MOTU 8pre 16x12 FireWire Audio Interface  

Item #: 
  • Write a Review

The MOTU 8pre FireWire audio interface delivers everything you need to turn your computer into a powerful 24-bit/96kHz digital audio workstation. The 8pre provides 8 microphone/instrument preamps and ... Click To Read More About This Product

We're sorry—we no longer carry this item.

Find a similar product below or contact us for a recommendation of a great alternative.

Call: 866-498-7882 Email or Chat

Recommended Products

The MOTU 8pre FireWire audio interface delivers everything you need to turn your computer into a powerful 24-bit/96kHz digital audio workstation. The 8pre provides 8 microphone/instrument preamps and 8 channels of ADAT optical digital I/O. Expand your system by connecting additional 8 pres or other MOTU FireWire audio interfaces.

The 8pre as your primary audio interface
Use the included CueMix software to mix all 16 inputs from your computer. Eight channels of ADAT optical I/O make the 8pre an ideal companion for a digital mixer. 2 ADAT lightpipe connections work together to support a full 8 channels of optical digital I/O at any
sample rate up to 96kHz.

Connect all of your studio gear, including microphones, guitars, synths, keyboards, drum machines, and even effects processors. Then monitor all of these live inputs via the 8pre's main outs or headphone jack ” with virtually no monitoring latency and no processor drain on your computer. You can even create separate monitor mixes for the main outs and headphones. Control everything, including talk-back and listen-back, from the included CueMix Console software, just like a large studio console.

The 8pre includes a 16-channel MIDI interface. Simply plug-in your FireWire cable, and both MIDI and audio are ready to go. Connect any
MIDI device, such as a controller keyboard, synth module, automated control surface, or drum machine. Timing is sample-accurate with supporting software.

The 8pre provides cross-platform compatibility with Mac OS X 10.3 or higher, Windows XP and all of your favorite audio software and host-based effects via WDM/ASIO/Core Audio drivers. Or you can use the included AudioDesk workstation software for Mac OS, with
24-bit recording/editing and 32-bit mixing/processing/mastering.

The 8pre as a microphone preamp expansion interface
The 8pre is really two products in one. When it is not connected to a computer via FireWire, the 8pre functions as an eight-channel analog
to digital (optical) converter. Connect the 8pre to your MOTU 828, 896, Traveler, or even another 8pre via the optical light pipe connection
to add eight high-quality microphone pre-amps to your system. Since the connection is digital, 100-percent pristine sound is maintained, down to the very last sample.

The 8pre is the perfect way to instantly add 8 more mic inputs to any audio interface or digital mixer with optical I/O. If you have a MOTU interface with on-board CueMix DSP mixing, such as the 828mkII, 896HD, or Traveler, the 8pre inputs appear directly in the host interface's CueMix mixer to becomes a transparent extension of your system, operating together with your primary interface as a single, integrated unit ” even when the host interface is not connected to a computer and is instead operating as a stand-alone mixer.

If you have a 2408mk3, digital mixer or other audio device that supports 96kHz optical and also has 2 optical inputs, the 8pre connects
to it via both optical ports to provide a full eight channels of analog to optical conversion at the 88.2 or 96kHz sample rates.

8pre Inputs and Outputs
All inputs and outputs are independent and available at all times. For example, using a mic preamp input does not 'steal' an input from
the ADAT optical input bank. As another example, the headphones and main outputs are available as separate mix destinations. In addition, CueMix DSP gives you all the flexibility you need. For example, you can configure CueMix DSP to mirror an existing mix bus to the headphones.

¢mic preamps 24-bit 96kHz on XLR/TRS combo: 8 inputs
¢main outputs 24-bit 96kHz on bal/unbal TRS: stereo output
¢headphone output: stereo output
¢ADAT optical 24-bit 96kHz (digital): 8 inputs, 8 outputs
¢total: 16 inputs, 12 outputs

8pre MIDI
The 8pre includes a 16-channel MIDI interface that provides sample-accurate timing with supporting software.

