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MOTU 896HD Digital Audio Interface   

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The MOTU 896HD FireWire digital interface is easy to use and quick to set up. Empowers your computer with powerful 24-bit, 192kHz audio. Provides 8 m...Read More

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High-level recording with a superior hardware interface.

The MOTU 896HD FireWire digital interface is easy to use and quick to set up. Empowers your computer with powerful 24-bit, 192kHz audio. Provides 8 mic preamps, pristine 192kHz analog I/O, 8 channels of ADAT digital, and stereo AES/EBU. Adapts to studio or stage. With a computer, provides 18 inputs and 22 outputs, including main out and headphone out.

The 896HD includes the CueMix DSP onboard mixing feature, a flexible DSP-driven 18-input/8-bus mixing and monitoring matrix that eliminates the need for an external mixer or patchbay. CueMix connects all of your studio gear, including mics, guitars, keyboards, drum machines, and effects processors. Everything can be controlled from the included CueMix Console software or directly from the 896HDs front panel.

If you're hitting the road, just program the 896 in the studio with the CueMix Console software and then take the 896 on the road for portable mixing and monitoring without a computer. In the studio, the 8 channels of ADAT optical I/O, plus stereo AES/EBU, make the 896HD an ideal companion to a digital mixer. All digital I/O connections support standard sample rates up to 96kHz.

  • Activity meters
  • Large 10-segment meters display all analog input activity with software-controlled peak and clip indicators
  • Programmable meters allow you to view analog output, ADAT input, or ADAT output
  • Front-panel input trims
  • Independent control of input gain for all 8 24-bit, 192kHz inputs
  • Each input has its own front-panel 48-volt phantom power switch
  • Main outputs
  • Connect powered monitors directly to these jacks and separately control your main mix and monitor levels with convenient front-panel knobs
  • AES/EBU digital I/O with SRC
  • Stereo AES/EBU input and output
  • Built-in sample rate conversion allows
  • you to connect 44.1, 48, 88.2 or 96kHz devices, regardless of the system sample rate
  • International power supply
  • Built-in international power supply accepts 110-220V on a standard IEC cable so your 896HD can follow you wherever your music takes you
  • Standard 1394 FireWire ports
  • Connect your FireWire-equipped computer here
  • No PCI or PC cards to install — just plug in and go
  • MOTU FireWire interfaces are expandable;
  • the second FireWire port allows you to daisy-chain more devices without the need for a FireWire hub
  • Word clock
  • Word clock input and output for synchronization with a wide variety of digital devices or a centralized word clock source
  • System meters
  • Dedicated meters for main outputs plus programmable meters for digital
  • AES/EBU input or output activity
  • Clock indicators display sample rate, clock source and rate conversion
  • Handsfree punch in/out
  • Connect a pedal for handsfree punch in and out
  • Volume controls
  • Volume control can optionally control level to main monitors as well as headphones
  • 8 balanced outputs
  • Each XLR output is individually switchable for +4 or -10dB levels
  • 8 mic/line/instrument inputs
  • Neutrik connectors accept XLR or 1/4" inputs Plug in a mic, guitar or synth to 24-bit, balanced or unbalanced 192kHz inputs
  • Each input is switchable to accept mic or line level signals, with additional front-panel trim or completely bypass the trim circuit with the +4/fixed setting
  • ADAT optical I/O
  • 8 channels of ADAT optical (lightpipe) input and output
  • Connect a digital mixer, ADAT or additional A/D/A converter
  • Also supports 4 channels of 88.2 or 96kHz audio ADAT Sync port provides sample-accurate sync for compatible devices

Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews

(based on 9 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

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  • 1 Stars



Reviewed by 9 customers

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If Motu Customer support didn't stink...

