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MOTU releases M2 and M4 USB-C Bus Powered Interfaces
Old 15th November 2019
  #61
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Thanks to andyfromHH and smackmastering for sharing of initial impressions.

I'm also rather curious about latency performance.

To get basic comparison ballpark, it would be very nice to measure it with input to output loopback with Oblique RTL utility.

Here's quick intro.
It's available for both Windows and Mac there.. https://www.oblique-audio.com/tmp/beta.html
- patch analog TRS cable from first input to first output with disabled hardware monitoring to avoid feedback loop.
- launch the utility, play short test tone using button in UI and set output level and input gain at device, so meters on interface will show levels around -6dBFS. Levels can be off, but it's important to avoid any clipping.
- set sample rate and buffer size for testing (some interfaces can do it easily from RTL Utility UI, some need to make change from vendor specific control panel.. but that applies primarily to Windows)
- measure it

All subsequent measurements are logged in software, so after you finish measurements, just switch to LOG tab at the bottom and make screenshot of that.
With regards to which rates and buffer sizes, I'd recommend to take measurements at 44100 and 96000 (the first is baseline for all comparisons and the second is maximal practically used rate, other rates as 48k or 88.2k aren't so important and will be very close previous ones), with common (power of two) buffer sizes from 32 to 256 samples. It can look like somewhat like at attached screenshots.

If you will have time do that, you can directly compare your figures to other results at Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base and also post it there.. (and receive passionate likes and accolades , because you'll use some common and established metric instead of telling inaccurate values reported by DAW).

Michal
Attached Thumbnails
MOTU releases M2 and M4 USB-C Bus Powered Interfaces-rtl-aio-os-x.png   MOTU releases M2 and M4 USB-C Bus Powered Interfaces-rtl-aio-win.png  
Old 15th November 2019
  #62
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by eddu View Post
Nice! Would be nice to know about Asio drivers performance on windows. If it's as good as advertised then I guess MOTU has a winner here
I'm going to pick up an M4 this week. I use Windows 10 and my DAWs are Cakewalk/S1. I'll report back once purchased.

My last MOTU was a complete disaster on Windows, the drivers were truly abysmal so I'm skeptical at the moment, however the M4 seems like a really attractive product so I'm going to give it a go. I'm curious to see how it compares to my Clarrett 4PRE.
Old 15th November 2019
  #63
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Yes I'm waiting to hear about drivers in Windows too. Mucking along at home on an ancient MBox2 mini
Old 15th November 2019
  #64
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Leevi's Avatar
 

Im also very interested about this product. The price for both looks great and Im in a situation where I should replace my old Steinberg MR816X due to there no being 64 bit drives for MacOS.

I would be especially interested to hear that how does this compare to Apogee Duet 2 sound wise since these seem to be using the same chip and I was not too keen for the Apogee Duet 2. It was too "bright" for my taste.
Old 15th November 2019
  #65
Here for the gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philter View Post
Yes I'm waiting to hear about drivers in Windows too. Mucking along at home on an ancient MBox2 mini
I'll hopefully have some news on the windows front soon.

However, I can tell you that the Focusrite Clarret line works great with windows. The full unit sounds really good, the preamps can easily hang with units 2/3 times the price.
Old 15th November 2019
  #66
Quote:
Originally Posted by msmucr View Post

I'm also rather curious about latency performance.
l
Thanks for the instruction, I'm not sure if I have set the input signals properly, at least they haven't clipped, so here's the results, all the best and please let us know what you think, bye till then, andy.
Attached Thumbnails
MOTU releases M2 and M4 USB-C Bus Powered Interfaces-bildschirmfoto-2019-11-15-um-22.21.43.jpg  
Old 15th November 2019
  #67
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by andyfromHH View Post
Thanks for the instruction, I'm not sure if I have set the input signals properly, at least they haven't clipped, so here's the results, all the best and please let us know what you think, bye till then, andy.
Hi Andy,

