MOTU 4pre Review

When I first saw the MOTU 4pre audio interface, I knew that MOTU came up with something good. The 4pre is something I want.

First, some background. I have used two different MOTU interfaces in my home recording career. The 2408 and the 828 have served me well. I love and recommend the 828mk3, which I have and use. The 2408 is nice, but it requires an extra PCI card for a computer, making it less flexible for a smaller recording studio.

I love the options available on the 828, and the quality of everything. It just works. But it only has 2 built in microphone preamps. I wish it had more.

The MOTU 4pre has inputs. Four microphone inputs that have preamps built in. This is good. Two of those inputs can double as , and two can double as guitar inputs. If you find down the road that you want more, just get a second 4pre and they will work together.
Motu 4-Pre Audio Interface

Motu 4-Pre

This is why I like the MOTU 4pre so much. With my current setup, I have to make sure I have a separate mic preamp unit (I have one that has 8 channels, the DigiMax. It works nice, but it is still two separate pieces of equipment. More complexity means more can go wrong. It doesn't mean it will, but it can.

With the 4pre, you plug it in to the computer, and the microphone inputs are ready to go. Aside from things going wrong, this is simple, and that makes it easier to use.

Overview 

The MOTU 4pre has inputs. Four microphone inputs that have preamps built in. This is good. Two of those inputs can double as regular line level inputs, and two can double as guitar inputs. If you find down the road that you want more, just get a second 4pre and they will work together.

There are two headphone outputs, with separately controlled volumes.

There are four audio outputs. Two are designed for a set of monitors , with volume controlled on the front panel. The other two are for whatever you might need them for. Stage monitors, or a second set of speakers, or whatever.

Digital in and out - it has S/PDIF digital in and out. If you don't know what this means, don't worry. It means that instead of carrying the audio signal in analog form, it goes digital with S/PDIF. Don't worry about it if you don't have any other gear that works with S/PDIF.

The 4pre offers digital mixing. In fact, you can even use it for a live event as the mixer. In other words, an amazing piece of studio recording equipment can also be used for live sound!

Also included with the 4pre is a sweet software package. It includes a number of advanced audio tools, such as clocking, instrument tuning, and an extensive suite of tools for phase analysis. But the real prize is the included AudioDesk software program. I've alread written how I like MOTU's Digital Performer. Well, I really love it. But the great part is that AudioDesk is the little brother to Digital Performer. Most of the functionality and power, and NONE of the price tag! It comes free with the 4pre.

The other great news about AudioDesk is that there is an upgrade path to Digital Performer. Rather than pay full price, you can pay the upgrade fee.

So, from experience, I can say that the MOTU 4pre is going to be a great piece of home audio equipment. 4 channels of high quality audio input and a great software package. It's going to be good.

In short, the MOTU 4pre is well able to be the centerpiece of a small recording studio. Don't wait to revolutionize your recording career!

About the Author Lee Weaver

Lee started his career in recording with an auspicious goal - record tracks of his own voice singing in harmony. As a hobby project, it didn't have the funding to go to a studio and pay for someone to do it for him. Like many of you, he pulled himself up by the bootstraps to learn the art of recording.

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