Technical Specifications

Sample rates 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192 kHz
Mic/line/instr inputs 8 x XLR/TRS "combo style" mic/line/instr inputs
Preamp gain: 0 to +63 dB (digitally controlled)
TRS max level with pad: +17 dBu
Analog outputs 8 x 1/4" TRS line out (balanced, DC coupled)
Max level: +20 dBu (digitally adjustable -4 to +20)
2 x 1/4" TRS stereo headphone
Digital I/O 2 banks (16 ch) of ADAT optical at 1x sample rates
2 banks (8 ch) of SMUX optical at 2x sample rates
Switchable to stereo TOSLink (optical S/PDIF)
Total I/O 24 in / 28 out (52 total) at 1x sample rates
16 in / 20 out (36 total) at 2x sample rates
8 in / 12 out (20 total) at 4x sample rates
Computer I/O 1 x Thunderbolt 1 (Mac and Win)
      Thunderbolt 2 & 3 compatible
1 x USB 2.0 audio class compliant
      USB 3.0 and iOS compatible
Computer I/O channels
Thunderbolt
128 in/out at 1x (44.1 to 48 kHz)
128 in/out at 2x (88.2 to 96 kHz)
64 in/out at 4x (176.4 to 192 kHz)
Computer I/O channels
USB
64 in/out at 1x (44.1 to 48 kHz)
32 in/out at 2x (88.2 to 96 kHz)
24 in/out at 4x (176.4 to 192 kHz)
Sync I/O 1 x BNC word clock in/out
Network I/O 1 x RJ45 AVB/TSN Ethernet (1 Gbps)
AVB streams
(8 channels per stream)
4 in / 4 out @ 44.1 or 48 kHz
4 in / 4 out @ 88.2 or 96 kHz
2 in / 2 out @ 176.4 or 192 kHz
Headphone 2 x 1/4" TRS stereo phone (assignable)
Phantom power 8 x individual +48V
Front panel 2 x 1/4" TRS headphone output
2 x digital rotary encoders • phone vol
4 x digital rotary encoders • mic/instr input gain
2 x large digital rotary encoders • main vol / menu
8 x small switches • (4) Pad / (4) 48V Phantom pwr
10 x large switches • menu nav / A-B select, etc.
2 x LCD (128 x 160) for level meters / menu nav
Power International 100-240V autoswitching supply
50-60 Hz • 0.5A max
Dimensions
and weight
(width x depth x height, enclosure only)
19 x 7 x 1.75 inches
48.3 x 17.75 x 4.5 cm
4.6 lbs / 2.05 kg
with rack brackets removed:
17.25 inches (43.8 cm) wide
4.5 lbs / 2.04 kg

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 1/2/3, USB 2/3 or AVB/TSN Ethernet port*
  • A large hard drive (at least 500 GB for recording)
  • *AVB/TSN Ethernet audio interface operation requires OS X El Capitan or later

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 Thunderbolt 1/2/3 or USB 2/3 port
  • 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.

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 for Mac & Windows (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 -108 dB +20 dBu 24 dB (-24 to 0)
Line input 1/4" TRS, bal/unbal, tip hot 118 dB -108 dB +24 dBu 118 dBu (-96 to +22)
Mic input XLR, balanced, pin 2 hot 118 dB -129 dB EIN +24 dBu
(with pad)
63 dB
Phones 1/4", TRS stereo 108 dB -100 dB Max. 80 mw 128 dB

Compatible Mac Software

The 8pre-es 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
  • Presonus Studio One
  • Propellerhead Record & Reason
  • Steinberg Cubase
  • Cockos Reaper
  • Native Instruments Kontakt
  • Waves stand-alone apps (and plug-ins, via compatible host)

Compatible Windows Software

The 8pre-es 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
  • Cockos Reaper
  • Image Line FL Studio
  • Native Instruments Kontakt
  • Presonus Studio One
  • Propellerhead Record & Reason
  • Sony Vegas Pro
  • Sony Sound Forge
  • Sony Acid
  • Steinberg Cubase
  • Waves stand-alone apps (and plug-ins, via compatible host)

8pre-es Feature Summary

Superb analog audio quality and high-end converters

Eight transparent mic inputs deliver superb 129 dBu EIN with 118 dB dynamic range. Renowned ESS Sabre32™ DAC technology delivers 123 dB dynamic range and the same proven, award-winning audio quality as MOTU's flagship 1248.