thank you very much for your time and effort. That's looks like perfectly done RTL measurement.
It's great for comparison of sheer latency figures among interfaces. As you can see from driver reported and measured columns, then if you would rely just on reported figures, it can be sometimes quite off.
It's also the reason, why is typically necessary to manually adjust latency compensation for various DAW insert plugins (like for use of analog outboard), if someone desire tight alignment.
With regards to M4 results, it's looks ok to me at OS X.. if it will be stable at with those short buffers, I think, that can be absolutely fine for many users.. especially give, it's USB interface in budget range.
It's very close to results of their higher model 828es over USB. That's still tiny bit quicker, but difference is just about 0.2 ms.
Audio Interface - Low Latency Performance Data Base

Thanks again

Michal
Old 16th November 2019
  #68
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I was planning to buy the Behringer UMC404HD but this came out and now I think is the winner

But I don't really know yet, I'll wait for the end of the moth and more replies in this thread haha



Or should I buy an used interface at Guitar Center? I saw a Focusrite Clarett at a price that almost is a steal.

Maybe I can get a better deal buying something used

What takes my attention here is the DAC and the headphone output, I mostly work with a pair of Sennheiser HD58X
Old 18th November 2019
  #69
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sirthought's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by susumusic View Post
I was planning to buy the Behringer UMC404HD but this came out and now I think is the winner

But I don't really know yet, I'll wait for the end of the moth and more replies in this thread haha



Or should I buy an used interface at Guitar Center? I saw a Focusrite Clarett at a price that almost is a steal.

Maybe I can get a better deal buying something used

What takes my attention here is the DAC and the headphone output, I mostly work with a pair of Sennheiser HD58X
Used can be a great bargain sometimes. The tradeoff comes if there is something wrong with the unit and you don't have a warranty or customer service.

Perhaps GC will offer that with the Clarett, which is a different ballgame than this from a tracking perspective. The spec on this new MOTU unit for DAC is pretty awesome if you are mostly needing a small desktop unit for mixing/monitoring.
Old 18th November 2019
  #70
Gear Head
 

There´s this in german:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CAYWrHrH6LY

Not sure how valuable this info is though. Probably first impression stuff only
Old 18th November 2019
  #71
Here for the gear
Quote:
There´s this in german:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CAYWrHrH6LY

Not sure how valuable this info is though. Probably first impression stuff only
He basically says, he´s very much liking all of the specs and features :-)
Old 18th November 2019
  #72
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sirthought View Post
Used can be a great bargain sometimes. The tradeoff comes if there is something wrong with the unit and you don't have a warranty or customer service.

Perhaps GC will offer that with the Clarett, which is a different ballgame than this from a tracking perspective. The spec on this new MOTU unit for DAC is pretty awesome if you are mostly needing a small desktop unit for mixing/monitoring.
Yeah, that's right. But GC offer a warranty and I'll test the interface in that case.

Will I get significantly better results with an used Clarret, Motu UltraLite, or something similar?
Old 19th November 2019
  #73
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doom64's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandstein View Post
He basically says, he´s very much liking all of the specs and features :-)
Frickin' YouTubers. Always wanting the clicks without the effort. Nice product shots in that video though.
Old 19th November 2019
  #74
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sirthought's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by susumusic View Post
Yeah, that's right. But GC offer a warranty and I'll test the interface in that case.

Will I get significantly better results with an used Clarret, Motu UltraLite, or something similar?
Not necessarily. Better results at what exactly? Tracking? Mixing? Mastering?

- A lot depends on what software you prefer to work with and your workflow.
- The Clarett and Ultralite have many more inputs. If you are tracking more than two channels at a time then yes, you'll get better results.
- If you are mixing tracks already recorded, the M2 and M4 will offer slightly better DAC, which may provide a better picture of your audio. It won't be night and day, but there will be a difference.

I'm not dissing either brand, but unless you're tracking a full band on the Clarett 8, or the GC price is just too good to refuse...I wouldn't say Focusrite is giving you anything that's much better than MOTU. People can disagree about which preamps they like better, but these are both prosumer lines for preamps. They ain't great, but they work fine.

