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MOTU 8pre Reviews

4.5 stars based on 26 customer reviews
  • from Midwest USA August 5, 2011Music Background:

    Off-the-charts Excellent Interface!

    Everything I've ever heard about MOTU's amazing, bullet-proof hardware is spot on accurate. I purchased my 8pre to replace another interface, which shall remain nameless. Suffice it to say that the problem with this unnamed interface was that the drivers were so shoddy, the only thing I could rely on it for was to tank whatever software I tried to run. The 8pre, on the other hand, proved to be a refreshing change of pace.

    Here's my experience adding the MOTU 8pre to my rig. I hooked it up, and it worked. That's it. No long, tedious trial and error trying to get it to sync correctly with my ADAT-equipped Focusrite OctoPre MkII Dynamic (also a killer piece of gear), no swearing, no drama, just 100% ready to go. What's more, this thing sounds FANTASTIC! We're talking about crystal-clear, totally transparent pres.

  • from SouthSide, VA June 24, 2011Music Background:
    2 year Alumni (Berklee Music), Music Producer


    I love the stability, quality of sound, and ease of use. This is a must have for a home studio set up!!!!

  • from Allen, TX May 1, 2011Music Background:
    hobbyist, Home Studio Owner

    MOTU 8 pre, great interface, great price

    I purchased this unit so I could have an additional 8 channels. I used it via the ADAT outs back into my MOTU 896. Worked great. Recently I really needed to put together a mobile recording setup. I already had a MacBookPro but really needed a mobile interface. Then it hit me, why not just use the 8 Pre? Hooked right up no problems and its only one rack space so its super portable. I'm using this interface recording 8 simultaneous tracks every week at church with no issues off of a Yamaha Ov196 via the ADAT in's. Super easy to setup. I really love MOTU equipment !

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

    MOTU 8pre

    Originally bought 2 of these to have 16 channels of audio into my DAW until I could afford something better. Now, 3 years down the road, I have gone through most of the popular interfaces out there, and I still haven't found anything as stable or convenient to record with. The sound quality is consistently excellent, always on par with anything else out there. I now use them for location recording as well as anything requiring multiple channels "in the room" like recording drums or overdubbing guitars with ambient mics when I'm recording by myself, or when I'm playing drums with a band on a recording project. One 3 space shallow rack, my laptop, and an external hard drive (glyph porta gig) and I'm good to go anywhere, anytime. An excellent solution for bands looking for an inexpensive way to record or for the home recordist looking for their first interface, or just to expand the amount of channels in their current setup. Highly recommended.

  • from Pittsburgh Pa October 11, 2008

    i luv it

    just gat it today hooked it up iam very impressed

  • from Winter Park, FL USA September 28, 2008Music Background:
    Engineer, Student, Musician

    Best FireWire Interface ive seen for price

    The first week i got this it got 80 hours of use. In 80 hours of intense tracking I experienced zero problems. Also it sounds great. Motu did a great job on the 8-pre and it is something I would recomend to any engineer big or small.

  • from Chattanooga TN March 17, 2008Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Radio Productions Manager

    Excellent solution for portable audio

    I work at a 100K watt radio station in Chattanooga, and we recently purchased one of these units. We had two M-Audio Delta 1010's burn out on us within a few months of each other and decided to ditch them in favor of something a bit more expensive and higher quality. I did a lot of research and have found MOTU to be the utmost quality in both price and performance.

    I have used both ProTools and M-Audio alternatives, and I have to say you just CAN'T beat the combination of performance and ease of use you find in the MOTU hardware.

    The 8pre is no exception. After several months, this unit has NEVER given us a single problem. The sound is phenomenal, the individual phantom power is awesome. We've used this unit to record orchestra concerts and ensembles as well as day to day radio production of interviews and voice tracking.

    This unit shines in pretty much every light. If you are looking for an interface to start out with, don't look any farther.

    As a former ProTools user, I have to say I will never go back. Using MOTU hardware in combination with Cubase 4 is a final solution. ProTools is seriously under fire here. The software is multiples more efficient and easy to use. This combination cut our production time by nearly 60% over the comparible ProTools setup.

