MOTU Midi Time Piece II - uses??

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Re: MOTU Midi Time Piece II - uses??

Post by knolan » Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:54 pm

It was a lot more desirable in the past because it can handle all kinds of timing codes (SMPTE and the like) - so in the 90's when it was in its hay-day it could syncoronise MIDI synthesizers, early DAWs with primarily MIDI recording, ADAT Digital Tape machines and so on to Video Tape Recorders transmitting Time-code of any one of a number of protocols. It was a Swiss-Army-Knife for different synchronisation protocols and standards.

Most of that is not needed today because your DAW can cope with all of that; so if you buy one now you'll likely only use it as an 8-Port MIDI interface for up to 8 MDI device connectivity to each other (or to a computer).

Be careful to check it's age - these have been out for a long time so early ones used old Serial and Parallel Computer Port connectivity to a computer (and not USB). So you see some of these on the market that were released pre USB era; for very cheap prices.

Two very nice aspects to the MOTO MIDI Timepiece are:

1) (For the USB model) - they are USB Class Compliance - meaning that if it is a USB one you buy - even if, say, 15 years old, it will still work with any computer using USB 2 or 3 today - because it is USB "Class Complaint" so the issue of drivers not being available for it on latest Operating Systems doesn't arise, ever, (as it does all too frequently with M-Audio, RME and many other manufacturers) - and it'll work very well along side more modern MOTU MIDI interfaces

2) The MIDI Time Piece AV's have a "network port" that allows you to link two of them together to become a 16 Port MIDI interface. There are a few pros and cons to note here. Firstly, this Network port facility is very nice because what it means is - if you have a USB MIDI TImepiece connected to your computer already, and this, 2nd MIDI Timepiece happens to be an older "Serial port" one - then you can still use it with a modern computer because you can connect it via it's network port to the more modern USB based MIDI Timepiece network port - and voila - you have two interfaces connected to your computer. Even nicer is that your DAW will just see a single 16 Port Interface rather than 2 8-Port interfaces (far better in LPX for example where you then don't have to create an Aggregate MIDI device). The down side is - the network cable you need to use is a 1980's / early 90's style Appletalk network cable - and they are near impossible to find these days.

I actually use two MIDI Timepieces with USB - and recently bought two older Timepieces with serial ports 2nd hand for almost nothing thinking I'd connect them to my more modern Timepieces - but for love nor money I cannot find the correct Appletalk network cables. I've looked everywhere, and even bought what I thought were the correct cables from a supplier of Appletalk cables on ebay - but they didn't fit (wrong pin configuration), and the supplier had no alternatives for me. So while buying an old Serial-port MOTU MIDI Timepiece can be a very cost effective way of extending and existing MOTU MIDI setup with a USB MIDI Timepiece AV - it's only an option if you indeed own a USB MIDI Timepiece USB, and can then find the correct network cable too.

The last aspect of the Timepiece that's nice is that it can operate as a MIDI Interface all on its own and not connected to a computer (many require to be connected to a computer).

So if you're looking for this to be your MIDI interface, the main issue is to be sure it's the MOTU MIDI Timepiece AV (with USB connectivity) and if so and at a good price, go for it.

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