MOTU is now shipping the 24Ai and 24Ao, two new audio interfaces that offer 24 channels of high-quality analog audio input or output in a single rack space, combined with three banks of ADAT optical, for a total of 72 channels of I/O. All analog I/O is supplied on standard DB-25 D-sub connectors or 12-pin Phoenix (Euroblock) connectors for studio and industrial installations alike.
Similar to the 1248, 8M and 16A models released by MOTU earlier this year, the 24Ai and 24Ao are equipped with DSP-driven mixing/effects and AVB Ethernet. With all five interface models, users can mix and match complementary I/O configurations and unify operation on their shared AVB audio networking platform.
“If you need lots of high-quality line-level analog I/O, the 24Ai and 24Ao are the perfect solution,” said Jim Cooper, Director of Marketing at MOTU. “They’re incredibly flexible, too. You can use them as an audio interface, optical expander, or network extension for a MOTU AVB system, complete with internal mixing, routing and effects, plus wireless control over all settings.”
The new 24Ai and 24Ao connect to a computer through universally compatible USB 2.0, which provides more than enough bandwidth for 24 analog channels, even for a system that includes both a 24Ai (24 analog inputs) and a 24Ao (24 analog outputs). For expanded systems, users can employ a Thunderbolt-equipped interface, such as the 16A, for 256-channel computer I/O, with the 24Ai and 24Ao units connected through AVB networking, which supports hundreds of network channels. All devices on such a network can stream audio to and from the computer, and everything can be controlled simultaneously from any computers, tablets, and smart phones connected to the network.
The 24Ai and 24Ao share the same extensive feature set and technology platform as the 1248, 8M and 16A, including very high quality analog performance, digitally controlled analog trim on analog inputs, 32-bit DAC trim on analog outputs, 48-channel mixing modeled after large format mixing consoles, DSP effects with 32-bit floating point precision, flexible matrix-style routing and splitting, stand-alone operation, Wi-Fi control, and industry-standard AVB networking with sub-millisecond network latency.
24Ai and 24Ao feature highlights
- Superb audio quality — Employs the same industry-recognized analog design as MOTU’s groundbreaking 1248, 8M and 16A audio interfaces.
- 72 simultaneous audio channels — 24 high-quality, balanced analog inputs (24Ai) or outputs (24Ao) on three banks of multi-channel connectors (D-sub and Phoenix), plus three banks of 8-channel ADAT optical for 24 analog channels and 48 digital channels.
- Universal connectivity — Connects to a computer with audio class compliant high-speed USB 2.0 (compatible with USB 3.0 and iOS). Discovery app and web app software works alongside any host audio software.
- On-board DSP with mixing and effects — Flexible 48-input digital mixer modeled after large format mixing consoles, with 12 stereo busses and DSP effects, including reverb, 4-band EQ, gate, and compression.
- 32-bit floating point processing — DSP-driven mixing and effects engine delivers virtually unlimited headroom and the utmost in sound quality.
- Modeled vintage effects processing — Classic reverb. Compression modeled after the legendary LA-2A compressor. EQ modeled after British analog console EQs.
- System expansion — Add a 2nd MOTU AVB interface (24Ai, 24Ao, 1248, 8M or 16A) with a simple Cat-5e Ethernet cable. Connect up to five MOTU interfaces using a MOTU AVB Switch (sold separately).
- AVB audio networking — Build a network with multiple interfaces and computers using standard AVB switches and network cabling, with ultra-low network latency, even over long cable runs (100 meters point to point). Stream hundreds of audio channels among devices and computers on the network.
- Matrix routing and splitting — Send any input to any output, or multiple outputs. Includes routing to and from the computer, plus any devices on the AVB network.
- Web app control — Control on-board DSP, mixing, device settings, and network audio routing from web app software running in your favorite browser on a laptop, tablet or smart phone connected by wire or Wi-Fi to your local area network.
- Stand-alone mixing with wireless control — Connect an Apple Airport™ or other Wi-Fi router directly to the 24Ai or 24Ao with a standard Ethernet cable and control powerful mixing and DSP effects from your smart phone or tablet, without a computer. Great for live sound mixing.
- ADAT digital I/O — Use the 24Ai or 24Ao as a 24-channel optical expander for other gear. 24 channels at 44.1/48 kHz or 12 channels at 88.2/96 kHz.
- Comprehensive metering — The large backlit 324 x 24 LCD lets you view all signal activity at a glance with detailed metering for all analog and digital I/O. Access hardware settings from a simple and convenient menu.
- AudioDesk 4.0 — Includes AudioDesk workstation software with 24-bit recording, sample-accurate editing and 32-bit mixing and mastering.
On the Mac, both new interfaces require OS X version 10.8 or later, a 1 GHz Intel CPU or faster, 2 GB of RAM (4 GB or more recommended), an available high-speed USB 2.0 port and a large hard drive (at least 500 GB for recording).
The 24Ai and 24Ao are now shipping. Price for each interface is $995.