MOTU has introduced a line of new “AVB” Thunderbolt audio interfaces with industry-leading dynamic range, large console style mixing with 48 channels and 12 stereo busses, and audio networking. The 1248 is the flagship of this new line, featuring a large backlit 324 x 24 LCD that lets you view all signal activity at a glance with detailed metering for all analog and digital I/O.
The 1248 provides all the I/O you need for a well-equipped personal studio, including four mic inputs, two dedicated hi-Z guitar inputs, 8 x 12 balanced analog with separate main and monitor outs, 2 x 8-channel ADAT optical, and RCA S/PDIF (with sample rate conversion), for a total of 32 inputs and 34 outputs. Need more I/O? Expansion possibilities are seamless and virtually limitless. The 1248 employs latest-generation ESS Sabre32 Ultra converters, known for their industry-leading performance, together with expertly engineered analog circuits that reflect more than three decades of pro audio engineering expertise. The result? The 1248 achieves actual, measured performance of 123 dB dynamic range (A-weighted, 20 Hz to 20 kHz) on its balanced TRS analog outputs.
Every digital audio workflow has some latency. The only question is, how much? In the case of the 1248, the answer is, not much at all. In the 1248, latency is measured in a handful of samples, from the time an audio signal first goes digital to its arrival somewhere else (to an output, the mixer, or the computer). By keeping latency this low in the hardware, the 1248 helps minimize latency introduced by your host software.
Thunderbolt lets you connect displays, hard drives, and other peripherals to your computer, along with the 1248, and the Thunderbolt bus won’t even break a sweat. But more importantly, Thunderbolt gives you an astonishing 256 channels of computer I/O (128 in and out). You can use those channels to route audio to the physical inputs and outputs on the 1248, plus the 48-channel mixer inside the 1248, plus audio network streams. The 1248 is the first and only interface to combine Thunderbolt I/O connectivity with AVB audio networking. Don’t have a Thunderbolt-equipped computer yet? Hi-speed USB 2.0 provides across-the-board compatibility with pretty much all laptops and desktops. The 1248 is USB audio class compliant, which means you enjoy OS-level USB compatibility and support, including iPad support (with a camera connection kit).
The 1248 is equipped with an internal 48-channel digital mixer designed just like a large format mixing console. The 48 inputs can take signal from anywhere: the physical inputs on the 1248 interface itself, audio channels from host software on your computer, audio network streams, or even mixer outputs. The mixer provides 7 stereo aux busses, 3 groups, a reverb bus that can alternately serve as a 4th group, a Main Mix bus and a separate Monitor bus that can serve as a solo bus. In essence: capable and transparent mixing.
Control software on the 1248 doesn’t reside on your hard drive. It’s a web app served from the hardware itself. This means you can control the on-board DSP, mixing, device settings, and network audio routing from the web app software running in your favorite web browser on a laptop, tablet or smart phone connected by wire or Wi-Fi to your local area network. Use any web client on any platform — desktop, iOS, Android — as long as it shares the same network. Connect an Apple Airport or other Wi-Fi router directly to the 1248 with a standard Ethernet cable and control the powerful mixing and DSP effects from your smart phone or tablet, without a computer. Great for live sound mixing!
AVB Ethernet, the new industry standard developed by the IEEE for professional audio networking, is available via the network port. Add a second MOTU AVB interface, such as the 1248, 8M or 16A, with a simple Cat-5e or CAT-6 ethernet cable. Build a network with multiple interfaces, computers, and AVB switches using standard network cabling, with ultra-low network latency, even over cable runs hundreds of meters long. Stream hundreds of audio channels among devices and computers on the network.
The MOTU 8M features eight XLR/TRS combo inputs with individual preamps/pad/48V power, 8 balanced/unbalanced TRS analog outs, and 2 x 8-channel ADAT optical ports for 24 inputs and 26 outputs. The combo jacks provide balanced analog input, hi-Z 1/4” guitar input or XLR mic input with individual phantom power and pad.
The MOTU 16A features sixteen balanced/unbalanced TRS analog inputs and outputs, plus 2 x 8-channel ADAT optical ports for 32 inputs and 32 outputs.
Mac System Requirements
- 1 GHz Intel-based Mac or faster
- 2 GB RAM; 4 GB or more recommended
- Mac OS X version 10.8 or later
- Available Thunderbolt or high-speed USB 2.0 port
- A large hard drive (at least 500 GB for recording)
- Web client must be connected to the same network as the MOTU AVB interface by wire or Wi-Fi
- Thunderbolt and USB 2.0 drivers
- MOTU AVB Discovery App for Mac (finds connected MOTU interfaces)
- MOTU AVB Discovery App for iOS (available from Apple App Store)
- MOTU AVB Control web app (served from the hardware itself)
- AudioDesk 4.0 (available as a separate download)
The MOTU 1248, 8M and 16A will be available for $1495 each.