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The world's first Thunderbolt audio interface with 8 pristine mic preamps, 48-channel mixing and AVB audio networking.
The 8M is one of the several new high-performance audio interfaces form MOtu that combine superb audio quality, large console style mixing and state-of-the-art features.
Eight pristine mic inputs with individual preamps
These mic inputs are packed with extras
The eight mic/guitar inputs are equipped with pristine, transparent preamps and offer individually adjustable 48V phantom power and -20 dB pad. Preamp gain can be adjusted directly on the front panel, or from the web app control software running on your computer, tablet or smartphone. Mic inputs can be operated individually or in stereo pairs, as needed.
V-Limit™ overload protection
This hardware limiter has got your back
All 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 +9 dB above zero with no distortion due to digital clipping.
Digitally controlled preamp gain
You get the best of both worlds: analog preamp gain with digital precision and control. The 8M preamps provide 53 dB of gain, which you can adjust in 1 dB increments using detented digital rotary encoders. As you turn the encoder, you see long-throw graphic feedback and input metering in the LCD. You can also control all preamp settings — gain, pad and 48V phantom power switch — from the web app running on your Mac, iPad, iPhone or other wireless device. You can even save preamp configurations on your computer for future recall.
Flexible combo jacks
Connect guitars, a keyboard, or other inputs
Combo-style jacks accept quarter-inch plugs from a synth, keyboard, or other line-level input. You can also plug in your guitar, without an amp or cabinet, to run your guitar input through amp/cab simulation plug-ins in your host software.
Superb audio quality
Pure sound, without compromise
The 8M employs latest-generation ESS Sabre32 Ultra™ converters, known for their industry-leading performance, together with expertly engineered analog circuits that reflect more than three decades of pro audio engineering expertise. The result? The 8M achieves actual, measured performance of 123 dB dynamic range (A-weighted, 20 Hz to 20 kHz) on its balanced TRS analog outputs.
Ultra-low I/O latency
State-of-the-art latency performance
Every digital audio workflow has some latency. The only question is, how much? In the case of the 8M, the answer is, not much at all. In the 8M, latency is measured in a handful of samples, from the time an audio signal first goes digital to its arrival somewhere else (to an output, the mixer, or the computer). By keeping latency this low in the hardware, the 8M helps minimize latency introduced by your host software. Over Thunderbolt, round trip host latency is an impressive 1.4 ms, from analog in, through the host, to analog out (@ 96 kHz with a 32-sample host buffer).
Plug-and-play ease with massive bandwidth
Thunderbolt lets you connect displays, hard drives, and other peripherals to your computer, along with the 8M, and the Thunderbolt bus won't even break a sweat. But more importantly, Thunderbolt gives you an astonishing 256 channels of computer I/O (128 in and out). You can use them to route audio to the physical inputs and outputs on the 8M, plus the 48-channel mixer inside the 8M, plus audio network streams. Along with the 1248 and 16A interfaces, the 8M is the first and only interface to combine Thunderbolt I/O connectivity with AVB audio networking.
Audio class compliant USB 2.0
Broad compatibility with future-proof connectivity
Don't have a Thunderbolt-equipped computer yet? Hi-speed USB 2.0 provides across-the-board compatibility with pretty much all laptops and desktops. The 8M is USB audio class compliant, which means you enjoy OS-level USB compatibility and support, including iPad support (with a camera connection kit). Since USB 2.0 devices are compatible with USB 3.0-equipped hosts, your 8M interface is a future-proof investment in your studio.
48-channel digital mixing
Control up to 12 separate stereo mixes
The 8M is equipped with a 48-channel digital mixer designed just like a large format mixing console. The 48 inputs can take signal from anywhere: the physical inputs on the 8M interface itself, audio channels from host software on your computer, audio network streams, or even mixer outputs. The mixer provides 7 stereo aux busses, 3 groups, a reverb bus that can alternately serve as a 4th group, a Main Mix bus and a separate Monitor bus that can serve as a solo bus. In essence: comprehensive and transparent mixing.
Modeled analog EQ and compression
Vintage processing with
32-bit floating point precision
British analog mixing consoles are renowned for their musical EQ profiles. The 8M meticulously models these classic EQs to give you the very same, magical EQ response found on these coveted desks. Each input channel also provides a classic compressor module with optional peak/RMS operation. Groups and the Main Mix bus are equipped with MOTU's Leveler™, an accurate model of the legendary Teletronix™ LA-2A™ optical leveling amplifier, known for its unique and highly sought-after Automatic Gain Control (AGC) characteristics.
Matrix routing and splitting
Put the ultimate patch-bay at your fingertips
With one click on the 8M's routing grid, you can route any source signal to any destination. Sources can be analog or digital inputs on the interface, computer channels, mixer bus outputs, or audio network streams from other devices on the network. Destinations include interface outputs, host software inputs, mixer inputs, or any other device (or computer) on the AVB network. You can even split any single input (or stereo pair) to unlimited multiple output destinations.
