Advice on replacing audio interface. Nauts, can you help?!

yes motu have some cool network features

but I dont think they offer stand alone multitrack recording yet. this is what makes such an interface really expensive, so if you are low on budget, I would skip this feature.

under windows you have countless possibilities of hardware combinations, so yes the probability to get an unstable system is higher compared to mac.

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I’m on Windows 10 PC. I don’t need stand alone multitrack capability, multitrack through the computer daw is fine. I just want an interface that can work stand alone as a mixer while I’m jamming.

I’m really interested in the Motu Ultralite MK3 (multitrack in daw, on board fx, stand alone mixer) However the MK4 is said to have better converters. Do the converters make that big of a difference? I’m trying to keep this within a budget of around $300 - $400. Used Motu MK3 go for like $250. In all honesty I do not need top of the line, I write music as a hobbyist, not for a living. I couldn’t justify a super expensive piece of gear at this point in my life because of my 2 kids.

Thanks for all the recommendations so far! I’m going to continue to research different interfaces and see which is right for my needs

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The MK3 will be no worse than what you have at the monent. Converters matter in that the improvement from your basic consumer sound card to any MOTU unit will be dramatic. From a Mk 1, 2,3 or 4 the improvements would be incremental at best and all would yield professional results. Save your $$.

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You hit it on the head! I think I will most likely go with the Motu Ultralite MK3. After I sell the MG10XU, I shouldn’t have to spend much out of pocket. Still intrigued by the Roland Octacapture, but I know it’s a little older and unsure if there is tons of support for it anymore. Thanks!

Edit - Motu Ultralite mk3 is also a little older unit. Though Roland and Motu are still producing these units new.

I know that it is expensive, yap, but save up for an AH QuPac, you won’t be disappointed…

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Last question before I purchase the Motu. 2 of the inputs are XLR / TRS MIC / GUITAR input with preamp. Any recommendation on what devices I should plug into those specific inputs? Do they color the sound differently than the other 6 TRS inputs? Or are they all the same when using synths?

Gear used will be Novation BS2, Virus C, Reface CS, Digitone, Machinedrum, and TT-606.

Whichever device has the lowest output (probably the one that needed the most gain on your MG). Here too, the significance is probably miniscule.

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https://www.elektronauts.com/t/finally-the-perfect-mixer-allen-heath-qupac/

I went for the Qu24 cause I like sliders (and love motorized ones).
But recording 18 tracks simultaneously without a computer with the simple push of a button = :yum:

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This is like having dealers at an NA meeting (or a sweetwater rep at a GAS clinic). The guy is trying to break even on a $300 mixer and the 4 digit suggestions come a rollin’ in :currency_exchange:

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You could look at a Motu UltraLite Mk4 (slightly over your price range OR if buying used in your price range). The Soundcraft 12 MTK would also work, used it should be within your price range also.

Then someone suggested the Behringer XR18, that would also work, but gain staging would have to be done on a touch screen (eg ipad), which is still better than booting up the laptop :slight_smile:

Alternatively, if it is only about line ins and you don’t mind average sound quality, then you could go for one of the Behringer racks and save a dollar or two in the process…

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The Motu ultralite mk4 looks great and an improved upon design from the mk3. Hard to bite the bullet on the cost though. I can find used MK3 for $250-$300. Though the used could be 6 - 7 years old. I believe motu gear to be fairly reliable over time, no?

Yea sure. But for $200 more you can get something that is waaaay better.

Is low latency operation important to you?

If you really want to save money over performance, look for a Traveler Mk1. It uses the same FireWire driver as the ULmk3.
I got one for $60
Converters aren’t as good but I still use em over ADAT without complaints.

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Oops, indeed. Hadn’t seen last line…
Anyway, one always want to save on what doesn’t really produce sound.
But in the end, if you facilitate your workflow to the point where computer stays shut down and one press on a button launch the recording of your current moment of awesome, it’s worth the bill, and often underestimated.

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That seems to be the case around here, some people with synth rigs that cost like a house all plugged into Mackies , or mixed to cassettes. I fully realize the value of a good mixer; I pay the rent working on mixers, not playing synths. But the OP’s position is also very clear to me: any money or time spent on making music is luxury. You are not comparing money spent on synths just to money spent on mixers. I will use myself as an example: for the difference between a MOTU Mk3 and Mk4 I can buy my daughter a new bicycle. For the difference between a Mk4 an and a QuPac I can take my family for a weekend out of town. For the price of a Qu24 I could take 2 weeks off work and work on music. I haven’t done that since 2010. Overspending on gear can literally lead to someone not making any music at all. Am I off topic here?

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My Yamaha MG10XU latency seemed just fine, however I was only recording the stereo mix into my daw. I plan on streaming 8 audio tracks into my daw simultaneously, I’m assuming the Motu Ultralite MK3 has solid enough latency for that, I would hope it will do the job.

Nope. I was.

again recommending behringer xr 18… it is extremely powerful

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@LyingDalai I totally get the idea of spending lite on an interface and high on the synths. I’m guilty of it considering a I own a Machinedrum and a Virus C, therefore I’m willing to listen to most recommendations, but at a certain point the price just becomes too much too justify. I suppose maybe because I don’t know exactly what I’d be missing out on because I’ve never had a high end interface with great converters. For me, the Yamaga Mg10xu seemed fine quality wise, so maybe it’s just my ignorance to the fidelity.

I’m hearing @AdamJay about the Ultralite Mk4, in which might be more in the $500 - $600 range, but with better specs / converters. I may save more for that, but beyond that point I can’t come to terms with a $1000 + interface. Much harder to explain to the Wife.

Thanks @Joe_b for the down to earth explanations of looking toward lower cost gear

I suppose the law of diminishing returns is coming into play with these interfaces pricing.

I love the package mixer + soundcard + multitrack recording with no computer, but indeed that might be overkill.

Second hand QuPac can be found for 700€ in France, btw.

Anyway, a mixer/soundcard is quite central a piece of equipment. Every sound you produce gets through this, sometimes several times.
Easily overlooked.

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Audiofuse Studio looks very interesting. Has a high pricetag though as it’s a new product.

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