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Well I've been using this for awhile now as my main source of preamps/AD/DA/Firewire connectivity and I've come to grow quite unhappy with the unit. The preamps dont sound to great, don't have much gain, the clocking is sketchy at the higher rates (which I rarely even use), and the inputs can get a bit noisy.

Is there anything out there for less than $1000 that can offer the same ammount of inputs that sounds better? I was looking at the PreSonus Firestudio or Firestudio Tube. I've read that PreSonus preamps sound much clearer than MOTU's. Is this true? Is it enough to warrant changing gear?


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RemyRAD Mon, 03/31/2008 - 00:10

You don't like the sound of it because your engineering chops aren't up to snuff yet. If you can't make a good recording on an average piece of equipment, you can't make a good recording. Your device is not average, it is above average and so you're being limited by your engineering skills not by your equipment. Don't blame it on the equipment as it did nothing to you. My engineering skills are so consistent that my stuff sounds the same regardless of what I mix it upon. So I always go for consistent sounding engineering technique. But that's the key word here. Technique. This doesn't happen overnight. It's something that takes many years to acquire if ever. Its talent multiplied by skill. Some folks have elements of either but not elements of both. Some folks like us have the ability to passionately focused into both. This is where we excel at what we do. Some folks are born with it. Others can learn it. It's all based upon intellectual listening. Be able to hear into an imagine what has been accomplished. Then the research to see if your thoughts were correct. We are all scientists and alchemists along with plenty of turd polishers that polish their abortions to the extreme. It makes them geniuses who can play computer games. Very few of us actually know how to record things well.

I guess I'm egotistically self-centered as I love my own engineering as well as the engineering of other well known & well-established old-time engineers. People I've had the pleasure of knowing and/or working with along with social networking at audio engineering Society conventions. We can't all be like them but we can be better than most. I am better than most. But ego like for any performer must also be 80 part of the equation. If you don't have the ambition, drive, passion, ego, you might as well go, somewhere else.

I just really prefer the long lines at McDonald's as opposed to the Employment Administration. One of these days, I'll talk my way into another decent job just to get out of doing this. I think I've had my run? My 15 seconds of fame? But if there are any good rock-and-roll is out there that would like to track on a Neve, with triple major award nominated Remy Ann David, drop me a line.

Thinking about shifting careers?
Ms. Remy Ann David

MrJesus Mon, 03/31/2008 - 02:15

I understand what you're saying, and I'd like to reply with a few things.

This isn't my career, perhaps a hobby at best. Something I pursue in my offtime for fun, definately not my income source or anything of the sort.

Alot of my recording deals with synthesizers and synth modules, where no micing is needed. I have listened to the boards running direct into my monitors, and I have listened to them run through the MOTU, then out to my monitors. They always sound worse when run through the MOTU. I don't know what else to attribute this to than the MOTU's preamps, which arent bypassed even when inputting line level devices and set to a fixed +4dBu input.

I have recorded the same exact MIDI phrase played back with both the MOTU, and the resampling feature on some of my boards. The MOTU always sounds worse. Once again, I see nothing to attribute this to other than the MOTU itself, as the keyboards sound much much better if I bypass it completely.

I use this as the front end of my in home "studio", not only for recording but for most monitoring purposes. I have all boards running into the MOTU, and out through its main outs into my monitors. I am constantly annoyed that I can unhook the MOTU, run a particular synth right into the monitors, and have a much more satisfactory, clear sound.

I do do some recording that relies on microphones, and those I find little problem with, probably because I have nothing else to compare it to. The only gripe in the microphone department is it seems I never have quiet enough gain. Perhaps I need something more than 42dB to get a good level out of my Sm57s and ribbons...I dont know.

If I am missing something completely obvious hear that would result in everything run through the MOTU sounding like someone put a blanket over it other than the MOTU itself, please inform me, I would love to know and save the hassle of getting new gear.

bent Mon, 03/31/2008 - 10:49

Remy said:

But if there are any good rock-and-roll is out there that would like to track on a Neve, with triple major award nominated Remy Ann David, drop me a line.

I'd like to come up and track on your Neve...

Oh... Wait.
You mean on the other side of the desk?

A little to the left...