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MOTU 896 or Metric Halo I/O?
Old 14th September 2002
Lives for gear
tenor39's Avatar
๐ŸŽง 15 years
MOTU 896 or Metric Halo I/O?

I do a lot of site recording of classical music and need a firewire interface for laptop recording. Which of these units is the better sonically? Thanks.

Mike Morgan
Old 14th September 2002
Lives for gear
rmx16's Avatar
๐ŸŽง 15 years
I used the MIO to record some stuff at the Philadephia Folk Festival with great results.The converters sound excellent.The box is build like a brick **** house.The cool thing is my whole rig fits in my backpack.

Tibook 500 OS 9.1 512 ram DP 3.02
MIO 2882
OWC Mercury Elite FW Drive

Old 16th September 2002
Gear Addict
๐ŸŽง 15 years
I use the MIO and love it. I can't address your question directly, as I've never used the 896, and I also don't do laptop recording. But I record classical instruments in my living room, and the sound is great. External mic pres may be advisable -- the MIO pres are great at lower gain levels, but a little noisy at higher levels, but they have hinted they may have solved this.

Check out the MIO discussion board, at http://mail.music.vt.edu/mailman/private/mobileio/. There has been a fair amount of discussion of this topic. Several people have switched from 896 to MIO for sound quality and routing/monitoring flexibility.
Old 16th September 2002
I've owned both, and currently use an 896/Presonus DigimaxLT with both a 667 Tibook and a Dual 533. The MIO is a great piece of work, but it is still too unfinished for me to rely on it 100% in a professional environment. There are clocking issues with the ADAT input, there is a "digital grunge" problem that is being tracked down by MH but which caused me to have to retrack a bunch of parts at my expense for a couple of clients. I couldn't continue to wait for driver/software fixes for these things while losing money on sessions, so I bought an 896. The pre's on the 896 don't have as much "character" as the MIO, but they're cleaner, offer more gain, and I tend to use the Digimax first anyway, as I like the sound of those pre's.

I'm using these things with Logic 5, BTW.


Old 17th September 2002
mwagener's Avatar
๐ŸŽง 15 years
Have been using the 896 for pre-production recording with some low end mics and we got surprisingly good results. I checked out the MIO and decided on the 896 because it had a hardware knob for monitor level and mic/line level and all 8 mic inputs are XLR (only four on the MIO, the rest are 1/4"). All levels on the MIO are controlled via a software console. Looking back at the last two weeks that would have been a lot of mouse clicking.

The 896 works great with Digital Performer, the MIO had some driver problems and actually froze my computer when I first tried to hook it up, but I'm sure that was operator error. Can't report on the sound difference between the two units, didn't get to compare side by side. Once they get the baby problems worked out the MIO is going to be a fine unit.
Old 24th September 2002
Gear Addict
๐ŸŽง 15 years
How does the PreSonus Firestation compare to these two - I think its cheaper. Also - who has the OS X drivers for any of these?
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