Winter NAMM Show Update: MOTU introduced the 828mk3 ($795), a cross-platform FireWire audio interface with on-board effects and mixing.
New features include a 32-bit floating point DSP for digital mixing and effects processing, more I/O, 192 kHz operation, true hi-Z guitar inputs, signal overload protection, digitally controlled analog input trims on all inputs, two banks of ADAT/TOSLink optical and MIDI I/O.
The 828mk3 lets you connect a wide variety of studio gear, including microphones, guitars, synths, keyboards, drum machines and even effects processors. In addition to the two mic/guitar preamp inputs on the front panel, the 828mk3 provides two independent headphone jacks with independent volume knobs, one of which also controls the XLR main outs on the rear panel. This “master vol” knob can also be programmed to control any combination of outputs (analog and/or digital). For example, it can control monitor output for an entire 5.1 or 7.1 surround mix.
Eight balanced (TRS) 24-bit analog inputs and outputs, as well as two XLR main outs and the two preamp inputs, can operate at sample rates up to 192 kHz (a total of ten analog inputs and outputs). Two optical banks provide 16 channels of ADAT optical at 48 kHz, 8 channels of S/MUX optical I/O at 96 kHz or two banks of stereo TOSLink at rates up to 96 kHz. The banks operate independently, allowing users to mix and match any optical formats. RCA S/PDIF connectors also supply independent stereo digital I/O.
Each mic input has a corresponding rear panel send that allows users to insert outboard gear before the signal goes digital. Any input can be used as a return.
The 828mk3 will ship in February 2008 for a list price of $795.
The 828mk3 is equipped with Direct Digital Synthesis™ (DDS), a DSP-driven phase lock engine and internal clock source that produces imperceptibly low jitter characteristics (below the noise floor), even when the 828mk3 is resolved to an external clock source via either word clock or SMPTE time code. The 828mk3 can directly resolve to (or generate) time code via a dedicated quarter-inch time code input and output, without the need for an extra synchronizer.
Expansion, drivers and AudioDesk
As with other MOTU FireWire interfaces, the 828mk3 supplies two FireWire jacks so it can be daisy-chained with additional MOTU FireWire audio interfaces or other devices. The 828mk3 is also fully compatible with the 8pre, a single rack MOTU interface that adds 8 mic preamp inputs to the 828mk3. Because the 8pre connects to the 828mk3 via ADAT optical, its mic inputs are fully integrated into the 828mk3’s on-board CueMix FX digital mixer.
The 828mk3 provides CueMix FX and drivers for Mac (OS X) and Windows (XP and Vista) for cross-platform compatibility with virtually all audio software via WDM/ASIO/Core Audio drivers. The included AudioDesk workstation software for Mac provides 24-bit recording/editing and 32-bit mixing/processing/mastering.