Mark of Unicorn Motu 896
Firewire 96kHz audio interface (2U rack) for Macintosh and Windows

The MOTU 896 includes the double rack space I/O unit , a 15-foot FireWire cable to connect the 896 to your computer, software drivers for both Mac OS and Windows, and Audiodesk workstation (a complete Macintosh audio workstation software package to record, edit, mix, process and master an audio project in a Power Macintosh computer). The 896 is expandable. Additional 896 or 828 units can be combined to handle large studio projects.


1 - Metering

These 10-segment level meters provide a range from -42dB to clip with two red "over" LEDs. One remains illuminated after clipping while the other remains active to provide feedback during further adjustment.
The second bank of meters can be programmed from the MOTU FireWire Audio console software to display one of the following 8-channel banks of I/O: analog output, ADAT input or ADAT output. For example, you may want to routinely monitor analog output, but temporarily monitor the ADAT inputs during an optical transfer.

2 - Metering/Clock Indicators

Main output meters : this is a dedicated pair of 10-segment meters for the main outs.
AES/EBU digital meters: these stereo meters can be programmed from the MOTU FireWire Audio Console software to display either AES/EBU input or output. Indicate the system clock setting (44.1, 48, 88.2 or 96 kHz) and the sample rate conversion for the AES/EBU input or output, if any.

3 - Front Panel Trims/phantom power

All eight analog inputs have individual input trim knobs, which provide a trim range of approximately 30dB for the LINE setting (on the rear panel) and approximately 40dB for the MIC setting (with some overlap between the two settings).
Eight phantom power switches Provide 48-volt phantom power to each input.

4 - Monitor Section

Main volume knob with toggle switch Controls the headphone out and, if the toggle switch is flipped up, the main outs.
Monitor level knob : controls the volume of any two analog or AES/EBU inputs being monitored on the main outs, if any.
Quarter-inch foot switch input Connects to any standard foot switch for hands-free punch-in and punch-out during recording.


CueMix Plus - No Latency Monitoring

The 896 gives you the ability to select a mono or stereo input via software and mix it with the main outputs inside the 896 to create a no latency monitor mix. Because the mix does not have to travel back to the computer, the result is delay-less patch-thru.This mix is sent out the main outs and headphones. You can adjust the patch thru volume relative to the main mix with the convenient front panel monitor level knob.


1 - AES/EBU digital I/O

AES/EBU digital in/out provides digital I/O at any supported sample rate up to 96 kHz. Sample rate conversion is supplied on either input or output. The AES/EBU input can convert from any sample rate to the 896 system rate. For example, it can convert 44.1 kHz audio input to 96 kHz. The AES/EBU output can either double or halve the 896 system clock rate. For example, it can convert 96 kHz audio to 48 kHz. In addition, the AES/EBU OUT can resolve to the AES/EBU input while converting, with the input serving as a clock source only (not as an input source).

2 - Main Outputs

These two extra XLR outputs can be connected directly to a set of powered monitors.A front panel volume knob is provided for convenient hands-on volume control. this control may be bypassed with the front panel toggel switch. The main outputs mirror the signal on outputs 1 and 2. In addition, they sum these signals with up to two channels of live input from a pair of inputs via the 896's no-latency monitoring bus. You may choose any two analog or AES/EBU inputs (via software) as the monitor inputs. A separate knob is provided on the front panel for convenient hands-on adjustment of the live input level, relative to the main mix.

3 - Analog Outputs

Eight analog outputs on XLR connectors. Each output is equipped with 24-bit 128x "enhanced multibit" D/A converters and includes its own switch for either +4 or -10dB operation.

4 - IEC Power

The 896 has an internal power supply with a convenient external switch for either 115V or 230V operation.

5 - Word Clock

Allows the 896 to resolve word clock via a standard synchronizer such as the MOTU MIDI Timepiece AV. This enables you to lock to SMPTE time code , blackburst, video or other external clock sources. Can slave to word clock at half-speed or double speed. Can send word clock at half speed when running at 88.2 or 96 kHz.

6 - ADAT Lightpipe digital I/O

These standard ADAT optical jacks can operate at 44.1 or 48 kHz, or they can be turned off (to conserve FireWire bus bandwidth). They are automatically disabled when the 896 is operated at 88.2 or 96 kHz.

7 - ADAT sync & Firewire I/O

9-pin ADAT sync input allows sample-accurate digital transfers with ADATs or any other device that supports ADAT SYNC. This allows you to make digital transfers between your computer and other optical devices without your tracks drifting by even one sample.

Two standard 1394 FireWire connectors can be used to connect the 896 to the FireWire port on any computer via a standard FireWire cable. Additional MOTU FireWire audio interfaces can be connected to the second FireWire jack. Up to four interfaces can b daisy-chained (connected one to another) on a single FireWire bus (without a hub), providing 72 channels of I/O at 44.1 or 48 kHz. At high sample rates (88.2 or 96 kHz), the ADAT optical channels are disabled and two or three interfaces can supply analog and AES/EBU I/O for 20 to 30 channels of I/O, respectively (depending on system performance). A MOTU 828 FireWire audio interface can also be connected to the second FireWire jack of a MOTU 896. In addition, multiple 828s can be mixed and matched with multiple 896s using standard FireWire hubs.

