Motu 2408mkii

(random photo)

Make / Model: MOTU 2408mk2
Year: 2000
Purchased: American Musical Supply, 2000
Price: $800-900? (new)

You can hear this on:
F*box ‘Hateless’
F*box ‘ep1020’
Silence Is Suicide LP
These records were recorded using the 2408mkii as the main audio interface.

Build Quality

Pretty good.

Sound Quality

Great for what it was.


In 1999, there were very few GOOD and affordable options to get audio into and out of a computer for recording. Pro-tools, at that time, was still being sold either the Mix|24 system ($10k+) or legacy sound tools type hardware. (their digi-001 wouldn’t come out for another year or so)

And amid all of this, was a company called Mark Of The Unicorn. This company’s target audience seemed to be keyboard players. And In all the coming years, I never really escaped that impression. And I hate keyboard players. I think of pony tails, and someone trying to be emotive through an instrument that, acoustically, is like hitting a guitar with a hammer, and digitally, well, your fucking with a casio.

Regardless, MOTU made an interface called the 2408, and it was cheap, and it had every fucking input and output you could ask for. Analog ins and outs? 8. ADAT? You could hook up three fucking adats to this thing. Or perhaps you had taken Tascam’s pill and needed DA-88? You can hook up three of those as well. And it had S/PDIF in/out (two outs, btw, one dedicately on the monitor section, labeled as being for ‘to DAT’!!).

And it really didn’t sound bad at all. It sounded damn decent. And even though it was 2000 or so, it had very low latency due to the interface it used, ‘Audiowire’, a proprietary psuedo firewire cable that connected to a PCI card that you stuck in your computer. AND it even came with free recording/editing DAW software , Audiodesk, which was their Digital Performer software minus all the keyboardist parts (MIDI).

The Mkii version had TRS balanced analog i/o, compared to the MKI which was all on RCA(!) inputs. Rememeber: Keyboard players.

I kept thing thing for a while. I made a bunch of recordings through it. And when I outgrew it’s AD/DA conversion, I used it to route digital signals.

Overall, it was probably the most useful item I have ever bought for recording, and would probably still be useful if you ever need to use it’s standalone format conversion between optical and TDIF, like say, if you need to rescue a bunch of DTRS tapes before entropy takes it’s course.

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Llamatism is a collection of things, a cabinet of curiosities, and reports from explorations on things, by Gary Llama.

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