MOTU4Pre USB & Firewire Audio Interface


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The MOTU 4Pre is a hybrid digital audio interface with both USB 2.0 and FireWire connectivity. The interface is also capable of being used independently from a computer as a standalone mixer. 

In terms of connectivity, the 4Pre’s dual mic preamps each feature independently switchable Phantom Power, as well as a -20dB pad that is adjustable via the front panel or from the bundled CueMix software. There’s also two guitar inputs with high-impedance characteristics that make them ideal for both active and passive pickups. The line ins can also be used with any input signal featuring a different reference level, no matter whether it is sourced from mixers, effects processors, or keyboards. 

The 4Pre also features a digitally-controlled analog trim, with the ability to store and recall settings. The trim can also be applied to the S/PDIF inputs, allowing for convenient on-the-fly adjustments. 

If all that wasn’t enough, users can chain the 4Pre with another MOTU audio interface without the need for an external synchronizer, and bundled SMPTE console software allows for vast control of all computer-connected devices. 

4Pre Features

  • 6 x 8 audio interface for Mac and Windows with all channels available simultaneously and operating independently
  • Hybrid FireWire/USB 2.0 connectivity
  • Eight-bus digital mixer routes and mixes all six inputs to any output pair
  • Four separate mixes - each output pair (main outs, line outs, S/PDIF out, and phones) can have a completely different mix of all six inputs, with or without computer tracks
  • Four combo jacks provide four XLR microphone inputs, two hi-Z 1/4" guitar inputs, and stereo line-level (+4/-10) input
  • Microphone inputs provide individual preamps, phantom power, a 20dB pad, Precision Digital Trim (digitally controlled analog trim on all inputs provides adjustments in approximately 1.0dB increments), and plenty of gain
  • Stereo main outs on balanced 1/4" TRS jacks for connecting directly to powered speakers (or other line-level analog destination)
  • Stereo 24-bit/96kHz S/PDIF digital input and output
  • Two headphone outputs with independent volume control for each phone output
  • Headphone output can be either the same as main outs or completely independent
  • Supports standard sample rates up to 96kHz
  • Fine-tune the balance of inputs and then save/recall trim configurations
  • Front-panel mixing and control
  • Each input has its own dedicated volume knob
  • Control multiple mixes with clear feedback from front panel LEDs and metering
  • Independent volume control of the main outs and phone output, or mirror the main outs on both phone jacks
  • CueMix FX cross-platform mixing software
  • On-screen graphic mixing with an instrument tuner and audio analysis tools including real-time FFT display, spectrogram "waterfall" display, oscilloscope, X-Y plotand linear or polar phase analysis
  • Stand-alone operation allows for bringing the 4pre to a gig, with or without a computer
  • Need to tweak the mix? Just turn the front-panel knobs
  • Add additional interfaces for more I/O as needs grow
  • Time code support directly resolves to (or generates) time code via any quarter-inch input or output, without the need for an extra synchronizer
  • Direct Digital Synthesis (DDS), a DSP-driven phase lock engine and internal clock source produces imperceptibly low jitter characteristics (below the noise floor), even when the 4pre is resolved to an external clock source via SMPTE time code
  • DC-coupled TRS outputs
  • Can be used with Volta (sold separately) to manipulate and sequence voltage-controlled modular synthesizers from a host DAW
  • Plug-and-play operation with a Mac or PC via FireWire or USB2 (compatible with all current and recent generation Macs and PCs)
  • Native 32- and 64-bit drivers for Mac OS X and Windows 7/Vista
  • Includes ASIO, WDM, Wave, Core Audio, and Core MIDI drives
  • Supports all popular Mac and Windows audio software and fully compatible with 3rd-party software
  • 100% compatible with all host-based effects processing in today's popular audio programs
  • Includes AudioDesk full-featured sample-accurate workstation software for the Mac with recording, editing, mixing, real-time 32-bit effects processing and sample-accurate sync
  • No need for external power when operating as a FireWire interface connected to a computer
  • Power supply included for stand-alone or USB2 operation
  • Compact form factor
  • Connectivity: USB 2.0
  • FireWire 400 x1
  • Converters: 24-bit
  • Sample Rates: 44.1, 48, 88.2 and 96kHz

Analog In

  •  4 x Neutrik Combo/XLR
  • 2 x 1/4" TRS phone (balanced/unbalanced)
  • 2 x 1/4" TS phone Hi-Z instrument

Analog Outputs

  • 2 x 1/4" TRS phone Main
  • 2 x 1/4" TRS phone Line
  • 2 x 1/4" TRS phone Headphone
  • Digital Input Connectors: 1 x RCA coaxial S/PDIF
  • Digital Output Connectors: 1 x RCA coaxial S/PDIF
  • MIDI In/Out: No
  • Sync In/Out: S/PDIF
  • SMPTE Time Code (LTC)
  • Headphone Output: 2 x 1/4" TRS phone with Volume Control
  • Phantom Power: +48V, individually switchable
  • Display: 2 x Main out 10-segment ladder LEDs
  • 4 x Input 5-segment LEDs
  • 2 x S/PDIF I/O signal present LEDs
  • 2 x Stereo line out signal present LEDs
  • 4 x Phantom power LEDs
  • 4 x Pad LEDs
  • 5 x Mix/trim (main, line, S/PDIF, phone, trim) LEDs
  • 1 x Vol/Pan LED
  • Power Requirements: 9~18VDC, 5W, tip + or - via included power adapter (required for stand-alone and USB 2.0 operation)
  • FireWire bus power

System Requirements - Mac

  • PowerPC G4 CPU 1GHz or faster (including PowerPC G5 CPUs and all Intel processor Macs)
  • OS X v10.5.8 or later required, 10.6, or 10.7
  • 1GB RAM (2GB or more recommended)
  • Available FireWire or USB2 port
  • Large hard drive (preferably at least 250GB)

System Requirements - PC

  • Pentium-based 1GHz PC compatible or faster equipped with at least one USB2 or FireWire port
  • Windows Vista SP2 32- or 64-bit, or Windows 7
  • 1GB RAM (2GB or more recommended)
  • Available FireWire or USB2 port
  • Large hard drive (preferably at least 250GB)
  • Included Software
  • CueMix FX
  • MOTU SMPTE Console
  • AudioDesk (Mac only)
  • 64-bit Operation
  • Available for Mac OS X v10.6 or 10.7
  • Available for 64-bit versions of Windows 7 or Vista
  • Requires a 64-bit CPU (and host application for plug-in versions)
  • Dimensions: 9.5 x 7 x 1.75" (241 x 178 x 45mm) 2
  • Weight: Not specified by manufacturer

Compatible Software - Mac

  • MOTU Digital Performer
  • MOTU AudioDesk
  • Avid Pro Tools (version 9 or later)
  • Apple Logic Pro
  • Apple Logic Express
  • Apple GarageBand
  • Apple SoundTrack Pro
  • Ableton Live
  • Propellerhead Record and Reason
  • Steinberg Cubase
  • Cockos Reaper
  • Native Instruments KONTAKT
  • Waves stand-alone applications (and plug-ins, via compatible host)

Compatible Software - Windows

  • Avid Pro Tools (version 9 or later)
  • Ableton Live
  • Cakewalk Sonar
  • Steinberg Cubase
  • Propellerhead Record and Reason
  • Image Line FL Studio
  • Sony Vegas Pro
  • Sony Sound Forge
  • Sony Acid
  • Cockos Reaper
  • Native Instruments KONTAKT
  • Waves stand-alone applications (and plug-ins, via compatible host) 
MOTU 4Pre USB & Firewire Audio Interface Reviews