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MOTU MicroBook II - USB Audio Interface

MOTU MicroBook II - USB Audio Interface

MOTU MicroBook II - USB Audio Interface Top View Front View Back View Back Angle View

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Product Highlights

  • Four Input / Six Output
  • Eight-bus Digital Mixer
  • XLR Mic Pre with Precision Digital Trim
  • 48V Phantom Power / 20 dB Pad
  • Compact, Roadworthy Cast Metal Design
  • Stereo 1/4" and 1/8" Output
  • S/PDIF Digital Out up to 96 kHz
  • Multi-band EQ and Compressor
  • AudioDesk DAW Software for Mac OSX
  • Mac and PC Compatible
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The MicroBook II from MOTU is a roadworthy, pocket-sized audio interface that delivers professional quality recordings for musicians on the go. Simply plug in your microphone, guitar, keyboard or any other instrument and record up to four simultaneous tracks. You can also connect portable audio devices for rehearsing or sampling.

The bus-powered MicroBook II includes all the features of the original MicroBook and adds hands-on volume control, USB 2.0 connectivity for low-latency performance, six outputs, an XLR mic input and support for 96 kHz recording and playback. Tracks can be mixed with the included CueMix FX software and DSP-powered effects which include a multi-band EQ and compressor.

The audio mixer allows you to mix live inputs (voice, guitar, keys, etc.) with your host software playback tracks. With the 1/4" stereo outputs, 96 kHz digital S/PDIF and stereo-mini output jacks, the MicroBook II allows you to monitor live and recorded tracks in most any way you choose.

Edit and finalize your recording with the included AudioDesk software. A wealth of tools for audio analysis and diagnostics are provided along with drivers for multi-platform compatibility on both Mac and Windows. From on-the-go remote recording, to personal studio production, to laptop-based DJing and remixing, the MicroBook delivers professional quality audio and advanced features in a highly compact form factor.

Main Features
  • 4-input, 6-output bus-powered "plug-and-play" USB audio interface for Mac and Windows
  • Three independent stereo output streams from the host software feed four physical output pairs (S/PDIF mirrors main outs)
  • 8-bus digital mixer to route and mix live inputs with live computer tracks
  • XLR microphone preamp with Precision Digital Trim, 48V phantom power and 20dB pad
  • Hi-Z guitar input with Precision Digital Trim
  • Stereo line level analog input (balanced 1/4" TRS or 1/8" stereo mini)
  • Stereo balanced line level main outs
  • Stereo 1/8" mini line level out
  • S/PDIF digital out (duplicates main out)
  • Headphone output on 1/4" TRS jack with independent volume control
  • Support for 96 kHz sample rates on analog and digital ins/outs
  • Digitally controlled analog trim for all analog inputs
  • Digital trim for all outputs
  • CueMix FX no-latency mixing and monitoring with EQ and dynamics processing
  • Multi-band parametric EQ and compressor
  • Test tone and white/pink noise generator
  • Advanced audio analysis software tools, including FFT display, spectrogram "waterfall" display, oscilloscope, X-Y plot and phase analysis
  • Mac and Windows drivers (Core Audio, Wave and ASIO) for multi-platform software compatibility
  • Includes AudioDesk DAW software for Mac, USB cable, and microphone cable adapter
Advanced Features
Complete Personal Recording

  • Delivers a complete personal recording solution, with simultaneous inputs for a microphone, a guitar, and a keyboard or other stereo line level device
  • The microphone preamp delivers neutral coloration and pristine sound, with 20dB pad and 48V phantom power for condenser microphones
  • Programmable analog, digital and headphone outputs provide flexible monitoring options

Precision Digital Trim

  • Each analog input is equipped with digitally controlled analog trim
  • Gives you the best of both worlds - the pristine signal quality of analog audio circuitry and the fine-tune precision of digital control
  • You can save and recall trim settings on your computer

