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MOTU 828X Thunderbolt

Thunderbolt / USB2 audio interface with DSP effects and mixing

MOTU 828X Thunderbolt

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  • MOTU 828X Thunderbolt
  • MOTU 828X Thunderbolt
  • MOTU 828X Thunderbolt
  • MOTU 828X Thunderbolt
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Regular Price: $849.00

Special Price: $735.00

Availability: In stock now

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Product Description for the MOTU 828X Thunderbolt

As a “hybrid” audio interface, the 828x connects to any Mac or PC using ultra-fast Thunderbolt technology or high-speed USB 2.0 and delivers DSP effects and mixing for all 28 inputs and 30 outputs with 32-bit floating point processing.

The 828x is equally well-suited for studio and stage, with or without a computer. As an interface or standalone mixer, the 828x provides two XLR/TRS “combo” mic/guitar inputs, 8 balanced TRS analog in/out, two banks of optical (ADAT and TOSLink formats), S/PDIF (coax) digital I/O, dedicated main outs on XLRs, and two front panel headphone jacks with independent volume control. The mic/guitar combo inputs are equipped with transparent preamps, digitally controlled trim with plenty of gain, a true high-impedance guitar input, individual 48V phantom power, -20 dB pad, and V-Limit, a hardware limiter that helps prevent digital clipping from overloaded input signals as high as +12 dB above zero with no clipping or harsh artifacts. Additional protection can be applied with Soft Clip.

All analog inputs are equipped with digitally controlled analog trim controls that allow adjustments in 1 dB increments. The mic/guitar input trims can be adjusted using front-panel digital rotary encoders that provide feedback in the front panel LCD, while all quarter-inch TRS inputs can be trimmed from the included cross-platform CueMix FX software. Different trim configurations can be saved as files on disk for instant recall.

Connect any studio gear, including microphones, guitars, synths, keyboards, drum machines and even effects processors. Record, monitor, route and process all of these live inputs using the professional on-board CueMix FX digital mixer – with no latency and no processor strain on the computer. Apply hardware DSP-driven effects processing to inputs, outputs, and busses independent of the host computer. Add Classic Reverb with lengths up to 60 seconds. Further sculpt your sound with 7-band parametric EQ featuring filter types carefully modeled after British analog console EQs. Choose between two forms of compression: a conventional compressor and the Leveler, an accurate model of the legendary LA-2A optical compressor that provides vintage, musical automatic gain control.

Analyze and scope any mono or stereo audio stream with advanced diagnostic tools, including a full-screen real-time FFT display, spectrogram “waterfall” display, full-featured oscilloscope, X-Y plot, and linear/polar phase analysis graphs.

After programming the on-board mixing in the studio, unplug the 828x from the computer and take it on the road for operation as a stand-alone mixer with effects. All mixing and effects parameters are adjustable using the front panel backlit LCD.

Additional advanced features include 192 kHz operation, Direct Digital Synthesis (DDS) precision clocking, direct SMPTE time code sync (no extra synchronizer needed), MIDI I/O and much more. Cross-platform software includes the CueMix FX application and WDM/ASIO/Core Audio drivers for Mac (OS X) and Windows (8, 7 and Vista). The included AudioDesk workstation software provides 24-bit recording/editing and 32-bit mixing/processing/mastering.


