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Focusrite Pro 40 vs Motu Ultralite
Old 31st October 2014
Gear Head

Focusrite Pro 40 vs Motu Ultralite

Hi everybody!

I've seen a lot of thread about this, but there's no with my question.

I'd like to know from your expirience if it's bettere the saffire pro 40 or tue motu ultralite.

I want to use it for going OTB in a analougue mixer, like a mackie 1604 and rerecord my mix inside the DAW.

So i thought that i don't really need pre amps, but just line inputs.

The two things that make me so worry are this:

The dsp mix control on the motu, are that good for just a basic mix and then work deeper with the daw?

The optical out on the focusrite, as i told you, do you thing that i gonna use that one day, or instes of buying a focusrite pre for upgrading the number of output it will be better buying a better converter?

Thank's for your time
Old 1st November 2014
Gear Head

Old 8th November 2014
Gear Maniac
Calagan's Avatar

Hi prp

I can share my experience of using at the same time a focusrite saffire pro 14 and a motu ultralite mk3 hybrid (I think that pro14 is the same as pro 40, but with less in and out).

I was just using the line output of the two units, sending signal from my computer to a Yamaha 01V96i into speakers (RCF art 310) for a rehearsal.
The signal was some audio stuff professionnaly recorded, mixed and mastered, and a lot of propellerhead Reason instruments.

Of course, I did use two computers for A/B test in real time, and I did use the same cables (and I changed the 01V96i inputs).

My experience is that the Motu has some kind of tiny loss in the high-mid : when I play a lot of lines, some instruments are much less presents, and I think it's in this frequency range (we didn't test deeper, as we had to rehearse).

The consequence is a slightly muddy sound coming from the DA converters and line outputs. At least when you compare with the saffire pro 14 (wich is not perfect).

We did notice the problem even before rehearsing. We did listen with the MOTU to some music we recorded in a pro context, and we noticed that some instruments were almost disappearing from the mix.

It's not completly evident (we did rehearse with a classically trained musician and she did not hear the hi-mid loss, but had not much experience of studio gear), but if you are using sound gear often and know where problems are, you can hear it...

I did buy the MOTU to get more output than the pro 14 and use it on stage, but I sent it back to the shop. I think I will use a saffire pro 40, as I'm sure I will get the quality I'm acustomed, and it has more options (adat, 8 preamps, etc.).
Plus, I don't like at all the cuemix program, but I think it's very personal.

A good point : the MOTU has a bigger signal (few db more) and uses a tiny bit less of cpu power... Latency is the same (I did test all that deeply).

Maybe it was only my unit that was defective, maybe I could fix that with the internal EQ, but I did prefer to send it back.

So, my experience of the ultralite mk3 hybrid is not perfect...
Old 6th February 2015
Gear Addict
Maybe anyone else can contribute to this comparison. I want to connect 3 synthesizers and need 5 line (or preamp) inputs. One condition - it has to have FireWire connection because i'm on old PC with usb 1.1 and FireWire card, XP.

Now i see it in this way:
Motu - eight inputs, FW and USB 2.0. (which may be usefull when i will change PC in the future).

Focusrite Pro 40 - it has preamp/line inputs, and ADAT which could be useful in future. But only FW and i am not sure if it will be supported in the future (I am affraid that when i will change my PC it would be better have usb 2.0/3.0 port, or am i wrong?)

But what's more important is which one will be better in terms of sound quality?
Through which one my synths will sound better after recorded to DAW. I don't use soft synths, only some effects like reverb).

Edit: End there is third competitor - M-audio Profire 2626 - the same price, has ADAT. Now i use M-audio FW410 and did't have any issues with this card.

Last edited by PiTeR-aR; 6th February 2015 at 11:46 PM.. Reason: M-audio...
Old 7th February 2015
Lives for gear
fireberd's Avatar
I can't compare the Saffire Pro 40 to the MOTU, but I had a Saffire Pro 40 and replaced it with a Roland Octa-Capture (USB 2.0 interface). I'm much happier with the Octa-Capture than the Saffire Pro 40. Although I liked the preamps in the Saffire Pro 40, my new PC did not have Firewire and I decided to not install a T.I. chipset firewire card (and it was a good idea as the Saffire 40 died shortly after building the new PC). The Octa-Capture, compared to the Saffire Pro 40 was impressive. The preamps are much better, I have better latency (4 to 6 ms compared with 11ms as the best I could do with the Saffire Pro 40), and extra features such as built in limiters, compressors and reverb (for record monitor only). The PC software control is much more straightforward compared to the Saffire Pro 40's Mix Control.

The specs on the Roland site do not address whether USB 2.0 is required.
Old 7th February 2015
Gear Addict
Hmm i think that on usb 1.1 it could be not so efficient, but to be honest i'm not good in IT hardwear things
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