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MOTU 1248, 8M, 16A Thunderbolt interface Audio Interfaces
Old 11th March 2015
  #1261
Here for the gear
As of today, my 8M's sample rate display keeps flickering even while on Internal Sync, web interface shows Clock Status red, audio is coming through only intermittently.

- Changing Sync from Internal to ADAT changes display from Int to OptA, but sample rate keeps flashing and sync is still not happening.
- Sample rate change does not improve sync problem.
- Power cycled in all kinds of fashion, no change.
- re-loaded current firmware, no change
- loaded older firmware just to check, no change

I'm out of ideas, I have a gig tomorrow and the device is not usable this way.

Any hints ? Michael ?

Thanks

Christian
Old 11th March 2015
  #1262
Gear Head
 

Hello Mr. Miller, I'd like to ask a question regarding the different connections for the AVB series.
I am about to buy either a 16A or the 1248, but 2 days ago Apple introduced USB-C and dropped Thunderbolt for their new mass-market laptops :/ Looking at Apple's history I'm kind of worried that Thunderbolt might vanish from the other Macs as well, over the next years. Ultra low latency is super important for me, so I wanted to ask: Could Motu eventually decide to write a fast proprietary USB driver to replace the much slower class compliant one, in the event that TB should not be around for much longer? I'd hate to regress from awesome 1-3ms RTL to the 7-8ms range on my next computers.

Thank you!
Old 11th March 2015
  #1263
Quote:
Originally Posted by JazzyJazz View Post
Hello Mr. Miller, I'd like to ask a question regarding the different connections for the AVB series.
I am about to buy either a 16A or the 1248, but 2 days ago Apple introduced USB-C and dropped Thunderbolt for their new mass-market laptops :/ Looking at Apple's history I'm kind of worried that Thunderbolt might vanish from the other Macs as well, over the next years. Ultra low latency is super important for me, so I wanted to ask: Could Motu eventually decide to write a fast proprietary USB driver to replace the much slower class compliant one, in the event that TB should not be around for much longer? I'd hate to regress from awesome 1-3ms RTL to the 7-8ms range on my next computers.

Thank you!
I am not an authority and this is just speculation based on history, and in the case of Apple anything can happen so do not invest in anything based on this.
In the days of Firewire the removed the Firewire port from the white MacBook but still kept it for a long time on the other models. They clearly positioned that model as a basic, consumer level computer that did not need the "professional" connectors like Firewire. The same can be said about the new Macbook. They have just spoiled us recently with the Macbook Air that has Thunderbolt.
Old 11th March 2015
  #1264
Gear Addict
 
rob61's Avatar
 

I doubt Thunderbolt interfaces will be dumped this quickly. However, the PC market is still embracing USB3. Because its much faster than USB2, I wonder why MOTU stayed with USB2 on their new line of network based interfaces. Either USB3 or even ethernet (since they are network connectable) should give much faster speed than USB2.
Old 11th March 2015
  #1265
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benzebub View Post
They have just spoiled us recently with the Macbook Air that has Thunderbolt.
That's the thing, MBA is a perfect computer for some professional applications too :/ I'm using an 11" MBA on stage, I love the tiny size for touring.. if Apple is going to phase out TB, they're likely going to start with the small models. Same for studio, a Mac Mini does all I need for now. I wouldn't be surprised if those 2 don't feature TB in 1-2 years anymore.
Old 11th March 2015
  #1266
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rob61 View Post
I wonder why MOTU stayed with USB2 on their new line of network based interfaces. Either USB3 or even ethernet (since they are network connectable) should give much faster speed than USB2.
The USB3 port chips are probably expensive, and optimizing performance for yet another protocol even more so. For now they just included USB2 for universal compatibility I think. And if you look at some dedicated USB2 drivers (RME or probably some current Motu's too) it can actually be fast enough, too. But the class compliant speed wouldn't cut it for me, and the third option, AVB to computer, isn't as fast as TB either.
Old 11th March 2015
  #1267
Quote:
Originally Posted by dandeurloo View Post
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.
I'm clocking a 16A via WC from a UA 2192. I'm not a huge believer that one MUST have a high-end external clock for good sound and I'm mainly doing this because I'm running one set of optical I/O on the 16A set to TOSLINK and converted to AES for printing back into PT/Logic as well as monitoring my main output both through the 2192.

I've run the 16A on it's own clock, too, and have no complaints about that sound, either.
Old 11th March 2015
  #1268
Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzzfilth View Post
As of today, my 8M's sample rate display keeps flickering even while on Internal Sync, web interface shows Clock Status red, audio is coming through only intermittently.

