MOTU have announced a new range of professional interfaces that take over from the now-discontinued 2408/24IO/HD192 range. Offering the same high channel count, the new interfaces offer Thunderbolt connectivity instead of PCIe, with USB 2.0 also present.
The new interfaces also offer a first in this area: AVB Networking, which not only lets you connect multiple interfaces to a single computer, but also allows for the creation of a full audio network of interfaces and computers, where audio can be streamed from any source to any destination. The routing of the entire network can be controlled by a web app running from a computer, tablet or phone.
The MOTU AVB range
There are four products in the AVB range:
MOTU 1248: 32×34 interface with 4 mic preamps, 8 line level, 16 channels of ADAT, Thunderbolt and USB 2.0.
MOTU 8M: 24×24 interface, 8 mic preamps, 16 channels of ADAT, Thunderbolt and USB 2.0.
MOTU 16A: 32×32 interface, 16 analogue line level inputs and outputs, 16 channels of ADAT, Thunderbolt and USB 2.0.
MOTU AVB Switch: Dedicated 5 port AVB switch.
Any of the interfaces can be connected directly to any other via a single ethernet cable, but for further expandability the AVB switch lets you connect up to five together, or four with an uplink to another switch. Any of the interfaces connected to a switch may also be connected to a host computer of its own, with all attached computers being able to see all the connected interfaces.
What are the advantages of MOTU AVB?
Host access through Thunderbolt or USB. MOTU are the first to combine AVB networking with Thunderbolt and USB 2.o connectivity. MOTU AVB networks do not require PCIe slots. Instead, you can conveniently connect your host computer(s) through USB or Thunderbolt.
Support for multiple computer hosts. A MOTU AVB network can host as many computers as can be physically connected, with complete access by all hosts to all connected devices and audio streams. All computers and all network devices run in sync with each other, resolved to the network’s master clock.
256 channels of host I/O. Over Thunderbolt, MOTU’s AVB interfaces support 256 simultaneous channels of audio I/O (128 in plus 128 out).
Over 512 streams of network audio. MOTU’s AVB network can stream over 500 channels of audio throughout the network. Each MOTU AVB device can broadcast eight 8-channel network streams and simultaneously listen to eight 8-channel network streams.
Exceptionally low network latency. Standard AVB network latency is 2 ms. MOTU AVB network latency is an astonishing 0.6 ms, even over 7 “hops” (switches) and hundreds of metres of cable. By comparison, Cobranet has variable (unpredictable) network latency in the range of 5 ms. (We should point out that these figures came from MOTU, not the Jigsaw24 test lab.)
Star configuration. MOTU AVB employs a star network configuration. This is much more flexible than daisychain scenarios, which require dependency on all devices in the chain.
Web interface. MOTU’s AVB system can be controlled from MOTU’s control software, which runs within any web browser running on any networked laptop, tablet, or smartphone.
Wireless control. MOTU’s AVB system can be controlled wirelessly through its web interface from any networked wireless device, such as a laptop, tablet, or smartphone.
One-click synchronisation. Click the “Become Clock Master” button in the MOTU AVB web app for the MOTU device you choose as the clock master, and all other devices on the network immediately resolve to it.
Thunderbolt connection to host computer. MOTU’s core system interfaces (1248, 8M, 16A, etc.) can connect to the host computer with Thunderbolt, which allows full access to the entire MOTU AVB system network, streaming 128 channels of audio in and out simultaneously, even at high sample rates, thanks to Thunderbolt’s extremely high bus bandwidth capacity.