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MOTU 1248, 8M, 16A Thunderbolt interface Audio Interfaces
Old 10th August 2014
  #241
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DAW Control?

I'm longing for a rack mount interface with software mixer, onboard DSP for EQ, Compression and FX that I can automate from DP and simultaneously use a control surface in a live show setting.

In other words, a Yamaha 01V that's one rack space with a smaller control surface footprint run from a laptop.

Are we there yet?
Old 10th August 2014
  #242
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This is an exciting product. Any word on if thunderbolt is supported under windows? Either way I'm looking at the model with the pres for podcasting work. Is Ethernet supported on windows? Thanks for the help :D
Old 10th August 2014
  #243
nms
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cornvalley View Post
haven't heard much about A/D quality. is it time to sell off the AD-16x?
You haven't? Both the DACs & ADCs are Sabre32 Ultra:

"Pure sound, without compromise

The 16A employs latest-generation ESS Sabre32 Ultra™ converters, known for their industry-leading performance, together with expertly engineered analog circuits that reflect more than three decades of pro audio engineering expertise. The result? The 16A achieves actual, measured performance of 123 dB dynamic range (A-weighted, 20 Hz to 20 kHz) on its balanced TRS analog outputs."

Time to sell the AD-16x? Not necessarily. Do you feel like you need better sounding AD conversion? If you can afford it, the natural upgrade path from there would be a Symphony I/O which uses better converters (and a much higher price tag) than the Motu line. I'm not too sure about how going 16x to 16A would go for conversion quality. We'll have to wait til someone can test it properly.

EDIT> It looks like the Sabre 32 Ultra converters were only used for the DAC side. No idea what the ADC's are.
Old 11th August 2014
  #244
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nms View Post
You haven't? Both the DACs & ADCs are Sabre32 Ultra:

"Pure sound, without compromise

The 16A employs latest-generation ESS Sabre32 Ultra™ converters, known for their industry-leading performance, together with expertly engineered analog circuits that reflect more than three decades of pro audio engineering expertise. The result? The 16A achieves actual, measured performance of 123 dB dynamic range (A-weighted, 20 Hz to 20 kHz) on its balanced TRS analog outputs."

Time to sell the AD-16x? Not necessarily. Do you feel like you need better sounding AD conversion? If you can afford it, the natural upgrade path from there would be a Symphony I/O which uses better converters (and a much higher price tag) than the Motu line. I'm not too sure about how going 16x to 16A would go for conversion quality. We'll have to wait til someone can test it properly.
I doubt I would find Symphony substantially better than ADX. Fan noise as well.
You last sentence sums it up fine. Wait for the user experiences.

Been eyeing closely the Zen Studio as well. I think that setup is where I might go.
Normal the mic lines directly to the unit and have a carefree tracking session. My Motu PCI setup has become too complex. I have a Spider already plus HEDD. Plug the Spider in ADAT port, HEDD in Spdif use Zen Studio Pres for additional inputs.
That or the new Motu line. I like them both at this point. I've only heard raves about Zen. Motu raves have been more about routing possibilities. Lovely interface though and very familiar as I use DP already and plenty of Motu boxes.
Old 11th August 2014
  #245
Got a question for those of you who got one (or more) of these interfaces.

How does it work if you want to use them as 'stand-alone' AD/DA units? Are you able to set up routing from the buttons/knobs on the unit? Or do you need to connect to a computer, and 'save as' the routing?

I briefly checked the manual, but couldn't find detailed information.

I'm a Win user, so I should wait probably until MOTU releases Win driver, but if 16A works as stand alone converter, then I can start using with my RME 9652. Just tempting...
Old 11th August 2014
  #246
nms
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cornvalley View Post
I doubt I would find Symphony substantially better than ADX. Fan noise as well.
Why not? I've talked to people who did. They use different converters and components. They're the next model above what's being used in the new Motu line and better than what's used in the Orion or Zen.


Quote:
Been eyeing closely the Zen Studio as well. I think that setup is where I might go.
Do you know the Zen uses the same conversion as the Orion?

"Antelope Audio Acoustically Focused Clocking provides the most authentic analog sounding A/D & D/A conversion on the market. Antelope's clocking and conversion along with the custom USB technology implemented in Zen are identical to the ones in the top-selling 32-channel Orion interface"

There are a lot of people who found the Orion conversion quality to be around the level of RME or the Apollo. In general it's not been regarded as coming near the Symphony and the converter chips used are definitely a lower grade than those found in either the Symphony or the new Motu lineup.

