MOTU Introduces Two Compact USB-C Audio Recording Interfaces

November 29 2019, 00:30
Mark of The Unicorn (MOTU) is an engineering-driven music technology company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which sometimes forgets to tell the world they exist. In fact, sometimes we even forget that MOTU makes one of the best DAW's in the world, called Digital Performer, which a lot more people should use. They also do excellent audio recording interfaces and now they introduced the M2 and M4, two compact units powered via USB-C. Hurray!
Connectivity includes two mic/line/hi-Z guitar inputs on combo XLR/TRS, with individual preamp gain and 48V phantom power for each input, plus two balanced 1/4-inch line inputs on the M4.

In fact, not only MOTU announced the M2 and M4 audio interfaces but they are also available and shipping. Being USB-C bus-powered audio interfaces for Mac, Windows and iOS, these two well-designed units offer best-in-class 24-bit/192kHz audio quality, best-in-class speed (ultra-low latency) and best-in-class metering with a full-color LCD.

With two and four channels of audio I/O, respectively, the MOTU M2 and M4 offer individual 48V phantom power on both mic inputs, mono and stereo hardware (direct) monitoring, MIDI I/O and "loopback" driver channels for live-streaming and podcasting. In fact, the compact format and features are precisely what make these interfaces stand-out for podcasting and any type of mobile production duties. The loopback functionality allows blending the microphone or other input signal with the output from the computer, then sending back the blended signal, enabling recording the computer output with live commentary, etc. And there's even a mix knob to balance the live input with the computer playback on the M4.

And MOTU even includes a nice software bundle to increase the value of these units. Users just need to connect the M2 or M4 to any Mac or reasonably recent PC and start laying down tracks with the included MOTU Performer Lite or Ableton Live 10 Lite production software, plus hundreds of loops, one-shots and sounds from companies such as Big Fish Audio, Lucidsamples and Loopmasters. Also important, being USB audio class compliant, these devices are Apple iOS compatible as well.

And not only did MOTU decided to bring to market two new audio recording interfaces using universal USB Type-C but these compact units are equipped with modern ESS Sabre32 Ultra digital to analog converters, allowing the M2 and M4 to deliver an astonishing 120 dB dynamic range on their outputs. ESS converters also drive the headphone output, which rivals dedicated headphone amplifiers costing much more. And thanks to MOTU's USB drivers, the M2 and M4 deliver class-leading, ultra-low 2.5 ms round trip latency (with a 32 sample buffer at 96 kHz).

Designed with the usual MOTU (built in the USA) refined standards in metal chassis, the M2 and M4 audio interfaces certainly stand-out for the full-color, high-resolution LCD displays, featuring clear, detailed level meters for all inputs and outputs. The USB-C cable is included.
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