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MOTU 1248, 8M, 16A Thunderbolt interface Audio Interfaces
Old 2nd March 2015
  #1231
tft
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Well, the real problem is MADI, AES/EBU and ADAT all max out at 24-bit resolution and there's no getting around that. AVB might work but I need to double check that with some other people.
yes, that is set by the standard of those formats.
but how about the the usb connection, thunderbolt and avb.
what i read about the avb standard, it is capable of transfering 32bit float, at least in theory.

my scenario would be for example: routing channels out of samplitude (which is capable of sending 32bitfloat) to another application on the same or a different computer.

if it happens on the same computer, i could use rearoute (a virtual asiodriver).

but i was also thinking about maybe using the mixer of the 112D and/or another computer.
Old 2nd March 2015
  #1232
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdunn View Post
...
Nice track Robby in WA. The 16A sounds great and I dig the string solo.
Thanks! She whipped that out in about half an hour. If you want hear more "epic" solos (shameless plug) check out our group:

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmiller View Post
The 1.1.5 firmware update fixes an issue with TosLink introduced in 1.1.4. Hopefully things are working better for you after the update!
Rock solid
Old 4th March 2015
  #1233
Here for the gear
 

ultralite avb

What ADCs and DACs are used in the utlralite AVB ? (Sorry if this has already been answered.)
Old 5th March 2015
  #1234
Here for the gear
 

My question is about the MOTU AVB Switch.
If I have AVB routed between multiple AVB devices via the MOTU AVB Switch, can I also route multiple non-avb devices through the same switch. I know there is a dedicated port for Ethernet but can I use one or more of the AVB ports (1-5) to control non AVB devices (like a DriveRack PA2) without affecting the AVB signal? Or should I use a separate router for non AVB devices and link only to the Ethernet port?
Old 5th March 2015
  #1235
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamerica View Post
My question is about the MOTU AVB Switch.
If I have AVB routed between multiple AVB devices via the MOTU AVB Switch, can I also route multiple non-avb devices through the same switch. I know there is a dedicated port for Ethernet but can I use one or more of the AVB ports (1-5) to control non AVB devices (like a DriveRack PA2) without affecting the AVB signal? Or should I use a separate router for non AVB devices and link only to the Ethernet port?
Yes, you can connect non-AVB devices to any of the ports on the switch. Switches that support AVB (including ours) must implement packet prioritization and bandwidth reservation for AVB streams. That means that other devices on the network should not be able to interfere with the AVB signal. If the network gets congested, AVB will keep streaming while non-AVB traffic is delayed or dropped.

The Ethernet port is for connecting into a larger, non-AVB network. The Ethernet port filters all AVB traffic. Each time one of the other ports is connected, the switch tests that port to determine if it has AVB devices on the other end or not. These messages probe the entire topology of the network with multicast. Consumer network gear with large networks of computers tend to get pretty unhappy with all that AVB chatter, though. So if you have a switch or hub, connect it to the Ethernet port. For a single device, connect the device to any port (unless you explicitly don't want it to receive AVB traffic).
Old 6th March 2015
  #1236
Gear Head
 

I'm looking at buying 16A. But i'm jst tired of hearing 'it sounds great' without any adequate description of the sound of these new sets of converters.
How is the 'sheen', is it smooth because i don't expect it to be harsh anyway. And how about the low end of the sound, how will u describe it in comparison to other similar units u've used or heard etc.
It will help if someone can give a more detail description of how these new motu converters sound compared to other high end units.

Peace.
Old 6th March 2015
  #1237
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They are true to the source, which is what matters in conversion. It will be harsh if the source is harsh, and smooth if it is smooth. It's best that way because you want to hear what's going on, and that's the same reason we don't use regular hifi setups for monitoring. You want to hear what's there, not necessarily what's pleasing to your ear. If you want flavor there are plenty of options in preamps, mics, compressors etc.

Some people like to say such and such converter sounds like a veil has been lifted and this other converter is hyped. Such people are also usually the ones who "get it wrong" in blind tests. These converters are scientifically proven (in null tests, anyway) to be as good as the Symphony, which is an amazing piece of kit. The preamps are clean, the headphone output is enough to power my hd800s, and the routing is extremely flexible. Honestly unless you spend a couple grand more, you can't do that much better in terms of conversion.
Old 6th March 2015
  #1238
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emrr's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammix View Post
I'm looking at buying 16A.
It will help if someone can give a more detail description of how these new motu converters sound compared to other high end units.

