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MOTU 828X Thunderbolt/USB Audio Interface

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The 828x connects to a Mac or PC with Thunderbolt™ or USB 2.0 and delivers 28 audio inputs and 30 outputs with DSP effects and mixing. You can apply 32-bit floating point effects processing to all inputs and outputs, even when operating stand-alone (without a computer). Effects include Classic Re... Read More

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The 828x connects to a Mac or PC with Thunderbolt™ or USB 2.0 and delivers 28 audio inputs and 30 outputs with DSP effects and mixing. You can apply 32-bit floating point effects processing to all inputs and outputs, even when operating stand-alone (without a computer). Effects include Classic Reverb, 7-band parametric EQ modeled after British analog consoles, and vintage compression modeled after the legendary LA-2A™ optical leveling amplifier. Two front-panel mic/guitar combo inputs provide transparent preamps, digitally controlled trim, individual 48V phantom power, 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. All analog inputs have digitally controlled analog trim controls that allow precise adjustments in 1 dB increments.


  • Thunderbolt™ connectivity - Compatible with Thunderbolt 1 and 2.
  • Hi-speed USB 2.0 connectivity - Compatible with USB 3.0.
  • 58 simultaneous channels - 28 inputs and 30 outputs, including two mic preamps with sends, 8 TRS analog in/out, separate main outs on XLR jacks, two banks of optical, S/PDIF, MIDI in/out, time code in/out, word clock I/O, and two front-panel headphone jacks.
  • CueMix FX™ - High-powered DSP with mixing and effects on individual ins/outs. Includes classic reverb, modeled analog EQ, and vintage LA-2A compressor.
  • Flexible mic/guitar inputs with preamps - Two front panel combo jacks provide hi-Z 1/4" guitar input or XLR mic input with individual phantom power and pad.
  • Precision Digital Trim™ - Digitally controlled analog trim on all analog inputs (mic/guitar inputs + quarter-inch TRS inputs) provides accurate adjustments in 1 dB increments.
  • V-Limit™ overload protection - Hardware-based input limiter on the mic/guitar inputs prevents digital clipping and distortion from overloaded signal levels up to +12 dB over zero.
  • Front-panel control for stand-alone operation - Access any setting in your entire 828x mix directly from the front panel.
  • Foot switch input - Connect a standard foot pedal switch (sold separately) for hands-free punch-in and punch-out while recording. Or map the pedal to any keystroke function in your host software.
  • Direct Digital Synthesis™ (DDS) - DSP-driven phase lock engine and internal clock source produces imperceptibly low jitter characteristics (below the noise floor), even when the 828x is resolved to an external clock source via SMPTE time code.
  • Time code support - Directly resolves to (or generates) time code via any quarter-inch input or output, without the need for an extra synchronizer.
  • DC-coupled TRS outputs - Use the 828x with Volta™ (sold separately) to manipulate and sequence voltage-controlled modular synthesizers from a host DAW
  • Instrument tuner and audio analysis tools - Includes an oscilloscope, real-time FFT, X-Y Plot, and graphic phase analysis.

Thunderbolt technology: The future of connectivity
Thunderbolt fulfills the promise of a truly state-of-the-art connectivity standard for personal computers. With massive bandwidth, Thunderbolt allows you to connect displays, hard drives, and other peripherals to your computer, along with the 828x, up to six devices total (with the 828x at the end of the chain), and the Thunderbolt bus won't even break a sweat. Thunderbolt combines plug-and-play convenience with massive bandwidth and low latency for truly professional audio interface performance.

Hi-speed USB 2.0 Mac, PC, and USB 3.0 compatible
As Thunderbolt becomes more widely adopted, Hi-speed USB 2.0 provides across-the-board compatibility with virtually all laptops and desktops on both Mac and Windows. Since USB 2.0 devices are compatible with USB 3.0-equipped hosts, your 828x interface is a future-proof investment in your studio.

28 inputs and 30 outputs: How can one audio interface offer this much I/O?
We pack it in, like no one else can: two combo-style mic/guitar inputs with preamps, 8 balanced analog in/out, XLR main outs, 16 channels of ADAT optical (8 channels at 96 kHz), plus S/PDIF, word clock and MIDI. Connect all of your studio gear, including microphones, guitars, synths, keyboards, drum machines and even effects processors.

