The 828mk3 is MOTU's most advanced FireWire and now with USB 2.0 audio interface. Once again it raises the bar with innovative new features, enhanced standard features that remain unique, superb sound and reliable performance.
The 828mk3 provides ten channels of pristine 192 kHz analog recording and playback, combined with sixteen channels of ADAT digital I/O and stereo S/PDIF. Expand your system by connecting additional MOTU FireWire audio interfaces or the 8pre mic input expander.
The 828mk3 is equally well-suited for studio and stage, with or without a computer. As an interface or standalone mixer, the 828mk3 provides 28 separate inputs and 30 separate outputs, including dedicated main outs on XLRs and two front panel headphone outs.
Connect all of your studio gear, including microphones, guitars, synths, keyboards, drum machines and even effects processors. Record, monitor, route and process all of these live inputs using the professional on-board CueMix FX digital mixer – with no latency and no processor strain on your computer. Apply hardware DSP-driven compression, EQ and reverb to every input and output, independent of your host computer. When recording from the mic/guitar inputs, the 828mk3’s signal overload protection gives you an extra 12 dB of headroom above zero with no digital clipping or harsh artifacts.
After programming the on-board mixing in the studio, unplug the 828mk3 from the computer and take it on the road for operation as a stand-alone mixer with effects. All mixing and effects parameters are adjustable using the front panel backlit LCD.
The 828mk3 provides cross-platform compatibility with Mac and Windows and all of your favorite audio software and host-based effects via WDM/ASIO/Core Audio drivers. Or you can use the included AudioDesk workstation software for Mac, with 24-bit recording/editing and 32-bit mixing/processing/mastering.
- CueMix FX™ - flexible 28 input/16 bus mixer with on-board DSP effects, including reverb with sends/returns, plus EQ and compression on every input and output.
- 28 inputs / 30 outputs (at 44.1/48 kHz) - there's no channel sharing in the 828mk3; the mic inputs, S/PDIF I/O, headphone out and main outs are all handled as separate channels.
- Front-panel control - access any setting in your entire 828mk3 mix directly from the front panel.
- Stand-alone operation - program your mixes at the studio and then bring the 828mk3 to your gig - no computer needed. Need to tweak the mix? Do it on site using the back-lit LCD and front-panel controls.
- Multiple CueMix FX mixes - for example, create different monitor mixes for the main outs and headphones. Or add send/return loops for outboard gear - with no latency.
- Two front panel combo jacks provide hi-Z 1/4” guitar input or low-Z XLR mic input with phantom power, pad and plenty of gain.
- Mic/guitar instrument sends - add your favorite outboard EQ, preamp, reverb or other processor to the two mic/guitar inputs, before the signal goes digital.
- Clip protection - Mic/guitar input limiter prevents digital clipping and distortion from overloaded signal levels up to +12 dB over zero.
- Eight 24-bit 192kHz analog inputs and outputs on balanced/unbalanced 1/4" TRS jacks
- Precision Digital Trim™ - Digitally controlled analog trim on all analog inputs (mic/guitar inputs + quarter-inch TRS inputs) provides accurate adjustements in 1 dB increments. Fine-tune the balance of your analog inputs and then save/recall trim configurations.
- Flexible optical I/O - 16 channels of ADAT lightpipe, 8 channels of SMUX (96 kHz) or two pairs of stereo TOSLink. Mix and match formats between the two banks.
- Sample-accurate MIDI - connect a MIDI controller and/or sound module with no separate interface needed. MIDI I/O is sample-accurate with supporting software.
- Expandable - add additional interfaces for more I/O as your needs grow.
- Separate XLR main outs and front-panel headphone jacks, each with independent volume control.
- Stereo 24-bit 96kHz S/PDIF in/out
- Word clock in and out
- SMPTE in and out
- Includes drivers for Mac & PC, including ASIO, WDM, Wave, GSIF, Core Audio, and Core MIDI. Supports all popular Macintosh and Windows audio software.
- 100% compatible with all host-based effects processing in today's popular audio programs.
- Includes AudioDesk full-featured sample-accurate workstation software for the Macintosh with recording, editing, mixing, real-time 32-bit effects processing & sample-accurate sync.
