MOTU Track 16 Review “I Love It”

I love the MOTU Track 16 the below first file is with the Track 16 into my MBP (Mac Book Pro) running OS 10.7.4 to Pro Tools 9.0.6 and I used the API plugins from Waves. Mic used was the DPA 4099. The one thing that I did do was a fresh restart and power up on the Track 16 and now there’s no hiss or noise in any of the signals. The second track is with my (MP) Mac Pro OS 10.6.7 and Pro Tools 9.0.6 running on fire wire. The Motu Cue Mix sounds great too and I will be using it when I head out to CA later in the month to use as my live set up. Im going to try using the MIDI in line with my Roland GI-20 Interface to use to trigger synth sounds such as Spectrasonics Omnisphere.

After a week of use. 8.7.12 I have to say this really is one great pice of gear. I have been using the MOTU Track 16 with Cue Mix and for Live its awesome. I have in mic channel one my DPA 4099 G mic and in Chanel 2 from the RMC Pickups and Poly-Drive II to the Fishman Aura Spectrum DI then in to the input for ZERO (0) Latency with EQ and Reverb, Then I run Pro Tools 9.0.6 and use Omnisphere and Stylus RMX and run them thorough the MOTU Track 16 and out to my main monitors for an amazingly great live sounding set up.

What some of my friends are saying about the MOTU Track 16 after listing to the finished result:
I think you have found a winner
Sounds great very clean and I think there is a tad.of high end detail not
Heard since you had the ensemble
(Silver Sound Taz)
Hello Victor,
Sounds lovely. I was more taken by the sound of the guitar…which tells me
the quality is great.
Sounds excellent! I would not have guessed that is was recorded on such a small device.
(Jay S)

The folks at Sweetwater were great in helping me get the MOTU Track 16 Mark Magdich 1800-222-4700×1265 and the flex pay makes it easier on the wallet.

I received my MOTU Track 16 it looks nice. I am using it with my 2011 MBP (Mac Book Pro 13) and Mac Pro. I found the install to be a little tricky in that the cd did not have the drivers that were needed so the Track 16 would be recognized. After about 10 min I was able to get the MBP to recognize the Track 16. I found that using Fire wire to hook up the Track 16 works on both computers but while using buss power on MBP it seems that the mic and line in are a bit nosey, may be the drivers I have a tech support question in the cue. I am waiting a bit before I conclude my opinion. Check back later.








18 Responses to “MOTU Track 16 Review “I Love It””

  1. Cone Says:


    Do you know that you little review is at the moment the first and only review about the Track16? 😉

    I have one Track16 too, and I’m writing my own review still.

    The most important thing for me at the moment is; incredible sound and work with USB and power supply and impossible to work via Firewire, because the noisy and dizzlys noises.
    I work with Logic and Mountain lion.

    Regards from Spain.

    • v2or Says:

      I was able to record some with Firewire on my Mac Pro running Pro Tools 9.0.6 and it was much quiter. I will try the USB on my MBP lap top to see if the nose goes away. I will let Sweetwater know about the noise as well. I put a sound clip on my Reverbnation page you can check it out at thanks Victor

      • Cone Says:

        The “Track 16 Demo w Str…” are really beautiful. Sounds incredibly!

        What OS are you using for testing?

        I’m thinking that maybe my problem is because I bought when I had just install Mountain Lion …

    • bryan Says:

      Another quick note on your recording and setup. It sounds fabulous!! Very clean nice dynamics. That DPA 4099 mic does a really nice job with Acoustic guitar. I wasn’t aware of it. I just checked and it’s not crazy expensive either. I’ve been mostly recording Acoustic piano but you have inspired me to pull out my Acoustic guitars and try some recording with those as well. All in good time.. Yes the Track 16 is pretty cool.


  2. Tamás Bohács Says:

    finally! somebody have it…im realy waiting your review:)

    • v2or Says:

      OS on Mac Book Pro is 10.7.4 and on Mac Pro 10.6.7 What really helped was to do a restart and after the computer restarted I powered up the MOTU Track 16, then just clean amazing sound. My friend who is a professional sound engineer said he thought the recoding sounded just as good at the Apogee Ensemble 2000.00 compared to my Motu Track 16 549.00. Hope that helps.

    • v2or Says:

      Thanks for your very kind words.

  3. Cone Says:

    What surprised me is the temperature so high that it reaches when used within a few minutes …

    Did you feel too?

  4. v2or Says:

    Mine did get a bit warm I have it on a console that lets cool air get underneath. I think alot of these smaller units get a bit warm. I had a Duet that always got warm. There should be 4 little rubber feet that you can atach to the bottom of the Track 16 that will allow for some air flow.

