4-Channel USB C Audio Interface
- 24-Bit/192 kHz AD/DA converter
- 2 Microphone preamps with individually switchable +48 V phantom power on each
- 2 Line inputs: 6.3 mm XLR/Jack combo (switchable to Hi-Z instrument input)
- 2 Balanced line inputs: 6.3 mm Jack
- 4 Balanced line outputs: 6.3 mm Jack
- 4 Unbalanced outputs: RCA
- Stereo headphone output: 6.3 mm Jack
- MIDI input/output
- Loopback feature
- LCD level meter
- Includes MOTU Performer Lite, Ableton Live Lite, and 6 GB of loops and samples
MOTU is known for its high-quality interfaces and converters in the mid-to-high price range. With its M series, however, the US manufacturer is venturing into the competitive interface price range of around 200 euros. The MOTU M4 is the four-channel variant of the M series USB interface and is designed to be extremely handy and light. The high-resolution display, which shows the input and output levels in detail, immediately catches the eye. Even so, the main focus of the MOTU M4 is not on fancy features or complex software, but solely on delivering excellent sound at an affordable price.
No frills - no fuss
On the front, the MOTU M4 is equipped with two microphone inputs, which are designed as XLR/jack combo sockets so that both line-level and instrument signals can also be processed. The preamps deliver a maximum gain of up to 60 dB. Of course, both channels can supply a microphone with 48 V phantom power and the channels can be individually switched to direct monitoring. Four dual outputs are provided on the back, so that each channel has a TRS line out and an RCA. Finally, there is also a MIDI interface - the MOTU M4 does not require any frills at all.
The heart of the MOTU M4 are its ESS Sabre32 Ultra converters, the same ones found in much more expensive interfaces such as the Apogee Symphony. They offer a dynamic range and an extremely low level background of noise that has never before been available in this price range. And last but not least, MOTU has outdone itself with the USB driver: The driver enables a round trip latency of less than 2 ms, which is incredible for a USB interface. You almost don't have to resort to direct monitoring anymore. The MOTU M4 is primarily aimed at musicians and producers who want an uncompromising sound without having to shell out a fortune.
The US manufacturer of digital audio hardware from Cambridge, Massachusetts, was founded in 1981 and since then has continued to generate attention for its sophisticated and innovative concepts. The company’s range includes USB, Thunderbolt, and network audio interfaces, MIDI interfaces, video hardware, and the popular MOTU Digital Performer DAW software. MOTU also developed “Mouse Stampede”, one of the first arcade games for the Apple Macintosh, in 1984. In short, MOTU represents good-quality, reliable products with a great deal of creativity and wit, which usually come at a very fair price.
Everything you need
The MOTU M4 is a truly versatile interface. Due to its low latency and excellent sound, it is extremely well-suited for vocal recordings at home or on the go. But the M4 is also a reliable partner in live situations, for playing backing tracks and software instruments, or looping an instrument live through a DAW. In addition, it is a real eye-catcher with its large, bright display - a solid, fast interface with everything you need. There is not much more to say, except that the performance is extremely good and the price is fair.
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