MOTU is now shipping the 8pre ($595), a single-rackspace FireWire audio interface. The 8pre is compatible with Mac OS X 10.3 or higher (including Intel Macs), Windows XP x64 (64-bit) and any audio software that supports standard WDM/ASIO/Core Audio drivers. The included AudioDesk workstation software for Mac provides 24-bit recording/editing and 32-bit mixing/processing/mastering.
The rear panel provides eight 24-bit/96 kHz analog inputs equipped with TRS/XLR combo jacks. Controls for each input are on the front panel: a 20dB pad switch, a switch for activating 48-volt phantom power and a trim knob that provides up to 40dB of gain. The rear panel also has two 24-bit/96-kHz analog main outs on standard 1/4-inch TRS plugs and two banks of ADAT optical I/O.
The 8pre connects to a Mac or PC via two 400Mb FireWire jacks. Because there are two ports, the 8pre can be daisy-chained with additional 8pre's or with other FireWire audio interfaces. Up to four 8pre units or other MOTU FireWire audio interfaces can be connected to a single FireWire bus when operating at 44.1 or 48 kHz.
The front panel also includes a 1/4-inch phone jack and combination volume control/multipurpose push pot that independently controls headphone volume, main out volume, clock source and other settings. The LED section provides eight 5-segment ladder LEDs that indicate input level for the eight analog inputs, in addition to phone and main out volume. Other status LEDs indicate clock source and other settings.
When the 8pre is not connected to a computer, it acts as an 8-channel analog-to-digital converter that can add eight mic inputs to another ADAT optical-equipped audio interface, digital mixer or other device. When operating in this mode, the 8pre simply routes each mic input signal to the corresponding optical output channel.
The 8pre is equipped with a 16x8 digital mixer. Users can monitor live inputs using the 8pre's built-in 8-bus mixer via the 8pre's main outs, headphone jack or any optical output pair. Users can also create up to four separate (stereo) monitor mixes for the main outs, headphones and optical outputs, and control all features from the included CueMix Console software.
For more information, visit www.motu.com.