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MOTU M4 Desktop 4x4 USB Type-C Audio/MIDI Interface

BH #MAM4 • MFR #3140
MOTU M4 Desktop 4x4 USB Type-C Audio/MIDI Interface
Key Features
  • Musicians, Podcasters & Producers
  • USB Type-C / Type-A Connectivity
  • 2 Mic/Line/Instrument Preamps, 2 Line In
  • 1 Headphone Out, 4 RCA & 1/4" Line Outs
Pristine, versatile, and portable, the MOTU M4 desktop 4x4 USB Type-C audio/MIDI interface combines high-class audio performance, a robust bundle of DAWs, virtual instruments, loops, and samples, and a feature set that makes it equally powerful and user-friendly for musicians, podcasters, and producers, all at a highly affordable price point.
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MOTU M4 Overview

  • 1Description
  • 2Professional-Level Audio Quality
  • 3Mirrored Monitoring
  • 4Loopback Channels for Podcast Recording and Live Streaming
  • 5Line Inputs and Line Outputs
  • 6Low Latency
  • 7Hardware Monitoring and Input Mix Knob
  • 8Integrates with MIDI Gear and Analog Synths
  • 9Audio Interface or Standalone Operation
  • 10Software Included
  • 11Key Features at a Glance

Pristine, versatile, and portable, the MOTU M4 desktop 4x4 USB Type-C audio/MIDI interface combines high-class audio performance, a robust bundle of DAWs, virtual instruments, loops, and samples, and a feature set that makes it equally powerful and user-friendly for musicians, podcasters, and producers, all at a highly affordable price point.

With its two front-panel mic/line/instrument preamps and two rear-panel line inputs, the M4 can record anything from dynamic and condenser microphones to electric guitars and drum machines in distortion-free, sparkling clarity. Equipped with top-notch ESS digital-to-analog converters that drive the main outs and the headphone jack, the M4 lets you monitor through your speakers and headphones with the dynamic range normally found only on much more expensive interfaces.

Use the M4's digital loopback channels to easily route audio from your computer directly into your host software—record remote podcast guests from Skype or any other VoIP software without incurring horrible feedback, or livestream a mix of live inputs and the computer's output.

The M4 is equally suitable for producers, thanks to its MIDI 5-pin I/O. Plug in a MIDI keyboard to control virtual instruments such as the selection of over 100 VIs included with the M4. Or, run MIDI from the M4 to your favorite hardware synth to capture its glorious tones through the M4's pristine analog preamps.

No matter what you do, the M4's specially engineered drivers ensure ultralow-latency monitoring so you can rehearse and record in real time without hearing any distracting echo, and the full-color LCD screen shows you high-resolution metering for all inputs and outputs at all times. Take the M4 anywhere you need to work; it is bus-powered and compatible with Mac/Windows computers and iOS mobile devices.

Professional-Level Audio Quality

Equipped with the same ESS Sabre32 Ultra DAC technology found in audio interfaces the pros use, the M4 delivers 120 dB of dynamic range on its main outputs. ESS converters also drive the headphone output. Ultraclean preamp circuits produce a measured -129 dBu EIN on the mic inputs; this means while recording, you'll only hear the mic, not the mic pre.

Mirrored Monitoring

The M4 has balanced 1/4" outputs for professional-level monitoring, and also features mirrored RCA outputs for feeding receivers and other unbalanced gear. With a 1/4" headphone output, you can also monitor your work privately.

Loopback Channels for Podcast Recording and Live Streaming

The M4's included driver provides convenient loopback channels to your host computer, so you can easily capture your computer's output. Combine computer audio with live mics while recording in your DAW, allowing you to capture guests over Skype or other VoIP programs. You can also use the loopback function while streaming live to sites like Twitch.

Line Inputs and Line Outputs

In addition to the monitor outputs, the M4 offers two 1/4" line outputs and two mirrored RCA line outputs. Use these outputs to feed outboard gear such as compressors, equalizers, stereo-width processors, or whatever else you have in your arsenal. Route audio to channels 3-4, through your favorite hardware pieces, and then back into the two 1/4" line inputs. This makes the unit suitable for hybrid mix engineers.

Low Latency

The M4 provides ultralow latency for monitoring live inputs through your computer, thanks to MOTU's expertly engineered USB drivers. These deliver 2.5 ms of round-trip latency, measured with a 32-sample buffer at 96 kHz.

Hardware Monitoring and Input Mix Knob

The M4 gives you one-touch hardware monitoring for all inputs, including line inputs 3-4. You'll also note the mix knob for balancing live inputs with computer playback; this lets you secure your perfect monitor mix, so you can hear your playing without latency, as well as any playback tracks, all at the same time.

Integrates with MIDI Gear and Analog Synths

The M4 includes traditional 5-pin MIDI input and output ports, so you can connect a MIDI controller, a sound module, or even a keyboard workstation without having to get a separate MIDI interface. The four 1/4" outputs on the M4 are DC-coupled, allowing you to send MIDI data from your DAW as CV to hardware analog synthesizers, Eurorack modules, and sequencers.

Audio Interface or Standalone Operation

The unit is bus-powered over USB for optimal portability and convenience. It includes a USB Type-C to Type-A cable for compatibility with most computers. If your computer has USB Type-C ports, simply use a USB Type-C cable (available separately) to connect the two.

Alternatively, by using a USB Type-C power adapter, the M4 can be used as a standalone preamp and basic mixer, no host computer required. Simply engage the monitor button for each input (and 48V phantom power, if needed), and adjust the preamp gain. Connect the main outs to any line-level destination, such as a PA or patch bay.

