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MOTU 896mk3 Hybrid   

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With this the third redesign of MOTU's flagship interface, the 896mk3 audio interface delivers the advanced design, high-end performance and superb s...Read More

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OVERVIEW

With this the third redesign of MOTU's flagship interface, the 896mk3 audio interface delivers the advanced design, high-end performance and superb sound that has made it a favorite of audio engineers everywhere. It delivers universal "hybrid" FireWire/USB2 connectivity to your Mac or Windows computer with incredible speed and efficiency.

Hybrid FireWire / USB2 connectivity
Whether your studio runs over USB2 or FireWire, the 896mk3 is ideal. Thinking of switching over but you're not quite ready? Here's your first step. As a hybrid audio interface, the 896mk3 provides flexible connectivity to any Mac or PC via FireWire or high-speed USB 2.0, with eight channels of pristine 24-bit 192 kHz analog recording and playback, combined with sixteen channels of optical digital I/O, stereo AES/EBU, S/PDIF and separate analog main outs. You can even expand your system by connecting the 8pre mic input expander or other MOTU audio interfaces.

Flexible operation
The 896mk3 is equally well suited for studio and stage, with or without a computer. As an interface or standalone mixer, the 896mk3 provides 28 separate inputs and 32 separate outputs, including dedicated main outs on XLRs and two front panel headphone outs.

On-board digital mixer with effects for monitoring and live mixing
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 effects processing to inputs, outputs, and busses independent of your host computer. Add Classic Reverb with lengths up to 60 seconds. Further sculpt your sound with 7-band parametric EQ featuring filter types carefully modeled after British analog console EQs. Choose between two forms of compression: a conventional compressor and the Leveler, an accurate model of the legendary LA-2A optical compressor that provides vintage, musical automatic gain control.

When recording from the analog inputs, the 896mk3's signal overload protection gives you an extra 12 dB of headroom above zero with no clipping or harsh artifacts.

Advanced audio analysis tools
Analyze and scope your audio with advanced diagnostic tools, including a full-screen real-time FFT display, spectrogram "waterfall" display, full-featured oscilloscope, X-Y plot, and linear/polar phase analysis graphs.

Stand-alone operation as a mixer
After programming the on-board mixing in the studio, unplug the 896mk3 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.

Across-the-board compatibility
The 896mk3 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.

Primary hub for digital studios.

FEATURES
  • Hybrid FireWire/USB2 connectivity ” connect to your computer via plug-and-play FireWire or hi-speed USB2
  • 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 / 32 outputs (at 44.1/48 kHz) ” there's no channel sharing in the 896mk3; the mic inputs, AES/EBU I/O, S/PDIF I/O, headphone out and main outs are all handled as separate channels
  • Front-panel control ” access any setting in your entire 896mk3 mix directly from the front panel.
  • Stand-alone operation ” program your mixes at the studio and then bring the 896mk3 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
  • Eight rear panel combo jacks provide 1/4" or XLR mic input with phantom power, pad and plenty of gain

Lightning fast professional audio. Order today.

SPECIFICATIONS

896mk3 Hybrid

  • Computer Connection Type: FireWire/USB
    Form Factor: Rackmount
    Simultaneous I/O: 28 x 32
    A/D Resolution: 24-bit/96kHz
    Built In DSP/FX
    Audio Inputs: 8
    Audio Outputs: 12
    Audio Output Types: 8 x XLR, 2 x XLR (Main), 1 x TRS (Main), 1 x TRS (Headphone)
    Number of Digital Inputs: 20
    Digital Input Types: 2 x ADAT (Optical, 16 Ch), 1 x AES/EBU (XLR), 1 x S/PDIF (Coax)
    Digital Outputs: 20
    Digital Output Types: 2 x ADAT (Optical, 16 Ch), 1 x AES/EBU (XLR), 1 x S/PDIF (Coax)
    Phantom Power
    MIDI I/O: Supports Core MIDI via FireWire/USB
    Clock I/O: 1 x Word Clock (In/Out via BNC)
    Rack Units: 2U
    W x H x D: 19 x 3.5 x 7"
Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
MOTU896mk3 Hybrid
 
4.1

(based on 7 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

75%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Durable (3)
  • Good audio (3)
  • Versatile (3)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Home studio (3)
  • Outdoor events / games (3)
  • Performances (3)
  • Professional recording (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Professional musician (4)

Reviewed by 7 customers

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5.0

Centerpiece of My Studio - Works Perfectly

By 

from Boston, MA

About Me Professional Musician

Ask me a question

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Clear Sound
  • Durable
  • Versatile

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Events
    • Home Studio
    • Mobile DJ
    • Performances
    • Professional Recording

    Comments about MOTU 896mk3 Hybrid:

    I actually have two of these units, one is the old 896MK3 (Firewire Only) and one is the newer 896MK3 Hybrid. In practical use, the function similarly, the two big advantages of the hybrid are the (obvious) USB connector, and you can also set the gain for each channel digitally (which you need to do manual on the older model).