Recording up to 192 kHz: Audio quality without compromise
Now in its fifth generation, the 828 has become a benchmark for the industry, setting the bar by which others are judged. How has this level of respect been earned? Through consistent design integrity and intelligent use of current-generation parts and design technologies.

Studio-grade mic channels: Enjoy extras like sends and optional hardware limiting
Do you work with outboard EQs and compressors? Each 828x mic input offers a pre-converter send for mono or stereo mic channel outboard processing. The 828x's unique V-Limit™ hardware limiter employs a proprietary design to offer an additional 12 dB of headroom over digital zero with no digital clipping or harsh artifacts, for that added protection in dynamic recording situations. The 828x's preamps are clean and neutral, allowing you to use your favorite plug-ins and host software to color the sound just the way you want for each recording application.

On-board digital mixer with effects: Mixing and effects for monitoring and live mixing
Record, monitor, route and process all live inputs using the professional on-board CueMix FX digital mixer - with no latency and no processor strain on your computer. Apply DSP-driven compression, EQ and reverb to every input and output, independent of your host computer.

Stand-alone operation as a mixer: Go instantly from studio to stage
After programming the on-board mixing in the studio, unplug the 828x from the computer and take it on the road for operation as a stand-alone mixer with effects. All mixing and effects parameters are adjustable using the front panel backlit LCD.

Solid metal chassis
MOTU interfaces are built to last, and last, and last...We still get calls and Facebook posts from happy users of the original 828, introduced more than 10 years ago! Like all MOTU interfaces, the 828x's aluminum alloy chassis is lightweight, yet incredibly sturdy and durable, and designed to withstand the rigors of the studio, stage, and road. In a world awash with cheap plastic, the cool feeling of the 828x's metal exterior in your hands is a reassuring reminder that you are holding quality engineering and construction.

Support for Mac OS X and Windows: Run all your favorite audio apps
The 828x provides time-tested drivers for Mac OS X and Windows (8, 7 and Vista) for cross-platform compatibility with virtually all audio software via WDM, ASIO, and Core Audio drivers.

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Product Specs

Converters 24-bit
Sample rates 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192 kHz
Analog inputs 2 x XLR/TRS combo-style mic/guitar inputs 
8 x 1/4 TRS line inputs (balanced/unbalanced)
Analog outputs 2 x XLR balanced main out 
8 x 1/4 balanced TRS line out 
2 x 1/4 TRS stereo headphone
Digital I/O 16 channels of ADAT optical at 1x sample rates 
8 channels of SMUX optical at 2x sample rates 
2-channel TOSlink (optical S/PDIF) up to 96 kHz 
2-channel RCA S/PDIF up to 96 kHz
Total I/O 28 inputs and 30 outputs at 1x sample rates 
20 inputs and 22 outputs at 2x sample rates 
10 inputs and 10 outputs at 4x sample rates
Computer I/O 1 x Thunderbolt (compatible with 1 and 2) 
1 x USB 2.0 (compatible with 3.0)
Sync I/O 1 x SMPTE time code in (LTC) 
1 x SMPTE time code out (LTC) 
1 x word clock in 
1 x word clock out
Headphone output 1 x 1/4 TRS stereo phone (assignable) 
1 x 1/4 TRS stereo phone (mirrors main outs)
Phantom power 2 x individual +48V
Front panel 2 x XLR/TRS combo mic/guitar in 
2 x 1/4 TRS phone 
2 x digital rotary encoders • phone/main volume 
2 x digital rotary encoders • mic trim 
4 x switches • Pad and 48V Phantom 
4 x digital rotary encoders for LCD control 
2 x 16 character LCD 
8 x 4-segment ladder LEDs • 1/4-inch analog in 
8 x activity LED • 1/4-inch analog out 
2 x 4-segment ladder LEDs • RCA S/PDIF in 
2 x activity LED • RCA S/PDIF out 
2 x 10-segment LEDs • mic in with V-Limit 
2 x 5-segment ladder LEDs • main outs 
6 x LED • sample rate indicator 
1 x LED • LOCK/TACH indicator 
2 x activity LEDs • optical bank A/B 
1 x activity LED • MIDI in/out 
1 x AC power switch
Power International 100-240V autoswitching supply 
50-60 Hz • 20 Watts

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