A review of the Motu 8 Pre audio interface.
An introduction to the Motu 8 pre.
The Motu 8 pre is an eight channel microphone / instrument analog to digital converter that allows you to turn your computer into a multichannel music recording workstation. Or add eight high-quality mic/instrument inputs to your current system.
The 8pre FireWire audio interface gives you a strong foundation for building a very effective and versatile digital audio workstation. The 8pre has eight microphone/instrument preamplifiers with high quality 24 bit 96kHz analog recording and playback. It also has 8 channels of ADAT optical digital I/O. You can connect additional 8pres or other MOTU FireWire audio interfaces to increase the number of inputs to whatever you require (subject to the limitations of your computer).
The MOTU 8 pre gives you the inputs to hook up all of your music production gear, including both dynamic and condensor microphones, electric and acoustic guitars, keyboards, drum machines and effects processors.
You can then monitor all of these live inputs using the 8pres main outs or alternatively plug a set of headphones in the front headphone jack.
You can even create separate monitor mixes for the main outs and headphones using the included CueMix Console software.
The 8pre includes a 16-channel MIDI interface which means that after connecting with the FireWire cable, and both MIDI and audio inputs and outputs are ready to start recording. This makes it simple to attach a midi controller such as a keyboard and record alongside a guitar or vocal for example.
The 8pre can also operate as standalone analog to digital converter if required which means you can use it to convert any analog signal before sending it further down the line to a digital mixer for example.
What is the platform compatibility of the MOTU 8pre?
The 8pre is compatible with Mac OS X 10.3 or higher, as well as Windows XP and most audio software and host-based effects via WDM/ASIO/Core Audio drivers. (Sorry Linux users this won’t work for you due to driver issues) Mac users will be interested in making use of the included AudioDesk workstation software as it is very capable with 24-bit recording and 32-bit mixing/processing/mastering which is the standard of professional studio recording and mastering.
The Motu pre would be a good choice if you had need of 8 mic/instrument inputs, were considering expanding that number in the future and perhaps wanted to make use of the optical input / output facilities.
If you were a Mac user then you would do well to use the included Audio Desk software as it seems a waste not to at least give it a try. My only criticism would be the exclusion of some bundled recording software for Windows users as this means having to shell out extra cash to buy another DAW which may be a turn off for some.