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UltraLite-mk3 Hybrid — Mobile FireWire / USB2 audio interface with effects and mixing
The Ultralite-mk3 Hybrid is MOTU's most compact and versatile audio interface, featuring hybrid FireWire/USB2 connectivity to your Mac or Windows computer, on-board mixing and effects, superb sound and reliable performance.
As the first-ever "hybrid" audio interface of its kind, the UltraLite-mk3 Hybrid provides flexible and mobile operation via FireWire or hi-speed USB2 connectivity to a Mac or PC computer, with professional audio quality at samples rates up to 192 kHz and plenty of I/O, including two mic/instrument inputs, six line-level analog inputs, ten channels of analog output, stereo S/PDIF and a stereo headphone output.
Housed in a rugged, compact half-rack enclosure you can take anywhere, the UltraLite-mk3 Hybrid is equally well-suited for studio and stage, with or without a computer. As an interface or standalone mixer, the UltraLite-mk3 Hybrid provides 10 separate inputs and 14 separate outputs.
Connect all of your studio gear, including microphones, guitars, synths, keyboards, drum machines, effects processors and even MIDI devices. Record, monitor, route and process all of these live inputs using the professional on-board CueMix FX digital mixer — with no latency and no processor strain on your computer. Apply hardware DSP-driven effects processing to inputs, outputs, and busses independent of your host computer. Add Classic Reverb™ with lengths up to 60 seconds. Further sculpt your sound with 7-band parametric EQ featuring filter types carefully modeled after British analog console EQs. Choose between two forms of compression: a conventional compressor and the Leveler™, an accurate model of the legendary LA-2A™ optical compressor that provides vintage, musical automatic gain control.
The included CueMix FX cross-platform mixing software provides attractive graphic mixing, graphic editing of parametric EQ, and a convenient tabbed interface for quick access to all features in one window. Advanced signal analysis tools include a full-screen real-time FFT display, spectrogram "waterfall" display, oscilloscope, X-Y plot and linear or polar phase analysis.
After programming the on-board mixing in the studio, unplug the UltraLite-mk3 Hybrid from the computer and take it on the road for operation as a stand-alone mixer with effects. All mixing and effects parameters are adjustable using the front panel backlit LCD.
The UltraLite-mk3 Hybrid provides cross-platform compatibility with Mac and Windows and all of your favorite audio software and host-based effects via WDM/ASIO/Core Audio drivers. Or you can use the included AudioDesk workstation software for Mac, with 24-bit recording/editing and 32-bit mixing/processing/mastering.
The UltraLite-mk3 is the very first "hybrid" audio interface to offer both FireWire and hi-speed USB2 connectivity.
FireWire has long been recognized as a reliable, high-performance connectivity standard for professional audio interfaces like the UltraLite-mk3 Hybrid. Meanwhile, hi-speed USB2 has also developed into a widely adopted standard for connecting peripheral devices to personal computers.
To fully support both formats, your UltraLite-mk3 Hybrid audio interface is equipped with both a FireWire A (400 Mbit/sec) connector and a hi-speed USB2 (480 Mbit/sec) connector, and you can use either port to connect the UltraLite-mk3 Hybrid to your computer. This gives you maximum flexibility and compatibility with today’s ever-expanding universe of Mac and Windows computers.
If your computer does not have a FireWire port, then obviously you will need to connect the UltraLite-mk3 Hybrid to one of its hi-speed USB2 ports.
If your computer has both FireWire and USB2, then it is your choice, and your decision may depend mostly on other peripherals you may also have, or bus power. FireWire provides enough power on the FireWire bus that the UltraLite-mk3 Hybrid can be powered solely by its FireWire connection to the computer. If you use USB2, you you'll need to use the DC power supply included with the UltraLite-mk3 Hybrid, as USB2 does not supply enough power by itself.
The UltraLite-mk3 Hybrid includes a 16-channel MIDI interface that provides sample-accurate timing with supporting software.
Connect a MIDI keyboard, sound module or control surface, and you are ready to go. The FireWire or USB2 connection to the computer carries both MIDI and audio so you don't need to connect an additional USB cable for MIDI.
