home studios equipment staff/friends booking/rates for sale forum contact

Profire 2626 vs MOTU 896

All your geeky questions about electronics, microphones, tape machines, etc.

Moderators: kerble, Electrical-Staff

Profire 2626 vs MOTU 896

Postby rgauss on Sat Dec 23, 2017 2:13 pm

Hey all,

I've read through a bunch of the posts here and various stuff on the internet.

I've got an older Mac Pro running Mavericks. I think I'll use Logic Pro X being that it's already installed and I like the interface better than Reaper. I want something with 8 analog in/out that can be daisy-chained to a second unit down the road for 16 in/out. Prefer jacks on rear panel. Prefer individual, or at worst per-pair, phantom power. I'm only looking to spend around $200 US. The two units in the subject line seem to fit my criteria.

Opinions? Other options?
User avatar
rgauss
robert rauschenberg
robert rauschenberg
 
Posts: 784
Joined: Tue Apr 11, 2006 6:26 pm
Location: nuevo mexico

Re: Profire 2626 vs MOTU 896

Postby LBx on Sat Dec 23, 2017 3:13 pm

I'm not the recording hobbyist I was *years back but my 896 has always served my well. Jacks on the rear and individual phantom power are there. Doesn't have the CueMix option of the later units though. In case you're looking for it. (I didn't consider it myself when I bought it 2nd hand.)


*Looking forward to pulling it out again in a new space this coming March.
User avatar
LBx
Humankind's Greatest Musical Genius
Humankind's Greatest Musical Genius
 
Posts: 4348
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 3:31 am
Location: Quebexico

Re: Profire 2626 vs MOTU 896

Postby rgauss on Sat Dec 23, 2017 9:09 pm

LBx wrote:I'm not the recording hobbyist I was *years back but my 896 has always served my well. Jacks on the rear and individual phantom power are there. Doesn't have the CueMix option of the later units though. In case you're looking for it. (I didn't consider it myself when I bought it 2nd hand.)


*Looking forward to pulling it out again in a new space this coming March.


I'm glad you brought the CueMix thing to my attention. Between that and not really needing a lot of outputs, now I'm also looking at the MOTU 8pre. I'm sure I could get by with the 896. Wish the 896HD, which I'm reading does have CueMix, wasn't just out of my budget. Thanks for your help

*edit for wrong product name.
User avatar
rgauss
robert rauschenberg
robert rauschenberg
 
Posts: 784
Joined: Tue Apr 11, 2006 6:26 pm
Location: nuevo mexico

Re: Profire 2626 vs MOTU 896

Postby Anthony Flack on Sat Dec 23, 2017 10:34 pm

It looks like the Profire does let you make monitor mixes though (up to seven?). It's a handy feature.

I haven't used either, I use a Presonus Saffire Pro 40 which seems to be basically the same, feature wise. These prosumer 8 input units seem to all have a similar feature set. I expect they all sound about as good as each other.

The Saffire is Firewire which I wouldn't recommend getting these days (although not really a problem if you're using a Mac) but I guess their USB Scarlett ones are much the same too.

The Saffire has been fine for me, it's quiet, it has enough gain for ribbon mics or the SM7, and I daisy chain another 8 channels through the ADAT port which works fine. It has six inputs on the back and two on the front. Ten outputs which you can route any combination of different monitor/headphone mixes or individual live channels through. This is really handy.

It has pads on the first two channels and (slightly annoyingly) phantom power can't be switched on and off for each individual channel but 1-4 all together and 5-8 all together. I see you wanted pairs at worst. Yeah it is a minor pain but with 16 channels not too difficult to keep condensers and ribbon mics apart.
Anthony Flack
Present-day God
Present-day God
 
Posts: 9186
Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2012 12:27 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Profire 2626 vs MOTU 896

Postby bishopdante on Sun Dec 24, 2017 9:54 am

The MOTU 896 is remarkably unremarkable in its sound and function, but is a workhorse and genuinely rugged, with sensible features.

Would recommend buying two 896s now you can find them for $150. They were not cheap new.
"One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision." - Bertrand Russell
User avatar
bishopdante
Humankind's Greatest Musical Genius
Humankind's Greatest Musical Genius
 
Posts: 4361
Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2011 11:25 am
Location: London

Re: Profire 2626 vs MOTU 896

Postby japmn on Sun Dec 24, 2017 7:56 pm

I saw Focusrite Pro 40 firewire interfaces being blown out for $200 new in the box about a month or so ago. Firewire interfaces are dropping in price like flies these days.
User avatar
japmn
Power Incarnate with Endless Creativity
Power Incarnate with Endless Creativity
 
Posts: 7874
Joined: Mon Dec 27, 2004 12:38 am
Location: Poutland

Re: Profire 2626 vs MOTU 896

Postby Anthony Flack on Mon Dec 25, 2017 2:09 pm

When I say Presonus I mean Focusrite, but translated through Christmas brain function.
Anthony Flack
Present-day God
Present-day God
 
Posts: 9186
Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2012 12:27 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Profire 2626 vs MOTU 896

Postby rgauss on Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:55 am

Thanks for the recommendations. I had looked at the Focusrites. They get good reviews and I've got to say that buying new is pretty tempting. Think I'm going to scrape up a little more money and look for an 896HD.

