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MOTU 1248, 8M, 16A Thunderbolt interface Audio Interfaces
Old 24th July 2014
  #61
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papawise's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by spambot_2 View Post
They might as well be using the lowest tire ones while apogee may be using the highest tire ones.
We should wait to state that.
These solutions are more expensive in comparison with previous releases.

regards.
Old 24th July 2014
  #62
Sen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madhermit View Post
We used the 424 card for years at the studio I worked at. Zero problems with the drivers. It was the most stable unit I ever used bar none. Used 2x2408 and 1x24io.

Converters didn't stop us getting radio play.


I'm over to Apogee, but MOTU was never even close to "bad drivers" in my experience. Sound wise, also, pretty allright.
Old 24th July 2014
  #63
as I understand it its the analogue stages that are an important aspect and one that Black Lion tends to correct...also the clocking but thats a bit more controvertial from teh sounds of it...interesting to hear how well specced motu have done these new ones. I hear motu are pretty solid in terms of drivers?
Old 24th July 2014
  #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by papawise View Post
We should wait to state that.
Yes, I meant to negate the statements according to which apogee's and these MOTU's use the same converters.

I mean they may as well, but that's a hell of a stretch from using the same converter chips family to use the same converters.

Sorry for the confusion
Old 24th July 2014
  #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charlieclouser View Post
I guess Orion would be a decent replacement for the RME MADI>AD+DA racks, which are quite pricey, huge, and have fans on the 32-channel units. So that's definitely an option if I go RME MADI, whether PCIe or MADIface XT. Good call, I hadn't even considered Orion.
Have you checked out focusrite rednet? All over Ethernet and they have a madi interface in addition to every other input.

Ssl madi stuff looks good.

FYI, both avid and focusrite have deals right now where you can trade in old 888s for a large discount. 16 bit 888s are super cheap on ebay (white 888s are lowest). Avid deal allows two 888s to be traded in for their madi box for a larger discount.
Old 24th July 2014
  #66
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Remember back in the old days of serial ports?

Apple, with I think 7 other co-development partners help develop USB, but Apple had the guts to bring USB to market adopting it system wide.

Thunderbolt has also been co-developed, BY INTEL & other development partners, with Apple taking the lead to launch it into the mainstream.

FireWire is now on the way out, USB remains an industry standard, but with ever increasing demand for data transfer Bandwidth, in A/V applications, Thunderbolt is opening up that data transfer bottleneck.

It is perfectly understandable that if you are heavily invested in older tech,
that these growing pains can hurt, but Thunderbolt IS being adopted as fast
as companies can re-engineer their hardware to go that direction.

How much bandwidth do you think will be required for future 3D printers, 3D
monitors and eventually Holographic displays?

I knew FireWire was doomed, but the prices and availability of gear supporting Thunderbolt connectivity was going to take a few years.

Some companies stubbornly dragged their feet trying to move as much older
tech before they were forced to move forward.

You once needed a $7000.00 Protools HD card to record.
Now you can record natively on a MacMini.

There's no sense whining about it.

I'm still content running Mac OS 10.6.8, but sooner or later, I will be forced to upgrade.

My 300MHz G3 Tower and my 2.0 G5 DP tower are gathering dust.
I wrote them off fully depreciated, just the cost of doing business.

My MacBook Pro Quad has finally allowed me to record trouble free.
The cost was well worth it compared to losing my sanity with older systems.

Some people hate change, but change is inevitable, especially in computer
technology.
Old 24th July 2014
  #67
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Wish the 16 had DB25s.
Old 24th July 2014
  #68
Quote:
Originally Posted by spambot_2 View Post
How much analog circuitry is there between a line input and an ADC?
Are you serious? Sheesh.
Old 24th July 2014
  #69
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Not having a second TB port is a serious oversight...they along UA with the Twin, succumbed to the bottom line at the detriment of the needs of the consumer...it's a shame, because despite their calculation, it's ultimately the user who loses out.

I give them credit for at least including USB, something that UA and Lynx neglects with their TB offerings...what's with a little choice? More the better...
Old 24th July 2014
  #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 12tone View Post
Not having a second TB port is a serious oversight...
For that reason you have the AVB Switch, developed with the daisy chaining in mind.
Old 25th July 2014
  #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Hepworth View Post
Are you serious? Sheesh.
Either explain where I'm wrong, so answer my question, or stop complaining about me allegedly making up stuff please.
Old 25th July 2014
  #72
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drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by spambot_2 View Post
Either explain where I'm wrong, so answer my question, or stop complaining about me allegedly making up stuff please.
I don't know, because I will wholeheartedly admit that I'm not an electronics guy. But, I know enough to know that there's ENOUGH in front of the chip to screw up the conversion - or make it sound better than the next converter. Critical care should be taken to let the converter chips live up to their potential.
Old 25th July 2014
  #73
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I'm going to start this off with a disclaimer. I've never designed an ADC in my life. I've never even researched what goes into making one until now.