Antelope has always been the subject of eye rolling with many people due to the snake oil vibe. Stuff like "Acoustically Focussed Clocking" and claims of "the most authentic analog sounding conversion on the market" are pretty dodgy. I don't think they make bad products, just stuff that's hyped and (sometimes) priced way beyond its merit. I'll bet these new Motu units will easily have better conversion. They're certainly higher spec'd.

Quote:
I've only heard raves about Zen. Motu raves have been more about routing possibilities.
How so? I think the inclusion of TB + USB, the literature regarding their upgraded audio path with the new Sabre32 Ultra converters, and the AVB networking have been the big selling points. You do know these were JUST released right? Barely anyone here has one yet.
Old 11th August 2014
  #247
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I don't mean to speak for Dave but regarding the question on whether the 32 bit ESS chips use 32 bit data with no conversion or dithering taking place, I asked the manufacturer of my DAC this a while ago, which uses the same ESS Sabre line and they said yes, it will use whatever is sent from the DAW, whether that is 32 bit float or fixed. I guess it will depend on the design but I would hope and imagine MOTU would keep everything at 32 bit as far as possible.

Cheers
Old 11th August 2014
  #248
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OK I have to ask this. I've been thinking of getting a Lynx Aurora 8 USB before this new line of MOTU audio interfaces were announced. I'm most concerned about the audio quality of the AD/DA converters and stable low latency performance.

The Lynx Aurora has a dynamic range of 117db and the new MOTU Line has a dynamic range of 123db. I'm confused, now. Which line of products has the higher quality AD/DA converters, the Lynx Aurora or the new MOTU units?

I don't have thundebolt connectivity, so I will be connecting via USB. My research shows that the Lynx Aurora has great low latency performance via USB, and I'm OK with the low latency performance of MOTU's MK3 firewire devices, so I'm trusting that low latency performance of MOTU's new AVB units will be sastisfactory, as in my experience MOTU writes good drivers. That said, I'm down to thinking I will get the unit with the higher quality AD/DA converters. So, which unit has the better converters Lynx Aurora or the new MOTU units? Thanks in advance for any enlightening input.
Old 11th August 2014
  #249
nms
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thomasabarnes View Post
The Lynx Aurora has a dynamic rage of 117db and the new MOTU Line has a dynamic range of 123db. I'm confused, now. Which line of products has the better quality AD/DA converters?
The Aurora's conversion is pretty old now so it's no surprise that these new units spec better. Which is better? Too early to say for sure IMO. There's a sizeable price difference involved there as well.

You may not have TB now but you likely will on your next computer upgrade so it's worth taking into consideration if you want lower latency and better stability under high channel counts & plugin load. In your shoes I'd lean toward the new Motu line.
Old 11th August 2014
  #250
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Thanks for the quick reply and the advice! The price difference does make a significant difference, to me. I think I'll go for the MOTU 1248.
Old 11th August 2014
  #251
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My initial sonic impression while comparing the old PCI line to the 16A is that the new has a much clearer upper mid range and top, and that I can hear more background detail. A tracking session yesterday left the same impression, I felt I was getting more information critical to small changes in mic placement, noise floors, etc.

Can't compare to anything else directly.
Old 11th August 2014
  #252
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Masaaki View Post
How does it work if you want to use them as 'stand-alone' AD/DA units? Are you able to set up routing from the buttons/knobs on the unit? Or do you need to connect to a computer, and 'save as' the routing?

I'm a Win user, so I should wait probably until MOTU releases Win driver, but if 16A works as stand alone converter, then I can start using with my RME 9652. Just tempting...
It works standalone with all ins/outs routing as discrete channels to your computer, it's one of the presets. If you need specific routings not covered in the presets, you have to build them using the app, it's far too complex for me to imagine full routing control from the front panel. At least not without it driving you crazy! At any rate, it's not an option currently.

If you have an iPhone or iPad, you could hook up a wireless router to the MOTU unit and set up routing via wifi, no wired connection to a computer. It shows up in your browser when you search the address of the unit.

You should have no problem connecting it via ADAT to RME 9652 right now, that's what I'm doing currently with a MOTU 2408mkIII.
Old 11th August 2014
  #253
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nms View Post
Why not? I've talked to people who did. They use different converters and components. They're the next model above what's being used in the new Motu line and better than what's used in the Orion or Zen.


