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MOTU 8pre 16x12 USB Audio Interface with 8 Mic Inputs and Optical Expansion

BH #MA8PRE16 • MFR #8510
MOTU 8pre 16x12 USB Audio Interface with 8 Mic Inputs and Optical Expansion
Key Features
  • Eight Microphone Preamplifiers
  • Eight Channels of ADAT Optical Expansion
  • 16-Channel MIDI Interface
  • USB 2.0
The MOTU 8pre 16x12 USB Audio Interface with 8 Mic Inputs is designed for studio recording with a digital audio workstation. The audio interface features eight microphone/instrument preamplifiers with switchable +48V phantom power, front panel trim knobs, and a 20 dB pad.
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MOTU 8pre Overview

  • 1Description
  • 2MIDI
  • 3Front-Panel Metering
  • 4ADAT Expansion
  • 5Outputs
  • 6SMPTE
  • 7CueMix DSP
  • 8Cuemix Optical Expander Mode
  • 9Talkback
  • 10Mac and Windows Compatibility
  • 11AudioDesk

The MOTU 8pre 16x12 USB Audio Interface with 8 Mic Inputs is designed for studio recording with a digital audio workstation. The audio interface features eight microphone/instrument preamplifiers with switchable +48V phantom power, front panel trim knobs, and a 20 dB pad.

For I/O the device also includes eight channels of ADAT optical expansion inputs for connecting to an existing interface, eight channels of ADAT optical expansion outputs, a stereo pair of balanced or unbalanced TRS outputs, and a stereo headphone output. For recording and playback, the interface's audio engine is capable of up to 24-bit 96 kHz resolution recorded over USB 2.0.


Provides 16 channels of sample-accurate MIDI control over USB 2.0 for connecting MIDI keyboards, sound modules, or control interfaces to the audio interface

Front-Panel Metering

Provides five-segment LED visual feedback for audio levels and status lights for clock and interface/expander mode

ADAT Expansion

Provides additional eight channels of digital audio for connecting to another ADAT optical compatible interface such as the MOTU 8pre, 828, UltraLite, or Traveler


Provides separate 1/4" TRS phone main outs and front-panel headphone output jack with independent volume controls


Allows you to slave your 8pre to SMPTE time code over analog input or generate SMPTE time code and send it over analog to synchronize with another device

CueMix DSP

Enables up to four separate stereo monitor mixes sent to any analog or digital output pair

Cuemix Optical Expander Mode

Routes each analog input to a corresponding optical output channel


Allows engineers and musicians to dim audio and communicate using the built-in microphone inputs

Mac and Windows Compatibility

Includes 32- and 64-bit drivers for Mac OS X (10.6 or higher) and Windows 8/7/Vista


Provides full featured sample accurate workstation with editing, mixing, and real-time 32-bit effect processing for Mac
UPC: 839128005884

MOTU 8pre Specs

Form FactorRackmount
Channels of I/O16 Input / 12 Output
Max Sample Rate/Resolution96 kHz / 24-Bit
Number of Mic Preamps8
Analog Audio I/O8 x Combo XLR-1/4" TRS Input
2 x 1/4" TRS Monitor Output
1 x 1/4" TRS Headphone Output
Digital Audio I/O2 x TOSLINK Optical ADAT Input
2 x TOSLINK Optical ADAT Output
Host Connection / USBUSB Type-B (USB 2.0)
Digital Audio
Sample RatesUp to 96 kHz
Bit DepthsUp to 24-Bit
Rackmount Size1 RU
Dimensions19 x 7 x 1.75" / 48.26 x 17.78 x 4.45 cm (without Rack Ears)
Packaging Info
Package Weight7.45 lb
Box Dimensions (LxWxH)23.5 x 11.4 x 5.5"

MOTU 8pre Reviews

Annoying sound card sounds

By hatem nabil
Rated 1 out of 5
Date: 2021-10-24

I heard about the sound card and I felt that it was good, but unfortunately I was disappointed. Because the card sometimes makes annoying sounds like a bomb. It almost ruins the speakers. Also, when choosing the audio track solo inside the protoles, it emits loud sounds. Is there a solution. The sound of the card is good and its capabilities are great, but it has technical problems and I hope to find an island solution quickly

I will buy another one

By coolhand
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2013-02-07

I use this with a DAW and this pre has made my life easy. I just put in the motu cd loaded basic drivers fired up the pre8 and everything was ready to go. My DAW was already setup with the pre8 settings plugged in a guitar armed a track and tested out the motu pre8. Very clean sounding alittle soft sounding so I clicked the 20db pad and wow just great.I have used this pre now for about a week and it is so nice to be able to start recording and not worry about tweeking everything before you can start having fun.I guess the only thing I would say that could be a con would be that the knobs on the front are kinda small could be alittle bigger for easy grip. I work at a church they have motu products they use for worship music and not a problem for the last 6 years.

More than I expected!!

By The Meth
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2012-11-14

The item work perfectly, the shipping was incredibly fast, I love my new 8pre, what else can I say? Great transaction!!

8 Pre works greay

By Sane Voice
Rated 4 out of 5
Date: 2012-05-31

My Mackie ONYX400F just died on me and I needed an affordable interface quick. The MOYU 8PRE is affordable and was easy to set up. It's straight forward without a lot of bells and whistles - just what is needed in my studio. The other thing I like is I can daisy-chain more than one!

A no brainer.

By adroth
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2012-02-10

ADAT Optical into my trusty 828 MkII. It just works. Digital Performer, Pro Tools. These preamps sound great. Superb bang for the buck!

Ordinary at best, not what I expected

By Producer2000
Rated 3 out of 5
Date: 2011-07-24

Been testing it for 2 weeks. Sounds muddy, transient are crushed, expensive for quality, not too easy on the eye, looks more like something you'd take on the road than to a studio. Drivers are a pain sometimes with other sound devices & software (sample rate will not reset by itself), Used win7 pro with it & I am used to deal with computers & studio equipment, it's just buggy. I've asked for an RMA.

Great Mic Pre and Converter

By Anonymous
Rated 4 out of 5
Date: 2014-07-08

I use this as a Mic Pre and A/D Converter to expand my 828 MkIII. ADAT Optical out to the 828. This device works very well, and functions flawlessly. The only thing I dislike is that when powered off, it does NOT save the trim levels for each mic, and therefore if you use it with a normal setup, you need to re-level every time you power cycle the device. This is not terribly difficult, but it does present a problem with consistency in recording level.

Quick install, it works, great quality.

By Anonymous
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2013-03-12

I was going to get the Presonus firestudio, but read the reviews and got this one. I couldn't be happier.

See any errors on this page? Let us know


Will this work as a class-compliant USB audio ...

Will this work as a class-compliant USB audio interface for Akai Force with firmware 3.1? How many channels?
Asked by: Philipp
Users on the Akai forums have reported that with the 3.1 firmware update, there are currently issues with compatibility when using MOTU USB audio interface models with the Akai Professional Force.
Answered by: Lisa
Date published: 2021-10-24


Would it be difficult to set the 8pre up with Studio One 3 on macbook pro?
Asked by: Carl D.
The 8Pre is easy to use with any Mac DAW software. Install the drivers, connect the interface to the computer, launch Studio One. Go to Preferences>Audio Setup and select the 8Pre as the Audio Device.
Answered by: Dave R.
Date published: 2020-12-18

Do the MOTU drivers support WDM 5.1 and 7.1 ...

Do the MOTU drivers support WDM 5.1 and 7.1 surround with the Configure button in the Windows Sound Panel?
Asked by: Daniel
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