- Changing Sync from Internal to ADAT changes display from Int to OptA, but sample rate keeps flashing and sync is still not happening.
- Sample rate change does not improve sync problem.
- Power cycled in all kinds of fashion, no change.
- re-loaded current firmware, no change
- loaded older firmware just to check, no change

I'm out of ideas, I have a gig tomorrow and the device is not usable this way.

Any hints ? Michael ?

Thanks

Christian
Oof! Okay, let's see if we can get this sorted out. I've got some initial thoughts but if these fail to pan out, you should definitely call in to support ASAP so there's a tighter feedback loop. The support number is 617.576.3066. I've alerted them to this, so feel free to let them know that I referred you to them and they should be up to date on the situation.

- Try resetting to the factory default state from the front panel (press the SELECT knob, go to Settings > Factory Default, and press SELECT twice).
- Do you have Ethernet plugged in? If it's connected directly to a Mac and you're not using it as an AVB device, try disconnecting that. It's possible the Mac is trying to acquire the 8M via AVB.
- Are you connected via TB or USB? Try disconnecting any TB, USB or Ethernet and watch the front panel to see if it syncs.
Old 11th March 2015
  #1269
Gear Head
 

Just found this interesting bit on Techradar, regarding Thunderbolt and USB-C:
Quote:
It's even possible to run the Thunderbolt protocol over USB 3.1, so USB type-C to Thunderbolt cables are a possibility.
The next generation of USB: Apple's MacBook is first, but it won't be alone: Power to the ports | Peripherals News | TechRadar
Old 11th March 2015
  #1270
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmiller View Post
you should definitely call in to support ASAP so there's a tighter feedback loop. The support number is 617.576.3066.
Thanks Michael. I am in contact with Ben from Support via the portal, phone is not an option since I am in Germany... I hope this works out.

I specifically upgraded to the 8M to improve from three aggregated 8PREs. Aggregated Devices worked less reliable with every Mac OS update to the point of unusability.
I just hate the full scale screech in my in-ears from an 8PRE being dropped out of sync by the OS, even less so when on stage, so I went for the 8M. However, dead silence is only a slight improvement in this case...

Thanks

Christian
Old 11th March 2015
  #1271
Lives for gear
 
dandeurloo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bleen View Post
I'm clocking a 16A via WC from a UA 2192. I'm not a huge believer that one MUST have a high-end external clock for good sound and I'm mainly doing this because I'm running one set of optical I/O on the 16A set to TOSLINK and converted to AES for printing back into PT/Logic as well as monitoring my main output both through the 2192.

I've run the 16A on it's own clock, too, and have no complaints about that sound, either.
Yeah, I have a mulitple unit set up as well. I am will be running a 2 channel toslink AD, 2 channel DA via toslink, a 16a and a 24Io. So I need to externally clock just to have everything sink up.

Clocking multiple devices is something I haven't done much of personally and I understand it varies from unit to unit according to each units termination. So, I was wondering what the proper way to hook up to the Motu units would be. Also if the Motu units are internally terminated or if I need to terminate them.

I will probably use my 2 channel AD as the master clock or a BLA micro clock.

Thanks
Old 12th March 2015
  #1272
Lives for gear
Jesus - the routing system on this through a web browser is a nightmare if you're on a deadline and used to their previous systems........
Old 12th March 2015
  #1273
Quote:
Originally Posted by dandeurloo View Post
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.
I clock mine off an Apogee Big Ben - coming from the older Apogee Ensemble, I just couldn't get down with the sound of the 1248 on it's own clock - the imaging felt too "soft" compared to what I was used to hearing in the transient punch department (although with superb detail) - I think the Big Ben makes it sound more like an Apogee family unit.

Still using the Ensemble in via the 1248's ADAT port and it also sounds better clocked off the Big Ben (and I have Audient Mico which has benefited from the new master clock as well) - a great combo together - the Apogee is more tight and the 1248 more spacious.

I also tried a Black Lion Microclock 2 which was cool, but sounded like it was just adding harmonic feathering, not giving me the tight image I was used too, so I moved on to the Big Ben.

I have them all synced via word clock with individual cables running from the Big Ben.

The sound when externally clocked made me keep my 1248 - almost returned it at first - YMMV
Old 12th March 2015
  #1274
Here for the gear
Quote:
Jesus - the routing system on this through a web browser is a nightmare if you're on a deadline and used to their previous systems........
I didn't use the previous routing system so I can't tell the differences but I have to say than I find the AVB routing system PERFECT. It is both full of options and easy to setup in my opinion.
Old 12th March 2015
  #1275
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobywane View Post
I didn't use the previous routing system
Neither did I and I too think it's brilliant. This very much depends on the device you access it from. On a 27" screen it's a breeze. On an iPhone ? Probably not so.

