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MOTU 16A - Thunderbolt and USB Audio Interface With AVB Networking and DSP (16x16, Line)

BH #MA16ATBEI16A • MFR #9320
MOTU
MOTU 16A - Thunderbolt and USB Audio Interface With AVB Networking and DSP (16x16, Line)
Key Features
  • 16x Analog Inputs and 16x Analog Outputs
  • AVB Up to 256 Thunderbolt Channels
  • 48-Channel Software Mixer with DSP
  • Remote Control Using Web Application
The MOTU 16A - Thunderbolt and USB Audio Interface With AVB Networking and DSP (16x16, Line) is designed for studio recording, installed sound, and live sound reinforcement applications such as mixing a band in a club or music venue. The 1U 19" rackmountable devices features sixteen balanced line level inputs and sixteen balanced line level outputs over 1/4" TRS connectors, 2 x 8-channel ADAT optical, and RCA S/PDIF (with sample rate conversion), for a total of 32 inputs and 32 outputs. Additional I/O can be added to the system through AVB networking.
Temporarily Out of Stock
$1,495.00
$125/mo. suggested payments for 12 Mos.
with the credit card.§ 

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MOTU 16A Overview

  • 1Description
  • 2Audio Quality
  • 3Universal Connectivity
  • 4On-Board DSP With Mixing And Effects
  • 532-Bit Floating Point Processing
  • 6Modeled Vintage Effects Processing
  • 7System Expansion and Audio Networking
  • 8Matrix Routing and Splitting
  • 9256 Channels of Network Audio I/O To Host Computer
  • 10Web App Control
  • 11Standalone Mixing With Wireless Control
  • 12ADAT Digital I/O
  • 13Comprehensive Metering

The MOTU 16A - Thunderbolt and USB Audio Interface With AVB Networking and DSP (16x16, Line) is designed for studio recording, installed sound, and live sound reinforcement applications such as mixing a band in a club or music venue. The 1U 19" rackmountable devices features sixteen balanced line level inputs and sixteen balanced line level outputs over 1/4" TRS connectors, 2 x 8-channel ADAT optical, and RCA S/PDIF (with sample rate conversion), for a total of 32 inputs and 32 outputs. Additional I/O can be added to the system through AVB networking.

The audio interface utilizes ESS Sabre32 Ultra converters to provide a dynamic range of 123 dB (A-weighted 20 to 20,000 Hz) on balanced TRS analog outputs, a THD+N rating of -110 dB, and a total system latency of 32 samples (0.66 ms) while recording at up to 24-bit 192 kHz resolution. A front panel backlit 324 x 24 LCD provides detailed metering for all analog and digital I/O as well as provide a GUI for adjusting hardware settings.

Using Thunderbolt connectivity, the audio interface can stream 128 audio channels in and 128 channels out to the interface's physical outputs, the DSP-powered 48 digital routing matrix, or AVB audio network streams. The interface can also use high speed USB 2.0 (3.0 compatible) using class compliant drivers to work with most digital audio workstations.

The 48-channel digital mixer can mix physical inputs on the interface, audio channels from your host computer software, AVB audio network streams, or mixer outputs. It features seven stereo auxiliary busses, three groups, a reverb bus that can serve as an alternate 4th group, a main mix bus, and a separate monitor bus that can function as a solo buss.

The mixer includes 32-bit floating point precision DSP-powered models of three British analog console EQ profiles, a classic compressor module with optional peak/RMS operation, and a model of the legendary Telextronix LA-2A optical leveling amplifier with automatic gain control (AGC) characteristics. Each input channel strip features a high-pass filter, a gate, a four-band parametric EQ, and a compressor.

The device's digital routing matrix allows you to route any source signal such as an analog or digital interface input, computer channel, mixer bus output, or network stream to any destination such as an interface output, host software input, mixer input, or any other device (or computer) on the AVB network. A single input or stereo pair can also be split and sent to multiple destinations.

