MOTU 8A Audio Interface
The MOTU 8A Audio Interface is designed for studio recording, installed sound, and live sound-reinforcement applications such as mixing a small band in a club or music venue.
The MOTU 8A Audio Interface features eight balanced line-level inputs and eight balanced line-level outputs over 1/4" TRS connectors, a pair of 8-channel ADAT optical ports, for a total of 16 inputs and 18 outputs. Additional I/O can be added to the system through AVB networking.
The audio interface utilizes ESS Sabre32 Ultra converters to provide a dynamic range of 123 dB while recording at up to 24-bit/192 kHz resolution. Using Thunderbolt connectivity, the audio interface can stream 64 audio channels in and 64 channels out to the interface's physical outputs, the DSP-powered 48 digital routing matrix, or AVB audio network streams. The interface can also use high-speed USB 3.0 using class-compliant drivers to work with most digital audio workstations.
The 48-channel digital mixer can mix physical inputs on the interface, audio channels from your host computer software, AVB audio network streams, or mixer outputs. It features seven stereo auxiliary busses, three groups, a reverb buss that can serve as an alternate 4th group, a main mix buss, and a separate monitor buss that can function as a solo buss.
The mixer includes 32-bit floating-point precision DSP-powered models of three British analog console EQ profiles, a classic compressor module with optional peak/RMS operation, and a model of the legendary Teletronix LA-2A optical leveling amplifier with automatic gain control (AGC) characteristics. Each input channel strip features a high-pass filter, a gate, a four-band parametric EQ, and a compressor.
This interface features an AVB Ethernet port that adopts the AVB industry networking standard for transporting high-bandwidth, low-latency audio and video over Ethernet. It was developed by the IEEE and enables connection to a second MOTU AVB audio interface (624, 1248, 8M, or 16A) via a CAT-5E or CAT-6 Ethernet cable. The standard is open, meaning it is not proprietary, and will allow for interoperability across different devices and brands.
The system can be further expanded through connection to an optional MOTU AVB Switch, for five total devices, giving it the capacity to stream over 512 channels on the network. Eight 8-channel network streams may be broadcast while simultaneously listening to eight 8-channel network streams. The AVB network provides its own network-wide time base for phase locking all connected devices, and also allows one of the connected devices to be assigned as the master clock. An added benefit of the AVB network standard is the automatic device discovery for self-configuration, 100-meter cable runs, as well as the system's Stream Reservation Protocol, which provides guaranteed Quality of Service (QoS) and an uninterrupted point-to-point network connection.
The audio interface's on-board DSP, mixing, device settings, and network-audio routing can all be controlled through a web application running on a web browser from a laptop, tablet, or smartphone connected by wire or Wi-Fi to your local area network. This allows the interface to be controlled using Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android devices, provided they share the same network. By connecting an Apple Airport or other Wi-Fi router directly to the interface with a standard Ethernet cable, the mixing and DSP controls of the interface can be managed using a Smartphone or tablet, without the need for a computer.
MOTU 8A Audio Interface Features
- Quality Audio and High-End Converters: Renowned ESS Sabre32 DAC technology delivers 123 dB dynamic range, the same audio quality as MOTU's flagship 16A
- Ultra-low Latency and High-Performance MOTU Drivers: Round-trip latency (RTL) performance as low as 1.6 ms at 96 kHz over Thunderbolt with high-performance DAW hosts
- Mobile Operation and Universal Connectivity: Connects to your computer with Thunderbolt, super-speed USB 3.0 or AVB/TSN Ethernet for up to 256 audio channels (128 in and 128 out). Class-compliant firmware and industry-standard drivers work with any audio apps; connects to iPad with a standard camera connection kit (adapter)
- 34 Simultaneous Audio Channels: 8 x 8 balanced analog, 8-channel ADAT optical and independent phone out for 16 inputs and 18 outputs
- DSP Mixing and Effects Processing: Flexible 48-input digital mixer with 7 stereo aux busses, 3 group sends, access to 64 network inputs, and DSP effects, including reverb, 4-band EQ, gate and compression
- 32-Bit Floating Point Processing: The 8A's mixing and effects DSP engine delivers virtually unlimited headroom and well-regarded sound quality
- Modeled Vintage Effects Processing: Classic reverb, compression modeled after the legendary LA-2A compressor, and EQ modeled after British analog console EQs
- Flexible Matrix Routing and Splitting: Send any input to any output or multiple outputs such as routing to and from the computer, plus any devices on the audio network
- Standalone Operation with Wireless Control: Connect an Apple Airport or other Wi-Fi router with a standard Ethernet cable for wireless control of device settings, powerful 48-channel mixing and DSP effects
- Web App Control: Control everything from your favorite web browser on a laptop, tablet and smartphone connected to your local Wi-Fi network
- System Expansion: Add a second MOTU AVB-equipped interface with a simple CAT-5e Ethernet cable, and connect up to five MOTU interfaces using the optional MOTU AVB/TSN Switch
- AVB/TSN Audio Networking: Build a network with multiple interfaces and computers using standard AVB/TSN switches and network cabling, with ultra-low network latency, even over long cable runs (100 meters point to point); stream hundreds of audio channels among devices and computers on the network
- Optical I/O: Connect outboard digital processors, digital mixers or other gear via 8 channels of ADAT at 44.1/48 kHz, 4 channels of SMUX at 88.2/96 kHz or stereo TOSLink (optical S/PDIF) up to 96 kHz
- Comprehensive Metering: The full-color LCD lets you view all signal activity at a glance with detailed metering for all analog and digital I/O, and enjoy access to hardware settings from a simple and convenient menu
- Audio Desk: Includes AudioDesk workstation software for Mac and Windows with 24-bit recording, sample-accurate editing, and 32-bit mixing and mastering
MOTU 8A Audio Interface Specifications
- Connectivity: Thunderbolt, USB 3, AVB Ethernet
- Simultaneous I/O: 8 x 8
- A/D Resolution: Up to 24-bit/192kHz
- Analog Inputs: 8 x 1/4" (line in)
- Analog Outputs: 8 x 1/4" (line in)
- Digital Inputs: 1 x Optical Toslink (ADAT, SMUX, S/PDIF)
- Digital Outputs: 1 x Optical Toslink (ADAT, SMUX, S/PDIF)
- Headphones: 1 x 1/4"
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