Balanced Line Level Connectors

  • Unbalanced analog inputs and outputs can result in significantly compromised performance well below an equivalent balanced circuit. The MicroBook's balanced I/O connections are well-protected against RF interference, AC hum, and other noise-producing environmental factors

Superb Audio Quality

  • Delivers uncompromising audio quality intended for the most demanding professional recording applications
Included Software
CueMix FX

  • The included software for Mac OS X and Windows gives you graphic, on-screen control of the MicroBook's on-board audio mixer, with up to 5 separate stereo mixes, 7-band parametric EQ, and compression on every input and output
  • Plenty of flexible routing options
  • Advanced features include a sine wave generator, oscilloscope, FFT/spectrogram display, and phase analysis tools


  • Workstation software for Mac OS X, which provides advanced recording, editing, mixing, processing, and mastering
  • Delivers the power of modern digital audio workstation technology in an easy-to-use, inspiring multit-rack recording experience
  • Together, AudioDesk and the MicroBook are a complete, professional recording studio for your computer desktop

Compatible Software
  • Ships with standard Core Audio drivers for Mac OS X for compatibility with virtually all Core Audio-compatible apps, including:

    1. MOTU Digital Performer
    2. MOTU AudioDesk
    3. Apple Logic Pro
    4. Apple Logic Express
    5. Apple Garage Band
    6. Apple SoundTrack Pro
    7. Ableton Live
    8. Avid Pro Tools 9
    9. Propellerhead Record & Reason
    10. Steinberg Cubase
    11. Native Instruments Kontakt
    12. Waves stand-alone apps (and plug-ins, via any compatible host)


  • Ships with standard Wave and ASIO drivers for Windows 7, Vista and XP for compatibility with virtually all Wave-compatible audio apps, including:

    1. Ableton Live
    2. Avid Pro Tools 9
    3. Cakewalk Sonar
    4. Steinberg Cubase
    5. Propellerhead Record and Reason
    6. Image Line FL Studio
    7. Sony Vegas Pro
    8. Sony Sound Forge
    9. Sony Acid
    10. Native Instruments Kontakt
    11. Waves stand-alone apps (and plug-ins, via any compatible host)
Mixing and Processing
8-Bus Digital Mixer

  • Lets you mix live inputs with each other - with or without host software tracks.
  • With CueMix FX running on your computer, you can create separate mixes of live audio from your microphone, guitar and keyboard, and send each mix to separate outputs (main out, line out and phones out), or any combination of all three

Modeled Analog EQ

  • British analog mixing consoles are renowned for their musical EQ profiles
  • The MicroBook meticulously models these classic EQ curves to give you the very same, magical EQ settings found on these coveted desks
  • 7 separate filters are available on every input and output, including low-shelf and high-shelf, with intuitive graphic control of each EQ parameter

Advanced Mixing Features

  • The included CueMix FX software environment is easy to use and pleasant to look at
  • Click simple tabs to configure settings for input, output, mixes, channel settings, and much more
  • Mixing features includes routing a mix that includes both live inputs and host audio tracks back to the computer


  • Provides a classic compressor on each input and output, so you can apply compression liberally with the flexibility to decide if and when you want to "commit" to your mix
  • You can change the compression settings at any time while recording or listening
Analysis and Diagnostics
Sine Wave Generator

  • Set the frequency, set the amplitude, and choose an output - it's that simple.
  • Sine waves can be immeasurably useful for setting levels, performing calibration, troubleshooting and sound design

FFT and Spectrogram

  • Visually monitor the frequency content of your music or other audio material as it plays
  • Superimposes a Fast Fourier Transform and sonogram display directly on the graphic EQ curve so that you can see the effect of the EQ filters on the audio material being monitored

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

White/Pink Noise Generator

  • Provides both white noise and pink noise, which can be used for sound effects, filter sweeps, masking, testing, calibration, and much more.


