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MOTU MIDI Express XT USB Reviews

4.0 stars based on 14 customer reviews
Questions about the MOTU MIDI Express XT USB?

Questions about the MOTU MIDI Express XT USB?

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Sweetwater Advice

  • Austin Moss

    I added a MIDI Express XT USB for all of my MIDI outboard. I wanted to have SMPTE and MMC capabilities as well, but didn't need all the clocking and video capabilities of the MIDI Time Piece AV. This MIDI interface has been nothing less than fantastic. It operates in standalone mode as a MIDI patchbay/router even without the computer attached when I need to take a rig out to a show! There are even presets in case there are different studio configurations or workflows.

  • Blake
    from Houston May 24, 2016Music Background:
    Keys/Synth player

    Worked like a charm

    Plugged it in, installed the drivers, that's it! I operate 3 keyboards, 3 effects pedals and receive clock with ease.

  • Robb
    from Milwaukee Wisco Usa March 8, 2015Music Background:
    Lifetime Musician


    Up to this point in life, I've dreamt of a operable multi keyboard live show.This Motu Express may make it a reality.Fast, almost as fast as me, ha. I've been plugging and routing one idea after another. After a few loops and understanding, it just gets better. I even love the pedal capabilities. I must say, it's only been a couple of weeks to experiment but, I think this things a monster.

  • Scott Haas
    from Monclova, OH October 9, 2014Music Background:
    Amatuer Muscian

    Eliminate MIDI headaches

    The MOTU system eliminated the MIDI mind bender of connecting several devices to each other and my PC based DAW. I was using a 3 midi port Roland UMG, USB connects and free wear program MIDI-OX. With that setup I had reach the manageable limit a long time ago. Plus I always had to fire up my computer and MIDI-OX to make my rig work. The 8 port MOTU midi hub and accompanying computer program really makes connecting gear a breeze. The MOTU hardware remembers the connection setup so my PC can stay off if I want. A great addition to my rack and no more midi headaches.

    from NEWARK, DE May 15, 2014Music Background:
    Writing, Aranging, Engineering (since childhood)

    MOTU's Midi XT-USB

    I've been using the Express XT-USB ever since they were first introduced...with a number of Kybds, Drum Machines, etc., along with Cubase, the midi interface is what makes all that necessary communication coming and going 'behind the scenes' without having to worry about making sure the right cables are connected appropriately - Once you've made sure all your cables are connected properly, which can be a bit confusing sometimes with 2 cables coming and going to each instrument and the computer, aside from the audio cables, means making the right connections initially, then you can focus solely on writing and/or recording - I recently purchased my 2nd XT-USB midi interface because of how important that one piece of equipment is...that without it, my music production would be shut down and trying to switch so many cable connections would just be unthinkable - The other reason is because that interface had been discontinued until just recently (they said the necessary manufactured parts weren't available) and after searching many of the other vendors, there seems to be a very limited selection of midi interfaces available, especially if trying to find one with 8 IN/OUTS such as the XT-USB provides, including the fact that the XT-USB also offers a few other features that the other interfaces don't provide - MOTU also makes a less expensive interface that requires it connected to your computer (being USB powered) where the XT-USB can be used stand alone (comes with it's own P.S.) if you're not planning on using the computer and just playing or controlling any of your other instruments - IMO the XT-USB is definitely the best midi interface available....so important to music production that I wanted the benefit of having a back up...since 'back ups' are always a must whenever music is involved - I would also like to mention that the folks at Sweetwater always seem to expedite the equipment that I sometimes feel I'm in a hurry for, so the service there is undeniably as good as it gets and amongst all the other vendors, Sweetwater's service is certainly one those things they do best - There's been a number of occassions when I've needed one thing or another, that they came thru for me expeditiously !

  • Sam Santos
    from Vineland, NJ January 3, 2014Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    Looking to automate your show? this is it!

    This is the unit you need to control any routing among your MIDI devices. We automate our keyboard, guitars and our video projections! Just connect all of them to this unit and you are done! Need a redundant system? no problem this unit will also switch to a "B" System on the fly. Solid construction and easy to use!

  • William
    from Akron oh April 24, 2013Music Background:
    Electronic punk musician


    Built to last bottomline!

  • Jamal A.Siddiqui
    from April 10, 2013Music Background:
    Professional Music Composer , Arranger & Studio Owner.

    Fantastic Gear.

    Previously I was using MIDI Timepiece mk2.
    Now I have switched to MIDI Express XT, and cascading two devices of MIDI Express XT simultaneously, it works and synchronizes perfectly with all my keyboards and synth modules, without any time delay while recording and reproducing.
    The best Midi interface available in the market for professional studios.

  • Allan Lerud
    from Valley City, ND USA March 27, 2012Music Background:
    Life long musician (keyboards, guitar, bass, trumpet, drums) and sadly just another joe trying to make a buck for a living. Sometimes that means not being a musician for awhile.