Connect a MIDI keyboard, sound module, or control surface and you are ready to go. The FireWire cable carries both MIDI and audio so
you don't need to connect an additional USB cable for MIDI.

8pre CueMix DSP
The 8pre provides DSP-driven digital mixing and monitoring for all 16 inputs. You can connect mics, guitars, synths, and effects processors, and monitor everything from the 8pre's main outs or headphone jack with no separate mixer needed and no latency.
The 8pre supports up to four separate stereo monitor mixes assigned to any digital or analog output pairs. For example, you could set up separate monitor mixes for the main outs and headphone outs, while 2 additional stereo buses could be used for send/return loops to a digital mixer. Each mix can support all 16 inputs (8 XLR/TRS analog and 8 ADAT optical digital).

8pre SMPTE
The 8pre provides onboard SMPTE time code synchronization features. These features allow you to slave your 8pre system to SMPTE time code without a synchronizer via any analog input. The 8pre also generates time code, which can be sent to any analog output.
The 8pre provides a DSP-driven phase-lock engine with sophisticated filtering that provides fast lockup times and sub-frame accuracy.
The included MOTU SMPTE Console software provides a complete set of tools to generate SMPTE for striping, regenerating or slaving other devices to the computer. These synchronization features are cross-platform and compatible with all audio sequencer software that supports the ASIO2 sample-accurate sync protocol.

Bounce Back
The "CueMix Bounce Back" feature lets you route one of the 4 CueMix DSP mixes back to the computer. This allows you to record, for example, your entire mix - including monitored inputs - back into the computer.

CueMix Console provides Talkback and Listenback buttons. Talkback allows an engineer in the control room to temporarily dim all audio and talk to musicians in the live room. Conversely, Listenback allows musicians to talk to the control room. For Talkback, you can set up a dedicated mic in your control room and connect it to a mic input on your 8pre. For Listenback, you can set up a dedicated listenback mic in the live room for the musicians and connect it to another mic input.

CueMix in optical expander mode
When the 8pre operates as an optical expander, CueMix is hard-wired to route each analog input to its corresponding optical output channel (analog in 1 to optical out 1, analog in 2 to optical out 2, and so on).

In addition, when operating the 8pre at a 1x sample rate (either 44.1 or 48 kHz), the analog input signals are duplicated and sent to both optical output banks. This lets you send the analog input signals to 2 separate optical destinations, if desired.
When operating the 8pre at a 2x sample rate (88.2 or 96 kHz), the 2 optical output banks work in concert to provide channels 1-4 and 5-8, respectively, for a total of 8 channels of high-resolution digital audio.

The 8pre as an optical converter
The 8pre is 2 products in one: a FireWire audio interface and an 8-channel analog-to-digital converter. When the 8pre is not connected to a computer via a FireWire cable, the front panel "Mode" LED changes from "Interface" to "Converter". In this mode, the 8pre acts as an 8-channel analog-to-digital converter that can add 8 mic inputs to another ADAT optical-equipped audio interface, digital mixer or other device.

For example, if you already own an 828, 896 or Traveler interface, you can connect the 8pre to the optical bank on your MOTU interface to seamlessly integrate the 8pre's additional 8 mic inputs into your MOTU interface CueMix mixer or host software mixer.

When operating in this mode, the 8pre simply routes each mic input signal to the corresponding optical output channel (mic input 1 goes to optical output 1, etc.) When connected to a MOTU host interface, such as the 828mkII shown above, these 8 optical input signals are then routed directly into the host interface's optical bank, so they appear side by side with all other inputs in the host interface's CueMix Console, as demonstrated below, which shows the 828mkII CueMix Console with the 8 optical inputs (the 8 faders furthest to the right) renamed according to the mics, instruments and other sources connected to the 8pre mic inputs.

This approach has benefits over simply connecting the 8pre as a second FireWire audio interface. For example, it conserves FireWire bus bandwidth (for other devices, such as hard drives). It also streamlines your workflow by avoiding the extra setup procedures, software settings and performance issues often encountered when operating multiple FireWire interfaces connected to your computer. By connecting the 8pre optically to another FireWire interface, it becomes, in essence, a seamless extension of the other interface.