Peace.
You are the only person who can answer that question. Really. Everyone hears differently. Buy and try, return if you don't like it.
Old 7th March 2015
  #1239
Here for the gear
 

Stereo Pairs?

I have a live symphony recording coming up and after "reconning" the hall realize that I will be unable to place a stereo pair of microphones ideally. I need a way to vary the width of the image between the two. It can be done, of course, by panning (awkward) but if MOTU plans to add M/S capabilities to the Web GUI that will necessarily require the grouping of two channels into a stereo pair in order to vary the mix of the double matrix into varying amounts of M and S. That control could also be used to vary the mix of a normal spaced pair of microphones so they can appear, virtually, ideally spaced. The older CuemixFX application for the Firewire units handle that very nicely. Perhaps the programmers could port that code over to Linux without too much trouble. Or, at least, it can serve as a model.
Old 7th March 2015
  #1240
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jlaws View Post
They are true to the source, which is what matters in conversion. It will be harsh if the source is harsh, and smooth if it is smooth. It's best that way because you want to hear what's going on, and that's the same reason we don't use regular hifi setups for monitoring. You want to hear what's there, not necessarily what's pleasing to your ear. If you want flavor there are plenty of options in preamps, mics, compressors etc.

Some people like to say such and such converter sounds like a veil has been lifted and this other converter is hyped. Such people are also usually the ones who "get it wrong" in blind tests. These converters are scientifically proven (in null tests, anyway) to be as good as the Symphony, which is an amazing piece of kit. The preamps are clean, the headphone output is enough to power my hd800s, and the routing is extremely flexible. Honestly unless you spend a couple grand more, you can't do that much better in terms of conversion.
You have a point actually, but i still believe that there are certain aspects of a converter's sound that has nothing to do with the source. E.g, lynx aurora is said to present a wider stereo and the top end is bright compared to some other converters and this description has nothing to do with the source material, yet lynx aurora is regarded as being transparent and true to the source too.
Some people will tell u that after switching from converter 'A' to converter 'B', they could hear more seperations between instruments and depth or width. These things have nothing to do with the source.

So i don't think its a bad idea to hear from pple that are alredy using this new motu avb interfaces what they feel about the 'sound' compared to whatever they've used in the past instead of the general statement of 'it sounds great', afterall, my small focusrite 2i4 also sounds great to my ears...lol
Old 7th March 2015
  #1241
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Gebo's Avatar
 

I switched over to a 16a a couple weeks ago (from an Ensemble/Rosetta). So far so good. It's hard to describe the sound of the converter since I haven't done any sort of testing running the same mix through both back to back. The one record I've made (start to finish) with it sounds killer.
Old 7th March 2015
  #1242
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gebo View Post
I switched over to a 16a a couple weeks ago (from an Ensemble/Rosetta). So far so good. It's hard to describe the sound of the converter since I haven't done any sort of testing running the same mix through both back to back. The one record I've made (start to finish) with it sounds killer.
That sounds encouraging, knowing that u're very satisfied with job u solely did on 16A from start to finish for someone like u coming from ensemble/rosetta which are also highly regarded.
Old 7th March 2015
  #1243
I'm replacing my BLA 002 and Rosetta 800 with a MOTU 16a and BLA clock very soon. While I have my fears, many of the loopback tests seem to imply that the MOTU really can keep up with the Symphony. I know I've mentioned this here like 4 times already, but it will happen very soon haha. Then I will record all the rock/pop/punk I can with them and post mix after mix for days :D
Old 8th March 2015
  #1244
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmiller View Post
Thunderbolt is still under consideration but our priority right now is increasing the channel count for USB. We're still exploring low-latency, high-channel count options and Thunderbolt is one possibility. I'll let someone else chime in as far as latency and stability, though, as I'm obviously biased.
I was just about to order one of these interfaces, however this bit in particular has changed my mind.

I don't know why MOTU wouldn't prioritize a Thunderbolt driver for Windows, since these boxes are advertised as Mac/Windows compatible and feature Thunderbolt prominently in the marketing.

I really had to dig deep to find out that there's no Thunderbolt driver available, and had I bought one without knowing I'd be pretty upset that there was no driver available and that it wasn't even a priority for MOTU build one.