The M2 and M4 do, at least on paper, offer a lot of conversion value for their price. I think especially the M4 is a heck of a deal as a simple mixing interface and if you need to record one to two tracks at a time.
Old 19th November 2019
  #75
Here for the gear
Quote:
Frickin' YouTubers. Always wanting the clicks without the effort. Nice product shots in that video though.
Not saying it´s a bad review, but not much more info, than you get from the Motu-Homepage and I would have liked some audio examples...
Old 19th November 2019
  #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirthought View Post
Not necessarily. Better results at what exactly? Tracking? Mixing? Mastering?

- A lot depends on what software you prefer to work with and your workflow.
- The Clarett and Ultralite have many more inputs. If you are tracking more than two channels at a time then yes, you'll get better results.
- If you are mixing tracks already recorded, the M2 and M4 will offer slightly better DAC, which may provide a better picture of your audio. It won't be night and day, but there will be a difference.
Mostly mixing and producing.

I sometimes record elec/acoustic guitar, bass, voice and folk instruments. But mostly I produce all with VSTs and libraries.

So my priorities are:

Audio Quality (DAC) - Preamp Quality - Latency - Instrument Line (Guitar)

Things I don't really need for the moment:
More than 2 preamps.
Expansions for external preamps
More than 1 monitor output
Other features

Will I see an improvement in the audio (played and recorded) through a more expensive (But used AKA old) interface?

I think MOTU M2 will be a solid purchase.
Old 19th November 2019
  #77
Here for the gear
Here it is! Another review, in english, with noise-floor test and audio examples

MOTU M2 Audio Interface Review / Test / Explained
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n25WIe_J4YY

But he also says, he likes it
Old 19th November 2019
  #78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandstein View Post
Here it is! Another review, in english, with noise-floor test and audio examples

MOTU M2 Audio Interface Review / Test / Explained
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n25WIe_J4YY

But he also says, he likes it
muuuuuch better and more informative and in depth review than the first one, thanks!
(and even more entertaining) :o)
Old 19th November 2019
  #79
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by andyfromHH View Post
muuuuuch better and more informative and in depth review than the first one, thanks!
(and even more entertaining) :o)
YEEEEESSSS!!! Totally agree!

I was on hold before getting the Scarlett 2i4 when my attention was drawn to these new units, MOTU M2 and MOTU M4. This changes everything. Short of the wobbly buttons and inputs (could be minor or major), everything else shines brighter in terms of features and performance (within the range of my own needs and knowledge).
Old 19th November 2019
  #80
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by andyfromHH View Post
muuuuuch better and more informative and in depth review than the first one, thanks!
(and even more entertaining) :o)
OK, now: M2 vs M4, though... Gotta look into that.
Old 19th November 2019
  #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andyfromHH View Post
muuuuuch better and more informative and in depth review than the first one, thanks!
(and even more entertaining) :o)
Agreed. Then I was stupid enough to read some of the comments, when will I learn.

Sounds promising, I do love the 60db gain (and amazed he mentioned it, for some reason most reviews and even spec sheets do not, so weird), meters, and separate phantom power option. I question his "the best latency under $800" but can't say. It does seem at least really good. The only question is as he said how well will it be supported and how well will these things hold up.
Old 20th November 2019
  #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andyfromHH View Post
muuuuuch better and more informative and in depth review than the first one, thanks!
(and even more entertaining) :o)
Generally it's one of better video reviews of audio interfaces, definitely much more useful than some basic "unboxing" stuff.. like here the box and there you plug the mic..
I've briefly went also through his other videos at the channel. Appreciate his efforts and applaud to attempt to establish some common set of procedures in reviews.

