Mark of the Unicorn, Inc.
(MOTU) has unveiled its new 896HD audio interface, as well as its new MX4 virtual instrument plug-in. Both were unveiled late last week at the AES show in New York City.
The 896HD replaces MOTU’s previously released 896, and remains at the same price at US$1,295. The new interface adds new features like up to 22 simultaneous outputs, 192kHz operation, 8-bus monitor mixing and stand-alone operation. The device can also communicate with another 896/896HD, Mac or a PC using two FireWire interfaces.
The 896HD offers eight 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 sampel rate conversion, word clock synch and ADAT SYNC. The device features Neutrik Combo analog inputs and XLR outputs. The front panel sports three banks of 10-segment level meters, eight trim knobs for the analog input and 8 toggle switches to manage independent 48-volt phantom power for each analog input.
New to the 896HD are two separate main outputs on XLR jacks, plus separately access front-panel headphone output. All analog inputs and outputs gain 192kHz converters, and the AES/EBU and optical digital I/O sections support sample rates up to 96kHz.
Other new feautres include DSP-driven digital mixing and monitoring for all 18 inputs; front-panel fader control; stand-alone operation without a computer; and more.
Universally compatible with Mac OS X, Mac OS 9 and various flavors of Windows, the 896HD comes with AudioDesk workstation software for the Mac. It’s expected to ship in the fourth quarter of 2003.
Also introduced was MX4, a new $295 virtual instrument plug-in designed to work with MOTU DP4 (MAS), Pro Tools (RTAS) and other Mac OS X audio hosts (with support for Audio Units). The new plug-in sports a hybrid synthesis engine that combines subtractive, wavetable, frequency modulation (FM), amplitude modulation (AM) and analog emulation.
MOTU Marketing Director Jim Cooper explained that MX4’s inspiration comes from classic subtractive synths like the Prophet-5, PPG Wave and Moog Modular. “But then we took the concept further using today’s powerful computer software technology,” he explained.
MOTU expects to ship MX4 in the fourth quarter of 2003.