  • Thunderbolt connectivity — Compatible with Thunderbolt 1 and 2.
  • Hi-speed USB 2.0 connectivity — Compatible with USB 3.0.
  • 58 simultaneous channels — 28 inputs and 30 outputs, including two mic preamps with sends, 8 TRS analog in/out, separate main outs on XLR jacks, two banks of optical, S/PDIF, MIDI in/out, time code in/out, word clock I/O, and two front-panel headphone jacks.
  • CueMix FX — High-powered DSP with mixing and effects on individual ins/outs. Includes classic reverb, modeled analog EQ, and vintage LA-2A compressor.
  • Flexible mic/guitar inputs with preamps — Two front panel combo jacks provide hi-Z 1/4” guitar input or XLR mic input with individual phantom power and pad.
  • 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.
  • V-Limit overload protection — Hardware-based input limiter on the mic/guitar inputs prevents digital clipping and distortion from overloaded signal levels up to +12 dB over zero.
  • Front-panel control for stand-alone operation — Access any setting in your entire 828x mix directly from the front panel.
  • Foot switch input — Connect a standard foot pedal switch (sold separately) for hands-free punch-in and punch-out while recording. Or map the pedal to any keystroke function in your 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 828x is resolved to an external clock source via SMPTE time code.
  • Time code support — Directly resolves to (or generates) time code via any quarter-inch input or output, without the need for an extra synchronizer.
  • DC-coupled TRS outputs — Use the 828x with Volta (sold separately) 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.


  • Converters : 24-bit
  • Sample rates : 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192 kHz

Analog inputs :

  • 2 x XLR/TRS combo-style mic/guitar inputs
  • 8 x 1/4" TRS line inputs (balanced/unbalanced)

Analog outputs :

  • 2 x XLR balanced main out
  • 8 x 1/4" balanced TRS line out
  • 2 x 1/4" TRS stereo headphone

Digital I/O

  • 16 channels of ADAT optical at 1x sample rates
  • 8 channels of SMUX optical at 2x sample rates
  • 2-channel TOSlink (optical S/PDIF) up to 96 kHz
  • 2-channel RCA S/PDIF up to 96 kHz

Total I/O

  • 28 inputs and 30 outputs at 1x sample rates
  • 20 inputs and 22 outputs at 2x sample rates
  • 10 inputs and 10 outputs at 4x sample rates

Computer I/O

  • 1 x Thunderbolt (compatible with 1 and 2)
  • 1 x USB 2.0 (compatible with 3.0)

Sync I/O

  • 1 x SMPTE time code in (LTC)
  • 1 x SMPTE time code out (LTC)
  • 1 x word clock in
  • 1 x word clock out

Headphone output

  • 1 x 1/4" TRS stereo phone (assignable)
  • 1 x 1/4" TRS stereo phone (mirrors main outs)

Phantom power

  • 2 x individual +48V

Front panel

  • 2 x XLR/TRS combo mic/guitar in
  • 2 x 1/4" TRS phone
  • 2 x digital rotary encoders • phone/main volume
  • 2 x digital rotary encoders • mic trim
  • 4 x switches • Pad and 48V Phantom
  • 4 x digital rotary encoders for LCD control
  • 2 x 16 character LCD
  • 8 x 4-segment ladder LEDs • 1/4-inch analog in
  • 8 x activity LED • 1/4-inch analog out
  • 2 x 4-segment ladder LEDs • RCA S/PDIF in
  • 2 x activity LED • RCA S/PDIF out
  • 2 x 10-segment LEDs • mic in with V-Limit
  • 2 x 5-segment ladder LEDs • main outs
  • 6 x LED • sample rate indicator
  • 1 x LED • LOCK/TACH indicator
  • 2 x activity LEDs • optical bank A/B
  • 1 x activity LED • MIDI in/out
  • 1 x AC power switch


  • International 100-240V autoswitching supply
  • 50-60 Hz • 20 Watts
Brand MOTU
Weight 8.2000
Dimensions (WxHxD) 6" x 25" x 12"

Customer Reviews

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Died after 3 Months
Review by Wild West
Received this unit in may.
Great sound i was really happy with the unit.
Didn't use it much due to working a lot of hours.So the weekend was my only real music
get in time.
Just died on me its july now.
Keep loosing power while using it.
OK maybe the cord.Nope!
One final loss of power and never powered back up.
Ok now it's time to find out what is wrong with the unit.
But i should of waited to buy an RME Fireface.
But i was too desperate to hold off on the cheap price of the 828X.
You really get what you pay for.
After this ,no more MOTU! (Posted on 7/23/14)

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