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I'm looking to upgrade my gear and in the process some people suggested that I also upgrade my converters and interface. A couple guys suggested either a MOTU 828mkII or an RME Multiface. What do you guys suggest? Which is better? Opinionsor other options? Also, I usually record alone and I have just four channels right now, so I won't be needing anything with more than 8 or 10. Thanks.

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anonymous Mon, 01/05/2004 - 12:44

hi david!

motu 828mk2 is the best way to go!! i compared the cards (rme multiface and the old 828), and i found out that the old 828 is much better and versatile than RME. then the mk2 came out. i bought it immediately and it rocks!! . In one studio i have motu 2408 48k system and in the other one nuendo 96/52 system with 96k interfaces. i compared the 828mk2 to both systems and i can say that 828 mk2 converters are in the same league as the other two systems. the mic preamps and the instrument inputs work really great, they have a wide dynamic range and neutral sound. everything about this card is very well thought out, so the 828 mk2 is very well equiped for any recording situation. for me, this the most versatile sound card so far!!

MisterBlue Mon, 01/05/2004 - 14:54

I have had nothing but problems with MOTU in the past.
I now have an RME Hammerfall 9652 card which has by far the lowest latency in the market (down to 64 samples) and I am using an RME ADI-8PRO converter system which is head and shoulders above the MOTU stuff - it's in a different league.
I agree that the cheaper Multiface interface might be closer to the MOTU quality, but I guess I would still opt for RME as they seem to really know their audio engineering.

In any case, I think that there is no way around the RME PCI cards for their superior performance and compatibility.

Just my opinion,


anonymous Mon, 01/05/2004 - 17:44

Take this with a grain of salt, as I have personally used neither... but on most of the forums I frequent I see a lot of people having problems with MOTU stuff... and I've seen nothing but compliments about RME stuff...

If money isn't a problem, I'd suggest looking at getting a lucid converter with one of the RME cards... that will cost quite a bit, though, to get 8 channels...

Actually, I should clarify before I lead you astray... great monitors, great preamps, great mics, and great processors will likely have more effect on your sound than great soundcards/converters... so, hopefully other more experienced members can give their opinions, but... lucid stuff probably would be somewhat wasted money unless you have great gear all around the other areas... they are more like an expensive polisher...

I still would recommend RME over MOTU, though, based on heresay around the net...

[ January 06, 2004, 01:48 AM: Message edited by: Death addeR ]

anonymous Mon, 01/05/2004 - 19:28

I have a pair of Aardvark Q10 (16 mic/line, 4 digital) that I like just fine.

I originally shopped the MOTU, but gave up. Where there is smoke, there is likely fire. I saw tons of smoke blowing about MOTU on the PC platform, and support problems in general, so I gave up on it. The Q10 pair does everything I want, except it has no phase reversal, which I pointed out to their tech support.

anonymous Tue, 01/06/2004 - 03:37

as i wrote before i compared the motu 828mk2 with rme 96/52 with adi 8ds interface and there is a difference in sound, but its not head and shoulders above the MOTU. RME sounds better, which is normal if you consider that the price just for adi 8ds is higher than the full 828mk2. and if you want rme to work 96k you get only half the channels, compared to 10 96k inputs on 828mk2. it is true that the old 828 had problems with pcs (i use macs), but two of my friends use mk2 with pc laptops without any problems.
multiface and 828mk2 are both very good interfaces, but for me, motu is still more versatile than rme.

anonymous Tue, 01/06/2004 - 09:39

From all the forums I've been reading around the web, I've noticed one thing that seems to be a pattern. It seems like people that really like the MOTU and aren't crazy about the RME are using a MAC. The ones that are having trouble with the MOTU and seem to love the RME are using a PC. I've got a PC. If the sound is better on the RME and there are less problems with it, then that's the direction I'll probably go.

anonymous Tue, 01/06/2004 - 12:16

I have a MOTU and a PC and I have to agree that you basically need to be a PC tech to use MOTU stuff with Windows. Or just be very lucky.

The chipset of your motherboard is one of the main sticking points... the wrong chipset and you'll have unsolvable problems. Luckily I built my computer from scratch myself specifically for audio and researched the best mobo's and chipsets and memory and all that...

I love my MOTU rig (I have a 1224 and a 24i) and have had no problems with my setup, but I did the work beforehand.

anonymous Wed, 01/07/2004 - 04:55

Originally posted by B3Groover:
...I have to agree that you basically need to be a PC tech to use MOTU stuff with Windows.

The chipset of your motherboard is one of the main sticking points... the wrong chipset and you'll have unsolvable problems.

I own a computer consulting firm, so that part was easy.

Yes, the chipset is core of the problem. I've torqued off more than a few forum members with my anti-VIA chipset stance. VIA is at the heart of chronic compatibility problems, and has been there since the onset. Yes, VIA gets better, but they release version after version of hardware in the attempt.

The way to win with VIA, is to not play. Ditto for SoundBlaster. Neither can tie their own shoes nor play well with other children, so they are not welcome in the playground.