However it can be pretty misleading in some aspects, where he want to use some metrics for comparison.
I've already touched the reported RTL, it can be very off, if he talks about some figures from driver shown in DAW.
The second thing is noise measurements, with shorted input and gain specified like "at noon" or "50% of knob turn", that is essentially worthless for any comparison of different interfaces and can be super confusing.
In such case, it's maybe better to report just plain impressions from recordings than showing any figures IMHO.

To expand a bit about that..
absolute essential aspect of such comparison is to set some common known gain (eg. everything to 50 dB) and terminate input with some realistic impedance (like standardized 150 ohm to mimic typical mics). Additionally one can also measure noise at maximum gain of actual device, like 60dB at M2.
I see and completely understand, that "normal" people don't have bench with additional lab gear worth of thousands. But if one would like to focus on interface comparisons and narrows procedure just for mic input noise measurements using some software meters, then it's matter of getting or building two helper tools (like soldered 150 ohm resistor into XLR shell and similar pad element for use with almost any audio interface as low level signal generator to find actual gain of measured interface). You can do both for couple of bucks and maybe only additional requirement is one time borrow of some actual decent meter to calibrate source audio interface.
Of course some used lab generator might be even better and more flexible and it's not so expensive.

It can look like total nitpicking, but I just wanted to point out, that noise and gain measurements has to be done properly to make some sense.

Michal
Old 20th November 2019
  #83
Gear Head
hello guys,
how about motu m2 or m4 vs focusrite 2i2 gen 3 ?? how about latency on windows 10 ??
Old 20th November 2019
  #84
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Might be a stupid question, but can you use the analog out of synths (like Model D / Sub 37) with the analog ins of the Motu M4 without problems? Currently I have a Rubix44 with four inputs but each input can be regulated with a gain knob.
Old 20th November 2019
  #85
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K.Lastima's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by styzer View Post
Short of the wobbly buttons and inputs...
Picked up an M4 a week ago. Knobs/buttons/inputs are not wobbly at all. In fact, they feel sturdy and smooth in operation.

Overall I'm very happy with the unit. Sound quality, build quality, and ease of use all represent very good value for the $.
Old 20th November 2019
  #86
Quote:
Originally Posted by K.Lastima View Post
Picked up an M4 a week ago. Knobs/buttons/inputs are not wobbly at all. In fact, they feel sturdy and smooth in operation.

Overall I'm very happy with the unit. Sound quality, build quality, and ease of use all represent very good value for the $.
that's also my impression, no wobbly knobs etc. here, but he was talking about the M2, I have the M4, but maybe he wanted to contribute something critical, because he praised it otherwise pretty much.
I'm still pretty impressed with the device!
Old 20th November 2019
  #87
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by K.Lastima View Post
Picked up an M4 a week ago. Knobs/buttons/inputs are not wobbly at all. In fact, they feel sturdy and smooth in operation.

Overall I'm very happy with the unit. Sound quality, build quality, and ease of use all represent very good value for the $.

This is where I got that information:



Glad to hear it's not actually an issue!

The units aren't shipping to Canada yet.

Can I ask what made you go for the M4 rather than the M2? What extra need does it fulfill?

Thanks!
Old 20th November 2019
  #88
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jbuonacc's Avatar
the knobs on the original UltraLite are a bit "wobbly" like that now that i look for it.
Old 20th November 2019
  #89
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K.Lastima's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by styzer View Post
Can I ask what made you go for the M4 rather than the M2? What extra need does it fulfill?

Thanks!
I needed the extra inputs, but honestly, for just $50 extra the M4 would have been my choice anyway.
Old 20th November 2019
  #90
Quote:
Originally Posted by styzer View Post


This is where I got that information:

Glad to hear it's not actually an issue!

The units aren't shipping to Canada yet.

Can I ask what made you go for the M4 rather than the M2? What extra need does it fulfill?

Thanks!
I saw that video, too, and overall I think it was a good review. The reason to choose the M4 over the M2 were the additional outputs / optional second pair of monitors / something I've always missed on the Duet, and in Germany its only 60,- Euro more to spent and you can blend between input and playback..
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