Firewire/USB 2.0 Hybrid Audio Interface

OUR PART #: AUDIO-EXPRESS Write the First Review.

Thanks to MOTU's Hybrid interface technology, the Audio Express connects to any current Mac or PC via FireWire or high-speed USB 2.0.
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Our Price: $395.00
List Price: $449.00
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Thanks to MOTU's Hybrid interface technology, the Audio Express connects to any current Mac or PC via FireWire or high-speed USB 2.0.  Connect your mic, guitar, keyboard, and digital input, and you are ready to make pro-quality recordings in your personal studio.

Balance the levels of your mic, guitar, keyboard, and a S/PDIF device, right from the front panel.  Each instrument has its own volume control.  Route inputs directly to any output pair, each with its own unique mix: main outs, line outs, S/PDIF out, and phones.

Connect your powered speakers.  Plug in your instruments.  Adjust their volumes with the front panel knobs.  Double-click to install the drivers.  The Audio Express is designed to be simple to use.

You can use the Audio Express 8-bus digital mixer on stage for live performance, in your personal studio without a computer, or together with your host audio software as a low-latency monitor mixer.

What makes the Audio Express unique?  Immediate, hands-on control of your mix using the front-panel knobs and status LEDs.  To adjust the volume of an input, just turn its knob.  The Audio Express lets you control mix volume independently from the input's trim level, so you never have to sacrifice sound quality for a balanced mix.

The Audio Express mixer takes signals from its six inputs and mixes them to an output pair, such as the main outs.  You control the volume of each input.  Better yet, you can adjust input volumes differently for each output pair.  In other words, each output pair can have its own unique mix.  For example, you might create a balanced mix going to your PA via the main outs, but bring up the guitar for the mix going to your stage monitors via the line outs, so you can easily monitor your guitar sound.  You get a separate mix for main outs, line outs, S/PDIF digital out, and phones.

Because immediate volume adjustments are always within reach, the Audio Express serves as the perfect compact, portable live mixer, with or without a computer.  Even without a computer, the Audio Express gives you complete control over all four mix busses with direct access to volume, mute and solo for each input.

Back in your personal studio, you can of course use the Audio Express to connect your mic, guitar, and other inputs to your computer.  Sometimes, however, you just want to play your instruments, without the computer.  The Audio Express continues to serve as your studio mixer, even when your PC or Mac is turned off.

When recording into your computer, host audio software can sometimes introduce a slight delay (latency) in what you hear as you track.  You can use the Audio Express mixer, instead of monitoring through the software, to completely eliminate this delay.

CueMix FX gives you comprehensive graphic control over your mix and other settings in the Audio Express.  CueMix FX can be operated side by side with any host audio software for Mac or Windows, and it can be controlled from the Mackie Control Universal Pro automated work surface.

FireWire has long been recognized as a reliable, high-performance connectivity standard for professional audio interfaces.  Meanwhile, high-speed USB 2.0 has also developed into a widely adopted standard for connecting audio devices to personal computers.

To fully support both formats, the Audio Express hybrid audio interface is equipped with a FireWire jack (400 Mbit/sec) and a high-speed USB 2.0 jack (480 Mbit/sec).  This gives you maximum flexibility and compatibility when connecting to today's ever-expanding universe of Mac and Windows computers.

If your computer doesn't have FireWire, you can use USB.  If it has both, then the choice is yours and may depend mostly on other peripherals you have.

The Audio Express combo mic/guitar inputs are equipped with pristine, transparent preamps and offer individually adjustable 48V phantom power and -20 dB pad.  The 1/4" guitar jack provides high-impedance load characteristics suitable for passive and active pickups alike.  For even more authentic feel and response when using virtual guitar amp and cabinet plug-ins, use a ZBox guitar impedance adapter.

The Audio Express's analog trim circuits deliver clean sound, combined with the precision of digital control.  Trim is adjusted at the input, before the mixer, so it applies to all mixes.  Mix levels are controlled separately from trim, so you never sacrifice sound quality for a balanced mix.

