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MOTU 896HD FireWire Audio Interface

At AES, MOTU unveiled its 896HD ($1,295), a double-rackspace, FireWire audio interface for Mac and Windows computers.

At AES, MOTU unveiled its 896HD ($1,295), a double-rackspace,FireWire audio interface for Mac and Windows computers. The 896HDreplaces the 896 at the same price and adds many new features,including more simultaneous outputs (22), 192kHz operation, 8-busmonitor mixing and stand-alone operation

Like the 896, the 896HD provides eight channels of 24-bit analogI/O, eight channels of ADAP optical digital I/O, eight built-in micpreamps, 96kHz AES/EBU digital I/O with sample rate conversion, WordClock sync and sample-accurate ADAT sync. The analog inputs are onNeutrik Combo jacks and the outputs are on XLR jacks. The front panelprovides three banks of 10-segment level meters, eight trim knobs forthe analog inputs and eight toggle switches for independent 48-voltphantom power for each analog input.

The 896HD adds two additional separate main outputs (on XLRs), plusseparately accessed front-panel headphone output, providing 22 separateoutputs. All analog inputs and outputs are equipped withlatest-generation 192kHz converters. The AES/EBU and optical digitalI/O sections support sample rates up to 96 kHz. Like the 896, theAES/EBU I/O provides sample rate conversion on both input andoutput.

Additional new features include DSP-driven digital mixing andmonitoring for all 18 inputs, front-panel fader control, stand-aloneoperation, 96kHz optical digital I/O, ADAT sync input, Word Clockinput/output, two 1394 FireWire connectors, IEC power receptacle,universal compatibility with virtually all audio software on Mac OS 9/Xand Windows Me/2K/XP, and includes AudioDesk, a sample-accurateworkstation software for Mac OS with 24-bit recording/editing and32-bit automated mixing/processing/mastering.

The 896HD is expected to ship in Q4 2003.

In other company news, MOTU has posted updated drivers for all MOTUFireWire audio interfaces and PCI audio interfaces to make them fullycompatible with Panther (Mac OS X Version 10.3). These updates includenew features, such as input and output names and control surfacesupport for CueMix DSP, the latency-free monitor mixing features inMOTU’s latest FireWire and PCI audio interfaces. In addition,MOTU has posted an updater for Digital Performer Version 4.11(available free to all registered DP4 users), which is required forfull Panther compatibility. DP 4.11 also introduces several newfeatures, including a utility for configuring synthesizer expansioncard patch names.

Updated drivers include MOTU FireWire Driver Version 1.07 and MOTUPCI Driver Version 1.03. Both updates support all MOTU FireWire and PCIinterfaces, including the original 828 and 896 FireWire interfaces, aswell as first- and second-generation PCI-324 and PCI-424 systemsrunning under Panther. In addition to Panther compatibility, theupdates include features such as user-defined input/output names,control surface support to CueMix Console (pictured) and PCI-424 coresystems, and default stereo input/output. The new FireWire audio driveralso introduces the ability to resolve (slave) to another Core Audiodriver.

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