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MOTU 828mk3 Firewire Audio Interface

On-board effects and mixing, CueMix. 7-Band British-style EQ. (31) Read 6 reviews for this product | Rate and review this product
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MOTU 828Mk3 Hybrid FireWire/USB Audio Interface

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MOTU 828mk3 Firewire Audio Interface

The 828mk3 is a cross-platform 1U-rack mount FireWire audio interface with on-board effects and mixing. Apply hardware-based effects to all 28 inputs and 30 outputs via an on-board DSP-driven 8 stereo bus digital mixer with 32-bit floating point precision. Effects include Classic Reverb with tail lengths up to 60 seconds, 7-band parametric EQ modeled after British analog consoles, and vintage compression (automatic gain control) modeled after the legendary LA-2A optical leveling amplifer. Effects can even be applied when the 828mk3 is operating stand-alone (without a computer) as a complete rack-mounted mixer.

Connect a wide variety of studio gear to the 828mk3, including microphones, guitars, synths, keyboards, drum machines and even effects processors via 8 balanced TRS analog in/out, two banks of optical (ADAT and TOSLink formats) and S/PDIF digital I/O. Monitor everything via XLR main outs, surround output and two front-panel phone jacks with independent volume control. Two front-panel mic/guitar combo inputs are equipped with transparent preamps, digitally controlled trim with plenty of gain, XLR mic input, true high-impedance guitar input, individual 48V phantom power switch, 20 dB pad, and V-Limit, a hardware limiter that helps prevent digital clipping from overloaded input signals as high as +12 dB above zero with no distortion. Additional protection can be applied with Soft Clip.

All 828mk3 analog inputs are equipped with digitally controlled analog trim controls that allow adjustments in precise 1 dB increments. The mic/guitar input trims can be adjusted using front-panel digital rotary encoders that provide feedback in the front panel LCD, while all quarter-inch TRS inputs can be trimmed from the included cross-platform CueMix FX software. Different trim configurations can be saved as files on disk for instant recall.

Additional advanced features include 192 kHz operation, Direct Digital Synthesis (DDS) precision clocking, direct SMPTE time code sync (no extra synchronizer needed), MIDI I/O and much more. The 828mk3 provides CueMix FX and drivers for Mac (OS X) and Windows (XP and Vista) for cross-platform compatibility with virtually all audio software via WDM/ASIO/Core Audio drivers. The included AudioDesk workstation software for Mac provides 24-bit recording/editing and 32-bit mixing/processing/mastering.

