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MOTU 828x Professional 28x30 Audio Interface with Thunderbolt Technology

BH #MAMO828X • MFR #4370
MOTU 828x Professional 28x30 Audio Interface with Thunderbolt Technology
Key Features
  • Compatible with Thunderbolt and USB 2.0
  • 28 Inputs
  • 30 Outputs
  • 24-bit 192 kHz Resolution
The MOTU 828x Professional 28x30 Audio Interface with Thunderbolt Technology is a 1RU 19" rackmountable digital audio interface that can connect to your 32- or 64-bit Mac or PC computer over Thunderbolt 1, Thunderbolt 2, or USB 2.0 (compatible with USB 3.0 ports). Up to six Thunderbolt devices such as displays and hard drives can be daisy chained together with the audio interface at the end of the chain.
$71/mo. suggested payments for 12 Mos.
with the credit card.§ 
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MOTU 828x Overview

  • 1Description
  • 2Thunderbolt Connectivity
  • 3USB Connection
  • 4I/O
  • 5CueMix FX
  • 6Front-Panel Control
  • 7Standalone Operation
  • 8Multiple CueMix FX Mixes
  • 9Flexible Mic/Guitar Inputs with Preamps
  • 10Mic/Guitar Instrument Sends
  • 11Instrument Tuner
  • 12V-Limit Overload Protection
  • 13Analog I/O
  • 14Precision Digital Trim
  • 15Flexible Optical I/O
  • 16Sample-Accurate MIDI
  • 17Foot Switch Input
  • 18Expandable
  • 19Separate Main Outs
  • 20Dual Headphone Outputs
  • 21S/PDIF I/O
  • 22Word Clock I/O
  • 23Direct Digital Synthesis
  • 24SMPTE Time Code In/Out
  • 25DC-Coupled TRS Outputs
  • 26CueMix FX Cross-Platform Mixing Software
  • 27Universal Compatibility
  • 28AudioDesk
  • 29Plug and Play
  • 30Front-Panel Volume Control
  • 31Metering
  • 32Auto-Switching Power

The MOTU 828x Professional 28x30 Audio Interface with Thunderbolt Technology is a 1RU 19" rackmountable digital audio interface that can connect to your 32- or 64-bit Mac or PC computer over Thunderbolt 1, Thunderbolt 2, or USB 2.0 (compatible with USB 3.0 ports). Up to six Thunderbolt devices such as displays and hard drives can be daisy chained together with the audio interface at the end of the chain.

The interface offers eight channels of 192 kHz analog recording and playback, combined with 16 channels of ADAT optical digital I/O (8 channels at 96 kHz), stereo S/PDIF, MIDI I/O, word clock, two headphone jacks, and stereo XLR main outs. Equally suited for the studio and stage, the interface can also function without a computer connection as a standalone mixer with effects such as reverb, EQ, and classic compression.

Two front panel microphone/guitar inputs feature high-quality preamps, plus a V-Limit hardware limiter for overload protection. Additional protection is available via MOTU's Soft Clip function. Each microphone input is equipped with individually switchable 48V phantom power and a 20 dB pad. Each microphone input also has a rear panel send that allows for inserting outboard gear before the analog to digital conversion.

An additional 8 balanced analog inputs enable connection to most studio gear, including microphones, guitars, synthesizers, keyboards, drum machines, and effects processors. In turn, these can all be recorded, monitored, routed and processed using the professional onboard CueMix FX digital mixer, with minimal latency and processor strain on the computer.

Additionally, the interface includes a built-in chromatic tuner and audio analysis tools such as a Fast Fourier Transform function, spectrogram, and X-Y phase alignment plot. The mixer can be remotely controlled using an iPad and TouchOSC software (sold separately). The interface includes a license for AudioDesk 3 digital workstation software for Mac OS X.

