Technical Specifications

Sample rates 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192 kHz
Analog inputs 8 x XLR/TRS combo-style mic/line/instrument inputs
Preamp gain: 0 to +53 dB (digitally controlled)
TRS max level with pad: +17 dbU (V-limit at +7)
Analog outputs 8 x 1/4" TRS line out (balanced, DC coupled)
Max level: +20 dBu (digitally adjustable -4 to +20)
1 x 1/4" TRS stereo headphone
Digital I/O 2 banks (16 ch) of ADAT optical at 1x sample rates
1 bank (8 ch) of SMUX optical at 2x sample rates
Stereo TOSLink (optical S/PDIF) on Bank A (optional)
Total I/O 24 inputs and 26 outputs (50 total) at 1x sample rates
16 inputs and 18 outputs (34 total) at 2x sample rates
8 inputs and 10 outputs (18 total) at 4x sample rates
Computer I/O 1 x Thunderbolt (compatible with 1 and 2)
1 x USB 2.0 audio class compliant
      USB 3.0 and iOS compatible
1 x AVB Ethernet (requires OS X Yosemite)
Computer I/O channels Thunderbolt (44.1 to 96 kHz): 128 in/out
Thunderbolt (176.4 to 192 kHz): 64 in/out
USB 2.0 (44.1 to 48 kHz): 64 in/out
USB 2.0 (88.2 to 96 kHz): 32 in/out
USB 2.0 (176.4 to 192 kHz): 24 in/out
AVB Ethernet: 16 to 128 in/out, depending on
      host computer speed
Sync I/O 1 x word clock in
1 x word clock out
Headphone 1 x 1/4" TRS stereo phone (assignable)
Phantom power 8 x individual +48V
Front panel 1 x 1/4" TRS headphone output
1 x digital rotary encoder • phone volume
8 x digital rotary encoders • mic preamp gain
16 x switches • (8) Pad and (8) 48V Phantom switch
324 x 24 pixel LCD for level meters / menu nav
1 x AC power switch
Power International 100-240V autoswitching supply
50-60 Hz • 0.5A max

Mac System Requirements

  • 1 GHz Intel-based Mac or faster
  • 2 GB RAM; 4 GB or more recommended
  • Mac OS X version 10.8 or later
  • Available Thunderbolt, USB 2.0 or AVB Ethernet port*
  • A large hard drive (at least 500 GB for recording)
  • *AVB Ethernet audio interface operation requires OS X Yosemite

Windows System Requirements

  • 1 GHz Pentium-based PC compatible or faster
  • 2 GB RAM; 4 GB or more recommended
  • Windows 7, 8 or 10
  • Available USB 2.0 or 3.0 port
  • Available Ethernet port for firmware updates
  • A large hard drive (at least 500 GB for recording)

Web App Support

  • Any web client platform: Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android
  • Any web browser: Safari, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Explorer, etc.
  • Web client must be connected to the same network as the MOTU AVB interface by wire or Wi-Fi.

Included Software

  • Thunderbolt and USB 2.0 drivers
  • MOTU Discovery App for Mac & PC (finds connected MOTU interfaces)
  • MOTU Discovery App for iOS (available from Apple App Store)
  • MOTU Pro Audio Control web app (served from the hardware itself)
  • MOTU Audio Tools (FFT, oscilloscope, X-Y plot, phase analyzer)
  • AudioDesk 4.0 for Mac & PC (separate download)

Operating Systems

  • For computer audio I/O: Mac OS X 10.8 or later; Windows 7 or later
  • For web app control: Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android

Analog I/O Specifications


Connector type
Dynamic range
(A-weighted)
THD+N
(unweighted)
Max
level
Trim range
(in 1 dB steps)
Line output 1/4" TRS, balanced, tip hot 123 dB -110 dB +20 dBu 24 dB (-4 to +20 dBu)
Line input 1/4" TRS, bal/unbal, tip hot 112 dB -102 dB +17 dBu
(with pad)
53 dB
Mic input XLR, balanced, pin 2 hot 112 dB -104 dB +24 dBu
(with pad)
53 dB
Phones 1/4", TRS stereo 102 dB -92 dB Max. 80 mw 128 dB

Compatible Mac software

The 8M ships with standard Core Audio drivers for Mac OS X for compatibility with virtually all Core Audio-compatible apps, including:

