MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index
 FAQ & Terms of UseFAQ & Terms Of Use   Wiggler RadioMW Radio   Muff Wiggler TwitterTwitter   Support the site @ PatreonPatreon 
 SearchSearch   RegisterSign up   Log inLog in 
WIGGLING 'LITE' IN GUEST MODE

MOTU audio interfaces
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> General Gear Goto page 1, 2  Next [all]
Author MOTU audio interfaces
Shledge
Looking to get one since they're DC coupled, figured it would be handy for my modular. The DSP effects seem handy too.

I am eyeing up two options:

828mkIII Hybrid
8A

The 8A is cheaper and is a bit basic (no MIDI, but don't really need it due to mio10), but offers USB 3 and AVB LAN expansion. The 828 offers a dedicated send/return, more overall control and word clock outs, but is USB 2 and it's thunderbolt cousin only has TB1.

What do you reckon?
ersatzplanet
If you are not using them for audio, and you have a FireWire port on your computer (that will be the hard part) then why not get a used 828, They are incredibly cheap on eBay, often under $100 (I got both of mine for under $75). There is a 828 MkII on there for $36 and a MkI for $90 as I type this.
Shledge
Don't have firewire - just USB 3 and thunderbolt.
justin3am
I have an 828mk3 hybrid and a 16A.
My biggest gripe about the 16A is that it lacks all the stuff that the 828mk3 has on the front. Other than that, the 16A is superior. The 8A at least has a headphone out on the front.

The 828mk3 has 2 sets of ADAT I/O so it can be expanded to 28 inputs (including S/PDIF I/O). The 8A can be expanded via ethernet but only with other MOTU AVB devices (you also need their proprietary AVB switch for that).

There are sends on the 828mk3 but they are just so you can get audio from the mic-pres to external effects, before hitting the ADC. There are no returns, so you need to use line-ins as returns.

I would probably go with the 828mk3 if the choice was between that and the 8A. Ultimately, I plan to swap my 828mk3 hybrid for an 828ES, to go with my 16A, so I can use them like one interface.
khyber
I really like the MOTU stuff (I ran an Ultralite Hybrid Mk3 for many years), but from personal experience I can say that if you're running a Windows machine you might encounter some major issues. I would get a lot of problems with levels changing, digital noise on the recording, and a lot of other random weird stuff that had no cause or explanation. It was impossible to leave the interface alone and trust that my next recording session would go smoothly.

Restarting the unit and my computer in a particular order seemed to be the only solution though these issues were so random and annoying that it really destroyed my faith in MOTU's audio interfaces.
cornutt
Shledge wrote:
Don't have firewire - just USB 3 and thunderbolt.


Thunderbolt-to-Firewire adapters are not too expensive. That's the setup I use: iMac -> Thunderbolt-to-Firewire > 828MkIII Hybrid. I've had no issues with it.
donato
Have had a microbook, ultralite mkiii hybrid and now an 8a. Really happy with their stuff. The 8a in particular sounds amazing.

Yeah, maybe they shouldn't have ever made them compatible for PC's as some people have problems there. On the other hand, I don't know why people with PC's keep buying them since there are plenty of negative reviews on that platform regarding these units.
andybizarre
Shledge wrote:
Looking to get one since they're DC coupled, figured it would be handy for my modular.


They are, but if you plan to buy one just for your modular, beware of the cable hassle. You`ll need a bunch of TRS-TS Y-cables plus mini jack adapters (there`s no way to use CV on DC-coupled outputs with unbalanced cables). The insert cable will give you some 4.5V of CV plus an inverted copy.

In the end, I hardly ever used my Ultralite with the modular and opted for an Expert Sleepers ES3/6/7 combo.
Monotremata
andybizarre wrote:
You`ll need a bunch of TRS-TS Y-cables plus mini jack adapters (there`s no way to use CV on DC-coupled outputs with unbalanced cables).