The 8pre has the ability to support 8 channels of optical output at 88.2 or 96 kHz (the 2x sample rates). This means it can be connected to another device that also supports 2x optical sample rates (via two sets of optical connectors) to add all eight mic inputs at 88.2 or 96 kHz. A perfect example is the 2408mk3, which provides three optical banks that can operate at 96 kHz. By connecting both optical banks from the 8pre to two optical banks on the 2408mk3, you add eight 96 kHz mic inputs. And they can be mixed as a seamless extension of the 2408mk3.

  • FireWire audio interface for Mac and Windows - provides 16 inputs with 8 mic preamps and 12 outputs including separate phone and main outs for all the basic I/O you need for a powerful desktop studio.
  • Eight XLR/TRS "combo jack" mic inputs - connect up to eight mics, or mix and match mics with guitars, synths, drum machines and other analog input signals.
  • Flexible analog inputs - each provides a crystal-clear preamp (for both the XLR and TRS input), 24-bit 96 kHz converters, individually switchable 48-volt phantom power, 20 dB pad and front-panel trim controls. Mix and match condenser and dynamic microphones as your needs require.
  • Eight channels of ADAT optical I/O - provides two sets of optical connectors to provide eight channels of optical digital I/O even at high samples rates (88.2 or 96 kHz).
  • Operates as an optical expander - connect the 8pre to any ADAT optical compatible device (another audio interface, a digital mixer, etc.) to add 8 additional mic inputs seamlessly integrated into the mixing environment of the host device.
  • Discrete ins/outs - there's no channel sharing in the 8pre; the mic inputs, ADAT optical I/O, headphone out and main outs are all handled as separate channels.
  • CueMix DSP near-zero monitoring system.
  • Multiple CueMix DSP mixes - create different monitor mixes for the main outs and headphones. Add send/return loops for outboard gear with no latency.
  • Front-panel metering - five-segment meters for all analog inputs, plus status lights for clock and interface/expander mode.
  • Sample-accurate MIDI - connect a MIDI controller and/or sound module with no separate interface needed. MIDI I/O is sample-accurate with supporting software.
  • Expandable - add additional 8pre, UltraLite, 828, 828mkII, 896, 896HD or Traveler FireWire interfaces for additional I/O. Or connect the 8pre optically to any audio interface or mixer that supports ADAT optical I/O.
  • Separate TRS main outs and front-panel headphone jack, each with independent volume control.
  • SMPTE time code sync via any analog input.
  • SMPTE time code generation to any analog output.
  • Includes drivers for Mac and PC, including ASIO, WDM, Wave, GSIF, Core Audio, and Core MIDI. Supports all popular Macintosh and PC audio software.
  • 100% compatible with all host-based effects processing in today's popular audio programs.
  • Includes AudioDesk full-featured sample-accurate workstation software for Mac with recording, editing, mixing, real-time 32-bit effects processing and sample-accurate sync.
  • Two FireWire ports - daisy-chain up to four units on a single FireWire bus without a hub.
  • Plug-and-play operation with your Mac or PC via FireWire.
Warranty terms vary. Check with manufacturer for specific product warranty.

  • Customer Reviews

Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews

(based on 26 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars



  • 4 Stars



  • 3 Stars



  • 2 Stars



  • 1 Stars



Most Liked Positive Review


All you need, and more.

I was using the firewire 410 for about a year when my drummer and I decided we wanted to try our hand at recording real drums instead of loops and machines. This unit has...Read complete review

I was using the firewire 410 for about a year when my drummer and I decided we wanted to try our hand at recording real drums instead of loops and machines. This unit has incredible sound (better than the firewire) for vocals and live instuments, and is easy to use for our project. I will admit that there are a lot of features that are not being utilized currently but we do plan on expanding. I believe this unit will not be something we will need to replace but rather something we can add on to. It is on the expensive side but anything with decent sounding preamps will be. I am happy with this unit and my drummer is pleased with the way his drums sound through it. You can buy a cheaper piece of equipment, but I think you will hear the difference.


