MOTU 24I/O Core PCIe System
I've had this product for over a year and use it almost everyday on my PC based system and Cubase 6. The installation was a royal pain because it must be installed in at least an x16 slot, and my video card was already occupying the only x16 slot I have on my mb. After moving my video card to an x8 and installing the MOTU card into the x16 slot it has worked solidly ever since. The owner's manual, brochure, support staff, etc. do not specify this little detail!
I'm a firm believer that when you buy a box that does everything that what you get is compromised performance in everything. I therefore ignored any conversion systems that included mic-pres. Before this one I had a system that had 8 analog inputs and outputs, and I NEVER had enough for band projects. You need close to 8 inputs just for the drums! I therefore ignored units with less than 16 analog inputs and outputs. My first big project was a five piece band. With this MOTU system I and was able to provide a custom cue-mix for each band member; that used 5 x 2 plus a cue-mix for myself 1 x2, and wham! there goes 12 of the twenty-four analog outputs! The cue-mix software works great, and I was able to jump from hearing one band member's mix to another's with just a mouse click.
You'll run out of mic-pres and DIs before you run out analog inputs with this unit. However, if you happen to record REALLY big ensembles or you just like to over-mic everything, you can add three expansion units and end up having access to 96 analog inputs and outputs.
The recordings I've made with this unit sound great, and it will probably be last piece of equipment I upgrade.