By a little stuck

from Murfreesboro, TN

If Motu Customer support didn't stink... this would be an unbeatable interface for home studios! I love the features, the routing, the preamps,the look and feel, and the sounds you can get with it! Everything about the unit is awesome except for when something goes wrong... I fell victim to the ridiculous 90 warranty issue and my studio was out of commission for 2-3weeks! That stunk! I've spent too much money to get out... I'll probably have to buy and 8pre or another 896hd just so when things go wrong again I wont be shut down completly! MOTU doesn't really seem to care much about their customers!

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I'm not sure I have a project studio anymore

I grabbed this baby (896HD) and a Vintech X73i, and I am starting to think I don't have a project studio anymore. The routing on this thing is nuts. I have a PC. I was scared of having trouble. I had the whole system up and running, playing back and recording in under 10 minutes. Only problem with the whole unit is the switches between line, mic and +4 on the inputs. They feel cheap. The rest of the unit is PERFECT. It is so sturdy. It looks great and the meters are priceless.

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Worst Purchase Ever

I was so excited to get my MOTU, but it turned out to be a nightmare. I only used the main outs for the first few months and it worked fine, but one day I tried to use the other outputs, only to find that they didn't work properly. After following MOTU's tech support advice, I bought a new firewire card and cable, and it was still broken. Then I had to pay MOTU 80 bucks to fix it, because their joke of a warranty only lasts 90 days. Horrible customer support.

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Using two MOTU 896HD units

By Bluefin74

from Huntingdon Valley, PA

I just purchased two of the MOTU 896HD units for recording with my band. Between my drum kit, vocals, bass, keyboard, and guitar, we needed a system that could record up to 16 tracks simultaneously. The 896HDs provide a tremendous amount of flexibility and capability. You can daisy-chain up to four 896HD units using a Firewire connection. The LED meters on the front panel are very useful, and the ability to have phantom power controllable per channel is really nice. The included software is decent, but not great. The AudioDesk application (need a beefy Mac to run it) has a lot of capability but requires a lot of time to learn. The customer support from MOTU is pretty average. But these units can do everything we need and then some, even if they are a little pricey.

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Great interface

By MOTUmann

from winona, mn

I've been using the 896 for about 8 months now and I am still amazed by the ease of use, quick setup time, reliability, and overall quality of this unit. I've used it with and without a mixer and it works great either way. I gave it a 9 for features because I wish it had midi I/O, but that's minor. This is a great unit and I plan on buying another one in the near future.

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By K-Dub

from Lincoln, CA

If you buy this, you are going completely top-of-the-line. I just got this system and it ruins everything I have ever used! Plus, you can have multiple units running at the same time! Awesome gear!

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Proud Owner

Haven't really used the product to its fullest just yet. I just picked up a set of monitors for the setup. Getting familiar with the level settings. Love the 8 Mic preamps. The whole reason I bought the unit was to grow into it. Not because I needed all the room yet. I could have just used an M-Audio 410 unit if I wanted just that. If you want something to go into and not out of, then this is the way to go. Many will argue that 192khz it overkill for most but I am a firm believer it's better to have than to have not.

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very nice...

pros:-eliminates use of mixer, if you have a digital mixer program, i am using magix samplitude 7.perfect.-very cool 24 bit processing, keeps things crisp. -no latency on p.c. processing is all done in the 896hd.-you can bridge up to three decks, that's 24 channels at 24 bits, 196 khz! -all channels have +48V (switchable) pre...-the neutrik inputs are awesome-incredible space saver (2 rack spaces)-dual voltage (selector)cons:-l.e.d.'s are basically useless but they look pretty. -expensive little boxall in all, it's a great investment if you don't want to invest in a mixer and want to go all out digital. i've been recording for about 5 years, trained in the Army for audio and video production. i've never seen anything like it and i really enjoy using it. incredible potential.

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good piece

By joelkennedylogon

from hartford

install was a snapplays great, no clicks or pops like the motu2408mk3stable clock sync, no unstable sample rate switching back and forth like other motu productshighly recommed this pieceall inputs and outputs are available all the time at 48khz sample, unlike the 2408mk3

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