MOTUUltralite Mk3 Hybrid Audio Interface


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MOTU Ultralite Mk3

The MOTU Ultralite MK3 is a hybrid interface boasting both USB 2.0 and FireWire connectivity options in addition to onboard mixing, effects, and a distinctly powerful sound. It is capable of sample rates up to 192kHz and includes a plethora of I/O options, including two mic.instrument ins, six line-level inputs, ten output channels, stereo S/PDIF, and stereo headphone outs. 

The Ultralite MK3 can also be used independently from a computer as a standalone mixer. In either operation, the interface provides 10 inputs and 14 outputs. All input signals can be processed by the Ultralite’s powerful DSP effects section, which includes reverb, a 7-band parametric EQ, and two distinct modes of compression. The first compressor behaves just as a compressor should, while the second is an accurate emulation of the LA-2A optical compressor.

Ultralite Mk3 Features

  • 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 shelves with adjustable crossover points, shelf filtering and reverb lengths up to 60 seconds
  • Two forms of compression — a standard compressor with conventional threshold/ratio/attack/release/gain controls and the Leveler, an accurate model of the legendary LA-2A optical compressor, which provides vintage, musical automatic gain control
  • Modeled EQ — provides 7-band parametric EQ modeled after British analog console EQs, featuring 4 filter styles (gain/Q profiles) to effectively cover a wide range of audio material. LP and HP filters are also supplied with slopes that range from 6 to 36 dB
  • CueMix FX cross-platform mixing software — attractive graphic mixing, graphic editing of parametric EQ and a convenient tabbed interface for quick access to all features in one window. Also provides full-screen real-time FFT display, spectrogram "waterfall" display, oscilloscope, X-Y plot and linear or polar phase analysis
  • Front-panel control — access any setting in your entire UltraLite-mk3 Hybrid mix directly from the front panel
  • "Reverb return" stream — allows users to record or mix UltraLite-mk3 Hybrid reverb output separately in their DAW. Effects can also be applied when the UltraLite-mk3 Hybrid is operating stand-alone (without a computer) as a complete stand-alone mixer
  • Stand-alone operation — program your mixes at the studio and then bring the UltraLite-mk3 Hybrid to your gig — no computer needed. Just plug in the included power adapter and you are ready to go. Need to tweak the mix? Do it on site using the back-lit LCD and front-panel controls
  • Multiple CueMix FX mixes — for example, create different monitor mixes for the main outs and headphones. Or add send/return loops for outboard gear — with no latency
  • Two combo jacks provide hi-Z ¼ " guitar input or low-Z XLR mic input with phantom power, pad and plenty of gain
  • Eight 24-bit 192kHz analog inputs and outputs on balanced/unbalanced ¼ " TRS jacks
  • Precision Digital Trim — Digitally controlled analog trim on all analog inputs (mic/guitar inputs plus quarter-inch TRS inputs) provides accurate adjustments in 1 dB increments. Fine-tune the balance of your analog inputs and then save/recall trim configurations
  • Direct Digital Synthesis (DDS) — a DSP-driven phase lock engine and internal clock source that produces imperceptibly low jitter characteristics (below the noise floor), even when the UltraLite-mk3 Hybrid is resolved to an external clock source via SMPTE time code
  • Time code support — directly resolves to (or generates) time code via any quarter-inch input or output, without the need for an extra synchronizer
  • Sample-accurate MIDI — connect a MIDI controller and/or sound module with no separate interface needed. MIDI I/O is sample-accurate with supporting software
  • Expandable — add additional interfaces for more I/O as your needs grow
  • Separate TRS main outs with front panel volume control
  • Stereo 24-bit 96kHz S/PDIF in/out
  • Includes drivers for Mac & PC, including ASIO, WDM, Wave, Core Audio, and Core MIDI. Supports all popular Mac and Windows audio 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 & sample-accurate sync
  • Plug-and-play operation with your Mac or PC via FireWire or USB2
  • Front panel volume control for monitoring. Stereo, Quad, 6.1, 7.1 and user-defined surround monitoring setups available
  • Front panel headphone jack with volume control


  • Converters: 24-bit
  • Sample Rates: 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4 and 192kHz

Analog In

  • 2 x Neutrik combo/XLR
  • 6 x 1/4" TRS phone (balanced/unbalanced)

Analog Outputs

  • 10 x 1/4" TRS phone
  • 1 x 1/4" TRS phone Headphone

Digital Input Connectors

  • 1 x RCA coaxial S/PDIF (stereo)
  • 1 x FireWire (shared with output)
  • 1 x USB 2.0 (shared with output)

Other I/O

  • 1 x RCA coaxial S/PDIF (stereo)
  • 1 x FireWire (shared with output)
  • 1 x USB 2.0 (shared with output)
  • MIDI In/Out: 2 x 5-pin DIN (16-channels I/O)
  • Sync In/Out: S/PDIF
  • Directly resolves to or generates time code via any quarter-inch input or output
  • Headphone Output: Yes, 1/4" Stereo with Volume Control

Other Specifications

  • Phantom Power: Yes, +48V
  • Dimensions: Not Specified by Manufacturer
  • Weight: Not Specified by Manufacturer
  • Specialties: On-board DSP effects
  • FireWire & USB 2.0 connectivity
MOTU Ultralite Mk3 Hybrid Audio Interface Reviews