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MOTU Audio Express Reviews

4.5 stars based on 12 customer reviews
Questions about the MOTU Audio Express?

Questions about the MOTU Audio Express?

Or call us at (800) 222-4700

  • from Canton, NC USA August 27, 2012Music Background:
    Voice Over dude

    Awesome!

    I was in the market for something that had firewire and usb connectivity and it had to sound clean. I don't do music I'm a VO guy so I didn't want anything that "colored" the sound. For my purposes the Motu Audio Express fit the bill perfectly. In use it's been flawless. Running it on two systems Windows 7 and Windows XP. Installation was simple and didn't have a bit of problem.

  • from Louisville, KY February 22, 2012Music Background:
    Swimming in the Ocean of Tone

    Very Impressive Interface!

    This is my first experience with an audio interface, so I have nothing to compare it to, but I am very impressed by the MOTU Audio Express.

    First, it's very solidly built, with a thick metal chassis. In fact, it's so solid that if I were to ever stop making music (HA! fat chance), I could use it as a jack stand for my SUV in a pinch without a second thought! The buttons are all tight, no wiggling or feeling like they might pop off and all inputs grab nicely. Overall great quality look and feel.

    From a setup perspective, loading drivers and having my DAW see all its inputs and outputs was a breeze, although never having used an audio interface before, I did have to consult the manual in order to understand a few basic concepts, nothing major though. It's a plus that it can connect via either USB (2.0) or Firewire.

    The sound is amazing and being able to record audio (vocals or instruments) with latency so close to zero it's not even worth mentioning was what blew me away! The line input sound is very clean and uncolored. The mic pre-amps also are extremely clean and I'm sure they are neither adding nor removing anything tonally. Just crisp and clear and noticeably better than recording into my 24-track hard disk recorder with the same mics.

    Now, the controls are minimalist by design, meaning the few buttons have several functions depending on what mode you're in and if you've pushed any of the buttons (they are both rotary and pushable). Because of that, this baby can do more than it may seem just from looking at it. It's a bit confusing at first, but the learning curve is pretty steep (contrary to popular usage, a STEEP learning curve actually means something is EASY to learn).

    As I said, I have never used an audio interface before, but if some negative fate were to befall this one, I don't think I would hesitate to buy the same thing again, unless at that time I needed more inputs or something. You can certainly get less expensive interfaces, but I doubt they'd match the quality and performance of this one, and I think you'd lay a LOT more to get quality and performance that would be noticeably better.

  • from Atlanta, GA (USA) June 8, 2011Music Background:
    Semi-Pro Singer Songwriter/Musician

    Outstanding!

    The Motu Audio Express is a great value . It is built like a tank and the sound quality beats everything I have owned . It's made in the US! I use Presonus Studio One Pro with no issues. I loaded the Audio Desk software that came with it and it seems to be a good software,again the quality was crystal clear and the plug-ins were a nice add on. I have not tried the USB but the Firewire works great for me.
    I am using a new Imac desktop.I have been playing music for 46 years and recording my own music for 10 years. I'm now 54 years old
    This product was not on my radar but thanks to the pros at Sweetwater I have a great product that sounds amazing.
    My Rep not only did he email me but he called to make sure everything was good! Why would you buy anywhere else when you get free support and service second to none?.WOW! and they are hear in the US not in a another country reading from a card! OUTSTANDING!

  • from A touch of country in the city June 8, 2014Music Background:
    Pro piano and bass, semi-pro recordist, published composer and songwriter

    Rock Solid

    I use this unit for everything - portable virtual keyboard, interface for portable recording, running YouTube videos through pro speakers, and playing virtual drum and bass tracks through a sound system for rehearsals. I jump the SPDIF jacks together to run Komplete patches through Guitar Rig with no signal loss. You can work it as hard as you please - you're only limited by your imagination. There's not much to dislike - it does exactly what it is supposed to and does it well. My only complaints - 1) The knobs and labels on the front are small and hard to deal with. 2) The power supply is the only part of the unit that is not built like a tank, so it gets beat up faster. Neither is a dealbreaker for an otherwise impressive piece of gear.