  5. Cone Says:

    A question:

    Did the Breakout Cable came with a kind of white powder in the bag?
    It seems a bit strange …

  6. v2or Says:

    Hi Cone,

    There was not any white powder that I noticed. Maybe some of the silicon jell pack had some residue on it. You may want to email MOTU and ask them.

  7. bryan Says:

    Got my Track 16 last week. Mine also had the white powder. I remember seeing this on other custom cable assemblies in the past. It’s used to lubricate the cables when pulling them through the outer sheath. Anyway I have a question for other users. One of my uses for the Track 16 is for recording LP’s to this end I have the line in’s that are balanced 1/4″ phono connectors connected to my Crown SL 2 pre-amp using 1/4″ TS to RCA adapter to RCA cables. Classic Balanced to Unbalanced problem. The manual seems to indicate that this is supposed to be supported by the break-out cable. Anyway levels are fine and I don’t get any normal hum but there is Digital noise coupling between my 27″ Imac I7 and the pre-amp to studio monitor connection. The Track 16 doesn’t even need to be powered. The noise is clearly digital coupling. Kind of a low level hiss that increases when I drag the cursor across the dock for example. Any increased digital activity appears at the speakers sounding a like a mouse dragging across the desktop (yes it’s coming through the speakers and happens even when I use a track pad). I’m wondering if a direct box like an ART DTI would deal with digital coupling. Seems like an optical isolation solution would be necessary. Any ideas? Sweetwater is sending me a new cable to see if that helps.

    • v2or Says:

      Hi There,

      just an idea hear you may want to try using the power supply and do a complete restart with the fire wire cable plugged in and then start up the Track 16 after you have restarted the computer. I found that I prefer using the TRS and XLR cables. If theres a way for you to use the 1/8 line in you may want to try that as well. I found that my iPhone, iPad and iPod work fine this way.

      • Bryan Harding Says:

        Well TRS to XLR ls a balanced connection and is absolutely the best way to connect components. However my Crown SL2 is a regular consumer style pre-amp and has only unbalanced RCA connections. So that’s not an option. I’ve tried numerous combinations of no power supply, turn on Track 16 first, last on off and I still get the noise. I know the best way to do this is with a transformer connection (i.e. a direct box for RCA to TRS) but for a $540 unit it represents a significant expense on top of this unit. Oh well thanks for the info.

      • v2or Says:

        Hi Bryan,

        I think Radio Shack may sell a RCA to 1/8 converter plug and I also think Gutiar Center may have a RCA to TRS or XLR cable that may be be able to help. I also think Sweetwater may have a cable that would help.

      • bryan Says:

        Thanks for all the feedback…

        Sorry I seem to set up some confusion. I have already physically connected the preamp to the Track 16. The problem is that in doing so I’m connecting a balanced input on the Track 16 (TRS) to an unbalanced output of the pre-amp(RCA). This creates a signal path to the powered studio monitors also connected to the pre-amp. This passes digital noise from the computer that I need to isolate. It may have nothing to do with unbalanced to balanced connection and may just be in the nature of the design of the Track 16. Anyway I’ll be investigating and will eventually fix it. I’ll post my fix once I have it. I bought some patch cables today and will try a balanced to unbalanced right at the pre-amp solution to see if that works. I have to admit I will be surprised if it does. I think it will actually require a better isolation solution.

      • bryan Says:


        Well as promised here is my solution to my Track16 noise problem. First I bypassed my pre-amp to Studio monitor connection and connected the monitors directly to the Main outs of the Track 16 using TRS balanced patch cables. I always knew this was the best way but I had planned on using my pre-amp for several inputs and for when I wasn’t using the Track 16. For now I’ll use the Track 16 all the time for my System audio I/O. I then made up a pair of very short TRS (F) balanced to RCA unbalanced (M) adapter cables less than 5″ and patched the Track16 Line IN connections to the pre-amp out using another pair of TRS patch cables. So far this arrangement is very quiet and so far no digital noise coupling. In case anyone is following this the adapter cable connects the Tip of the TRS to the Center (tip) of the RCA. The Ring of the TRS connects to the outer shield/barrel of the RCA. Only one end of the shielding of the cable is connected to the Shield connection on the TRS. This entire arrangement isn’t as flexible as I had intended. I had contemplated having headphone out of my iMac, Main out of my TRACK 16 and an Airport express (for Airplay) all connected to inputs on my Preamp to give me the choice of which equipment I had powered up and which source I was using. Now I need to come up with a similar arrangement centered around the Track 16 and just use the preamp for the turntable. Hope this helps someone looking for a similar fix in the future.
        For the record I do also play guitar but all of my guitars have pic-ups at the bridge. Well one is an electric guitar so I guess that doesn’t count. 😎


  8. Cone Says:

    Hi friends,

    This is my first song using the track16.
    Maybe too much production, but love the sound through the Motu track16.

    regards from Spain.

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