MOTU has released two new interfaces with Thunderbolt™, USB 3.0, optical, and AVB Ethernet connections, and we at B&H are proud to carry them. Both units—the 8A and the 624—utilize the same ESS Sabre32 DAC that helped make MOTU’s 1248 and 16A so well regarded by lovers of audio conversion, and both units take up only a half-rack worth of space, making them eminently portable. When taking into consideration their various connection points, you can get 16 channels of audio input from both units.
More exciting commonalities abound: To meet the need of modern-day mixers, both devices can interface with computers and tablets, giving you class-compliant firmware and new drivers intended to work with any audio application. Also worthy of your attention is their round-trip latency, which can be as low as 1.6 milliseconds at 96 kHz over Thunderbolt. Furthermore, both the 8A and the 624 offer 32-bit floating point DSP for mixing, including EQs and dynamics processers modeled on vintage units, reverbs, and the ability to patch extensively and rout inputs to various destinations—with 48 channels and 12 stereo busses’ worth of digital real estate. So, not only can you record and monitor pristine audio with almost no latency—you can do it with virtually no strain to your computer or workstation. Both devices also operate as stand-alone mixers onstage, and you can even control them from iPads, iPhones, tablets, smartphones, or laptops over Wi-Fi.
So what makes these guys different? The 624 boasts 16x16 I/O for a total of 32 channels, while the 8A gives you two more outputs, upping the stats to 16x18 I/O for a total of 34 channels. The 624 has two XLR microphone inputs and two guitar inputs, making it more friendly for Hi-Z instruments and singers; the 8A, on the other hand, gives you eight 1/4" line inputs, so if you’re looking to hook up a bunch of studio gear—including keyboards, drum machines, effects processors, and synths—this might be the unit for you. Or you can spring for both of them; through their AVB/TSN Ethernet networks, the 624 and 8A allow you to expand your channel count on the input and output side, so you can easily use both units in concert—at a concert!