Most Liked Negative Review


Not worth it

I picked one of these up after having had an Aardvark Q10 that finally became outdated. I spent hours researching the pluses and minuses and the pre-amps had me sold on the 8pre, the...Read complete review

I picked one of these up after having had an Aardvark Q10 that finally became outdated. I spent hours researching the pluses and minuses and the pre-amps had me sold on the 8pre, the only downfall was that I could only use either a monitor out or headphones but not both at the same time. I figured it would be okay as I don't track most stuff I demo at home where I would need to do both. The pre amps are great and are as advertised but after barely using it for 4 months, the knob that acts as both the volume column control and the push switch to change from headphones to monitor volume controls snapped off while turning the volume up. Upon closer inspection it looked to have been super glued in place, so I took it back to the store and the guy agreed but stated that they couldn't do anything for me as it was over 30 days and there is no extended warranty for the item so I would have to call Motu. Surprise, Motu has a 90 day warranty...uhmm excuse me who has a 90 day warranty on a product they believe in? So, it was either spend money to send it in and for them to look at it to decide if they wanted to fix it or tell me they were going to do nothing. Needless to say I purchased a different unit and won't be buying any Motu products anytime soon.

Reviewed by 26 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

Back to Top

Previous | Next »

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


As advertised, another MOTU hit

By bruisedreed

from Roanoke, VA

About Me Experienced


  • Clear Sound
  • Easy To Use
  • Versatile


    Best Uses

    • Amateur Recording
    • Home Studio
    • Professional Recording

    Good overall value. Knobs as expected are a little on the cheesy side, the pre's are very good overall, cleaner than my 828 mk1 and plenty of gain. the lightpipe is nice, but would be better with additional banks instead of mirrored @1x. The manual is useless and getting the thing to clock with other gear was trial and error until I figured out that I had to read between the lines in the manual. The unit is better suited as a preamp than an interface to me, but works well for what it is intended for.

    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)


    Works well

    By Solarflux

    from California

    For the price this does the trick. I have limited audio experience, but to me - through a nice pair of monitors - everything sounds great. Phantom power and - db switches, can plug in TRS or XLR cables, digital IO, midi - what more do you need? Of course, there are the occasional software glitches, but honestly, every piece of software I've ever used on a computer has crashed or glitched at least once. Use this to record up to 8 tracks. The quality of your recording is going to fall back to the quality of your mics and the acoustics of your room more than it will this piece of equipment.
    8 preamps, 2 main outs, and phone-outs. Digital In/Out. Midi in/out. Pretty good.
    Hasn't broken yet.

    (1 of 3 customers found this review helpful)


    Worst Tech Support for a product that needs it.

    By Will Clinton

    from North Carolina

    BUYER BEWARE. This product is unreliable at best, i loved it for the first 3 weeks of use, i've regretted the purchase ever since. From faulty phantom power and unreliable 1/4 inch and optical jacks, to a general and consistent trouble booting, this unit spends more time making popping noises. I was allowed ample time to personally trouble shoot the unit, and reinstall it several times over while waiting on the phone and waiting for internet requests of support. Now i am at the stage with it where it would be far more useful musically to buy any other interface and record myself burning this one in my backyard.

    With an expensive product, i expect at least a little recognition of my purchase from a company. I feel taken advantage of after my purchase, what good are nice preamps etc if they only work every 5th time the unit is on.

    Stay tuned for the sounds of crackling, smashing, and burning motu 8pres.
    Offers nothing more than an average audio interface, the pre-amps are nice and clean, but they are unreliable as is every feature on the product.low quality everything, especially the required support its cheap manufacturing warrantsnot worth the cost, should be priced like a walmart generic sound board.

    (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)


    no tech support

    By Blair Fernandes

    from Springfield, IL

    Had to google motu for home offices - motu did not respond to their own "techlink" on website, spent hours on hold for tech support. Finally reached home offices only to encounter the rudest, most arrogant people I have ever experienced. My issue never was resolved. Buy prosonus (sic).