Im using two Hosa 1/4"-1/8" TS-TS cables from my 828MK2 to my modular with Silent Way and it works just fine..
Panason
It's worse for me on the CV & cables front.
I wanted a interface with 2 optical inputs and I didn't know that the 828mk3 has them so I bought an 896mk3 instead, and it has all the outputs on XLRs... confused
rean1mator
the 8a will sound far better. unless you get teh 828es which has the same converters as the 8a.

also off the top of my head i don't think the 828mk3 is an avb interface, so you can't network them if you want to add more avb interfaces for more ports in the future.

i'm running an 8a, 16a, 1248 over an avb ethernet hub and works beautifully. they've been updating their touch console apps over the past year or so to which makes using an ipad to adjust mixer levels more tactile.

only gripe i have is with their buggy(for me anyways) drivers. I haven't been able to upgrade drivers for over a year now. first issue i had introduced unacceptable latency when recording and the most recent driver i tried last week kept blue screening my windows box. RME they are not.

also, for the 8a, i had a ton of issues with my onboard usb 3.0 controller on my windows box. ended up having to purchase a pci controller and it works fine now.

I think for the price you can't beat it tho'. just by sound quality alone.
letitbleep
i love my 8a. expert sleepers makes 1/4 inch TRS to 1/8 inch TS cables that are recommended for sending CV out. works great.
Shledge
I have been looking at the RME UFX+ and connecting an ES module to provide DC outs - far pricier but could be set as a christmas present. The sheer low latency of the thing would help a lot I'd reckon. hmmm.....
mousegarden
Shledge wrote:
Don't have firewire - just USB 3 and thunderbolt.


I have my 828 MK2 running into a FireWire to Thunderbolt adaptor, it works absolutely fine. I'd reccomend the 828 MK2 any day, it's a cheap and very cheerful solution.
Shledge
rean1mator wrote:
the 8a will sound far better. unless you get teh 828es which has the same converters as the 8a.

also off the top of my head i don't think the 828mk3 is an avb interface, so you can't network them if you want to add more avb interfaces for more ports in the future.

i'm running an 8a, 16a, 1248 over an avb ethernet hub and works beautifully. they've been updating their touch console apps over the past year or so to which makes using an ipad to adjust mixer levels more tactile.

only gripe i have is with their buggy(for me anyways) drivers. I haven't been able to upgrade drivers for over a year now. first issue i had introduced unacceptable latency when recording and the most recent driver i tried last week kept blue screening my windows box. RME they are not.

also, for the 8a, i had a ton of issues with my onboard usb 3.0 controller on my windows box. ended up having to purchase a pci controller and it works fine now.

I think for the price you can't beat it tho'. just by sound quality alone.


I've heard of potential driver issues, but a lot of it seems to be linked to pre W10 anniversary edition and using certain USB3 chipsets.

Think I'll go with the 828mk3 hyrbrid for now and see from there.
xenosapien
Shledge wrote:
I've heard of potential driver issues, but a lot of it seems to be linked to pre W10 anniversary edition and using certain USB3 chipsets.

Think I'll go with the 828mk3 hyrbrid for now and see from there.


I can confirm this / maybe that was one of my posts about the topic you´ve read.
-> MOTU has (and they confirmed this to me via e-mail) had problems with Windows in the past concerning certain USB chipsets:

historically, Windows has not had a proper backwards compatibility baked into their handling of USB.

So, USB 3 devices connected to a USB 2 port (or USB 2 connected to super-old USB1 ports) had to be "converted" by Windows in order to work.
Most of the time, this was working - but certain USB chipsets (!) broke this backwards compatibility for the MOTU drivers.

I had a win7 laptop that just wouldn´t work with my Motu 8pre USB... the volumes, panning, samplerate would simply "adjust" itself randomly.... making using the device literally impossible.

A simple upgrade to Win8.1 fixed all of this. No other changes made, same chipset, same MOTU drivers.

