Motu M4 outputs and multiple monitors (or perhaps Audient ID14 MkII)

Configure and optimize you computer for Audio.
KVRAF
2282 posts since 26 Mar, 2002 from london

Post Sat Feb 20, 2021 12:21 am

I've spent some time researching audio interfaces and the Motu M2/M4 look's like it has the best hardware/build quality for the price range. I'm wondering, with the M4 is there any way to configure the outputs so that switching between 2 sets of monitor speakers is simple? Can it be configured so that both sets of outputs play the same audio, or are they distinct outputs that have to be selected within the DAW?

It looks as though the Audient ID14 MKII has some functionality which makes it suited to this purpose, and it looks like a good interface. I'm not sure exactly what can be done with the programmable knob and how simple this might make certain mixing tasks such as checking in mono or switching between different monitors; reviews tend to mention these things without going to the details of exactly how it works, but I know that the drivers have additional functionality on top of which inputs/outputs would be accessible within the DAW.
Every day takes figuring out all over again how to f#ckin’ live.

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KVRist
134 posts since 29 Sep, 2012

Post Wed Mar 03, 2021 11:32 am

I have a MOTU M4 and the two outputs are select-able in Windows sound settings or your DAW's main out channel.
It would depend upon the DAW you use if you can use both sets of outputs simultaneously, ie rout main outs to a sub out.

KVRAF

Topic Starter

2282 posts since 26 Mar, 2002 from london

Post Mon Mar 08, 2021 12:02 pm

Thanks for the reply. I'm still pondering the options... but the M4 is out of stock everywhere with no clear indications as to when it will be available, so I guess I'll not hurry any purchase.
Every day takes figuring out all over again how to f#ckin’ live.

KVRist
342 posts since 8 Jul, 2004

Post Sat Mar 13, 2021 6:55 pm

Interesting. I'm in the same boat, but I want 4 simultaneous inputs. So, I've narrowed my search down to the MOTU M4, Audient ID44, and Arturia AudioFuse, Rev.2. I'll be watching this thread.

And I agree, chagzuki, no hurry--both the M4 and the AudioFuse are still out of stock.

-u
"I guess one person can make a difference, but most of the time they probably shouldn't." -M. Simpson

KVRist
175 posts since 4 Jun, 2020 from USA

Post Sat Mar 13, 2021 11:33 pm

I got an M4 3 weeks ago. It’s been flawless with my M1 Mac Mini.

KVRAF

Topic Starter

2282 posts since 26 Mar, 2002 from london

Post Sun Mar 14, 2021 3:41 pm

Something that's come up in the course of researching this, is the question as to why almost no budget audio interfaces (besides MOTU) have power switches. Maybe it's less of an issue than it seems in my mind, but I'm not keen on the idea of leaving things on and consuming power unnecessarily. Perhaps simply detaching the USB cable works reasonably well? I haven't used an audio interface for a good 7 years or so, and I don't believe they were bus powered at that time, so it was a different scenario.
Every day takes figuring out all over again how to f#ckin’ live.

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KVRist
224 posts since 21 Jul, 2020

Post Mon Mar 15, 2021 8:44 pm

Something to note. Motu M4 does NOT allow volume adjustment on outputs 3/4, they output at max volume no matter what. Personally my second set of monitors would not go low enough in volume to tame the signal, it was still way louder out of the second set of monitors than the first, does that make sense?

Seems to me that the Audient will allow for individual volume levels per monitor, at least the manual makes it seem like it. I will be ordering one soon enough, I can post my findings when it arrives. Its on backorder from PerfectCircuit, who are running a deal where you can get 10% off of it.

