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MOTU 828mk3 Reviews

4.5 stars based on 7 customer reviews
  • from Melbourne December 12, 2008Music Background:
    Recording Musician/Producer

    Simply stunning...

    I was using a mk2 for a while and needed more i/o, seeing the mk3 had 16 channels of ADAT instead of 8 i decided to upgrade. The first thing is the sound of the converters is very nice, a step up from the mk2, i plan on getting 16 channels of AD/DA maybe from RME, via ADAT then use the 8 analog i/o as hardware inserts for tracking and mixing. Add a nice synth to the spdif inputs and midi and you have an amazing recording setup.

    This blows away the 003 rack, and would put the RME 800 in hot water. If you are searching for an all in one firewire interface this is it!

  • from Dubai U.A.E. September 7, 2008Music Background:
    Studio & Live Recording Engineer, Artist, Sampling Freak, Max/MSP/Jitter user

    Great, Worth Every Penny

    The MOTU 828mk3 is a work of art. Great, value for money, great audio quality.

    I previously used the mk2 and also Presonus products. But the the mk3 is a great upgrade.
    My Logic setup has gotten better because of the audio output that can go to 7.1
    Plus with the 24 bit, 192khz sample rate make my new sample recordings extremely clear.

    Also with the help of the DSP CueMix FX built in to the 828 make the purchase even better, because it can take the processing power of the plugins off of your computer.

    Worth every penny. A must buy for anyone serious to add a good interface without breaking the bank.

  • from Washington, DC July 18, 2008Music Background:
    Recording / Live Sound Engineer

    Flexible firewire multi I/O with powerful DSP mixing, EQ, reverb, and compression built in.

    I've used MOTU's original 896 firewire interface extensively, and I've developed a great deal of respect for the quality and performance of their products. The 828mk3 is the latest model in the well-known 828 series. I am simply amazed.

    The 828 gives you 8 1/4" TRS inputs, 8 1/4" TRS outputs, plus XLR main outs, XLR combo inputs on the front panel with preamps, optical inputs and optical outputs (16 channels each), SPDIF, TRS sends, front panel stereo headphone and main out TRS jacks, MIDI, timecode, and word clock. Everything works in parallel, and feeds to and from your computer over a single firewire cable. All TRS and XLR connections are balanced, and the TRS are all line level and also unbalanced compatible.

    The preamps on the front panel sound clean, quiet, and crystal clear. Absolutely transparent. Trim knobs give you about 58 dB on gain on the preamps. 20 dB pad and phantom power switches as well. With the preamps set to no gain, and the pad on, its about line level, so you have plenty of gain for even the quietest mics.

    Everything can be adjusted from backlit LCD screen on the front panel, and the headphone jack can be set to monitor any output. There is also a convenient talkback/listenback feature you can use to communicate with people in your studio over any other I/O.

    The real power of this device is in the on-board DSP mixer and FX processor, CueMix DSP. Basically, it lets you apply the following FX to any input and/or output:

    * Compressor/Limiter
    * Vintage Leveler (very nice!)
    * 7-band parametric EQ
    * Global reverb

    Note that *each* input and *each* output can have its *own* custom EQ, leveler, compressor, etc. Amazing. The reverb is global with sends and returns.

    This wraps a 28x16 matrix mixer (8 stereo busses). As I mentioned, everything is controllable from the front panel, but the coolest thing of all is the CueMix software, which lets you control the whole thing from your computer (Windows or Mac). You can save 16 presets in the unit for recall later, with or without a computer attached.

    With so many inputs and outputs you would wonder what to do with them all. As I integrated this device into a live sound system, I realized that I could plug lots of things directly into this box, and eliminate a lot of other gear. I replaced a mixer, two compressor limiters, and an EQ, and cut my wiring in half. In the end, it wasn't that hard to fill up the I/O. :) In a studio setting it would be a dream as well, being able to create a custom mix for anyone in the studio on the fly. And its all 32-bit digital processing inside, so you cut down on noise as well.

