MOTU owners! Need advice! MOTU 24I/O

Good, bad, ugly???

Hello Forumites,

We recently acquired a new Pastor at our church. He is DEFINITELY more high-tech minded than our previous Pastor. I have been tasked with setting up a system to record our services including the full choir and Praise and Worship Team. At the moment I am eyeing the MOTU 24 I/O system. Our Allen&Heath FOH console has balanced direct outs so all I need is a TRS snake to patch the MOTU into the system. Just curious if anybody here has experience with this unit? I understand MOTU’s equipment is usually of very high quality.

I considered the dedicated Hard disk recorder route. The MOTU/PC solution is a little less expensive and WAY more flexible. I’ll be able to transfer the “sessions” to a USB 2.0 or FireWire hard disk and take them home for mixdown and mastering on my DAW with nearfield monitors (Event TR8N’s). The hard disk recorder method gets a little more hairy transferring the files.

Opinions, ideas, advice welcome!!


PS Can the 24 I/O chase or generate SMPTE? Just in case they want to add video into the system someday?

gtr4him -

I had a friend with a “real studio” that was using a MOTU 2408 Mk3 to transfer digital from 3 ADAT tape machines. The only problem was that there was a synch issue when trying to link to all 3 ADAT players at the same time. The only real solution was to get a dedicated digital clock to align the 2408 to all 3 ADATs.

Now, this will hopefully never be a problem for you unless. But if you are planning on digital communication with external FX units or with a digital mixing console, you might consider the MOTU Digital Timepiece.

Good luck with the 24 tracks!

- Ben

Hey TG,
I use 2 MOTU 2408s for the exact purpose you describe, recording music from our worship team each Sunday. I use the direct outs of an Allen & Heath GL4000 to feed 2 Tascam DA78s and 16 analog inputs of the MOTU 2408s. The DA78s are used only for the ADA convertors with digital signal to the MOTU2408 by TDIF. That’s a total of 32 tracks with expansion capability for another 16 by ADAT or TDIF. This system has worked very well for over a year. It is very stable with recording errors and glitches quite rare. for example one error every 2-3 hours of recording. Though not inexpensive by any means, I highly recommend the MOTU 2408 -24I/O system.

The MOTU 2408mk3 can generate time code, but as Ben has said, I don’t know how well. MOTU recommends its Digital Timepiece for time code generation.

I’ve got the 24i/o. Sounds great and works great. Its running into cubase sx. I also have the 2408 mk11 for transferring from 2 adats(works great), and a couple of months ago got the motu 828 mk11 (firewire) and was really impressed with its performance.I have not used any of these with n, only cubase but I’m pretty sure the asio driver would work well with n. If you didn’t need all 24trks at once I would look at the 828mk11. It will record 10 trks at once. Good luck

The MOTU 2408s work very well with n-Track.

I got tired of carrying my tower around(don’t have a laptop) so I got an alesis hd24. It has 2 drive bays for your drives. The cool part is that when your done with a session you can pop the hard drive out and bring it home and transfer the files using the alesis fireport through firewire. The total package runs about the same as the motu 24i/o but you only have to carry a hard drive around :) I have been using this config to mix in N and it works great. Also motu had a unit called the 24i which has 24 ins and 2 outs. They have been selling on fleabay for around 300-500.

I just rented my friend’s MOTU 896 to record our band & it worked great. It connects to your computer via firewire.

The 828mk II works fine with ntrack.

Hmm…thanks for all the replies fella’s! I think we will go the MOTU route. I’m not worried about portability as this will be a permanent install. Initially, we will track, 6 solo vocalists, 3 choir mics, 3 guitars, 1 bass, Stereo Keyboard and 3-5 mics on drums + the occasional horn player or two for about 20-22 tracks. Plus, with the “Core” 24 I/O System you get the PCI-424 card and room to plug in 3 more interfaces if need be.

Including the PC, I think I can get this going for around $2K.


The critical component will be the MOBO on your computer, and possibly some software setup issues. If you go cheap on the MOBO, you may regret it. Be sure to go with one that other MOTU users are happy with. This isn’t a MOTU issue, it’s a basic DAW issue. I don’t ever remember hearing anyone with an ASUS MOBO with Intel chipset complain about dropouts. No doubt there are plenty of other options, most likely cheaper than that.

Toker, were you using the MOTU with a MOBO listed on your quiet system webpage?

And with that many channels, you probably want a second hard drive: one for OS, one for audio. May not be absolutely required, but it tends to help avoid problems. If you put the 2nd drive in a swap-bay, then it’s also a very handy way to transport the files from church to home.

Finally, if the IO doesn’t have SMPTE, the Timepiece does. The Timepiece isn’t cheap, but at least it’s an available option if the situation comes up later.

Thanks Jeff.

Definitely a two drive system. I am probably going to try the 24 I/O on my system at home before ordering the PC for the church. Mine is an Athlon XP 2500+ on an ASUS A7V600 with 512 MB RAM and 2 Western Digital 80 giggers. It’ll run 16 tracks from my EMU no problem. If that works OK…the whole shootin’ match cables and all will run around $2K. I don’t think thats too shabby. I could Ebay around and try for some better hardware prices on the MOTU…but…its not MY money and I want them to have the full warranty and all that stuff.


PS According to the MOTU site the 24 I/O will do SMPTE synch.