MOTU UltraLite-mk3 Hybrid Reviews4.3/5.0 based on 27 customer reviews
Sort By Date Sort By Rating
from Dallas, TX USA
March 16, 2013Music Background:
Performance Musician, Recording Engineer, Mastering Engineer, etc.
Great hardware, wish the drivers were better though.Everything about this piece of hardware seems like it was built to last. Unfortunately, my experience with the drivers has not been 5-star, but since that can be easily fixed without needing a new unit, the UltraLite -mk3 Hybrid gets 5 stars.
from Stuart, Fl
September 22, 2012Music Background:
Played Bass/Guitar in Heavy Metal/Hard Rock bands. Starting Film scoring until life got put on hold
Have No Gear - MOTU is Here!My SweetWater Salesman turned me on to something I didn't think existed. The MOTU UltraLite-mk3 Hybrid FireWire (or USB) Audio Interface (Thanks AGAIN Aaron Regenald)!
I'm (slowly) trying to get back to work with assisting the composers, that make the big money, by filling in music around their 'more important' cues. But I also wanted to be able to use the Audio Interface like a mixer, w/o having to turn the DAW each time. So 'Thanks Aaron!' for coming up with the MOTU UltraLite. After all the research, finding out I didn't have room for some of the bigger gear, Aaron found a 1/2 Rack Interface, that work GREAT!!!!!!
5 Starts for the performance of the Hybrid and 5 Stars for the extra time you put in. Cheers n Spasiba (Thnx!) -cMorr
from Salt Lake City, UT
May 9, 2012Music Background:
Mix Engineer, Pro Musician
The best audio interface when money IS AN object.Five stars relative to it's competitors. This is THE audio interface to buy unless money IS NOT an object. The preamps, the converters, the whole feature set is the summum bonum of any audio interface built to a cost. Having logged enough hours in commercial studios and project studios alike to appreciate the nuances and quality of fine A/D converters, I can safely say that the difference between the converters in this box, and ones in the lofty reaches of the Apogee or Digidesign/Avid lines, is so minuscule as to be irrelevant except in the following scenarios:
1. You are running a commercial studio as your livelihood and need to look serious to your clients, and/or...
2. You are recording material that is heavy on microphone technique and light on processing (i.e. classical, jazz, folk, foley).
The preamps are excellent, and very usable for most applications (though I wouldn't recommend low-output microphones without a cloudlifter or something of that ilk), though thankfully I have enough inputs with this to accommodate a few external preamps that can provide more gain and/or coloration. The DSP mixing is great and more than adequate for zero-latency tracking. The LA-2A leveller that is available on each channel is convincing enough to be written to disk.
Seriously, there is no reason to go beyond this price point unless you are in any of the scenarios listed above or need more than 8 analog channels for some reason.
Never forget, it's all about the music... the best gear just stays out of the way, and the UltraLite does just that.
from Chicago Illinois
January 16, 2012Music Background:
Vocal, Bass, Guitar
Motu UltraLite-mk3 Hybridas usual....stud
from Houston, TX.
November 1, 2011Music Background:
Pro musician, producer.
I'm impressedThis thing is incredible... Drivers install perfectly, it's plug and play. The I/O possibilities are great.
I'm able to route audio in and out to my compressors and outboard gear, enjoying the best of both digital and analog worlds.
I know there are incredible converters out there, but I'm still waiting for a product that integrates audio from your computer, your daw, internet like Motu does...
from Catumbela, Angola
September 22, 2011Music Background:
Musician, Guitarist & Audio Producer
Good Piece of GearVery solid body and few buttons ideal to carry and play out. Easy to setup no problems encountered and the mixing software is friendly. I just bought the product recently , still getting familiarized with it specially on the standalone part of it, but I really like the features on this piece of equipment. I want to use the firewire in my PC laptop but unfortunately the firewire cable in the box is for desktop and did not work with the normal firewire cable I have for laptop. Other than that no complains and I recommend this product to anyone.
