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MOTU - 8A (16x18 Thunderbolt-USB3-AVB Audio Interface)


Equipped with the renowned ESS Sabre32™ DAC technology, and delivering the same superb analog audio quality and proven, award-winning performance as their flagship 16A audio interface, MOTU's 8A provides you with all you need to turn your computer into a powerful 24-bit/192 kHz digital audio workstation.

It connects to any computer or iPad™ via Thunderbolt, super-speed USB 3.0, AVB Ethernet, or USB class-compliant firmware. Optimized MOTU drivers work great with all your favorite audio apps, delivering industry-leading, ultra-low round-trip latency (RTL) performance – as low as 1.6ms at 96 kHz over Thunderbolt, with high-performance DAW hosts.

Housed in a compact and rugged enclosure you can take anywhere, it provides 8 channels of pristine analog I/O, as well as a front-panel headphone jack, combined with 8 channels of ADAT optical digital I/O, for a total of 34 simultaneous audio channels.

After recording and mixing in the studio, unplug the 8A from the computer and take it onstage for use as a stand-alone mixer with effects. Control everything over Wi-Fi® from your favorite web browser running on your laptop, tablet, and/or smartphone.

Through AVB/TSN Ethernet, connect another MOTU AVB interface (sold separately) for more I/O — or connect to an expanded MOTU AVB network with multiple interfaces and computers.

The 8A delivers exceptional sound quality, state-of-the-art operation, and rock-solid performance, from studio to stage.


  • Superb analog audio quality and high-end converters — Renowned ESS Sabre32 DAC technology delivers 123 dB dynamic range and the same proven, award-winning audio quality as MOTU's flagship 16A.
  • Ultra-low latency and proven, high-performance MOTU drivers — Round-trip latency (RTL) performance as low as 1.6 ms at 96kHz over Thunderbolt with high-performance DAW hosts.
  • Mobile operation and universal connectivity — Connects to your computer or iPad™ with Thunderbolt, super-speed USB 3.0 or AVB Ethernet. Class-compliant firmware and Industry standard drivers work with any audio apps.
  • 34 simultaneous audio channels — 8 x 8 balanced analog with dedicated main outs, 8-channel ADAT optical and independent phone out for 16 inputs and 18 outputs.
  • DSP mixing and effects processing — Flexible 48-input digital mixer with 7 stereo aux busses, 3 groups, access to 32 network inputs, and DSP effects, including reverb, 4-band EQ, gate and compression.
  • 32-bit floating point processing — The 8A's mixing and effects DSP engine delivers virtually unlimited headroom and the utmost in sound quality.
  • Modeled vintage effects processing — Classic reverb. Compression modeled after the legendary LA-2A compressor. EQ modeled after British analog console EQs.
  • Flexible matrix routing and splitting — Send any input to any output, or multiple outputs. Includes routing to and from the computer, plus any devices on the AVB network.
  • Stand-alone operation with wireless control — Connect an Apple® Airport™ or other Wi-Fi router with a standard Ethernet cable for wireless control of device settings, powerful 48-channel mixing and DSP effects.
  • Web app control from any device — Control everything from your favorite web browser on a laptop, tablet, and smartphone connected to your local Wi-Fi network.
  • System expansion — Add a 2nd MOTU AVB-equipped interface with a simple CAT-5e ethernet cable. Connect up to 5 MOTU interfaces using a MOTU AVB Switch (all
  • AVB/TSN audio networking — Build a network with multiple interfaces and computers using standard AVB/TSN switches and network cabling, with ultra-low network latency, even over long cable runs (100 meters point-to-point). Stream hundreds of audio channels among devices and computers on the network.
  • Optical I/O — Connect outboard digital processors, digital mixers or other gear. Eight channels of ADAT at 44.1/48 kHz, 4 channels of SMUX at 88.2/96 kHz or stereo TOS Link (optical S/PDIF) up to 96 kHz.
  • Comprehensive metering — The full-color LCD lets you view all signal activity at a glance with detailed metering for all analog and digital I/O. Access hardware settings from a simple and convenient menu.
  • Audio Desk — Includes AudioDesk work station software for Mac and Windows with 24-bit recording, sample-accurate editing and 32-bit mixing and mastering.

MOTU 8A Specifications

  • Sample rates: 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192 kHz
  • Analog inputs:
    • 8 x ¼" TRS line inputs (balanced/unbalanced)
    • Max level: +24 dBu (range -96 to +22)
  • Analog outputs:
    • 8 x ¼" TRS line out (balanced, DC coupled 5v)
    • Max level: +20 dBu (range -4 to +20)
    • 1 x ¼" TRS stereo headphone
  • Digital I/O:
    • 1 bank (8-ch) of ADAT optical at 1x sample rates
    • 1 bank (4-ch) of SMUX optical at 2x sample rates
    • Switchable to stereo TOSLink (optical S/PDIF)
  • Total I/O:
    • 16-inputs / 18-outputs (34 total) at 1x sample rates
    • 12-inputs / 14-outputs (26 total) at 2x sample rates
    • 8-inputs / 10-outputs (18 total) at 4x sample rates
  • Computer I/O:
    • 1 x Thunderbolt 2 (Mac and Win)
    • Thunderbolt 1 & 3 compatible
    • 1 x USB 3.0 (Mac and Win)
    • USB 2.0 and iOS compatible (class compliant)
    • 1 x AVB/TSN Ethernet (Mac only)
    • Requires OS X 10.11 or later
  • Computer I/O channels:
    • Thunderbolt (44.1 to 96 kHz): 128 in/out
    • Thunderbolt (176.4 to 192 kHz): 64 in/out
    • USB 3.0 (44.1 to 96 kHz): 128 in/out
    • USB 3.0 (176.4 to 192 kHz): 64 in/out
    • AVB/TSN Ethernet: 16 to 128 in/out
      • depends on host computer speed
    • Headphone: 1 x ¼" TRS stereo phone (assignable)
    • Front panel:
      • 1 x ¼" TRS headphone output
      • 1 x digital rotary encoder; main/phone volume
      • 5 x switches ; menu navigation
      • 160 x 128 pixel RGB LCD for level meters / menu nav
      • Power switch
    • Power:
      • External 12-18V DC power supply
      • 1.0A max • tip pos or neg
    • Dimensions (W x D x H, enclosure only): 8.6" x 7" x 1.75" (22 x 17.75 x 4.5cm)
    • Weight: 2.2 lbs. (1.0 kg)

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