    MOTU MIDI Express XT USB

    The MIDI Express XT USB was exactly what I needed. It functions exactly as the user's manual says. Very simple installation of the driver on the computer and then plug and play. I've had no problems at all. This is a very well thought out and simple to run device. All my 8 MIDI devices now sit in order where they are supposed to be and run exactly how I program them to run. Keyboards talk to other keyboards (if you want them to) and every one of them talk to the computer. Perfect. I would have built one myself but I'm glad someone else had the same ideas about MIDI communication that I did. They did it right with the Clockworks software. Set it up, save it to a user preset and you are done. If you really need it to change something later, it's there for you on your computer. Really, a tremendously powerful device with very deep software. It's like before I didn't have one, the orchestra was unruly and unorganized. Now, the orchestra is truly mature and follow directions flawlessly. Yeah, a director's dream ! Thank you MOTU and Sweetwater for selling a great product. It's really amazing to shop somewhere for a musician's needs that are so detailed and technically advanced and find exactly what you want.

  • Will Walker
    from Crewe, VA March 22, 2012Music Background:
    MIDI Production Artist, Hobbyist, Beat Head.

    Way better than anticipated!

    I purchased this item last week because I recently bought two more keyboards to go along with my Yamaha Motif ES, as well as two Emu synth rack modules. I didn't have the patience for daisy chaining, and this seemed like the best deal. With the 8 ports, you have plenty of room for your gear. I simply ran my Motif's MIDI OUT to my audio interface's MIDI IN, and then the Motif's MIDI IN to the Motu's MIDI OUT port 1. The rest of the keyboards I did the same thing, running the MIDI IN's to their own port on the MOTU's MIDI OUT board. This gives me flawless syncing with my software sequencer, using the Yamaha Motif as my main MIDI controller. I was worried about latency issues being that it is USB and not Firewire, but everything syncs up seamlessly. It may be a bit on the expensive side, but I would recommend this interface to anyone who wants to have total control (without the drawn out thought process) over their keyboards and modules.

  • Hank Napkin
    from Earth April 28, 2015Music Background:
    coldplay roadie


    easy, effective and reliable. close as you get to the push-button promise of tomorrow-town. all for a price that's less than a mid-model roomba. the future has indeed arrived!

  • Marcus J
    from Ohio August 26, 2013Music Background:

    Doesn't support sysex completely

    This doesn't do sysex correctly. This seems to be known problem with this device. In particular device editors that rely on sysex. I give it 2 stars because everything else works great

    from southern ca. February 16, 2016


    Running window 7. Yes you can hook up 8 separate midi devices. Your DAW will most likely recognize the 8 inputs and separate 16 midi channels for each. But that's where all the fun of this over glorified midi thru box ends. Every daw I've used will only show the 8 output ports but not the separate midi channels, and that's the whole idea behind the claimed 128 midi channels. Even their own DAW DP8!
    It's also a fact that motu clearly aimed this at MAC users. One glance thru the owners manual will show you that. Setting up the motu software known as Clockworks leaves you having to jot down your various midi connections on paper while on Mac you can actually rename the connections in the clockworks software. A huge plus for Mac, a slap in the face for Windows users especially when they paid the same price to own an obviously inferior product than Mac users.
    FREE TECH SUPPORT. So is mailing Santa Claus. But even he replies once a year. Non-existant. And when they DO reply, it's not long before you realize you already know more about the unit than they do.
    Oh, and one other thing, this unit is fantastic if you want to write a song made exclusively of stuck midi notes. Tech support insists the unit requires a powered USB in order to work properly. Didn't read that in the manual. After weeks with tech support nearly refusing to help, I told them I would do all I can to point the truth to potential buyers. Didn't phase them.
    So go ahead, buy yourself a $350 nightmare.

  • Customer
    from January 12, 2016


    If you plan to do anything Sysex related, do not get this. For some reason (that the MOTU tech didn't seem to know), this unit spits out sysex garbage to all the ports that you can't turn off, and i can't even back up a patch from a synth to my computer.

    It also randomly stops working for me and I have to reboot it to get it running again.

    I suspect that bad Mavericks drivers are the issue.

  • Eric Piggott
    from Anchorage, AK USA November 1, 2014Music Background:
    Years of live performance, home recording hobbiest now

    Great for OSX users, not so much for Windows users

    My home studio contains midi devices and controllers galore. My goal in puchasing this was to squeeze some extra value out of those devices while taking out the hassle of changing cables. Well it takes the hassle out of changing cables, but if you are using Windows, The software for Windows software implementation for this device is what I would call "Window Dressing". To get the useful functionality one expects from the glowing reviews of this product, its time to go shopping for a Mac. To MOTU's credit, they have me convinced to do so, but I wished I had known that before I bought in.


  • Gilbert Janke

    The MIDI Express XT gives you a rock solid package at the right price. This wonderfully practical and easy to use interface has been living in my rack, and working hard for the past 8+ years. The drivers and clockwork software run great on Mac and PC, making compatibility fears fade away while bringing your attention to production to the forefront. This 1 rackspace unit has easy to read front panel metering, and soft touch buttons allowing for easy navigation when routing & storing presets with or with out a host computer. With 8 total Ins and Outs, you have plenty I/O to keep your gear patched, and they even left one pair of ports on the front for easy access. Don't forget, that MOTU didn't leave out SMPTE and MMC, which are the Sweet icing on the cake! Now you can have your cake and eat it too!

Questions about the MOTU MIDI Express XT USB?

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