MOTU 896mk3 Hybrid

28x30 FireWire/USB 24-bit/192kHz Audio Interface with 8-channels of XLR/TRS Analog Inputs with Microphone Preamps, AES/EBU, S/PDIF, ADAT, S/MUX, and Built-in DSP Mixing and Effects - Mac/PC
MOTU 896mk3 Hybrid image 1
MOTU 896mk3 Hybrid image 1
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MOTU 896mk3 Hybrid
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MOTU's Premier FireWire Interface Gets USB

The MOTU 896mk3 Hybrid FireWire/USB audio interface enhances the already supremely accomplished 896mk3 with the addition of USB. With eight XLR/TRS "combo" style analog inputs with preamps, true hi-Z guitar inputs plus a load of digital I/O for a total of 28 inputs and 32 outputs, the 896mk3 Hybrid is ready to rock. Onboard effects juice the featureset with Classic Reverb, Brit-flavoured EQ, and an emulation of the legendary LA-2A, which does jaw-dropping things to drums and mix busses. If you need a top-notch interface, check out the MOTU 896mk3 Hybrid.

MOTU 896mk3 Hybrid at a Glance:
  • Digital mixing
  • Control CueMix with your iPad
  • Synchronization
  • Comprehensive metering
Digital mixing

The 896mk3 Hybrid provides 28 inputs and 32 outputs in a two rack-space form factor. All I/O is routed to an on-board 16-bus digital mixer driven by hardware-based DSP with 32-bit floating point precision. The mixer allows for no-latency effects processing to inputs, outputs, or busses directly in the 896mk3 hardware, independent of the computer. Effects can even be applied when the 896mk3 is operating stand-alone as a complete rack-mounted mixer. Input signals to the computer can be recorded wet, dry, or dry with a wet monitor mix (for musicians during recording, for example).

Control CueMix with your iPad

MOTU's CueMix FX software, the mixing software that drives the powerful routing of the 896mk3, can be controlled from your iPad. MOTU created CueMix templates for the TouchOSC controller app, giving you complete control over your 896mk3'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.


The 896mk3 Hybrid is equipped with Direct Digital Synthesis (DDS), a DSP-driven phase lock engine and internal clock source that produces imperceptibly low jitter characteristics (below the noise floor), even when the 896mk3 is resolved to an external clock source via either word clock or SMPTE time code. The 896mk3 can directly resolve to (or generate) time code via a dedicated quarter-inch time code input and output, without the need for an extra synchronizer.

Comprehensive metering

The MOTU 896mk3 Hybrid features comprehensive front panel metering. For starters, 10-segment ladder LEDs are provided for every input and output. One 8-channel meter bank is dedicated to the eight analog inputs. Another 8-channel meter bank can display any input or output bank, which the user can quickly select with a convenient front-panel rotary encoder. Dedicated main out meters are also provided.

MOTU 896mk3 Hybrid Features:
  • 28-in/32-out FireWire interface with FireWire/USB 2.0 connectivity
  • CueMix FX - flexible 28 input/16 bus mixer with on-board DSP effects
  • Comprehensive front-panel control
  • Stand-alone operation
  • Eight rear panel combo jacks provide 1/4" or XLR mic input with phantom power and pad
  • Clip protection
  • Eight 24-bit/192kHz analog inputs and outputs on XLR jacks
  • 16 channels of ADAT lightpipe, 8 channels of SMUX (96kHz) or two pairs of stereo TOSLink
  • 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 AES/EBU in/out
  • Stereo 24-bit 96kHz S/PDIF in/out
  • Word clock 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 full-featured workstation software for the Mac
  • Plug-and-play operation with your Mac or PC via FireWire
  • Front panel volume control for monitoring
  • Stereo, Quad, 6.1, 7.1 and user-defined surround monitoring setups available
  • Two front panel headphone jacks with independent volume controls
  • Comprehensive front panel metering for all analog and digital audio I/O
  • Dedicated front panel clock status LEDs
  • International 100-240V, 50-60Hz autoswitching power supply
Go with the pro: MOTU's 896mk3 Hybrid FireWire/USB audio interface!

Additional Media

896mk3 Hybrid User Manual for Mac
896mk3 Hybrid User Manual for Windows
Audio Interface Buying Guide

Tech Specs

Computer Connectivity FireWire/USB 2.0
Form Factor Rackmount
Simultaneous I/O 28 x 32
Phantom Power Yes
A/D Resolution 24-bit/192kHz
Built In DSP/FX Yes
Analog Inputs 8 x XLR Combo
Analog Outputs 8 x XLR, 2 x XLR (Main), 1 x TRS (Main), 1 x TRS (Headphones)
Digital Inputs 2 x ADAT (Optical, 16 Channels), 1 x AES/EBU (XLR), 1 x S/PDIF (Coax)
Digital Outputs 2 x ADAT (Optical, 16 Channels), 1 x AES/EBU (XLR), 1 x S/PDIF (Coax)
MIDI I/O CoreMIDI via FireWire/USB
Clock I/O 1 x Word Clock (In/Out via BNC)
Rack Spaces 2U
Depth 7"
Width 19"
Height 3.5"
Manufacturer Part Number 4470

Customer Reviews

Based on 10 reviews
Write your review

Great Gear and Even Better Service

I cant' say enough about Sweetwater's Customer Service. My engineer Ryan Schmidt found just the right gear for me, (Motu 986mk3) and made sure I had it in time for the weekend. Works like a charm! Ryan took me through the set up process so understood what it would take to get up and running and I virtually had no problems doing so. I truly have never had a bad experience with Sweetwater and Ryan is an important part of that service. Sweetwater is a class organization and has all the good stuff musicians and engineers needs. Thanks for everything!
Music background: Pro Musician and Home Recording

Great Audio Interface

The 896mk3 is fantastic and exceeded my expectations. Sounds great and no problems. Works great with Windows 8 or standalone.
Music background: Semi-Pro Musician

Amazing Interface

The 896mk3 is a dream come true for mac users. I have yet to encounter a single issue after almost a year of using it with Logic. I/O connections have been flawless. It has as good of preamps as you will find on a firewire/USB interface. It is solid, it feels like you could smash bricks with it and then boot it up ready to record. I would say it is one the best Firewire/USB interfaces on the market. Highly recommended.
Music background: Pro Musician, Recording Engineer


Versatile and powerful interface!
Music background: Pro Muscian


This is my 2nd MOTU 896. The first one I've used for 12 years and still using it. Never had anything go wrong with it. They work seamlessly with Logic Pro. Plug and play. This Mk3 is even slicker with all the newer features in the CueMix and the front panel pads. Didn't even have to open the manual. From box to rack and no lookin' back!!!
Music background: Recording Engineer

Sweetwater Advice

Jeff Bohan

The mic pres on the MOTU 896mk3 Hybrid sound pristine. Plus, with the included Cuemix software I'm able to dial up any tone using the EQ, LA2A modeled limiter, compressor, and reverb. (All this without taxing my computer's processor because the signal is processed within the unit~) This super-light rackmountable interface is so versatile - I can use it with my computer's recording software, as a standalone mixer while practicing or playing live, or just plugging in and playing without booting up my computer.

Tim Holsinger

I use the 896mk3 in my home studio and it works great! Very reliable while recording and the 896mk3 gives me a great sound on my recordings. The onboard effects and MOTU's CueMix FX software really make this a great audio interface.
See also: FireWire Interfaces, MOTU, MOTU FireWire Audio Interfaces, MOTU USB Audio Interfaces