Cheers.
User avatar
rgauss
robert rauschenberg
robert rauschenberg
 
Posts: 784
Joined: Tue Apr 11, 2006 6:26 pm
Location: nuevo mexico

Re: Profire 2626 vs MOTU 896

Postby eliya on Wed Dec 27, 2017 12:09 pm

The newer MOTU stuff is pretty great but out of your budget. However, if you're thinking about chaining two units down the line, then maybe it's better to invest in a more modern interface, so in two years you're not scrambling to find a computer with FW ports, not to mention another working 896.
User avatar
eliya
Power Incarnate with Endless Creativity
Power Incarnate with Endless Creativity
 
Posts: 7644
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2005 12:37 pm
Location: Chicago

Re: Profire 2626 vs MOTU 896

Postby Anthony Flack on Wed Dec 27, 2017 4:21 pm

Somebody correct me if I'm wrong but I think if you chain two units together through the ADAT port then it doesn't much matter what the second unit is as long as it conforms to the ADAT standard. I can't say that with confidence since my second unit is also a Focusrite (OctoPre Mk II) and designed to be used exactly this way.

Firewire is already a pain in the dick for any Windows machine, especially laptops which these days probably don't even have an expansion slot to install a Firewire card since they tend to favour slimness over customisation these days, but is fine for Mac users as the Thunderbolt port is Firewire compatible. USB is fundamentally incompatible with Firewire and cannot be bridged with any kind of adaptor.

I find myself basically restricted to using Macs for recording now.
Anthony Flack
Present-day God
Present-day God
 
Posts: 9186
Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2012 12:27 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Profire 2626 vs MOTU 896

Postby eliya on Wed Dec 27, 2017 6:16 pm

Yeah, you're right. If the OP uses ADAT protocol, then there shouldn't be any issues chaining the two units. So in reality, if that future interface isn't FW, then it shouldn't be as much of a problem.
User avatar
eliya
Power Incarnate with Endless Creativity
Power Incarnate with Endless Creativity
 
Posts: 7644
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2005 12:37 pm
Location: Chicago

Re: Profire 2626 vs MOTU 896

Postby bishopdante on Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:38 pm

The windows lack of FW ports - an incurable syndrome on laptops but a cheap PCI card for a desktop - is probably how come the price of the older MOTU firewire gear is so cheap.

FW is not intercompatible with thunderbolt - thunderbolt talks PCI, and the thunderbolt to firewire converter dongle contains the equivalent of a tiny PCI card, which is why they are expensive.

An ADAT toslink connector does have a limit of 48kHz sample rate for an 8 channel link - if you use 96k it only has sufficient bandwidth for four channels, so daisy-chaining via firewire is preferable, or better still a separate firewire port per interface - (if you don't intend to use 96k or 192k then ADAT's bottleneck is less concerning). ADAT lightpipe's data rate is 12.288Mbps, whereas FW400 can transfer 400Mbps, and FW800 can transfer 800Mbps (being basically two channels of FW400). In theory the maximum unidirectional throughput of FW400 is hundreds of channels of 24bit/44.1kHz. In practise 32 or 24ch in and out at 24/44.1 is about the limit of what's 100% reliable travelling down a single port.

Also important to make sure to clock the interfaces via BNC, ideally using an external word clock whether you are using FW or ADAT.
"One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision." - Bertrand Russell
User avatar
bishopdante
Humankind's Greatest Musical Genius
Humankind's Greatest Musical Genius
 
Posts: 4361
Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2011 11:25 am
Location: London

Re: Profire 2626 vs MOTU 896

Postby Anthony Flack on Sun Dec 31, 2017 9:46 pm

Yeah, 8 channels is the practical limit for ADAT connection (48k is just fine).

The Thunderbolt to Firewire converter can be had for less than thirty bucks and works with no problems, whereas USB to Firewire converters don't exist, that's the thing.
Anthony Flack
Present-day God
Present-day God
 
Posts: 9186
Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2012 12:27 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Profire 2626 vs MOTU 896

Postby bishopdante on Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:53 am

thunderbolt 3, based on USB type C, can be converted to thunderbolt 2 (based on mini displayport)... which can then be converted to FW.

That is quite a lot of dangling dongle, and the more things to come unplugged the more likely somebody sneezing will end your session... but it does work.

You can also buy various docking stations for thunderbolt 2 or 3, which usually offer FW800, and most importantly an rj45/8P8C wired Ethernet socket.

There is also magma, who make a variety of thunderbolt connected PCI card chassis, so were you to want to run a very large number of FW or USB interfaces and huge track count, putting a bunch of firewire cards in one of those would enable a rack with one cable connecting it to a computer, with everything pre-wired and ready to go. They can also be used to run Protools expansion cards, or whatever PCI stuff you need.

Rather painfully the above is also required for every single apple desktop computer made in the past half decade, including darth vader's waste paper basket.
"One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision." - Bertrand Russell
User avatar
bishopdante
Humankind's Greatest Musical Genius
Humankind's Greatest Musical Genius
 
Posts: 4361
Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2011 11:25 am
Location: London


Return to Tech Room

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: steve, uglysound and 9 guests