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Microphone Month

MOTU Releases Three New Audio Interfaces

MOTU has introduced the 1248, 8M, and 16A audio interfaces, which feature Thunderbolt connectivity, industry-leading dynamic range, large-console-style mixing, system expansion, and AVB Ethernet audio networking.

The flagship 1248 offers 8 balanced TRS analog ins and 12 TRS analog outs, four mic inputs with digitally controlled preamps, two front-panel hi-Z guitar inputs, two independent headphone outs, and stereo RCA S/PDIF digital I/O. The 8M provides eight balanced TRS analog outputs, plus eight mic/line/instrument “combo” style inputs each with digitally controlled preamps, 48V phantom power, pad, and MOTU’s hardware-based V-Limit overload protection. The 16A has 16 TRS analog inputs and 16 TRS analog outputs. All three units provide two banks of optical digital I/O, word clock I/O, and computer connectivity through either audio-class-compliant USB 2.0 or Thunderbolt (1 and 2 compatible).

Equipped with the latest-generation ESS Sabre32 Ultra converters, analog performance has been engineered for the most demanding situations. The balanced TRS analog outputs provide a measured dynamic range of 123dB (A-weighted, 20Hz to 20kHz). Analog I/O latency is very low, with round trip performance of only 32 samples (0.66 ms) at 48kHz. Each unit provides comprehensive metering for all inputs and outputs on a large, backlit 324×24-pixel LCD.

The 1248, 8M and 16A are equipped with latest-generation DSPs that drive a 48-channel mixer designed after large-format mixing consoles. With 32-bit floating point precision, the mixer’s 48 inputs can take signal from the physical inputs on the interface itself, audio channels from host software on the computer, audio network streams, and mixer outputs. The mixer provides seven stereo aux busses, three groups, a reverb bus that can alternately serve as a fourth group, a Main Mix bus, and a separate Monitor bus that doubles as a solo bus. Effects include classic reverb, 4-band modeled analog EQ, modeled vintage compression, and gating.

All three interfaces are equipped with an AVB Ethernet network port. Developed by the IEEE, the 802.1 Audio Video Bridging (AVB) extension to the Ethernet standard has been engineered to deliver reliable, scalable, low-latency, high-bandwidth audio networking. Users can add a 2nd MOTU interface to their system with a simple CAT-5e Ethernet cable or build a system of three to five interfaces connected to the five-port, 1-Gigabit MOTU AVB Switch (sold separately)

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