  • 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

Phase Analysis

  • 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 microphones

Analog Input 1 x XLR Microphone
1 x 1/4" TS Hi-Z Instrument
2 x 1/4" TRS Line
1 x 1/8" TRS stereo mini Line
Analog Output 2 x 1/4" TRS Main
1 x 1/4" TRS Headphone
1 x 1/8" TRS stereo mini Line
Sample Rates Up to 96 kHz
Digital Input No
Digital Output 1 x RCA coaxial S/PDIF
MIDI In/Out No
Sync In/Out S/PDIF
Phantom Power 48V
Pad 20 dB
Headphone Output Yes
THD + N Not specified by manufacturer
Dynamic Range Not specified by manufacturer
Frequency Response Not specified by manufacturer
Power Requirements USB 2.0 bus powered
Compatibility Mac and PC
Dimensions (WxDxH) 5.5 x 3.5 x 1.25" (140 x 89 x 32 mm)
Weight 2 lb (0.9 kg)
MOTU MicroBook II - USB Audio Interface
  • USB Cable
  • Software CD ROM
  • Limited 2 Year Warranty

    by PowerReviews
    MOTUMicroBook II - USB Audio Interface

    (based on 5 reviews)

    Ratings Distribution

    • 5 Stars



    • 4 Stars



    • 3 Stars



    • 2 Stars



    • 1 Stars




    of respondents would recommend this to a friend.


    • Compact (5)
    • Durable (5)
    • Easy to use (5)
    • Good audio (5)
    • Lightweight (4)


      Best Uses

      • Home studio (5)
      • Amateur recording (3)
      • Professional recording (3)
        • Reviewer Profile:
        • Experienced (4)

      Reviewed by 5 customers

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      Displaying reviews 1-5

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      Huge features in such a small package!

      By Vik

      from Bucharest, Romania

      About Me Experienced

      Verified Buyer


      • Clear Sound
      • Compact
      • Durable
      • Easy To Use
      • Versatile


        Best Uses

        • Home Studio

        Comments about MOTU MicroBook II - USB Audio Interface:

        I was amazed to find the same features of a Motu Ultralite mk3 in this small audio interface. Very good build and I really recommend in case you're traveling allot.

        Share this review


        SO far so good

        By nanerniamond

        from brooklyn, NY

        About Me Professional Musician

        Verified Buyer


        • Clear Sound
        • Compact
        • Durable
        • Easy To Use
        • Lightweight
        • Versatile


        • Limited Functions

        Best Uses

        • Home Studio
        • Performances

        Comments about MOTU MicroBook II - USB Audio Interface:

        Bought this to use w/ Ableton Live. Sounds as good as my MOTU Firewire Hybrid MK3 and the portability of this model is a big plus. I've had good luck with MOTU products and they're built well and seem like they'll last a good while.

        One note, MOTU told me to connect this to a powered USB hub, which i did; however on the 2nd day of use, the Microbook II would lose the signal (essentially turning on/off) after about 10 minutes. no need to explain what that's a big problem. Easy fix though - as per MOTU tech support's suggestion, it's now connected directly to the USB port on my Macbook Pro and it's been working just fine.

        Share this review


        Excellent soundcard

        By DJ CAMPBELL

        from Calgary, Alberta

        About Me Experienced

        Verified Buyer


        • Clear Sound
        • Compact
        • Durable
        • Easy To Use
        • Lightweight
        • Versatile


          Best Uses

          • Amateur Recording
          • Events
          • Home Studio
          • Mobile DJ
          • Performances
          • Professional Recording

          Comments about MOTU MicroBook II - USB Audio Interface:

          For a home studio card arount the $ dollar mark, this thing is fantastc. It doesnt have midi, so what! who cares, buy a usb midi cable. I upgraded from a cheap M-audio soundcard that was plauged with delay issues, cracks & pops, and was built really cheaply. This box feels solid (much like the Rane turntable interfaces). This thing feels like it will out last me! Sound qualiy is top notch too! I did take a few minutes to set up the headphone outs with Ableton live, and generally make the outputs work with my DAW, I wish Motu had a simple qucik setup guide for certain DAWs. Anyway, great soundcard, worth much more than what I paid.

