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MOTU 1248, 8M, 16A Thunderbolt interface Audio Interfaces
Old 3rd July 2016
  #2641
Gear Maniac
 
barbaroja's Avatar
 

Some quick questions

Are the 1248 volume knobs for main and monitor analog or digital?

How come the rear XLR inputs not be combo jacks? Can you somehow bypass the preamps if using those inputs as line ins? (from the software)

Same for front inputs. Meaning they are hi-z. No way to use them as line levels? (besides a pad)?
Old 5th July 2016
  #2642
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pablo1980 View Post
So, after this time what's the real world veredict regarding windows and usb with large sessions, lots of virtual instruments and plugins?
I could work with 256 buffer.

I want to sell one of my mr816 and use a 24ao and the other m816 via adats for ins.

1. I want to know how is the stability and latency in large sessions (is it better than mr816 via firewire?)
2. I use usb controllers and a touchscreen, so usb bus could have conflicts.
I have a MR816 + 16a combo. Right now I switch back and forth between which one is the master vs slave via ADAT. For anything where plugin latency could be an issue I'll have the MR816 as master as it's a hair more stable at lower latency settings. Live tracking the 16a is set as master.
The new Motu drivers are almost there in terms of stability if not already? I've been poking my head in here every few weeks. As soon as I get the green light I'll update the 16a firmware and the MR816 will likely be permanently in slave mode from there on out.
Old 5th July 2016
  #2643
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by barbaroja View Post
Some quick questions

Are the 1248 volume knobs for main and monitor analog or digital?

How come the rear XLR inputs not be combo jacks? Can you somehow bypass the preamps if using those inputs as line ins? (from the software)

Same for front inputs. Meaning they are hi-z. No way to use them as line levels? (besides a pad)?
The main and monitor knobs are digital. This proves very useful when controlling the volume from the web app.

I believe they are likely not combo-jacks because in addition to the 4 mic pre's there are 8 additional line inputs.

I believe the hi-z inputs are strictly instrument inputs
Old 5th July 2016
  #2644
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Mulcahy View Post
I have a MR816 + 16a combo. Right now I switch back and forth between which one is the master vs slave via ADAT. For anything where plugin latency could be an issue I'll have the MR816 as master as it's a hair more stable at lower latency settings. Live tracking the 16a is set as master.
The new Motu drivers are almost there in terms of stability if not already? I've been poking my head in here every few weeks. As soon as I get the green light I'll update the 16a firmware and the MR816 will likely be permanently in slave mode from there on out.
So in your opinion, motu usb driver are not there yet compared with mr816, regarding vsti?
I was hoping better performance than mr816 which is not very good.
Old 5th July 2016
  #2645
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pablo1980 View Post
So in your opinion, motu usb driver are not there yet compared with mr816, regarding vsti?
I was hoping better performance than mr816 which is not very good.
You'll have to ask peeps here who have the new firmware. It promises to be lightning fast, and is purported to be up there with the best of them when stable. As I said I have not flashed mine yet.
Side note on the MR816: Mac or PC? I'm running 8.1 Pro with a SIIG (TI chips) firewire card and I have very low latency without issues.
Old 5th July 2016
  #2646
Gear Maniac
 

Thanks for the response, I am running windows 10, with a TI firewire card, and on large orchestral templates I can't get below 512 buffer.

So, anyone with the new firmware and drivers care to comment on usb performance?
Old 5th July 2016
  #2647
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pablo1980 View Post
Thanks for the response, I am running windows 10, with a TI firewire card, and on large orchestral templates I can't get below 512 buffer.
I usually have my MR816 glued at 192 with no issues. I have gone through just about everything on the PC to maximize performance though.

https://www.steinberg.net/nc/en/supp...ce-issues.html

The 16a is a hair behind it when the MR816 is set @ 192. So if the best you can get out of your MR816 is 512 you may or may not depending on your setup do a hell of a lot better with a 24 i/o system. I'd say definitely based on what I'm hearing with the new firmware. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Old 8th July 2016
  #2648
Gear Maniac
Has anybody compared the quality of the headphone amplifier of the Motu 8M with a proper headphone amp? How does it hold up?

I'm thinking of purchasing a Sennheiser HD 800 and I'm wondering if I'm gonna have to spend extra money on a headphone amplifier or if the headphone output of my Motu 8M will suffice... Of course it's not gonna compare to a 1000+$ headphone amp, but I don't have that kind of budget anyway. So would i notice a significant difference between the 8M's headphone preamp and say a 200-300$ dedicated headphone preamp?

