Hands-On Review: MOTU Track16


The latest audio interface technology combines impressive conversion quality and high input/output counts into small desktop devices. MOTU has long been a contender in the ring of high quality digital audio. This 10 minute video takes a thorough look at Track 16, MOTU’s latest audio interface. It also gives quick look into their flagship DAW, Digital Performer.

Measuring less than 5 x 9”, the interface offers 16 inputs, 14 outputs, latency-free DSP monitoring, wide DAW compatibility on both Windows and Mac computers as well as pre-DAW monitor mixing with effects.

Converters 24-bit
Sample Rates 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192 kHz
Analog Inputs 2 x XLR microphone
2 x 1/4" TRS line (balanced or unbalanced)
1 x 1/8" TRS stereo "mini" line (unbalanced)
2 x 1/4" TS Hi-Z guitar
Analog Outputs 2 x 1/4" TRS main (balanced)
2 x 1/4" TRS line (unbalanced)
Headphone Output 1 x 1/4" TRS stereo
1 x 1/8" TRS stereo mini
Digital I/O 1 x TOSLink ADAT optical (8-channels @ 1x sample rates, 4-channels [email protected] 2x sample rates)
1 x TOSLink optical S/PDIF (2- channels, up to 96 kHz)
Computer I/O 1 x FireWire 400 (type B connector)
1 x USB 2.0
MIDI I/O 5-pin DIN In/Out
Sync I/O SMPTE Time Code (LTC)
Phantom Power +48V (individual)
Top Panel 2 x 7-segment ladder LEDs; main outs
2 x 7-segment LEDs; switchable: microphone or line 3-4 in
2 x 7-segment LEDs; switchable: guitar in or phones
2 x 7-segment LEDs; switchable: line in 1-2 or line out
2 x LED 48V phantom power
2 x LED 20 dB pad
5 x Backlit switches; input select
3 x Backlit switches; output select
1 x Backlit switch; meters toggle
1 x Backlit switch; power
Power Requirements FireWire bus power - 9~18V DC, 5W  power adapter included; required for stand-alone and USB 2.0 operation (tip + or -)
Mac Compatibility Mac OS X 10.5.8, 10.6, 10.7 PowerPC G4 CPU 1 GHz or faster (including any Mac with a PowerPC G5 or any Intel processor)
Windows Compatibility Windows 7 or Vista, 32- or 64-bit; Vista SP 2 or later required 1 GHz Pentium-based PC compatible or faster
System Requirements 1 GB RAM; 2 GB or more recommended Available FireWire or high-speed USB 2.0 port large hard drive (preferably at least 250 GB)
64-Bit Operation Available for Mac OS X v10.6 or 10.7
Available for 64-bit versions of Windows 7 or Vista
Requires 64-bit CPU
Compatible Software Mac:
MOTU Digital Performer
MOTU AudioDesk
Apple Logic Pro
Apple Logic Express
Apple Garage Band
Apple SoundTrack Pro
Cakewalk Sonar
Image Line FL Studio
Sony Vegas Pro
Sony Sound Forge
Sony Acid
Avid Pro Tools (version 9 or later)
Ableton Live
Propellerhead Record & Reason
Steinberg Cubase
Cockos Reaper
Native Instruments Kontakt
Waves stand-alone apps (and plug-ins, via compatible host)
Breakout Cable 44" (112 cm) DB25 breakout cable included
Dimensions  W x L x H 5 × 8.9 × 1.1" (12.7 × 21.3 × 2.9 cm) Knob adds approx. 0.5" (1.3 cm) to height measurement; 1.6"


1 Comment

Just received my MOTU Track 16 and it sounds amazing. Had a little hiccup in that I did not do a fresh restart and power up after installing all the drivers and software that came with MOTU. There was a bit of noise that I was hearing when I used the Mac Book Pro. That has gone completely away after doing a restart and powering up the MOTU Track 16. I have let a few friends hear it and they actually thought it sounder better than the others out there that look a little like the same. One even compared the sound to the Ensemble. I am able to use the Firewire on both my Mac Book Pro and Mac Pro running Pro Tools 9.0.6 with no issues. I am very happy with the MOTU Track 16 it sounds great and is working rock solid. I like how the Cue Mix software works and can see using this live as well. The DSP works great and "0" LATENCY with reverb and eq on. The Mic pres sounded good I used them with a DPA 4099G mic, Shure KSM 141 and CAD Triton Tube. all sounded good and warm with my use which is a Flamenco Guitar. The Led's are bright and easy to see even not close to Track 16. If you need a small unit that has the ability to be expandable like with MOTU 8 Mic Pre (light pipe) and need more than 2 channels this is worth a close look. The folks at MOTU make rock solid drivers, software and hardware. This unit Rocks Thanks MOTU.