a Symphony though if running Mac. The 16A is an excellent product, but Symphony still has a bit better conversion (at an expectedly higher price tag). It depends how fussy you are about conversion really. In the grand scheme of thing there are so many other things that make a greater difference, as you know.
Thanks, we appreciate your input and agree. We are Windows only so Symphony is not an option.
We hate to compromise and consider ourself rather "fussy" about conversion quality (we have made quite a heavy investment into the rest of the equipment and room acoustics, and the better both of them get the more important the upstream parts obviously get) but you are correct that the 16 DAC channels requirement gives us very few valid options.
We expect the 16A to "punch way above the asking price" but cannot evaluate it yet due to lacking Windows support.

We consider AVB to be the future and would like to go that way. I don't expect Prism's driver support (with the Titan for example) to get us there in a timely fashion. Among the available AVB solutions Motu may be the best we can do atm - do you agree or do you see proper alternatives when it comes to "conversion quality"/ especially the DAC side of things?
Old 14th October 2014
  #606
nms
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lionsclaw View Post
we have made quite a heavy investment into the rest of the equipment and room acoustics, and the better both of them get the more important the upstream parts obviously get
Absolutely.

Quote:
We expect the 16A to "punch way above the asking price"
It really does. You don't pay for brand hype with Motu, but rather the actual component quality & 15+yrs of experience.

Quote:
We consider AVB to be the future and would like to go that way. I don't expect Prism's driver support (with the Titan for example) to get us there in a timely fashion.
Prism have not been on a track I support. Still milking the 8+yr old Orpheus converter design.

Quote:
Motu may be the best we can do atm - do you agree or do you see proper alternatives when it comes to "conversion quality"/ especially the DAC side of things?
Although much more expensive, you could look into Merging Horus. There's also the option of going with a RME RayDat pcie card paired with 4 Hilos. Each Hilo having 2 ADC + 4 DAC plus superior low latency performance & stability from the PCIe card.
Old 15th October 2014
  #607
nms
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Been busy with a studio build so haven't had time to look into this more than my initial quick look, but I made some time today.

At this time I can no longer state with any certainty that Symphony offers cleaner conversion than the AVB series.

This is just a glance. I'll do a full run down of the units and check another Symphony plus the Antelope Orion & Zen in 2-4 weeks when I have time. My 16A test was run at 88.2khz which is why the analyzer extends above 20khz. It's all I have on hand at the moment.

Well done Motu.. seriously.
Attached Thumbnails
MOTU 1248, 8M, 16A Thunderbolt interface-motu-16a-vs-symphony-loopback.jpg   MOTU 1248, 8M, 16A Thunderbolt interface-apogee-duet-2-vs-symphony-loopback.jpg  
Old 15th October 2014
  #608
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nms View Post
Been busy with a studio build so haven't had time to look into this more than my initial quick look, but I made some time today.

At this time I can no longer state with any certainty that Symphony offers cleaner conversion than the AVB series.

This is just a glance. I'll do a full run down of the units and check another Symphony plus the Antelope Orion & Zen in 2-4 weeks when I have time. My 16A test was run at 88.2khz which is why the analyzer extends above 20khz. It's all I have on hand at the moment.

Well done Motu.. seriously.
Very interesting indeed! Looking forward to your other findings. Thank you!
Old 15th October 2014
  #609
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nms View Post
Although much more expensive, you could look into Merging Horus. There's also the option of going with a RME RayDat pcie card paired with 4 Hilos. Each Hilo having 2 ADC + 4 DAC plus superior low latency performance & stability from the PCIe card.
Sure, we continue to have DAD AX32 and Merging Horus on our "once we win the lottery" wishlist ;-)
Old 16th October 2014
  #610
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Has anyone yet considered to use the 1248 as a live mixer? I love it's flexibility and sound and would be interested in taking it with me on stage...
Old 16th October 2014
  #611
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This might be just what I´m going to purchase... My problem is that I can´t choose which one of them I should get. I often need more than 8 inputs, so if the conversion is so good as it seems, it might be better to go for the 16A and buy some extra preamps than using an extra converter via ADAT. For my budget that is. And also I will get a total of 24 inputs if I use my Traveler via ADAT... But then again, most of the time I use less then 8 inputs... So what to do?
Old 17th October 2014
  #613
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Motu is killing the game right now, apogee,avid, and all those other riducously priced audio interfaces are gonna feel it.
Old 19th October 2014
  #614
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So 1248 has 12 simultaneous analog inputs and outputs? I guess it´s the winner for me then.
Old 19th October 2014
  #615
FFS
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I currently have a prism lyra but need more outputs as I've just purchased an old mixing desk for that hands on feel again!
Do you think you could push the input on these converters like you can on the prism for mastering purposes?
maybe I won't need my prism now?
G
Old 19th October 2014
  #616
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FFS View Post
Do you think you could push the input on these converters like you can on the prism for mastering purposes?
maybe I won't need my prism now?
G
May I ignorantly ask what you mean by "push the input" and why do you want to do it?

