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motu interface - any thoughts

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by ben dorrington, Jan 20, 2004.

  1. Hi, this is my first post on this board, so hello to all!

    I've been working in the live field for the last couple of years but I'm about to embark into the studio side of things. Been looking at a couple of Motu interfaces, 828 MKII and 2408 MKIII, has anyone had any experience using either of these, good or bad? Or infact know of any good alternatives. Any advice will be very much appreciated.
  2. igloo

    igloo Guest

    Hi Ben.

    I don't own a MOTU audio interface, but I will sometime in the future. A friend of mine owns a MOTU 896HD and he's very happy with it. Besides it doubles as a mixing console which you can program and then take to a gig, and since you do live sound work, this may just be the interface for you.

    I found this on the MOTU site:

    "Connect all of your studio gear, including microphones, guitars, synths, keyboards, drum machines and even effects processors. Then monitor all of these live inputs via the 896HD’s main outs, headphone jack or any other output — with virtually no monitoring latency and no processor drain on your computer.

    Need to hit the road? Program the 896HD at the studio with the CueMix Console software and then take the 896HD on the road for mixing/monitoring without a computer. Bus levels can be adjusted without the computer by using the front panel Monitor Level knob."

    I hope this helps. Good luck

  3. Thanks Rodrigo,

    I'll be sure to check out the 896HD, an interface with a good dose of versitility has got to be a good thing in my book. So many options to consider I could be pondering over this for weeks!!!
  4. maintiger

    maintiger Distinguished Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Whittier, California, USA
    Home Page:
    I have an 828mkII and I'm very happy with it- it has lots of options, 10 analog in (two with preamps), spdif in and out, 8 adat optical in and outs so you could get 20 inputs in the machine if you have the right pres- Also the sound is far superior to my old 2408 mkII and the 24i- I run it wit Digital performer on a dual mac and I do recommend it :D

  5. hemal

    hemal Guest

    I have the 828 mk2 and I can say 3 words, "I Love it!" it works like a charm. I have a mackie control that is now supported in the new drivers to control the cue-mix system. Monitoring and tracking are so stable, latency is not an issue. Im using a dell 5150 inspiron with it. I use it like for V-stack and use it in the studio with SX and i would not get rid of it unless i could go for the 24 IO and a nice sweet analog desk(midas??) The converters are top notch but the preamps are not the greatest though!

    good luck
  6. TimPiazza

    TimPiazza Guest

    After more than a year of anxiety over which AD/DA interface to buy, I finally settled on the MOTU 828mkII. In the end, it was between that and an RME Multiface. RME gets a great rap on various forums, so I was inclined to go that way--and nearly did--but I just liked the little dancing lights on the front of the 828mkII. What can I say? I'm a sucker for lights--especially if they can tell me something meaningful.

    Okay, here is the real deal. I couldn't compare them side-by-side, so I did lots of surfing and pondering. Based on what I read, I concluded the RME would have better converters than the original 828 and thus better sound--more bang for the buck. Maybe it does. I also deduced that the Multiface is more PC-centric, where the 828mkII is more Mac-centric, which suits me fine. People I've asked are of the opinion that the 828mkII sounds better than the earlier versions, which perhaps puts it neck and neck with the Multiface.

    Finally, I decided that if I get to the point where I can hear the difference and can discern for myself what I need, I'll try an external clock, jitter correction, or 4 channels of better converters on the lightpipe input until I get what makes me happy. And it's all about being happy, right?

  7. Nice one guys, all info is good info!
    so it appears that the 828 gets the thumbs up from all that are using it. I have been a bit concerned about the PC/Mac bias that TimP mentions and I think I'm going to go down the PC road with this one so I'll give the RME multiface a good going over. But usefull lights are a bonus and would of course make anyone happy, which you rightfully point out, is the key. If it dose essentially come down to that then the lights win. Has anyone had any issues with the MOTU/PC compatability?

    As for the Midas desk xcessbass longs for that would be very sweet indeed!! A friend of mine is trying to convince me the 24 I/O is the way to go. Is it really worth the extra cash as the 828 can be added to with time. therfore not stinging my wallet to hard in one go?
  8. maintiger

    maintiger Distinguished Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Whittier, California, USA
    Home Page:
    I also have the grace 101 pres and an apogee rosetta, 2 ch of better AD that I use with my 828 mkII for critical tracks like vocals and overdubs- for drums am happy with the AD of the 828 mkII being fronted by a yamaha mla7 preamp :D
  9. The pre amps do seem to be the weak spot of the MOTU kit, but I guess I could live with that happy in the knoledge that there is a load of great outboard about to get around that.