Ron.G Wed, 01/07/2004 - 10:59

I have a Motu 1224 that is now out of service due to a lack of support for new Windows drivers. Sure they have drivers for XP but they do not work properly and are a complete pain in the a_ _ to install.

If you are running a PC I would stay clear of MOTU stuff. There tech support is also a complete joke!
I'm sure there products run great on a Mac but there support on the PC is a complete after thought.

There are other companies out there that are always updating there drivers to get the best proformance out of there products. I do not see MOTU as one of them.

Want to buy a 1224 cheap?

anonymous Wed, 01/07/2004 - 13:07

Originally posted by Ron.G:
I have a Motu 1224 that is now out of service due to a lack of support for new Windows drivers. Sure they have drivers for XP but they do not work properly and are a complete pain in the a_ _ to install.

That's interesting because I just bought a used 1224 core system and I'm running XP Pro and it runs great. No problems. The drivers were painless to install as well.

Did you install the drivers BEFORE installing the PCI card?

And how much is cheap? I might be interested in another one. :)

Originally posted by bgavin:
The way to win with VIA, is to not play. Ditto for SoundBlaster. Neither can tie their own shoes nor play well with other children, so they are not welcome in the playground.

I agree. Creative Labs is HORRIBLE. I hate their products and their drivers are gigantic and install a bunch of crap that you don't need and that fucks with everything else you have installed.

I have one VIA board. It was my first and last. The nForce chipset is fantastic.

anonymous Wed, 01/07/2004 - 22:50

I love my RME digiface, and I use a PC. I don't know much about MOTU but it looks to me like people that have technical problems with MOTU are usually on PCs, I think MOTU is more geared towards macs. I know one small studio in my area that uses MOTU and he is a mac guy.

RME as some new cards that might meet you're needs better than the multiface. When I got the digiface it was a brand new one (I may have been the second costumer to recieve the digiface in the states actually) and the issues with "bleeding edge tech" never touched me. RME issues driver updates faster than I care to install them. I've had one problem syncing gear that was a real long time ago (synching via midi actually) that I've not had again, and I had a hardware problem that caused one day of down time and they replaced my card with an version of the card immediately about six months ago.

RME tech support is great and they have a newsgroup where any and all tech questions are answered by Mathias who apparently is an owner. And he answers like seven days a week.

I love my RME stuff (digital format converter, and a AD/DA converter in addition to the digiface), but I've not a lot of experience with other stuff. Before I purchased I saw that a lot of people at a different site were all using a similar machine configuration (the Pete Leoni design) and of those the guys that were using RME were most happy and problem free. Also, those that had problems seemed to quickly solve them. I chose my gear based on the idea that that community seemed to be a good resourse to set up the DAW and trouble shoot it. I had no trouble shooting to do to get up and running. I use Sonar, and RME gets along with Sonar just fine for me.

That said, I'm not a professional studio, and while I like what I do if some one wants to look down their nose at my converters or my sound card or software that is fine. (Not like that Be^&g(*^er hack in the other thread), they're not Myteks and if I had sick money to toss around I'd go RADAR, and use my PC for midi and sheet music and arranging. But I'd have to have a lot of money to toss around before I got around to tossing it at anything aimed at replacing the digiface.

anonymous Fri, 01/09/2004 - 05:27

RME has a really wide range of cards. Rather than recommend one go ahead an figure out you're needs and plan for those to grow over the short term (better to have too many features that to out grow those you have too quickly), then find the card (RME and others) that meet you're needs. Also, don't forget to consider things like a DA-98's or other devices that might meet your needs that aren't computers, sometimes just thinking along lines you wouldn't really consider will open up new ideas.

Here is the RME link:

This one caught my eye:

(At least) One of the advertisers here at RO is a dealer of RME and others, and from whom I got my stuff from.

Ron.G Fri, 01/09/2004 - 06:36

$150.00 and it's yours (complete core system).
I have used it with 98 with no problems but when I went with XP I could not use the xlr digital inputs because they are not listed in the drivers section of my software or any audio software for that matter.

Then I did some more searching and found out that they were not included with the XP driver update.

Talked to tech support (after many un-answered emails and phone calls) he couldn't find them ether).Down time= 4 days.
I did everything correctly when installing the new drivers. Un-install old drivers/take card out/in-stall new drivers/put card back in/ re-try... repeat untill I was completly pissed.

I had a very important audio transfer job to do and found myself screwed.

Ran out and got Delta 1010, istalled the driver and card and off I go with not one problems. Much lower latency(4ms)then I ever could get with the motu.

Delta drivers are constantly being tweeked for better proformance and extremly low latency. the company actualy takes pride in supporting there products.

Maybe MOTU has put out another driver set since this problem but I doubt it as there updates seem to come yearly at best.

If you want another 1224 Let me know.

End of rant.......


anonymous Sun, 01/11/2004 - 21:01

It seems that RME doesn't need WDM drivers, people regularly get latency down to 1.5 mSec-- where I've been since day 1-- and Programs like Sonar that are geared towards WDM work fine with RME.

