MOTU is now shipping the 624 and 8A, two portable audio interfaces with Thunderbolt and USB3 connectivity for Mac and Windows. As their names imply, the 624 and 8A are half-rack counterparts to MOTU’s award-winning, flagship 1248 and 16A interfaces. But make no mistake, these two compact versions pack serious punch when it comes to superb analog audio quality and advanced features.
In fact, both interfaces share the same analog design, ultra-low latency performance, advanced DSP-driven mixing and extensive AVB/TSN audio networking features as MOTU’s top-of-the-line 1248 and 16A interfaces.
Thunderbolt and USB3 connectivity for Mac and Windows
With 32 and 34 channels of audio I/O, respectively, the 624 and 8A connect to any computer with Thunderbolt™ or super-speed USB3, which is, of course, backward compatible with USB2.
New optimized MOTU drivers deliver industry-leading, ultra-low round-trip latency (RTL) performance as low as 1.6 ms at 96kHz over Thunderbolt with high-performance DAW hosts (with a 32-sample host buffer). Over USB3 (or USB2), RTL performance is an astonishing 1.9 ms. Generally speaking, the main advantage of USB3 is the increased bus bandwidth, with latency performance for both USB2 and USB3 within a few hundredths of a millisecond of Thunderbolt. Both USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt support up to 128 channels of input and output to and from the computer (at 44.1 or 48 kHz). That’s 256 simultaneous audio channels!
USB audio class-compliant firmware in the 624 and 8A supports connection to any iOS device with a standard camera connection kit (adapter). USB class-compliant operation also means you can connect to any Mac over USB without doing a driver install.
Superb analog audio quality
Like the award-winning 1248 and 16A, both new interfaces are equipped with renowned ESS Sabre32™ DAC technology, which delivers 123 dB dynamic range on their balanced, DC-coupled analog outputs.
Powerful mixing, routing and Wi-Fi control
Powerful DSP delivers large console style mixing with 48 channels, 12 stereo busses, and 32-bit floating point effects processing, including modeled analog EQ, vintage compression and classic reverb. Extensive routing patches ins to outs, or splits inputs to multiple destinations. The 624 and 8A can be used as a stand-alone mixer with wireless control from a tablet, smartphone and laptop — even multiple smart devices simultaneously — over shared Wi-Fi.
System expansion and extras
Using the unit’s standard Ethernet port, you can connect another MOTU AVB interface for more I/O — or connect to an expanded AVB/TSN network with multiple interfaces and computers.
The 624 and 8A include a suite of audio analysis tools, including a full-screen real-time FFT display, spectrogram “waterfall” display, full-featured oscilloscope, X-Y plot and phase analyzer.