If you take a look at pages 31 and 32 of this Burr Brown PCM4222 ADC spec you can see that the balanced analog input stage recommended for this particular chip is relatively simple and relies upon one dual op amp per channel. If you choose to A/C couple then I would say that the sound quality is dependent upon the coupling cap, the op amp, and the implementation of the op amp. I tried to look up the ESS chip, but didn't find any recommended circuits in its spec. I chose to use this Burr Brown chip as an example instead.

http://www.ti.com/lit/ds/symlink/pcm4222.pdf

If MOTU chose a decent modern op amp (the NE5532 is not modern IMHO...one could argue it's not hard to do better) and some good caps, then the analog stage will sound fantastic....assuming the required input stage for the ESS chip is similar. The digital clocking will of course have a significant effect on the sound of the ADC, too.

Solid engineering/design work and quality parts equals good sound every time. No voodoo required.

Brad
Old 25th July 2014
  #74
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IMO:
Using good parts is important in analog design. The magic is two fold -
1) Knowing what goodness is in those parts (all the varieties of caps - transistors, opamps etc.. and... much more important....
2) Layout - decoupling and grounding

Really great analog design ls an art based in science...

Was my day job for 30 years... In my day I was pretty good - but I also worked around masters...
Old 25th July 2014
  #75
Quote:
Originally Posted by spambot_2 View Post
Either explain where I'm wrong, so answer my question, or stop complaining about me allegedly making up stuff please.
Please don't propagate the converter chip fallacy.

There's a LOT that goes into a proper converter design. Is it easy enough to design an adequate circuit around a well spec'd chip? Yes. How about a superb circuit that approaches the limitations of the chip you'd selected? No way.

While I, like Brad, do not design converters as a hobby, it's easy to understand that it's not simply plugging in a "good" chip. The design is only as good as the weakest link, and it's NOT alone.

Would you expect two independent preamplifier designs to sound the same because they both use a Sovtek 12AX7 tube? The converter isn't that dissimilar, although the goal in designing two independent converter circuits is typically similar (which is not necessarily the case in preamps and such).

It's not insanely difficult to create a functional circuit for a specific converter chip (power, clocking, input stage). However, it's VERY difficult to take that to the point where you've created a superb sounding converter, instead of merely an adequate one. You have to come up with the perfect balance of precision and musicality (component selection, CLOCK DESIGN and implementation, layout, etc.), ensure the power section is perfect (knowing it's powering MUCH more than the just the converter circuits and designing the circuit in such a way that they do not interfere with each other), designing the circuit ensuring that all those separate components (both related and unrelated to the converters) are properly decoupled, adequately shielded and have the ideal grounding.

ProPower (above) is much more qualified for the later than I.

All this said, I suspect they will sound quite good and clear. I also suspect they will NOT sound like the Apogee, as the approach will be very different, even though they're using the same converters. The biggest reason I suspect these converters will end up being fairly good is because MOTU has a very long history of NOT publishing specs (specifically dynamic range). In fact, there have only ever been 2-3 where they actually posted specs prior to these. MOTU is confident. They've never been known to be good sounding, but have been adequate in most their products.
Old 25th July 2014
  #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProPower View Post
Really great analog design ls an art based in science...

Was my day job for 30 years... In my day I was pretty good - but I also worked around masters...
Hello mate,
that's great to hear,

so, 3 questions:
#1 what do you think about this new product and the specs?
#2 which AD/DA converters would you recommend?
#3 which conversion are you using ? in the case that you use one.

thanks in advance.
Old 25th July 2014
  #77
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This thread went off the cliff quickly...

So Ethernet feature looks interesting. I Like the implebmentation better than the metric halo version. I wonder how long of network cable you can run for these or if they work with standard networking equipment. Price point seems fair. USB as a backup is nice. Would be great if it recorded to flash drive like the UFX does.

The variety of interfaces seems good. Hits a few targets.

Anybody missing the now discontinued PCI stuff? Hopefully they support them at least through osx 10.10. I am hoping these new interfaces push down eBay prices of the 24 I/o.
Old 25th July 2014
  #78
Gear Nut
The Sabre DAC does look to be a series of chips:

ESS Products - DAC

And neither Apogee nor MOTU are saying which they use, but you can guess by the numbers they post:

ESS Sabre - Apogee Electronics

Interesting how the Orion has spec's like an Mbox, but everyone says how great it is
Old 25th July 2014
  #79
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beau_mckee's Avatar
I see this being a hit
Old 25th July 2014
  #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by antithesist View Post
Wish the 16 had DB25s.
Totally! Talk about potentially streamlined and sexy.
Old 25th July 2014
  #81
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emrr's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by antithesist
Wish the 16 had DB25s.
Quote:
Originally Posted by beau_mckee View Post
Totally! Talk about potentially streamlined and sexy.
I'm really glad it doesn't. I like field serviceable wiring looms with discrete connectors on them, so I can fix the damn thing on a remote in the middle of the night. Especially TRS that can function with a patchbay, or AS the patchbay, as needed, when moved to varying environments. Put DB25's on it in a studio room, you then have to own separate DB25 snakes for a live rig.

