TB Audio Interface with a lot of analog ins and outs, and MIDI?

Hi there,

i’m trying to find a good solution for my next setup on stage.
I would need 5 instrument inputs and 16 analog outputs. And MIDI in and out. TB connection.
I don’t see any single unit offering these specs. Am i missing something ?
So far i think of a Clarett8Pre and Octopre MKII Dynamic combo.

Thanks for your thoughts !

Can’t think of that in a single box.
I would use a separate MIDI interface.
Some items in the MOTU AVB series have thunderbolt and ADAT i/o.
One has 8 instruments ins, another has 16 line outs, and they can be linked through but none does both. The sound quality is great, though (as the price ^^’).

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The thing is :
i’ve had a Motu 828x which was literally a glitch machine. And my Motu Midi interface (micro lite) was also ultra buggy with OSX.
So until someone proves me wrong, Motu releases only crappy hardware.

You could try daisy chaining a couple of interfaces and make an aggregate device …

Having an aggregate device sounds a bit scary on stage.
For some reason i’d more trust an ADAT link…am i wrong ?

I have a MOTU UltraLite AVB and am extremely happy with it. It was a bit glitchy in the beginning (got it right when they came out), but they released several firmware updates that fixed those problems and it now runs smoothly on the latest OS X.

Have you looked into the possibilities offered by the AVB standard? You can do some extremely cool stuff with it, like connect multiple computers to a single audio interface and freely route audio between them (up to 128 channels at 44.1/48 kHz with the Thunderbolt AVB devices I think). Or you can route audio internally on your machine with pretty much the same flexibility of tools like Soundflower and Jack. This is especially great since Jack doesn’t seem to work on OS X 10.11 at all and Soundflower is difficult to install.

Oh and the GUI for the MOTU AVB devices is entirely browser-based, so you can control your interface from any device on your local network - iOS, Android, another laptop, you name it :slight_smile: And if you’re ever feeling like you wanna put on a truly huge show, you can link and connect a whole bunch of these and it all runs on regular ethernet cables.

The thing that drew me initially to the UltraLite was that it had so many analog ins and outs on a portable interface (and the Thunderbolt equipped bigger devices have even more, like the 16A). I only found out about all the AVB tricks after I bought it, which was quite a pleasant surprise. Oh and it does have MIDI in and out as well :slight_smile:

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Got a smacked up Motu Ultra Light mk3 FW, rock solid, never had a single problem with it other than it’s smacked up to the degree that the trim pots for the mic ins have stopped working (but setting the gain in the software works fine). Never have been as happy with a sound card as with the Ultra Light.


@chapelierfou ADAT is probably better … been working with aggregate devices before and never had any (big) problems though

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Well, despite my bad experience with the MOTUs, they seem quite powerful and i’d love to believe that they’re stable now…
If i were to go to buy a 16A : i never got the concept of ‘instrument inputs’ versus ‘line’ or ‘mic’. Would it be okay to plug an electric guitar in ?

There are mostly 3 types of inputs to be found on audio interfaces:

  • mic inputs : (very) low level, low impedance, balanced (“symétrique”)
  • line inputs : high level, low impedance, balanced
  • instr inputs : low level, high impedance, unbalanced (“asymétrique”).

Instrument inputs are fine for guitars, basses, consumer mics, some synths.

Well the inputs in the 16A expect line levels, so i assume i can’t plug instruments…

Yeah i’ve had a lot of Focusrite interfaces, they are great. (despite the mixing software is weird).

+1 for daisy chained motus.

i have a few motus and a focusrite saffire pro 40, and though the motus can, on rare occasions, glitch out i much prefer them onstage to my focusrite or UA. both the other brands were too finicky about being turned on and off - i’d often have to stop the show and restart live completely if there was a momentary power problem or something. the motus are rock solid in this regard, they disappear and reappear in my daw without me having to restart anything. makes disastrous stage problems MUCH quicker to deal with.

i agree that i’ve had some of the problems you described a few times, and needed to restart the computer.
Not sure what Motu to choose, though. I really need TB since i already have so many usb controllers connected.
The 16A looks great, but only line inputs. The Motu guy replied me that i could use their zbox to connect my guitar. i wonder how to connect my other non-line-level instruments.

We use these : https://secure.schertler.com/fr_IT/shop/capteurs/stat-v-set
and for the clarinets : http://www.thomann.de/fr/rumberger_k1x_pickup_clarinet.htm

Slightly OT sorry, but also very happy with my ultralite mk3 since 8 years here, on OSX.
Rock solid connection (and hw). Cannot speak for the new AVB stuff, but would love to be able to remote control the device over a web interface when running in standalone.

About the K1X pickup : the manual states that if used with the supplied PA-K1 XLR cable, it must be plugged into a standard mic input with 48V phantom power.

About the Stat-Pre : it seems to ouput a standard line signal.

To plug an instrument level signal into any standard mic XLR input, you can use a DI box (like the BSS AR133). That’s what is used for basses and some synths in live venues.

Thanks !
So a 16A + DIs for clarinets + Zbox from Motu should do it, right ?