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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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).
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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!
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
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.
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.
AudioDesk - Includes AudioDesk workstation software with 24-bit recording, sample-accurate editing and 32-bit mixing and mastering.