As a hybrid audio interface, the 896mk3 provides flexible connectivity to any Mac or PC via FireWire or high-speed USB 2.0, with eight channels of pristine 24-bit 192 kHz analog recording and playback, combined with sixteen channels of optical digital I/O, stereo AES/EBU, S/PDIF and separate analog main outs. Expand your system by connecting the 8pre mic input expander or other MOTU audio interfaces. As a hybrid audio interface, the 896mk3 provides flexible connectivity to any Mac or PC via FireWire or high-speed USB 2.0, with eight channels of pristine 24-bit 192 kHz analog recording and playback, combined with sixteen channels of optical digital I/O, stereo AES/EBU, S/PDIF and separate analog main outs. Expand your system by connecting the 8pre mic input expander or other MOTU audio interfaces.The 896mk3 is equally well-suited for studio and stage, with or without a computer. As an interface or standalone mixer, the 896mk3 provides 28 separate inputs and 32 separate outputs, including dedicated main outs on XLRs and two front panel headphone outs.
On-board digital mixer with effects for monitoring and live mixing
Connect all of your 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 your computer. Apply hardware DSP-driven effects processing to inputs, outputs, and busses independent of your 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.When recording from the analog inputs, the 896mk3’s signal overload protection gives you an extra 12 dB of headroom above zero with no clipping or harsh artifacts.
Advanced audio analysis tools
Analyze and scope your audio 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.
Stand-alone operation as a mixer
After programming the on-board mixing in the studio, unplug the 896mk3 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.
The 896mk3 provides cross-platform compatibility with Mac and Windows 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, with 24-bit recording/editing and 32-bit mixing/processing/mastering.
Eight inputs are equipped with high quality preamps, plus overload protection and all the features you need to simultaneously record up to eight mic/instrument inputs with excellent sound quality.
The 896mk3 analog inputs are flexible XLR/TRS "combo" jacks that accept a microphone, guitar, synth or other -10/+4 line level input source. Inputs operate independently (or as stereo pairs), so you can connect a variety of analog inputs simultaneously.
Precision digitally controlled analog trim
Each input is equipped with an independent, digitally controlled analog trim pot, 48V phantom power switch and 20 dB pad switch conveniently located on the front panel for easy access.
The preamp in each input provide 53 dB of gain, which you can adjust in precise 1 dB increments using the detented digital rotary encoder. As you turn the encoder, you see graphic and numeric feedback in the front panel LCD, so you know exactly how much gain you are applying. The gain adjustment itself is smooth because it is analog, but the digital control gives you both precision and the ability to save and recall trim settings. You get the best of both worlds: analog trim with digital precision and control.
V-Limit™ hardware limiter
All analog inputs are equipped with V-Limit™, a hardware limiter that helps prevent digital clipping from overloaded input signals. With V-Limit enabled, signals can go above zero dB (where limiting kicks in) to as high as +12 dB above zero with no distortion due to digital clipping.
Front panel I/O
In addition to the eight analog input the 896mk3 provides two independent headphone jacks with independent volume knobs, one of which also controls the XLR main outs on the rear panel. Alternatively, this "Master Vol" knob can be programmed to control any combination of outputs (analog and/or digital). For example, it can control monitor output for an entire 5.1 or 7.1 surround mix.
Discrete inputs and outputs
The phone jack below the MASTER VOL knob labeled "(MAIN OUT)" is hard-wired to (mirrors) the XLR main outs. In all other cases, inputs and outputs are discrete. For example, the main outs do not "steal" an output pair from the bank of eight XLR analog outputs. Even the second headphone jack operates as an independent output with its own volume control, although you can program it to mirror any other output pair.
Rear panel I/O
Eight 24-bit analog "combo jack" inputs and ten XLR outputs can operate at sample rates up to 192 kHz. Two optical banks provide 16 channels of ADAT optical at 48 kHz, 8 channels of S/MUX optical I/O at 96 kHz or two banks of stereo TOSLink at rates up to 96 kHz. The banks operate independently, allowing you to mix and match any optical formats. RCA S/PDIF connectors also supply independent stereo digital I/O. XLR AES/EBU connectors provide another independent stereo digital I/O.
Analog 24-bit 192-kHz on XLR: 8 outputs
Mic preamps 24-bit 192-kHz on XLR/TRS combo: 8 Inputs
Main outputs 24-bit 192kHz on bal XLR: Stereo output
Headphone output: Stereo Output
ADAT optical (digital): 16 Inputs & 16 outputs
AES/EBU (digital): Stereo output
S/PDIF (digital): Stereo output
Control room monitoring
Powered monitors can be plugged directly into the outputs of the 896mk3 and you can attenuate the output from the software or the front-panel MASTER VOL control. Main out volume is not limited to stereo operation: quad, 5.1, 7.1 and even user-defined configurations are available. You can even program the 896mk3 to control all 32 outputs with the MASTER VOL knob.