System expansion and audio networking
Expand your system with more I/O and Wi-Fi control
The 8M network port introduces AVB Ethernet, the new industry standard developed by the IEEE for professional audio networking. Add a second MOTU AVB interface (1248, 8M or 16A) with a simple Cat-5e or CAT-6 ethernet cable.
Connect up to five MOTU interfaces using a MOTU AVB Switch (sold separately).
Build a network with multiple interfaces and computers using standard AVB switches and network cabling, with ultra-low network latency, even over long cable runs (hundreds of meters). Stream hundreds of audio channels among devices and computers on the network.
Web app control
Control everything from your laptop, tablet, and smart phone
The software that you use to control the 8M doesn't reside on your hard drive. It's a web app served from the hardware itself. This means you can control the 8M's on-board DSP, mixing, device settings, and network audio routing from the web app software running in your favorite web browser on a laptop, tablet or smart phone connected by wire or Wi-Fi to your local area network. Use any web client on any platform — Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android — as long as it shares the same network.
Stand-alone mixing with wireless control
Control everything from your iPad or iPhone
Connect an Apple Airport™ or other Wi-Fi router directly to the 8M with a standard Ethernet cable and control the 8M's powerful mixing and DSP effects from your smart phone or tablet, without a computer. Great for live sound mixing!
View all I/O activity at a glance
The large backlit 324 x 24 LCD lets you view all signal activity at a glance with detailed metering for all analog and digital I/O. Access hardware settings from a simple and convenient menu.
Quick Setup presets
Completely transform your MOTU interface with one click
The 8M is so flexible, it can serve many roles — in the studio, on stage, and throughout an installation. The Quick Setup menu lets you instantly reconfigure the 8M for many common situations, from operation as a standard audio interface to serving as a network "snake" from one location to another. Once a preset is chosen, you can easily customize the routing grid and mixer settings to further suit your specific needs — and then save your own custom presets.
|Sample rates||44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192 kHz|
|Analog inputs||8 x XLR/TRS combo-style mic/line/instrument inputs
Preamp gain: 0 to +53 dB (digitally controlled)
TRS max level with pad: +17 dbU (V-limit at +7)
|Analog outputs||8 x 1/4" TRS line out (balanced, DC coupled)
Max level: +20 dBu (digitally adjustable -4 to +20)
1 x 1/4" TRS stereo headphone
|Digital I/O||2 banks (16 ch) of ADAT optical at 1x sample rates
1 bank (8 ch) of SMUX optical at 2x sample rates
Stereo TOSLink (optical S/PDIF) on Bank A (optional)
|Total I/O||24 inputs and 26 outputs (50 total) at 1x sample rates
16 inputs and 18 outputs (34 total) at 2x sample rates
8 inputs and 10 outputs (18 total) at 4x sample rates
|Computer I/O||1 x Thunderbolt (compatible with 1 and 2)
1 x USB 2.0 audio class compliant
USB 3.0 and iOS compatible
1 x AVB Ethernet (requires OS X Yosemite)
|Computer I/O channels||Thunderbolt (44.1 to 96 kHz): 128 in/out
Thunderbolt (176.4 to 192 kHz): 64 in/out
USB 2.0 (44.1 to 48 kHz): 64 in/out
USB 2.0 (88.2 to 96 kHz): 32 in/out
USB 2.0 (176.4 to 192 kHz): 24 in/out
AVB Ethernet: 16 to 128 in/out, depending on
host computer speed
|Sync I/O||1 x word clock in
1 x word clock out
|Headphone||1 x 1/4" TRS stereo phone (assignable)|
|Phantom power||8 x individual +48V|
|Front panel||1 x 1/4" TRS headphone output
1 x digital rotary encoder • phone volume
8 x digital rotary encoders • mic preamp gain
16 x switches • (8) Pad and (8) 48V Phantom switch
324 x 24 pixel LCD for level meters / menu nav
1 x AC power switch
|Power||International 100-240V autoswitching supply
50-60 Hz • 0.5A max
Mac System Requirements
- 1 GHz Intel-based Mac or faster
- 2 GB RAM; 4 GB or more recommended
- Mac OS X version 10.8 or later
- Available Thunderbolt, USB 2.0 or AVB Ethernet port*
- A large hard drive (at least 500 GB for recording)
- *AVB Ethernet audio interface operation requires OS X Yosemite
Windows System Requirements
- 1 GHz Pentium-based PC compatible or faster
- 2 GB RAM; 4 GB or more recommended
- Windows 7, 8 or 10
- Available USB 2.0 or 3.0 port
- Available Ethernet port for firmware updates
- A large hard drive (at least 500 GB for recording)
Web App Support
- Any web client platform: Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android
- Any web browser: Safari, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Explorer, etc.
- Web client must be connected to the same network as the MOTU AVB interface by wire or Wi-Fi.
- Thunderbolt and USB 2.0 drivers
- MOTU AVB Discovery App for Mac & Windows (finds connected MOTU interfaces)
- MOTU AVB Discovery App for iOS (available from Apple App Store)
- MOTU AVB Control web app (served from the hardware itself)
- AudioDesk 4.0 for Mac and Windows (separate download)
- For computer audio I/O: Mac OS X 10.8 or later; Windows 7 or later
- For web app control: Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android