  10. Ras Judah

    Ras Judah Guest

    Greetings Ben,

    FWIW, I have two MOTU interfaces (2408 - PCI based audio, Express XT - USB based MIDI) running in a PC (Carillon) using Windows XP (Home) and have had no problems at all from installation onwards.

    I went through the same 'PC anxiety' that you're going through now with all the gloom merchants saying how 'bad' they are and that '...they're only good for Macs', etc. However, I actually listened to the units (rather than the reviews of the units) when I made my audio interface decision which is why I ended up with the MOTU.

    Now, there are better quality units (in terms of conversion) out there, e.g. Lynx, but for flexibility, expandability and convenience the 2408 mk3 is very hard to beat - personally I know of no other interface that offers so much at this or any other quality for such a reasonable price.

  11. maintiger

    maintiger Distinguished Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Whittier, California, USA
    Home Page:
    and despite rumors to the contrary their support (motu) is pretty decent- if they can't fix it, even if its out of warranty, they will send you another one for 50 bucs
  12. Groovetree

    Groovetree Guest

    Have been recording through (2) MOTU 1296's for about 2 1/2 years. Big improvement over the 2408mkII converters. And that was just playing back a stereo mix.

    Over the years I've come to find the MOTU converters a little dark sounding. They have good meat in the middle, but the top end lacks clarity. My impression of the HD196 was a 1296 that make bigger file sizes.

    The PCI-324 card is a bandwith hog. That means it's a system performace killer. If you have your recording drives on the Southbridge of some of the new motherbords, then you're ok. But If you're sharing SCSI with the PCI-324 card, you'll notice that your track counts will suffer.

    I've got my system working for music production @ 96KHz. When we mix out through the API, the sample rate doesn't seem to have that much impact on the sound. We usually play the stereo mix out through the master section and recapture at 44.1 so we avoid SRC.

    I'm looking forward to selling my MOTU system for some Apogee's. The stereo image and top end jumped out at me with the new Rosetta 800.


  13. random logic

    random logic Guest

    yesterday i copied 20 tracks of 24bit/44.1 audio from sony multitrack to my powerbook g4 400 with 828mk2 and Rme adi 8 pro interface. i used all available inputs on 828mk2 (analog/adat and spdif) and 828mk2 worked perfetcly, without any problems. i also have 2408 mk 2/miditimepiece AV and they are also very reliable and versatile. if i compare the AD/DA converters on motu with rme converters, there is a difference in favour of rme, but rme costs twice as much for same number of inputs and is not so versatile as motu.
  14. Champion

    Champion Guest

    I purchased a MOTU about a year ago,and i am more than happy with its' sonic capabilities for the price.My first mix down was to stereo speakers on my home system,and i will tell you
    that the interface got it right.....my thoughts were that when i got real studio monitors my
    set-up would be banging.I haven't compared it to any others,but i don't think its' necessary..
    i have been studying perfect pitch courses and i am here to tell you that what i have heard the unit do....in sonics is
    awesome; with the right software and fx plugins,that there is nothing in regards to your sound you can't acquire...and i would say
    for the money it is a steal.
    I am using it with a 2.4 ghz-533 mhz FSB,and 400 mhz ddr laptop and the mofu absolutely kicks.
    i have the 828 mkII. I am sure you will be very happy with the unit.Later i will move up to the 896HD i believe it is.You won't be sorry.
    kenny reigh
  15. johnro

    johnro Guest


    I use the MOTU 828 with its companion DAW, AudioDesk on Mac. I have experience only with this interface, which I got because I need 8 channels of audio input (no MIDI, no keyboards). I like it very much, although it seems not to be in the mainstream of plug-in formats. But the quality of the audio is great...
  16. inLoco

    inLoco Active Member

    Jul 25, 2004
    take a look at the new motu traveler!!! looks great!!!

    as for the pre-amps what could you expect? i don't know any pre on similiar products that are above average! but they are ok!
    next piece of gear on my studio will be a good pre-amp!

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