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Rating and Reviews: MOTU 828mk3 Interface

On-board effects and mixing, CueMix. 7-Band British-style EQ.

User Ratings
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
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"Great Features, Horrible Driver" submitted April 24, 2008

By a customer from gmail.com
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Producer, Performing Artist, Teacher
Music Style: Psytrance
Back to Product Information
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.
22 of 26 people (84.62%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"MOTU = Faulty Components and TERRIBLE Tech Support/Customer Service" submitted October 19, 2008

By a customer from hotmail.com
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Recording/Touring Musician
Music Style: Rock, Jazz, Metal, Alternative
Back to Product Information
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.
37 of 44 people (84.09%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"If it sounded like MOTU 828 MK2 modded by BLACKLIONAUDIO and had all the original MOTU 828 MK3 features included - I'd rate it a" submitted May 9, 2010

By a customer from gmail.com
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: one man army: artist, recording engeneer, beatmaker
Music Style: rap, dancehall, reggae, grime
Back to Product Information
Sound: The unit is nothing compared to my old MOTU 828 mk2, sonically. I was disappointed. Very thin sounding. I believe that the internal DSP EQ (which is a very good one) may easily compensate that feature, but I find it inconvenient. Feature: Has the best features Ive ever seen, compared only to RME FF800! The DSPs are good: the EQ is killer, the spectrogram analyzer thing is the bomb, the peak/rms level meters are crazy convenient! I love the metering on the front panel, almost every input is present on the display. Especially I was fascinated with surround mixes - when it flies through the pan different bulbs light up in a surround pattern. Easy to route stereo, 5.1, 7.1 setups. Solid drivers (dated 2010). Low latency. Ease of Use: First time it might seem too sophisticated and hard to understand, but a few hours of testing is enough to go through the set of options and understand how it works. Every port connection works with no troubles. Quality: Good quality, but again, compared to the old MOTU 828 MK2 unit this one is like.. plastic. That one was very solid, metal, almost like on tc konnekt 24d. Value: Honestly I believe that its just my unit like that (sonically), and If i lived where i've bought this unit, i would ask for a replacement. Well, if it sounded like my MOTU 828 MK2 with all MK3 features, i would definitely rate it a 10 straight. Im quite pleased with motu after tc konnekt 24D. Manufacturer Support: I have no idea, but I believe they deserve a "6" :) ! The Wow Factor: Its not bad at all, its just that Im having a bad version of it. I guess.. I have it. Overall: I will try to replace it with RME FIREFACE 800 because Im sure that I will upgrade my AD/DA conversion. I also honestly think the MOTU lacks the headroom. I mean when it comes to squeezing loudness out of a track or record on hot signal levels - I believe MOTU has a lower ceiling than DIGI002, RME FF. And definitely lower than my external AD/DA from SONIC SOLUTIONS. I simply cant record the DA back into the MOTU without loosing something sonically and the MOTU meters always clip.
9 of 11 people (81.82%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"motu 828 mk3 the stealth unit that more should experience" submitted May 15, 2011

By a customer from gmail.com
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: active muscician, rec engineer, producer
Music Style: Pop, hip hop, alternative, funk, jazz
Back to Product Information
Sound: The sound quality is above average...head room lacks but i have gotten some amazing quality and really good sound from guitars, bass, and vocals by just using those preamps. It is compatible for many music styles, just keep in mind it only has 2 mic in puts but for most that is quite sufficient. I haven't tested it in live situations and don't plan on it, it is permanently in my studio rack ;). It was perfectly compatible with my other motu unit the 8pre, with windows vista, through firewire, and cubase. and i have also tested it with my MAC os 10.6...drivers are reliable. I have other tools that improve sound but this unit alone is not to be underestimated. Feature: I'm sure it has more feature than what i use, but i don't use the onboard mixer stuff or anything like that, just the pre's sometimes, the outs the adat and the ins. Ease of Use: Very easy, again this is for recording, once i installed it Cubase instantly recognized it and you can further tweak your unit to your preference with the cue fx software that it comes with. Quality: i mean comparing it to what? to apogee conversion, of course not but to other firewire and usb units i would say it is easily in the top 3 choices in the700 to 1200 range Value: great price!! compared to more expensive interfaces this one holds its own very well. Manufacturer Support: motu support is lame lucky i have had no issues The Wow Factor: i was stuck on motu and i wanted a new motu unit because the have always been reliable this unit is very sexy to me Overall: I expect this to be part of my rig for a long long time, no need to change....just expand :)
2 of 3 people (66.67%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Misleading overview from MOTU - not all true!" submitted July 26, 2008

Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: professional musician & producer
Music Style: world music
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Sound: Sounds pretty good. I had MOTU traveler before it, can't really tell the difference. Feature: The overview from MOTU is a bit misleading and they don't give you an idea of a practical use for the on board DSP. After spending many hours trying to figure it out, I am still in the dark. The outputs only come in pairs, so all the effects they brag about can be applied to stereo pairs only. Also, reverb doesn't work at 96khz and above! What's the use. Why would you record at 44.1khz on an interface that's built for 192khz??? They also don't tell you that up front. Then, there is no use of the effects on outputs if you don't have an external mixer, and if you had one, why would you use EQ on the card anyway? No way to patch them back into the mix. Very disappointing. Ease of Use: so, so... maybe I am stupid or it has too many features, and again, they don't talk about the practical use, just the technical side, and even that is confusing and not very detailed. Others are complaining about it too. Quality: well, it didn't break yet, after a few days of use, mainly trying to figure it out. Value: the price is about right Manufacturer Support: Didn't call them up yet, but will do as soon as they open on Monday. The Wow Factor: looks nice, some call it sexy. Overall: I was expecting more, but I guess when I get over it, I will be pretty happy with what it offers.
10 of 12 people (83.33%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Good product quality, Good product price, Bad Customer Service..." submitted June 18, 2008

Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Active Musician, Producer, Engineer, Home Studio Owner.
Music Style: Alternative, Pop, Rock - My Band: www.myspace.com/foundyesterday
Back to Product Information
Sound: The sound is solid - a good set of preamps built in, and I have yet to take advantage of all the built in DSP effects. I think you get out what you put in - if your running a nice microphone and a good preamp you will have better luck - but overall it is very good. You can listen to my recordings at: www.myspace.com/foundyesterday That's my band. Feature: I love the fact that it includes DSP effects built in with convenient software to control it all... I personally don't like the reverb as it is too much and hard to find an ambient middle ground, I use the EQ for a bass roll-off on most tracks and to slightly boost the mid range for vocals. Ease of Use: I read through the manually and was having difficulty setting routing the busses to create monitor mixes... I found a fix but it was not what exactly the way it should be. Quality: The product broke within one month of having it... The backlight started to blink on and off and it would not stay on. That is very annoying please let me tell you. Value: It's a great product and I hope my review does not sway you against the product. If it works - you will be making great music. Manufacturer Support: Very bad support. Their product broke within one month and I had to pay shipping to get it back to them. Lets keep in mind I just spent 700 dollars on the product, now I am paying an additional $60 dollars to get it back to them. That is not right. So it broke - now what. I have been without my unit for a good 3 weeks - I have contact customer support numerous times to report a complaint - no avail they have no contact with the department that fixes the product... I was outraged that I had to pay for shipping so in compensation they advised they would "overnight" the product back instead of ground shipping... That was great - but it didn't happen. The order was placed on a 3 day ground shipping. And It's on its way to my house now... I pray you have no problems with your device. The Wow Factor: Its pretty sexy sitting on my rack next to my JoeMeek OneQ preamp... nice solid look - very heavy... Overall seems stable the software in mine broke. Overall: Overall, I am still pleased with this product - it is better than any digidesign (other than PCI connection ones) and it is MUCH better than my old M-Audio 410...
21 of 23 people (91.3%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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