In the February 2012 issue, Electronic Musician magazine announced the Editors' Choice awards for 2012, an annual ritual that has become an industry institution. But this year, it was time to shake things up because, in their own words, "If it ain't broke — then we're definitely not pushing it hard enough." Instead of force-fitting products into categories, "we tore down the walls, threw out the rule book, and picked what we thought were the best products, bar none." New categories include "Best Reverse Engineering of Alien Technology", "Tiny Titan of Tapeless Tech" and "The Drum Machine for People Who Don't Like Drum Machines". Among dozens of new entries in one of the most challenging product categories, their choice for "Most Badass Interface" goes to: the 828mk3 Hybrid.
According to Executive Editor Craig Anderton, the audio interface category continues to be perhaps the most challenging product category of all, when it comes to choosing a single winner. Dozens of new product entries must be considered each year, each with highly developed features sets and ever-increasing price/performance value.
"So we talked, argued, discussed, and threw things at each other in the quest for narrowing down our list to the best products that shipped for the first time between AES 2010 and AES 2011. It's not easy to narrow a plethora of products down to 30 finalists (and two ties), but we didn't just keep our own counsel: The opinions of our reviewers, reader comments, and forum buzz were also factored in, not just in choosing products, but in helping decide which ones deserved to be finalists."
So in the end, what drove the 828mk3 Hybrid to the top of the heap? Here is what Electronic Musician had to say.
MOST BADASS INTERFACE: MOTU 828mk3 Hybrid
In the audio interface wars, the 828mk3 brings on the heavy artillery
Given the 4,553,600 audio interfaces out there, this wasn't an easy choice. But in a world where more and more interfaces are being designed for budget studios, this is the interface you bring out when the children have left the room. If the ten basic channels aren't enough, you'll appreciate the 16 channels of ADAT I/O—as well as the FireWire/USB hybrid approach, especially if your new laptop forgot that FireWire exists. Add the above-average DSP, built-in diagnostic tools, overload protection on the mic/guitar inputs, and other goodies—all at a surprising price—and the end result is an Editors' Choice Award.
Visit emusician.com to read about winners in other product categories.