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MOTU unveils 192kHz 896HD firewire audio interface

Monday October 13, 2003. 04:05 PM, by Francois Déchery Computer Hardware > Mark Of The Unicorn
Computer Hardware : MOTU unveils 192kHz 896HD firewire audio interface - macmusicMOTU unveiled the 896HD, a double rack-space, FireWire audio interface. 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 Console software.

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 is expected to ship in Q4, 2003. Price is $1295.
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