Presented at NAMM 2017, these new interfaces present 3 separate solutions for the 3 most common digital audio formats; AES3, ADAT and MADI. All three come with a similar set of tools, including DSP mixing, WiFi remote control and and AVB networking. Although not quite a modular system, do these present a cost effective way forward for modern audio interfaces?
MOTU M64, 8D and LP32 Digital Audio Interfaces
Just as we’ve seen from MOTU’s latest releases, these new interfaces sport many of MOTU’s current developments. All three interfaces will offer the same software and DSP power for mixing of 48 inputs and 12 stereo buses, including all the powerful processing MOTU currently offer. This also includes WiFi remote control of each unit’s mixer, via the proprietary software MOTU offer.
The M64 will be their MADI solution, offering one set of optical connections and an independent coaxial BNC connection. There are in fact two BNC outputs, which can be used to split the MADI stream to different locations. There isn’t any mention about redundancy, but it would be good to see if the coaxial and optical connections support redundancy of one another.
The 8D has the lowest I/O count but offers the AES3 and SPDIF solution. There are just two pairs of AES and 2 pairs of SPDIF available, providing a total of 8 channels. What’s interesting to see though, are built-in sample rate converters, which will be useful particularly for live sound. The LP32 provides the ADAT solution with 4 pairs of connectors for a total of 32 channels at 44.1/48 kHz, or 16 channels of SMUX at 88.2/96 kHz.
All three interfaces are USB operated, but will also support AVB networking. This is great for including these interfaces as part of larger setups and installations with AoIP technology. It’s not quite a modular way of providing interfaces, but an interesting move by MOTU all the same. If you need a box that does one of these functions, then these seem to promise powerful, cost-effective solutions. It’s a shame no one will remember what they’re called.
There isn’t any information up on MOTU’s website just yet, but keep an eye out as these interfaces should start shipping in the first quarter of this year. Each of these new interfaces, the M64, 8D and LP32, will be priced at 595 USD.