The first of its kind, this interface features an AVB Ethernet port that adopts the AVB industry networking standard for transporting high-bandwidth, low-latency audio and video over Ethernet. It was developed by the IEEE and enables connection to a second MOTU AVB audio interface (1248, 8M, or 16A) via a CAT-5E or CAT-6 Ethernet cable. The standard is open meaning it is not proprietary and will allow for open interoperability across different devices and brands.

The system can be further expanded through connection to a MOTU AVB Switch (sold separately), for five total devices and the capacity to stream over 512 channels on the network. Sixteen 8-channel network streams may be broadcast while simultaneously listening to sixteen 8-channel network streams. The AVB network provides its own network-wide time base for phase locking all connected devices and also allows one of the connected devices to be assigned as the master clock. An added benefit of the AVB network standard is the automatic device discovery for self-configuration, 100 meter cable runs, as well as the system's Stream Reservation Protocol which provides guaranteed Quality of Service (QoS) and an uninterrupted point-to-point network connection.

The audio interface's on-board DSP, mixing, device settings, and network audio routing can all be controlled through a web application running on a web browser from a laptop, tablet, or smartphone connected by wire or Wi-Fi to your local area network. This allows the interface to be controlled using Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android devices provided they share the same network. By connecting an Apple Airport or other Wi-Fi router directly to the interface with a standard Ethernet cable, the mixing and DSP controls of the interface can be managed using a smartphone or tablet, without the need for a computer. This is useful for situations such as mixing live sound. A total of up to 12 independent stereo mixes can all be independently controlled by different engineers or musicians via Wi-Fi connected iPhones or iPads.

The device includes a collection of quick setup presets designed for different applications in the studio, on stage, or for installed sound such as a recording interface or network snake. Presets can be customized using the digital routing matrix as well as saved for future recall.

Audio Quality

Provides 123 dB dynamic range and a THD+N of -110 dB (0.0003%) at -1 dBFS, un-weighted, 1 kHz

Universal Connectivity

Connects to computer with Thunderbolt or high-speed USB 2.0 (compatible with USB 3.0) with class-compliant firmware and industry standard drivers to work with any audio software

On-Board DSP With Mixing And Effects

Provides flexible 48 input digital mixer modeled after large format mixing consoles with 12 stereo busses and DSP effects including reverb, 4-band EQ, gate, and compression

32-Bit Floating Point Processing

Provides ample headroom for mixing and effects DSP

Modeled Vintage Effects Processing

Provides classic reverb, compression modeled after historic LA-2A compressor, and EQ modeled after analog console EQs

System Expansion and Audio Networking

Allows you to add a 2nd MOTU AVB interface (1248, 8M, or 16A) with a CAT-5e or CAT-6 Ethernet cable and up to five devices using a MOTU AVB Switch (sold separately). Multiple interfaces can be networked together with over 100 meter cable runs to stream audio between devices and computers on the network

Matrix Routing and Splitting

Provides flexible digital matrix routing and splitting for any analog or digital input, computer channel or network stream to any computer, output, or network devices. A single input can be split to multiple output destinations

256 Channels of Network Audio I/O To Host Computer

Allows monitoring and recording of up to 128 network audio channels in and 128 network channels out through a Thunderbolt connection to a host computer

Web App Control

Controls on-board DSP, mixing, device settings, and network audio routing from web app software running in a web browser on a computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone connected by a wire or Wi-Fi to your local area network

Standalone Mixing With Wireless Control

Allows you to connect an Apple Airport or other Wi-Fi router directly to the audio interface with a standard Ethernet cable and control the device's mixing and DSP effects from a smartphone or tablet, without a computer such as in live sound mixing applications

ADAT Digital I/O

Allows connection of outboard digital processors, digital mixers or other gear, 16 channels at 44.1/48 kHz or 8 channels at 88.2/96 kHz

Comprehensive Metering

Features large backlit 324 x 24 LCD that allows you to view all signal activity at a glance with detailed metering of analog and digital I/O, as well as access to hardware settings from font panel GUI
UPC: 839128005921