Besides, if you want them and need 32 channels, the Orion 32 comes in the same price as two 16A's. That market is well covered. The discrete connector market so far hasn't been covered at all in the realm of 16+ in/outs.
Old 25th July 2014
  #82
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Reading through the tech specs and being a non-techie, it was hard to tell if these new interfaces allow you to use +4 professional outboard gear, bypassing the internal preamps.

This remains the problem with my M-Audio Project Mix.
It was never designed to be used with better outboard preamps, allowing you to bypass the internal preamps and just use the converters.
It only has one input, the front 1/4" TS guitar input that bypasses the internal preamps.

I can't simply connect the +4 XLR output signal of my preamp into the M-Audio XLR inputs without major clipping.
Old 25th July 2014
  #83
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zephonic's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Musician View Post
Also half the quality of the Orion.

Dont kid yourself, MOTU has not the best converters nor drivers.
Really? There is a lot of audiophile posturing going on here, but the few double-blind tests that were conducted all suggested that the differences are minimal (if any at all). They all use the same ADACS anyway, so it is down to analog circuitry and software (drivers).

I suggest you take a look at this:
At what price point do Cirrus Logic converters disappear?

and this:
Audio interfaces and their AD/DA chips LISTED

As for the software part, MOTU writes some of the best Mac drivers in the business. Rock solid, dependable, and better LLP than most.
Old 25th July 2014
  #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by papawise View Post
Hello mate,
that's great to hear,

so, 3 questions:
#1 what do you think about this new product and the specs?
#2 which AD/DA converters would you recommend?
#3 which conversion are you using ? in the case that you use one.

thanks in advance.
#3 - Currently use AVID 16X16, have owned ULN8, AVID 192 and Digidesign 888/24

#2 - I have no preference for A/D at this time. IMO There are so many great converters right now (AVID, Orion, Metric Halo, Aurora, Lavry etc...) that once one gets above the (to put a number on it) $1500 price point for 8 channels the differences are small enough that total system features trumps sound difference IMO. In my world that has always meant Hardware/Software integration (hence almost all AVID for me). How good the new MOTU boxes sound in comparison to the current top shelf will have to wait till some folks get them in their hands. Now on the analog side - my main $$$ are in mics and preamps - but I do mostly acoustic music, singer songwriter and Jazz.

#1 - The new MOTU has many very attractive features.
- Latency specs up front and center - VERY impressive! - Really - from a standalone box POV they are publishing 48K numbers that even with 32 buffers in and out of a DAW we are talking about RTL (through a DAW) of 0.66ms + 1.33ms = 1.99ms !!!! Outstanding and I believe - best in class!
- The analog specs I take with a grain of salt. In my Mackie days we could easily meet any "spec" for noise and distortion. Would you prefer the VLZ preamps or John Hardy?? :-). I suppose I simply assume that a company with this many years at the game have competent enough designers to make a pretty good sounding box at the minimum. For 95% of us I think that is really sufficient. One can always add top shelf A/D D/A on to a system if everything else is working well and the difference is important enough to us.
- A total system approach with all the TB and Ethernet connectivity - very nice
- The ONE thing I dislike about all these systems is having to run all my monitor stuff in a separate program! This is where AVID HDN is working for me (as was AVID HD since 1998 before). NOW - since MOTU has a DAW they would totally get my attention if instead of a separate layer to get to the DSP in the interface they would integrate that into Digital Performer. Its their Software and Hardware - totally doable! Now that would set them apart in a HUGE way. Really - low latency converters with integrated DSP access in the DAW for super low latency monitor mixes - HUGE I say...
Old 25th July 2014
  #85
Gear Addict
new preamp design ?
Old 25th July 2014
  #86
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papawise's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by emrr View Post
I'm really glad it doesn't. I like field serviceable wiring looms with discrete connectors on them...
Me too.
Very happy to get 1/4" TRS connectors.


Quote:
Originally Posted by zephonic View Post
Really? There is a lot of audiophile posturing going on here, but the few double-blind tests that were conducted all suggested that the differences are minimal (if any at all)...
Where are those tests? I'm very interested since many people really praise the Orion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ProPower View Post
...
#1 - The new MOTU has many very attractive features.
- Latency specs up front and center - VERY impressive!...HUGE I say...
Thank you very much for all your comments.
I'm very excited about this interfaces too, specially the 16A.