New dual-LCD design

Two full-color LCDs display 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.

Ultra-low latency and proven, high-performance MOTU drivers

Round-trip latency (RTL) performance as low as 1.6 ms at 96kHz over Thunderbolt™ with high-performance DAW hosts.

Universal connectivity

Connect to your Mac or PC with Thunderbolt™ or Hi-speed USB 2.0, with up to 256 audio channels (128 in and 128 out) over Thunderbolt. Or stream dozens of audio channels to and from your Mac over AVB/TSN Ethernet using a standard, affordable CAT-5e cable up to 100 meters long. Class-compliant firmware and industry standard drivers work with any audio apps. Connect to your iPad™ with a standard camera connection kit (adapter).

52 simultaneous audio channels

24 inputs and 28 outputs, including eight transparent remote-controllable mic inputs with individual gain/pad/48V, 8 TRS analog out, two banks of optical, word clock I/O and two front-panel headphone jacks.

DSP mixing and effects processing

Flexible 48-input digital mixer with 7 stereo aux busses, 3 groups, access to 32 network inputs, and DSP effects, including reverb, 4-band EQ, gate and compression.

32-bit floating point processing

The 8pre-es 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.

Flexible matrix routing and splitting

Send any input to any output, or multiple outputs. Includes routing to and from the computer, plus any devices on the AVB network.

Control room features

Built-in talkback mic with front-panel "talk" button and"A/B" speaker select buttons.

Precision Digital Trim™

Digitally controlled analog trim on all analog inputs (mic/guitar inputs + quarter-inch TRS inputs) provides accurate adjustments in 1 dB increments.

Stand-alone operation with wireless control

Connect an Apple® Airport™ or other Wi-Fi router with a standard Ethernet cable for wireless control of device settings, powerful 48-channel mixing and DSP effects.

New Touch Consoleā„¢ web app control

Control everything from mobile-friendly web app software on any laptop, tablet and smartphone connected to your local Wi-Fi network.

System expansion

Add a 2nd MOTU AVB-equipped interface with a simple CAT-5e ethernet cable. Connect up to five MOTU interfaces using a MOTU AVB Switch (sold separately).

AVB/TSN audio networking

Build a network with multiple interfaces and computers using standard AVB/TSN switches and network cabling, with ultra-low network latency, even over long cable runs (100 meters point to point). Stream hundreds of audio channels among devices and computers on the network.

Two headphone jacks

Each headphone output can be programmed with the same or different mixes, with independent front-panel volume control.

Two banks of optical I/O

Connect outboard digital processors, digital mixers or other gear. Two banks provide 16 channels of ADAT optical at 48 kHz, 8 channels of S/MUX optical I/O at 96 kHz or a single stereo TOSLink pair at rates up to 96kHz.

Time code support

Converts SMPTE time code (LTC) to MIDI Time Code (MTC) and passes MTC on to any MTC-compatible host software.

Direct Digital Synthesis™ (DDS)

DSP-driven phase lock engine and internal clock source produces imperceptibly low jitter characteristics (below the noise floor), even when the 8pre-es is resolved to an external clock source via SMPTE time code.

DC-coupled TRS outputs

Use the 8pre-es to manipulate and sequence voltage-controlled modular synthesizers from a host DAW.

Instrument tuner and audio analysis tools

Includes an oscilloscope, real-time FFT, X-Y Plot, and graphic phase analysis.

AudioDesk

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