Mark of Unicorn Motu 1296
professional 96kHz, 24-bit audio interface
The 1296 can be purchased as an expander for an existing MOTU Audio System, or as a core system which includes the PCI-324 card and Audiodesk workstation software.

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Equipped with the latest generation 24-bit, enhanced multi-bit 128x oversampling 96kHz converters, the 1296 achieves a remarkable signal-to-noise ratio of 116 dB with balanced XLR connectors throughout. Ideal for surround applications, the 1296's 12 inputs and 12 outputs can support two simultaneous 5.1 mixes, it has AES/EBU I/O with sample rate conversion both in and out.

The 1296 can be purchased as an expander for an existing MOTU Audio System, or as a core system which includes the PCI-324 card and Audiodesk workstation software.

The PCI-324 is the heart of the MOTU Audio System. With the ability to connect up to three audio interfaces and direct the flow of up to 144 channels of audio (72 channels of 48kHz in and out) using a high speed custom designed VLSI.

Each Audiowire port can support up to 12 channels of 96kHz audio in and out.

The 1296 uses the same PCI-324 card included with the 2408 and MOTU's other core systems. You can connect up to three audio interfaces to a PCI-324 in any combination to create a system that fits your needs. With three 1296 interfaces, you can output six discrete 5.1 surround mixes simultaneously.



The 1296's front panel provides dedicated 19-segment level meters for all 12 inputs and outputs. Two over meters are included, a temporary over meter and an over/hold meter that is resettable via software. Comprehensive clock status LEDs are also included so you can tell at a glance what sampling rate you are using and where your clock source is coming from.

Power Switch

Useful in the unlikely event you wish to turn off your 1296. An interesting fact about MOTU Audio interfaces is that they are hot swappable. This means you can power off, plug-in, add and remove interfaces without turning your computer off or restarting.


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24-bit, 96kHz analog XLR Input and Output

All 12 analog inputs and outputs of the 1296 are professional-grade XLR connectors operating at +4 dB.


The 1296 features stereo AES/EBU digital I/O with built in sample rate conversion. This gives the ability to integrate external digital audio sources, no matter what the sample rate, while recording audio at 88.2 or 96kHz on the analog I/O of the 1296. For example, you can still take advantage of the digital I/O on your favorite outboard reverb, while recording audio at 96kHz.

Word Clock I/O

The 1296 audio interface provides industry standard word clock input and output. The word clock input allows the 1296 to synchronize smoothly with today's digital audio studio. The word clock output can be used as a master clock to drive other digital devices in your studio, such as a digital mixer. The AES digital I/O can be driven separately via a dedicated word clock input. You can even slave to a 48kHz clock source, even when the 1296 is operating at 96kHz.

Audio Wire

It is a high-bandwidth digital audio format capable of carrying up to 24 channels of 48 kHz or 12 channels of 96kHz digital audio in and out of the computer at the same time. Audio Wire can readily handle all 12 inputs and outputs of the 1296 audio interface simultaneously.

Power Supply

Like all MOTU hardware products, the 1296 comes with an internal power supply and standard detachable IEC power cable. No wall warts or line lumps.


The 1296 includes a Setup Wizard for both Mac and PC based systems. The Setup Wizard is an interactive, stand-alone "Director movie" that helps you connect everything together.

Mark of Unicorn contacts:
Mark of the Unicorn -1280 Massachusetts Avenue- Cambridge, MA 02138
tel. 617.576.2760, fax 617.576.3609,

Italy Backline - tel. +39 02 6901 5709
Argentina Sonido Professional tel. +5411 4375 0116
Austria Klemm Music tel. +49 55 0493 590 -
Australia Intelliware tel. +61 88277 1722
Belgium Ampco - tel. +32 3 844 67 97 -
China Eastern Edison - tel. +8610 6253 4613 -
France UM Distribution - tel +33 1 48 05 83 71
Germany Klemm Music - tel. +49 55 0493 590 -
India S.U.N. Media - tel. 91-22-8843772
Japan Musetex/Orbit Ltd - tel. +813 5486 7021 -
Mexico Audio Sistemas - tel. +525 531 2992 -
Switzerland PEK AG - tel. +411 431 8282 -

advanced technologic sound magazine
2002 issue 100

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