  • MOTU Digital Performer
  • Avid Pro Tools (version 9 or later)
  • Apple Logic Pro
  • Apple Logic Express
  • Apple Garage Band
  • Apple SoundTrack Pro
  • Ableton Live
  • Propellerhead Record & Reason
  • Steinberg Cubase
  • Cockos Reaper
  • Native Instruments Kontakt
  • Waves stand-alone apps (and plug-ins, via compatible host)

Compatible Windows software

The 8M ships with standard ASIO and Wave drivers for Windows 7, 8 and 10 for compatibility with virtually all ASIO- and Wave-compatible audio apps, including:

  • MOTU Digital Performer
  • Avid Pro Tools (version 9 or later)
  • Ableton Live
  • Cakewalk Sonar
  • Steinberg Cubase
  • Propellerhead Record & Reason
  • Image Line FL Studio
  • Sony Vegas Pro
  • Sony Sound Forge
  • Sony Acid
  • Cockos Reaper
  • Native Instruments Kontakt
  • Waves stand-alone apps (and plug-ins, via compatible host)

8M Feature Summary

Superb audio quality

For example, the balanced TRS analog outputs produce 123 dB dynamic range and -110 dB THD+N (0.0003%) at -1 dBFS, Unweighted, 1 kHz.

50 simultaneous audio channels

Eight XLR/TRS combo inputs with individual preamps/pad/48V power, 8 balanced/unbalanced TRS analog outs, and 2 x 8-channel ADAT optical ports for 24 inputs and 26 outputs.

Flexible mic/guitar inputs

Eight combo jacks provide balanced analog input, hi-Z 1/4” guitar input or XLR mic input with individual phantom power and pad.

Precision Digital Trim™

Digitally controlled analog preamp gain provides accurate adjustments in 1 dB increments from either the front panel controls or web app software, with the ability to save gain settings.

V-Limit™ overload protection

Hardware-based input limiter on the mic/guitar inputs prevents digital clipping and distortion from overloaded signal levels up to +9 dB over zero.

Universal connectivity

Connects to a computer with Thunderbolt, standard AVB Ethernet or audio class compliant high-speed USB 2.0 (compatible with USB 3.0 and iOS). Discovery app and web app software works alongside any host audio software.

On-board DSP with mixing and effects

Flexible 48-input digital mixer modeled after large format mixing consoles, with 12 stereo busses and DSP effects, including reverb, 4-band EQ, gate, and compression.

32-bit floating point processing

The 8M's mixing and effects DSP engine delivers virtually unlimited headroom and the utmost in sound quality.

Modeled vintage effects processing

Classic reverb. Compression modeled after the legendary LA-2A compressor. EQ modeled after British analog console EQs.

System expansion and audio networking

Add a 2nd MOTU AVB interface (1248, 8M or 16A) with a simple Cat-5e ethernet cable. Connect up to five MOTU interfaces using a MOTU AVB Switch (sold separately). Build a network with multiple interfaces and computers using standard AVB switches and network cabling, with ultra-low network latency, even over long cable runs (hundreds of meters). Stream hundreds of audio channels among devices and computers on the network.

Matrix routing and splitting

Flexible, matrix-style audio routing and splitting for any analog or digital input, computer channel or network stream to any other output, computer, or network device. Split any single input to unlimited multiple output destinations.

256 channels of network audio I/O for your host computer

Record and monitor up to 128 networked audio channels in and out, simultaneously, through the Thunderbolt connection to a host computer.

Web app control

Control on-board DSP, mixing, device settings, and network audio routing from web app software running in your favorite browser on a laptop, tablet or smart phone connected by wire or Wi-Fi to your local area network.

Stand-alone mixing with wireless control

Connect an Apple Airport™ or other Wi-Fi router directly to the 8M with a standard Ethernet cable and control the 8M's powerful mixing and DSP effects from your smart phone or tablet, without a computer. Great for live sound mixing.

ADAT digital I/O

Connect outboard digital processors, digital mixers or other gear. 16 channels at 44.1/48 kHz or 8 channels at 88.2/96 kHz.

Comprehensive metering

The large backlit 324 x 24 LCD lets you view all signal activity at a glance with detailed metering for all analog and digital I/O. Access hardware settings from a simple and convenient menu.

AudioDesk

Includes AudioDesk workstation software for Mac and Windows with 24-bit recording, sample-accurate editing and 32-bit mixing and mastering.