Thanks for your help!
Cheers
Old 8th July 2016
  #2649
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kirky View Post
Has anybody compared the quality of the headphone amplifier of the Motu 8M with a proper headphone amp? How does it hold up?

I'm thinking of purchasing a Sennheiser HD 800 and I'm wondering if I'm gonna have to spend extra money on a headphone amplifier or if the headphone output of my Motu 8M will suffice... Of course it's not gonna compare to a 1000+$ headphone amp, but I don't have that kind of budget anyway. So would i notice a significant difference between the 8M's headphone preamp and say a 200-300$ dedicated headphone preamp?

Thanks for your help!
Cheers
Hi,

IMO headphone amps at all MOTU interfaces incl. new more expensive ones from AVB line are quite weak link.. Compared to built-in amps at for example Audient iD22 or SPL Crimson, which are much better in that regard IMHO.
I'm not saying, it's generally unusable, but I think you'll gain quite a bit by using of external HP amp.
Especially with higher end models like HD800 it's even more apparent.. (I have those headphones). I'm using it mostly with amp at my Benchmark DAC-1. But also tried couple of different headphone amps.
I'd recommend to check out something by Lake People (those are great) or from more affordable and unbalanced for example Schiit Magni Uber. There is definitely more heft and less coloration especially towards higher volumes IMO.

Michal
Old 9th July 2016
  #2650
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loopy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by msmucr View Post
Hi,

IMO headphone amps at all MOTU interfaces incl. new more expensive ones from AVB line are quite weak link.. Compared to built-in amps at for example Audient iD22 or SPL Crimson, which are much better in that regard IMHO.
I'm not saying, it's generally unusable, but I think you'll gain quite a bit by using of external HP amp.
Especially with higher end models like HD800 it's even more apparent.. (I have those headphones). I'm using it mostly with amp at my Benchmark DAC-1. But also tried couple of different headphone amps.
I'd recommend to check out something by Lake People (those are great) or from more affordable and unbalanced for example Schiit Magni Uber. There is definitely more heft and less coloration especially towards higher volumes IMO.

Michal
I pretty much agree, at least regarding the Ultralite AVB. The amp sounds ok with my AKG Q701 with or without Sonarworks, but it lacks "oomph" IMHO.
I know, it's a horrible "technical term" but it's a good description of what I'm hearing IMHO.

On the plus side, it's quiet, I don't hear anything bad like I have heard with headphone amps on some other interfaces, but it needs more gain, at least with the Q701 which are notorious for being difficult to drive.

on the Schiit.

Schiit is an excellent choice for a headphone amp BTW.
The Magni Uber is on my wish list but I'm still trying to justify it against the standard Magna and not sure if it's worth the extra $50.

Best wishes!
Old 9th July 2016
  #2651
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emrr's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by kirky View Post
Has anybody compared the quality of the headphone amplifier of the Motu 8M with a proper headphone amp? How does it hold up?
I can only speak to the Monitor 8, which has multiple headphone output channels, being a 'monitoring' focused unit. If you do remotes under loud rock band conditions, or need to supply headphones to say, a metal drummer, and need to get phones up to molten lava volume you will find the available amplification insufficient. I can injure myself or a session player with something like a Behringer Powerplay HA4700, while the Monitor 8 I can't get phones loud enough to monitor over a drummer 10 feet away.

If you don't work under such high dB conditions, it should be fine.
Old 9th July 2016
  #2652
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loopy View Post
...
On the plus side, it's quiet, I don't hear anything bad like I have heard with headphone amps on some other interfaces, but it needs more gain, at least with the Q701 which are notorious for being difficult to drive.

on the Schiit.

Schiit is an excellent choice for a headphone amp BTW.
The Magni Uber is on my wish list but I'm still trying to justify it against the standard Magna and not sure if it's worth the extra $50.
..
I personally haven't heard anything other from Schiit than Magni Uber, it's still not so common in Europe, although currently they send it directly and have couple of dealers in EU.. but my pal heard almost whole product line except of most expensive Ragnarok and said, it's quite step-up from Magni to Magni Uber. Difference isn't just at added RCA outs, but also in topology, beefier power power supply, larger filtration caps, better regulators. Both still runs at class A/B. To me Uber sounded pretty darn good, and it's quite miraculous, they can do US made 150USD device with discrete amp (I'm not saying discrete alone determines quality).
Asgard above runs in class A and don't use external wall-socket PS.