    Before we begin, I want to say that I have always had great tech support from Motu and they have been really responsive to helping set up and configure the unit. There seems to be mixed reviews about the support, but again, I've only experienced positive feedback.

    On to the unit itself, as I mentioned I have 2 of these - the Hybrid One I use on the road as a mobile DJ mounted in a road case with a wireless mic ready and wired mic hooked in and with EQ & Compression settings saved. All I need to do is plug it is and hook in my computer and I am ready to go in a about 60 seconds. The biggest advantage to this set up is that I can control EACH channel independently, and also EQ the main output and tune it to the room. I usually adjust things as I go, but as a baseline, my sound is really clear, loud, clean, and can avoid feedback. One other important feature is that I can adjust the "width," so if I ever need to sum to mono, Cuemix will do that for me.

    For the unit I have at home, I use it primarily for mixing/mastering - I have 5 sets of speakers hooked up, plus a headphone amp (with 4 outputs), so I can effectively reference 5 speakers set or 4 headphone sets, or any combination at a click of a button. I keep the spectrograph on as I am mixing so I can see visually what is going on - this is also very useful to spot low end rumble on stray tracks, or pinpoint unwanted resonances.

    The only note to add is that it took me a little while to really understand and use the cuemix software. It is really powerful, and when you use the features, you get the full benefit of the unit, but it does have a slight learning curve.

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    (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    1.0

    I would never buy something from MOTU ever again.

    By 

    from NYC NY

    About Me Professional Musician

    Pros

    • Lightweight

    Cons

    • Breaks Easily
    • Unreliable

    Best Uses

    • Wouldn't recommend this unit.

    Comments about MOTU 896mk3 Hybrid:

    The LEDs go bust as do the LED panels. The very first one I bought had a messed up ADAT input from the first time I plugged it in. Returned it the same day I bought it for another one. When things started going wrong I got an RA from MOTU they told me I could be without the piece for six months! SIX MONTHS??? No loaner offer - no immediate replacement offer. I'd never buy anything from these guys again. Cheap garbage. Wasn't crazy about the software either. I'm now using an Apollo 16 and I'm way, way happier should have just spent the extra dough to begin with.

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    (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    The Best Interface Value on the Market

    By 

    from New York City

    About Me Professional Musician

    Pros

    • Clear Sound
    • Compact
    • Durable
    • Easy To Use
    • Meters
    • Reliability
    • Versatile

    Cons

    • Not Bus-powered

    Best Uses

    • Amateur Recording
    • Events
    • Home Studio
    • Performances
    • Professional Recording

    Comments about MOTU 896mk3 Hybrid:

    All the MOTU interfaces are excellent, especially considering the price. I have owned many by now (PCI-based versions, Traveler Firewire/USB, and now this one). All have been extremely reliable, stable, and versatile. Great sound quality for built-in preamps. Extremely flexible routing, recording, monitoring, mixing via the CueMix software. Direct input monitoring allows zero-latency monitoring while recording. Every kind of I/O on the back. Neutrik combo jacks on the inputs. Excellent and clear front panel display and metering.

    Integrates perfectly with Logic, Live, and DP (and presumably other DAWs, but those are the three I use).

    Highest recommendation. There is really no competition at this price point.

    Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

    (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Motu

    By 

    from East Coast

    About Me Professional Musician

    Pros

    • Clear Sound
    • Compact
    • Durable
    • Easy To Use
    • Lightweight
    • Versatile

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Amateur Recording
      • Events
      • Home Studio
      • Mobile DJ
      • Performances
      • Professional Recording

      Comments about MOTU 896mk3 Hybrid:

      The Motu 896 Mk3 has proven to be a very powerful and flexible tool. I have used this Motu to manage the eq and compression for my sound system (floor monitors and stereo mains), I've patched into other sound systems and multitrack recording was easy! I have even used this as a mixer in a live environment and with the mackie universal control pro it worked great! Each musician had their own headphone mix, there was a stereo mix for the audience, and we were able to multitrack the show for post editing. Any music group or sound guy would greatly benefit from the Motu 896 Mk3.

