MOTU 828mk3 Hybrid

28x30 USB/FireWire Audio Interface with 2 Microphone Preamplifiers, 8 TRS Inputs, 8 TRS Outputs, 2 XLR Outputs, 2 x ADAT I/O, MIDI I/O, Word Clock I/O, and Built-in Mixer with Onboard Effects - 24-bit/192kHz Resolution - Mac/PC
MOTU 828mk3 Hybrid image 1
MOTU 828mk3 Hybrid image 1
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MOTU 828mk3 Hybrid
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Versatile Interface with USB and FireWire!

Here's an interface that offers tons of I/O, premium sound quality, AND extreme flexibility in the modern recording world. Meet the MOTU 828mk3 Hybrid. This versatile interface offers both FireWire and USB connections, giving you the flexibility to connect to the computers you want. It's perfect for the recordist who has multiple machines or collaborates with artists and bands. You can feel confident knowing you have the connectivity that will work anywhere, plus a wealth of I/O, including two preamps, to tackle any recording situation!

MOTU 828mk3 Hybrid FireWire and USB Audio Interface at a Glance:
  • Incredible sound quality and exceptional routing capabilities
  • Control CueMix with your iPad
Incredible sound quality and exceptional routing capabilities

One reason the MOTU 828 series has been so popular and well loved is the fact that these interfaces sound incredible, while remaining extraordinarily versatile. You can record up to 24-bit/192khz-quality audio, and the MOTU 828mk3 Hybrid offers combo inputs, 1/4" inputs, and ADAT banks. You can also use the MOTU 828mk3 as a standalone mixer, using the onboard DSP to route signals the way you please. In fact, you even get built-in EQ, compression, and reverb effects that are powered by DSP. That way, you can give the artist a lush headphone mix, without tapping into any of your computer's CPU power you need for recording. You can also record those effects, so it's like having top-notch plug-ins without the processor strain! All of the DSP mixing and effects are controlled by the CueMix FX software that's included with the MOTU 828mk3 Hybrid.

Control CueMix with your iPad

MOTU's CueMix FX software, the mixing software that drives the powerful routing of the 828mk3, can be controlled from your iPad. MOTU created CueMix templates for the TouchOSC controller app, giving you complete control over your 828mk3's mixing and effects processing over a Wi-Fi network. This means that when you're recording in your studio, you don't need to keep going back to your computer to adjust gain levels, change monitoring effects, or virtually anything else you rely on CueMix for.

When what you want is a great-sounding interface that's also reliable, you can count on MOTU every time. And when what you want is maximum versatility, thanks to a decked-out array of I/O, you'll want to grab the MOTU 828mk3 Hybrid!

MOTU 828mk3 Hybrid FireWire and USB Audio Interface Features:
  • 28 inputs and 30 outputs (at 44.1/48kHz)
  • CueMix FX manages 28 input/16 bus mixer with on-board DSP effects
  • CueMix FX includes reverb with sends/returns, plus EQ and compression on every input and output
  • Access any setting in your entire 828mk3 mix directly from the front panel
  • Stand-alone functionality
  • Multiple CueMix FX mixes
  • 2 front panel combo jacks provide hi-Z 1/4" guitar input or lo-Z XLR mic input with phantom power
  • Mic/guitar instrument sends-add analog outboard effects to the 2 mic/guitar inputs
  • Mic/guitar input limiter prevents digital clipping and distortion from overloaded signal levels
  • 8 24-bit/192kHz analog inputs and outputs on balanced/unbalanced 1/4" TRS jacks
  • 16 channels of ADAT lightpipe, 8 channels of SMUX (96kHz) or 2 pairs of stereo TOSLink
  • Sample-accurate MIDI
  • Expandable-add additional interfaces for more I/O as your needs grow
  • Separate XLR main outs and front-panel headphone jacks, each with independent volume control
  • Stereo 24-bit 96kHz S/PDIF in/out
  • Word clock in and out
  • SMPTE in and out
  • Includes drivers for Mac & PC, including ASIO, WDM, Wave, GSIF, Core Audio, and Core MIDI
  • Supports all popular Macintosh and Windows audio software
  • 100% compatible with all host-based effects processing in today's popular audio programs.
  • Includes AudioDesk software for the Mac
  • Plug-and-play operation with your Mac or PC via FireWire
  • Front panel volume control for monitoring
  • Monitor in stereo, quad, 6.1, 7.1, plus user-defined surround monitoring setups
  • 2 front panel headphone jacks with independent volume controls
  • LED metering for all analog, digital and MIDI I/O, plus SMPTE sync tach and lock LEDs
  • Dedicated front panel clock status LEDs
Requirements for Mac OS X:
  • PowerPC G4 CPU 1GHz or faster
  • OS X 10.5.8 or greater
  • 1GB of RAM minimum; 2GB of RAM recommended
Requirements for Windows:
  • Pentium IV or equivalent, 1GHz or better
  • Windows XP (32 and 64 bit), Windows 7, Windows 8, Vista (SP2), or later
  • 1GB of RAM minimum; 2GB of RAM recommended
The MOTU 828mk3 Hybrid is decked out with I/O and handy USB and FireWire connectivity for maximum flexibility!