- Plug-and-play operation with your Mac or PC via FireWire or USB 2.0
- Front panel volume control for monitoring. Stereo, Quad, 6.1, 7.1 and user-defined surround monitoring setups available.
- Two front panel headphone jacks with independent volume controls.
- Front panel meters or activity LEDs for all analog, digital and MIDI I/O, plus SMPTE sync tach and lock LEDs.
- Dedicated front panel clock status LEDs.
- International 100-240V, 50-60 Hz autoswitching power supply
828mk3 Mic/guitar inputs
Two convenient front panel mic/guitar inputs are equipped with high quality preamps, plus overload protection and all the features you need to record any mic or guitar with excellent sound quality.
Each input is equipped with its own 48V phantom power switch and 20 dB pad switch. Both inputs also include a switch that toggles between the low-impedance XLR mic input and the true high-impedance quarter-inch guitar input jack.
Precision digitally controlled analog trim
The preamps provide 53 dB of gain, which you can adjust in precise 1 dB increments using the detented digital rotary encoder. As you turn the encoder, you see graphic and numeric feedback in the front panel LCD, so you know exactly how much gain you are applying. The gain adjustment itself is smooth because it is analog, but the digital control gives you both precision and the ability to save and recall trim settings. You get the best of both worlds: analog trim with digital precision and control.
Precision digitally controlled analog trim is also available on all of the 828mk3's balanced quarter-inch (TRS) analog inputs on the rear panel. Level matching analog inputs has never been easier or more convenient. You can carefully tune the balance among your analog inputs using the CueMix FX software and then save the entire configuration on disk for instant recall. You can create and save as many trim configurations as you need.
V-Limit™ hardware limiter
Both mic/guitar inputs are equipped with V-Limit™, a hardware limiter that helps prevent digital clipping from overloaded input signals. With V-Limit enabled, signals can go above zero dB (where limiting kicks in) to as high as +12 dB above zero with no distortion due to digital clipping.
Additional protection can be applied to the mic/guitar inputs by enabling the 828mk3's Soft Clip™ feature, which engages just before clipping occurs and helps reduce perceptible distortion.
Each mic input has a corresponding rear panel send that allows you to insert outboard gear before the signal goes digital. Any input can be used as a return.
828mk3 Comprehensive I/O
The 828mk3 allows you to connect a wide variety of studio gear, including microphones, guitars, synths, keyboards, drum machines, effects processors and more.
Front panel I/O
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. Alternately, this "Master Vol" knob can 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.
828mk3 7-band EQ
Modeled after analog British console EQ's, known for their highly musical gain/Q settings, the 828mk3's EQ provides a high pass filter, low pass filter, two shelving or parametric filters and five parametric bands.
The 828mk3's EQ section provides 7-band parametric EQ modeled after British analog console EQ's, featuring 4 filter styles (gain/Q profiles) to effectively cover a wide range of audio material. LP and HP filters are also supplied with slopes that range from 6 to 36 dB per octave.
828mk3 Vintage compression
The 828mk3's flexible dynamics processing includes a high-quality conventional compressor, plus a leveling amplifier modeled after the legendary LA-2A™ optical compressor.
828mk3 Clock and sync
The 828mk3 uses extremely accurate Direct Digital Synthesis™ for internal clocking and for resolving to external word clock or SMPTE time code sources. The 828mk3 can resolve directly to time code, with no additional sychronizer required.
The 828mk3 is equipped with Direct Digital Synthesis™ (DDS), a DSP-driven phase lock engine and very high frequency digital clock source that produces imperceptibly low jitter characteristics (well below the overall noise floor), even when the 828mk3 is resolved to an external clock source via either word clock or SMPTE time code. This technology represents the very latest in extremely high-performance, yet cost-effective digital audio clocking. DDS also allows the 828mk3 to filter incoming clock sources that may have substantially more jitter than the 828mk3 itself.
The 828mk3 includes a 16-channel MIDI interface that provides sample-accurate timing with supporting software.
Connect a MIDI keyboard, sound module or control surface, and you are ready to go. The FireWire cable carries both MIDI and audio so you don't need to connect an additional USB cable for MIDI.
828mk3 Expansion & drivers
As with other MOTU FireWire interfaces, the 828mk3 supplies two FireWire jacks and one USB2 jack 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.