    I really can't say enough good about this unit. Buy it!

  • from greensboro NC, USA December 29, 2007Music Background:
    Sound Design

    Im in love with the 8 pre

    Another great product from motu !

    1. easy setup
    2. preamps sound great
    3. a breeze to use
    4. works like a charm with my mac book pro
    5. built like a tank

    wow im going to buy another soon !

  • from Bozeman, MT November 18, 2007Music Background:
    Project Studio, Pro Drummer

    Ideal interface

    After a quick install on a budget Compaq, I got a bit of "pink noise" blasting thru the MOTU. This only happened initially (system getting used to new drivers, no doubt). Since then it's been smooth sailing.

    The 8pre looks great, is built to last, performs well every time (noise demons banished), and sounds like you'd expect a MOTU to sound.

    It has every feature I need, the sound quality I want, and it does its job well every time. This makes it the perfect audio interface (if there is such a thing).

    Dependable quality = total satisfaction.

  • from Peoria, IL USA September 1, 2007Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Live Sound Engineer, Pro Musician, Producer

    Great interface for the money$$$$

    I used this piece at a recent mobile recording gig for an acoutic duo. I would have normally taken a laptop/preamps/interface, but this was both preamps and an audio interface in one which kept the gear and weight of everything to a minimum. I had such a great experience with this that I plan on getting two more to be able to record 24 inputs mobile easily. I've been using motu products for a least 10 years now and I can say that I will continue to use their great products.

  • from February 15, 2007Music Background:
    Recording Engineer

    love motu sound

    Love the sound of this interface, it definitely delivers quality and precision for its price.

  • from Boston, MA February 7, 2007Music Background:
    Musician, Engineer, Operation Assistant Manager for the Berklee Internet Radio Network

    Really Nice

    For the price I was seriously surprised by the quality. This was exactly the type of interface I was looking for and was so happy when I found it. The preamps are all nice and clear, the level meters rock and having phantom power for each input is such a sweet touch.

    If I had to complain about one thing it would be that it's hard to ride the knobs while recording, you have to be real careful so that they don't jump to much. Not a big deal.

    I would recommend this to anyone.

  • from Las Vegas, NV October 23, 2006Music Background:


    I've tried a TON of different firewire interfaces, and I could'nt find one that gave me what I wanted...the 8Pre is awesome! Been using it for 2 weeks now, not one problem at all....dependable, reliable, and it sounds incredible!!!! Works seemlessly with Cubase SE 3!!! For the price you can't beat it, and it's a genuine MOTO to boot!!!

    If your in the market for a mid-priced unit, this is the best you can buy......! Period!

  • from Albuquerque, NM June 9, 2012Music Background:
    songwriter, artist and advertising pitch demos

    Excellent interface and preamp for recording

    I bought the 8pre to create a digital recording studio together with my Macbook Pro (running Logic). The setup is exceptionally low noise, which I need for producing demos for producers and artists' agents. The dampened inputs have sufficient gain for most uses, though the meager pickup installed beneath the bridge in my old flat-top box is a bit quiet. The case is very solid and the fit and finish are first rate.

    It is relatively straightforward to use, after you install the drivers. (For instance you evidently cannot use the 8pre's own monitor jack without installing separate software, which is included, however.) My only other gripe is the multi-function knob for the display, which requires you to memorize several configurations to figure out what you're looking at.

    Great unit that could handle a small rock or jazz combo in a club, featuring analogue and midi instruments, and fuel a DAW recording at the same time. My common use away from home is to cut tracks from contributing artists for demos that I mix down later. Works exceptionally well for that.

  • from Greenwich, CT March 29, 2010Music Background:
    Pro Musician, Recording Engineer

    Has been adding a lot to my recordings

    I bought two of these for my home studio (and for portable use) and I have not had any problems with them in just over a year. They sound great and are very functional. I have used them on everything from drums, acoustic guitars, vocals and bass with different mics and everything has sounded clear, full and natural.

