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MOTU Ultralite MK 3 hybrid

Connecting Hauptwerk to MIDI organs, sequencers, ...

MOTU Ultralite MK 3 hybrid

Postby historyglenn » Wed Oct 18, 2017 1:52 pm

Anyone have experience with the MOTU audio interface products? I need one with discreet channel output to route keyboard output to. This one has 10 ins and 14 outs, none are shared. Not really sure if this would satisfy my needs. A little pricey at about $539.00.
Last edited by historyglenn on Thu Oct 19, 2017 1:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: MOTU Untralite MK 3 hybrid

Postby organsRgreat » Wed Oct 18, 2017 2:19 pm

MOTU equipment is a bit expensive, but the quality's very good. I also had excellent service from the UK agents when one of mine died after the guarantee had expired. Instead of repairing mine, they supplied (at modest cost) a replacement unit, which appeared to be brand new.

I now have three 828 Hybrid Mark 3 units operating in conjunction with two computers. My system includes two Quad ESL 57 electrostatic speakers, which give an exceptionally clear sound, so if things sound good on them the digital-to-analogue converters in the MOTUs must also be good.

Just be warned that linking 828s via firewire can be tricky; but you're thinking of a different unit, and just one at present – that should be fine.
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Re: MOTU Untralite MK 3 hybrid

Postby mdyde » Wed Oct 18, 2017 2:49 pm

The MOTU Ultralite AVB (USB 2.0 + AVB) and Ultralite-mk4 (USB 2.0) are the current models, so my advice would be to consider those instead of the mk3 (e.g. for maximum useful/supported lifetime): http://motu.com/products/

The AVB models are particularly good in that you can easily add any additional AVB models, and connect and use them all together (up to a total of 64 channels via USB), in case you decide you want more channels/features at a later date. I have two MOTU 16A units, connected together by AVB, with the first connected to the computer via USB 2.0, and they work and perform very well for me, even up to the full 64 simultaneous channels.
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Re: MOTU Untralite MK 3 hybrid

Postby magnaton » Wed Oct 18, 2017 4:49 pm

I have this exact unit. Indeed it has 14 discreet audio outputs. Some audio interfaces in this class don't have all channels discreet. For another brand I researched, the output to the Mains ports (L & R or 1 & 2) are hardwired to the headphones jack. Not so with the MOTU units. :D .

On mine I have one HW Alt config setup to send just the console noises to the headphone jack to which I have a pair of an inexpensive powered PC speakers connected via a Y adapter. Thus console noises emanate from the console. I have another Alt Confg where the headphone jack is as intended (quick manual swap) for late night practice.

The only minor gripe I have with the Ultralight series is the soft switch (integrated into the Volume knob) in order to turn the unit on. I have my multi channel HW rig setup on two switches to start and stop but I have to turn the MOTU on separately so its actually 3 switches to start.

Danny B.
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Re: MOTU Untralite MK 3 hybrid

Postby organtechnology » Wed Oct 18, 2017 7:46 pm

magnaton wrote:I have this exact unit. Indeed it has 14 discreet audio outputs. Some audio interfaces in this class don't have all channels discreet. For another brand I researched, the output to the Mains ports (L & R or 1 & 2) are hardwired to the headphones jack. Not so with the MOTU units. :D .

On mine I have one HW Alt config setup to send just the console noises to the headphone jack to which I have a pair of an inexpensive powered PC speakers connected via a Y adapter. Thus console noises emanate from the console. I have another Alt Confg where the headphone jack is as intended (quick manual swap) for late night practice.

The only minor gripe I have with the Ultralight series is the soft switch (integrated into the Volume knob) in order to turn the unit on. I have my multi channel HW rig setup on two switches to start and stop but I have to turn the MOTU on separately so its actually 3 switches to start.

Danny B.


MOTU has modified my Ultralight AVB units to turn on when power is applied. Took a little begging :)

Thomas
Complete VPO systems powered by Hauptwerk™. Real Wood Consoles, PC or MAC Computer Sound Modules, Audio for Home or Church.
info (at) organtechnology.com http://www.organtechnology.com

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Re: MOTU Ultralite MK 3 hybrid

Postby engrssc » Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:29 am

My current project involves sending 16 channels of Hauptwerk audio 150 feet away from the console) to the speaker "chambers". In the speaker chambers (presently 1 single large area - later will be sub divided) there are 16 speaker systems with 2 - Crown CT8150 power amplifiers fed by a single MOTU 24 Ao which is an AVB audio output box. A single Cat 6 cable feeds the 24 Ao. This gives 24 channels of audio available (presently using only 16 channels).. On the console end, I'm "playing" with 2 options. Internal space is at a premium even tho it is a 3M draw knob organ console. The 2 choices I have are to use a Mac Mini which is limited to 16 GB of RAM but has AVB Ethernet networking capable built-in. (For the present needs, the Mini is adequate)

