16-in/12-out USB 2.0 Audio Interface, 24-bit/96kHz, with 8 Preamplifiers, ADAT I/O, and CueMix DSP - Mac/PC
MOTU 8pre USB image 1
MOTU 8pre USB image 1
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16-channel, 8-preamp 24-bit/96kHz USB Audio Interface

The MOTU 8pre USB is a handy multipurpose solution for your studio. For starters, it's a powerful 24-bit/96kHz USB audio interface, boasting a full complement of eight microphone preamplifiers. Better yet, the MOTU 8pre USB has two banks of ADAT optical ports, so you can easily connect it into your existing interface system to beef it up with eight more preamplifiers. And, beyond all that, it has MOTU's CueMix DSP functionality, so you can flexibly route audio to create separate monitor mixes and headphone mixes on the MOTU 8pre USB — with no latency.

Fully featured interface for any recording setup

The MOTU 8pre USB is designed to serve as the centerpiece of your DAW-based recording studio. With its eight quality microphone preamplifiers (on XLR/TRS combo jacks), you'll have enough inputs to handle nearly any recording situation. Add to that its excellent 24-bit/96kHz resolution and fast USB 2.0 connectivity, and the MOTU 8pre USB is all you need to achieve great-sounding recordings, whether that's in your studio or out in the field. If you need more inputs, the 8pre USB features two banks of ADAT optical I/O. You can easily pipe in any ADAT-output-equipped audio interface and record eight more channels through the MOTU 8pre USB.

Give your existing rig eight more preamplifiers

If you already have a working studio setup, you can easily expand your rig with the MOTU 8pre USB. Because it offers ADAT output, you can connect it up to your unused ADAT port and take advantage of 8pre USB's eight stellar microphone preamplifiers. It's a great way to turn your rig into one that can handle recording an entire band, including professionally miking the drums. And, the great part is that because the 8pre USB can operate as a standalone audio interface you won't be locking yourself into getting "just" an 8-channel microphone preamplifier. So, if your needs require, you can always leave the rest of your studio connected at home, while you take the 8pre USB out to a friend's house or to a live show, to record on a smaller scale.

CueMix DSP lets you create effective monitor mixes — with no latency

Connect up all your gear to the MOTU 8pre USB, then use its onboard CueMix DSP to create complex monitor mixes — without hitting up your computer for processing power. With CueMix and your 8pre USB, you can create up to four separate stereo monitor mixes, assigned to any digital or analog output pairs. Each mix can support all 16 of the 8pre USB's inputs — its eight XLR/TRS analog inputs and its eight ADAT optical digital inputs. Just blend in whatever amount of them you like, then let CueMix DSP do all the work. CueMix DSP supports talkback and listenback, as well, so you and musicians can communicate between the live rooms and control rooms.

Control CueMix with your iPad

MOTU's CueMix FX software, the mixing software that drives the powerful routing of the 8pre USB, can be controlled from your iPad. MOTU created CueMix templates for the TouchOSC controller app, giving you complete control over your 8pre USB'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.

16 channels of MIDI I/O

The MOTU 8pre USB features an integrated 16-channel MIDI interface, delivering sample-accurate timing to software hosts that support it. The USB signal carries your MIDI signal to your computer.

SMPTE time code synchronization

Beyond its robust I/O and routing capabilities, the MOTU 8pre USB features onboard SMPTE (Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers) time code synchronization, so you can slave your 8pre USB to SMPTE, without a synchronizer.

MOTU 8pre USB 24-bit/96kHz USB Audio Interface Features:

  • USB audio interface for Mac/PC, also functions as an A/D optical converter
  • 16 inputs and 12 outputs give you flexibility in your studio
  • Individual front-panel trim knobs per mic input for fast, easy setup
  • 8-channel analog-to-optical converter lets you expand your setup
  • 5-segment metering for microphone inputs
  • Sample-accurate MIDI for precise sequencing

Additional Media

Audio Interface Buying Guide
MOTU 8pre USB: Two Products in One!

Tech Specs

Computer Connectivity USB 2.0
Form Factor Rackmount
Simultaneous I/O 16 x 12
Number of Preamps 8
Phantom Power Yes
A/D Resolution 24-bit/96kHz
Built In DSP/FX Yes
Analog Inputs 8 x XLR/TRS Combo
Analog Outputs 2 x TRS (Main), 1 x TRS (Headphones)
Digital Inputs 2 x ADAT (Optical, 8 Channels, 48kHz/8 Channels 96kHz)
Digital Outputs 2 x ADAT (Optical, 8 Channels, 48kHz/8 Channels 96kHz)
Rack Spaces 1U
Depth 7"
Width 19"
Height 1.75"
Manufacturer Part Number 8510

Customer Reviews

Based on 4 reviews
Write your review

Excellent value for the money

8 clean, open sounding preamps and a rock-solid USB interface for a really reasonable price! I use a MOTU Traveler (bought at Sweetwater maybe 7 years ago, still going strong) for home & remote recording, but needed more pres to track a full band. The 8pre doesn't do 'color' – there's a good bit of headroom before clipping, but then it distorts unpleasantly. If you're looking for warm/saturated tone, you'll need to look elsewhere (and pay more like $300+ per channel). But if you're happy capturing what's in the room, this is a good choice, matching the quality of the Traveler or Apogee One to my ears. Like other MOTU interfaces, you get low latency as well as the option to run a no-latency monitor mix; pad and phantom on each channel; and useful metering. The layout is very ergonomic and just works. And the option to output up to 96KHz over ADAT means it won't gather dust even if I wind up expanding again. I've been recording for about 20 years now and look for reliable & sustainable gear. Very happy with this box, especially for the price!
Music background: Gigging musician/Home recordist

MOTU 8pre usb 2.0

I recently ordered the MOTU 8pre, I'm a recent graduate of The Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences. I wanted to upgrade my digital interface to something that's affordable, dependable, and has 8 inputs. My instructor recommended the MOTU 8pre and I love it, I think the pre's in it sound really clear and the a/d d/a conversion is really good as well. for the price of the MOTU it's unbeatable. Before I bought this product I read a lot of crazy reviews on how it sounds "to clean" or how "it doesn't have enough features and only 1 main out." well in my opinion, if you can't get the right sound out of it or if you can't figure out a way to hook up multiple reference monitors along with an external headphone amp then you might want to choose a different field other than audio recording! thanks!
Music background: Audio Engineer

Nice addition to a 16A

I purchased a MOTU 16A that had 16 analog inputs and outputs. I needed 24 total so I purchased the 8pre. I used the ADAT I/O for the connection and everything worked just fine. I even like the old style LED meters on the 8pre much better than blue screen on the 16A. Great sounding addition to my studio.
Music background: Professional musician

Good interface

Nice interface with good sound and very easy to use.
Music background: Music Engineer

Sweetwater Advice

Brendan Murphy

I'm so glad Focusrite brought back the Red 8Pre — I own an original and I'm happy to recommend this new version. The Red Evolution preamps and excellent digital converters make it one of the best-sounding audio interfaces I've used. Even with all of its I/O, including Dante, it's still extremely simple to use. One of the things I like most about the Red 8Pre is the stepped gain control, which makes recall and stereo gain matching a breeze, and the dual Thunderbolt 2 connections are a real bonus.
See also: USB Interfaces, MOTU, MOTU USB Audio Interfaces