From the mentioned Lake People products.. This 103 P (balanced input version) sounds really good, PHONE-AMP G103-P - violectric.de
They're quite legendary and used also at pro/broadcast studios. Couple years ago, they started also Violectric brand, which is more targeted to HiFi segment with nicer chassis, DACs with USB inputs etc.

Also as we're talking about small European vendors, I can't omit headphone amps by Jan Meier, also quite cult among headphone freaks.. Great sounding products with no-bs marketing. For example Corda Jazz is really nice.
http://www.meier-audio.homepage.t-online.de/

With regards to your Ultralite AVB, it has also different DAC chip for headphone out and line outs (higher AKM model) IIRC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by emrr View Post
...
If you don't work under such high dB conditions, it should be fine.
Contrary I haven't heard Monitor 8, which can be different from rest of the line or older interfaces, I've commented.

Generally the difference between external discrete amp like the ones I've mentioned isn't just at its sheer power.. or inability to reach volumes with internal one, but rather about the sound attributes (how abstract it can sound).. like solidity of center image (kick, bass), imaging of mix elements, effortless presentation with dynamic material.
Headphone amp impedance interaction with particular cans are also bit complex thing. Because as with any speaker, it varies with frequency. Similarly with amp distortion rating, which varies with level and frequency.

Other thing is, for artist monitoring during tracking, there are usually quite relaxed demands besides the volume and rarely someone use 1200EUR cans like HD800, which OP mentioned.

Michal
Old 9th July 2016
  #2653
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loopy's Avatar
 

Thanks Michal !
I remember Lake People. We used to joke that the Lake People should merge with the Valley People

I'm probably going to spring for the Magna Uber because I like that it has a little higher output compared to the regular Magna and I'd rather have more potential and not use it than be under powered.

When tracking I have a Samson headphone amp which plays very loudly so even my somewhat deaf drummer friends don't complain. It actually manages to sound rather decent as well which surprises me. Only problem is I need to DeOxit the pots every once in a while. Other than that it's been a workhorse for me.
Old 9th July 2016
  #2654
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by emrr View Post
If you don't work under such high dB conditions, it should be fine.
I'm only gonna use the headphones in my studio, so I'm not worried about levels. But since many users of the Sennheiser HD800 say that it needs a good headphone amp to shine, I'm asking myself if the headphone amp of a prizier interface like the 8M could be considered "good". I don't have any complaints about the headphone amp of the 8M either, it's just that I never had the chance to compare it to a dedicated headphone amp and I don't know if there will be a "substantial" difference between the two. So if anybody has done such a comparison, I would be curious to hear your thoughts!

Cheers and thanks for your help!
Old 9th July 2016
  #2655
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jlaws's Avatar
The hd800 will still sound like an hd800 through the headphone amp in the motu 1248. It may slightly lack in punch and it may not get up to earsplitting levels, but it's more than sufficient for my purposes most of the time, even though I have a phonitor and centrance hifi m8. The difference between my lcd3 and hd800 and various other high end headphones on the same amp is much greater than the difference between different amps with a given set of headphones. I highly recommend the hd800.

Last edited by jlaws; 10th July 2016 at 05:28 AM..
Old 9th July 2016
  #2656
Quote:
Originally Posted by msmucr View Post
Generally the difference between external discrete amp like the ones I've mentioned isn't just at its sheer power.. or inability to reach volumes with internal one, but rather about the sound attributes (how abstract it can sound).. like solidity of center image (kick, bass), imaging of mix elements, effortless presentation with dynamic material.
Headphone amp impedance interaction with particular cans are also bit complex thing. Because as with any speaker, it varies with frequency. Similarly with amp distortion rating, which varies with level and frequency.
Hi - thanks for this great info - I have not taken my headphone amp too seriously up until now - I primarily mix on speakers and traditionally have only used phones for tracking and checking my mixes.

I have been demoing the Sonarworks headphones correction software (which flattens out the response curve) and this made the Focals very useful as a fine tuning tool for the top end of my mixes - the exact curve of cymbals and other high freq content is now much easier to get a precise bead on.

I am wondering how much difference a better headphone amp could improve the accuracy of the Focals further yet? I am using the 1248 and the HA is very clean and can drive the 32ohm Focals into unlistenable loud volumes without sounding obviously distorted.

For these particular phones, would the inexpensive Magna Uber be a significant upgrade?

If I was going to go all the way to the lake people level of product, I may just check out the new headphone box from Little Labs.

