And it's an 18 input, 8-bus monitor mixer too 13/10/03
More interface for your money - MOTU's 896HD
Not content with stirring up the market for FireWire interfaces with their 828 MkII, MOTU have upped the anti with this new High Definition interface. The 896HD is a FireWire interface for Mac and PC, replacing the original 896 and adding a whole bunch of new features AT THE SAME PRICE ($1295). First unveiled at the AES SHOW, BOOTH 726 - on Friday, October
10, the 896HD is a double rack-space, FireWire audio interface for Macintosh and Windows computers.
The 896HD replaces the 896 at the same price and adds many new features,
including more simultaneous outputs (22), 192kHz operation, 8-bus monitor
mixing and stand-alone operation.
Like the original 896, the 896HD provides 8 channels of 24-bit analog I/O, 8
channels of ADAT optical digital I/O, 8 built-in mic pre-amps, 96kHz AES/EBU
digital I/O with sample rate conversion, word clock sync, and
sample-accurate ADAT SYNC. The analog inputs are on Neutrik Combo jacks and
the outputs are on XLR jacks. The front panel provides three banks of
10-segment level meters, 8 trim knobs for the analog inputs, and 8 toggle
switches for independent 48-volt phantom power for each analog input.
The 896HD adds two additional separate main outputs (on XLRs), plus
separately accessed front-panel headphone output, providing 22 separate
outputs. All analog inputs and outputs are equipped with latest-generation
192kHz converters. The AES/EBU and optical digital I/O sections support
sample rates up to 96kHz. Like the original 896, the AES/EBU I/O provides
sample rate conversion on both input and output.
Additional new features include:
DSP-driven digital mixing and monitoring for all 18 inputs - users can
connect mics, guitars, synths and effects processors, and monitor everything
from the 896HD¹s main outs or headphone jack with no separate mixer needed
and no latency. The 896HD supports up to four separate stereo monitor mixes
assigned to any four digital or analog output pairs. For example, separate
monitor mixes could be set up for the main outs and headphone outs, while
two additional stereo busses could be used for send/return loops to reverb
units or other outboard gear. Each mix can support all 18 inputs (8 XLR
analog, 8 ADAT optical and 2 AES/EBU). A new "CueMix Return" software
feature lets the user route one of the four CueMix DSP mixes back to the
computer. This allows users to record their entire mix, including monitored
inputs, back into the computer, for example.
Front-panel fader control ‹ 896HD users can change the level of each CueMix
DSP master fader with the MONITOR LEVEL knob on the front panel, pushing the
knob to cycle through the four CueMix busses and turning it to adjust the
output level. The entire CueMix, including individual input levels, pan
settings, mute, solo, etc. can be fully programmed with the included CueMix
Stand-alone operation ‹ An 896HD user can program the unit at the studio
with the CueMix Console software and then take the 896HD on the road for
mixing/monitoring without a computer. Bus levels can be adjusted without the
computer as described above.
96kHz optical digital I/O ‹ The ADAT optical digital inputs and outputs
provide 4 channels at 88.2 or 96 kHz via the S/MUX standard.
The 896HD provides these additional features:
ADAT sync input allows sample-accurate digital transfers with ADATs or any
other device that supports ADAT SYNC.
Word clock input/output ‹ allows the 896HD to be synchronized with any
digital audio clock source. For example, with a MOTU MIDI Timepiece AV-USB
interface and synchronizer, the 896HD can be resolved to SMPTE time code,
word clock, blackburst or video.
Two 1394 FireWire connectors connects the 896HD to the FireWire port on
any computer via a standard FireWire cable. Two connectors are provided to
allow daisy chaining of multiple 896HD¹s or other FireWire devices without
the need for a FireWire hub.
IEC power receptacle the 896HD has an internal power supply with a
convenient external switch for either 115V or 230V operation.
The 896HD is expected to ship in Q4, 2003. Price is $1295.