Mark De Lorenzo
from United States
June 20, 2011Music Background:
Worship Musician, Keyboardist, Producer, Engineer
Best choice I made for a live setupFrom the moment I first connected it to my 2011 MacBook Pro, I was amazed. Extremely simple to configure. And an extremely pure and clean sound. No hiss at all. I love the fact that it is an audio interface AND a mixer. Makes whatever setup and routing you wish, possible. The MIC pres are perfect.
from Denver, Co
February 7, 2011Music Background:
Producer, sound engineer
Very practicalGot this unit to make some music while on the road as well as live gigs.
Just happy with it. The navigation from the front panel is a bit confusing at first, but later becomes easier. Clean preamps, surgical EQs, and great compressors (all 16 of them). Hook-up was flawless even without rebooting computer. You can unplug interface cable while performing, and the thing work just fine. You can even use it instead of yellow pages on the piano bench :-) built very solid. Great value for the money!
November 15, 2010
All that you could ask forI got this unit to use as a live interface for shows. Install the drivers and you're off! Sound is pristine, everything is accessible from the front and it's solid like a rock. The real bonus is the DSP mixer which works perfectly and allows me to tailor my sound to any PA.
September 13, 2010Music Background:
Very Nice!!Thoroughly dependable unit. I've had my Ultralite-mk3 (firewire-only model) for a little over a year. Unit has seen heavy usage on both my Windows machines AND my Mac machines. The Cuemix/DSP is pretty impressive and the flexibility of this little box is very nice.
Sound quality is superb, but opinions on sound quality are pretty subjective. To put it another way, I've been involved in audio for 25 years and have owned everything from 2" Analog machines and have used/owned multiple digital recording setups. Based on that experience, I find the Ultralite to be extremely impressive and probably the best buy out there at this time. Mic preamps on this thing are pretty decent but probably not the best for low output mics (ribbons,SM-7,etc).
I usually wouldn't consider writing a review, but out of all the gear I've owned, the gear I remember/keep is the stuff that works. The Ultralite-mk3 is a keeper.
July 8, 2010Music Background:
GET THIS UNIT!I've always loved MOTU for sound quality and affordability. I own an 8pre and is unit's predecessor, the UltraLite. I've never been let down by my UltraLite, and I use it plenty. I love the fact that these things are firewire bus-powered because I record a lot of stuff out in the field where there is no power except what I have in the form of batteries. Since I also have a Presonus Digimax FS (which can run on 12 VDC - a car battery lasts FOREVER) I've go 8 channels of on-the-go recording - 5.1 baby! I need another interface for more channels and saw this. I'm getting it! I can't wait to hear the effects, which the older one doesn't have.
from New Bern, NC
May 3, 2010Music Background:
Producer, Recording Engineer, Ministrel of Music, Pro Musician
Amazing sound!I was looking for a new upgrade to my sound quality in my studio, call Simon Picazo and he recommended this because of the flexibility of using it as a USB or Firewire. I decided to give it a try and man was I blown away by the sound quality that I have been getting from this interface. I was using an old Alesis multimix Usb 8 which had a decent sound for beginners however I had gone way past beginner stages and was in need of a high quality Interface that could be used both as USB and Firewire. What I like about it most besides the sound quality is that you have the choice of using the mixer on the front or the one on dvd which is use to load it in the computer. The effects are very good and just using a audio technica at2020 mic makes this mic sound much better than it did with the original mixer I used with it before. I have other mics by Blue and Neumann which sound killer but just to hear how it made the less expensive at2020 sound was like wow. The preamps are reall good and one can make a very good demo for local sale or record company A&R's using this interface. It is small and compact and built very well not with plastic like some companies use. If you have the extra $550 to spend and want to get a pro sounding interface I recomend this one because it will take you to another level of recording and engineering. Everything is so clear and you hear everything you are doing with it.
