MOTU is now shipping the 828x ($849), a single-rackspace audio interface that turns a Thunderbolt technology enabled Mac or PC into a powerful audio workstation equipped with all the audio I/O needed for professional audio recording.
The new 828x provides all of the same features as MOTU's latest 828mk3 Hybrid interface, including high-speed USB 2 connectivity to a computer host, but replaces FireWire with full-bandwidth, fully-certified Thunderbolt, the new ultra-fast connectivity standard now found on today's current-generation MacBooks, iMacs, Mac Pro, and various laptops from leading PC vendors like Hewlett Packard.
Thunderbolt allows users to connect the 828x and other Thunderbolt-equipped peripherals to a laptop for a sleek, state-of-the-art desktop production system. Even with a high-performance hard drive or RAID connected to the Thunderbolt bus, plus a large Apple Thunderbolt display, the 828x easily streams 58 simultaneous channels of audio (28 inputs and 30 outputs) with plenty of bus bandwidth to spare for smooth, glitch-free operation.
Up to six devices can be connected to a Thunderbolt daisy-chain, with the 828x at the end of the chain. Thunderbolt is a plug-and-play protocol, so devices can be hot swapped, even while the host computer remains powered up.
MOTU's 828x is compatible with Thunderbolt 1 and 2 and USB 3. It offers 58 simultaneous channels—28 inputs and 30 outputs, including two mic preamps with sends, eight 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.
It includes CueMix FX high-powered DSP with mixing and effects on individual ins/outs. Includes classic reverb, modeled analog EQ, and modeled vintage LA-2A compressor.
Two front panel combo jacks provide hi-Z ¼-inch guitar input or XLR mic input with individual phantom power and pad. Precision Digital Trim is a digitally controlled analog trim on all analog inputs (mic/guitar inputs plus ¼-inch TRS inputs) provides precise adjustments in 1dB increments.
V-Limit overload protection, a hardware-based input limiter on the mic inputs, prevents digital clipping and distortion from overloaded signal levels up to +12 dB over zero.