I know how important good power is for speakers, but not so much for easier to drive phones like these...
Old 10th July 2016
  #2657
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardtoe View Post
...
I am wondering how much difference a better headphone amp could improve the accuracy of the Focals further yet? I am using the 1248 and the HA is very clean and can drive the 32ohm Focals into unlistenable loud volumes without sounding obviously distorted.

For these particular phones, would the inexpensive Magna Uber be a significant upgrade?

If I was going to go all the way to the lake people level of product, I may just check out the new headphone box from Little Labs.

I know how important good power is for speakers, but not so much for easier to drive phones like these...
I'm sorry Hardtoe, but I don't have a chance to hear those Focals.

So just generally, it might not have as apparent effect as with other mentioned headphones due to its high efficiency and lower impedance, compared to say HD800, K701 or for example to some orthodynamic headphones like Audeze, which especially benefits from very powerful amps IME.
Although to say, the improvement of accuracy is bit of subjective term, especially when talking about using headphones with very different imaging from usual speaker listening..
With variaous phones, which I have, owned or had for testing like HD800, HD600, K701 and sruprisingly for me.. also small cheap cans like PX100II.. I feel, external headphone amps always brought something to the table and almost universally improved my listening experience over integrated ones in interfaces.
I'm mentioning subjective part, because it's very tricky to describe improvement, plus sometimes objective deficiences like increased crostalk and distortion might sound nicer or can be felt as good detail enhancement with particular source.. or simply its sonic character can suit better to the taste of listener.

As I said, Magni Uber was very nice surprise for me, especially given to its price.. I can't tell you about your perceived improvement with Focals, but maybe you can try it and possibly use 15day money-back period.
And I agree, that recently lanuched pro amps like Little Labs or say similar Rupert Neve's RNHP can be also interesting to test someday.

Michal
Old 10th July 2016
  #2658
Quote:
Originally Posted by msmucr View Post
I'm sorry Hardtoe, but I don't have a chance to hear those Focals.

So just generally, it might not have as apparent effect as with other mentioned headphones due to its high efficiency and lower impedance, compared to say HD800, K701 or for example to some orthodynamic headphones like Audeze, which especially benefits from very powerful amps IME.
Although to say, the improvement of accuracy is bit of subjective term, especially when talking about using headphones with very different imaging from usual speaker listening..
With variaous phones, which I have, owned or had for testing like HD800, HD600, K701 and sruprisingly for me.. also small cheap cans like PX100II.. I feel, external headphone amps always brought something to the table and almost universally improved my listening experience over integrated ones in interfaces.
I'm mentioning subjective part, because it's very tricky to describe improvement, plus sometimes objective deficiences like increased crostalk and distortion might sound nicer or can be felt as good detail enhancement with particular source.. or simply its sonic character can suit better to the taste of listener.

As I said, Magni Uber was very nice surprise for me, especially given to its price.. I can't tell you about your perceived improvement with Focals, but maybe you can try it and possibly use 15day money-back period.
And I agree, that recently lanuched pro amps like Little Labs or say similar Rupert Neve's RNHP can be also interesting to test someday.

Michal
Ok, maybe I'll just have to give it a go then - for the price the Magni Uber is worth a ride to check things out for myself - thanks for sharing your experience
Old 12th July 2016
  #2659
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quint View Post
Do you happen to have any RTL measurements? The documentation for the new TB drivers indicates 1.6 ms on Mac and 1.9 ms on PC, both at 32 samples of buffer at 96k. Those are pretty great latencies. I'm curious if anybody is achieving these kinds of numbers in the real world?
I am also curious. This seems incredibly low. It's almost Pro Tools HDX territory. Can you really run this interface at 32 samples of buffer at 96k? Can anyone share their experiences with Cubase or Pro Tools?


FWIW, the best case RTL ( 32s/96k I suppose) via USB2 is 2.5 ms. That's what Motu told me. Excellent as well.
Old 12th July 2016
  #2660
Gear Maniac
 
not like this's Avatar
 

I'm getting 2.2ms at 32 buffer size.

1248 via thunderbolt. El Cap and the latest update of logic.
Old 13th July 2016
  #2661
Gear Maniac
 
barbaroja's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmiller View Post
Yes, that information is accurate and unless Logic is adding extra buffers for some reason, you should see that latency (measured in samples) with 32 sample buffers, independent of sample rate. At 44.1, 48, and 96khz, that corresponds to 3ms, 2.8ms and 1.4ms respectively. For 64 sample buffers, you'd expect ~200 samples (4.5ms, 4.2 and 2.1ms). For 128 sample buffers, ~327 samples (7.4ms, 6.8ms, 3.4ms). We haven't measured these in Logic and I'm doing some arithmetic to fill in some missing measurements but this is roughly what you should expect.