Frustrating.
Old 8th March 2015
  #1245
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammix View Post
You have a point actually, but i still believe that there are certain aspects of a converter's sound that has nothing to do with the source. E.g, lynx aurora is said to present a wider stereo and the top end is bright compared to some other converters and this description has nothing to do with the source material, yet lynx aurora is regarded as being transparent and true to the source too.
Some people will tell u that after switching from converter 'A' to converter 'B', they could hear more seperations between instruments and depth or width. These things have nothing to do with the source.

So i don't think its a bad idea to hear from pple that are alredy using this new motu avb interfaces what they feel about the 'sound' compared to whatever they've used in the past instead of the general statement of 'it sounds great', afterall, my small focusrite 2i4 also sounds great to my ears...lol
This is true.

And for the folks saying that converters "just sound like the source", and "only you can know if it sounds good", a couple points:

A) Since when have the above concepts EVER stopped us from talking about how converters actually sound? I understand that many of the descriptive terms for converter listening have become cliché, but converters from Lynx, Metric Halo, Antelope, Lavry, etc have developed their reputation through more than just cost alone. People just like to talk about how things sound. And I'm actually pretty stunned that in 42 pages of a thread on a series of interfaces, there is very little discussion of sound.

B) Are specs all we need? Is newer always better in the converter world? If so, then a nearly 10 year old Lavry AD10 just shouldn't sound as good as these new MOTU units. But in one of the very few comparisons stated earlier, the AD10 was pretty clearly preferred.

C) People just like to hear about how things sound. Folks who pop onto threads like these likely already know all about the I/O and specs of a unit, they're after real world opinions and reviews from a variety of sources. These opinions can easily help reinforce a strong notion to make a purchase based on I/O and spec. Or sway the other way as well.

Not trying to stir anything up at all. I'd just like to not squash the interest of folks who want to see opinions on how something sounds, like it seems has happened here.
Old 8th March 2015
  #1246
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zephonic's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanO View Post
I was just about to order one of these interfaces, however this bit in particular has changed my mind.

I don't know why MOTU wouldn't prioritize a Thunderbolt driver for Windows, since these boxes are advertised as Mac/Windows compatible and feature Thunderbolt prominently in the marketing.

I really had to dig deep to find out that there's no Thunderbolt driver available, and had I bought one without knowing I'd be pretty upset that there was no driver available and that it wasn't even a priority for MOTU build one.

Frustrating.
I understand your frustration. But I understand MOTU's stance on this as well.

How many Thunderbolt-equipped PC's are out there? I have yet to see one, and I am not aware of the big players advertising or even offering their products with ThB connection.

I do not know the numbers, but I doubt there's even 100,000 PC's out there with ThB out there, and I don't see that changing anytime soon. In the case of FW 10-15 years ago, widespread PC adoption only happened when the videocam manufacturers started including the connector on their devices. ThB would need something similar to really kick off on PC. There simply isn't any incentive at the moment. USB3 is easier and cheaper to implement.

I am on the ThB fence. I have two FW interfaces that are effectively being EOL'd and wonder if the same would happen if I bought an expensive ThB interface now.

If a Mac-centric company like Metric Halo decides to pass on ThB altogether and embrace USB3, that speaks volumes to me.
Old 8th March 2015
  #1247
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlaws View Post
Some people like to say such and such converter sounds like a veil has been lifted and this other converter is hyped. Such people are also usually the ones who "get it wrong" in blind tests. These converters are scientifically proven (in null tests, anyway) to be as good as the Symphony, which is an amazing piece of kit. The preamps are clean, the headphone output is enough to power my hd800s, and the routing is extremely flexible. Honestly unless you spend a couple grand more, you can't do that much better in terms of conversion.
Hmm. I don't know. I have Lavry Blue A/Ds and Black D/As and a MOTU 1248 right here and I can hear a clear difference in the quality of A/D and D/A. I think 'scientifically proven to be as good as the Symphony' is a very bold claim and to be honest if Symphony sounds the same as 1248 then I'd stay well away from the Apogee range. Which leads me to conclude that either Lavry is in a different league to Apogee altogether or thousands of people are over-rating their Symphonies, OR this 1248 - Symphony null test is a not an accurate assessment of the difference between the units.

Unless you hear two units side by side you can't claim they're the same. I don't know how these null tests work; how complex is the audio that is sent to the units? I find I notice the biggest difference with multi-instrument recordings where the separation between frequencies is more crucial.