KVRist
342 posts since 8 Jul, 2004

Post Sun Mar 28, 2021 5:00 am

chagzuki wrote:
Sun Mar 14, 2021 3:41 pm
Something that's come up in the course of researching this, is the question as to why almost no budget audio interfaces (besides MOTU) have power switches. Maybe it's less of an issue than it seems in my mind, but I'm not keen on the idea of leaving things on and consuming power unnecessarily. Perhaps simply detaching the USB cable works reasonably well? I haven't used an audio interface for a good 7 years or so, and I don't believe they were bus powered at that time, so it was a different scenario.
FYI, I've been using the same Cakewalk UA-25EX for the past 11 years and it has been powered on for 95% of that time (no power switch--bus-powered) with absolutely no problems. Well, I'm assuming the fact that the headphone amp hasn't been working right for the past year-ish is unrelated to the power paradigm... :shrug:

I have found that if you detach the USB cable when the driver is hanging (seldom) it will sometimes clear that problem. Conversely, sometimes if you detach the USB cable it won't release the driver and you'll be forced to restart your PC to release it.

FWIW, I should have a MOTU M4 coming to me this week--Sweetwater is supposed to be getting them back in stock. I'll give my $0.02 once I have had a chance to test it.

-u
"I guess one person can make a difference, but most of the time they probably shouldn't." -M. Simpson

KVRist
342 posts since 8 Jul, 2004

Post Fri Apr 02, 2021 6:01 pm

Unfocused wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 5:00 am
FWIW, I should have a MOTU M4 coming to me this week--Sweetwater is supposed to be getting them back in stock. I'll give my $0.02 once I have had a chance to test it.
OK. I received my MOTU M4 from Sweetwater yesterday. It's pretty great--quite a step up from my UA-25EX in terms of noise floor and input gain (on inputs 1 and 2 at least) both for the mic preamps and the line ins. Generally, the improvements in my setup are:
  • 1. Headphone amp works! (my old one was broken)
    2. No more EMI noise with my guitars!
    3. Usable volume pots (linear taper)
    4. Can use up to 4 simultaneous inputs (see below for limitations)
    5. Higher/better input gain on inputs 1/2
    6. Can switch between speaker pairs
    7. Better metering
The limitations are:
  • 1. Inputs 3/4 are near-useless without an outboard mixer. This is certainly less convenient than an all-in-one solution. You basically are stuck with the level of what's coming in, as Jkist said above. For my purposes I need another +15 dB of gain. Luckily I had a mixer laying about--works for me now, but not as portable as I'd hoped.
    2. No digital in/out, i.e not expandable to more I/O if you want it in the future, but then you know what you're getting into when you buy one of these.
It's easy to switch between 2 sets of monitors/speakers. I was also able to trick Cubase into playing both sets of speakers simultaneously, but it's not the best practice. However, it can be done (depending on your DAW as Constructed Identity said above).

FWIW, I think it's the best $229 I've spent in a long time. Really great, quiet, powerful sound. Great drivers. Easy to use. You could do a lot worse for more money, but if the limitations above are deal breakers, look elsewhere. I really think that you can't go wrong with the brands you are looking at.

-u
"I guess one person can make a difference, but most of the time they probably shouldn't." -M. Simpson

KVRAF
12837 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Post Fri Apr 02, 2021 6:33 pm

chagzuki wrote:
Sun Mar 14, 2021 3:41 pm
Something that's come up in the course of researching this, is the question as to why almost no budget audio interfaces (besides MOTU) have power switches. Maybe it's less of an issue than it seems in my mind, but I'm not keen on the idea of leaving things on and consuming power unnecessarily. Perhaps simply detaching the USB cable works reasonably well? I haven't used an audio interface for a good 7 years or so, and I don't believe they were bus powered at that time, so it was a different scenario.
Because it adds more cost and headache than value. It's mechanical, so it will cause some measurable amount of support cost when it breaks, but also when it doesn't. I'm pretty sure that the number of calls fielded where the solution is "turn the damn thing on" is non-negligible.

If you're not shutting your computer off then there's really little savings to shutting off the interface, and if you shut your computer off on a bus powered device, the interface is shut down.

Basically, almost nobody cares enough about this issue to choose device A over device B.

KVRAF

Topic Starter

2282 posts since 26 Mar, 2002 from london

Post Sat Apr 03, 2021 1:55 am

Thanks for the comments, very helpful. Still looks to be generally out of stock in the UK.
Every day takes figuring out all over again how to f#ckin’ live.

