Motu 8Pre-es Professional Multichannel Audio Interface Review (June 2024)


Last updated on June 13, 2024 5:36 pm Details


In this review post, we’re going to be discussing the Motu 8Pre-es Professional Multichannel Audio Interface, including an overview of its unique features.

Product Description

MOTUs 8pre-es is a network-ready audio interface featuring high-quality converters and very useful front-panel capabilities including high-resolution displays, pad, phantom power switches, bank switches, headphone outs, and so on. Its 8 microphone inputs allow it to be used in situations when several mics are required, such as drum recording.

The high-resolution dual color display, a constructed talkback mic with a key on the front panel, and the rapid switching function for comparison listening for two pairs of monitors are the main features of the 8pre-es. The huge rotary control can be used to adjust the volume of multiple speakers (up to surround 7.1) at the same time. A renowned ESS Sabre32 DAC chipset with a dynamic range of up to 123dB at the analog outputs is also housed behind the MOTU-typical sturdy enclosure.

The MOTU 8pre-es includes a total of 24 unique inputs and 28 separate outputs. The front panel features eight combo jacks (XLR/jack) for microphone/line/guitars, as well as eight balanced jack outputs, two optical banks, word clock I/O, and 2 independent headphone outputs.

MOTU AVB standard features include an embedded 32-bit floating-point DSP for mixing and effects, control via the mobile browser app, and a customizable matrix for splitting and routing. The interface connects to Mac and PC through USB, Thunderbolt, or AVB/TSN Ethernet, or to iOS devices such as iPads via an adaptor.

MOTU drivers have proven to be dependable, with extraordinarily low round-trip latency performance of up to 1.6ms at 96kHz over Thunderbolt with all common and capable audio hosts. All live inputs support recording, mixing, and controlling, and are outfitted with effects that operate without delay and do not tax the computer’s processor. All inputs can be patched to all outputs, or inputs can be split to numerous targets, thanks to the rich routing functions. With 48 channels, 12 stereo busses, and 32-bit floating-point effect processing, you can mix in the style of a big shell console.

A vintage reverb with reverb lengths of up to 60 seconds is included, as is a 4-band parametric EQ fashioned closely after the mixing console EQ of well-known British analog consoles. Aside from the compressor, the interface includes extensive diagnostic tools such as a full-screen real-time FFT display, a spectrogram waterfall display, a perfectly functioning oscilloscope, an X-Y diagram, a linear/polar phase diagram, and rounding to flesh out the already outstanding overall picture.

Product Features

  • Timecode support
  • Word Clock I/O
  • Classic Reverb
  • Extremely low latency
  • powerful MOTU drivers
  • 118 dB Dynamic range
  • Universal connectivity
  • Detailed level indication
  • Dual LCD design, two full-color LCDs
  • Web App control from any device
  • Precision Digital Trim
  • Built-in talkback microphone
  • System extension
  • AVB/TSN audio networks
  • Two headphone jacks
  • Controlled via a simple and convenient menu
  • Outstanding analog audio quality and high-end converters
  • Connection via Thunderbolt, USB 2, or AVB/TSN Ethernet
  • Up to 256 audio channels (128 inputs and 128 outputs)
  • Class-compliant firmware and industry standard drivers
  • Use with iPad Via standard camera connection kit (adapter not included)
  • 52 simultaneous audio channels
  • 24 inputs and 28 outputs
  • Incl. 8 remote controllable microphone inputs with gain/pad/48V
  • 8 analog jack outputs
  • Two optical benches
  • Two headphone jacks on the front panel
  • DSP mixing and effects processing
  • Flexible 48-input digital mixer…
  • 32-bit floating-point processing
  • Modeled Vintage Effect Processing
  • Compression modeled after the legendary LA-2A compressor
  • EQ modeled after analog British console EQs
  • Flexible matrix routing and splitting
  • Two banks of optical inputs and outputs
  • Direct Digital Synthesis (DDS)
  • DC-coupled jack outputs
  • Instrument tuner and audio analysis tools
  • Contains the routing to and from the computer and all devices on the AVB network.
  • Stand-alone operation with wireless control
  • “Touch Console” interface has been optimized for controlling the Web App via smartphones
  • Includes AudioDesk – workstation software for Mac and Windows
  • Eight transparent sounding microphone inputs provide outstanding 129 dBu
  • ESS Sabre32 DAC technology provides 123 dB at the analog outputs
  • Round-Trip latency up to 1.6 ms at 96 kHz via Thunderbolt with powerful DAW hosts
  • 16 channels ADAT at 44.1 / 48 kHz, 8 channels SMUX at 88.2 / 96 kHz or 2 channels TOSLink (optical S/PDIF) up to 96 kHz.
  • The 828es mixing and effects DSP engine offers virtually unlimited headroom and the highest sound quality.
  • 7 stereo aux buses, 3 groups, access to 32 network inputs, and DSP effects including reverb, 4-band EQ, gate, and compression.

Pros & Cons


  • Thunderbolt support with latency as low as 1.6 milliseconds
  • There are 52 separate IN/OUT channels.
  • Vintage analog effects onboard, including the renowned LA-2A compressor
  • Body made entirely of metal
  • Analog audio processing
  • Remote control that is wireless


  • Quite Pricey
  • ADAT inputs and outputs necessitate the use of an external digital mixer.
  • For beginners, the DSP mixer is a little difficult to grasp.

Motu 8Pre-es Professional Multichannel Audio Interface Demo

Our Verdict

For many years, Motu has provided excellent support for its interfaces and drivers. Even once this interface is no longer maintained, it can still be utilized as an input expansion for future interfaces, or just as a mixer for band practice. Most importantly, users won’t have to have an old computer around to connect to the interface via an old connector (e.g., firewire) to keep this device usable.

To access the onboard mixer, all you need is an Ethernet wire and a device with a web browser. Congratulations, Motu, and congratulations on producing an inexpensive, professional-grade product in the United States. And thank you, Sweetwater, for providing fantastic pricing on demo products when they become available. Purchase with confidence.

Where to Buy

The best place to buy this product has to be Amazon, due to their competitive pricing and fantastic customer service.

Motu 8Pre-es Professional Multichannel Audio Interface

as of June 8, 2024 4:01 pm

Pricing History

Price History for Motu 8Pre-es Professional Multichannel Audio Interface


Current Price $1,195.00 June 8, 2024
Highest Price $1,195.00 November 12, 2023
Lowest Price $1,195.00 November 12, 2023
Since November 12, 2023

Last price changes

$1,195.00 November 12, 2023

Last updated on June 8, 2024 4:01 pm

Buyers Guides This Product Is Featured In

Best Audio Interface

Additional information

Item Weight

6.65 pounds

Product Dimensions

21.26 x 11.81 x 43.31 inches

Item model number


Date First Available

June 20, 2018

Compatible Devices

Laptop, Personal Computer, Tablet, Smartphone


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