Last edited by TEMAS; 8th March 2015 at 11:02 PM..
Old 8th March 2015
  #1248
nms
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nms's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by TEMAS View Post
Hmm. I don't know. I have Lavry Blue A/Ds and Black D/As and a MOTU 1248 right here
Can you post a DA/AD loopback of a clip of audio through the Lavry then one through the 1248? That would be more helpful than anyone taking anyone's word on what they hear.
Old 9th March 2015
  #1249
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dandeurloo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by TEMAS View Post
Hmm. I don't know. I have Lavry Blue A/Ds and Black D/As and a MOTU 1248 right here and I can hear a clear difference in the quality of A/D and D/A. I think 'scientifically proven to be as good as the Symphony' is a very bold claim and to be honest if Symphony sounds the same as 1248 then I'd stay well away from the Apogee range. Which leads me to conclude that either Lavry is in a different league to Apogee altogether or thousands of people are over-rating their Symphonies, OR this 1248 - Symphony null test is a not an accurahte assessment of the difference between the units.

Unless you hear two units side by side you can't claim they're the same. I don't know how these null tests work; how complex is the audio that is sent to the units? I find I notice the biggest difference with multi-instrument recordings where the separation between frequencies is more crucial.
I think it's probably a little bit of both. Also, note that the comparison came from the 16a and the 24ao. These units had been the first released in the new line. Both of those units use higher end saber chips then the others in this line from motu. So really those
are the units to be getting.
Old 9th March 2015
  #1250
Gear Head
 

I find I notice the biggest difference with multi-instrument recordings where the separation between frequencies is more crucial.[/QUOTE]

While this opinion may be subjective, it is very helpful.

Now, assuming u don't have the lavry but u know how it sounds from using it elswhere, will u be very happy with the sound of your motu 1248 and not lust for the lavry? In other words, do u think motu can by any margin hold u back sonically without the lavry in your possession? How will you rate the sound of the motu 1248?
Old 9th March 2015
  #1251
Quote:
Originally Posted by dandeurloo View Post
These units had been the first released in the new line. Both of those units use higher end saber chips then the others in this line from motu.
Just to clarify, all the units (except the UltraLite AVB) use the same exact Sabre32 Ultra DAC. The only difference is on inputs, where the 1248 and 16A use the Cirrus Logic CS5381 while the 24Ai, 8M and Monitor 8 use the CS5368.
Old 9th March 2015
  #1252
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammix View Post
Now, assuming u don't have the lavry but u know how it sounds from using it elswhere, will u be very happy with the sound of your motu 1248 and not lust for the lavry?
Well this is something only you can answer. Personally for most of the work I do I could easily make do with the 1248, but there are ocassions when I want the absolute best for recordings.

If I didn't already have the Lavrys I'm sure I'd be happy with the MOTU, especially for tracking individual instruments and it would probably be fine for mix stems. But for main mix monitoring and critical 2-buss / mastering processing I would probably feel more comfortable having something else.

I think the 1248 is a really useful and great value bit of kit for tracking. Does it sound as good as the Symphony? I can't say. I'm happy to part with it in a few weeks time after I finish the job I'm doing. I might even get the 112 digital version, although it seems a pricey considering there's no AD/DA conversion.

Last edited by TEMAS; 9th March 2015 at 05:00 PM..
Old 9th March 2015
  #1253
I went from 2408 Mk3s to 16As. I was of the mind that any modern convertor was fine and had in the past few years upgraded just about my whole studio, besides the converters and computer. When my old G5 started getting in the way of creativity I decided to get a nMP and the 16As. So my only reference is the 2408 mk3s.

With the 16As I have reduced eq'ing by ~ 50%. The highs much less brittle, the bottom more round and real (our double bass player loves them). Overall the mix is more open, better separation between instruments - the first thing I noticed was you could hear the "air" in the room. They just sound more natural.

One more finished song, recorded and mixed on 16As:


Last edited by Robby in WA; 11th March 2015 at 07:39 AM..
Old 9th March 2015
  #1254
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nms View Post
Can you post a DA/AD loopback of a clip of audio through the Lavry then one through the 1248? That would be more helpful than anyone taking anyone's word on what they hear.
I have appreciated your comments on these topics lately, nms. But a loopback test being more helpful than someone's opinion on what they hear? That seems ridiculous to me.

