Well more of a comparison. I purchased the Edirol FA-101 firewire interface because I needed a unit that could hook up to my then notebook based DAW. However, as part of my efforts to resurrect my home studio I decided to put back to use my old MOTU 2408mkii. Said unit was actually dedicated to my PowerMac Dual Processor G4. I now wanted to leverage the 2408 from my new PC Core2 Duo. That entailed buying a hardware upgrade from MOTU, the 424 PCI express interface card. So what are the differences between the two units ? Here we go:
The 2408 is simply not. It requires a PCI card in the host machine. The Edirol on the other hand requires firewire on the host machine and as a matter of fact on the MAC it just uses the native firewire support. So the Edirol will be indespensable on the road on a notebook or on the occassion that I may want to record a gig.
The Edirol on my Core2 Duo system provides 3 ms latency at 152 samples which is the lowest the ASIO driver will allow, nonetheless this is quite good. However, the MOTU provides 1 ms latency at 64 samples and I can go down to 32 samples but did not want to push my luck. So I’m a happy camper indeed.
Here the Edirol outshines the MOTU providing up 96K sampling. The MOTU only goes up to 48K but in practical terms that’s just fine. Most pop to even instrumental guitar music i.e. my music does not need to go over 44.1
The MOTU has by far more connection possiblities but again in practical terms and for me that would entail getting more hardware to leverage the ADAT and Tascam connectivity provided. So effectively , the MOTU has 10 channels available including 2 spdif i.e. digital connections. That is exactly what the Edirol provides except that the Edirol does toslink i.e. optical instead of spdif. The Edirol does provide 2 mic connectors with decent preamps. In reality I prefer to go thru something like the Studio Projects VTB1 which is a tube hybrid pre-amp which does a great job of warming this up.
The MOTU will become my interface on my main audio workstation. The Edirol will be now dedicated to my G4 which I have plans to make a midi workstation which I can use to pump soft synth’s output back to my main DAW on the PC.
The MOTU 2408mkii is a great interface even six years later after my initial purchase. I will probably look for another on Ebay. The new 2408 mkiii has great specs but is overkill for my needs. If you are looking for a digital interface for your audio workstation I would highly recommend finding an used 2408mkii.