It comes down to two middle-weight champions, folks. After doing my "homework", these are the contenders I've narrowed down my DAW backbone choices to.
Both have a street price of around $1300.
I'm recording prog rock and need at least 8 channels for the drums. Which one should I get?
Yes, the Tascam is nice because of motorized faders. That's good - but I'm more concerned about sound quality. Do the pres and converters hold up against or beat MOTUs? All I know is that the Tascam pres are supposed to be Tascam's best line - nicer than the DM-24s. Yes, MOTU can run at 192khz, which might be nice when there is enough software that runs it (Cubase SX won't, neither do most plug-ins). But are the converters better at ANY sampling rate than Tascams?
BOTH units have ??? reputations for PC compatibility. Hmmmm...
I hope you all will add some semi-educated fuel to the fire - or perhaps some perfectly ignorant opinions , and maybe even a few people who have had some hands-on with either of these boxes.
The Tascam is a recently released product, and it will take them a while to sort out the various bugs and issues. Do a search on the net. It took about a year and a half of OS updates to get their DM-24 mixer up to speed.
If it was me I'd go for the MOTU, but you really are comparing two different kinds of products.
I have heard several times that the FW 1884 AD/DA sounds Really Great, most likely because it has an analog front end built (by or with) Frontier Designs (People seem to love their "Tango" box)
I recently had a MOTU 896 version 1. It was OK with mics (with or w/o external pres) - but for recording feeds from a mixer (synths) at 48k - 44.1k - it sounded not very good at all. Reportedly this is due to gain staging - even though the 896 has +4 and -10 selector switches. So I would say the 896 is a very specialized box = mics only if you want the best it has to offer. I was much happier with the results from my old 2408 mkII for line level feeds. Look at the RME stuff too - reportedly a significant step up from the MOTU sound. Motu's greatest strength (imo) is its stability and wealth of features for the price. The RME stuff too is quite stable too although if you are running DP - use MOTU stuff.