We should have known this was coming and that the people to do it had to be MOTU. The 896 is a 96kHz 2U firewire audio interface for Macintosh and Windows. It features 8 balanced I/Os along with ADAT and AES/EBU connectors and two firewire ports to enable chaining of more interfaces for multiple I/Os. It's possible to mix and match with 828s and 896 units.
The 896 features eight built-in mic pre-amps with individually switchable phantom power and no-latency CueMix Plus™ monitoring, so you don't need a mixer for portable recording. Included with the 896 is MOTU's own AudioDesk workstation software for Macintosh. Of course, the 896 ships with Sound Manager, ASIO and WDM drivers for compatibility with your favourite software.
Expected in Q1 2002 the 896 has a projected list of $1,295 (yes that is right!)
FeaturesDrivers for Mac & PC - for all popular Macintosh and Windows audio software (ASIO/WDM/Wave/Sound Manager drivers). Expandable with additional MOTU Firewire based interfaces such as the MOTU 828. 100% compatible with all host-based effects processing in today's popular audio programs. 44.1, 48, 88.2 and 96kHz sample rates supported. CueMix Plus™ zero-latency hardware patchthru system. Includes AudioDesk full-featured sample-accurate workstation software for MacOS with recording, editing, mixing, real-time 32-bit effects processing & sample-accurate sync. 8 channels of 24-bit ADAT optical input/output. Sample-accurate digital transfers between ADAT digital tape decks and the computer via the ADAT sync port. Stereo AES/EBU input and output with built in sample rate conversion. Word clock I/O for easy integration into a studio with many devices with digital I/O. Can slave to word clock at half-speed or double speed. Can send word clock at half speed when running at 88.2 or 96 kHz. Eight 24-bit analog inputs using balanced/unbalanced 1/4"/XLR Neutrik combo connectors. Eight mic pre-amps with switchable 48-volt phantom power on the front panel. Eight 24-bit analog outputs using balanced XLR connectors. Each output is individually switchable to +4 or -10. 109dB dynamic range Front panel volume control of monitor input level on main outs. Front panel headphone jack with independent volume control. Extensive multi-segment front panel metering for all I/O and clock modes. Software-configurable peak and clip hold times. Trim controls for all inputs on front panel. Front panel footswitch/punch jack.