Christian
Old 12th March 2015
  #1276
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardtoe View Post
I clock mine off an Apogee Big Ben - coming from the older Apogee Ensemble, I just couldn't get down with the sound of the 1248 on it's own clock - the imaging felt too "soft" compared to what I was used to hearing in the transient punch department (although with superb detail) - I think the Big Ben makes it sound more like an Apogee family unit.

Still using the Ensemble in via the 1248's ADAT port and it also sounds better clocked off the Big Ben (and I have Audient Mico which has benefited from the new master clock as well) - a great combo together - the Apogee is more tight and the 1248 more spacious.

I also tried a Black Lion Microclock 2 which was cool, but sounded like it was just adding harmonic feathering, not giving me the tight image I was used too, so I moved on to the Big Ben.

I have them all synced via word clock with individual cables running from the Big Ben.

The sound when externally clocked made me keep my 1248 - almost returned it at first - YMMV
Your descriptions of sound are very audiophile "special unicorn pixie dust cable" like
Old 12th March 2015
  #1277
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister Karloff View Post
Your descriptions of sound are very audiophile "special unicorn pixie dust cable" like
Ha ha no kidding , but you try describing clocking differences.

I'm no audiophile, but this is my experience based on tracking and mixing many records on the same setup and then upgrading because I wanted to go beyond what I was getting from the Ensemble - I achieved that but it took me experimenting for a couple of weeks to find right setup to give me a reference I could work with confidently.

Btw - I use the same terms to describe music & sound when talking to artists I am working with and they get me just fine
Old 12th March 2015
  #1278
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister Karloff View Post
Your descriptions of sound are very audiophile "special unicorn pixie dust cable" like
That's the Mark Of The Unicorn promise!
Old 12th March 2015
  #1279
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmiller View Post
That's the Mark Of The Unicorn promise!
You win this round as i completely forgot that was the full compAny name hahah
Nicely played.
Old 12th March 2015
  #1280
Lives for gear
 
zephonic's Avatar
For those thinking they need better clocking: New Clock

There was another thread where Eric Valentine posted audio samples of both internally and externally clocked material. Nobody got it right, not even the golden-eared proponents of ridiculously expensive high-end clocks. I'll see if I can dig that thread up, very informative.
[edit:] Found it: Antelope Trinity 10M vs. Internal Clock comparison

This as a public service for those unwitting souls who may otherwise dump 5K on an external clock that will do absolutely nothing for their perfectly fine converters.
Using a master clock is only advisable when you need to sync multiple converters. Running a single unit of an external clock has been proven to result in worse technical performance.

Hugh Robjohns of SOS wrote an excellent in-depth article about this, explaining the whole thing in laymans terms, with actual research data to back it up. I'll see if I can find that as well.
[edit:] Here's the link: http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jun1...sterclocks.htm

Last edited by zephonic; 12th March 2015 at 08:15 PM.. Reason: link added
Old 12th March 2015
  #1281
Quote:
Originally Posted by zephonic View Post
For those thinking they need better clocking: New Clock

There was another thread where Eric Valentine posted audio samples of both internally and externally clocked material. Nobody got it right, not even the golden-eared proponents of ridiculously expensive high-end clocks. I'll see if I can dig that thread up, very informative.
[edit:] Found it: Antelope Trinity 10M vs. Internal Clock comparison

This as a public service for those unwitting souls who may otherwise dump 5K on an external clock that will do absolutely nothing for their perfectly fine converters.
Using a master clock is only advisable when you need to sync multiple converters. Running a single unit of an external clock has been proven to result in worse technical performance.

Hugh Robjohns of SOS wrote an excellent in-depth article about this, explaining the whole thing in laymans terms, with actual research data to back it up. I'll see if I can find that as well.
[edit:] Here's the link: Does Your Studio Need A Digital Master Clock?

Good info here, but I would just point out that external clocking can subjectively improve sonics (and has for many people), so it may still be worth it for people who prefer the sound difference even if the technical performance measures as less accurate.
Old 13th March 2015
  #1282
Lives for gear
 
jlaws's Avatar
It may, and spending 5k on gold cables could subjectively improve sonics as well, just by having spent 5k on cables. Neither are necessary, but if it works for you, that's what matters. Expectations and biases play a lot bigger role in how we perceive audio than anyone would probably care to admit.
Old 13th March 2015
  #1283
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlaws View Post
It may, and spending 5k on gold cables could subjectively improve sonics as well, just by having spent 5k on cables. Neither are necessary, but if it works for you, that's what matters. Expectations and biases play a lot bigger role in how we perceive audio than anyone would probably care to admit.
Problem becomes when someones subjective impressions get's debated as they are objective facts and someone elses subjective impressions are different and both refuse to accept the other person's view and neither are willing to provide any evidence, because there is none, to prove why their subjective impression is the same as objective facts.
Old 13th March 2015
  #1284
Lives for gear
 
