MOTU 828es, The ultimate Linux audio interface ?

Talk about your MIDI interfaces, microphones, keyboards...

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MOTU 828es, The ultimate Linux audio interface ?

Postby Musicmaker » Thu Sep 28, 2017 6:19 am

Just released

- Web based / IP (also Linux), Thus no ALSA mixer needed !
- Internal effects
- USB input of 28 channels , 1.9ms latency
- AVB 128 channels
- Audio class compliant (incl iOS)
- Time code I/O
- 2x 8 ADAT expansion.
- $995

This look to be the ultimate Linux Audio interface to get beyond 16 channels over USB (if it works under Linux)

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Re: MOTU 828es, The ultimate Linux audio interface ?

Postby michalsykora » Sat Oct 21, 2017 10:45 pm

HELL YES. :arrow:

- in Catia 828ES appears as 24 I/O interface + separate MIDI I/O over USB2
- 48kHz only, works stable at 512 sample (~10.7ms) buffer and more (at least on my Manjaro 4.9.48 on Lenovo X200)
- my process of starting Jack2 is:
- connect running 828ES to USB port, it automatically switches to 44.1kHz and gets "catched" by system (can not explain better)
- load my custom "preset" with only analog IO + SPDIF (I just like less unused things in the routing grid)
- start integrated Intel soundcard to get Cadence / Jack / USB hub etc. away from 828ES
- stop Jack, switch to 828ES, start Jack
- if this procedure was successful, you have rock solid 24 I/O - connected to grid of vast other I/O + simpler DSP mixer

- by simpler DSP mixer I mean no live mixing desk possibilities, but very good for studio monitor usage + possibility of OSC control, WEB control and password protect of main mixer part and auxes you don't make available without password, the built-in reverb is also very generic

Pros (in order):
- price of 1075eur at time of this post
- AVB, 2x ADAT, WC, LTC, MIDI - ideal for creative and expansive environments
- mic preamps - stepped 63dB gain, Pad has relay switching, hardware buttons for 48V and Pad + analog sends!
- MUTE switch for monitor, two independent headphones - no external management
- talkback mic does not waste one input - and you don't have to have the mic and cable
- integrated 100-240V power supply - I hate to find the correct brick every single time
- without rack ears fits airplane cabbin suitcase nicely
- it is 1.9kg only, well constructed

Cons (in order):
- european power cord has pretty big plug (a lot of force used, and not plugged correctly), I will change this cable
- USB cable is really long - this could be just my travel issue, i also have shorter one
- monitor B must be sent somewhere even if not used - that's what SPDIF is used for in my preset :roll:
- any other web app / device GUI nitpicked details and / or say minor flaws I sent to MOTU

Summary. If you:
- are in need of better preamps and converters than Focusrite / Presonus
- want RME equivalent with ethernet control - personally I don't like their driver software
- want AVB expandability - say direct connectivity to Stage-B16, without AVB router
- want excellent and fast routing with presets
- want mixer with DSP
- not sure what type of synchronization you could need for your projects
- travel
- have this moderate amount of money


I am not paid MOTU staff and had to pay for my unit.

I think any other MOTU AVB soundcard could work similarly under Linux. As their older Traveller worked nicely over FW400. That was my bet.
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Re: MOTU 828es, The ultimate Linux audio interface ?

Postby CrocoDuck » Sun Oct 22, 2017 12:25 pm

Thank you for reporting how this interface works!

I have just one question. According to specs, there are many more sample rates supported. What do you mean that 48 kHz only is supported? Is it that JACK will fail to start if a different sample rate is selected?
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Re: MOTU 828es, The ultimate Linux audio interface ?

Postby Ulrich » Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:33 pm


Anyone using it also ? I encounter a weird problem. It does not prevent me from using the sound card, but it is annoying. When I plug it in, I get this dmesg :

Code: Select all

usb 1-12: new high-speed USB device number 6 using xhci_hcd
usb 1-12: clock source 1 is not valid, cannot use

It makes the soundcard change its set samplerate. I have to apply the configuration for it to get back to a "normal" state. Then I can launch Jack, and it works.

The alsamixer gives this :


I have a really hard time understanding how ALSA works :oops: I would really like some help, or point me to the right board or mailing list.

Thanks everyone !

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Re: MOTU 828es, The ultimate Linux audio interface ?

Postby Gooberpatrol66 » Fri Mar 23, 2018 11:58 pm

Is MIDI confirmed to work?

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Re: MOTU 828es, The ultimate Linux audio interface ?

Postby Ulrich » Wed Apr 25, 2018 11:43 am

Gooberpatrol66 wrote:Is MIDI confirmed to work?

Yes, everything works fine, from MIDI to both ADAT. The only annoying thing is the ALSA fuckery. But I don't have the knowledge to investigate further.

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Re: MOTU 828es, The ultimate Linux audio interface ?

Postby stanlea » Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:30 pm

There's another thread here concerning Motu Ultralite AVB, having audio glitches on input, due to problems with usb sync, for what I understand. Did you had the same, or not, and how much channels did you try to record simultaneously ?

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