What We Like
- 72 total channels available simultaneously.
- Affordable, comparative to its competitors.
- Can expand with up to five additional interfaces.
What We Don’t Like
- No Thunderbolt connectivity.
- No analog inputs.
MOTU wasn’t messing around when they created the 24Ao audio interface. Likewise, this device is for the professional engineers who don’t mess around. So let’s take a closer look to see what it’s all about.
When it came to designing the 24Ao, MOTU’s main focus was clearly on the quality of the product — they didn’t go crazy with the external look of this machine. It has a simple, black design that mirrors its predecessors, the 1248, 8M and 16A audio interfaces.
It’s a rackspace unit that connects to a computer with a regular AVB Ethernet or USB 2 (must be audio class compliant and high-speed), but sadly it doesn’t have a Thunderbolt option. With the analog output levels and the in/out optical levels on the front of the interface and all of the inputs on the back, it makes for a convenient design. Plus, the convenience continues with an included package of AudioDesk digital audio workstation software for both Mac and Windows.
Pro engineers who know what they’re doing in the studio don’t have time to deal with confusing audio interfaces. And the 24Ao gets top marks on its simple setup and design.
This bad boy has 24 high-quality analog outputs and 48 digital channels, allowing for 72 audio channels to operate at the same time. Plus, it has 24 channels of ADAT optical I/O available. And if you need more channels than that, you can connect up to five more MOTU interfaces via an AVB Switch, which you can purchase separately.
You can then control those 72-plus channels from the corresponding iOS web app to make things easier on you, probably the most important person in the studio. You’ll also get an on-board DSP (digital signal processor) mixer, which can easily measure, filter, and compress those analog signals and then allow you to mix the audio using EQ, dynamics, and different effects. On top of that, you’ll also get matrix routing and splitting, which is great for live hookups.
Unfortunately, this interface doesn’t have any analog inputs or . But if you’re looking for a single-rackspace piece to add to your professional studio or high-end home studio, this could be a could fit.
In terms of performance, the high points of this interface are the clear audio it delivers and the ease of use it provides. For the most part, this is a nice piece of reliable equipment for a decent price, at least compared to other interfaces in its league.
However, some engineers may not believe this interface delivers the quality they need, mainly because it doesn’t offer analog inputs or the option for Thunderbolt connectivity. But as long your studio setup jives with the design and features we’ve talked about, this machine could be a good add.
The simply designed MOTU 24Ao is a single-rackspace unit that would be a nice addition to any professional engineer’s recording studio setup. With a total of 72 channels available simultaneously, the 24Ao doesn’t mess around — because neither do you.