I don't see why not, though keep in mind it's an XLR jack, not a combo jack. With no gain on the preamp, it should be the same as the other 8 balanced TRS ins.
I would like to dig a little deeper here. Is the preamp circuitry not engaging if its at minimum?
Old 14th July 2016
  #2662
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Is the new speedy firmware pretty stable these days? Thinking of flashing up to it TIA
Old 14th July 2016
  #2663
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Mulcahy View Post
Is the new speedy firmware pretty stable these days? Thinking of flashing up to it TIA
I have used the latest version since it became available. No dropouts or other issues on my MacBook Pro with OS X 10.10.5 and Logic Pro X. Hope it helps.
Old 19th July 2016
  #2664
Quote:
Originally Posted by msmucr View Post
As I said, Magni Uber was very nice surprise for me, especially given to its price.. I can't tell you about your perceived improvement with Focals, but maybe you can try it and possibly use 15day money-back period.
Just in case anyone is wondering I did get some Schiit and the Magni Uber 2 is a significant upgrade from from the headphone amp in the 1248 IMO - it has a lot more weight and authority (though the 1248 headamp is plenty loud and is detailed - just isn't as musical and ballsy). The transient snap is incredible.

Have given it a ride with my Focal Spirit Pro's, ATH M50's and AKG K271 (finally hear how these can sound with some power behind them)

All the cans perform at a higher level, but the Spirit's with the MU2 and SonarWorks headphone correction software, become a deadly weapon in refining the top end of a mix.

Thanks for the tip msmucr - I'm diggin my new reality
Old 19th July 2016
  #2665
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardtoe View Post
Just in case anyone is wondering I did get some Schiit and the Magni Uber 2 is a significant upgrade from from the headphone amp in the 1248 IMO - it has a lot more weight and authority (though the 1248 headamp is plenty loud and is detailed - just isn't as musical and ballsy). The transient snap is incredible.

Have given it a ride with my Focal Spirit Pro's, ATH M50's and AKG K271 (finally hear how these can sound with some power behind them)

All the cans perform at a higher level, but the Spirit's with the MU2 and SonarWorks headphone correction software, become a deadly weapon in refining the top end of a mix.

Thanks for the tip msmucr - I'm diggin my new reality
Hi Hardtoe,

thank you for the update, I'm glad you like it!

All the best,

Michal
Old 22nd July 2016
  #2666
Gear Nut
Hi everyone,

Hope you've had a good week. Just letting you all know that MOTU has just released a new Pro Audio Beta Driver for our AVB hardware. You can get it at the link below.

MOTU.com - MOTU announces Windows Thunderbolt support at Musikmesse 2016
Old 22nd July 2016
  #2667
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pablo1980 View Post
Thanks for the response, I am running windows 10, with a TI firewire card, and on large orchestral templates I can't get below 512 buffer.

So, anyone with the new firmware and drivers care to comment on usb performance?
Not Windows...but I'm running a 1248 over USB on an older 12 core Mac Pro at the lowest buffer (64) in PT 12.5 with no problems, that includes big loaded mix sessions at 96khz and film scoring sessions at 48khz with the video engine and mix of virtual instruments and audio. No problems. Pro tools doesn't seem to give me 32 samples as an option.
Old 22nd July 2016
  #2668
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kslight View Post
Not Windows...but I'm running a 1248 over USB on an older 12 core Mac Pro at the lowest buffer (64) in PT 12.5 with no problems, that includes big loaded mix sessions at 96khz and film scoring sessions at 48khz with the video engine and mix of virtual instruments and audio. No problems. Pro tools doesn't seem to give me 32 samples as an option.
Thanks, that is encouraging!!!

Any windows users with the new drivers?
Old 23rd July 2016
  #2669
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jlaws's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Travisvictor View Post
Hi everyone,

Hope you've had a good week. Just letting you all know that MOTU has just released a new Pro Audio Beta Driver for our AVB hardware. You can get it at the link below.

MOTU.com - MOTU announces Windows Thunderbolt support at Musikmesse 2016
What's changed in the latest beta?
Old 23rd July 2016
  #2670
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loopy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jlaws View Post
What's changed in the latest beta?
Can't help you with that one, but I've just installed it on my Ultralite AVB and it seems to be functioning fine. No problems yet. I'm using Windows 10.
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