    Historically, MOTU's firewire interfaces have been known for their quality in recording and playback, with clean, quiet preamps and top-notch 24-bit A/D and D/A converters. This unit supports sampling rates from 44.1 kHz to 192 kHz. The quality as a analog-to-digital recording interface is second to none, but the addition of the on-board DSP steals the show.

    I would wholeheartedly recommend this box to anyone looking for a new recording interface. It also works wonders when you need a programmable mixer, limters, eq, etc. without a physical control surface. The drivers are solid and the software looks and feels very polished. You can add more devices via firewire. Considering all the gear you could replace / not have to buy, the $750 price tag is well worth it.

    All in all, no real complaints. If you need more XLR inputs with preamps, take a look and the new 896mk3, it has the same on-board DSP. That will be my next buy from MOTU.

  • from United States March 4, 2009Music Background:
    Pro Musician, Software Developer

    I hated it, then I loved it

    OK...the first day with my new 828mk3 I wanted to return it. The CD that came with it was unreadable, and I couldn't get through to Tech Support...I'm always leery of a very busy Tech Support...indicates non-user-friendly product LOL !! Anyway, Sweetwater was very helpful and I set up a MOTU account and downloaded everything I needed.
    I want to use this thing LIVE...I had some trouble getting my nice Lexicon reverb integrated, but I called Tech Support (harumph) and they calmly advised me to make sure that whatever input I was using to connect to my Lexicon output WAS NOT MUTED...DUHHHH...problem solved (no, it doesn't say so in the manual, which I read from front to back...twice).
    The thing that did it for me was the sound. This unit has superb audio, and I'm really picky and I go through a LOT of equipment. I perform live...a jazz duo consisting of my wife on vocals and me on guitars and keyboards. Acoustic guitar sounds beautiful, my Strat sounds so good I can play it without any effects (I play clean), and all my synths come through nice and clean...sweet. I use Chainer to host my VST's and Chainer allows me to configure it to any of the 828mk3's outputs.

    My biggest complaint is having to go to Radio Shack and spend over $40.00 for a Firewire cable. MOTU loves to show the 828mk3 attached to a laptop. Hello, most laptops have the 4-pin 1394 connector, so why ship just the big 6-pin with the unit???

    Anyway, I loved it once I learned how to use it, and I think I'll keep it.

  • from NY, NY September 14, 2008Music Background:
    Recording Engineer

    Can't Be Beat!

    For the cost of this unit, it can't be beat. Everything is inside of this box - Great I/O, separate headphones output for cue mixes, monitor switching (via software), EQ - Comp. To boot, it sounds very good, the preamps are okay but using better pre-amplification this unit shines. No latency monitoring too.

  • from Meriden, CT March 27, 2008

    An Improvement

    Have had the Mk ll for a few years now.Just got the Mk3, I am using the same monitors etc, etc.The sound quality is vastly improved! I mean there is a huge difference, and that is with out the built in effects,. . . which by the way though lacking in algorithms are very good. The reverb is Fantastic!Overall I think MOTU improved the design of the internal sound card circuitry to the point that it sounds as sweet if not sweeter than my old Presonus Firebox, which I allways thought sounded better then my Mk ll. Maybe that alone says something.Anzeigen

  • from N/A July 28, 2010Music Background:
    Musician, Recording engineer

    MOTU 828mk3

    I bought this to augment my two 8 pre units (see their review) and was loving it, until I had this recurring high frequency ringing problem. I retired it for about a year, then loaded a firmware update from the MOTU website, and haven't had a problem since. I now use it as a mixer for my keyboard rig, which includes a Muse Receptor and a Korg Triton extreme. All of this is mounted in a 4 space rack, my two keyboards (88 key midi controller, 61 key Triton) and a couple of powered speakers and I'm good to go for any gig. I do the soundcheck with my laptop for setup, then use the 828 as the main mixer for small gigs, as a keyboard submixer for larger gigs, and subgroup to the ADAT outs into logic for recording or sequencing. Awesome.

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