    Cheerful Blinking Lights for the Holidays

    By Jon Truelson

    from South Central Connecticut

    I have owned the MOTU 8pre for about three years. Once before - a year ago, on power-up, it displayed randomly blinking red and green LEDs. Last time, I left it disconnected for a few days and upon restart, it came back to life. Well, today it did the same thing - although this time, it was preceded by buzzing and humming in the audio signal (I checked it against several signal sources). Last time this happened, I spent hours on hold with the manufacturer along with slow email replies to learn that it requires an expensive repair. I have seen posts referring to similar problems encountered by others. Is it a design flaw? I'll power it up in a few days to see if it has healed itself, but meanwhile, the tracking session this weekend may be put on hold while I what new interface is the better choice to replace this unit. It's a shame that I can no longer count on this unit to be reliable - the pre-amps do sound great, but if it doesn't work when I need it, then it's useless - three years is not an appropriate life span for this type of equipment. Heck, my DX-7 still operates as if it were brand new!

    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)


    great customer service

    By David

    from Hessmer, LA

    This product does just what I wanted it to do. I bought it to interface four instruments and a microphone to Sonar 8.5. Also, I called customer service to get it set up a few times and they were great.


    Great sounding, robust interface.

    By idrumhard

    from Lexington, KY

    I've had the interface for over 5 months, but have used it even before that. I bought it as a scratch and dent item, but the only cosmetic damage was to the cardboard box. I use this interface mainly for recording in Logic Express. The Preamps sound great and I haven't had issues with any sort of compatibility or syncing. I've even used it with Logic as a sort of premixer when a mixer we were using at an extensive electro-acoustic concert ran out of inputs. The only thing that I wish it had was individual analog outs for each of the channels, but you can get that with higher models. Over all, it's a little expensive, but I prefer its preamps to the Presonus, so it's definitely worth it.


    Great Product

    By ZephrDrummer

    from Muncie, IN

    This is a phenomenal piece of equipment. The preamps are very quiet and the sound is outstanding. Its all metal construction is as solid as a rock. I hooked up my Samson 8Kit drum mics and ran them into Logic 8 through my mac. I was blown away by the natural sound this preamp supplied. Great product and a must have!


    Great...but what were they thinking???

    By Jaws

    from California

    Ok, I gave a mixed scoring here, but the reason was because I bought this thing to use mostly as an A/D converter for my pos multitrack recorder. It worked great and made some really good live recordings, HOWEVER, when I tried to use this in my studio as a headphone monitor (D/A converter), that's when I found out that the ONLY way to get ANY kind of headphone output was to have the firewire connected to a computer...what kinda thinking went on there? Other than that, it's worked great for me. Please fix this MOTU!


    Extremely Happy!

    By Matt Gee

    from Toronto, Ontario

    I have installed and used 2 of these units on my PC using Windows XP. The first one I purchased turned out to be a display model from the music shop so I returned it for a new one. Like many people I hooked up this unit and installed the drivers via the Installation CD. Didn't work. So I READ THE MANUAL and found out to install the drivers prior to connecting the 8Pre to my computer. Installed and worked flawlessly. I then updated the drivers via the Motu web site and updated the firmware. Once again, worked flawlessly.I was slightly skeptical about the pre amps because I have read a few reviews saying they were quiet. Definitely NOT the case. The first time I recorded a drummer using the 8Pre (who didn't hit hard), most channels I wouldn't have to turn the gain knob higher than half way, and I even had to use the individual pad switches on a couple of the channels. The quality was outstanding, I couldn't have been happier especially for the price. The individual pad and phatam switches are a really nice touch.The only issue I have with this unit is the lack of outputs. There are only the main outs and phones out. Which in most cases is enough for me but would be nice to have more.I HIGHLY recommend this product, even as a PC user.

    Displaying reviews 1-10

    Back to Top

    Previous | Next »

    You are changing the Ship-To country.

    Our product catalog varies by country due to manufacturer restrictions. If you change the Ship-To country, some or all of the items in your cart may not ship to the new destination.