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MOTU Track16, USB and Firewire Hybrid Audiointerface 24 Bit 192 kHz, 8 analog in- and outputs, Inputs for Microphones (incl. +48V), Guitars and Linesignals, 1x ADAT/S/PDIF in- and output, bal. and unbal. in- and outputs, 2 Headphoneoutputs (3,5mm and 6,3mm), Standalone function (16 In/Outs Digital-Mixer without computer), MIDI in-/out, DSP Mixer with EQ and Dynamics on each Channel, 4 x 14 segment LEDs, 10 backlit switches, includes Software for analyzing, SMPTE generation and more, Computer I/O; 1 x FireWire 400 (Type B connector - buspowered)1 x USB 2.0 (no buspower), incl. powersupply, Windows and Mac drivers 32 and 64 Bit, min. requirements: Windows Vista SP2, Mac 10.5.8 (PPC G5 and Intel)
3-year Thomann warranty
30-day money-back guarantee
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The Track 16 is an OK interface, but MOTU could have done a lot better, or could sell it a lot cheaper, at least half its actual price.
To start with an for me one of the most important things, is that the Track16 struggles with clocking. If you don't have your clock sorted, then the rest doesn't really matters. This happens either with FW or USB connection.
Then the connections. That breakout cable seems to have been built by an amateur. Extremely poor quality. It only turns one way (in my case to the left, so it you would want it to turn to the right you would have to twist it against its will probably reducing its life expectancy. It's also huge, so it makes this less of a portable device. And the connectors are rubbish. Would be fine if the interface was on the ?200 range, but not for a ?500+ interface. For this to be worth ?500 plus they should have integrated the Track16 with the breakout box that they sell seperately for another ?120+ into one unit.
Audio quality in my opinion is pretty poor. I've done some measurements and it's less than desirable response for this price range. Also, the inputs and outputs levels are not matched. I've tried sending pink noise out of the balanced outputs straight into the balaced inputs with a 0dB gain structure all over and the balanced inputs gave me a reduction of about -4dB. Again, not acceptable for this price range.
Then software wise, you don't have any control whatsoever over the return from software input, you can only route it to an output without any level control. Or at least I couldn't find how to do it.
Latency is good tho, only giving you 0.51ms for a round trip at 96KHz. And the built quality is good too (apart from the b/out cable). This are the only 2 positive points I can consider on this device.
In conclusion, is an ok interface if you are not very demanding, but it's definitely not worth ?500+. The Track 16 should be in the ?200-?300 price range max as it is.
As a Live Sound Engineer i've been using a Lexicon Omega for the last 8 years for my acoustical measurements and some plugin processing and show recording and it seemed to me a much better product than this, with a much better audio quality and preamps, and a much more straight forward usability, specially considering the price tag.
My opinion, don't waste you money on this. find something cheaper, or better. Maybe spending a little more will give you better results and a better return for your bucks in the long term. I'm returning it and getting and RME interface, which should have done from the beginning.
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Good for the price!
Alexis on 20.02.2014
The Motu Track 16 is a big competitive to the Apogee Duet Version One and Version two as the same as the RME Babyface.
The Track 16 is a little bigger than the Duet and Babyface, the big advantage is that it is featuring a more detailed LED Meter for more parameters and the shortcut buttons for accessing the two Mic Inputs, the Guitar Inputs and the Phone Outs with just a single push.
The biggest advantage for me is the Standalone Mode because I want to listen to Music even without my Macbook. So i can connect a Mp3 Player and my Axe Fx Guitar Processor to it and mix those signals for my studio speakers.
I prefer the Firewire Port because I need my USB ports for other devices so the Duet was a no-go for me.
The Value knob is good but doesn't feel so nice like the one of the Duet.
Sound-wise the Track 16 is doing a really good job, it sounds really natural and open and the short latency is perfect for my needs.
The Breakoutbox is too expensive for me but it would really clean up my desk but Motu,100 bucks?
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