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Motu - how good are they?

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Motu - how good are they?

Postby Imran500 » Tue Oct 05, 2010 7:39 pm

I'm going to finally upgrade my USB audio interface and was looking at the MOTU Ultralite MK3 Hybrid which costs £425

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But was wondering how much better it would be than something like this M-Audio Fast Track Ultra which comes in cheaper at £239.

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The question is there a significant jump up in recording quality between these kinds of price differences or do you really have to spend a lot more to get very good D/A converters?
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Re: Motu - how good are they?

Postby OneWorld » Tue Oct 05, 2010 7:55 pm

I have a friend who went from MOTU (on a PC platform) to Hammerfall because he said support from MOTU was woeful, but of course that's only his opinion.

Soundwise I think they can hold their own with any other mid/top price range, and on their web site, all the drivers seem to have been kept up to date. I bought a TASCAM mixer for which I need a spare part and their support is almost non-existent. I sent an email to support, got an email saying someone would call me, which they did, they took my home/mobile/email and said they would be in touch within the hour - that was 2 weeks ago even though I have emailed them o several more occasions. I don't think MOTU is that bad!

Think MOTU got some criticism when they released so many different cards in the PCI324/424 - PCI, PCI-X, PCIe though of course with a USB/Firewire interface that's not an issue anyway

Before I buy anything, hardware/software I type <<product>> +problems into Google to see what other users' opinions are, to try and get an overall picture
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Re: Motu - how good are they?

Postby Bob Bickerton » Tue Oct 05, 2010 8:25 pm

I've been using MOTU on a Mac since 2001, the 828 MKI and an 8pre and have had a very good run. They have been rock solid and have always been up to date with driver upgrades.

On the one occasion where I needed support, I found it to be prompt and useful.

The difference between converters at this end of the market would be tiny compared to all other aspects of the recording chain. So unless you're in the market for expensive converters (and are recording and monitoring in an ideal environment so you can actually hear the difference) then your choice will be based on features, reliability and to a lesser extent quality of pre-amps.

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Re: Motu - how good are they?

Postby Mixedup » Tue Oct 05, 2010 8:52 pm

I've owned several MOTU interfaces over the years. They're OK. Had some driver/compatability issues, whcih are well documented on this forum. The various iterations of their 896 were my favorite. That all said, I certainly did notice a difference moving to RME.

If it's between M-Audio and MOTU there's not a lot in it. You should probably also look at the equivalent Focusrite unit, which I'd pick over either of those.
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Re: Motu - how good are they?

Postby abba_x » Tue Oct 05, 2010 9:43 pm

Have been using a pci-424 attached to a 24 i/o for a couple of years now. Absolutely rock solid, never skipped a beat. Can highly recommend it. Haven't used any other interfaces in the same environment so can't comment on the minutae of sound quality and how it compares to others, but it sounds good to me.
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Re: Motu - how good are they?

Postby pwhodges » Tue Oct 05, 2010 10:20 pm

My MOTU Travelers have never missed a beat. No driver problems (on Windows XP) and no problems with the non-TI firewire in my old Dell laptop, either. For me, the provision of four mic channels and digitally set gains which track to better than 0.1dB makes it perfect for recording ambisonics, whether A-format from a tetrahedral mic, or B-format from some other arrangement.

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Re: Motu - how good are they?

Postby oggyb » Tue Oct 05, 2010 10:52 pm

I've used MOTU's interfaces at college, uni and in other places and they've been reliable.

I've used plenty of M-Audio gear in the past and cannot say the same thing.

Get the MOTU.
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Re: Motu - how good are they?

Postby . . . Delete This User . . . » Tue Oct 05, 2010 11:24 pm

mine have all been utterly reliable , both firewire based, and PCI based devices.... good drivers, and excellent UK support from the distributors.
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Re: Motu - how good are they?

Postby Mr Spanky » Wed Oct 06, 2010 2:20 am

I bought a MOTU MicroBook recently. Had quite a lot of trouble with it. It cuts out at least once a day and the only way to bring it back to life is to unplug it and plug it in again.
I wouldn't trust it, especially for live work. It's a shame because it sounds good.

Several emails to MOTU support went unanswered. I'm going to sell it, perhaps someone else will have better luck with it.
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Re: Motu - how good are they?

Postby Not For Glory » Wed Oct 06, 2010 7:25 am

Have to agree with most here, my Motu 828mk2 is solid, would recomended it over the other one, though i would say if you can stump up a little more cash, DEFINATELY go for a FireFace 400, the best sound quality you will get for that money no question, you can also get them used and save cash. Nothing is as good until you get to the £1000 mark, then there's really only the FireFace 800 or the TC Electronic Konnect 48 to choose between, literally, the only option after that is the Apogee Ensemble which is much more new, but can be had for the same money used. Then prices go mental for little gains in quality as usual : )

Go for a FF 400 mate honestly.
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Re: Motu - how good are they?

Postby Bossman » Wed Oct 06, 2010 8:07 am

I have used the 24io, 828mkII, the 8Pre (2 different units), and the Ultralite (firewire version) for several years with no problems whatsoever.. I have also used an 896 for a session, with no problems. I have used most of these units with both Macs and PCs.

I have contacted their support, which in the UK is Musictrack, a couple of times and found them to be very helpful.

