Best DC-coupled Interfaces in 2019 for connecting to Modular

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Tristana
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Best DC-coupled Interfaces in 2019 for connecting to Modular

Post by Tristana » Sat Oct 19, 2019 7:48 pm

Since losing the majority of my gear, I'm now looking to rebuild from scratch- initially starting with monitors, room treatment, and an audio interface before anything else.

Rather than using an ES-8 in conjunction with a separate interface- which in turn required mucking about with Aggregate Devices in macOS that introduced a few other problems- I'm looking to grab an interface from the get-go that can effectively control a Eurorack system. Balanced outs for my future monitors are a must, but a modest amount of inputs and healthy amount of additional DC-coupled outputs are greatly desired.

What are your best recommendations in 2019? Is there an all-in-one interface you favor, or a combination of interface + expanding device (such as via ADAT) you feel is best- what will get you the best bang for the buck?
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Post by JES » Sat Oct 19, 2019 11:35 pm

If you don’t want to go with Expert Sleepers, some of the new MOTU interfaces put out a hot enough signal for modular levels. It’s just a matter of what you want and how you’ll use it.

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Post by Tristana » Sun Oct 20, 2019 12:14 am

JES wrote:If you don’t want to go with Expert Sleepers, some of the new MOTU interfaces put out a hot enough signal for modular levels. It’s just a matter of what you want and how you’ll use it.
I actually *just* discovered the ES-9's existence (I was only considering their pre-existing line-up as I was typing this thread) and am contemplating that as an option. I don't think I'd want it taking HP in my creative modular setup, but perhaps filling a tiny case with it and some mixers would be worthwhile. Would mean needing to grab some external pre-amps to connect to it for if I ever want to mic something, as well as the MIDI breakout.

MOTU I looked into a while ago but never proceeded with an upgrade; I'll have to poke around again.
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Post by GuyaGuy » Sun Oct 20, 2019 2:00 am

I use a MOTU 828 mkII for this and it works great. One warning though: Not all MOTU interfaces are compatible with Catalina, the new Mac OS. That goes for a lot of other companies who are still working on making 64 bit versions available. Personally I don't need the new features of Catalina so I haven't updated my OS but it may be something to consider.

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Post by Tristana » Sun Oct 20, 2019 5:02 pm

GuyaGuy wrote:I use a MOTU 828 mkII for this and it works great. One warning though: Not all MOTU interfaces are compatible with Catalina, the new Mac OS. That goes for a lot of other companies who are still working on making 64 bit versions available. Personally I don't need the new features of Catalina so I haven't updated my OS but it may be something to consider.

https://www.sweetwater.com/sweetcare/ar ... lity-list/
my totally legal, definitely-not-a-hackintosh computer that was most certainly purchased from Apple will be staying on High Sierra 10.13.6 for the foreseeable future, so it should be a non-issue. It is, however, lacking in firewire or thunderbolt ports despite totally definitely sincerely being a genuine mac. I'm uncertain if the mk3 will communicate over type-c properly.
Current: all my gear was stolen. Please help: https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewt ... highlight=
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Post by GuyaGuy » Mon Oct 21, 2019 12:08 am

Tristana wrote:
GuyaGuy wrote:I use a MOTU 828 mkII for this and it works great. One warning though: Not all MOTU interfaces are compatible with Catalina, the new Mac OS. That goes for a lot of other companies who are still working on making 64 bit versions available. Personally I don't need the new features of Catalina so I haven't updated my OS but it may be something to consider.

https://www.sweetwater.com/sweetcare/ar ... lity-list/
my totally legal, definitely-not-a-hackintosh computer that was most certainly purchased from Apple will be staying on High Sierra 10.13.6 for the foreseeable future, so it should be a non-issue. It is, however, lacking in firewire or thunderbolt ports despite totally definitely sincerely being a genuine mac. I'm uncertain if the mk3 will communicate over type-c properly.
Not sure. Mine is mkII and my MBP is a 2015 model, back from the olden days when they still had multiple USB jacks.

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Post by Tristana » Sat Nov 02, 2019 6:41 pm

MOTU Ultralite mk4 is a top contender atm for having so much in one box, but I am concerned about stability issues some people seem to be having with it. I'm also not sure that I'll want to run patch cables directly from the interface- would probably put some 1/4" sockets into the side of my case to plug cables from the MOTU into, & wire them to a panel with 1/8" jacks to patch from.

Another consideration is the RME Babyface Pro, the advantages being an excellent DAC+preamps, small profile, with rock solid drivers/stability; at a disadvantage of being $150 more, having fewer physical features, & fewer channel expandability. Would also need to buy an ES-3 to pair with it.

Any thoughts?
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Post by Luap » Sun Nov 03, 2019 1:36 pm

^ I've been using MOTU interfaces for nearly 20 years now. No real issues with them on a Mac in my experience. I've certainly seen some grumbles from the Windows folk, but even that was some time ago.

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Post by Tristana » Sun Nov 03, 2019 2:33 pm

Luap wrote:^ I've been using MOTU interfaces for nearly 20 years now. No real issues with them on a Mac in my experience. I've certainly seen some grumbles from the Windows folk, but even that was some time ago.
Here are some screenshots of issues people have had with the interface on macOS, some occurring in the past few months:

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Image
Image
Image

I'm a bit worried, especially given that my 'mac' isn't an officially supported machine, but perhaps confirmation bias has lead to me discovering these and other complaints.
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Post by Luap » Sun Nov 03, 2019 2:59 pm

^ Oh dear.. :despair: I don't happen to use bluetooth on my Mac, so that might be a thing.. Plus I almost never disconnect the interface either..
And I can't say i've noticed any whining issues myself.

The thing is, you can read bad news about almost anything on the internet if you look for it!
The last one you showed about the 2018 MacMini looks like the T2 chip issue, which has been pretty well documented around the net. But I don't think your 'Mac' has a T2 chip.. :wink: (Point being, that example doesn't appear to be specific to MOTU)

Im currently using a fairly modest Audio Express model, which i've had for a few years now. The 828 MK 1 I had prior was also fine.

Another thing I like about MOTU, they support their products for a looong time! So you're unlikely to be left stranded for drivers any time soon.

I suppose if you bought a new one, and it sucked you can return it..?

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Post by Tristana » Sun Nov 03, 2019 4:48 pm

Luap wrote:Another thing I like about MOTU, they support their products for a looong time! So you're unlikely to be left stranded for drivers any time soon.

I suppose if you bought a new one, and it sucked you can return it..?
Yeah, fair enough! Won't be in a space I can get set up in for another month and a half, but once I'm there I could see if any problems occur in the return period.
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Post by Jaypee » Sun Dec 08, 2019 4:45 am

ES-9, lot of inputs/outputs and connection through USB. Couldn't be better.
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Post by gminorcoles » Sun Dec 08, 2019 8:11 am

Jaypee wrote:ES-9, lot of inputs/outputs and connection through USB. Couldn't be better.
I just preordered an ES-9 from control, very happy that I don’t have to buy like and entire new presonus quantum just to do modular. I like buying something purpose built from a company who knows the problem space well.

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Post by winn3r » Sun Dec 08, 2019 12:30 pm

I use a nw2s::io connected to a Directout Andiamo 2 (db25 <> db25). 8 ins and outs in 10HP that work perfectly with Silent Way for CV and any mixer like TotalMix for audio. Also easily expandable if you need more io (just buy another!) :hihi:

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