18x18 USB / AVB Audio Interface with DSP Mixing

OUR PART #: ULTRALITE-AVB Write the First Review.

The MOTU UltraLite AVB is an 18-input, 18-output audio interface with DSP mixing, wi-fi control...
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The MOTU UltraLite AVB is an 18-input, 18-output audio interface with DSP mixing, wi-fi control, AVB audio networking and best-in-class analog audio quality for on-the-go mobile audio recording.

36 simultaneous audio channels - The most I/O ever offered in the UltraLite series

You get 2 mic inputs, 2 guitar inputs, 6 line inputs, 8 line outputs, headphone out and 8-channel optical I/O for a total of 18 inputs and 18 outputs, simultaneously. The optical ports also support stereo TOSLink (optical S/PDIF).

Best-in-class analog audio quality - Performance suitable for the most demanding situations

The UltraLite AVB sets a new standard for analog audio performance in a mobile audio interface. The eight balanced analog outputs deliver a stunning 117 dB dynamic range.

Universal connectivity - Class compliant USB 2.0 plus audio over Ethernet

The UltraLite AVB connects to your computer with audio class compliant hi-speed USB 2.0 (compatible with USB 3.0 and iOS) for across-the-board compatibility now and in the future. Alternately, if you have a Mac running OS X Yosemite (10.10) or later, you can use a standard Ethernet cable for operation as an audio interface.

DSP-powered mixing - Console-style mixing with 48 channels and 12 busses

The mixer in the UltraLite AVB is a departure from earlier models. In fact, it's identical to the mixer found in MOTU's flagship 1248 and 16A interfaces.

Modeled analog EQ and compression - Vintage processing with 32-bit float precision

British analog mixing consoles are renowned for their musical EQ profiles. The UltraLite AVB meticulously models these classic EQs to give you the very same, magical EQ response found on these coveted desks. Each input channel also provides a classic compressor with peak/RMS operation.

Groups and the Main Mix bus are equipped with MOTU's Leveler™, an accurate model of the legendary Teletronix™ LA-2A™ optical leveling amplifier, known for its highly sought-after Automatic Gain Control (AGC) characteristics.

Web app control - Control everything from your laptop, tablet and smartphone

The software that you use to control the UltraLite doesn't reside on your hard drive. It's a web app served from the hardware itself. This means you can control the UltraLite's on-board DSP, mixing, device settings, and network audio routing from the web app software running in your favorite web browser on a laptop, tablet or smartphone connected by wire or Wi-Fi to your local area network. Use any web client on any platform — Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android — as long as it shares the same network.

Stand-alone mixing with wireless control - Control everything from your iPad or iPhone

Connect an Apple Airport™ or other Wi-Fi router directly to the UltraLite with a standard Ethernet cable and control the UltraLite AVB's powerful mixing and DSP effects from your smartphone or tablet, without a computer. Great for live sound mixing.

System expansion and audio networking - Expand your system with more I/O and Wi-Fi control

  • The UltraLite AVB network port introduces AVB Ethernet,the industry standard developed by the IEEE for professional audio networking.Add a second MOTU AVB interface (1248, 8M or 16A) with a simple Cat-5e orCAT-6 ethernet cable.
  • Connect up to five MOTU interfaces using a MOTU AVB Switch (soldseparately).
  • Build a network with multiple interfaces, computers, and AVB switchesusing standard network cabling, with ultra-low network latency, even over longcable runs (100 meters point to point). Stream hundreds of audio channelsamong devices and computers on the network.

Comprehensive metering - View all I/O activity at a glance

The large backlit 130 x 50 pixel LCD lets you view all signal activity at a glance with detailed metering for all analog and digital I/O. Access hardware settings from a simple and convenient menu.

Quick Setup presets - Completely transform your MOTU interface with one click

The UltraLite AVB is so flexible, it can serve many roles — in the studio, on stage, and throughout an installation. The Quick Setup menu lets you instantly reconfigure the UltraLite AVB for many common situations, from operation as a standard audio interface to serving as a network "snake" from one location to another. Once a preset is chosen, you can easily customize the routing grid and mixer settings to further suit your specific needs — and then save your own custom presets.

The UltraLite AVB Mixer - Large console-style mixing from your laptop, tablet, or smartphone

48 channel mixing - A flexible, dynamic, scalable mixing experience

With almost twice the DSP power of MOTU's award-winning line of "mk3" audio interfaces, the UltraLite AVB mixer provides up to 48 assignable input channels. Seamlessly mix live audio signals from UltraLite AVB's physical inputs with computer disk tracks and audio streams coming from other networked MOTU AVB interfaces. Make input and output assignments in the Routing grid easily with one click. Instantly show and hide sections of the mixer with convenient sidebar controls. Each input channel strip provides a high-pass filter, gate, 4-band parametric EQ, and compressor.