Apparently what happened was:
Starting with Windows 8.1, Microsoft began to fix this issue and provided native backwards compatibility for all USB versions.
This is how I understood it... might not be 100% sure, but this is how it happened for me, so I`ll go ahead and say that empirically, this is true razz

So, with a current/modern OS and with the newer generations, you should absolutely not have any problems.
Or, if you go the Firewire through an adapter route, I believe none of this should even concern you.

I am currently running a MOTU Ultralite mk4 under that same Windows 8.1 laptop and everything is fine, even though that laptop (still) has one of the "problematic" chipsets.
Zero complaints, fantastic sound and real great latency values (sub 10ms even with big buffer sizes).

I do recommend MOTU.
ngarjuna
I have been using MOTU interfaces for a full decade now (time flies), I definitely do recommend particularly for the OP's case (wanting DC coupled outs for synthesis related tasks).

I haven't done a side by side so this is all second or potentially third hand info but when the 16A (and the other related devices in that line) were released they got rave reviews. Many of the reviewers agreed that rather than comparing them to previous generation MOTU devices they were stacking up very favorably against more expensive interfaces. Since the fervor died down (I never trust reviews in the first month or two after something is released, the euphoria seems to usually come back down to earth eventually) the reviews seem to consistently rate the sound quality very favorably. Were I to get a MOTU today that is where I would start looking.

The 828 series is a good series, though; there are still many mark IIs in operation and it's known to be a very good/clean converter: it was among the highest rated in a wide series of loopback tests (the audio was passed through each converter something like 10 times to see what would get lost), quite unexpected (this was years after its prime), even better than the mark III performed in that test in fact. However the weakness of the mark II is purportedly the jittery clock; it was so bad that the Black Lion 828 mk2 mod was almost considered compulsory for a while. So if you're using the 828 as an expander (with a superior, trusted clock) it's a very good buy. But as a main clock and interface...I don't know if I would trust the reputation of the mark II personally. If set on the 828 for its feature set I'd suggest looking at the mark III/hybrid. I've owned one of each (I got something like 7 years out of my m3 and, when it died, replaced it with this hybrid that is right next to me).

Driver wise I concur with what has already been said. I have been away from Windows for several years now, have had zero issues on any Mac OS from 10.6.8 up through 10.12 on various hardwares including my Hackintosh that it supports now (quite unstandard, obviously). When I first switched from XP-32 to Win7-64 there was about 6 months that I had major stability troubles while they tweaked the drivers; eventually, though, those problems were solved and the remainder of my Windows 7 days (another couple years I guess) were trouble free with the MOTU.
mousegarden
ngarjuna wrote:
I have been using MOTU interfaces for a full decade now (time flies), I definitely do recommend particularly for the OP's case (wanting DC coupled outs for synthesis related tasks).

I haven't done a side by side so this is all second or potentially third hand info but when the 16A (and the other related devices in that line) were released they got rave reviews. Many of the reviewers agreed that rather than comparing them to previous generation MOTU devices they were stacking up very favorably against more expensive interfaces. Since the fervor died down (I never trust reviews in the first month or two after something is released, the euphoria seems to usually come back down to earth eventually) the reviews seem to consistently rate the sound quality very favorably. Were I to get a MOTU today that is where I would start looking.

The 828 series is a good series, though; there are still many mark IIs in operation and it's known to be a very good/clean converter: it was among the highest rated in a wide series of loopback tests (the audio was passed through each converter something like 10 times to see what would get lost), quite unexpected (this was years after its prime), even better than the mark III performed in that test in fact. However the weakness of the mark II is purportedly the jittery clock; it was so bad that the Black Lion 828 mk2 mod was almost considered compulsory for a while. So if you're using the 828 as an expander (with a superior, trusted clock) it's a very good buy. But as a main clock and interface...I don't know if I would trust the reputation of the mark II personally. If set on the 828 for its feature set I'd suggest looking at the mark III/hybrid. I've owned one of each (I got something like 7 years out of my m3 and, when it died, replaced it with this hybrid that is right next to me).

