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MOTU UltraLite-MK3 Hybrid FireWire/USB2 Audio Interface
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|Compatible Devices||Personal Computer|
|Connectivity Technology||USB, Firewire|
|Number of Channels||10|
About this item
- Hybrid FireWire/USB2 connectivity connect to your computer via either bus-powered FireWire or hi-speed USB2.CueMix FX flexible 10 input/14 bus mixer with on-board DSP effects, including reverb with sends/returns, plus EQ and compression on every input and output.10 inputs/14 outputs there's no channel sharing in the UltraLite-mk3 Hybrid; the mic inputs, S/PDIF I/O, headphone out and main outs are all handled as separate channels.Classic Reverb provides five different room types, three frequency
- Housed in a rugged, compact half-rack enclosure you can take anywhere, the UltraLite-mk3 Hybrid Audio Interface is equally well-suited for studio and stage, with or without a computer
- Connect all of your recording studio equipment, including microphones, guitars, synths, keyboards, drum machines, effects processors and even MIDI devices to this MOTU audio interface
- Record, monitor, route and process all of these live inputs using the professional on-board CueMix FX digital mixer - with no latency and no processor strain on your computer
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As the first-ever 'hybrid' audio interface of its kind, the UltraLite-mk3 Hybrid provides flexible and mobile operation via FireWire or hi-speed USB2 connectivity to a Mac or PC computer, with professional audio quality at samples rates up to 192 kHz and plenty of I/O, including two mic/instrument inputs, six line-level analog inputs, ten channels of analog output, stereo S/PDIF and a stereo headphone output.
Reviewed in the United States on June 10, 2017
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Now on to the Motu Ultralite itself. The main advantage I have found with unit is the Cuemix software. This is a wonderful companion software that not only gives you latency free direct monitoring, but you can compress and/or eq the signal pre workstation software, so the signal you record into Logic, Reason or DP is processed before the fact. This is great because I cannot track with latency and I don't understand how anybody can. Also you can setup seperate mixes for several musicians tracking at once which is very nice. If you route the mix you want to seperate outputs and run those outputs to headphone amps (or just use an adaptor cable to send it directly to headphones) each musician can hear what they need to get lost in their own world.
I use the Cuemix software quite a bit for practicing in hotel rooms with my favorite drum loops. It makes the unit a great headphone mixer for practicing quietly, but moderately loud within your own headphone world. I have to say on the downside, the headphone amp is nowhere near as loud as my ipod...seems it should blow away a little ipod, but Apple once again proves why they have cornered the market...give the people what they want....Volume!!
On to the mic pre's...
Adequate for my taste. I called myself upgrading from a M-Audio Firewire 1814...but I have to say, the bass sound I got with the M-Audio was far superior and hipper for my taste. Cleaner, crisper, clearer and punchier. In this I was disappointed, but I could never depend on the M-Audio direct monitoring software no matter how much time I set aside to struggle with it. Before I changed to the Motu unit, I spent an entire afternoon trying to get M-Audios software to work...just would not happen they way they explained it would. Motu's Cuemix worked right out of the box...but I digress. The Motu convertors make my preamped. Super hyped jazz bass sound like a old school P-Bass...grainy, unfocused and sluggish sounding, so in the end, I wont be using the unit for the hotel room recordings I thought I would be, but i'll practice a lot.
Let me backtrack for a second: I initially bought the unit because I was flying back home to record some friends on a song on my latest cd and I had to have the direct monitoring thing stable and in place. Mission accomplished. Was I in love with the final sound of the recording? Eh...I used a Audio Technica 4047 S/V mic on vocals and guitar and in my home studio it sounds stellar...in the hotel room with my friends it was adequate..sounded kind of like a SM57...But I got the job done and both the singer and guitarist had their own mixes and were comfortable tracking over headphones.
In conclusion, there are great points about this unit: the construction seems sturdy and road worthy, the cue mix latency free and seperate mix software and then the not so great points: the preamps not having a hi tech sound to them mainly, no HD here folks!...and oh yeah, if they had included in the cuemix software the ability to mix the level of your host software that would have been awesome, but they didn't, so you have to go to logic or dp and mix its level, the jump back to cuemix...minor flaw. I workaround it by routing the host software to seperate outs on the Motu, then using 1/4" TRS cables run it back into the Motu on inputs 3 & 4, then the host software shows up on cuemix. I can then get the mix jst right all on one page...
Last note...if there are any typos in this review please excuse them, I am bouncing around on a tour bus typing on my phone and not going back to check for mistakes! Laterz, Andre B.Aspects
Within Sonar each of the mono inputs (or combined as a stereo input), can be assigned it's own track. That's 8 mono or 4 stereo tracks that can be recorded at once. So no more line in, single stereo input transfers for any previous SB owners. The sound quality can be awesome, but my computer is getting a bit old (XP SP3, Duo 2.4 gig, 2gig Corsair XMS, Infinity MB) and, the ultra high sample rates are probably not very realistic (176400, 192000) for myself, through Sonar with multiple tracks and plugins. But 96000 is achievable, with 40 audio and 13 MIDI tracks, using about 10 VSTs, (total round trip latency of 9.8 milliseconds, using 256 samples).
My previous interface was a Sound Blaster Live, so the available options and technical details can be a little bit daunting. What I have figured out so far, is that it has an assignable return. This takes the place of the "What You Hear" function, on a SB card. The onboard hardware options are easily turned on and off, like the dynamics and EQ sections. So yeah I may not know how to fine tune each and every parameter, most of this can be done internally in a DAW.
The advantage is it's there for when it will matter to learn these functions in detail and take a huge load off my system, using the external enhancements for compression reverb etc. instead of VSTs. Right now it's not a critical issue to myself and I have yet to actually study the manual.
The included CueMix software layout is a little clunky (and what was the reason it can't be maximized to show one more track without scrolling and separate enhancement windows?? ).But not prohibitively so and has been rock solid on my system.
I'm really satisfied with this purchase and it has improved the quality and consistency of my home recordings. For the first time what I hear in the software at 96000 using mixes at about 80 megabytes in size, is what I hear on a final conversion to a 256kbit MP3, total 6.62 megabytes. The capabilities and detail adjustments are available for when I care to learn to use them and in no way obstructive, if I choose not too.
The power button broke off the front of the unit and upon further inspection I found the tabs behind the knob were defective. One side was less than 1/16" thick, which means it would have broken inevitably, being the only button I used outside the software. You would think the main button required to power it up and necessary for every use, would be a few shades more robust. I have ordered the replacement encoder: EC12E2424407
By Primm on June 10, 2017
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I like the usb and fire were options. I use USB mainly.
Its great to have so many ins and outs in such a small box. at first I got this to sound edit a few films that I had to travel to work on. But now I use this as my main interface in my studio. I am thinking about buying another.
Mit der MOTU ist man bestens bedient. Treiber installieren, Gerät anschließen und Sound genießen. Die mitgelieferte Software erfüllt ihr übriges in Sachen Sound und Qualität.
Würde ich wieder kaufen.