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MOTU 1248, 8M, 16A Thunderbolt interface
Old 23rd November 2014
  #781
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imo this does not look right.
why is there no harmonic distortion for the Motu ? manufacturer specs says there should be at least some...
to me it just looks like 1 kHz sine w/quantization error. (ie...was not looped back through the Motu)
also, the noise floor level/shape does not correspond with emrr's graphs, but it's hard to tell with the low resolution/skirt.
are you sure you did the loopback correctly ?
if so, i'm very impressed with this unit's performance...

also, the duet usb graph you posted looks like you have the loop level too hot...the harmonic structure looks like the unit is about 0.1 db away from clipping. iirc that is a pretty clean / low distortion unit. edit: just checked an old file and it has more 2nd and 3rd harmonic, your pic shows all the same level...just thought it was strange.
Old 23rd November 2014
  #782
nms
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stinkyfingers View Post
imo this does not look right.
I had the same surprise when I first saw that. Definitely did a double take. All is right though. I'll upload the test clips for you to dig around and Pm you the link when I'm in my studio and get a min. Personally I'd like to see more attempts at doing loopbacks through the 16A/1248 & Symphony and phase cancelling them against each other. So far I've seen them cancel to a depth of -77dB, which is pretty crazy.

Quote:
also, the duet usb graph you posted looks like you have the loop level too hot...the harmonic structure looks like the unit is about 0.1 db away from clipping. iirc that is a pretty clean / low distortion unit.
No, the levels are checked with a calibration signal and always kept below -1dbfs. The Duet tanks due to the under spec'd ADC primarily. It's well known that the ADC in Duet/Quartet was under spec'd compared to the DAC. There are other design compromises in the little Duets though as you'd expect from a unit of that nature. Ok for what they are but I've never recommended them to anyone serious. They never perform well in any loopback null tests, RMAA tests, or other technical tests I've ever seen attempted on the forum.
Old 23rd November 2014
  #783
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nms View Post
I had the same surprise when I first saw that. Definitely did a double take. All is right though. I'll upload the test clips for you to dig around and Pm you the link when I'm in my studio and get a min. Personally I'd like to see more attempts at doing loopbacks through the 16A/1248 & Symphony and phase cancelling them against each other. So far I've seen them cancel to a depth of -77dB, which is pretty crazy.
cool, thanks, i'd love to see those files. this stuff always interests me.
not to get off topic but i would like to see an impulse da/ad loop through one of these Motu units. the noise floor and harmonic distortion are clearly not an issue with these units, so i'd like to see with my microscope just how flat the frequency response is...
Old 24th November 2014
  #784
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Quote:
Originally Posted by infindebula View Post
I presume it's the Ethernet chipset that makes the new AVB driver compatible with "modern" Macs - I wonder if it's possible to use a PCIe Ethernet card with the same chipset on an older Mac Pro tower.

Mrmiller, do you have any thoughts on this? (And thanks for participating in this forum so candidly)
I have found this card:
Streamware NIC-1 | Echo Digital Audio
I asked them some questions (like the current limitation of 48kHz and OSX driver availability), so far they have not responded yet.

Apple uses the Broadcom BCM57xx chipset for the 2014 MacBookPro thunderbolt interface. Broadcom supports AVB with its BroadSync technology.
There are PCIE add-on cards with the same chipset, but likely the firmware and vendor/product-ID need to be updated to be recognised natively by OSX.

Sonnet released a new natively supported 'Presto Gigabit Pro' ethernet-card, I will ask what chipset they are using.
Attached Thumbnails
MOTU 1248, 8M, 16A Thunderbolt interface-screen-shot-2014-11-24-00.09.49.jpg  
Old 24th November 2014
  #785
Quote:
Originally Posted by infindebula View Post
I presume it's the Ethernet chipset that makes the new AVB driver compatible with "modern" Macs - I wonder if it's possible to use a PCIe Ethernet card with the same chipset on an older Mac Pro tower.

Mrmiller, do you have any thoughts on this? (And thanks for participating in this forum so candidly)
It is indeed the ethernet chipset that matters. It needs to implement a handful of protocols to support AVB. All Macs with Thunderbolt ports have capable chipsets. We haven't tested with any PCIe cards, unfortunately, given that all Macs will have them going forward. There's a possibility that would work but I can't really say definitively one way or the other. On the plus side, if you don't have Thunderbolt or an AVB-capable NIC, there's still USB.

Last edited by mrmiller; 25th November 2014 at 08:48 AM.. Reason: Clarification
Old 24th November 2014
  #786
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by balijon View Post
Sonnet released a new natively supported 'Presto Gigabit Pro' ethernet-card, I will ask what chipset they are using.
Reply Sonnet:
Hi;

The card does support AVB, and the chipset is a Broadcom chipset.
I hope this helps.

