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Sunday, January 18, 2015

New Music Gear Monday: MOTU Monitor 8

MOTU Monitor 8 image
One of the things that's lagged behind in digital audio has been monitoring, but that's becoming a priority more and more when it comes to digital interfaces. In fact, there are now quite a few great dedicated monitoring alternatives now available. Case in point, the new MOTU Monitor 8.

The Monitor 8 is unique in that it can do so many things and fit into so many situations. It can be a control room monitor controller, a live monitor mixer, a multi-channel headphone amplifier, or a computer audio interface right out of the box.

Built-in you'll find a 24x16x8 monitor mixer, a 6 channel headphone amp and a 48 channel USB/AVB audio interface, plus a very nice metering package. For control room monitoring, it has two stereo pairs allowing for main and secondary monitors, but you can also dial up 6 additional cue mixes (which can be individually controlled from an iPhone app) as well.

The unit has the latest ESS Sabre32 Ultra D/A convertors with 123dB dynamic range, and features as little as 32 samples of latency from input to output. It also features a 48 channel software mixer that can take its signal from either a host DAW or the Monitor 8's analog inputs or dual ADAT optical ports, and provides EQ and LA-2 style compression on each channel. The AVB port allows Monitor 8 to connect with a wide variety of hardware using the latest audio networking via CAT-5 or CAT-6 Ethernet cables.

Monitor 8 can work as an interface or a stand alone unit, and it can easily connect to MOTU's other AVB products like the 1248, 8M, 16A, 24Ai or 24Ao, and utilize quick setup presets to get you rolling right away.

MOTU's Monitor 8 is an extremely versatile unit that will find itself in a lot of monitoring situations given its versatility and price point. The unit retails for $995.

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