  • from Austin, TX December 1, 2011Music Background:
    Musician, Recording Engineer in training

    So far so good

    Ive only had it for a few weeks. Its got a ton of features, great functionality, and profesional grade sound quality (minus tube preamps of course). My only gripe is that the interface controls are a bit awkward, but thats to be expected from such a small unit with so few physical knobs and buttons. Other than that, its probabaly the best audio gear purchase Ive made to date.

  • from Wisconsin April 25, 2011Music Background:
    Pro Musician/ Hobbyist

    Motu and Motu Drivers are the Best

    Purchased the MOTU Audio Express to replace a Presonus AudioBox that I and Presonus could never get to work on my i7 Windows 7 laptop. I own a MOTU 828mkIII that I use on a i7 Desktop so I know MOTU makes great products and drivers. The Audio Express drivers installed perfectly and the Audio Express worked flawlessly in both USB2 and Firewire modes from the begining. Sorry Presonus your drivers are junk. Congratulations MOTU your entire product line is supreme.

  • from Memphis, TN November 19, 2014Music Background:
    Recording Engineer/Beatmaker/Producer

    Solid

    Solid audio interface here. I went from the 2nd Generation Mbox 2 Pro to this thinking that this was going to be a lateral move, but to my surprise this was a great upgrade. Reasonable price and the sound that comes out of here is great. For a small home studio setup like I got this works!

  • from San Diego, CA USA May 14, 2014Music Background:
    Prosumer

    Excellent Interface

    First things first, the audio quality on this interface is Professional Grade. I would have no reservations about using this to record a professional album.

    The drivers for Mac are solid, it is solidly built, and it boasts a great selection of I/O options for such a small device

    It does have a couple small drawbacks - I wish the meters were more accurate in the display of trim/volume settings, and sometimes you have to power the thing on twice for the computer to see it - but those are relatively small issues when you account for the price point and overall quality of the product.

    In the end, the most important factor is sound quality, and this interface is a slam dunk in that regard. Great job by the folks at MOTU.

  • from Austin, Tx USA February 18, 2014Music Background:
    47 years slave to the beat

    It's the drivers, dude

    Typical MOTU. The hardware is solid. The routing is brilliant. But the important thing for me about EVERYTHING MOTU is the drivers. MOTU provides great support so, as your OS inevitably changes, you can keep using the hardware. Don't worry about paying a little more. It's about the value.

  • from Lenexa, KS January 6, 2013Music Background:
    somewhere between hobbyist and pro

    GREAT!

    It's so nice when something just works! Got the unit, installed the drivers, plugged it in (using the USB 2.0 option) and it just worked (Win 7 64 bit, Cubase 7.0.1).

    Very rugged construction, and great metering on the front. Knobs are a bit small, but all of the options are supposed to be able to be controlled from the included software as well (I haven't actually tried it yet).

    The reason I only gave four stars is that it seems a tad pricey. But then, my experience with cheaper units with comparable features was not good at all. So maybe this is the price necessary for something to just freekin' work when you plug it in.

  • from United States September 7, 2012Music Background:
    Pro musician

    Versatile and portable

    I'll start with the bad points: the small knobs on the front are somewhat difficult to use, not only because they are too close to each other, but the incremental way in which they adjust exacerbates the closeness. Not ideal, but i guess that's what you trade for portability.
    Secondly, i have had software trouble. In their defense, we've all just switched over to the fort knox of all OS systems, mac 10.8 and MOTU is no doubt struggling to fix problems. It has trouble switching from internal audio to external and crashes my brand new computer. However, after a firmwire upgrade it is much better, but not perfect.
    It takes some reading to use. It's not terribly intuitive, but it made sense after I got the hang of it. It is a small unit, so they have to do something to squeeze all those features into a half rack mount.
    Okay, now some good points:
    MIDI
    lots of ins and outs for a portable device. Sounds fine to me. I do wonder what the apogee sounds like, but i just cant afford that.
    96k capability
    firewire OR usb (only works of buss power from firewire. Check your type of firewire. I needed a 6pin to 9 pin. it comes with 6 to 6.

  • from NJ January 4, 2014Music Background:
    College Prof.

    Good. Not Great

    I have been using MOTU software and gear since the 1990s. This is the first piece of hardware that I've purchased and have been disappointed with. My primary issue lies with the front panel interface. I find the knobs to be too closely set together and cumbersome to work with. The a/d converters are solid as is the overall construction.

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