    I am a recording artist and I used these to track my last solo acoustic guitar album. There was nothing lost from the instrument to the computer - what a relief.

    Only thing I don't like that much is the sensitivity of the gain knobs/led peak meters. It is not very easy to find an optimal gain setting due to the knobs tendency to almost 'skip' levels. It is great to have the pads on each channel.

    The only feature I don't like is the cuemix. I don't see a need for it since everyone is most likely using a program already (I'm using Cubase). It almost gets in the way and makes monitoring while tracking a pain. That's why I'm taking 1/2 a star away.

    My Sweetwater rep, AJ, had answers to all of my questions and was very helpful during the purchase.

  • from Denver, CO January 29, 2010Music Background:
    Music and Audio Engineering Student

    A great starting point

    While it makes for an excellent firewire interface on its own, the real highlight of this device is its ability to act as a A/D converter and link through ADAT optical to another device. This means you can update your primary interface to a higher end MOTU device, or one of dozens of other ADAT capable interfaces, and rather than making the 8pre obsolete, you can connect it digitally and expand your new system by an additional 8 preamps!

    I have the occasional "white noise" glitch when working through windows audio (thus the 4.5 rating) however I have never have that problem using ASIO in my DAW software. A good buy. Highly recommended.

  • from Houston, Tx October 28, 2009Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Drummer


    This unit is awesome, especially for the price. the preamps are pretty clean, could be better in the mids, but really are a steal at this price. great interface too, works really good with Logic 9. Buy this unit, you will have no regrets.

  • from North Little Rock, Arkansas March 15, 2009Music Background:
    legit semi-trained, semi-professional clarinettist, part time recording engineer, full-time electronic tech

    works as advetised ... or better!

    Purchased this unit used ... I was at least the 3rd owner. (The last owner was having latency issues, but I suspect it was his computer/software.) This 8pre had no box, instructions, cables, or software. It took about 1 1/2 minutes to download drivers and get it working perfectly with Logic Express. Microphone preamps are clean, but lower gain than I would like. The toggle switches on the front panel are stiff, but I generally leave the phantom on (even with dynamic microphones) and since I only record legit acoustic music, the -20dB pads stay off as well.

    Also, VERY IMPORTANT ... the 8pre's phantom power supply will power several Earthworks microphones at once ... the voltage only drops 200mV when using 5 microphones, requiring 10mA each. VERY FEW pieces of gear will do this! Trust me, I've checked of bunch of equipment on this point! Hat's off to MOTU's engineering.

    I'm going to track some "big band" stuff soon (may need the pads!), so I'm impressed enough with this unit to purchase a 2nd new one (from Sweetwater, of course!), and get 16 channels to play with ...

    The MOTU 8pre is a real steal for the price ... I don't know if MOTU makes the 8pre on "this side of the pond" ... but I see no indication that it's imported.

    Buy it, especially if you use Earthworks microphones.

  • from CA May 24, 2008Music Background:


    I first bought the Firsestudio from Presonus, recommended by sales clerk at local store, couldn't get it to sync w/ my macbook. Returned it and went with M-Audio Fast Track Pro 4 x 4 Mobile USB Audio/MIDI Interface, no luck and frankly it only has two channels available to record thru at one time. Lastly and thankfully I went talked to the right guy, appearantly Apple is ahead of the powercurve in comparison to the majority of manufacturers in interfaces. So MOTU is the only reall worthy and troublefree interface available for my Macbook, I can't really compare to the other interfaces previously mentioned because I coulnd't connect. Nevertheless what I have experienced was blissfull to say the least. I couldn't be more impressed and satisfied with my MOTU and I've only just begun to use have of the features and software. I'm on the Mac highway, i.e. Macbook-2GB MEMORY, 250GB RAM, OS X.5.2, 160GB EXTERNAL HD , Logic Pro 8 and MOTU pre 8. You can't beat the value!!