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      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Very good!

      By 

      from Cancun, Mexico

      Comments about MOTU 896mk3 Hybrid:

      Bought this online from Cancun, Mexico. Musician's Friends service on the phone to clarify any doubts about price and shipping was great, and the delivery was 5 days thru UPS. Paid a little more than what I thought on customs (Mexican ones) but still good business.
      MOTU 896 mk3 hybrid is great, plugged it on and started working. Very intuitive, great sound and easy to operate. The only detail I find, that disappointed me: I did not check if this one had a MIDI port, expecting it would obviously had it... and it doesn't...!!!
      That was the only negative surprise I had, but still my fault for not reading everything in detail.
      Other than that, excellent choice!

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      (5 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

       
      3.0

      MOTU 896mk3 Hybrid -not so good, Musicians Friend -great

      By 

      from Louisville, KY

      Comments about MOTU 896mk3 Hybrid:

      Maybe you will get one with no problems and feel good about it.
      I really liked this box. It would have been the perfect fit, at a reasonable price, for what I wanted to do with it. The software loaded with no problems. It was very easy to understand and had a classy look. It would be nice for the user if the input channels could be rearrange for a particular set up. I only wanted to use the 8 preamp and the 8 toslink channels but the order of the mixer channels had the AES/EBU and S/PDIF between the preamp and toslink channels. I would like to be able to see 16 mixer channels at once on the monitor.
      The FX were good and have plenty of control and visuial aid.
      I thought the front panel and display was easy enough to operate after a few minuets of practice. It would make a great stand-alone unit and if you needed to tweak after the lap top was gone, its doable.
      The USB interface turned my laptop from unusable firewire to one mean, multitrack recording machine. I could do 16 mono tracks with no problems. WOW!
      I had no problem with the plastic case. It was very lite and and would fit in a shallow rack case. Perfect.
      The manual is good.
      The preamps were very useable (better than I expected). The unit is not built like a tank and that was a good place to cut costs. All the jacks were solid. The knobs and push button would not take a lot of abuse but do function well. The MOTU 896mk3 Hybrid makes good sounding music.
      Here is were I had problems with the 896mk3 Hybrid and ended up with the RME UFX interface (Awesome). The first unit arrived with a bad input channel. I couldn't get line or mic to work. Sent it back. The second unit arrived with a nonworking LED meter on one of the preamp input channels. Sent it back. The THIRD unit had a LED out on one of the user defined meters. Sent it back. Hey, whats going on here. But its the perfect unit, I really want it. The FOURTH unit arrived with the first user defined meter showing twice the level as all the rest of the meters with the same signal ran to each channel. I almost kept it anyway but if in 4 units you can't get one without something wrong, what else is going on inside and what does it say about the manufacturers quality control and concern about customer satisfaction. Sent it back.
      Just so you know, I used a MOTU 2408 for a very long time without any hardware or software problems and even sold it for decent money when I was finished with it. I've also read several very good reviews about this unit. I also have to say that Musicians Friend was, as always, a great place to do business.
      What a great concept for the money.

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      (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Great Interface

      By 

      from Minneapolis

      Comments about MOTU 896mk3 Hybrid:

      The Motu 896mk3 Hybrid is a very solid interface from a brand I trust. Very clean sounding inputs with phantom power and pad switch. Slightly complicated to to figure out monitor mixes and the onboard reverb processor for them, which was a major selling point for me, but I could just be dim. I think you need another piece of gear, a headphone amp, and use the analog outputs to make it work as intended. I could be wrong. The only issue I have run into, is this interface has some issues with my older mac as that computer has the old style firewire ports. When running an adapter type cable sound cuts out frequently. Motu tech support is reachable by phone, and they said this sounds like a driver issue but have not heard of that problem from other users. I do own a Motu 828mkII as well and am able to daisy chain them together easily and strangely make it work that way. It works perfectly on my newer macbook pro with modern firewire. I was dissappointed the 896mk3 did not have midi inputs, but that's not too big a deal. It works great for tracking many audio sources at once like drums in my semi-pro home studio. Admittedly a little pricey, but a very solid piece of gear that I don't expect any problems from for years like my other still functioning older Motu interface.

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