The Audio Express provides MIDI input and output featuring sample-accurate timing with supporting software.  Connect a MIDI keyboard, sound module or control surface, and you are ready to go.  The FireWire or USB connection to the computer carries both MIDI and audio so you don't need to connect an additional USB cable for MIDI.

Connect any standard momentary foot switch to trigger hands-free punch-ins during recording.  Or map the foot switch to any keystrokes you wish in your host audio software.

You can resolve the Audio Express directly to SMPTE time code, without a dedicated synchronizer, via any analog input.  The Audio Express provides a DSP-driven phase-lock engine with sophisticated filtering that provides fast lockup times and sub-frame accuracy.  This technology represents the very latest in extremely high-performance, yet cost-effective digital audio clocking.  DDS also allows the Audio Express to maintain an extremely stable clock while resolved to incoming clock sources that have substantially more jitter than the Audio Express itself.

The included MOTU SMPTE Console™ software (for Mac OS X and Windows) provides a complete set of tools to generate SMPTE for striping, regenerating or slaving other devices to the computer.  Like CueMix FX, the synchronization features are cross-platform and compatible with all audio sequencer software that supports the ASIO2 sample-accurate sync protocol.

Add another Audio Express (or other MOTU audio interface) as your needs grow via a standard Firewire or USB 2.0 hub.  The Audio Express provides driver-level support for resolving multiple interfaces with each other so that their audio streams never drift apart over time during recording or playback.

The included CueMix FX software for Mac OS X and Windows gives you graphic, on-screen control of the Audio Express's on-board audio mixer, with up to four separate stereo mixes ( a separate mix for output pair).  For example, you can mix all the inputs to the main outs, but also mix them to the line outs with completely different levels than the main outs.  Advanced features include a tuner, oscilloscope, FFT/spectrogram, and phase analysis tools.

The Audio Express includes AudioDesk, the workstation software for Mac OS X, which provides advanced recording, editing, mixing, processing, and mastering.  AudioDesk delivers the power of modern digital audio workstation technology in an easy-to-use, inspiring multitrack recording experience.  Together, AudioDesk and the Audio Express are a complete, professional recording studio for your computer desktop.

The CueMix FX software included with the Audio Express provides an instrument tuner, plus a wealth of tools for audio analysis and diagnostics to awaken your inner engineer.

The CueMix FX app's instrument Tuner lets you quickly tune your guitar, bass, sax, or other pitched instrument.  The more complex the harmonics of the input signal, the wider the LED band gets.  So if your guitar strings are wearing out, the Tuner's LED meter will let you know.  Other features include adjustable tuning reference and test tone generation.

Visually monitor the frequency content of your music or other audio material as it plays.  The Audio Express superimposes a Fast Fourier Transform directly on the sonogram display so that you can see the relationship between the two for the audio material being monitored.

This is not your grandpa's oscilloscope.  With modern digital precision, you have unprecedented control over how you view audio material using features like waveform recognition, split screen, trigger (with programmable criteria), and much more.  Analyze harmonic content, view transients, or detect clipping with one-sample precision.

The X-Y Plot graphs the amplitude of a stereo signal on a two-dimensional grid, allowing you to see the width of the stereo field of a mix in real time.  It also helps you detect issues with polarity in stereo mixes, which, if left unresolved, can cause the mix to completely cancel itself out when collapsed to mono.

Does your mix sound thin?  Do you hear strange "flangy" artifacts?  It could be suffering from phase or polarity issues.  The Phase Analysis display helps you check the phase alignment and polarity of a stereo mix — especially mixes that might be summed to mono — or instruments (like drums) recorded with multiple mics.