7 stereo aux busses and 4 groups - Control up to 12 independent stereo mixes

Create up to seven stereo aux mixes for monitor mixes and other sub-mixing tasks. Four independent mix groups let you control drum stems, background vocals, or other input groups on a single channel strip with 4-band EQ and UltraLite AVB's MasterWorks Leveler modeled after the LA-2A optical compressor. The fourth group includes UltraLite AVB's reverb processor. Through Wi-Fi, multiple engineers — or even musicians — can control their own monitor mixes simultaneously from their iPhone or iPad.

Aux bus mixing - Long-throw faders for aux sends

The Aux Mixing tab lets you zero in on a single aux bus and control send levels with long-throw faders, just like hardware consoles that let you temporarily "flip" aux sends to the channel faders…perfect for detailed mixing on any aux bus.

Monitor Mix/Solo Bus - Convenient dedicated monitoring

The Monitor Mix is specifically designed for monitoring. It can mirror any other bus, or act as a solo bus for isolating all currently soloed inputs, aux busses or groups. You can, of course, create additional monitor mixes with the seven available aux busses.

32-bit floating point processing - Virtually infinite headroom

UltraLite AVB's mixing and DSP effects engine employs 32-bit floating point processing, which produces virtually infinite headroom for complex mixing and processing calculations, along with an infinitesimally low noise floor.

Modeled analog EQ - Precise and musical equalization

British analog mixing consoles are renowned for their musical EQ profiles. UltraLite AVB meticulously models these classic EQ curves to give you the very same, magical EQ settings found on these coveted desks. Four separate filters are available on every input, including optional low-shelf and high-shelf.

Classic reverb - An all-around verb with tails up to 60 seconds

UltraLite AVB's Classic Reverb™ provides three frequency bands with adjustable crossover points, predelay, spread, and reverb lengths up to 60 seconds. Perfect for monitor mixes when tracking in the studio or for treating vocals during a live show.

Leveler - Finely crafted vintage compression

The Leveler™ is an accurate model of the legendary Teletronix™ LA-2A™ optical leveling amplifier, known for its unique and highly sought-after Automatic Gain Control (AGC) characteristics. The heart of the LA-2A is the T4 opto-coupler, a photoelectric device with almost magical (signal dependent) self-adjusting behavior that makes optical compressors the tool of choice for smoothing out just about any audio material, from vocals to bass guitar to full-program mixes, without destroying perceived dynamics. The Leveler's controls match the front panel of the original LA-2A: Gain Reduction and Makeup Gain knobs, along with Limiter/Compressor buttons.

Gate and HPF - Gating and high-pass filtering on every input

Each input is equipped with a standard high-pass filter and gate module for removing rumble, environmental noise, and other signal clean-up tasks.

AVB Ethernet - High-performance audio networking for UltraLite AVB the industry standard way

Developed by the IEEE, the 802.1 Audio Video Bridging (AVB) extension to the Ethernet standard is now shipping as a standard feature in every MOTU AVB audio interface, ready to have an immediate, positive impact on your pro audio workflow. AVB audio networking fulfills the promise of a truly professional, scalable audio networking standard that can change the way you think about audio I/O and distribution for your own specific needs.

An open industry standard

AVB has been developed by the IEEE as an international standard specification for transporting high-bandwidth, low-latency audio and video over Ethernet. As a true industry standard, it is not proprietary and controlled by one company, allowing for open interoperability across devices and brands, with consistent, non-disruptive adoption of refinements to the specification, as it evolves.

It's Ethernet — for pro audio

AVB audio networking works very similarly to regular Ethernet. The only difference is that you use AVB switches instead of Ethernet routers, and you use a higher grade of ethernet cables (shielded CAT-5e or CAT-6), which are affordable and easily purchased wherever networking supplies are sold. However, AVB goes way beyond Ethernet. By design, bandwidth is high, latency is low, and audio streaming is guaranteed to be uninterrupted.

