MOTU has unveiled the 3rd generation version of its 896 FireWire audio interface. Designed for producers who want rather more than a bog-standard I/O box, this offers a total of 28 inputs and 32 outputs and comes with a range of built-in hardware effects.
The 896mk3 is a two-rack-space device that sports eight XLR/TRS combo analogue inputs, each of which has its own preamp. In keeping with current trends, the interface can operate at up to 24-bit/192kz quality.
For the benefit of guitar players, hi-Z inputs are also included.
Another notable feature of the new 896 is the built-in 16-bus digital mixer. This enables you to apply zero-latency effects processing to the inputs, outputs and busses in the hardware itself, without the involvement of your computer (you can even use the interface as a standalone digital mixer). The supplied effects include reverb, parametric EQ and compression/limiting.
Elsewhere on the spec menu you'll find signal overload protection and comprehensive front-panel metering.
The 896mk3 will ship in the Summer priced at $1,295. It includes the CueMix FX software, Mac and PC drivers and the Audiodesk DAW.
Detailed specs are available on the MOTU website.