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MOTU 828mk3 Firewire Audio Interface

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The 828mk3 is MOTU's most advanced FireWire audio interface, raising the bar with innovative features, enhanced standard features that remain unique,...Click To Read More About This Product

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MOTU raises the bar with innovative features and superb sound.

The 828mk3 is MOTU's most advanced FireWire audio interface, raising the bar with innovative features, enhanced standard features that remain unique, superb sound, and reliable performance. It provides 10 channels of pristine, 192kHz analog recording and playback, combined with 16 channels of ADAT digital I/O and stereo S/PDIF. Expand your system by connecting additional MOTU FireWire audio interfaces or the 8 pre mic input expander.

The 828mk3 interface is equally well-suited for studio and stage, with or without a computer. As an interface or standalone mixer, it provides 28 separate inputs and 30 separate outputs, including dedicated main outs on XLRs and two front panel headphone outs. This means you can connect all of your studio equipment - 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 12dB of headroom above zero with no digital clipping or harsh artifacts.

When you're done programming the on-board mixing in the studio, you can unplug the MOTU unit from your computer and take it on the road for operation as a standalone mixer with effects. All mixing and effects parameters are adjustable using the front panel, backlit LCD.

The 828mk3 FireWire interface provides cross-platform compatibility and will also work with all of your favorite audio software and host-based effects via WDM/ASIO/Core Audio drivers. You can also use the included AudioDesk workstation software for Mac giving you 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): No channel sharing
  • Mic inputs, S/PDIF I/O, headphone out, and main outs are all handled as separate channels
  • Front-panel control gives you access to any setting in your entire 828mk3 mix directly from the front panel
  • Standalone operation: Program your mixes at the studio and then bring the 828mk3 to your gig without your computer, tweak the mix onsite using the back-lit LCD and front-panel controls
  • Multiple CueMix FX mixes: 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 +12dB 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 provides accurate adjustments in 1 dB increments, allows you to 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 with supporting software: Connect a MIDI controller and/or sound module with no separate interface needed
  • 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, and sample-accurate sync
  • Plug-and-play operation with your Mac or PC via FireWire
  • Front panel volume control for monitoring with 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, 50-60Hz auto-switching power supply

Get the power of FireWire interfacing and 10 channels of pristine audio recording and playback. Order now!


Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews

(based on 6 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

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Reviewed by 6 customers

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


bought it and like it

By New MOTU owner

from Los Angeles, CA

I used to use a Mackie analog mixer connected to an M-Audio Delta 66 pci card. I upgraded to this MOTU 828 MK3. Everything works great. I am very happy with my purchase. I have a lot more flexibility with this new machine.The MOTU has eight virtual bus's that create more routing options than all but the most expensive analog mixers. This flexibility is great. But it also means you have to read the manual and think through the signal flow to get the most out of it.I have already set up my MOTU to use both my Lexicon processor and my Digitech Vocalist for outboard effects. (The MOTU itself also has hardware effects). I have also set up the MOTU for internet audio recording (through the virtual returns).No matter which modern muli input output computer audio interface you decide to buy, you are going to have a learning curve. It helps to feel comfortable with computers and have a background in mixing. Most times, those who blame the machine for not doing what is expected have either user error or independent computer issues. Most times there is nothing wrong with the machine itself.I decided on the MOTU 828 MK3 because I liked all the inputs and outputs (in addition to the analog i/o, I use the s/pdif i/o that is included) and I like its fantastic flexibility compared to my old setup. And it can also be used stand-alone (without a computer).

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


OK, but not a big step above the MkII

By Digital Dave-mwW_E

from Michigan

MOTU talks about a lot more new features, but most of them are substandard and therefore not really upgrades. Had the MKII for over two years, will be selling my MK3 and going back to the II. MK3- Issues after 30 days invested in pretty heavy experimenting.Mic preamps are not as clean as the MK2's I hear more phasing issues even with all channel level dynamics turned off. OK for Guitar. Not so OK for a vocal mic.Reverbs sound pretty cheesy. Thin with some weird timing controls but few of the traditional parameters for tuning the reverb. Almost amazingly, you cannot put an EQ behind the Reverb to warm it up.Channel dynamic like the compressor really pump not matter how you seem to dial them up. either to slow or to much pump.Much more flexibility in routing the sound around in the system but for what I do the MKII did enough, was a little more straight forward to manage and sounded cleaner.But I did LOVE my MKII.... :-)I would add that an improvement MOTU could have invested some R&D into was making all the mixing parameter addressable by an external MIDI source. Now that would have been valuable. This other stuff just ended up being too cheap to use. I would have to continue to use channel strips, external reverbs etc...And I am not talking about beating super gear, my Behringer 12 channel mixer has warmer reverbs and way cleaner mic preamps....

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


Not as good as it seems. . .

By Saturnius

from Washington

See all my reviews

I used to think this was the best audio interface in its price range. . . until I heard the *beeping* beeps. There is a well known and fairly common problem with this interface. It emits a high pitched, intermittent squeal that will shock your eardrums. It has to do with the firewire connectivity. Apparently it's only compatible with certain firewire cards. But I used the same card that MOTU tech support recommended, and the noise didn't go away. The newest update didn't take care of this issue either. Strangely not everyone has had the same problem with this unit, but for those who have, there is no remedy. So it's a real gamble. . .Some other negatives: tiny knobs, plastic chassis (almost the whole thing is plastic, actually), no control over media output from the computer, reverb stinks, tech support not the greatest. . .Positives: lots of I/Os and routing options, DSP processor (overrated, though), EQ settings, cool appearanceAll in all, I would caution any potential buyers against this unit. . . at least until this major noise problem is resolved. Even then, I'd go with M-Audio instead. They're probably the best in the industry right now. . .



By SoundMan-lDAZg

from Lititz, PA

See all my reviews

I'm not sure why so many people are having problems with these. Vista maybe? I have owned a mkII and now the mk3 and both units have been rock solid. All the time. I use XP and OSX. The drivers are fine. The eqs and compressors in this unit are quite useable. The reverb is workable too. The 828mk3 gives you a ton of power and decent sound quality for the price.


Lots of I/O plus DSP!?

By Gabriel Redding

from Nashville.

See all my reviews

Excellent device, lots of routing options, onboard dynamics and effects that don't tax your computer.Great piece of gear.Careful if you take it on the road. The plastic knobs might not hold up great, but I've had no trouble so far. It's been perfect for me!The only way it could have improved for me was if the inputs on the back had phantom power. But that's not what most people need anyway....


Really great but...

By Phil.S

from Northern California

See all my reviews

Sound quality is pretty amazing, controls, built quality, all excellent. However, something about using these on a MAC, you might encounter problems with the driver and setup, if I don't use it for a week it does not recognize, and there is a lot of trouble shooting.

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