  • What does AVB mean for you?
    In a nutshell, AVB audio networking givesyou two important benefits: 1) flexible, convenient control of your entireaudio system from any web host on the same network — even Wi-Fi devices likean iPad or iPhone, and 2) endless possibilities for expanding your system orconstructing a customized installation. Here are just a few ideas.
  • Personal studio expansion
    Start with a single MOTU AVB interface that fitsyour immediate I/O needs. Add a second MOTU AVB interface with a simpleEthernet cable.
  • Studio system
    Place three to five MOTU AVB interfaces atstrategic locations in your studio, mixed and matched as needed, all connectedto a MOTU AVB Switch.
  • Multi-room installation
    Install a MOTU AVB interface in every room of yourstudio facility, church, music department, or broadcast facility. Route audiofrom any source to any destination in your entire facility withsub-millisecond timing.
  • Scalable concert systems
  • Integrate FOH mixing, in-ear monitoring, and concertrecording with long cable runs (100 meters) and network wide accessibility.Manage audio routing with convenient 8-channel stems and ultra-low latency.Scale your system for different sized performance venues. Build in systemredundancy with ease.
  • Large-scale commercial installations
    With long cableruns and industry standard networking infrastructure, MOTU AVB systems arewell-suited for large-scale commercial installations such as arenas, stadiums,theme parks, clubs, casinos, houses of worship, broadcast facilities, schools,universities, and so on.

No licensing fees

Because AVB is an open industry standard specification, there are no expensive licensing fees that must be passed on to you. Instead, cost goes directly towards achieving the highest possible networking performance for your dollar.

Over 512 channels of network audio

AVB is designed to handle hundreds of audio channels over a network. A MOTU AVB network (with MOTU AVB interfaces and the MOTU AVB Switch™) can stream over 512 channels. In addition, each MOTU AVB device can broadcast multiple 8-channel network streams and simultaneously listen to multiple 8-channel network streams. The UltraLite AVB can handle 1 stream in and 2 streams out, simultaneously, while other models, such as the 16A, can handle 16 streams each way (128 channels in and out).

Low, fixed network latency

Standard AVB network latency is fixed at 2 ms. MOTU AVB network latency is an astonishing 0.625 ms (fixed), even over 7 "hops" (switches) and hundreds of meters of cable. That's only 30 samples when the system is operating at 48 kHz. When adding the ultra-low processor latency of MOTU AVB interfaces, that's an astonishing 0.92 ms point to point, over seven switches and potentially hundreds of meters of network cables. By comparison, other proprietary networking systems have unpredictable, variable latency in the 2-5 ms range.

Point-to-point latency at 48k:

  • FPGA in: 4 samples
  • FPGA out: 4 samples
  • DSP in/out: 6 samples
  • Processor total: 32 samples
  • Network: 30 samples
  • I/O + Network: 62 samples (1.29 ms)

Precision timing and network-wide sync

AVB provides its own network-wide time base for better-than-sample-accurate phase lock across all connected devices. Timing accuracy is down to the nanosecond. Better yet, a MOTU AVB network provides one-click synchronization: click the "Become Clock Master" button in the MOTU AVB web app for the MOTU device you choose as the clock master, and all other devices on the network immediately resolve to it.

Guaranteed Quality of Service (QoS)

AVB’s Stream Reservation Protocol provides Guaranteed Quality of Service for each and every audio stream. Once a point-to-point network connection is established, AVB guarantees that the audio stream will never be interrupted by any other network traffic of any kind.

True plug-and-play operation

A MOTU AVB system has been designed from the ground up to provide automatic device discovery, enumeration, and connection management. Just plug your MOTU AVB interfaces into a standard AVB switch and go. You do'’t need an IT professional to configure the network. AVB is a self-managing network protocol.

Bridging to standard Ethernet

AVB can coexist with standard ethernet networks, for connecting standard ethernet devices like Airports or other Wi-Fi routers, Ethernet switches, and even entire Ethernet networks in your home, office or studio. This gives you control of your AVB devices from anywhere in your facility and access to the internet for instant firmware updates served from MOTU's cloud servers.

Long cable runs

A single AVB network connection can be up to 100 meters with a standard copper wire CAT-5e or CAT-6 cable. Fiber-optic cable runs can be much longer. With multiple switches — up to seven “hops” (switch-to-switch connections) — you can create a network that covers very large distances, if necessary.

Host access through USB

MOTU is first to combine AVB networking with USB2 and Thunderbolt connectivity. (Thunderbolt is available in the 1248, 8M, 16A and 112D.) MOTU AVB networks do not require PCIe slots. Instead, you can conveniently connect your host computer(s) through USB or Thunderbolt.

Support for multiple computer hosts

A MOTU AVB network can host as many computers as can be physically connected, with complete access by all hosts to all connected devices and audio streams. All computers and all network devices run in sync with each other, resolved to the network's master clock.

Star configuration

MOTU AVB employs a star network configuration, which is much more flexible than daisy-chain scenarios by allowing for multiple branches that can be fed to multiple destinations.

Web interface and wireless control

MOTU's AVB system can be controlled from MOTU's AVB Control software, which runs within any web browser running on any networked laptop, tablet, or smart phone — even over Wi-Fi. Control your system from multiple devices at the same time, from any OS platform (Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android, etc.)

