MOTU Track16

16-in/14-out Hybrid USB 2.0 and FireWire 400 Compact Desktop Recording Interface with Onboard DSP, Pre-DAW Latency-free Effects and Processors, and Comprehensive Hands-on Controls
MOTU Track16 image 1
MOTU Track16 image 1
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MOTU Track16
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An Interface as Flexible as Your Recording Needs!

MOTU's Track16 desktop recording interface gives you the quality, versatility, and expandability you need to build a reliable recording rig that can grow and adapt to your needs. Intended to fit into any small to midsize recording rig, MOTU designed the Track16 to keep your invaluable desk space clear, while giving you access to a full set of hands-on controls. Need to tweak mic input 1? With the push of a button, the Track16's large central button lets you grab the level you need. The same thing goes for every other input or output. And when you add in onboard effects and DSP mixing, you'll be absolutely astonished by what you can do with a MOTU Track16 desktop recording interface.

Flexible form factor fits any size or style of studio

MOTU knows that your studio is entirely what you make of it. That's why they designed their versatile Track16 recording interface to allow you to configure your system around an ever-changing layout. If you're working alone or with a collaborator, then the Track16's onboard analog I/O is more than enough. A breakout cable (included) lets you keep your desktop clear and your cables organized — a real bonus in any modestly sized project studio. Of course, if you find yourself suddenly needing to track a full band, then the Track16's optical expansion ports let you instantly add up to eight additional channels of outboard gear. And when it's time to hit the road, just detach the breakout cable and go. Your laptop's FireWire port is all you need to power your Track16, giving you unfettered access to its amazing sound quality wherever your music takes you.

Loaded with the versatile I/O and control options you need

It's really quite impressive how much useful I/O MOTU managed to pack into their Track16 desktop recording interface. For instance, you can track vocals via one of the Track16's dual microphone preamplifiers, mic up a guitar cab with the other, capture that same guitar direct, run bass direct as well, and even record a stereo feed from a keyboard or drum machine — all at the same time! And that's just with the onboard I/O — you still have eight additional channels of ADAT optical I/O left for expansion. And the best part is that you can instantly grab hold of any input or output level with a single push of a button via the Track16's simple top-panel controls, which totally streamline your workflow.

CueMix FX lets you mix and add effects with zero latency

Another huge part of what the Track16 offers you is neatly tucked out of sight, hidden within the inner workings of this impressive desktop recording interface, namely, MOTU's advanced CueMix FX DSP mixing and processing system. If you've ever had to fight the effects of excessive latency as you tried to record, then you know what inspired MOTU to create this powerful system of onboard processing and signal routing. The way it works is simple. Using a straightforward software application, you can create up to eight totally independent monitor and routing mixes and add effects and processing to your inputs such as equalization, reverb, compression and more — all before your incoming signal hits your computer! That means with a MOTU Track16 and CueMix FX, you'll get the low-latency monitoring and performance you need, no matter which DAW you prefer.

Control CueMix with your iPad

MOTU's CueMix FX software, the mixing software that drives the powerful routing of the Track 16, can be controlled from your iPad. MOTU created CueMix templates for the TouchOSC controller app, giving you complete control over your Track 16's mixing and effects processing over a Wi-Fi network. This means that when you're recording in your studio, you don't need to keep going back to your computer to adjust gain levels, change monitoring effects, or virtually anything else you rely on CueMix for.

MOTU Track16 Desktop Recording Interface Features:

  • This personal desktop 16-in/14-out desktop recording interface gives you all of the I/O and advanced mixing options you need to make professional-quality recordings
  • Slim desktop form factor keeps your work surface clear and your controls handy
  • Hybrid high-speed USB 2.0 and FireWire 400 connectivity
  • FireWire 400 supplies bus power (AC power supply provided for USB 2.0 operation)
  • Supports up to full 24-bit/192kHz HD audio
  • All analog I/O connects via a single DB-25 breakout cable for maximum versatility
  • 2 x MOTU microphone preamplifiers provide you with low-noise, high-headroom performance
  • Each mic pre features switchable +48V phantom power and a switchable -20dB pad
  • 2 x dedicated instrument inputs allow you to record guitar and bass direct
  • 4 x line-level inputs (in 2 x stereo pairs) are perfect for keyboards, drum machines, and outboard gear
  • Top-panel controls provide one-touch control over all input and output levels
  • CueMix FX lets you assign a separate pre-computer input mix to each output pair including the main outputs, the line outputs, the headphone outputs, 4 x optical pairs, and the return bus
  • CueMix FX also lets you apply effects and processing to your input channels including Classic Reverb, a 7-band British style parametric EQ, a conventional compressor, and the Leveler (an accurate model of the legendary LA-2A optical compressor)
  • Precision Digital Trim technology on all inputs provides adjustments in approximately 1/4dB increments, which you can store and recall later
  • 8-bus mixer also functions in standalone mode
  • Time code support directly resolves to or generates time code via any quarter-inch input or output, without the need for an extra synchronizer
  • Direct Digital Synthesis DSP-driven phase lock engine and internal clock source produces imperceptibly low jitter characteristics (below the noise floor), even when the Track16 is resolved to an external clock source via SMPTE time code
  • DC-coupled TRS outputs can be used with MOTU's Volta (sold separately) to manipulate and sequence voltage-controlled modular synthesizers from a host DAW
  • Mac and PC compatible on both 32-bit and 64-bit platforms

