MOTU announces Track16 ($595), a 16x14 desktop studio interface that offers mixing and effects. Track16 connects via FireWire or high-speed USB 2 to a Mac or PC computer and offers elegant design, compact size, one-touch operation, and studio-grade sound quality. MOTU states that Track16 will ship in Q3 of 2012.
The Track16 base unit and included breakout cable provide a total of 16 inputs and 14 outputs, hybrid FireWire/USB connectivity, optical digital I/O, MIDI I/O, and SMPTE time code sync. Advanced features include a 16-bus digital mixer (with reverb, EQ, and compression), audio analysis tools such as an FFT with spectrogram "waterfall," and an instrument tuner.
The Track16 base unit measures approximately 5x8x1 inches, and is constructed from solid aluminum cast metal, with a sleek, brushed-aluminum top. The top panel provides a large, multi-function knob, 10 backlit buttons, and four pairs of 7-segment level meters. The front panel provides several connectors, including a hi-Z guitar input, 1/8-inch stereo "mini" line input, and two mirrored headphone jacks (on ¼-inch and 1/8-inch connectors). The rear panel provides a DB25 connector for the breakout cable, a FireWire 400 connector (on a 9-pin Type B jack, similar to other MOTU "hybrid" audio interfaces), a standard USB 2 port, and optical in/out jacks, which provide eight channels at 1x sample rates, four channels of SMUX at 2x samples rates, and stereo TOSlink (optical S/PDIF) at rates up to 96 kHz. The optical ports are ideal for system expansion, such as adding eight more mic inputs with a MOTU 8pre interface.
The custom-designed DB25 breakout cable is 44 inches long (tip to tip), with twelve female connectors for the rest of Track16's I/O connections, including two XLR mic inputs, stereo balanced quarter-inch line inputs, stereo balanced ¼-inch main outs, stereo ¼-inch line outputs, a second hi-Z guitar input, MIDI In/Out, and a DC power input for the included power adapter. Individually shielded twisted pairs and balanced analog connections ensure optimum audio quality and integrity. An optional breakout box with the same connectors as the included breakout will be sold separately (MOTU will announce pricing and availability).
Track16 can draw bus power from the FireWire port, which supplies enough power to drive 48-volt phantom power for two independent mic preamps. Under bus power, users have the option of operating Track16 without the breakout cable, allowing them to record from the guitar input and listen on headphones with just their laptop computer.
The included DC adapter connects to the breakout cable (or breakout box) and powers Track16 for stand-alone use or connection to a computer using USB. According to MOTU, Track16's USB 2 connection provides across-the-board compatibility with Mac and PCs, including forward compatibility with the USB 3 connections on Apple's latest MacBook and Mac Pro computers.