MOTU828x Thunderbolt Audio Interface


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MOTU 828x Thunderbolt

The MOTU 828x is a hybrid audio interface complete with Thunderbolt and USB 2.0 connectivity, high-powered DSP effects and mixing, 28 inputs, 30 outputs, and 32-bit floating point processing. 

This extremely versatile interface can be used in either studio or stage environments, with or without a computer, for use as either a standalone mixer or a dedicated interface. The DSP section is available in either configuration. Though each of the 828x’s inputs are analog, they benefit from the power of digital control—including trim controls that can be adjusted in 1dB increments.

Like its 828 mk3 counterpart, the 828x features powerful diagnostic tools for visually monitoring the input signals in various ways. This includes a FFT display, waterfall display, oscilloscope, X-Y plot, and both linear and polar analysis graphs. 

One of the other benefits of the 828x is its ability to be used independently from a computer as a standalone mixer, with the effects section still accessible. In terms of effects, the unit boasts a 7-band parametric EQ that has been distinctly modeled after classic British EQ consoles. Here, users can select between two compression modes: the leveler, which is essentially a model of the LA-2A, and a more traditional compressor. 

All this and more is available in this expansive interface, making it a powerful addition to any home or professional studio setup. 

828x Thunderbolt Features

  • Thunderbolt™ connectivity: Compatible with Thunderbolt 1 and 2
  • Hi-speed USB 2.0 connectivity:  Compatible with USB 3.0
  • 58 simultaneous channels: 28 inputs and 30 outputs, including two mic preamps with sends, 8 TRS analog in/out, separate main outs on XLR jacks, two banks of
  • optical, S/PDIF, MIDI in/out, time code in/out, word clock I/O, and two front-panel headphone jacks
  • CueMix FX™: High-powered DSP with mixing and effects on individual ins/outs. Includes classic reverb, modeled analog EQ, and vintage LA-2A compressor
  • Flexible mic/guitar inputs with preamps: Two front panel combo jacks provide hi-Z 1/4” guitar input or XLR mic input with individual phantom power and pad
  • MIDI I/O: Connect your MIDI gear without the need for a separate MIDI interface
  • 96 kHz Optical: With two optical banks, you get 8 channels of 96 kHz SMUX digital input and output
  • Expansion: Add another MOTU audio interface for more inputs and outputs as your needs grow
  • Instrument tuner: Tune your guitar or other instrument to within a hundredth of a cent with this easy-to-read meter
  • SMPTE time code sync: Resolve your workstation software to time code, without the need for a dedicated synchronizer
  • Analysis tools and oscilloscope: Visualize the harmonic content of yourmix with dynamic animation and vivid color. Check phase


  • Converters:  24-bit
  • Sample rates:  44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192 kHz

Analog inputs:

  • 2 x XLR/TRS combo-style mic/guitar inputs
  • 8 x 1/4" TRS line inputs (balanced/unbalanced)

Analog outputs:

  • 2 x XLR balanced main out
  • 8 x 1/4" balanced TRS line out
  • 2 x 1/4" TRS stereo headphone

Digital I/O:

  • 16 channels of ADAT optical at 1x sample rates
  • 8 channels of SMUX optical at 2x sample rates
  • 2-channel TOSlink (optical S/PDIF) up to 96 kHz
  • 2-channel RCA S/PDIF up to 96 kHz

Total I/O:

  • 28 inputs and 30 outputs at 1x sample rates
  • 20 inputs and 22 outputs at 2x sample rates
  • 10 inputs and 10 outputs at 4x sample rates

Computer I/O:

  • 1 x Thunderbolt (compatible with 1 and 2)
  • 1 x USB 2.0 (compatible with 3.0)
  • Sync I/O:
  • 1 x SMPTE time code in (LTC)
  • 1 x SMPTE time code out (LTC)
  • 1 x word clock in
  • 1 x word clock out

Headphone output:

  • 1 x 1/4" TRS stereo phone (assignable)
  • 1 x 1/4" TRS stereo phone (mirrors main outs)
  • Phantom power: 2 x individual +48V

Front panel:

  • 2 x XLR/TRS combo mic/guitar in
  • 2 x 1/4" TRS phone
  • 2 x digital rotary encoders • phone/main volume
  • 2 x digital rotary encoders • mic trim
  • 4 x switches • Pad and 48V Phantom
  • 4 x digital rotary encoders for LCD control
  • 2 x 16 character LCD
  • 8 x 4-segment ladder LEDs • 1/4-inch analog in
  • 8 x activity LED • 1/4-inch analog out
  • 2 x 4-segment ladder LEDs • RCA S/PDIF in
  • 2 x activity LED • RCA S/PDIF out
  • 2 x 10-segment LEDs • mic in with V-Limit
  • 2 x 5-segment ladder LEDs • main outs
  • 6 x LED • sample rate indicator
  • 1 x LED • LOCK/TACH indicator
  • 2 x activity LEDs • optical bank A/B
  • 1 x activity LED • MIDI in/out
  • 1 x AC power switch


  • International 100-240V autoswitching supply
  • 50-60 Hz • 20 Watts

Mac System Requirements:

  • A Mac with an Intel processor
  • 1 GB RAM; 2 GB or more recommended
  • Mac OS X version 10.6 or later required
  • Available Thunderbolt or high-speed USB 2.0 (or 3.0) port
  • USB cable included; Thunderbolt cable purchased separately
  • A large hard drive (preferably at least 250 GB)

Windows System Requirements

  • 1 GHz Pentium-based PC compatible or faster
  • 1 GB RAM; 2 GB or more recommended
  • Windows 8, 7 or Vista, 32- or 64-bit; Vista SP 2 or later required
  • Available Thunderbolt or high-speed USB 2.0 (or 3.0) port
  • USB cable included; Thunderbolt cable purchased separately
  • A large hard drive (preferably at least 250 GB)
  • Included software
  • CueMix FX
  • MOTU SMPTE Console
  • AudioDesk (Mac only, optical CD drive required)

Operating Systems

  • Mac OS X version 10.6 or later
  • Windows 8, 7 or Vista (SP2 or later is required)
  • 64-bit operation
  • Available for Mac OS X 10.6 or later
  • Available for 64-bit versions of Windows 8, 7 or Vista
  • Requires a 64-bit CPU
MOTU 828x Thunderbolt Audio Interface Reviews