8 - Analog Inputs

Each input is equipped with a 24-bit 64x oversampling A/D converter, built-in preamp, front-panel trim knob, front-panel 48 volt phantom power switch and a rear-panel 3-way input level switch with three settings: MIC, LINE and +4/FIXED. The MIC and LINE settings provide front-panel trim, while the +4/FIXED setting bypasses the trim circuit for unattenuated signals up to approximately +18dBu. Together, the MIC and LINE settings provide a trim range of approximately 55dB with some overlap. The LINE setting can accommodate a -10 or +4 input signal. The MIC setting can be used for microphones or unamplified instrument pickups (guitars, etc.)


Drivers for Mac & PC - for all popular Macintosh and Windows audio software (ASIO/WDM/Wave/Sound Manager drivers).

Expandable with additional MOTU Firewire based interfaces such as the MOTU 828.

100% compatible with all host-based effects processing in today's popular audio programs.

44.1, 48, 88.2 and 96kHz sample rates supported.

CueMix Plus zero-latency hardware patchthru system.

Includes AudioDesk full-featured sample-accurate workstation software for MacOS with recording, editing, mixing, real-time 32-bit effects processing & sample-accurate sync.

8 channels of 24-bit ADAT optical input/output.

Sample-accurate digital transfers between ADAT digital tape decks and thecomputer via the ADAT sync port.

Stereo AES/EBU input and output with built in sample rate conversion.

Word clock I/O for easy integration into a studio with many devices with digital I/O. Can slave to word clock at half-speed or double speed. Can send word clock at half speed when running at 88.2 or 96 kHz.

Eight 24-bit analog inputs using balanced/unbalanced 1/4"/XLR Neutrik combo connectors.

Eight mic pre-amps with switchable 48-volt phantom power on the front panel.

Eight 24-bit analog outputs using balanced XLR connectors. Each output is individually switchable to +4 or -10.

109dB dynamic range

Front panel volume control of monitor input level on main outs.

Front panel headphone jack with independent volume control.

Extensive multi-segment front panel metering for all I/O and clock modes.

Software-configurable peak and clip hold times.

Trim controls for all inputs on front panel.

Front panel footswitch/punch jack.

Expandable - connect up to three 1296 rack I/Os to a PCI-324 audio card for a total of 36 inputs and 36 outputs. Use as many simultaneous channels as host software and computer allow.

100% compatible with the 2408, 308 24i, and 1224. Mix and match MOTU Audio Interfaces (up to three at once) to meet your exact I/O needs.

Independent hardware digital audio sample rate conversion on AES/EBU I/O.

ASIO 2 drivers for Mac OS and Windows 95/98 - provides multi-channel, sample-accurate 24-bit I/O for all leading ASIO-compliant audio software on both computer platforms.

Multichannel Wave driver for Windows 95/98 - provides simultaneous inputs/outputs for all Windows audio applications that support standard multi-channel Wave drivers.

100% compatible with VST, MAS, Premiere, DirectX, and all other host-based native plug-in formats supported by today's popular audio programs. Does not require proprietary plug-ins.


Twelve channels of +4, balanced, 96-kHz 24-bit analog inputs and outputs using XLR jacks.

19-segment LED meters on every input and output 16, 20 and 24-bit recording at 44.1, 48, 88.2 or 96kHz

Word clock in and out

Dedicated word clock input for AES/EBU I/O

Audiowire connector for PCI-324 audio card

A-weighted dynamic range 117dB

R/CORE transformers for efficient, low-heat operation with virtually no magnetic interference or acoustic hum

Macintosh system requirements

Any 604-based Power Macintosh or faster

A G3-based Power Mac or faster is recommended

At least 64 Mb of RAM (128 Mb is recommended)

Mac OS version 7.6.1 or later

A large hard drive (preferably at least 9 Gb)

Windows system requirements

200MHz Pentium CPU or faster

A Pentium II processor or faster is recommended

At least 64 Mb of RAM (128 Mb is recommended)

Windows 95 or Windows 98

A large hard drive (preferably at least 9 Gb)

Mark of Unicorn contacts:
Italy Backline - tel. +39 02 6901 5709
Argentina Sonido Professional tel. +5411 4375 0116
Austria Klemm Music tel. +49 55 0493 590 -
Australia Intelliware tel. +61 88277 1722
Belgium Ampco - tel. +32 3 844 67 97 -
China Eastern Edison - tel. +8610 6253 4613 -
France UM Distribution - tel +33 1 48 05 83 71
Germany Klemm Music - tel. +49 55 0493 590 -
India S.U.N. Media - tel. 91-22-8843772
Japan Musetex/Orbit Ltd - tel. +813 5486 7021 -
Mexico Audio Sistemas - tel. +525 531 2992 -
Switzerland PEK AG - tel. +411 431 8282 -

advanced technologic sound magazine
2002 issue 100

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