Thunderbolt Connectivity
Enables high-speed low-latency connection between the audio interface and the computer using Thunderbolt 1 or Thunderbolt 2
USB Connection
Provides a USB 2.0 connection compatible with USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 ports
Provides 28 inputs and 30 outputs distinct channels for microphone inputs, S/PDIF I/O, headphone out, and main outs
CueMix FX
Provides flexible 28 input/16 bus mixer with onboard DSP effects such as reverb with sends/returns, as well as EQ and compression on every input and output
Front-Panel Control
Enables access to every setting on the interface
Standalone Operation
Allow you to use the interface without a computer for effects and signal routing at a live gig
Multiple CueMix FX Mixes
Enables you to create up to eight different monitor mixes for the main outs, headphones, or other output pairs
Flexible Mic/Guitar Inputs with Preamps
Offers two front panel combo jacks provide hi-Z 1/4" guitar input or XLR mic input with phantom power, pad, and gain control
Mic/Guitar Instrument Sends
Enables adding an outboard EQ, preamp, reverb, or other processor to the two mic/guitar inputs before the signal is converted into the digital domain
Instrument Tuner
Provides real-time tuning of inputs with an accuracy of one-tenth of a cent
V-Limit Overload Protection
Prevents digital clipping and distortion from overloaded signal levels up to +12 dB over zero
Analog I/O
Provides eight inputs and outputs on balanced/unbalanced 1/4" TRS jacks that can be converted at 24-bit 192 kHz resolution
Precision Digital Trim
Provides digitally controlled trim adjustments in 1 dB increments that can be saved and recalled
Flexible Optical I/O
Offers 16 channels of ADAT lightpipe, 8 channels of SMUX (96 kHz), or two pairs of stereo TOSlink
Sample-Accurate MIDI
Enables connection of MIDI controller or sound module without the need for a separate MIDI interface
Foot Switch Input
Enables connection of a standard foot pedal switch (sold separately) for hands-free punch in and out during recording, or to be mapped to any keystroke function
Connect multiple interfaces together to expand system I/O
Separate Main Outs
Provides dedicated XLR main outputs for connecting to studio monitors, as well as additional balanced TRS monitors for connecting to secondary monitors. Multiple monitor output pairs can be controlled with the front panel main output knob or through software
Dual Headphone Outputs
Provides one assignable headphone output for a submix and one headphone output that always correlates the main output
Provides 24-bit RCA/SPDIF in/out at up to 96 kHz
Word Clock I/O
Resolves to external word clock sources at sample rates up to 192 kHz, and outputs work clock at current rate or 1x rate when operating at 2x or 4x setting
Direct Digital Synthesis
Produces low jitter by phase locking internal clock source, even when resolved to an external clock via SMPTE time code
SMPTE Time Code In/Out
Provides dedicated Longitudinal Time Code (LTC) in and output to resolve time code with fast lockup times and sub-frame accuracy
DC-Coupled TRS Outputs
Using Volta interface (sold separately) to manipulate and sequence voltage-controlled modular synthesizer from host DAW
CueMix FX Cross-Platform Mixing Software
Enables onscreen graphic mix with an instrument tuner and audio analysis tools including real-time FFT display, spectrogram waterfall display, oscilloscope, X-Y plot and linear or polar phase analysis
Universal Compatibility
Works with both 32- and 64-bit drivers for Mac OS X and Windows 8/7/Vista
Includes digital audio workstation software for Mac with recording, mixing, editing, real time 32-bit effects processing and sample-accurate sync
Plug and Play
Connect to your Mac or PC with Thunderbolt 1, Thunderbolt 2, or USB 2.0 (USB 3.0 port compatible)
Front-Panel Volume Control
Controls stereo, quad 6.1, 7.1, or user-defined surround monitoring configurations
Provides LED panel meters for analog, digital, MIDI I/O, SMPTE sync, and lock LEDs
Auto-Switching Power
Enables international 100 to 240 VAC, 50 to 60 Hz autoswitching power supply
UPC: 839128005846

MOTU 828x Specs

Form FactorRackmount
Display1 x LCD
12 x Multi-Segment LED Meter
Channels of I/O28 Input / 30 Output at 48 kHz
20 Input / 22 Output at 96 kHz
10 Input / 10 Output at 192 kHz
Built-In DSPNone
Maximum Sampling Rate192 kHz / 24-Bit
Number of Microphone Preamps2 Preamps
Built-In MicrophoneNone
Analog Audio I/O2 x Combo XLR-1/4" TRS Mic Input
8 x 1/4" TRS Balanced Line Input
2 x XLR 3-Pin Balanced Monitor Output
8 x 1/4" TRS Balanced Line Output
2 x 1/4" TRS Headphone Output
2 x 1/4" TRS Balanced Aux Send
Phantom PowerNone
Digital Audio I/O2 x TOSLINK Optical ADAT / S/PDIF Input (S/MUX Support)
2 x TOSLINK Optical ADAT / S/PDIF Output (S/MUX Support)
1 x RCA Coaxial S/PDIF Input
1 x RCA Coaxial S/PDIF Output
Host Connection / USB1 x Thunderbolt/Mini DisplayPort
1 x USB-B
Host Connection ProtocolThunderbolt 2
USB 2.0
USB (Non-Host)None
Sync I/O1 x 1/4" TS LTC/SMPTE Input
1 x 1/4" TS LTC/SMPTE Output
1 x BNC Word Clock Input
1 x BNC Word Clock Output
Network I/ONone
Other I/O1 x 1/4" Footswitch Input
Wireless ConnectivityNone
Digital Audio
Sample Rates44.1 / 48 / 88.2 / 96 / 176.4 / 192 kHz
Bit Depths24-Bit
Audio Storage & Playback
Memory Card SlotNone
OS CompatibilitymacOS 10.6 or Later
Windows 7
Windows 8
Windows Vista
*As of November, 2021: Check with manufacturer for the most up-to-date compatibility
Included SoftwareNone
Processor RequirementMac:
1 GHz Intel Pentium
RAM Requirements1 GB, 2 GB Recommended
Storage Requirements250 GB
Required HardwareAvailable Thunderbolt Port, USB 2.0 Port, or USB 3.0 / 3.1/3.2 Gen 1 Port
USB Cable (Included)
Thunderbolt Cable (Not Included)
Power RequirementsAC/DC Power Adapter (Included)
AC Input Power100 to 240 VAC, 50 / 60 Hz
Power Consumption20 W
Rackmount Size1 RU
Dimensions19 x 7 x 1.75" / 48.26 x 17.78 x 4.45 cm
Packaging Info
Package Weight8.05 lb
Box Dimensions (LxWxH)23.6 x 11.4 x 5.5"

