MOTU 4pre

6-channel USB/FireWire Audio Interface with 4 x Microphone Preamplifiers
MOTU 4pre image 1
MOTU 4pre image 1
Sweetwater Savings: $46.00 MSRP: $495.00
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Or make 3 easy payments of $149.67/month!

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MOTU 4pre
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Quality Sound Meets Maximum Convenience!

Portability, flexibility, and convenient simplicity - MOTU's 4pre hybrid recording interface gives you all of this and more. Whether you have a FireWire-equipped Mac laptop or a PC tower with USB ports, recording with your MOTU 4pre couldn't be easier. Like the name suggests, the 4pre sports four studio-quality microphone preamplifiers. What's more, each input features a combo jack, giving you inputs for your mics, instruments, and line-level sources. And housed in a handy all-metal half-rack chassis, the MOTU 4pre is ready to go where the music takes you.

MOTU 4pre Hybrid USB/FireWire Interface at a Glance:
  • Total modular flexibility
  • Studio-grade sound
  • Flexible integrated mix engine
  • Control CueMix with your iPad
Total modular flexibility

Do you prefer a handy desktop interface, or do you need an on-the-go solution for mobile recording? Either way, the MOTU 4pre will easily accommodate your needs. High-speed USB 2.0 lets you connect the 4pre to any computer out there, and if your laptop has FireWire onboard, then you can even bus power it for convenient mobile recording. What's more, the 4pre comes with a complete rackmounting kit, so you can mount it in a half-width rack, or link it with another half-rack-size MOTU piece and rackmount them together.

Studio-grade sound

Of course, no audio interface is worth investing in unless it sounds good. One of the reasons Sweetwater stands by MOTU gear is simply this: the customers who buy their products almost always rave about their sound. Specifically, the 4pre comes equipped with (as the name suggests) four of MOTU's top-quality microphone preamplifiers. What's great about these preamps is that their incredibly clear, with extremely low noise or distortion. That lets you records anything from vocals to high-gain guitar amps, and tweak the tone to taste later.

Flexible integrated mix engine

Here's another thing that Sweetwater customers love about MOTU gear. The CueMix FX mixing software lets you fully tweak the 4pre's 8-bus mix engine down at the hardware level - way before the signal reaches your DAW. That's right, we said an 8-bus mix engine. This lets you control the mix volume independently of the input gain, so you can monitor your inputs at the right level, without affecting your recording volume.

Control CueMix with your iPad

MOTU's CueMix FX software, the mixing software that drives the powerful routing of the 4pre, can be controlled from your iPad. MOTU created CueMix templates for the TouchOSC controller app, giving you complete control over your 4pre's mixing and effects processing over a Wi-Fi network. This means that when you're recording in your studio, you don't need to keep going back to your computer to adjust gain levels, change monitoring effects, or virtually anything else you rely on CueMix for.

MOTU 4pre Hybrid USB/FireWire Interface Features:
  • A great audio interface for desktop and laptop recording rigs
  • Compact and rugged all-metal chassis fits easily in a backpack, but comes with the hardware you need to rackmount it
  • 4 x ultra-clean and highly transparent microphone preamplifiers let you record without coloring your sound
  • All analog inputs are on combo jacks, providing you with the connectivity you need to record 2 x balanced line-level sources as well as 2 x hi-Z instrument sources
  • 2 x channels of S/PDIF I/O
  • 2 x independent headphone outputs make collaboration easy
  • Independent hands-on mixer lets you use the 4pre even without your computer
  • Connects via USB 2.0 or FireWire 400
  • CueMix software lets you control four mixes and 8 buses with simple tabbed interface (includes tuner, oscilloscope, real-time FFT, spectrogram waterfall, X-Y phase analysis, and other tools)
  • Functions as a stand-alone 4-channel mixer, even without a computer
  • Includes AudioDesk recording software
The MOTU 4pre is an audio interface that fits in any rig!

Additional Media

4pre User Manual for Mac
4pre User Manual for Windows
Audio Interface Buying Guide

Tech Specs

Computer Connectivity FireWire/USB 2.0
Form Factor Desktop/Rackmount
Simultaneous I/O 6 x 6
A/D Resolution 24-bit/96kHz
Built In DSP/FX Yes (DSP Mixer)
Analog Inputs 4 x XLR Combo
Analog Outputs 4 x TRS
Digital Inputs 1 x S/PDIF
Digital Outputs 1 x S/PDIF
Number of Preamps 4
Phantom Power Yes
Bus Powered Yes (FireWire)
Rack Spaces Half
Depth 7"
Width 8.5"
Height 1.75"
Manufacturer Part Number 8460

Customer Reviews

Based on 7 reviews
Write your review

Sturdy build. Very flexible.

The build quality of this unit is amazing. Every input/output is super sturdy. The audio quality is good - not quite as good (imo) as Apogee. Motu, however, doesn't have stupid break-out cables. :) This interface is terrific, for recording AND live performance. I highly recommend it.
Music background: IDM, sound design, field recording.

Great Box

I've been waiting to review this product for a couple months. I don't generally give 5 star ratings to anything, but I find something new I like about this thing every day it seems. If all you want is a simple I/O box with decent preamps, there are other options for a smaller price (although there isn't much in the way of half-rack 4 preamp selection). I take it on the road with me, use it as my main interface, can run different headphone mixes and pair of monitors, mix without a computer (which is handy because my laptop is always crashing on me and I don't have to stop the device if I'm just using it for monitoring). Also, the software that comes with it is fabulous. I don't think there is a feature I haven't used, and there aren't any features I need that I feel it is missing (other than midi, but I would rather have a different box for that anyway. If it's what you need, get it. Motu rocks.
Music background: Composer/Performer/Engineer/Live Sound


Great computer interface. Portable as well, you are only as good as your equipment!
Music background: Pro Hobbyist

Great interface!

Great piece of gear! love the pre's that it comes with, not much to complain. Only thing I didn't like was the facet that you couldn't 'monitor mute.' Meaning you can't separate your main headphone output from the main mix knob. Unless you do it within the box but still a hastle.
Music background: Recording engineer

excellent sound

this interface is everything promised. it does its job very well and very smoothly when it is paired with a good mic, the sound quality is superb. the controls are a touch confusing and require some getting used to but i imagine with a brief read through of the instructions, the problem would be solved. all in all, a solid, quality, very nice, well featured interface. and a decent deal on a motu interface
Music background: recording engineer, live sound engineer, hobbyist, student, roadie
See also: FireWire Interfaces, MOTU, MOTU FireWire Audio Interfaces, MOTU USB Audio Interfaces