Thank You,
Don
[email protected]


Yes, this helps! Problem solved, MacPro's are updatable to go for AVB...
Sonnet - Presto Gigabit Pro PCIe Card
Old 25th November 2014
  #787
Gear Maniac
 

I have been discussibg with michael the possibilities of this system in windows land (thanks a lot for your responses mrmiller!) and for the time being we are limited to 24channels in and out in usb due to the fact of slow thunderbolt adoption.
Seeing that there is an ethernet card capable of delivering avb that also works in windows, should motu try to make avb thru ethernet work in windows after the usb drivers are done?

If this was technically possible (and most important software wise) using avb would be much more appealing for lots of other users....just buy a 50 dolar ethernet card instead upgrading to thunderbolt or having to deal with hackintoshes.

Could this by posible?
Old 25th November 2014
  #788
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nms View Post
I had the same surprise when I first saw that. Definitely did a double take. All is right though. I'll upload the test clips for you to dig around and Pm you the link when I'm in my studio and get a min. Personally I'd like to see more attempts at doing loopbacks through the 16A/1248 & Symphony and phase cancelling them against each other. So far I've seen them cancel to a depth of -77dB, which is pretty crazy.

No, the levels are checked with a calibration signal and always kept below -1dbfs. The Duet tanks due to the under spec'd ADC primarily. It's well known that the ADC in Duet/Quartet was under spec'd compared to the DAC. There are other design compromises in the little Duets though as you'd expect from a unit of that nature. Ok for what they are but I've never recommended them to anyone serious. They never perform well in any loopback null tests, RMAA tests, or other technical tests I've ever seen attempted on the forum.
Hello NMS,

I am going to ask a dumb question here on this, but can you elaborate more on your take of these data and your general feeling on the quality of the 1248 vs. Symphony? I've read your previous posts in the thread, but I would appreciate your expertise and opinion on this further please.

Thanks.
Old 25th November 2014
  #789
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not like this's Avatar
 

Not sure if this was a concern for anyone else but I was able to get my 1248 on my network with a Netgear Ethernet to Wifi adapter. Now I can control the 1248 from my iPad.

I was worried this wouldn't work as there is no ethernet near the studio in my building.

My 1248 is up and rocking on a Hackintosh using Thunderbolt. USB didn't work, so if you're building, beware.
Old 26th November 2014
  #790
nms
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qutobol View Post
Hello NMS,

I am going to ask a dumb question here on this, but can you elaborate more on your take of these data and your general feeling on the quality of the 1248 vs. Symphony? I've read your previous posts in the thread, but I would appreciate your expertise and opinion on this further please.
I'm not sure what you're wondering about that I haven't already mentioned, but I suppose I can recap. Both use the same ADC chips, both use DC coupled outputs, and both use Sabre32 DACs, one model apart. A third party attempted a null test between loopback recordings made by the Motu & the Symphony and they canceled to a depth of -77db. I would say those files are likely to be undiscernable from each other.

I've tested over 50 different converters and never seen more similar results from two different units.

It's been made very apparent that the new 16A & 1248 were designed to a higher grade than every unit they've ever released, and with the higher price tag that comes along with that. You won't find another 8+ ch unit with conversion that clean anywhere near that price. That's my opinion, based purely on the build quality and test performance to date.

I haven't picked one up myself yet, but most likely will. I use Expert Sleepers CV plugins to control my analog synths, and Motu are one of the few companies who make converters with DC coupled outputs which can be used for that purpose. So adding a 1248 to my Hilo over ADAT I get 8 lanes of control voltage out, 8 analog ins for my synths etc, and can clock it externally from the Hilo's excellent clock. Pretty hard to argue with that! I have an 828mk2 filling that position currently but it's due for retirement.
Old 26th November 2014
  #791
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nms View Post
I've tested over 50 different converters and never seen more similar results from two different units.
crane song hedd + prism ada-8xr
Old 26th November 2014
  #792
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Quote:
Originally Posted by not like this View Post
Not sure if this was a concern for anyone else but I was able to get my 1248 on my network with a Netgear Ethernet to Wifi adapter. Now I can control the 1248 from my iPad.

I was worried this wouldn't work as there is no ethernet near the studio in my building.