But now as I'm thinking about WDM drivers, I think WDavidW should consider what software he wants to work with, and make sure his OS of choice and sound card all have a proven track record of working happily. I'm using Sonar, Reaktor, Fruity Loops, Lounge Lizard, T-Racks, a Waves Ren package, and Sound Forge which all seem happy with the ASIO drivers.

(I also had Sibelius on the DAW but I couldn't figure out how to use it so I moved it to this computer I'm on right now and I spent a little time learning it. I really sound switch it back to the DAW-- it worked I just could bear being at the DAW futzing with a program I didn't understand when I could hack away in the Sonar sheet music thing and at least move foward.)

anonymous Sun, 01/25/2004 - 22:13

Hey Guys, I own a 828mkII and run Cubase SX2 on a PC that I built myself.

I had one (1) problem with my MOTU unit. The display backlight died. I emailed tech support and recieved an email back from a Jon Foley (tech support guy)in under 20 minutes! He overnighted me a new unit, I put the old one in the box and gave it to the driver when he gave me the new one. They paid for shipping and all that... I can honestly say I've never recieved better customer service or tech support!

I'm not completely happy with the quality of the preamps, but when the unit costs $700 how much money do you think they had in their budget to spend on pres? I've A/B'd them with a high end set of customized Trident Pres and there is simply no comparison. (Not like I expected much of one, but I was really suprised)

Other than that, I've never had an issue with compatibility. I can get my latency down to 3ms as long as I'm not playing back 30 tracks with tons ofplug-insactive.

A friend of mine also has the 828mkII that he uses with both a Mac G4 laptop (for mobile recording - he tracks in surround), and a PC running Nuendo on both. His display went to S*&t also. He hasn't attempted to get the situation taken care of, so I can't comment on the tech support for that issue. He hasn't had any other issues though.

As far as how it works with specific software, I don't know. When you install the drviers it seems to know what you have on your computer and install the drvier specifically for that software. Example - when I installed the drivers I already had Cubase installed, so the check box in the installer read "Install Cubase Drivers". When I installed it on my friends computer, the box read "Install Nuendo Drivers". I think if you don't already have your audio software installed, that may lead to problems. (I am by no means a software expert, but I can keep everything running).

Bottom line, I haven't had ANY issues that would hinder my recording process. The display thing had no real effect, I just wanted the darn thing to light up!

For the money, it's great (at least for me - small project studio). If you want nice preamps, I'd look around and listen before committing.

James Stewart

anonymous Mon, 01/26/2004 - 09:26

This is so wierd my display went as well but SBT in Toronto just swapped it with the floor model.
Im using it with my Dell 5150 3.06 ghz laptop and its #@$#@$ SWEET. I just wish the pres were better cause at about 3 o clock they get very hissy. I have heard that the new 896 pres are better though. Oh well im using it with outboard pres.

anonymous Sat, 02/07/2004 - 03:58

Originally posted by WDavidW:
I'm looking to upgrade my gear and in the process some people suggested that I also upgrade my converters and interface. A couple guys suggested either a MOTU 828mkII or an RME Multiface.

The platform could well be an issue like several posters have said. Drivers for any hardware tend to be written better or worse with certain hardware/OS combinations. If you go around the net you will find that various vendors on their sites have pages with recomended system components. Some in the past have said stay away from certain chipsets and certain processors on the motherboard. Perhaps one thing you should do if you already have not is find out exactly which components are in your computer before buying anything.

Your next step is to look at the web sites of the hardware vendors you are considering for a page or pages that specify compability and recomendations. Many times you can also find groups on the net dedicated to that hardware also read those with a particular eye on the model you wish to obtain. You may have to read into some of the posts the level of skill of the poster. I know that in the past Digi (Pro Tools not one of your questions) and currently RME have had good posts about compatiability of hardware with theirs. Fact is RME goes as far as to specify some recomended builder PC system components that play well with their products and drivers they called that their reference PC. RME reference PC You will also note while scanning that area of their site that they also give many other direct recomendations for system setup for minimum latentcy etc. My system is built based on their Reference PC here and Im yet to have a PC system attributable problem.

I'm not using RME here right now but they have been a serious consideration for me. What I do here does not normally require that type hardware in PC. My operation is based on remote work with a hard disk recorder and I bring files into a PC for editing.

I can not speak for the MAC side because I'm not Mac here. I'm going to be the last PC person to MAC bash, MAC users are in their individual comfort zone and its a great tool for them. When audio, video, and graphics folks got started using MAC back when MAC was way ahead of PC for those apps but PC hardware has come a long ways since those days and now that advantage is slim if any at all. But do notice that someone said something above that I've noticed before most die hard RME folks are PC while from a distance MOTU is centered on the MAC user. Just a distant observation here not up close first hand.

Do not get me wrong here I'm not saying go RME, MOTU, digi, etc. What I am saying is research whatever you think is right for you before acquisition. It's probably going to have to give you much milage and be user friendly for you. It's your choice and your the one thats going to have to live with it not us here.

[ February 07, 2004, 10:30 AM: Message edited by: jeeper ]