  • from Dayton, OH USA June 7, 2007Music Background:
    Home Studio Enthusist

    Look out Firepod

    I was close to buying a Firepod, but since this just came out I changed my mind. The pre-amps are very clean and the reliability of this interface is great. Though this doesn't have the analog outs the Firepod has, it does have ADAT in and ADAT out, which actually gives it more ins and outs than an Firepod if you take advantage of them. Also, this interface is a great stepping stone, because you can use it by itself as a A/D converter. The analog meters are great unlike the whimpy clip lights on the Firepod. If you want a SOLID interface with room to continue to grow, go for the MOTU 8PRE

  • from Anchorage, Alaska. March 1, 2012Music Background:
    Ex bar junkie/worship leader/Rocker.

    Very Nice

    Awesome service first of all! The unit has amazing warmth.
    It brings all the chime you need and yet retains the warmth and realness
    to your recordings ") Im using it with an Axe Fx ultra and running direct to my imax and it is capturing all the chime on my guitars i could have ever expected..Nice Job guys!

  • from East Lansing, MI February 1, 2012Music Background:
    musician, sound designer

    Gotta love MOTU

    I've had the 8pre for a couple of weeks and I'm really digging it, so far. Incredibly easy to setup -- virtually plug and play. The sound is really great -- clean, noiseless and crisp. So far, I've only recorded voice with it but I can't wait to try out an acoustic guitar and some drums. I'm just a fan of MOTU products. They haven't let me down yet...

  • from Knoxville,TN USA February 25, 2008Music Background:

    8pre or FireStudio

    I originally bought the PreSonus FireStudio Project for my home hobby studio. After several weeks of problems due to incompatability with my MacBook, I returned the FireStudio and reluctantly bought the 8pre as a 2nd choice. No problems with compatibility, set-up, or sound quality from the 8pre. In comparison the 8pre offers only L/R moniter outputs and lesser quality mic pres compared to the FireStudio Project's 10 output options and reported class A pre amps. The 8pre offers ADAT and a nicer peak LED display along with a cleaner rear mounted set of 8 pre amps. Personally I like the front mount pres for quick hook up on the FireStudio Project better, but I like the fact that the MOTU has ADAT. Overall the sound quality of both units is very good for the price. Bottom line? MOTU 8pre works great with my apple computer and recording software!

  • from Orlando, FL May 11, 2007Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    I like it

    This is my first interface ever. I'm glad I waited until recently to finally purchase one because the 8pre is everything I always wanted and even has features I didn't know I wanted! The XLR/TRS combo jacks for one, and the -20db pad is also a convenience I hadn't expected to be so useful. It acts as a midi interface for my piano/controller and I can run all my mics and even direct lines with inputs to spare. Plus I just love the front display and headphone/monitor control. My only complaint is I would've preferred buttons over switches for the pads and phantom power (though switches are better than nothing!)

  • from Los Angeles November 16, 2006Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Student, Amature Musican, Composer

    Works like a charm

    I just got it and have used it for about 20 hours of recording so far. All Eight pre's sound great and are really quite, the only time i get any noise is if i crank the gain up to 95-100%. I so far have used it to record, violin, cello, harp, clarinet, piano, and a female choir using my Rode NT5. Everything sounds beautiful and very rich and full. If your looking at the Prosonus Firepod, which i did, i would recommend this one simply because the front panel level monitors make your life so much easier. with the Presonus you just getting a little red light when you clip (which is to late). With the motu you always know exactly how much signal is coming through your interface. Very helpful.

  • from Toronto ON February 6, 2011Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    Almost good

    Ok, everything on this looked to be a good fit for what I was looking for... except for the fact that there was continual driver instability when connecting it to the firewire port. Some days, the interface was recognized, some days not... including a live performance, which fortunately I had a backup plan for, as the interface simply refused to be recognized by the laptop.

    I have to say, in spite of the interface ending up to be a dud for me, MOTU was gracious enough to cover the repair charges even if it was just past warranty, and replaced the unit for a new one. Kudos to MOTU for their willingness to resolve this.

    In the end, it wasn't the right fit for me.

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