KVRist
342 posts since 8 Jul, 2004

Post Wed Apr 14, 2021 2:40 pm

chagzuki wrote:
Sat Apr 03, 2021 1:55 am
Thanks for the comments, very helpful. Still looks to be generally out of stock in the UK.
FYI, MOTU just released the Ultralite-Mk.5. More expensive, but in the same realm. I'm actually considering ordering one to compare to the M4. They are shipping here in the US.

-u
"I guess one person can make a difference, but most of the time they probably shouldn't." -M. Simpson

KVRist
342 posts since 8 Jul, 2004

Post Wed May 05, 2021 4:30 am

Unfocused wrote:
Wed Apr 14, 2021 2:40 pm
FYI, MOTU just released the Ultralite-Mk.5. More expensive, but in the same realm. I'm actually considering ordering one to compare to the M4. They are shipping here in the US.
Maybe a dead topic, but I did order a MOTU Ultralite-Mk.5 to compare to the M4. I ended up returning it.

The Ultralite, Mk.5 is objectively better than the M4: headphone amp, lower noise floor, slightly more headroom. But this "better" is so marginal that the, "one control per function" approach of the M4 marginally outweighs the marginal "betterness" of the Ultralite. For me, for now, the Ultralite, Mk.5 is an unnecessary extravagance. Who knows what my future needs will be, but I’ll wait till a more specific need arises. I’ll stick with the M4.

-u
"I guess one person can make a difference, but most of the time they probably shouldn't." -M. Simpson

KVRAF
1736 posts since 28 Sep, 2012

Post Wed May 05, 2021 5:02 am

Unfocused wrote:
Fri Apr 02, 2021 6:01 pm
Unfocused wrote:
Sun Mar 28, 2021 5:00 am
FWIW, I should have a MOTU M4 coming to me this week--Sweetwater is supposed to be getting them back in stock. I'll give my $0.02 once I have had a chance to test it.
OK. I received my MOTU M4 from Sweetwater yesterday. It's pretty great--quite a step up from my UA-25EX in terms of noise floor and input gain (on inputs 1 and 2 at least) both for the mic preamps and the line ins. Generally, the improvements in my setup are:
  • 1. Headphone amp works! (my old one was broken)
    2. No more EMI noise with my guitars!
    3. Usable volume pots (linear taper)
    4. Can use up to 4 simultaneous inputs (see below for limitations)
    5. Higher/better input gain on inputs 1/2
    6. Can switch between speaker pairs
    7. Better metering
The limitations are:
  • 1. Inputs 3/4 are near-useless without an outboard mixer. This is certainly less convenient than an all-in-one solution. You basically are stuck with the level of what's coming in, as Jkist said above. For my purposes I need another +15 dB of gain. Luckily I had a mixer laying about--works for me now, but not as portable as I'd hoped.
    2. No digital in/out, i.e not expandable to more I/O if you want it in the future, but then you know what you're getting into when you buy one of these.
It's easy to switch between 2 sets of monitors/speakers. I was also able to trick Cubase into playing both sets of speakers simultaneously, but it's not the best practice. However, it can be done (depending on your DAW as Constructed Identity said above).

FWIW, I think it's the best $229 I've spent in a long time. Really great, quiet, powerful sound. Great drivers. Easy to use. You could do a lot worse for more money, but if the limitations above are deal breakers, look elsewhere. I really think that you can't go wrong with the brands you are looking at.

-u
Hmmm. I use inputs 3/4 all the time, and adjust the gain in my DAW without using an outboard mixer. Of course, use cases differ, and I’m not attempting to diminish your critique, but rather offer my own perspective.

KVRer
6 posts since 6 May, 2021

Post Thu May 06, 2021 8:54 am

I would say go for the motu m4 if you can. I have the id14 mk2 and altho its good, i feel motu m4 is just more flexible, especially if you use midi and keyboards. And right now it also has that annoying wake up from sleep bug...

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