What do you think about the AudioDiffMaker tests around? serve for anything?
Old 25th July 2014
  #87
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I like the 1248 model. But why put usb 2 on an expensive unit like this. usb3 might not be required, but still, it's mid 2014!! Stop with the usb 2.0 stuff!
Old 25th July 2014
  #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by papawise View Post
I would not even compare the XT with the FX PCIe card, the HDSPe cards from RME achieve the best latencies in the sound industry world wide
I just spoke on the phone with RME and they state that the MADIface XT, when used with an E-PCIe > Thunderbolt adaptor like this one:

Matrox MXO2 Thunderbolt Adapter T/ADP/U B&H Photo Video

… has the exact same low-latency performance as the HDSPe MADI PCIe card, whether that card is installed inside a computer or in a Thunderbolt chassis.

When using the MADIface XT via USB3, there is a slight decrease in performance due to a small extra buffer that is in effect on ALL USB or FW interfaces - this is the nature of USB and FW spec. They stated that with the E-PCIe > TB adaptor one can use the absolute lowest buffers (32 samples) on any TB computer, from Mac Pro Cylinder to Macbook Air.

Using USB3 on the MADIface XT "might" require going up to a 64 buffer, but that's still crazy good.

I was comparing between the HDSPe MADI PCIe card and the MADIface XT, and they stated categorically that the performance is identical between the two when using the E-PCIe > TB adaptor ($200) and the $49 cable on the MADIface XT. No drivers or other software is required to use the E-PCIe > TB adaptor box, and user reviews state that "it just works". It's made by Matrox, and intended to add TB compatibility to their line of video i-o products - it's reviews by users of these products that I was reading.

Why they didn't just put TB on the back of the MADIface XT is beyond me, but then again it's been out for a while - when it was introduced TB was not as well-entrenched as it is now, so whatever…

I'm also considering a pair of the FerroFish units instead of the Orion, as this would give me the same 32 analog i-o as the Orion but with an additional pair of ADAT i-o, for full 32 analog and 32 ADAT instead of the Orion's 32 analog and 16 ADAT, all bridged down to one set of MADI i-o on the RME box.
Old 25th July 2014
  #89
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zephonic's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by papawise View Post
Where are those tests? I'm very interested since many people really praise the Orion.
Not specific to the Orion, which may sound like heaven or ass for all I know. There haven't been many blind listening tests, but the results are invariably the same: differences are minimal to the point of irrelevance.

Googled this:

https://www.google.com/search?q=adac...en-US:official

This guy compared the Orion to Aurora16 and UA Apollo, and has audio samples of each:

Review: Antelope Orion 32, A Mixer’s Perspective : SonicScoop – Creative, Technical & Business Connections For NYC’s Music & Sound Community
Quote:
Having recorded the mix through both sets of converters, I created a new session and imported all the versions so I could line them up and switch between them blind. Well, as blind as I could be. Basically I put the cursor over the button to switch and looked away while I switched back a forth a few times so I lost track of which mix was which. I’m easy to confuse, what can I say?

I have to say first that all three systems were great, and I don’t say that lightly. People sometimes talk a lot of crap about this converter or that converter, but rarely have they sat with three different sets and blind listened to multiple devices at the same time. I would gladly use any of these in production, the difference is nothing compared to moving a microphone 1/4? (who said that first?) or hitting the compressor a bit harder.
Old 25th July 2014
  #90
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papawise's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by xgman View Post
I like the 1248 model. But why put usb 2 on an expensive unit like this. usb3 might not be required, but still, it's mid 2014!! Stop with the usb 2.0 stuff!
Expensive? is probably one of the cheapest by the amount of features, speaking of a medium-pro level of course.
You already has a Thunderbolt port, the USB 2.0 is just for backup, a world wide standard, not everyone has USB 3.0. The thing is perfect like it is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by charlieclouser View Post
I just spoke on the phone with RME and they state that the MADIface XT, when used with an E-PCIe > Thunderbolt adaptor like this one...
… has the exact same low-latency performance as the HDSPe MADI PCIe card, whether that card is installed inside a computer or in a Thunderbolt chassis...

..I'm also considering a pair of the FerroFish units instead of the Orion...
Yeah(!) in that case it's great. You need to use the E-PCIe and will be a charm.

About the ferrofish they look great, I already ordered together with the RME Raydat and I got good comments of this marriage, actually the Ferrofish is distributed by Synthax the official dealer of RME, but I think I will move to RME Madi PCIe + Orion32 or (of course) the ones related to this thread, MOTU has listed oustanding specs, regarding latency, the lowest in the market.
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