Thanks!
Old 20th October 2014
  #617
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I assume FFS means purposefully use them as clippers.
Old 20th October 2014
  #618
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Checking in again to see what other people think of the compressor in the mixer as it stands today. Today I note the same crazy functional problems I described previously; immediate jump in volume when engaged along with interaction of gain with threshold. There's been total silence on this problem, and several updates have not changed anything here.
Old 21st October 2014
  #619
nms
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardtoe View Post
KRK Ergo
Hey Orion. You should really get rid of that Ergo now that you've got the nice DAC of the 1248. I had one years back too (with my VXT6) and they do dodgy stuff with the audio. You can do a slow sine sweep through it with a full screen RTA going in your DAW and screenshot the results to see what it's doing to correct your room. Then you can copy it yourself using your cleanest EQ (Fabfilter is great there) although maybe at a bit more conservative settings, as Ergo can be quite heavy handed.

Better yet, give me a pm sometime and I'll help you fix your room problems.
Old 21st October 2014
  #620
nms
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardtoe View Post
Thanks a bunch nms for your informative posts - they really helped me move forward within a relatively affordable budget
Cheers! The Ergo will definitely sound different even with the correction bypassed, but the Motu will be MUCH more true to the source. I can't explain what the Ergo DAC does to audio even with correction disabled. It does resample the source to 96khz first for processing.

One day you should do a loopback through it into the Motu with correction bypassed, then do a loopback with just the Motu. Do some A/B listening with your headphones plugged into the Motu and you'll hear the difference but without room or correction slanting anything.
Old 21st October 2014
  #621
Quote:
Originally Posted by nms View Post
Been busy with a studio build so haven't had time to look into this more than my initial quick look, but I made some time today.

At this time I can no longer state with any certainty that Symphony offers cleaner conversion than the AVB series.

This is just a glance. I'll do a full run down of the units and check another Symphony plus the Antelope Orion & Zen in 2-4 weeks when I have time. My 16A test was run at 88.2khz which is why the analyzer extends above 20khz. It's all I have on hand at the moment.

Well done Motu.. seriously.
This is awesome. I'd love to see more tests like this. The Apogee Symphony is in the running as my lead interface upgrade right now, but with a few more users reaffirming things like this, I might grab this guy. I just need I/O and it needs to be at least Symphony good. If MOTU can pull that off, it WILL get my money.

Whats the headroom on this unit vs. the Symphony? Also anyone using the MOTUs soft clipping? Comparable to Apogee?? I use it a lot in my Rosetta so it's important to know.
Old 21st October 2014
  #622
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Anyway, just wanted to chime in on this discussion. I bought a 1248 recently for my Hackintosh and just wanted to say that the conversion, features, and routing are all great. Monitoring through some Opals it really does them more justice than the Roland Octa-Capture I had previously. But the main reason I wanted to voice my opinion is that MOTU's customer service has been excellent. Mrmiller has been helping me with some issues I was having despite me having a Hackintosh, which isn't officially supported. We were able to get the issues sorted, and I'm extremely happy with my 1248.
Old 21st October 2014
  #623
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Firmware update:

I have a macbook pro without ethernet connectivity. How could I run the update? Not possible through thunderbolt?

Thanks
Old 21st October 2014
  #624
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chamberfolkjazz View Post
Has anyone yet considered to use the 1248 as a live mixer? I love it's flexibility and sound and would be interested in taking it with me on stage...
I'm planning to buy a 1248 and do that! Using it in little venue as a mixer controlled by an iPad! :-)
I'm just worried about the reverb quality... the one on the Traveler mk3 it's very low quality and it's always PRE fader! Really annoying...
Old 21st October 2014
  #625
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I'm not crazy about the reverb, but then I'm not crazy about most reverbs. It's perfectly functional for short-tailed use on vocals, the basic control set is good and works. It's in the traditional console style aux path rather than on individual channels.
Old 21st October 2014
  #626
Quote:
Originally Posted by emrr View Post
Checking in again to see what other people think of the compressor in the mixer as it stands today. Today I note the same crazy functional problems I described previously; immediate jump in volume when engaged along with interaction of gain with threshold. There's been total silence on this problem, and several updates have not changed anything here.
Yes Doug I agree - the volume jump is pretty abrupt and should be addressed in an update

I also agree that the reverb is not anything to get excited about, but that's not an issue for me
Old 21st October 2014
  #627
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chamberfolkjazz View Post
Firmware update:

I have a macbook pro without ethernet connectivity. How could I run the update? Not possible through thunderbolt?

