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MOTU 8M Thunderbolt+USB Audio Interface with 8 mic preamps

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$1,495.00
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Quick Overview

The world’s first Thunderbolt™ audio interface with 8 pristine mic preamps, 48-channel mixing and AVB audio networking...
1248
8M
16A
 
 
AVB Switch
 

Introducing the 8M

The world’s first Thunderbolt™ audio interface with 8 pristine mic preamps, 48-channel mixing and AVB audio networking.

 
 

The 8M is one of several new high-performance audio interfaces from 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.

Precision trim™

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.

 Dynamic RangeTHD+N
Line Out123 dB-110 dB
Line In112 dB-102 dB
Mic In112 dB-104 dB

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.

Analog in to out at 48k

 Samples
A/D12
FPGA in4
FPGA out4
DSP in/out6
D/A6
Total               32 (0.66 ms)

Thunderbolt technology

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: capable 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!

Comprehensive metering

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.

Technical Specifications

Sample rates44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192 kHz
Analog inputs8 x XLR/TRS combo-style mic/line/instrument inputs
Analog outputs8 x 1/4" TRS line out (balanced) 
1 x 1/4" TRS stereo headphone
Digital I/O2 banks (16 ch) of ADAT optical at 1x sample rates 
1 bank (8 ch) of SMUX optical at 2x sample rates 
Stereo RCA S/PDIF up to 96 kHz (with SRC on input)
Total I/O24 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/O1 x Thunderbolt (compatible with 1 and 2) 
1 x USB 2.0 audio class compliant (3.0 compatible)
Sync I/O1 x word clock in 
1 x word clock out
Headphone1 x 1/4" TRS stereo phone (assignable)
Phantom power8 x individual +48V
Front panel1 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
PowerInternational 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 or high-speed USB 2.0 port
  • A large hard drive (at least 500 GB for recording)

Windows System Requirements*

  • * Windows support is coming soon…
  • 1 GHz Pentium-based PC compatible or faster
  • 2 GB RAM; 4 GB or more recommended
  • Windows 8 or later
  • Available Thunderbolt or high-speed USB 2.0 port
  • 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.

Included Software

  • Thunderbolt and USB 2.0 drivers
  • MOTU AVB Discovery App for Mac (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 (available as a separate download)

Operating Systems

  • For computer audio I/O: Mac OS X 10.8 or later; Windows 8 or later*
  • For web app control: Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android
 

Analog I/O Specifications

 
Connector type
Dynamic range
(A-weighted)
THD+N
(unweighted)
Max 
level
Trim range 
(in 1 dB steps)
Line output1/4" TRS, balanced, tip hot123 dB-110 dB+20 dBu24 dB (-4 to +20 dBu)
Line input1/4" TRS, bal/unbal, tip hot112 dB-102 dB+17 dBu 
(with pad)
53 dB
Mic inputXLR, balanced, pin 2 hot112 dB-104 dB+24 dBu 
(with pad)
63 dB
Phones1/4", TRS stereo102 dB-92 dBMax. 80 mw128 dB

Compatible Mac software

The 8M ships with standard Core Audio drivers for Mac OS X for compatibility with virtually all Core Audio-compatible apps, including:

  • MOTU Digital Performer
  • Avid Pro Tools (version 9 or later)
  • Apple Logic Pro
  • Apple Logic Express
  • Apple Garage Band
  • Apple SoundTrack Pro
  • Ableton Live
  • Propellerhead Record & Reason
  • Steinberg Cubase
  • Cockos Reaper
  • Native Instruments Kontakt
  • Waves stand-alone apps (and plug-ins, via compatible host)

Compatible Windows software (Windows support coming soon…)

The 8M ships with standard Wave and ASIO drivers for Windows 8 for compatibility with virtually all Wave-compatible audio apps, including:

  • MOTU Digital Performer
  • Avid Pro Tools (version 9 or later)
  • Ableton Live
  • Cakewalk Sonar
  • Steinberg Cubase
  • Propellerhead Record & Reason
  • Image Line FL Studio
  • Sony Vegas Pro
  • Sony Sound Forge
  • Sony Acid
  • Cockos Reaper
  • Native Instruments Kontakt
  • Waves stand-alone apps (and plug-ins, via compatible host)
 

8M Feature Summary

Superb audio quality

For example, the balanced TRS analog outputs produce 123 dB dynamic range and -110 dB THD+N (0.0003%) at -1 dBFS, Unweighted, 1 kHz.

50 simultaneous audio channels

Eight XLR/TRS combo inputs with individual preamps/pad/48V power, 8 balanced/unbalanced TRS analog outs, and 2 x 8-channel ADAT optical ports for 24 inputs and 26 outputs.

Flexible mic/guitar inputs

Eight combo jacks provide balanced analog input, hi-Z 1/4” guitar input or XLR mic input with individual phantom power and pad.

Precision Digital Trim™

Digitally controlled analog preamp gain provides accurate adjustments in 1 dB increments from either the front panel controls or web app software, with the ability to save gain settings.

V-Limit™ overload protection

Hardware-based input limiter on the mic/guitar inputs prevents digital clipping and distortion from overloaded signal levels up to +9 dB over zero.

Universal connectivity

Connects to your computer with Thunderbolt or high-speed USB 2.0 (compatible with USB 3.0). Class-compliant firmware and Industry standard drivers work with any audio software.

On-board DSP with mixing and effects

Flexible 48-input digital mixer modeled after large format mixing consoles, with 12 stereo busses and DSP effects, including reverb, 4-band EQ, gate, and compression.

32-bit floating point processing

The 8M's mixing and effects DSP engine delivers virtually unlimited headroom and the utmost in sound quality.

Modeled vintage effects processing

Classic reverb. Compression modeled after the legendary LA-2A compressor. EQ modeled after British analog console EQs.

System expansion and audio networking

Add a 2nd MOTU AVB interface (1248, 8M or 16A) with a simple Cat-5e 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.

Matrix routing and splitting

Flexible, matrix-style audio routing and splitting for any analog or digital input, computer channel or network stream to any other output, computer, or network device. Split any single input to unlimited multiple output destinations.

256 channels of network audio I/O for your host computer

Record and monitor up to 128 networked audio channels in and out, simultaneously, through the Thunderbolt connection to a host computer.

Web app control

Control on-board DSP, mixing, device settings, and network audio routing from web app software running in your favorite browser on a laptop, tablet or smart phone connected by wire or Wi-Fi to your local area network.

Stand-alone mixing with wireless control

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.

ADAT digital I/O

Connect outboard digital processors, digital mixers or other gear. 16 channels at 44.1/48 kHz or 8 channels at 88.2/96 kHz.

Comprehensive metering

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.

 
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