loujudson's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlaws View Post
It may, and spending 5k on gold cables could subjectively improve sonics as well, just by having spent 5k on cables. Neither are necessary, but if it works for you, that's what matters. Expectations and biases play a lot bigger role in how we perceive audio than anyone would probably care to admit.
Since I have been too busy to even play with my 8M, not to mention integrate it into my studio, this thread has become hopelessly long, convoluted, and off the main topic to be of much use! That said, I'll add one more useless post:

My utter conviction that simple ProCo cables can sound as good or better than expensive audiophool cables has proved true in use! They DO sound better! Take that, Monster®!
Old 13th March 2015
  #1285
Gear Head
 

Hello I'm trying to register my 1248 - it is build in a rack - no possibility to get it out "fast": Can I see the serial number anywhere in the control interface? the usb driver tells me a serial number but MOTU.com says that one "seems to be no serial"? or must I really disconnect everything to get the hardware outside the rack only to see the serial number? Thanks in advance
Old 13th March 2015
  #1286
Quote:
Originally Posted by GGPS View Post
Hello I'm trying to register my 1248 - it is build in a rack - no possibility to get it out "fast": Can I see the serial number anywhere in the control interface? the usb driver tells me a serial number but MOTU.com says that one "seems to be no serial"? or must I really disconnect everything to get the hardware outside the rack only to see the serial number? Thanks in advance
Yes, you can see your serial number in the Device tab, all the way at the bottom. It's listed under GUID:
http://cdn-data.motu.com/site/images...ystem-info.jpg

Your serial number is the GUID but without the zeros at the front. In the picture above, that would be "1f2fffe0002d0".
Old 14th March 2015
  #1287
nms
Lives for gear
 
nms's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by JazzyJazz View Post
2 days ago Apple introduced USB-C and dropped Thunderbolt for their new mass-market laptops :/ Looking at Apple's history I'm kind of worried that Thunderbolt might vanish from the other Macs as well, over the next years.
This should explain things..

Old 14th March 2015
  #1288
Here for the gear
 

in the market for a new audio interface and pres

Hoping I can get some helpful comments here.

i need to upgrade my motu 828mkII -- one of the pres is crackling bad and I'm out of inputs. I was thinking the 1248 was a logical replacement. But I'm game for a better piece - if it makes sense

I have 14 channels of outboard analog pre's.
BA1272
API3124
Presonus M80 -> currently summing synths to 2
That's the 8 input on the 828

motu pres are used for mics on bass cab a 2nd kick condensor

And go ahead and laugh ... ADA800->Alesis820EQ for my drums mic (Audix D2-4-6's around the horn).

Lexicon on S/PDIF for vocal reverb.

With this upgrade I would like to mix in direct guitars and upgrade analog pres.

With Synths, Mics, Direct Guitars and Bass I figure I need to mix at least 17-18 mics and 9 direct channels, then effect loops. So I need 30+ inputs - or continue analog summing in advance/add more analog summing...

My general idea is to upgrade analog first -- aka get good mics, pres and instruments -- digital stuff comes and goes.

I though it was a easy to get an Motu 1248 and an Audient 880 (to replace my current ADAT chain) and maybe get add some more killer analog pres. But now I'm distracted by Antelope Zen/Orion, Apogee Ensemble, and RME UFX. Or Maybe a 16A and an 8 channel Phoenix drs for drums? Feeling a bit lost in the gear.

95% of the time this sits in a studio - on occasion I drag half of it out for a gig.
And I'm running a new Macbook Pro.

Any wisdom?
Old 14th March 2015
  #1289
16a would be my choice.
Old 16th March 2015
  #1290
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rock_n_Roll_Jman View Post
I though it was a easy to get an Motu 1248 and an Audient 880 (to replace my current ADAT chain) and maybe get add some more killer analog pres. But now I'm distracted by Antelope Zen/Orion, Apogee Ensemble, and RME UFX. Or Maybe a 16A and an 8 channel Phoenix drs for drums? Feeling a bit lost in the gear.
Welcome to Gearslutz. Hope you're thick skinned

It does indeed seem simplest to go with straight converters like the 16A. It seems like bringing an "interface" into your mix seems messy. Especially with as many pre's as you already have.

That being said, it seems like it really kind of comes down to I/O count. Wouldn't you need a pair of them at least? I am really really tempted by the Antelope Zen.
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