from United States
February 17, 2013Music Background:
Pro musician, Music Producer, Engineer
Very surprising!!!For the price you can not find any other Interface.. I'm always very impressed with the clarity and quality of the sound. Very clean sound, the EQ and dynamics is very useful! You can not go wrong with this interface. The preamps are excellent, and very usable for most applications. My first time I had some difficulties to control the interface with its buttons. But the mixer software control is very easy to use. That's the reason that I gave 4.5
from TN USA
December 13, 2012Music Background:
Recording Engineer and Producer
Sounds AmazingI have had a home recording studio for 13 years and started from the very bottom with using the computer sound card to using a Tascam US 122. I have been in professional studios with millions of dollars of equipment and the sound quality of the Motu Ultralite MK3 Hybrid is right up there with the most expensive equipment. The first week of having the interface I noticed a significant difference in sound quality. I am running a Rode K2 mic into my studio channel and into the Motu. I get incredibly crisp and full vocals. The money spent on this unit was well worth it. I compared this interface with RME high end equipment and this interface definitely holds it own. I have had it for several months now and have worked with Rap, Alternative, and Rock vocals as well as acoustic guitars....all sounding great through this interface. I would definitely invest in this interface if your considering upgrading your home studio beginner or studio professional!!!
from Houston Texas
October 15, 2012Music Background:
You get a lot for your moneyThe unit definitely works as advertised. I have tried it with 4 simultaneous record channels through USB for 60 minutes converting old 4 track TASCAM reels with no problems. I have also tried it with 8 channels on firewire converting TSR 8 reels with no issues as well.
The knobs are tiny, and the cue mix interface has me slightly confounded, but this unit has the most inputs and outputs for the money, and works great with Mountain Lion and Logic Pro. Very low latency. If the Cuemix didn't crash when the unit is powered off I would give it a 5.
Ronald E. Holland
from Sandy Run, SC
February 29, 2012Music Background:
Owner/Private Studio, musician, arranger/conductor
Worked flawlessly. Solid construction & driversI purchased this unit a few days prior to a trip to Honduras where I was scheduled to record an amazing guitarist/singer in a remote village. I choose the UltraLite mk3 Hybrid based on previous experience with the original 2408 PCI, the I/O capabilities, size as well as the recommendation of Alex Morales. With only two days to familiarize myself with the unit's operation procedures, I was amazed how quickly I was able to get a good sound into my MacBook Pro. The first session went for over 8 hours with zero problems with the UltraLite. The reason for a 4.5 rating is the steep (for me) learning curve of the front panel and only one headphone output (easy work-around with separate headphone amp although space & baggage restrictions prevented me from taking one). I recorded all tracks @ 96kHz with a 128 buffer and 1 phantom powered condenser mic with no hiccups or dropouts - all on FW bus power. Overall, I am well pleased with the unit & am considering the addition of the 4pre as a companion unit. As usual, the Sweetwater staff and service are first class.
from Ft. Lauderdale, FL
January 23, 2012Music Background:
Sound Engineer, DJ, VFX
Kicka@!Pulled it straight out of the box, installed software and plugged it straight into the macbook where ableton had no problems recognizing the device. Now I can FINALLY get all the sounds I want out of my iPad by running it through this baby. Well, I had to call Motu's customer support to set everything up in ableton but they had me up and running in minutes. NO complaints.
from San Francisco, CA USA
November 16, 2011Music Background:
Live PA / DJ / Audio Software Engineer
Great Drivers, DependableThe drivers are great, the output is nice and loud and this thing is super dependable. None of the UltraLite family products have ever let me or any of my friends down in front of a crowd, which is what really counts. Thanks MOTU!
from Seattle, WA
May 1, 2013Music Background:
Audio from Computer could be better, and reverb, but solid productOverall this is a solid product. Lots of features for such a small unit. I was bummed when I started using it to realize the reverb isn't available over 48 KHz sampling considering the onboard effects were the deciding factor that I went with this unit. Too bad, but I'll get over it. The one thing I think they could do better on the mixing end is handling the computer audio output. You can manipulate all the ins and outs, but the audio from your computer is like a phantom signal. You have to open a separate setup program to route that feed. For what I use this for, it's annoying and would be better if you could treat it as an input to the mixer. For me, as a work around, I'm going to set my default out to SPDIF, then jumper it back in to the SPDIF port and thus get a signal I can actually route in the mixer. Onboard EQ and compressors seem very nice. Aside from my minor gripes, overall, this is a very nice unit. Flexible enough it can almost work around all it's own shortcomings.
from San Francisco, CA
December 7, 2012Music Background:
Producer, Live musician, Project studio hobbyist
A bargain for the project studio enthusiastThis little sucker will likely fulfill your every need for project studio production. The software based routing makes setup a charm even if you have a nonstandard monitor arrangement. Though the DSPs are unimpressive when compared with any standard DAW setup, they might prove useful if you do plan to use this on the road for a live jam session. I would caution against being too aggressive with the DSPs as they can sound a bit digital when the signal is too wet, but they'll work in a pinch if you need to add a touch of reverb.
from Trinidad and Tobago
September 7, 2012Music Background:
On a tight budget?This worked for me straight out of the box! the knobs are manageable and set up was a breeze. I gave it 4 stars due to the steep learning curve of the cuemix software but that aside, it sounds great!!!!