          Share this review


          Small and wonderful!

          By Josh the audio guy

          from St. Louis, MO

          About Me Experienced

          Verified Buyer


          • Clear Sound
          • Compact
          • Durable
          • Easy To Use
          • Lightweight


            Best Uses

            • Amateur Recording
            • Home Studio
            • Mobile DJ
            • Professional Recording

            Comments about MOTU MicroBook II - USB Audio Interface:

            I had never used MOTU before and was a little skeptical when buying it. The unit is small and doesn't take up desk space. It works great with my macbook pro and Protools 10. I have been very happy and quite impressed. It is an all metal chassis and has held up. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a decent small interface to travel with.

            Share this review

            (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)


            Perfect for Home and On the Road

            By Big Harpe

            from Hazlet, NJ

            About Me Experienced

            Verified Buyer


            • Clear Sound
            • Compact
            • Durable
            • Easy To Use
            • Lightweight
            • Versatile


            • MAC only software

            Best Uses

            • Amateur Recording
            • Home Studio
            • Professional Recording

            Comments about MOTU MicroBook II - USB Audio Interface:

            I bought the Microbook II after a lot of research and procrastination over the years. I wanted to replace my old Yamaha DSP Factory setup for a long time, but I kept holding off and waiting for my Y2K PC to die. The DSP Factory was reliable, and although not cutting edge in 2012 it 'worked for me'. It was 24/32-bit float @ 44.1 or 48khz,(input converters were 20-bit - no big deal to me because noise is noise). It had DSP capabilities that took the CPU load off the computer's processor and decent effects, that included great dynamics, EQ, delay, reverb, chorus, etc., but the latency was too high and it didn't allow for real time monitoring through the PC. I use my PC and laptops for writing and multitracking songs. Occasionally, I'll record live bands. I needed an audio interface that had the features of the DSP Factory, which was way ahead of its time in 1999. Because my new machine had fewer PCI slots, I had to go with USB or Firewire this time. The two PCI slots are occupied by a UAD-1 and TC Powercore card. (I know, time to update those as well.)I first looked at some of the semi and multi-functioning devices, (i.e. MIDI controller or guitar pedal/audio interface combo), but I made an executive decision to not settle for a toy. I didn't need a MIDI controller or another guitar pedal - I needed a High Quality Audio Interface that was at least on par with what I had. I decided to steer away from the 'all in one' audio interfaces.'MOTU' is synonymous with high quality to me. I longed to own one of their products, but most units were always out of my price range. In this case I couldn't afford the higher-priced models; (I want them, believe me). When I stumbled upon the Microbook II I was impressed. It is a dedicated USB audio interface, has DSP dynamics, EQ and controls, (CueMix), has cool knobs and most importantly - it's packaged in a METAL casing that's small enough for me to port around. It also has a PHANTOM-POWERED XLR Mic input, all in a tiny unit that's sitting on my desktop right now. No more chains of preamps, phantom power boxes or wires for me. I plug my Rode NT1 condenser MIC right into the Microbook II, turn on the phantom power (push and hold MIC input knob) and I'm good to go. If you push the MIC input knob without holding it down it activates padding. Pressing the output knob cycles through the six outputs.One con.. I run Windows and the MOTU AudioDesk software is a MAC program. I use my own software anyway, so it's a minor con for PC people like me. Still, I like to toy around with bundled software when I buy a hardware device, but since this is MOTU hardware I won't complain.In conclusion, I replaced my ancient and beloved audio card with the Microbook II and I gained a cutting edge audio interface that has state of the art converters and many valuable features. If you are on a budget, want Pro-Audio quality, high compatibility and great features that can travel, get the MOTU Microbook II. It works for me.

            Share this review


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