MOTU 16A Specs

Form FactorRackmount
Display1 x LCD
Channels of I/O32 Input / 32 Output at 48 kHz
24 Input / 24 Output at 96 kHz
16 Input / 16 Output at 192 kHz
Maximum Sampling Rate192 kHz / 24-Bit
Number of Mic PreampsNone
Gain/Trim RangeLine Inputs:
+2 to +24 dBu
Line Outputs:
-4 to +20 dBu
Connectivity
Analog Audio I/O16 x 1/4" TRS Balanced Line Input
16 x 1/4" TRS Balanced Line Output
Digital Audio I/O2 x TOSLINK Optical ADAT Input (S/MUX Support)
2 x TOSLINK Optical ADAT Output (S/MUX Support)
Host Connection / USB1 x Thunderbolt/MDP (Thunderbolt 2)
1 x USB Type-B (Class-Compliant USB 2.0)
Sync I/O1 x BNC Word Clock Input
1 x BNC Word Clock Output
Network I/O1 x RJ45 AVB
MIDI I/ONone
Performance
Maximum Input LevelLine Inputs:
+24 dBu
Maximum Output LevelLine Outputs:
+20 dBu (Balanced)
Dynamic RangeLine Inputs:
117 dBA
Line Outputs:
123 dBA
THD+NLine Inputs:
-110 dB
Line Outputs:
-110 dB
Digital Audio
Sample Rates44.1 / 48 / 88.2 / 96 / 176.4 / 192 kHz
Sync SourcesWord Clock
Compatibility
OS CompatibilitymacOS 10.8 or Later
Windows 8 or Later
Processor RequirementMac:
1 GHz Intel
PC:
1 GHz Intel Pentium
RAM Requirements2 GB, 4 GB Recommended
Storage Requirements500 GB
Required HardwareAvailable Thunderbolt Port or USB 2.0 Port
Internet ConnectionRequired for Remote Control
Power
AC Input Power100 to 240 VAC, 50 / 60 Hz
Physical
Rackmount Size1 RU
Packaging Info
Package Weight7.8 lb
Box Dimensions (LxWxH)23.6 x 11.5 x 5.2"

MOTU 16A Reviews

Very Deep

By Thomas
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2020-03-06

I've been using another high end interface, but got tired of dealing with latency and limited routing options when tracking larger ensembles. This interface was so much less expensive (about the price of a single add on input module on my other interface), that I was concerned about how it would sound. Very pleasantly surprised, and actually preferred the MOTU on a blind test (piano recording). I am using a Apogee Big Ben for clocking, so that might help, but whatever the reason the 16A sounds fantastic. I have a mid level commercial studio with very picky clients, so sound quality is paramount, and I know this unit will make them happy. Now on to the routing - it's unbelievable. It has internal mixing buses, eq, compressors etc that can be used for monitoring while the unaffected sound goes directly to the DAW. It can be a bit daunting to really get the routing options down, but MOTU has some great help videos. Once you understand the routing, you realize there's almost nothing this interface (or multiple ethernet linked AVB connected MOTU interfaces) can't do. Definitely a hidden gem, and hands down the best bargain out there.

Reliable interface

By Hiro
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2016-02-25

I use this Thunderbolt interface for live recordings at live Jazz houses and small to medium size concert halls for classical music. I used to use Apollo 16 for this purpose, but it needs expensive MADI preamps to have channels more than 16. Motu 16A has two ADAT connections, which take 8 channel SMAX. I then have 24 channels at double sampling rates. I can also have 32 channels at 48 or 44.1 kHz. My 6 units case has Motu 16A + two 8CH analog preamps + two 8CH ADAT preamps having SMAX connections + power conditioner. By using 16A with Protools loaded MacBook Pro through Thunderbolt connection, I made many recordings for about a year now. I have experienced no trouble with Protools. This is very satisfying, because reliability is the most important factor for live recording uses. Dynamic range is large enough for my purpose and I do not find any noticeable distortions. Since I currently have only one 16A, I have not utilized AVB capability. I am thinking to purchase another 16A for my recording studio uses to replace Digidesign 192 HD. For half the price of Apollo 16, I do not see much negatives.

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