MIDI Thru for stand-alone operation
The UltraLite-mk3 Hybrid introduces a new MIDI Thru feature that routes all MIDI data received at its input directly to its output while running stand-alone. This allows you to play a hardware sound module or sampler connected to the MIDI OUT from a controller connected to the MIDI IN, even when the computer is turned off, or when the UltraLite-mk3 Hybrid is completely disconnected from the computer.
- Hybrid FireWire/USB2 connectivity — connect to your computer via either bus-powered FireWire or hi-speed USB2.
- CueMix FX™ — flexible 10 input/14 bus mixer with on-board DSP effects, including reverb with sends/returns, plus EQ and compression on every input and output.
- 10 inputs / 14 outputs — there's no channel sharing in the UltraLite-mk3 Hybrid; the mic inputs, S/PDIF I/O, headphone out and main outs are all handled as separate channels.
- Classic Reverb™ — provides five different room types, three frequency shelves with adjustable crossover points, shelf filtering and reverb lengths up to 60 seconds.
- Two forms of compression — a standard compressor with conventional threshold/ratio/attack/release/gain controls and the Leveler™, an accurate model of the legendary LA-2A optical compressor, which provides vintage, musical automatic gain control.
- Modeled EQ — provides 7-band parametric EQ modeled after British analog console EQs, featuring 4 filter styles (gain/Q profiles) to effectively cover a wide range of audio material. LP and HP filters are also supplied with slopes that range from 6 to 36 dB.
- CueMix FX cross-platform mixing software — attractive graphic mixing, graphic editing of parametric EQ and a convenient tabbed interface for quick access to all features in one window. Also provides full-screen real-time FFT display, spectrogram "waterfall" display, oscilloscope, X-Y plot and linear or polar phase analysis.
- Front-panel control — access any setting in your entire UltraLite-mk3 Hybrid mix directly from the front panel.
- "Reverb return" stream — allows users to record or mix UltraLite-mk3 Hybrid reverb output separately in their DAW. Effects can also be applied when the UltraLite-mk3 Hybrid is operating stand-alone (without a computer) as a complete stand-alone mixer.
- Stand-alone operation — program your mixes at the studio and then bring the UltraLite-mk3 Hybrid to your gig — no computer needed. Just plug in the included power adapter and you are ready to go. Need to tweak the mix? Do it on site using the back-lit LCD and front-panel controls.
- Multiple CueMix FX mixes — for example, create different monitor mixes for the main outs and headphones. Or add send/return loops for outboard gear — with no latency.
- Two combo jacks provide hi-Z 1/4” guitar input or low-Z XLR mic input with phantom power, pad and plenty of gain.
- Eight 24-bit 192kHz analog inputs and outputs on balanced/unbalanced 1/4" TRS jacks
- Precision Digital Trim™ — Digitally controlled analog trim on all analog inputs (mic/guitar inputs + quarter-inch TRS inputs) provides accurate adjustements in 1 dB increments. Fine-tune the balance of your analog inputs and then save/recall trim configurations.
- Direct Digital Synthesis™ (DDS) — a DSP-driven phase lock engine and internal clock source that produces imperceptibly low jitter characteristics (below the noise floor), even when the UltraLite-mk3 Hybrid is resolved to an external clock source via SMPTE time code.
- Time code support — directly resolves to (or generates) time code via any quarter-inch input or output, without the need for an extra synchronizer.
- 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.
- Expandable — add additional interfaces for more I/O as your needs grow.
- Separate TRS main outs with front panel volume control.
- Stereo 24-bit 96kHz S/PDIF in/out.
- DC-coupled TRS outputs — can be used with Volta™ (sold separately) to manipulate and sequence voltage-controlled modular synthesizers from a host DAW.
- Includes native 32- and 64-bit drivers for Mac OS X and Windows 8/7/Vista/XP, including ASIO, WDM, Wave, Core Audio, and Core MIDI. Supports all popular Mac and Windows audio software.
- 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.
- Plug-and-play operation with your Mac or PC via FireWire or USB2.
- Front panel volume control for monitoring. Stereo, Quad, 6.1, 7.1 and user-defined surround monitoring setups available.
- Front panel headphone jack with volume control.
- 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 × 7 × 1.75 inches (24.13 × 17.78 × 4.45 cm). Knobs and connectors extend up to 0.5 inch (1.27 cm) from front and back panels, adding 1 inch (2.54 cm) to depth. With rack ears attached, fits one half of a standard 19 inch (48.26 cm) rack at 1U high.