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MOTU 896HD - overkill?

Discussion in 'Recording' started by insanecooker, Dec 18, 2003.

  1. insanecooker

    insanecooker Guest

    Hi everyone,

    I'm looking for a 8-ch audio interface. I had been considering the Aardvark Direct Pro Q10, which features mic pre's on every channel and seems to be enough for my semi-serious attempts at home recording. Then I noticed that MOTU had a new Firewire interface out, the 896HD. Has anyone had any experience with one of these? How do its pres sound? Is 24/192 a worthy upgrade from 24/96?

    If it's much better, I'll gladly drop the extra 400 or so for it. I'm taking a trip to the US, and it might be quite a few years away until I have another chance to upgrade my DAW, so I'm trying to get the most future-proof (I know that doesn't exist, but you get the idea) system I can.

  2. MisterBlue

    MisterBlue Guest

    I don't think that 24/192 is going to happen as an industry standard anytime in the next 5 years, if ever. The advantage in sound quality over 24/96 is marginal at best. You will be much better of in spending the $400 in getting a higher quality 24/96 system rather than a 24/192 one.

    Just my opinion,

  3. insanecooker

    insanecooker Guest

    I'm not very interested in the 24/192 thing, but much more so in 8ch audio interfaces with built-in mic pres. Do you have any suggestions other than the Aardvark Q10 or the MOTU 896HD?

  4. raregroove

    raregroove Guest

    Get the Metric Halo DSP +, best bang for the buck and best quality. It's brilliant. Converters are great also + built in DSP effects.
  5. insanecooker

    insanecooker Guest

    I didn't find a Metric Halo DSP+, only the Mobile I/O 2882. Is that the unit you're talking about?

    If so, wouldn't it be better for me to get a Tascam FW-1884, since they are almost the same price and it also sports a control surface? Or is the sound quality of the Metric Halo that much better?

    I'm not going to be able to test any of the units, I'm buying a closed one in NYC and I'll open it up only when I get home, so I must get it right from the start (sound quality is the most important thing, I can do without built-in control surfaces, since I can add that later on).

  6. insanecooker

    insanecooker Guest

    I just noticed that the Metric Halo units don't work with Windows. That's a real shame, but I can't afford a Mac right now.
  7. FWIW, I just bought some older MOTU interfaces (the 1224 and 24i) for a grand total of $765. For that price I have 32 analog inputs and 12 analog outputs. Granted, you can only record at 24bit/48kHz, but the whole 24/96 thing doesn't interest me at all. After all, I'm just going to be mastering to CD.

    I'm using a PC and the interfaces work great with Cubase SX 2.0. Might be worth looking at one of the older interfaces and then spending the rest of the bread on some REALLY good preamps! :)

    Just my two cents...
  8. insanecooker

    insanecooker Guest

    That would be a great option if I didn't live in Brazil. It's very hard for me to buy used stuff, since eBay turns out to be too expensive (import fees are absurd).

    I'd be using those two weeks I'll be in New York to stuff my home studio with gear I'd never be able to buy otherwise. I'm already thinking bigger, maybe I'll get the MOTU 24I/O so that I never (ok, not soon) run out of analog I/O on my DAW.

    What worries me is that MOTU doesn't provide info like dynamic range of their units on the website, and I won't be able to test anything. I've already heard the 828MkII has limited dynamic range. Do you know if that goes for the other models too?

  9. I have not heard anything about the dynamic range of the 828mkII being limited. But you're right, they don't list those things on the website. Very strange.

    Might be worth a trip over to the Unicornation Bulletin Board and ask those fellas.
  10. knightfly

    knightfly Active Member

    Jan 18, 2002
    It might be worth your while to contact Sweetwater Sound in Indiana - I know it's not New York, but they have some pretty tech-savvy people there and deal with MOTU, Macs, PC's, etc - I've not had direct experience with this, but have seen a LOT of complaints about MOTU stuff and PC's - apparently, you need to stick with certain Intel chipsets in PC's in order to keep from having problems with MOTU stuff. I'm not sure that this would extend to their Firewire stuff, but it never hurts to find out FIRST - especially in your case, where you're not going to be around to swap things that don't work.

    Your comments about taking the box home and then opening it - I hope to never be in that position. I've had enough grief just trying to get manufacturers' stuff to do what they claim for it while living close to them. I wish you all the luck in the world getting satisfaction from your location... Steve
  11. insanecooker

    insanecooker Guest

    B3Groover: I'll post the question on Unicornation. Thanks.

    knightfly: I'll contact Sweetwater Sound. I've heard of them before. I've just heard that I won't be limited to New York on my trip, I'll also be able to visit nearby cities, such as Washington and Philadelphia, and that expands my list of store visits.

    As for "taking the box home and then opening it": it's not as bad as it seems. It's much better than the other option, which is not having nice gear at all :). I'm actually pretty lucky to be able to do these risky purchases; most people here will spend their whole lives without even seeing a decent recording setup, since everything here costs more than twice as much as in the US, so I guess I'm not in such bad shape. Thanks for the kind words!
  12. bgavin

    bgavin Guest

    I looked at the MOTU, then settled on the Aardvark Q10 system for my needs. I am PC based, and the MOTU strikes me as being more in-tune with a Mac.

    My needs are multiple, high quality mic preamps into a computer-based recording system. As I did the research, the Q10 became apparent as the best solution for these needs. I can use standard XLR cables for mic level and TRS cables for line level inputs to the Q10. The signal path between mic and computer is simple and uncluttered. Much of the processing power is done by the Q10 box and its PCI card, not the computer.

    I'm on the search for a 2nd Q10 unit for my existing system. Up to four Q10 can operate in a single computer.
  13. insanecooker

    insanecooker Guest

    My worry about the Q10 is that I've heard it's a bit noisier than other 8ch cards, such as the Echo Layla or Delta 1010.

    I won't be needing more than 2 pres for the time being, so I could get one of the cards mentioned (or even higher-end ones) and get a decent 2ch pre, such as the Presonus MP20.
  14. hemal

    hemal Guest

    I use the 828 mk2 and its cleaner than my old echo layla24 system i think the specs are 109db A weighted on inputs and 111 on output. Rock stable, cuemix is the most brilliant system i have ever seen for monitoring with effects. Reminds me of an openended DSP Factory. I use a TC M300 as my monitor fx unit cause most of my clients are south asian and when they sing, they love to load on the verb as a monitor effect, it apparantly helps keep them in pitch. Anyways the 828 mk2 is the best setup i have ever had and i use it off of a Dell 5150 p4 3.06 ghz 512 ram and my firewire drive. ITs brillian!! definately up there. Dedicated phone volume control and main outs tonnes of io, great latency
  15. insanecooker

    insanecooker Guest

    xcessbass: what do you think of the pres on the 828mk2? Which multi-track software are you using with it?

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