My 1248 is up and rocking on a Hackintosh using Thunderbolt. USB didn't work, so if you're building, beware.
Id like to know more about this, unfortunately my 4770k mobo I purchased just before thunderbolt introduction. What operating system are you currently running?
Old 26th November 2014
  #793
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My build is:
GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-UD7 TH
Intel i7 4790K 4.0GHz
16GB RAM
NVIDIA GTX 760

Running Mavericks 10.9.5 & Yosemite 10.10.1 on separate drives.

Quote:
Originally Posted by beau_mckee View Post
Id like to know more about this, unfortunately my 4770k mobo I purchased just before thunderbolt introduction. What operating system are you currently running?
Old 27th November 2014
  #794
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OK, I bought the 1248 thanks to MrMillers great help on this thread (and even email support to me while I setup with my Hackintosh).

It took me a while to replace my old workflow as the AVB Mixer is insanely flexible, but that doesn't come without a bit of a learning curve.

Now I'd LOVE to figure out how to execute what MrMiller suggested with Osculator.

I'd ideally like for buttons (F13 and F14?) on my computer keyboard to toggle between speakers using Osculator and then some kind of a midi footswitch to unmute a talk back mic when I step on it and mute it again when I release it.

Can anyone help me or have any ideas? I'm not a programmer (I play guitar, duh..) the documentation went right over my head.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmiller View Post
There is no built-in talkback mechanism, dimming or monitoring A/B button. These are features we've contemplated, though, and hearing that you're interested in them is good to know! The interfaces are pretty flexible so I'm going to offer some ways to get similar functionality going.

To get something like a talkback setup, you could create an aux mix for the performer and route your analog mic signal to that but keep it muted unless you were talking back. You could make this more streamlined by sending an OSC message to the interface. Create a small TouchOSC or Osculator patch with a single button that you hold for talkback. Or create an Osculator patch that takes MIDI or your footswitch and sends an OSC message to the box.

To A/B different monitoring configurations, you have a couple options. The simplest is to change the routing for the main outs each time. Another option would be to use the Monitor bus (page 24 of the manual). Have that double the main mix. In the Routing pane (page 20), route Mix Main to your A setup and Mix Monitor to your B setup. Keep one muted at a time. Again, you could automate the toggling with an OSC patch.

The Mixer window allows you to hide channels and you can have as many independent windows open in your browser or on your mobile device as you'd like. You could have one window that shows only the two monitor outs and avoid hunting around for the correct channels. Similarly, you could have another window for just the talkback channel or include that side-by-side with the monitor outs.

Hopefully this helps! Sorry there's not a more elegant solution as of now.
Old 27th November 2014
  #795
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by not like this View Post
My build is:
GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-UD7 TH
Intel i7 4790K 4.0GHz
16GB RAM
NVIDIA GTX 760

Running Mavericks 10.9.5 & Yosemite 10.10.1 on separate drives.
That chipset has native thunderbolt implementation doesn't it?
I believe its impossible to use thunderbolt with older chipsets, so the best solution in the future would be avb thru ethernet (if that is possible)
Old 27th November 2014
  #796
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A kind of dumb question: I am considering the 16A as I mix on my desk. If I run the 16A at 192khz, can I still use the ADAT ports for extra less important DA via some spare converters or are they only useable up to 96khz if the whole unit is set top 96khz??
Old 27th November 2014
  #797
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pablo1980 View Post
That chipset has native thunderbolt implementation doesn't it?
I believe its impossible to use thunderbolt with older chipsets, so the best solution in the future would be avb thru ethernet (if that is possible)
Definitely, once the firmware progresses to have lower latencies that would suit my needs in the studio
Old 27th November 2014
  #798
Gear Maniac
 

Mrmiller, do you think that avb via ethernet could be possible in windows with selected ethernet cards?
Old 27th November 2014
  #799
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Yes, the TH signifies Thunderbolt in Gigabytes naming structure.

Some Asus boards have a thunderbolt add-on card option, but I would definitely look for a board with built-in Thunderbolt if you are starting a new build.

There is really no reason the USB connection from the Motu shouldn't work in a hackintosh, but it doesn't. MrMiller mentioned to me via email that many hackintosh users were reporting similar issues to him and Thunderbolt or Ethernet was the best workaround.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pablo1980 View Post
That chipset has native thunderbolt implementation doesn't it?
I believe its impossible to use thunderbolt with older chipsets, so the best solution in the future would be avb thru ethernet (if that is possible)
Old 27th November 2014
  #800
Quote:
Originally Posted by dlmorley View Post
A kind of dumb question: I am considering the 16A as I mix on my desk. If I run the 16A at 192khz, can I still use the ADAT ports for extra less important DA via some spare converters or are they only useable up to 96khz if the whole unit is set top 96khz??
The ADAT only works up to 96khz. If you ran the 16A at 96khz, that would work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pablo1980 View Post
Mrmiller, do you think that avb via ethernet could be possible in windows with selected ethernet cards?
It would require an AVB audio driver and an AVB-capable NIC. Currently, the audio driver is the hold up. Echo offers a card that seems to include an AVB ASIO driver for Windows (Streamware NIC-1 | Echo Digital Audio). We haven't tested with it so I can't guarantee it would work with our devices. It's not cheap, though...