The other choice is a very compact PC with 32 GB of RAM, a 500 GB SSD and a 1 TB HDD. To feed the MOTU 24 Ao, I can use a MOTU Ultralite MK3 AVB box which can be connected to the PC via USB 2.0. .I may upgrade to a Mk 4, but presently have a Mk 3 AVB available. The 24 Ao is configured as an audio interface.

There are pros and cons either way. One most important requirement is reliability right up there with quality organ audio. Without doing any serious voicing, the sound is quite good with either computer setup. I would place the MAC in a higher reliability column, but the PC (WIndows) has been problem free thus far. BTW this installation is not being used presently yet, still in the installation phase.

Notably, there is a startup delay for the AVB boxes to "handshake" before they are ready which is similar to the startup delay of the Hauptwerk computer, etc. The 24 Ao AVB is in the disabled mode until it "sees" an incoming AVB network feed.

One thing I would appreciate a solution to is to look into if there is a voltage present on the AVB network (cable) connection to trigger a small (possibly transistor driven) relay that would be on the opposite end of the CAT 6 line (speaker/amplifier end) from the console. This relay (if it could be done) would turn on (remotely) a power sequencer which, in turn, would connect power to the power amps. I wouldn't want to disturb the network data on the CAT 6 line of course. Any thoughts?

Rgds,
Ed
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Re: MOTU Ultralite MK 3 hybrid

Postby mdyde » Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:08 am

engrssc wrote:To feed the MOTU 24 Ao, I can use a MOTU Ultralite MK3 AVB box which can be connected to the PC via USB 2.0. .I may upgrade to a Mk 4, but presently have a Mk 3 AVB available.


Hello Ed,

My understanding is that the only MOTU Ultralite model that supports AVB is the 'Ultralite AVB'. (The Ultralite Mk3 and Mk4 don't have AVB, according to MOTU's website.)
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Re: MOTU Ultralite MK 3 hybrid

Postby engrssc » Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:12 am

mdyde wrote:My understanding is that the only MOTU Ultralite model that supports AVB is the 'Ultralite AVB'. (The Ultralite Mk3 and Mk4 don't have AVB, according to MOTU's website.)


I stand corrected. I am using the Ultralite AVB. I was going on a rumor that there may be an upgraded version of the Ulralite AVB available "sometime" and I referred to it as a Mk4. Sorry for the missed info.

There is a wealth of info about AVB on the MOTU website, even great expansion capabilities using AVB switches. Unfortunately there isn't much development in the area of PC (AVB) interfaces.

Rgds,
Ed
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Re: MOTU Ultralite MK 3 hybrid

Postby magnaton » Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:52 am

engrssc wrote:The other choice is a very compact PC with 32 GB of RAM, a 500 GB SSD and a 1 TB HDD. To feed the MOTU 24 Ao, I can use a MOTU Ultralite MK3 AVB box which can be connected to the PC via USB 2.0. .I may upgrade to a Mk 4, but presently have a Mk 3 AVB available. The 24 Ao is configured as an audio interface.


Hey Ed:

I actually assisted Thomas from Organtechnology on a HW church install with this same setup using a PC based solution. From the short time I was involved with several stops, starts, reboots, and a reconfig, the system was very reliable.

The setup is in a relatively small sanctuary. The console sits in the back of the sanctuary with the chamber in front, high above the altar that speaks out to the congregation and organist. The chamber contains the MOTU 24Ao, 8 active studio monitors, and 1 active subwoofer. The console has the MOTU Ultralite AVB which has a modification to power up whenever AC is supplied. This was needed since it has spring loaded power switch that requires manual intervention. :cry: To reduce any HW start up sync issues, the Ultralite AVB remains powered up all the time. The AVB connection between the 2 MOTU units is by a single CAT5 cable (10' foot patch cable from console to an Ethernet wall plate that terminates with the same in the chamber).

The startup is a two step process: power button on the console to start computer, console lights, and other components; a light switch in a utility room turns on the power switch for the chamber. This setup allows the organist to practice with headphones when the speakers (and MOTU 24Ao) are powered down. When ready for sound, by the time she walks back to the console after turning on the chamber power switch, the AVB 'handshake' between the 2 units has already happened.

Danny B.
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