Additional Media

Audio Interface Buying Guide
Track16 User Manual for Mac
Track16 User Manual for Windows

Tech Specs

Computer Connectivity FireWire 400/USB 2.0
Form Factor Desktop
Simultaneous I/O 16 x 14
Number of Preamps 2
Phantom Power Yes
A/D Resolution 24-bit/192kHz
Built In DSP/FX Yes (CueMix FX)
Analog Inputs 2 x XLR, 2 x TS, 2 x Stereo (Line)
Analog Outputs 2 x (Main), 2 x (Line), 2 x (Headphones)
Digital Inputs 1 x ADAT/TOSlink/SMUX (Optical)
Digital Outputs 1 x ADAT/TOSlink/SMUX (Optical)
Bus Powered Yes (FireWire), External Power Supply Included
Depth 8.375"
Width 5"
Height 1.125"
Manufacturer Part Number 8440

Customer Reviews

Based on 14 reviews
Write your review

Track 16 Awesome!

Wow! What a well crafted piece of machinery. Shouts to Ken Nace for helping me through the process, really appreciate it Ken. I took this thing out of the box plugged it in and started working... Using it together with Mixcraft 6 and it sounds AWESOME! Thanks Sweetwater for making my purchase so hassle free.
Music background: Recording Artist

Very Nice

This piece of equipment is top notch. I'm running this with Cubase Artist 8 on a 2.6 GHz 8GB Mac Mini. Getting it set up and running was a breeze. I never have any problems what so ever and the unit has never missed a beat at any time. There isn't another "portable" interface with the routing options that this package delivers. Perfect for using a couple pieces of outboard gear or sending your entire mix out to a compressor and back in. The metering is more than sufficient and accurate all across the board. The uni knob and it's functions are extremely easy to use. Beats reaching over to my old interface to tweak preamps and volume. The Track 16 is built like a tank and also looks great. The sound quality is top shelf. There is nothing "HYPED UP" coming out of the monitors upon playback. What comes in is what goes out. Nothing more and nothing less. Get dialled in at the source and you'll be competing with the big boys come time to mix. Cue mix is a whole other review on it's own. IT IS AMAZING. If I could ask for anything more it would be more gain in the preamps. Obviously with the ADAT option and the line-ins I can hook-up what ever external pre i choose but more gain in the on board preamps would be nice. Good job MOTU.
Music background: Producer, Recording/Mixing Engineer, Pro Musician

MOTU Track16 - Sweet Little Gadget

Very nice, elegant, glow-in-the-dark cutie. Sounds pristine - you get out what you put in. I use mine in conjunction with an older MOTU 8Pre via ADAT for a nice, compact and versatile home studio config. I'm a lone composer but like to keep stuff plugged in with a few open channels for visitors or whatever piece of gear floats by. Wasn't real happy with the bulky cable at first but ended up getting the breakout box for better manageability. All considered, a superior piece of kit!
Music background: Rather abstract

Good item

MOTU audio interfaces tend to get all the little details right, and this unit is no exception. The software is rock solid and easy to figure out. The I/O provides a good deal of flexibility, and the thing just looks cool.
Music background: Pro Musician

Its a great productf

I love the track 16, its a graet product. Also the fact that i could switch beteen monitors with the touch of a button. Its. The way foward into the future with that technology. Just love it.....
Music background: Pro musician/ producer

Sweetwater Advice

Mitch Gallagher

A lot of different audio interfaces make their way through my studio, and they all have great features and capabilities to recommend them. But I've always found MOTU's interfaces to be among my favorites for their intelligent blend of features, price, usability, and sound quality. Recently, I've been using the new Track16 desktop interface and it absolutely lives up to all the great things I've come to expect from MOTU! The Track16 is a compact unit that's designed to sit on your desktop within easy reach. It's a hybrid interface (USB 2.0 or FireWire) with up to 16 inputs and 14 outputs. The Track16 has 10 front-panel buttons and a single large knob for controlling all the basic parameters you might need to access: monitor level, headphone level, mic gain, phantom power, and so on. The front panel also sports eight nice LED meters. The unit itself has a guitar in, two headphone outs, a stereo line input, and optical I/O (eight-channel ADAT or stereo S/DPIF). The rest of the connections are on the included breakout cable: mic inputs, line outputs, MIDI I/O, another guitar in, and more. MOTU's CueMix software is included, which takes advantage of the Track16's hidden secret: onboard DSP. CueMix allows for latency-free monitoring with effects during tracking: EQ, dynamics, even reverb. You can set up a variety of mixes for your monitors and headphones, and it's all easy to configure and operate. In use, the Track16 sounds great. Pristine but not sterile. It has two pro-level mic preamps, plus you can run your external preamps into the line inputs for more mic channels. There are separate monitor, stereo line, and headphone outs for routing at mixdown. And it's all a snap to control from either the front panel or CueMix. Whatever software I chose to use (Track16 is Mac and Windows compatible) the interface was rock solid and performed perfectly. I like the Track16 a lot, and it has become one my go-to interfaces. The form factor is great, and the quality and compatibility are spot on. Highly recommended!
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See also: FireWire Interfaces, MOTU, MOTU FireWire Audio Interfaces, MOTU USB Audio Interfaces