Quote:
Originally Posted by not like this View Post
There is really no reason the USB connection from the Motu shouldn't work in a hackintosh, but it doesn't. MrMiller mentioned to me via email that many hackintosh users were reporting similar issues to him and Thunderbolt or Ethernet was the best workaround.
I have heard from three users here including you that USB doesn't work. There may be others who it's working just fine for. You often hear more about the bad than the good! I've found similar reports online regarding non-MOTU interfaces as well.

Hackintoshes are a varied landscape and we don't claim to support them. I'll do my best to help you work around any issues, though.
Old 27th November 2014
  #801
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmiller View Post
The ADAT only works up to 96khz. If you ran the 16A at 96khz, that would work.



It would require an AVB audio driver and an AVB-capable NIC. Currently, the audio driver is the hold up. Echo offers a card that seems to include an AVB ASIO driver for Windows (Streamware NIC-1 | Echo Digital Audio). We haven't tested with it so I can't guarantee it would work with our devices. It's not cheap, though...



I have heard from three users here including you that USB doesn't work. There may be others who it's working just fine for. You often hear more about the bad than the good! I've found similar reports online regarding non-MOTU interfaces as well.

Hackintoshes are a varied landscape and we don't claim to support them. I'll do my best to help you work around any issues, though.
So, for now Motu won´t develop an AVB driver for windows? (I still believe, that once the latencies are fixed, it would be a very good solution for users that don´t have thunderbolt).

I think that these motu interfaces are a very good option but 24 channels only in windows kind of negates all the advantages avb system has.
Old 27th November 2014
  #802
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmiller View Post
The ADAT only works up to 96khz. If you ran the 16A at 96khz, that would work.
Thought as much. I guess if I wanted 24 outs then 96k would be the solution. Thanks!
Old 27th November 2014
  #803
Quote:
Originally Posted by not like this View Post
OK, I bought the 1248 thanks to MrMillers great help on this thread (and even email support to me while I setup with my Hackintosh).

It took me a while to replace my old workflow as the AVB Mixer is insanely flexible, but that doesn't come without a bit of a learning curve.

Now I'd LOVE to figure out how to execute what MrMiller suggested with Osculator.

I'd ideally like for buttons (F13 and F14?) on my computer keyboard to toggle between speakers using OSCulator and then some kind of a midi footswitch to unmute a talk back mic when I step on it and mute it again when I release it.

Can anyone help me or have any ideas? I'm not a programmer (I play guitar, duh..) the documentation went right over my head.
The OSC address you're interested in is "/mix/chan/<index>/matrix/mute". Replace <index> with the mixer channel you're interested in. That means if you route your talkback mic into Mix 1, you'd send the message to "/mix/chan/0/matrix/mute". (The numbers are 0-indexed, which means that 0 refers to the first channel, 1 to the second, etc.) These are just like URLs and paths, so think of the / as referring to a level of hierarchy. Read from right to left as the mute on the matrix of channel 0 of the mixer.

You'll also need the host address. Easiest way to get that is to open it form the AVB Discovery app and look at the address bar in the browser. If you're connected to your router, you can also look at the IP address by pressing the ID button on the front of the device. You should have something like "1248.local." as your host address if connected via the computer, for example. It might also include a trailing port ":1280" if connected over USB or Thunderbolt.

Lastly, we need to know what arguments to send to that address to do what we want. In this case, if we look at the documentation, it says the type is "real_bool" and the permissions are "rw" for read-write. A real number refers to any decimal number, e.g. 3.1415. A bool is a special subset where 0 means off and 1 means on. So you'd send the value "0.0" to turn off the mute and "1.0" to turn on the mute.

I'd work on it in baby steps. In OSCulator, go to the Parameters button and the OSC Routing tab. Under targets, check the OSC URL. It's possible it automatically figured out the hostname for your device or it's available in the gear menu to the right of that textfield. If not, you can just type in the hostname you found earlier. Next, press the + button in the bottom left to add a route. Set the address to the one we figured out above for mute. It should have a single argument, the number 1. That will turn on the mute.