I have used a few M-Audio units over the years, and have mixed opinion about them.. some of their units have been fine, but I remember using one unit and having loads of problems with it (on various different machines) a few years ago. I know other people that use M-audio interfaces and they have no problems.
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Re: Motu - how good are they?

Postby Remeniz » Wed Oct 06, 2010 8:18 am

I very recently upgraded from an M-Audio Delta 1010 to the MotU 2408 MkIII with the PCI-X 424 card and despite the fact that i've seen countless threads regarding MotU 2408's and Gigabyte boards that don't work together mine has been absolutly brilliant!

A great improvement over the Delta 1010!
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Re: Motu - how good are they?

Postby nk_e » Wed Oct 06, 2010 9:41 am

I have two of the 828Mk2. They work pretty well. I wouldn't say they are "problem free", more like problem "very low". There is the very occassional problematic update. And I have had to reset the units a few times but this over several years so it's really pretty rare.

It really helps to wrap your head around their CueMix application to get the most out of their units and integration with their own sequencer (Digital Performer) is quite extensive as one might expect.

MOTU's tech support is spotty. Some love it; most don't. You'll get better support (and many answers to this question) over at a user run forum : http://www.motunation.com.

Cheers.
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Re: Motu - how good are they?

Postby Gary M » Wed Oct 06, 2010 1:52 pm

OneWorld wrote:I have a friend who went from MOTU (on a PC platform) to Hammerfall because he said support from MOTU was woeful, but of course that's only his opinion.

Soundwise I think they can hold their own with any other mid/top price range, and on their web site, all the drivers seem to have been kept up to date. I bought a TASCAM mixer for which I need a spare part and their support is almost non-existent. I sent an email to support, got an email saying someone would call me, which they did, they took my home/mobile/email and said they would be in touch within the hour - that was 2 weeks ago even though I have emailed them o several more occasions. I don't think MOTU is that bad!

Think MOTU got some criticism when they released so many different cards in the PCI324/424 - PCI, PCI-X, PCIe though of course with a USB/Firewire interface that's not an issue anyway

Before I buy anything, hardware/software I type <<product>> +problems into Google to see what other users' opinions are, to try and get an overall picture

Are you in the UK? I overlook all support emails and must say i have not seen any repeated mails regarding spare parts. By all means email me gary@tascam.co.uk and ill get to the bottom of things.

regards

Gary
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Re: Motu - how good are they?

Postby Imran500 » Wed Oct 06, 2010 2:37 pm

The Fireface 400 is probably taking things too far out of my price range really - looks like the Motu will be winging it's way into my studio in the near future!! Bye bye Steinberg M14 - it's been a trusty reliable thing, I wonder if I can get any money for it!
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Re: Motu - how good are they?

Postby OneWorld » Thu Oct 07, 2010 9:11 am

Gary M wrote:
OneWorld wrote:I have a friend who went from MOTU (on a PC platform) to Hammerfall because he said support from MOTU was woeful, but of course that's only his opinion.

Soundwise I think they can hold their own with any other mid/top price range, and on their web site, all the drivers seem to have been kept up to date. I bought a TASCAM mixer for which I need a spare part and their support is almost non-existent. I sent an email to support, got an email saying someone would call me, which they did, they took my home/mobile/email and said they would be in touch within the hour - that was 2 weeks ago even though I have emailed them o several more occasions. I don't think MOTU is that bad!

Think MOTU got some criticism when they released so many different cards in the PCI324/424 - PCI, PCI-X, PCIe though of course with a USB/Firewire interface that's not an issue anyway

Before I buy anything, hardware/software I type <<product>> +problems into Google to see what other users' opinions are, to try and get an overall picture

Are you in the UK? I overlook all support emails and must say i have not seen any repeated mails regarding spare parts. By all means email me gary@tascam.co.uk and ill get to the bottom of things.

regards

Gary

Thanks for that Gary, will do
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Re: Motu - how good are they?

Postby Not For Glory » Thu Oct 07, 2010 12:39 pm

You can get A FireFace 400 used for this much:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Fireface-400-/250700230849?pt=Midi_Controllers&hash=item3a5ee5f0c1

A LOT less than a new 828mk3

: )
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Re: Motu - how good are they?

Postby Jez Corbett » Fri Oct 08, 2010 3:06 pm

Gary M wrote:
Are you in the UK? I overlook all support emails...

Well perhaps you need to stop overlooking them and answer them!
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Re: Motu - how good are they?

Postby Gary M » Fri Oct 08, 2010 3:28 pm

Mahoobley wrote:
Gary M wrote:
Are you in the UK? I overlook all support emails...

Well perhaps you need to stop overlooking them and answer them!

Normally within 24 hours buddy! Unless I'm out on a field call in the middle of Scotland or Yorkshire dales with no internet
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Re: Motu - how good are they?

Postby Persuazion » Fri Oct 08, 2010 3:40 pm

Gary M wrote:
Mahoobley wrote:
Gary M wrote:
Are you in the UK? I overlook all support emails...

Well perhaps you need to stop overlooking them and answer them!

Normally within 24 hours buddy! Unless I'm out on a field call in the middle of Scotland or Yorkshire dales with no internet

C'mon... We've got the interweb here you know. Dial up of course, powered by the haggis in the running wheel.
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