MOTU Audio Express Features:

  • Includes rack adapter for TWO MOTU half-rack interfaces. (This is not a kit that allows you to mount ONE half-rack interface into a full rack space.)
  • 6-input, 6-output audio interface for Mac and Windows.
  • 6 x 8 physical input/output channels — all channels are available simultaneously and operate independently.
  • Hybrid FireWire/USB 2.0 connectivity — connect to your Mac or PC via either bus-powered Firewire or hi-speed USB2.
  • 8-bus digital mixer — routes and mixes all six inputs to any output pair.
  • Four separate mixes — each output pair (main outs, line outs, S/PDIF out, and phones) can have a completely different mix of all six inputs, with orwithout computer tracks.
  • Two mic/guitar combo jacks — provide hi-Z 1/4” guitar input or XLR mi cinput with phantom power, 20 dB pad, Precision Digital Trim™, and plenty ofgain.
  • Stereo analog inputs — on line-level, balanced TRS quarter-inch jacks.  Great for keyboards or other line level-input signals.
  • Stereo main outs — on balanced TRS quarter-inch jacks. Connect directly to powered speakers (or other line-level analog destination).
  • Stereo 24-bit 96kHz S/PDIF digital in/out.
  • Stereo headphone output on quarter-inch jack with independent volume control.
  • Support for standard sample rates up to 96 kHz.
  • Precision Digital Trim™ — digitally controlled analog trim on all inputs provides adjustments in approximately 1 dB increments. Fine-tune the balance of your inputs and then save/recall trim configurations.
  • Front-panel mixing and control — each input has its own dedicated volume knob. Control multiple mixes with clear feedback from front panel LEDs and metering.
  • CueMix FX cross-platform mixing software — attractive on-screen graphic mixing with an instrument tuner and audio analysis tools including real-timeFFT display, spectrogram "waterfall" display, oscilloscope, X-Y plot andlinear or polar phase analysis.
  • Stand-alone operation — bring the Audio Express to your gig, with or without a computer. Just plug in the included power adapter and you are ready to go. Need to tweak the mix? Just turn the front-panel knobs.
  • Front panel volume control of main outs and headphone jack.
  • Expandable — add additional interfaces for more I/O as your needs grow.
  • Time code support — directly resolves to (or generates) time code via any quarter-inch input or output, without the need for an extra synchronizer.
  • Direct Digital Synthesis™ (DDS) — a DSP-driven phase lock engine andinternal clock source that produces imperceptibly low jitter characteristics (below the noise floor), even when the Audio Express is resolved to anexternal clock source via SMPTE time code.
  • Sample-accurate MIDI — connect a MIDI controller and/or sound module with no separate interface needed. MIDI I/O is sample-accurate with supporting software.
  • Foot switch input — connect a standard foot pedalswitch (sold separately) for hands-free punch-in and punch-out while recording. Or map the pedal to any keystroke function in your host software.
  • DC-coupled TRS outputs — can be used with Volta™(sold separately ) to manipulate and sequence voltage-controlled modular synthesizers from a host DAW.
  • Plug-and-play operation with your Mac or PC via FireWire or USB2 —compatible with all current and recent generation Macs and PCs.
  • Includes native 32- and 64-bit drivers for Mac OS X and Windows 7/Vista, including ASIO, WDM, Wave, Core Audio, and Core MIDI. Supports all popular Mac and Windows audio software. Full system requirements.
  • 100% compatible with all host-based effects processing in today's popular audio programs.
  • Includes AudioDesk full-featured sample-accurate workstation software for the Mac with recording, editing, mixing, real-time 32-bit effects processing & sample-accurate sync.
  • Bus-powered FireWire operation. No need for external power when operating as a FireWire interface connected to a computer. A power supply is included for stand-alone operation.
  • Chassis dimensions, excluding rack ears and front and back panel knobs and connectors: 9.5" x 7" x 1.75" (24.13 x 17.78 x 4.45cm). Knobs and connectors extend up to 0.5" (1.27 cm) from front and back panels, adding 1" (2.54 cm) to depth.  With rack ears attached, fits one half of a standard 19" (48.26 cm) rack at 1RU high.
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