The last step is to give OSCulator some source input to translate and forward to the device. In this case, let's look at MIDI if you have MIDI attached. Make sure your MIDI input is selected in the I/O tab. Next, close the I/O tab. Press a key on a MIDI device and you should see it show up in the main window. Under event type for one of those entries, you can choose OSC Routing and under Value, you can see the address we entered earlier. That will mean triggering that event on your keyboard will trigger the mute on the channel. There's some more steps to get things fully going, but hopefully this can get you started!
Old 27th November 2014
  #804
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by not like this View Post
There is really no reason the USB connection from the Motu shouldn't work in a hackintosh, but it doesn't. MrMiller mentioned to me via email that many hackintosh users were reporting similar issues to him and Thunderbolt or Ethernet was the best workaround.
I had a 16A working off a Hackintosh over usb while testing it.
Old 27th November 2014
  #805
Quote:
Originally Posted by dlmorley View Post
Thought as much. I guess if I wanted 24 outs then 96k would be the solution. Thanks!
Yup! 16 analog outs and then two banks of ADAT at 96khz (4 channels per bank). You've also go another two channels of S/PDIF and AVB if you ever need to grow your setup.
Old 27th November 2014
  #806
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nms View Post
I'm not sure what you're wondering about that I haven't already mentioned, but I suppose I can recap. Both use the same ADC chips, both use DC coupled outputs, and both use Sabre32 DACs, one model apart. A third party attempted a null test between loopback recordings made by the Motu & the Symphony and they canceled to a depth of -77db. I would say those files are likely to be undiscernable from each other.

I've tested over 50 different converters and never seen more similar results from two different units.

It's been made very apparent that the new 16A & 1248 were designed to a higher grade than every unit they've ever released, and with the higher price tag that comes along with that. You won't find another 8+ ch unit with conversion that clean anywhere near that price. That's my opinion, based purely on the build quality and test performance to date.

I haven't picked one up myself yet, but most likely will. I use Expert Sleepers CV plugins to control my analog synths, and Motu are one of the few companies who make converters with DC coupled outputs which can be used for that purpose. So adding a 1248 to my Hilo over ADAT I get 8 lanes of control voltage out, 8 analog ins for my synths etc, and can clock it externally from the Hilo's excellent clock. Pretty hard to argue with that! I have an 828mk2 filling that position currently but it's due for retirement.
Thank you NMS. I appreciate your knowledge/views.

Is there something inherently wrong with the 1248 clock? Also, I haven't seen too much feedback on the preamp on the 1248 in this thread - are you aware of any feedback on this point?
Old 27th November 2014
  #807
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmiller View Post
Yup! 16 analog outs and then two banks of ADAT at 96khz (4 channels per bank). You've also go another two channels of S/PDIF and AVB if you ever need to grow your setup.
The thing is, I'm such an old fart that 24 channels just seems right!
Of course a 24Ao to desk and something hooked up via the adat for inputs might be good too if the 24Ao runs straight from via AVB on Ethernet port.
BUT the draw of 16 channels of 192khz I/O is big.
Old 27th November 2014
  #808
Quote:
Originally Posted by pablo1980 View Post
So, for now Motu won´t develop an AVB driver for windows? (I still believe, that once the latencies are fixed, it would be a very good solution for users that don´t have thunderbolt).

I think that these motu interfaces are a very good option but 24 channels only in windows kind of negates all the advantages avb system has.
Our priority right now is USB since that opens it up to the most people. We're also seeing if we can eke out 32 in and 32 out, which helps a bit. As you say, though, the USB channel count falls short of our vision of a massively networked audio setup.

Both AVB-capable NICs and Thunderbolt are hard to come by on Windows. The former would require just about everyone to buy one of a handful of specific ethernet cards. The latter would require a custom PC build or one of a handful of stock PCs that have it. Neither is a particularly pretty solution.

We're looking into options on Windows that will allow the most people to use the interfaces. USB is an obvious first step. Once that's done, we'll see what makes most sense next. I'm not ruling anything out, just laying out our thinking on the matter.

By the way, for those in the US, happy Thanksgiving! Eat lots!
Old 27th November 2014
  #809
nms
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qutobol View Post
Is there something inherently wrong with the 1248 clock?
I have no reason to suspect that, but the Hilo is a high end mastering unit and I think there's a chance it could improve it slightly.
I haven't heard anything about the preamps, but they're a new upgraded design so they're probably decent.
Old 28th November 2014
  #810
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nms View Post
I have no reason to suspect that, but the Hilo is a high end mastering unit and I think there's a chance it could improve it slightly.
I haven't heard anything about the preamps, but they're a new upgraded design so they're probably decent.
Thanks again, NMS. I think you give a lot of valuable posts on this forum.

-Q
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