Mark Of The UnicornCan you believe they're still using this name? (MOTU) has released the 24Ai and 24Ao, two computer audio interfaces which claim to offer 24 channels of quality analog audio input or output in a single rack space, combined with three banks of ADAT optical, for a total of 72 channels of I/O. All analog I/O is supplied on standard DB-25 D-sub connectors or 12-pin Phoenix (Euroblock) connectors for studio and industrial installations alike. The 24Ai and 24Ao are equipped with DSP-driven mixing/effects and AVB Ethernet, allowing users to mix and match complementary I/O configurations and unify operation on their shared AVB audio networking platform.
The new 24Ai and 24Ao connect to a computer through universally compatible USB 2.0, which MOTU claims to provide enough bandwidth for 24 analog channels, even for a system that includes both a 24Ai (24 analog inputs) and a 24Ao (24 analog outputs). For expanded systems, users can employ a Thunderbolt-equipped interface, such as the 16A, for 256-channel computer I/O, with the 24Ai and 24Ao units connected through AVB networking, which supports hundreds of network channels. All devices on such a network can stream audio to and from the computer, and everything can be controlled simultaneously from any computers, tablets, and smart phones connected to the network.
The 24Ai and 24Ao share the same extensive feature set and technology platform as the 1248, 8M and 16A, including very high quality analog performance, digitally controlled analog trim on analog inputs, 32-bit DAC trim on analog outputs, 48-channel mixing modeled after large format mixing consoles, DSP effects with 32-bit floating point precision, flexible matrix-style routing and splitting, stand-alone operation, Wi-Fi control, and industry-standard AVB networking with sub-millisecond network latency.
» 72 simultaneous audio channels
—24 high-quality, balanced analog inputs (24Ai) or outputs (24Ao) on three banks of multi-channel connectors (D-sub and Phoenix), plus three banks of 8-channel ADAT optical for 24 analog channels and 48 digital channels.
» Universal connectivity — Connects to a computer with audio class compliant high-speed USB 2.0 (compatible with USB 3.0 and iOS). Discovery app and web app software works alongside any host audio software.
» On-board DSP with mixing and effects — 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 — DSP-driven mixing and effects engine delivers virtually unlimited headroom and the utmost in sound quality.
» Modeled vintage effects processing — Classic reverb. Compression modeled after the legendary LA-2A compressor. EQ modeled after British analog console EQs.
» System expansion — Add a 2nd MOTU AVB interface (24Ai, 24Ao, 1248, 8M or 16A) with a simple Cat-5e Ethernet cable. Connect up to five MOTU interfaces using a MOTU AVB Switch (sold separately).
» AVB audio networking
» Matrix routing and splitting — Send any input to any output, or multiple outputs. Includes routing to and from the computer, plus any devices on the AVB network.
» Web app control — Control on-board DSP, mixing, device settings, and network audio routing from web app software running in your favorite browser on a laptop, tablet or smart phone connected by wire or Wi-Fi to your local area network.
» Stand-alone mixing with wireless control — Connect an Apple Airport or other Wi-Fi router directly to the 24Ai or 24Ao with a standard Ethernet cable and control powerful mixing and DSP effects from your smart phone or tablet, without a computer. Great for live sound mixing.
» ADAT digital I/O — Use the 24Ai or 24Ao as a 24-channel optical expander for other gear. 24 channels at 44.1/48 kHz or 12 channels at 88.2/96 kHz.
» Comprehensive metering — The large backlit 324 x 24 LCD lets you view all signal activity at a glance with detailed metering for all analog and digital I/O. Access hardware settings from a simple and convenient menu.
» AudioDesk 4.0 — Includes AudioDesk workstation software with 24-bit recording, sample-accurate editing and 32-bit mixing and mastering.
MOTU’s 24Ai and 24Ao are available now for $995.