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MOTU 828es

28x32 Thunderbolt/USB2 audio interface with DSP, networking, and MIDI I/O
MFR# 9380

Product Description

The MOTU 828es provides up to 28 inputs and 32 outputs through a single USB or Thunderbolt connection, now with ultra low-latency as low as 1.6ms at 96 kHz. The flexible I/O of the 828es allows you to easily mic up an entire band, provide multiple cue mixes to the musicians and hook up all your external, keyboards, drum machines, MIDI and outboard gear with room to spare.

Utilize the Ethernet Port for up to 256 audio channels (128 in and 128 out), an expansion of I/O that truly sets the 828es apart from any other interface in its class.

Get up to 123 dB of dynamic range with the help of ESS Sabre32 DAC technology, which is the same DAC used in MOTU’s flagship 1248. Now be sure you’re always hearing the truest possible playback available.

Each internal preamp provides very clean -108 dB THD+N, 118 dB of dynamic range and -128 dBu EIN, simply put it offers a large amount of gain with very little noise and distortion, providing the cleanest and punchiest recording possible.

Each channel has individual mic gain, the option for a pad and +48 V phantom power. Each option is also accessible through a digital remote control. The mic inputs also offer a pre-converter, hard-wired send to patch in outboard EQ, compression or external effects.

The front panel offers easy access to mic preamps one and two and can accept both mic and line level. The well lit LED display screen can be used for multiple functions, such as navigating menu controls or monitoring your input and output levels.

The Monitor section provides the ability to switch between two sets of studio speakers (A/B) with the press of a button. You can also choose to sum the stereo mix to mono or mute playback altogether. A talkback microphone is built in so you don't have to use up an internal preamp, engage the talkback microphone and dim the playback with the “TALK” button.

Two dedicated headphone sends with individual volume controls can be assigned to monitor the master playback or separate artist cues.

There are many expanded features in the 828es that are accessible through the web-based software. The full-fledged mixer includes 48-inputs, seven stereo busses, and three groups. There are an additional 64 network inputs and all the included 32-bit DSP effects such as vintage reverbs, British style EQs, classic gates and LA-2A style compression. Utilizing all the features of the mixer can make the 828es feel and function like a large format mixing console.


  • Two banks of optical: Two optical banks provide 16 channels of ADAT optical at 48 kHz, 8 channels of S/MUX optical I/O at 96 kHz or two banks of stereo TOSLink (optical S/PDIF) at rates up to 96 kHz. Each optical input and output operates independently, allowing you to mix and match any optical formats, in and out.
  • MIDI I/O: Connect MIDI gear without the need for a separate MIDI interface.
  • Time code support: Dedicated time code input and output jacks. Converts SMPTE time code (LTC) to MIDI Time Code (MTC) and passes MTC on to any MTC-compatible host software.
  • DC-coupled TRS outputs: Use the 828es to manipulate sequence voltage-controlled modular synthesizers from a host DAW.
  • Balanced analog: 828es balanced I/O connections are well-protected against RF interference, AC hum, and other noise-producing environmental factors.
  • S/PDIF digital I/O: Stereo digital transfers are an essential fact of daily studio life. The 828es's standard RCA S/PDIF input and output make stereo digital transfers a snap, with optional external clocking and support for sample rates up to 96 kHz.
  • Foot switch input: Connect a standard foot pedal switch (sold separately) for hands-free talkback or punch-in while recording. Or map the pedal to any keystroke function in your host software.
  • Direct Digital Synthesis (DDS): DSP-driven phase lock engine and internal clock source produces imperceptibly low jitter characteristics (below the noise floor), even when the 828es is resolved to an external clock source via SMPTE time code.
  • Two headphone jacks: Each headphone output can be programmed with the same or different mixes, with independent front-panel volume control.
  • Audio analysis tools: Includes an oscilloscope, real-time FFT, X-Y Plot, and graphic phase analysis.

Product Specifications

Condition New
Chassis 19-inch Rack-mount
Rack Spaces 1U
Digital Inputs 18
Analog Inputs 10
Input Connectors BNC, Digital RCA, Optical, 1/4-inch TRS, XLR Combo Jack TRS
Digital Outputs 18
Analog Outputs 14
Output Connectors BNC, Digital RCA, Optical, 1/4-inch TRS, Analog XLR
Computer Connection Thunderbolt, USB
Number of Preamps 2
MIDI Connections In, Out
Clock I/O In, Out
Maximum Sampling Rate 96 kHz
Digital Format S/PDIF, SMUX

Product Reviews

5 out of 5 stars.
Review Count (2)

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By Walter on May 2, 2021

I must say ! This is the best interface I ever bought period ! And trust me I had plenty ! This unit is so clean and pristine oh my ! My sound quality is out the roof ! Dynamics perfect , my opinion ? The DSP is no different than a universal audio interface ! I was shocked ! And I have and work with uad software as well as hardware ! AD/DA conversion is so juicy ! My masters have a solid punch now ! The Motu is my favorite interface as of now but I havent had the opportunity to try or test the new Apollo x series yet ! Lol I've heard alot of good things about the hexa core processors ! Universal Audio hardware and software are flawless in my opinion but the Motu is the best home or professional interface out to date for the price point hands down ! And yes I combine Universal Audio software with Motu hardware ! Overall ! Both products are fantastic and if used properly your music possibilities are endless ! Peace n luv and keep making hits !

By Mr . on November 13, 2019

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