Today, we have a MOTU 8pre-es review in which we check out the features of this highly capable audio interface.
MOTU 8pre-es Key Features
- 24-in, 28-out interface for 52 simultaneous audio channels
- Eight mic/line/guitar inputs; 16 ADAT optical inputs (24 total)
- Eight 1/4″ TRS analog outputs; two stereo headphone outputs; 16 ADAT optical outputs (28 total)
- Eight high-quality microphone preamps with independent pads and +48V
- Dual LCD screens to monitor microphone inputs and analog outputs
- DAC with 123 dB of dynamic range
- Built-in talkback microphone
- Two headphone outputs with independent mix capability
- A/B monitor switching
- DSP mixing and effects: Full-fledged 48-channel digital mixer with analog-style effects
- Hybrid studio/live sound capability; complete wireless control over Wi-Fi through tablet, smart phone, or computer
- Includes AudioDesk DAW software
MOTU 8pre-es vs. Focusrite Clarett 8Pre
MOTU has been around for ages, though their name sometimes gets lost in the audio interface conversation. Beginners are frequently drawn to names like Focusrite and the ever-popular Scarlett series, while Universal Audio’s Apollo line typically leads the pack for higher-end audio interfaces.
For our money, I’d say MOTU has a major leg up on the competition in how much they’ve packed into in the 8pre-es at such a great price. A frequent comparison is the Focusrite Clarett+ 8Pre — an 18-in/20-out interface with eight mic preamps. While that’s a fantastic value as well, it doesn’t have quite the range of flexibility and features as the MOTU.
The latter is also designed with expandability in mind, with technology that lets you connect up to five MOTU interfaces via a proprietary switching system. Not everyone needs that option, but it’s nice to have zero limitations. Again, for our money, we’d take MOTU over Focusrite when comparing these two interfaces. It isn’t much more expensive, but it offers a ton of versatility and practical features.
MOTU 8pre-es Review: Is It Worth It?
This is easily one of the most feature-rich and expansive audio interfaces in its price range. Generous I/O, eight independent mic/line/Hi-Z inputs, DSP-powered digital mixing, and a whole lot more. The MOTU 8pre-es audio interface would make a phenomenal addition to any home studio, with enough power and “future-proofability” to expand into a much larger setup down the line.
As an engineer myself, there are admittedly quite a few inclusions I’d probably never utilize in my home studio. However, none of these extras inflate the cost of the interface to an unrealistic level. MOTU has made it very accessible, and even if there’s more horsepower than you think you’d ever need, it’s still a fantastic buy.
For anyone looking to upgrade their audio interface, MOTU presents an enticing product in the 8pre-es.