MOTU 828x Reviews

Direct Hardware Playthrough

By Carlos
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2019-07-29

Zero Latency using Direct Hardware Playthrough within DP8,9, and 10. Using Digital Performer I got used to the incredible control over headphones and vocalists loving the ZERO Latency. This unit is Thunderbolt 2 but can easily be used with an adapter to work with Thunderbolt 3.

Excellent Component

By Paul M.
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2015-08-24

This interface a computer in-and-of-itself..!! It will do anything you need to do with audio, whether it's attached to your computer or as a stand alone mixer.. Complete control and flexible hook-up possibilities to the computer and to-and-from any audio device..!! I am using this with a Thunderbolt connection to Mac Pro.. Excellent response zero latency and on target.. After thorough exploration of competition, I believe this is the best audio interface for the price.. It costs about half of what the nearest competition does and in my opinion offers the greatest amount of possibilities for hook-up, not to mention the Cue mix which comes standard with the product.. Overall I'd say this is a very dependable and professional workhorse of an Audio Interface.. BRAVO..!!

MOTU quality and affordable Thunderbt

By Madsyth
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2014-12-30

So far I'm extremely impressed with the interface. This is my first dive into pro-status gear. The build quality is top notch. The preamps sound great and gotta love the Thunderbolt latency (nil). Also the toslink connections are primo.

MOTU 828x

By fx
Rated 3 out of 5
Date: 2014-12-09

Bought the 828x to act as an audio interface in a speech processing setup, with real-time signal processing, pitch shifting, etc.Physically nice to look at and fairly easy to navigate.Works like a charm on the Mac (Yosemite), except for as yet unresolved authorization issues for installing Autodesk.Consistent problems on Windows 8.1 however. Initially incapable of sending or receiving audio via the USB, communicating with Cuemix FX. Somehow, after moving the device to the Mac, getting everything running, then hooking it back up to the PC, everything started working! Then the audio console GUI stopped appearing. A driver reinstall has worked, but after a few uses, it disappears again.Any further testing of the MOTU is going to have to be with Mac, which is a pain given I have platform dependent software.

Motu 828x is the Bomb

By Marten B.
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2014-07-04

I have been using a older Motu 828 Firewire for years and loved it. I upgrade to a new Mac and upgraded to the Motu 828x. It's a very versatile and sophisticated interface. No latency using it's Thunderbolt port. I am using it with LogicX and AudioDesk. Love the preamps. They work great with mics like the Equitec E100s.

Great Interface, LCD Display Weak

By galleyone
Rated 4 out of 5
Date: 2014-04-25

A very flexible connection set was the deciding factor for purchasing the 828X. Nothing to complain about there. Input/Outputs all solid. SPDIF synced to word clock ties in my legacy Yamaha AW4416 nicely. TOSLink for DAT at the same time is great. MIDI for the Old School stuff. The preamps aren't bad. CueMix could be more straightforward, but OK once you get the hang of it. The LCD is my only real beef. The implementation is fine, but the display itself seems to get somewhat flaky after the unit has been on for awhile. Some of the back lighting fades in and out. Doesn't effect the functionality, but raises the question of future problems there. A better LCD would make this a 5 star review.

Excellent product!

By Anonymous
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2016-11-28

I carefully researched a lot of audio interfaces before selecting the MOTU 828x. Due to it's features and mixing capabilities, this unit nicely fit the bill for me. When it arrived, I installed it in my rack, hooked it up and installed the drivers and CueMix FX software. From there I was quickly able to start using it. Everything works as expected. The 828x is a nice addition to my home recording studio.

Light Years Ahead Of My Old Recording Hardware

By Flinty Heart
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2016-01-12

Starting to use it to record demos and interface with our professional sound engineer for our 4 person acoustic Celtic-Americana band. Am still learning all of its capabilities- of which there are many. Started with new recording software (Digital Performer) at the same time--so am not sure if some of the glitches are software or hardware related (such as having trouble adjusting headphone volumes)> I am assuming that this is related to operator error and a learning curve.

See any errors on this page? Let us know


What is the dynamic range of the MOTU 828x? A ...

What is the dynamic range of the MOTU 828x? A somewhat common spec in other comparable devices.
Asked by: Alvin
MOTU does not provide that spec.
Answered by: James Cruz
Date published: 2021-03-02
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