April 6, 2011
Firewire cable won't fitwhy would you include a firewire cable that won't fit into the firewire jack on the Mac Book Pro? not a deal breaker, but now I have to buy a different cable or adapter. a bit of a pain...
October 12, 2010
Compact and usefulBought it to use for gigging. Yes, you can use it standalone (ie, without a computer), which is why I got it. But honestly, it's much easier to use the computer to control it. Otherwise, you have to do a lot of button pushing on the front panel. If you intend to use it standalone, plan on setting it up once and then leave it as so. But the most important adjustments, such as main/phones vol, and reverb on/off, are easy to do standalone.
Preamps and effects sound good -- better than on the Behringer and Mackie mixers I formally used. I like having the built-in compressor for vocals. Using the digital audio IN for my Fantom XR sounds so much cleaner than the analog mixers I formerly used. And you can add the MOTU reverb to the digital audio in. One caveat: Reverb is not designed to work at the higher sampling rates.
So far it's holding up for gigging. Rain got in the front XLR jack once. It made some weird noises when I powered up, but after everything dried up, it worked.
One warning: Don't use the MIDI IN on it. It tends to lose midi data now and then.
Works with Win7 64-bit. But you have to boot up the computer first before you turn on the MOTU. Probably a driver issue with the first 64-bit drivers. It happens. Fortunately, MOTU uses one driver for all models, so there are periodic updates. (A previous update fixed a USB issue, for example).
from Dallas/ Fort Worth, TX
May 4, 2012Music Background:
Professional musician and recording/ live enginer
Good buy not great.I will start off by saying this unit is really solid. Plenty of head room and gain. The EQ is very nice, doesn't seem to have any coloring to it. The compressors on the other hand are not very impressive. To me they make it sound very digital and the gain in the comps seem to jump quickly in volume. Limiters are not much better. This unit is worth maybe 350.00 not $500.
Part Time Musician/Song Writer
from Alpharetta, GA
July 7, 2011Music Background:
So far so good..butIt appears to work fine but it is not easy to control the output and input volumes without the Desk Top Software
from Kansas City, MO
May 3, 2011Music Background:
Recording Engineer, Live Sound Engineer, Composer, head of university computer music mastering studio Studio
Definitely a step downbought a Ultralite mk2 a few years ago and loved it. When the live setup at school went to upgrade, I put in for a brand new mk3 hybrid
using it on multiple concerts, i have never gotten it to work via firewire. Also, the internal bussing is a lot less intuitive than the mk2's. The reverb does not sound good and I don't recommend using it. The same with the compressor- in small doses it sounds alright, but not something I would use regularly
Overall, I'm disappointed considering how much I loved the mk2. It's a versatile performance interface with a large amount of ins and outs, but I just cannot recommend it. If you really need a performance interface with 8ins and 12 outs (I don't include the SPDIF) then the Ultralite can get it done, but it's finicky at best
from San Jose, CA
March 12, 2011Music Background:
Don't even think of using USBOK features but the USB drivers are defective. I've been communicating with (and ignored by) MOTU for over a year about bugs in the driver that result in choppy, distorted sound and eventually total silence. The only fix is a reboot and a prayer that it will work for at least a day.
I've tried everything that MOTU suggested and more: confirming DPC latency, using the latest driver, running off different USB cards and interfaces, trying both USB 2 and 3, using powered hubs (several different brands), reconfiguring every single USB port, turning off the power save features, running USB monitors to look for protocol violations ... the list goes on and on.
Firewire operation may rate higher but the combination of defective USB support and abysmal tech support gives this a single star. Look elsewhere if you need USB audio.