I've been a subscriber to didier.brest's loopback thread since the beginning, and I'm becoming more and more skeptical of what value it has. This Lavry/MOTU issue brings light to the subject for me. It's been mentioned twice in this very thread that owners of both Lavry and new line MOTU converters prefer the Lavry's, clearly. But if we now do a loopback test, and it says that the MOTU's are better, does that mean they're better now because the science supports it?

Please bear in mind that the loopback test is what tells us that a laptop's headphone out jack is on the same level as top end mastering grade converters.

Last edited by undermind; 9th March 2015 at 09:19 PM..
Old 9th March 2015
  #1255
nms
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nms's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by undermind View Post
I have appreciated your comments on these topics lately, nms. But a loopback test being more helpful than someone's opinion on what they hear? That seems ridiculous to me.
So you would prefer to take the word of strangers on an internet message board over listening to recordings made with each unit with your own ears? Subjective opinions can be food for thought, but pick any piece of gear you want and I can find plenty of people on this forum saying opposite things. Where does that get you?

You should take any opportunity you can to actually listen to the units comparatively.
Quote:
I've been a subscriber to didier.brest's loopback thread since the beginning, and I'm becoming more and more skeptical of what value it has.
Very little. I tried to point out problems with what he's doing there but he continues on without a care despite the giant red flags. That list is as accurate as a dead clock. Perhaps you are confusing things here as I did not suggest null testing anything. Null testing as a way of comparing converters is not something I'd recommend to anyone who doesn't completely understand the problems which skew the results and how to address them.

Quote:
Please bear in mind that the loopback test is what tells us that a laptop's headphone out jack is on the same level as top end mastering grade converters.
Only if the person performing it has no idea what he is doing, but that's nothing to be surprised about.

Last edited by nms; 10th March 2015 at 06:55 AM..
Old 9th March 2015
  #1256
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nms View Post
So you would prefer to take the word of strangers on an internet message board over listening to recordings made with each unit with your own ears? Subjective opinions can be food for thought, but pick any piece of gear you want and I can find plenty of people on this forum saying opposite things. Where does that get you?
Of course I would prefer to listen to recordings made with each converter - and that's why I remain a subscriber to that thread. My point is, the evaluation, ranking, and discussion there is based upon dB's.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nms View Post
That list is is accurate as a dead clock. Perhaps you are confusing things here as I did not suggest null testing anything. Null testing as a way of comparing converters is not something I'd recommend to anyone who doesn't completely understand the problems which skew the results and how to address them.
Yet you are using the exact same data to back up your points:

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/10842884-post16.html

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/10698499-post8.html


I am truly not looking to argue, or derail this discussion. I genuinely respect and appreciate your comments. I just find that you play both side of the coin a bit.
Old 9th March 2015
  #1257
nms
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nms's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by undermind View Post
Yet you are using the exact same data to back up your points:
I am truly not looking to argue, or derail this discussion. I genuinely respect and appreciate your comments. I just find that you play both side of the coin a bit.
You're looking at two different coins. Two units which use the same converter chips and other design features to the extent that they would produce results that phase cancel against each other like that is its own matter. It's a mistake to use this as any indicator that comparing different converters with different chips/designs/latency in the way he's been doing will be accurate whatsoever. There are ways of null testing converters far more accurately, but all you're really looking at in that thread is how well the files were aligned. That's why there are so many glaringly obvious misplaced rankings. The way he's doing it, you could easily watch the list shuffle greatly just by comparing them using 2, 4, or 10 passes through the ADDA or manually aligning the files instead of using the Diffmaker program's auto-alignment. Even when you know what you're doing and do everything right, the margin for error is high enough that it really should be supported by other methods.

I do want to clarify though that my previous comments do not equate to "scientifically proven to sound identical". They show extreme similarities though which make it worth investigating further and listening to recordings made with each.

Anyhow, back to topic
Old 9th March 2015
  #1258
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nms View Post
Anyhow, back to topic
Sounds good. Thanks for the discussion. I think it verifies that we are actually quite in agreement.
Old 10th March 2015
  #1259
If I can find time at the end of the week I'll see if I can do this loopback test. I haven't really looked into what I have to do.

BUT, always remember that you will already need to own very good converters to be able to monitor the results properly. In other words the extra detail that I claim is being maintained will be lost if someone listens back through a DA stage (and monitoring environment) that isn't up to scratch.

And this is why it is best to hear things for yourself, side by side.
Old 11th March 2015
  #1260
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Are any of you guys externally clocking these? I'm curious about the best way to hook them up and what you are finding by external clocking.
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