zZounds is an authorized dealer of Mark of the Unicorn (MOTU) products.
MOTU Warranty MOTU offers a 2 year warranty on all Firewire interfaces and all Video/Audio interfaces. USB MIDI interfaces and PCI Audio interfaces carry a 90 day warranty.
If you have additional warranty questions, please contact the manufacturer at 617-576-2760
Customer Reviews
3 out of 5 (31 ratings) Rate and Review This Product
"Great Features, Horrible Driver"
Sound: The new DDS clock sounds fantastic! You can really hear the difference between units like this and lower end Edirol and M-Audio interfaces. Very clean definition and detail far beyond previous MOTU 828 interfaces. This thing would work as a great mixer in a pinch, even without a computer! I am using it with a new aluminum iMac Core 2 Duo 24" 2.4GHz. Feature: There are so many great features about this sound card. In this price range, nothing can beat it. You get a ton of I/O, DSP, stand-alone operation, a low-jitter clock and good integration with a computer via the CueMix FX software. You only get 2 mic preamps but that hardly matters if you are just plugging in synths. The metering is very comprehensive. Ease of Use: It's pretty easy to use, though it takes some time to learn how it works. The interface is not very intuitive, though very powerful. You get a lot of functionality. The manual is very clear. Quality: The unit seems well made out of solid metal, and will probably last quite awhile under heavy use. The built-in headphone output has a small amount of noise, though it's far below the noise of any computer's built-in audio output. Value: When MOTU fixes the driver problems, it will be a 10. Until then, it is a piece of junk. If they don't fix it before my 30 day return limit, I will return it to send a message to MOTU than using the public as beta testers is unacceptable, and that they really ought to send some test units to real audio professionals for a couple weeks before releasing it. Manufacturer Support: This is unfortunately the worst part about this unit. MOTU seems to have released it without testing the driver reliability on simple factory-built Mac computers. Using the current v1.47 driver and firmware 1.05, the unit is subject to regular but randomly-occurring audio dropouts accompanied by high pitched screeching noises. This happens both on my 24" Intel iMac bought on April 21, 2008 and on my G5 1.8 dual core tower. Very disappointing. MOTU will probably straighten this out in the long term, but for now this unit is not usable in a professional context. This phenomena is being experienced by numerous users and as of April 24, 2008 has not been resolved. The Wow Factor: If it worked well, it would be super sexy. Right now, however, my relationship with it is very dysfunctional. Overall: Definitely not satisfied with it yet. I could be replacing it with a PreSonus Firestudio or an M-Audio ProFire 2626 if MOTU does not get these driver issues sorted out by early May.
Style of Music: Psytrance
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"MOTU = Faulty Components and TERRIBLE Tech Support/Customer Service"
Sound: The sound was fine. Good preamps and converters. Feature: The features were fine. Gives you everything you need. Ease of Use: Fairly easy to use. Quality: Terrible quality. The unit was incompatible with my PC. Value: Even though the price, the features, and the sound quality are all good, it still doesnt make this unit worth purchasing. Due to the faulty components, software, and drivers, and due to the terrible tech support. Manufacturer Support: I contacted the MOTU tech support many times and it was terrible. It took them forever to respond back to my questions online, and at one point it took them a month with no response. The online phone support is non existant. I called their when I had no success online and I was treated very rudely, and unprofessionally. The Wow Factor: It looks cool and professional, but given all the problems I've had with it, it's not worth it. Performace is more important then looks. Overall: If you don't read any other reviews, please at least read this one before you buy this unit. Summary: - Horrible, and unprofessional Tech Support - Incompatible Drivers/Faulty components My Story: I purchased the Motu 828 MKII (the unit that was recently replaced by this new 828 MKIII) at the beginning of the year. I had problems from the very beginning. First, I had the wrong firewire chipset. It took Motu forever to respond to my online tech support email. A month later, when they finally responded back, I found out I had to purchase a specific firewire card with a specific chipset in order for the unit to function properly. This was a minimal problem, and only the beginning of my nightmare of owning this unit. Then the Motu software drivers started conflicting with my PC. It would constantly reboot my computer every time I'd run the software, or when I'd first start up my computer. I tried everything to fix it. At first I didn•t realize the drivers were the problem and I went through many hours of frustration, testing, and even had a PC tech support guy come out. The PC tech told me the problem was the units drivers were conflicting with my PC and causing my PC to reboot itself. When I found out it was the Motu drivers, I did a search online for people with similar problems. I found out that MANY other MOTU users had the same issues. I contacted Motu Tech support and they were very unhelpful and unprofessional yet again. It took them two weeks if not longer in between responses. I didn't hear back from tech support for a full month. I called the Motu tech support hotline and was treated very rudely by the Motu associate who answered the phone. The problem was never resolved, and I still have not heard back from Motu tech support. I became very hopeless. I realized that I had just spent over 800 dollars on a unit that wasn•t compatible with my top of the line, custom built PC. Luckily, the place I purchased the unit from was understanding enough to take the unit back after 10 months and give me in store credit. The pro audio guy and the store manager who worked at the store told me that the main reason they decided to give me an exchange was because they have had an incredible number of Motu product returns. Most music stores have a 15 day return policy on products like this. By them actually returning this after 10 months says a lot. It shows how bad these Motu products really are. Even on the new MKIII, they told me they had people returning them after the first day for faulty firewire connections, and incompatible drivers. My recommendation is, do not buy MOTU. I know their products sound like a great deal, but it•s not worth the hassles from all the possible incompatibilities. Motu software is not stable, the hardware is faulty, and the tech support is terrible. Motu obviously doesn't care about their customers. You already purchased their gear, and that's all they wanted. Instead of releasing the MKIII they should have fixed all the bugs in the MKII. Trust me people. I hardly ever write reviews unless I feel it is very important. Do not purchase this Motu product. Go and buy a RME or a Presonus. Both of those brands are good quality, and basically the same price points. I hope this review helps you in your purchase.
Style of Music: Rock, Jazz, Metal, Alternative
37 of 44 people (84.09%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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