NOTE: Please see the User Guide found under the "Documentation" tab for more information.

MOTU UltraLite AVB Specifications:

  • Sample rates: 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192 kHz
  • Mic inputs:
    • 2x XLR mic inputs
    • Preamp gain: 0 to +56 dB (digitally controlled)
  • Analog inputs:
    • 2x 1/4" hi-Z guitar inputs (front panel)
    • 6x 1/4" TRS line inputs (balanced/unbalanced)
    • Max level: +24 dBu (digitally adjustable -96 to +22)
  • Analog outputs:
    • 8x 1/4" TRS line out (balanced, DC coupled)
    • Max level: +20 dBu (digitally adjustable -4 to +20)
    • 1x 1/4" TRS stereo headphone
  • Digital I/O:
    • 1 bank (8 ch) of ADAT optical at 1x sample rates
    • 1 bank (4 ch) of SMUX optical at 2x sample rates
    • Switchable to stereo TOSLink (optical S/PDIF)
  • Total I/O:
    • 18 inputs and 18 outputs (36 total) at 1x sample rates
    • 14 inputs and 14 outputs (28 total) at 2x sample rates
    • 10 inputs and 10 outputs (20 total) at 4x sample rates
  • Computer I/O:
    • 1x USB 2.0 audio class compliant
    • USB 3.0 and iOS compatible
    • 1x AVB Ethernet (requires OS X Yosemite)
  • Headphone: 1x 1/4" TRS stereo phone (assignable)
  • Phantom power: 2x individual +48V
  • Front panel:
    • 1x 1/4" TRS headphone output
    • 2x TRS hi-Z guitar input
    • 1x digital rotary encoders • main/phone volume
    • 2x digital rotary encoders • guitar input gain/power
    • 2x digital rotary encoders • mic preamp gain
    • 4x switches • (2) Pad and (2) 48V Phantom switch
    • 128 x 48 pixel LCD for level meters / menu nav
  • Power:
    • External 12-18V DC power supply
    • 1.0A max • tip pos or neg

Mac System Requirements:

  • 1 GHz Intel-based Mac or faster
  • 2 GB RAM; 4 GB or more recommended
  • Mac OS X version 10.8 or later
  • Available high-speed USB 2.0 or AVB Ethernet port*
  • A large hard drive (at least 500 GB for recording)
    *AVB Ethernet audiointerface operation requires OS X Yosemite

Windows System Requirements:

  • 1 GHz Pentium-based PC compatible or faster
  • 2 GB RAM; 4 GB or more recommended
  • Windows 7 or later
  • Available USB 2.0 or 3.0 port
  • Available Ethernet port for firmware updates
  • A large hard drive (at least 500 GB for recording)

Web App Support:

  • Any web client platform: Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS,Android
  • Any web browser: Safari, Firefox, Chrome, Opera,Explorer, etc.
  • Web client must be connected to the same network as the MOTU AVB interfaceby wire or Wi-Fi.

Included Software:

  • MOTU AVB Discovery App for Mac (finds connected MOTUinterfaces)
  • MOTU AVB Discovery App for iOS (available from AppleApp Store)
  • MOTU AVB Control web app (served from the hardwareitself)
  • AudioDesk 4.0 for Mac & Windows (separate download)

Operating Systems:

  • For computer audio I/O: Mac OS X 10.8 or later; Windows7 or later
  • For web app control: Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android

Analog I/O Specifications: Please see the picture of this table at the top of the page.

Compatible Mac Software:

The UltraLite AVB ships with standard Core Audio drivers for Mac OS X for compatibility with virtually all Core Audio-compatible apps, including:

  • MOTU Digital Performer
  • Avid Pro Tools (version 9 or later)
  • Apple Logic Pro
  • Apple Logic Express
  • Apple Garage Band
  • Apple SoundTrack Pro
  • Ableton Live
  • Propellerhead Record & Reason
  • Steinberg Cubase
  • Cockos Reaper
  • Native Instruments Kontakt
  • Waves stand-alone apps (and plug-ins, via compatible host)

Compatible Windows Software

The UltraLite AVB ships with standard ASIO and Wave drivers for Windows 7 and 8 for compatibility with virtually all ASIO- and Wave-compatible audio apps, including:

  • MOTU Digital Performer
  • Avid Pro Tools (version 9 or later)
  • Ableton Live
  • Cakewalk Sonar
  • Steinberg Cubase
  • Propellerhead Record & Reason
  • Image Line FL Studio
  • Sony Vegas Pro
  • Sony Sound Forge
  • Sony Acid
  • Cockos Reaper
  • Native Instruments Kontakt
  • Waves stand-alone apps (and plug-ins, via compatible host)

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