Do you know the Zen uses the same conversion as the Orion?

"Antelope Audio Acoustically Focused Clocking provides the most authentic analog sounding A/D & D/A conversion on the market. Antelope's clocking and conversion along with the custom USB technology implemented in Zen are identical to the ones in the top-selling 32-channel Orion interface"

There are a lot of people who found the Orion conversion quality to be around the level of RME or the Apollo. In general it's not been regarded as coming near the Symphony and the converter chips used are definitely a lower grade than those found in either the Symphony or the new Motu lineup.

Antelope has always been the subject of eye rolling with many people due to the snake oil vibe. Stuff like "Acoustically Focussed Clocking" and claims of "the most authentic analog sounding conversion on the market" are pretty dodgy. I don't think they make bad products, just stuff that's hyped and (sometimes) priced way beyond its merit. I'll bet these new Motu units will easily have better conversion. They're certainly higher spec'd.

How so? I think the inclusion of TB + USB, the literature regarding their upgraded audio path with the new Sabre32 Ultra converters, and the AVB networking have been the big selling points. You do know these were JUST released right? Barely anyone here has one yet.
I decided to go with the 1248. I know Motu software really well and I can hook this thing up to my 16x and Spider, Hedd.
You know all this talk of converter quality is highly subjective. Older converter technology is not inferior to my way of thinking. It's a flavor of it's time and we are hearing those flavors on all the recordings made with them. It's selling what's new that is making people hear distinctions that really don't matter much. IMHO
Enjoy reading the spec sheet! I'm off to practice my instrument.
Old 12th August 2014
  #254
Gear Nut
OK, I just typed up a LOOONNNG reply to magicd from MOTU, and it got gobbled up and spit into the ether

Most of everything you posted answered my questions - thanks. Still can't get any metering in the mixer - does that exist? Also can't seem to get reverb happening - does it need to be routed to mixer inputs, or is it automatically there (it does have faders for it in the mixer).

** got the reverb working**

As to Thunderbolt, it works with iTunes, but ProTools 11 is throwing up LOTS or errors about "can not communicate with the hardware..." "experienced and unknown error and must exit". USB works fine.

FWIW, the latency of USB is about the same as Thunderbolt:

Buffer:___USB latency in PT10:___Thunderbolt latency in PT10:
32_______266 samples_________205 samples
64_______361 samples_________302 samples
128______476 samples_________428 samples
256______804 samples_________744 samples
512______1448 samples________1392 samples
1024_____2728 samples________2668 samples
Old 12th August 2014
  #255
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by emrr View Post
Control with multiple devices (laptop, wireless phone) works great.
Can you point me to where you found the remote app in the app store? I can't find it anywhere...
Old 12th August 2014
  #256
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emrr's Avatar
from iTunes, search MOTU.

Also the desktop version from the MOTU site.
Old 12th August 2014
  #257
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by emrr View Post
from iTunes, search MOTU.

Also the desktop version from the MOTU site.
Thanks! That's weird - I looked every day on the app store since I got the interface, and it just now showed up in the search for the first time today
Old 12th August 2014
  #258
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cornvalley View Post
Older converter technology is not inferior to my way of thinking. It's a flavor of it's time and we are hearing those flavors on all the recordings made with them. [...]
Enjoy reading the spec sheet!
I agree. I have an HHB PortaDAT PDR1000 from 1997 that makes the most amazing recordings with good mics, better than a lot of good new gear I've heard, and this is recording at 16 bit 48kHz to DAT. But 123dB dynamic range for the chip and the whole unit definitely indicates this is not a mediocre design.
Old 12th August 2014
  #259
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldTools View Post

Buffer:___USB latency in PT10:___Thunderbolt latency in PT10:
32_______266 samples_________205 samples
64_______361 samples_________302 samples
128______476 samples_________428 samples
256______804 samples_________744 samples
512______1448 samples________1392 samples
1024_____2728 samples________2668 samples
Thanks for posting this -
How did you come up with these values??

I hope they are wrong because the TB latency would be a huge miss. Should have been (at buffer =32) 64 samples DAW in/out + at most 32 samples from interface. 96 samples is the number we are all hoping for - 205 - big disappointment if true.
Old 12th August 2014
  #260
Well, MOTU tends to add hidden 'playback safety' buffer in their driver (at least for their ASIO drivers), they might have done the same thing for Thunderbolt. So, to me, it's believable number.

