MOTU is shipping the 896mk3 Hybrid ($TBA), an enhanced version of the company's 896 audio interface that now provides flexible connectivity to Mac or Windows computers via FireWire or USB 2. Features include eight XLR/TRS “combo” style analog inputs with high-quality preamps, 10 XLR analog outputs, a total of 28 inputs and 32 outputs, 192kHz analog operation, signal overload protection, a 32-bit floating point DSP for digital mixing and effects processing, two banks of configurable optical I/O, and support for time code synchronization.
The rear panel of the 896mk3 Hybrid provides both FireWire A (400 Mbps) and high-speed USB 2 (480 Mbps) ports. Users can connect the 896mk3 Hybrid to a computer using either format for full-featured operation and ultra-low bus latency. The FireWire jacks on the 896mk3 are 9-pin Type B jacks, but they can be connected to any FireWire jack on the computer (6-pin Type A, 4-pin Type A "mini," or Type B) using any standard FireWire cable that has the necessary connectors on it.
Other feature updates include computer-controllable pad and 48-volt phantom power switches for the eight mic inputs. The 896mk3 Hybrid includes eight 24-bit/192kHz analog inputs and outputs on XLR jacks; separate XLR main outs and front panel headphone jacks, each with independent volume control; stereo 24-bit/96kHz AES/EBU in/out; stereo 24-bit 96 kHz S/PDIF in/out; 16 channels of ADAT Lightpipe, 8 channels of SMUX (96 kHz) or two pairs of stereo TOSLink; word clock in and out; and eight rear panel combo jacks providing ¼-inch guitar/line input or XLR mic input with phantom power, pad and plenty of gain.
The 896mk3 Hybrid also offers CueMix FX—flexible 28 input/16 bus mixer with onboard DSP effects, including reverb with sends/returns, plus EQ and compression on every input and output; 28 inputs/32 outputs (at 44.1/48 kHz), in which the mic inputs, AES/EBU I/O, S/PDIF I/O, headphone out and main outs are all handled as separate channels; front panel control, providing access to any setting in an entire 896mk3 mix directly from the front panel; stand-alone operation; multiple CueMix FX mixes; and clip protection, with an input limiter that prevents digital clipping and distortion from overloaded signal levels up to +12dB over zero.
The 896mk3 Hybrid includes native 32- and 64-bit drivers for Mac OS X and Windows 7/Vista, including ASIO, WDM, Wave, and Core Audio. It supports all popular Mac and Windows audio software and includes MOTU's AudioDesk full-featured sample-accurate workstation software for the Mac with recording, editing, mixing, real-time 32-bit effects processing and sample-accurate sync.