MOTU has announced a free firmware update for the 1248, 16A, 8M and other current-generation audio interfaces that lets you stream up to 64 channels of audio, at sample rates up to 192 kHz with low latency, over Ethernet to your Mac.
Firmware update 1.2.5 supports AVB/TSN Ethernet, letting you connect your MOTU interface to the Mac using a standard CAT-5e or CAT-6 Ethernet cable up to 100 meters long and stream up to 64 audio channels to and from audio applications running on the Mac at sample rates up to 192 kHz with low latency. Any recent-generation Mac with a built-in Ethernet port running OS X 10.11 is supported.
This lets you use inexpensive Ethernet wiring to connect to an audio interface that can be much farther away from your Mac, across the room in a machine closet with other gear, for example, or in an isolation booth down the hall, near microphones and musicians. If that’s not far enough, you can use fiber-optic network cables many hundreds of meters in length, so audio can be distributed across very long distances in facilities like churches, concert halls and stadiums.
You can also connect multiple MOTU audio interfaces to your Mac using the five-port MOTU AVB Switch (or any other standard AVB/TSN-compatible Ethernet switch) to build an expanded audio network.
All devices on the network can transmit and receive full-bandwidth multi-channel PCM audio throughout the network with extremely low, fixed network latency, even across multiple switches (known as “hops”). I
You can also connect multiple Macs, which share full access to the entire network.
Here’s what’s new with Firmware 1.2.5:
- Added the ability to remotely control preamp settings for any interface on a network.
- Interfaces can now resolve to SMPTE time code (LTC) from any available analog or digital input channel.
- Interfaces can convert SMPTE time code (LTC) to MIDI Time Code (MTC) under OS X.
- Added support for Apple OS X 10.11 entity mode, so you can connect multiple AVB devices to an AVB-equipped Mac.
- Added graphic control for the multi-band EQ and compressor in the web app on-screen mixer.
- Interfaces can now be password-protected.
- Device presets now save and recall AVB stream connections.
- Added a lock button to the web app Routing tab to prevent accidental changes to audio routing.
- Input meters in the web app Mixing tab can now be set to display pre- or post-fader levels.
- Added support for 3rd-party devices that support multiple AVB configurations.
- AVB networking connections no longer reset when the sample rate setting is changed.
- Added support for enterprise-grade switches from Arista and other switch manufacturers.
- Improved performance and many bug fixes.
If you’ve used the new firmware, leave a comment and let us know what you’re doing with it!