Additional Media

828mk3 Hybrid User Manual for Mac
828mk3 Hybrid User Manual for Windows
Audio Interface Buying Guide
Cascading Converters into Apollo Twin
MOTU Ups the Audio Ante at NAMM
NAMM News: MOTU 828mk3 Hybrid

Tech Specs

Computer Connectivity FireWire/USB
Form Factor Rackmount
Simultaneous I/O 28 x 30
A/D Resolution 24-bit/192kHz
Built In DSP/FX Yes
Analog Inputs 2 x Combo (Mic/Line/Hi-Z), 8 x TRS
Analog Outputs 2 x XLR (Main), 8 x TRS, 2 x 1/4" (Send), 1 x TRS (Main) 1 x TRS (Headphones)
Digital Inputs 2 x ADAT (Optical, 8 Channels), 1 x S/PDIF (Coax/TOSLink)
Digital Outputs 2 x ADAT (Optical, 8 Channels), 1 x S/PDIF (Coax/TOSLink)
Number of Preamps 2
Phantom Power Yes
Clock I/O 1 x Word Clock (In/Out via BNC), 1 x SMPTE (In/Out via 1/4")
Rack Spaces 1U
Depth 7"
Width 19"
Height 1.75"
Manufacturer Part Number 4365

Customer Reviews

Based on 15 reviews
Write your review

It's True MOTU 828

The MOTU 828 mk3 works great with my Mac Pro running Pro Tools 10&11, DP8, Logic, Reason,. The sound of the ad/da converters are fantastic. No issues with set up and updates did them in 5 min. The drivers are rock solid and the added control with qmix with the iPad is fantastic. I'm using my Martech MSS 10 mic ore as my main preamp, however the two mic pres that come with the 828mk3 sound great and have great eq sculpting. Thanks to Mark Magdich x1265 for suggesting the 828mk3 for my needs and getting it to me via UPS. QMix is a great app to control the 828mk3 and very easy to navigate. I really like the reliability and stability of the 828mk3 thanks MOTU and SW I will be redoing my backing tracks and next cd using this interface.
Music background: Pro Musician

Too good for the likes of me!

The Motu 896mk3. What's to say about something that doesn't do anything? What I mean is that you don't know it's there. You can't hear it, it just routes your signals around. It will add reverb and stuff, but you won't hear the Motu itself, you'll just hear the music going through it. Very simple but exhaustive combination of sends, mixes, and pepperoni pizzas at midnight. The interface is pretty simple once you get a handle on the layout, which I admit, I don't understand all of it yet. (I am a newbie at recording and yes, I am spoiled to have such a grand piece of equipment at my stage of learning. (similar to giving a 5 year old taking his first piano lesson an eight foot Steinway Grand.) I have recorded a couple of things on it already. There is NO NO NO NONE AT ALL background noise. The pre-amps have plenty of gain enough to drive a low volume ribbon mic.
Music background: Pro Musician recording hobbyist

perfect for live computer musicians.

i am in a two piece audio visual project we use ableton live and route out tracks to front of house, our back line pa and in ear monitors(for click track and vocals). i have gone through a few interfaces, two presonus units, and recently a focusrite pro 40. this thing sounds great and the routing possibilities seem endless. it has 2 main outputs, headphone outputs, 8 analog outs etc... i can rout out my ableton live tracks to the cu-mix by running a adat optical cable from the outs to the ins. so we can do our back-line pa and in ear mixes in cu mix. i have yet to play with the ipad app- but im looking forward to it. cu mix=its midi mappable, these guys at motu are thinking. there are enough ins that we mic our own bass, guitar and ghost guitar, and run it to the front of house, track it or run it in our in ear mix. i have yet to play with the on board effects, but if the eq's and compressors are as good as i think they are, we can do away with a 6 space rack full of hardware. i was for certain we would have to integrate another unit for all the ins and outs we need, but to my surprise- this does all we need and promises more.
Music background: Touring musician

MOTU 828mk3 Hybrid is excellent

There are not many choices for a rackmount interface that uses USB. I needed USB for my Macbook Air which doesn't have firewire. I also needed the unit to be rackmountable for giging, but the 828 is so superior, that i immediately bought a second one for permanent installation in my studio. Super clean analog in and out, with typical MOTU completely flexible internal routing between all inputs and outputs. You can even assign any output pair to be controlled by the front panel volume knob, which is great for live use. Another big feature for me was word clock. I had clocking issues with cheaper interfaces that didn't have word clock, but of course I've had no clocking issues using word clock off my clock distribution unit. It's expensive compared to many other USB interfaces, but you definitely get what you pay for.
Music background: Musician, Recording/mixing/live sound engineer, studio owner, producer


After I put it into Pro Tools 9.03, it didn't want to record from the mike inputs; however, after talking one time (by e-mail) with a SweetWater service tech... The problem was fixed. (It was mostly my fault {I was the dummy!}). I have, since, used the Microphone and Line inputs with no difficulty. I specifically like the built in mixer and effects (EQ and reverb). I have not used the compressor/limiter yet, but, I have set them up in a test project and they seem to be able to do the job. NET RESULT: I would recommend this unit, and SweetWater to my friends.
Music background: Recording engineer, producer, etc.

Sweetwater Advice

Sam Hillman

The MOTU 828mk3 Hybrid is the centerpiece of my mobile studio and live recording rig. The quality of sound and the amount of features is an amazing value for the price. The CueMix FX software lets me adjust control room monitor levels, and control talk-back/listen-back mics for artist cue mixes with ease. The built-in mic pres have enough gain to drive my ribbon mics and the headphone amps are powerful enough to push my Sennheiser HD650s. I've also made use of the two ADAT banks and S/PIDIF to expand the number of channels to 28! Having put it through its paces with complex studio and live recording sessions, I've never been disappointed.
See also: FireWire Interfaces, MOTU, MOTU FireWire Audio Interfaces, MOTU USB Audio Interfaces