Thanks
TB to cat5 adaptor? Also, there are TB hubs with built in Ethernet ports.

either that or SOL...
Old 21st October 2014
  #628
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardtoe View Post
I have recently purchased a Motu 1248 AVB and wanted to share my experience to help others who may be in a similar position to me.

First a little history - I owned the very first Motu 828 Firewire back in the day (2001), and loved it at the time. I moved on to an Ultralite around 2005 and it was a big upgrade in the sound quality and functionality.

Around 2007 I moved towards running a studio full time and outgrew the Ultralite around 2008, at which point I moved onto an Apogee Ensemble - again this was a big step up in audio quality and I have been using the Ensemble as my main interface until last week when I got the Motu 1248.

Ironically, it was the announcement of the new Ensemble that spurred me on to make the change. I had been waiting for an interface like this to be released by Apogee for quite some time, but was left out of the party because I am on an 2008 Mac Pro which does not have Thunderbolt capability and I also use OS 10.6.8 which is where I would like this computer to stay for a long as possible (you can use 10.6.8 with the 1248 in USB mode with no issues).

I thought I would never go back to Motu because of their less then stellar sound quality, (for instance I replaced the Ultralight with a Duet2 for my portable sound card because the conversion is better), but I had always found their drivers an software to be very well thought out and implemented.

I became interested in the new AVB line because of user reports of a very different level of sound quality coming in on this thread, and thought I would try for myself to see if these new Motu boxes made the cut in my studio.

My opinion after one week is that these are very well designed units functionally - the networking software / mixer is simply fantastic and the expandability as a networked system is also ground breaking.

Now, this would all be for nothing if they didn't sound good, but the 1248 delivers a significant upgrade from my 2007 Ensemble - my monitoring has more depth and air and some freq issues in the mid / low range have resolved and I can spot mix issues and resolve tricky spots easier.

Just a note that I monitor using a KRK Ergo as my DAC being fed from the SPDIF out on the 1248 (and did this before on my Ensemble), so the differences are a little surprising to me as I'm not even hearing the ESS Sabre 32 Ultra, but it is much better nonetheless.

My speakers are KRK VXT8's, which always had a bit of a hard presentation when I used the Ensemble, so my new situation sounds much truer and lessens fatigue for longer sessions as well (I also use a pair of Avantone's).

I tested the new AD and DA in the 1248 by bouncing an mix I had originally done on the Ensemble, through both boxes. The mix busses are passively summed through an 8 channel Unit Audio Micro Unit and the gain is made up on an Thermionic Culture Rooster and with a little compression added via a Drawmer 1968 ME. I left all the settings the same and just bounced the mix, switching converters so each handled all the ADDA conversion on their particular bounce.

Now there are some thing that I still like about the Ensemble version, which makes sense as I mixed it though this box in the first place, so it informed all my decisions. That being said, the Motu 1248 version has significantly more depth and honesty. I an confident that if I had mixed through the 1248 from the start instead of just dropping it in for a test like this, my overall mix quality will be taken another sonic level up in the percentage game.

I am including some attached audio files so you can hear a snippet for yourself - the song is "Memories of a Countryside" by the very talented artist Orin Paquette - you can hear the original master of the song full song here: https://soundcloud.com/orinpaquette/...country-master

Now the Motu 1248 is not a sexy buy, but it is a very good one - it's also worth noting that the 4 mic preamps are in addition to 2 Hi z inputs and 8 analog inputs, so this also outperforms the new Ensemble. If you value your money and sound quality, you owe it to yourself to audition the new Motu line.

Listening to your clips. The transients and spatial cues for where sounds are placed are much softer and indistinct on the Motu compared to you Apogee! This is one thing Apogee does very well which is clocking! Chances are over time you will begin to notice this, take a good listen. Especially outside of your room, where you are very used to things. I could literally hear the stereo image collapse in a couple of places on the Motu. Not a full collapse but a degradation of the stereo image. The ensembles image is Rock solid from start to finish. Very defined at the edges of the mix. Just my 1 cent.
Old 21st October 2014
  #629
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlaws View Post
Anyway, just wanted to chime in on this discussion. I bought a 1248 recently for my Hackintosh and just wanted to say that the conversion, features, and routing are all great. Monitoring through some Opals it really does them more justice than the Roland Octa-Capture I had previously. But the main reason I wanted to voice my opinion is that MOTU's customer service has been excellent. Mrmiller has been helping me with some issues I was having despite me having a Hackintosh, which isn't officially supported. We were able to get the issues sorted, and I'm extremely happy with my 1248.
What kind of issues you had with your setup? I have a Hackintosh too and I am thinking about going Motu 16A with it
Old 21st October 2014
  #630
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Thanks 12tone, I was hoping though to make it happen without buying extra gear :-(
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