Software Included

The M4 includes Ableton Live Lite and MOTU Performer Lite, popular and capable DAWs geared for music recording and production. Also included are over 100 instruments for Performer Lite, as well as 6GB of loops, sounds, and one-shot samples for either DAW.

Key Features at a Glance

  • USB Type-C audio interface with professional-level sound, four inputs, and four outputs
  • Easy-to-read metering for all inputs/outputs, with a full-color LCD
  • Two XLR-1/4" mic/line/Hi-Z guitar inputs and two balanced 1/4" line inputs
  • Individual preamp gain and 48V phantom power for each input
  • Four balanced, DC-coupled 1/4" TRS outputs for feeding monitors, outboard gear, or even hardware synthesizers and sequencers
  • Four mirrored RCA unbalanced outputs
  • One stereo headphone output, driven by ESS converters, with independent volume control
  • Supports resolutions up to 32-bit / 192 kHz
  • USB audio class compliant for plug-and-play operation on Mac or iOS (driver required for Windows)
  • Driver loopback for capturing host output, live streaming, and podcasting
  • MIDI I/O on 5-pin DIN jacks
  • Rugged metal construction
  • Kensington security slot
UPC: 839128006126

MOTU M4 Specs

Form FactorTabletop
Display1 x Color LCD
Channels of I/OAnalog:
4 Inputs / 4 Outputs
Max Sample Rate/Resolution192 kHz / 32-Bit
Number of Mic Preamps2
Input Level Adjustment2 x Knob
Expansion SlotsNone
Gain/Trim RangeMic Inputs:
0 dB to +60 dB
Line/Hi-Z Inputs:
0 dB to +57 dB
High-Pass FilterNone
Analog Audio I/O2 x Combo XLR-1/4" TRS Balanced/Unbalanced Mic/Line/Hi-Z Input
2 x 1/4" TRS Balanced Line Input
1 x 1/4" TRS Unbalanced Headphone Output
4 x 1/4" TRS Balanced Line Output (DC-Coupled)
4 x RCA TS Unbalanced Line Output
Phantom Power48 V, Selectable On/Off (Selectable on Individual Inputs)
Digital Audio I/ONone
Host Connection / USB1 x USB Type-C (USB 2.0)
USB (Non-Host)None
Sync I/ONone
Network I/ONone
MIDI I/O1 x DIN 5-Pin Input
1 x DIN 5-Pin Output
Wireless ConnectivityNone
Frequency ResponseMic Inputs:
20 Hz to 20 kHz +0/-0.1 dB
Line, Hi-Z Inputs:
20 Hz to 20 kHz ±0.15 dB
Line Inputs:
20 Hz to 20 kHz ±0.07 dB
Line Outputs:
20 Hz to 20 kHz +0/-0.1 dB
Max Input LevelMic Inputs:
+10 dBu (Min Gain)
Line/Hi-Z Inputs:
+16 dBu (Min Gain)
Line Inputs:
+18 dBu (Min Gain)
Max Output LevelLine Outputs:
+16 dBu (Balanced)
Line Outputs:
+9.5 dBu (Unbalanced)
Headphone Outputs:
+12.5 dBu
ImpedanceMic Inputs:
2.65 Kilohms
Line Inputs:
2 Megohms
Hi-Z Inputs:
1 Megohm
Line Outputs:
100 Ohms
Dynamic RangeMic Inputs:
115 dBA
Line/Hi-Z Inputs:
114 dBA
Line Inputs:
115 dBA
Line/Monitor Outputs:
120 dBA
RCA Outputs:
119 dBA
Headphone Outputs:
115 dBA
THD+NMic Inputs:
< -97 dB / < 0.0014%
Line/Hi-Z Inputs:
< -100 dB / < 0.001%
Line Inputs:
< -106 dB / < 0.0005%
Line/Monitor Outputs:
< -110 dB / < 0.00032%
RCA Outputs:
< -105 dB / < 0.00056%
Headphone Outputs:
< -110 dB / < 0.0003%
EINMic Inputs:
-129 dB A-Weighted (150-Ohm Source, Max Gain)
Digital Audio
Sample RatesUp to 192 kHz
Sample Rate ConversionNone
Bit Depths32-Bit
LatencyZero-Latency Direct Monitoring2.5 ms at 96 kHz (Dependent on Buffer Size, Input to Output)
Sync SourcesInternal
Memory Card SlotNone
OS CompatibilitymacOS 10.11 or Later
Windows 7 or Later
iOS 9 or Later
Included SoftwareAbleton Live Lite
Digital Performer Lite
Compatible Software (Not Included)Any Core Audio (Mac) Compliant Software
Supported Drivers/API & Plug-InsmacOS Class-Compliant (No Driver Needed)
Processor RequirementMac:
1 GHz Intel
1 GHz Intel Pentium
RAM Requirements2 GB, 4 GB Recommended
Required HardwareAvailable USB 2.0 Port
USB Cable (Included)
Internet ConnectionRequired for Software/Driver Download
Power RequirementsUSB Bus Power
Anti-Theft FeaturesKensington Security Slot
Dimensions8.25 x 4.25 x 1.75" / 20.96 x 10.79 x 4.45 cm (Chassis Only)
Weight1.6 lb / 0.7 kg
Packaging Info
Package Weight2.15 lb
Box Dimensions (LxWxH)10.6 x 7.3 x 2.8"

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