By the way, what's the sample rate? 44.1 or 48?
Old 13th August 2014
  #261
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldTools View Post

FWIW, the latency of USB is about the same as Thunderbolt:

Buffer:___USB latency in PT10:___Thunderbolt latency in PT10:
32_______266 samples_________205 samples
64_______361 samples_________302 samples
128______476 samples_________428 samples
256______804 samples_________744 samples
512______1448 samples________1392 samples
1024_____2728 samples________2668 samples
Good to hear about the USB latency! What's the highest buffer available? 4096? Want to be able to access high buffers for plugin-intensive mixes.
Old 13th August 2014
  #262
Quote:
Originally Posted by MRose View Post
4096? Want to be able to access high buffers for plugin-intensive mixes.

Buffer goes up to 2048 (at least at cubase 7.5 I can't set it any higher with my 1248!)
Old 13th August 2014
  #263
Gear Nut
 

Nice to hear about the 1st hand experience. Seriously considering two 8M for the new mobile rig I'm building. Curious about the metering problem though, even though it's not the biggest deal breaker
Old 13th August 2014
  #264
Quote:
Originally Posted by emrr View Post
It works standalone with all ins/outs routing as discrete channels to your computer, it's one of the presets. If you need specific routings not covered in the presets, you have to build them using the app, it's far too complex for me to imagine full routing control from the front panel. At least not without it driving you crazy! At any rate, it's not an option currently.

If you have an iPhone or iPad, you could hook up a wireless router to the MOTU unit and set up routing via wifi, no wired connection to a computer. It shows up in your browser when you search the address of the unit.

You should have no problem connecting it via ADAT to RME 9652 right now, that's what I'm doing currently with a MOTU 2408mkIII.
Okay, thanks.

That means, if I don't want wireless, I can hook up to a laptop's Ethernet port and the MOTU unit, with a crossover Cat5 cable and call the web app in the web browser in the laptop?
Old 13th August 2014
  #265
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shorty_himself View Post
Buffer goes up to 2048 (at least at cubase 7.5 I can't set it any higher with my 1248!)
2048? Hmm that's not great, cubase user here too. What's your minimum latency at the shortest buffer?
Old 13th August 2014
  #266
Quote:
Originally Posted by MRose View Post
2048? Hmm that's not great, cubase user here too.
Yea.. would be happy too if I could run at 4096!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MRose View Post
What's your minimum latency at the shortest buffer?
0.998ms in and 0.988ms out at 32 samples (at least thats what cubase tells me!)
1.361ms at 64 samples
23.855 at 2048 samples
Old 13th August 2014
  #267
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shorty_himself View Post
0.998ms in and 0.988ms out at 32 samples (at least thats what cubase tells me!)
1.361ms at 64 samples
23.855 at 2048 samples
These are really good! 1.36ms at 64 samples is great! That means you can realistically track at 128samples without a hiccup.
Forgot to ask, you're on Mac? USB or TB? I'm wondering if the Window drivers will let you access higher buffer than 2048
Old 13th August 2014
  #268
Quote:
Originally Posted by MRose View Post
Forgot to ask, you're on Mac? USB or TB? I'm wondering if the Window drivers will let you access higher buffer than 2048
sorry.. forgot to mention: running on mac; connected via TB
Old 13th August 2014
  #269
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Masaaki View Post
Okay, thanks.

That means, if I don't want wireless, I can hook up to a laptop's Ethernet port and the MOTU unit, with a crossover Cat5 cable and call the web app in the web browser in the laptop?
You don't even need the ethernet, if it's TB or USB connected you have access. Once you have that, you have access via wifi connected iPad or iphone.
Old 13th August 2014
  #270
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Maybe I'm missing something here regarding latency, but you guys do know about the internal low-latency mixer? That's a totally different ballgame than a full pass in/out of your DAW, turns any live sources right around to the outputs while feeding the record inputs. Maybe you are using it in a way I don't. Advertised at 48k is 32 samples, in to out within the interfaces themselves, 62 samples total for a full AVB network, faster at higher sample rates.

Metering: There is an indicator for signal present that 'might' also indicate overload in the routing window, at any rate I look at either the front panel meters or the meters in DP, rather than in the control app. There is a horizontal level meter in the onboard mixer strips.
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