Driver wise I concur with what has already been said. I have been away from Windows for several years now, have had zero issues on any Mac OS from 10.6.8 up through 10.12 on various hardwares including my Hackintosh that it supports now (quite unstandard, obviously). When I first switched from XP-32 to Win7-64 there was about 6 months that I had major stability troubles while they tweaked the drivers; eventually, though, those problems were solved and the remainder of my Windows 7 days (another couple years I guess) were trouble free with the MOTU.


I'm only using my 828 as a 2X2 audio interface, I'm running it on Windows 10 and sometimes on a Mac with Sierra through a Thunderbolt adaptor. I haven't noticed any major issues with stability at all, it seems very reliable. I was using a Focusrite Saffire, and there was a definite reduction in audio quallity when switching to the Motu but it's not so big that I can't live with it, the Focusrite was definitely nicer to listen to though. I got rid of it because, at the time I needed the 8 inputs of the Motu. In between I had an RME, but we wont go into that, to my ears it sounded very strange, it lasted for about two weeks before I got rid of it and got the Motu, which was way better.
Shledge
Not really concerned about audio quality - the DACs on even the cheapest of audio interfaces today are pretty good.
mousegarden
Shledge wrote:
Not really concerned about audio quality - the DACs on even the cheapest of audio interfaces today are pretty good.


They do "seem" like they are all pretty good, but try living with some for a few weeks, if they're OK fine, but the ones that aern't are always annoying or irritating for reasons you can't quite put your finger on, decent ones tend to do the job and dissapear into the fabric of your studio quite quickly.
The Motu falls into the "does the job" category.
I'd say Focusrite go beyond "just doing the job"
RME......I'm not saying anything, as I'll probably have the Interface Mafia knocking on my door tonight.
Shledge
Any I've had so far have been pretty good. I really like my current Tascam US16x08. It's not the best in latency though (10ms RTL) and it doesn't have DC outs/expandability options.
donato
Shledge wrote:
Not really concerned about audio quality - the DACs on even the cheapest of audio interfaces today are pretty good.


Sort of. But comparing my Ultralite mkiii to my 8a brought drastic differences I wasn't expecting. The results can be surprisingly significant.
nikmis
I've been using a ultralite mkII through USB for years, with silent way. It stopped working last month, and the screws were in so tight that I stripped them right away. So I hack-sawed through the casing and it was just the little ribbon cable between two boards was loose. So now I have a MOTU interface held together with yellow duct tape, but it still works great
vromr
mousegarden wrote:
Shledge wrote:
Don't have firewire - just USB 3 and thunderbolt.


I have my 828 MK2 running into a FireWire to Thunderbolt adaptor, it works absolutely fine. I'd reccomend the 828 MK2 any day, it's a cheap and very cheerful solution.


I'm running an 828-mk3 Hybrid (USB) and now only have USB-C ports on my MacBook Pro laptop. My understanding was that the Thunderbolt adapter can power the 828-mk2's & 828-mk3's via Firewire but cannot accept any data over that connection.

Is this untrue?
justin3am
vromr wrote:
mousegarden wrote:
Shledge wrote:
Don't have firewire - just USB 3 and thunderbolt.


I have my 828 MK2 running into a FireWire to Thunderbolt adaptor, it works absolutely fine. I'd reccomend the 828 MK2 any day, it's a cheap and very cheerful solution.


I'm running an 828-mk3 Hybrid (USB) and now only have USB-C ports on my MacBook Pro laptop. My understanding was that the Thunderbolt adapter can power the 828-mk2's & 828-mk3's via Firewire but cannot accept any data over that connection.

Is this untrue?


Untrue. I have used both with a chain of adapters (USB-C>Thunderbolt 2>FW) connected to my 2016 MBP and they have both worked fine.
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> General Gear Goto page 1, 2  Next [all]
Page 1 of 2
Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group