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MOTU 2408 mk2 in standalone mode

Here’s one easy way to add 8 A/D converters to your existing firewire recording interface with an available ADAT optical in.

My Setup

Currently I use a Presonus FireStudio interface, connected to a computer via firewire, tracking with Reaper. I went through some driver hell initially with the Presonus, but It’s stable now. The Firestudio has 8 microphone preamps that don’t suck, but I now own an FMR RNP and a Sytek MPX-4Aii. Connecting them through the analog ins on the Presonus is useless, because you can’t bypass the preamp stage.

One Solution

Grab a MOTU 2408 mk2 on Ebay.  Mine cost me $225 and did not come with a PCI card for connection to pc.  Remember, this assumes you have a working firewire interface already.  Buy a good quality optical cable with a Toslink type connector.  Buy it from Newegg because they rule. I picked up one of these for $18 shipped.

Connections / Configuration

  • MOTU 2408, Bank C ADAT Out  —>   Presonus ADAT In
  • A/C cable into the wall (no shit)

Power the MOTU on and hit the select button.  There’ll be a green blinking light next to ‘bounce’.  Press the ‘Sel’ button until a single green light specifying “1-2 -> 1-2″ is lit.

Press “Select” and now you have a green light next to “Bounce”.   Press the “Sel” button until you have two amber lights next to “Analog” and “Grp C”.

Press “Select” and now your green mode LED is flashing next to “Clock”.  Press the “Sel” button until you have two red lights next to the “Int” and “44.1″ (or “48″) marks.

On your existing firewire interface go in to settings and make sure it’s clocked via the ADAT In you plugged your optical cable in to.  For the Presonus Firestudio, you open up the FireStudio Control Panel, visit the “Hardware Settings” tab and select “ADAT 1 In” on “Clock Source”.  You should have something similar.


With this setup, the Presonus syncs to the MOTU, rather than the other way around. The config on the MOTU assures that each of the 8 analog ins route directly through the A/D converters and out the ADAT Bank C Outs. No pc connection necessary, which is exactly what I wanted.

This is really only one option.  I’d actually rather use the Presonus clock which I suspect doesn’t suck.  To do that, i’ll have to get BNC wordclock (coax?) cables.  Maybe later.

There are other ADAT ins, as well as a SPDIF in available,  so there’s flexability.  Maybe I’ll score an bitchin API interface and connect it via SPIDIF to round out 16 channels. (I have 8xPresonus, 4xSytek, and 2xRNP)

HTH, now go track something that rocks.

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