MOTU have announced the release of firmware update 1.2.5 for their AVB line of interfaces. I reviewed these last year and enjoyed using them immensely. One thing which occurred to me at the time was that it seemed odd that connection to these interfaces was via Thunderbolt or USB but to install firmware updates the interface had to be connected via Ethernet. If AVB is an Ethernet connection and all recent Macs have AVB capability then why can't I connect to my AVB network using the Ethernet port on my Mac?
Now, you can connect your MOTU interface to the Mac using a standard CAT-5e or CAT-6 Ethernet cable up to 100 meters long and stream up to 64 audio channels to and from audio applications running on the Mac at sample rates up to 192 kHz with low latency. Any recent-generation Mac with a built-in Ethernet port running OS X 10.11 is supported.
With affordable cable runs that can be substantially longer than USB or Thunderbolt, Ethernet allows you to position your MOTU interface much farther away from your Mac, across the room in a machine closet with other gear, for example, or in an isolation booth down the hall, near microphones and musicians. Using Ethernet frees up the USB and Thunderbolt port(s) on the Mac for displays and other devices.
Other features introduced in this update include:
- Added the ability to remotely control preamp settings for any interface on a network.
- Interfaces can now resolve to SMPTE time code (LTC) from any available analog or digital input channel.
- Interfaces can convert SMPTE time code (LTC) to MIDI Time Code (MTC) under OS X.
- Added support for Apple OS X 10.11 entity mode, so you can connect multiple AVB devices to an AVB-equipped Mac.
- Added graphic control for the multi-band EQ and compressor in the web app on-screen mixer.
- Interfaces can now be password-protected.
- Device presets now save and recall AVB stream connections.
- Added a lock button to the web app Routing tab to prevent accidental changes to audio routing.
- Input meters in the web app Mixing tab can now be set to display pre or post-fader levels.
- Added support for 3rd-party devices that support multiple AVB configurations.
- AVB networking connections no longer reset when the sample rate setting is changed.
- Added support for enterprise-grade switches from Arista and other switch manufacturers.