Tired of interfaces that give you lots of inputs but can’t support many mics at once? MOTU’s 8PRE has 8 mic pres, one FireWire interface, under US$600.

MOTU hasn’t yet announced their newest audio interface, but it’s emblazoned in an ad on the back cover of the October issue of Keyboard. The 8PRE is a 16×12 FireWire audio interface in one rack space. That in itself isn’t all that interesting, but in place of the two or four mic preamps most interfaces have, MOTU has added a full eight mic inputs and pres (in case you didn’t figure that out from the product name). Other specs: 1×1 MIDI, SMPTE sync, expandable and daisy-chainable, 8-channel analog-to-optical conversion, and so you can adjust all those mic ins, five-channel metering and front-panel trim knobs. If you already have a fantastic channel strip, I doubt this will replace it, but if you’re in the market for a new, all-in-one solution, this could be great, especially for on-the-spot recording.

The form factor is similar to the 828s. Full Mac/PC compatibility. The big headline is the pricing: looks like about a US$550 list.

Updated: Just after posting this, MOTU.com came through with full details and images:

8PRE Product Page [MOTU.com]

In other MOTU news, the rest of MOTU’s software is now Universal Binary-ready for Intel Macs. Ethno Instrument and Symphonic Instrument are UB-MAS for use with DP 5.1 on Intel Macs (Digital Performer itself shipped for Intel Macs at the beginning of August), the MX4 synth went UB, and the PCIe drivers are ready for those of you lucky enough to have shiny, new Mac Pros. From MOTU.com:

MX4, Instrument Mactel Support
PCIe-424 Universal Binary Drivers