MOTU M4 4-in / 4-out USB Audio Interface

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SKU: # 723042
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M4 - MOTU

Your Price: $349.00 CDN
or from $29 CDN/mo

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Best in class audio quality, speed, and metering


Best-in-Class Audio Quality
Equipped with the same ESS Sabre32 Ultra™ DAC Technology found in audio interfaces costing thousands, the M4 delivers an astonishing 120 dB Dynamic Range on its main outputs. ESS converters also drive the headphone output, which rivals dedicated headphone amplifiers costing hundreds. Ultra-clean preamp circuits produce a measured -129 dBu EIN on the mic inputs. Capture and monitor your audio with pristine clarity.

Best-in-Class Speed
The M4 provides best-in-class speed for monitoring live inputs (mic, guitar or keyboard) through your computer, thanks to MOTU's expertly engineered USB drivers, which deliver class-leading, ultra-low 2.5 ms Round Trip Latency (at 96 kHz with a 32 sample buffer).

Best-in-Class Metering
When recording and mixing, nothing is more critical than achieving optimum levels. The M4 is the only audio interface in its class with a full colour LCD featuring clear, detailed level meters for all inputs and outputs. Enjoy professional-level volume control and feedback to get your sound just right.

Live Streaming - Loopback
The M4 driver provides convenient loopback channels to your host computer, so you can easily combine computer audio with live mics and/or guitar inputs to stream the combined mix to Youtube or your favorite podcasting platform in real time. Streaming and podcasting has never been easier and better-sounding!

FEATURES

• 4-in / 4-out USB audio interface with studio-quality sound
• Best-in-class audio quality driven by ESS Sabre32 Ultra™ DAC Technology
• Best-in-class speed (ultra-low latency) for host software processing
• Best-in-class metering for all inputs/outputs with a full-colour LCD
• 2x mic/line/hi-Z guitar inputs on combo XLR/TRS
• Individual preamp gain and 48V phantom power for each input
• 2x balanced 1/4-inch line inputs
• Hardware (direct) monitoring for each input (mono or stereo for inputs 1-2, stereo for inputs 3-4)
• Monitor mix knob to balance live inputs and computer playback
• Measured -129 dB EIN on mic inputs
• 4x balanced, DC-coupled 1/4-inch TRS outputs
• Measured 120 dB dynamic range on the 1/4-inch balanced TRS outputs
• 4x RCA (unbalanced) analog out (mirrored)
• 1x headphone out (driven by ESS converters) with independent volume control
• MIDI in/out
• Support for 44.1 to 192 kHz sample rates
• USB audio class compliant for plug-and-play operation on Mac (no driver required)
• Windows driver with 2.5 ms Round Trip Latency (32 sample buffer at 96 kHz)
• Mac driver (optional, for 2.5 ms [email protected]/96 kHz and loopback feature)
• iOS compatible (USB audio class compliant)
• Driver loopback for capturing host output, live streaming and podcasting
• Bus powered USB-C (compatible with USB Type A) with power switch (USB cable included)
• Rugged metal construction
• Workstation software included (MOTU Performer Lite 10 and Ableton Live Lite 10)
• 100+ instruments (in Performer Lite)
• Over 6 GB of included free loops, samples and one-shots from industry leading libraries
• Kensington security slot

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

Sample rates: 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192 kHz

Mic/line/guitar inputs: 2 x XLR/TRS "combo jack" mic/line/Hi-Z guitar inputs
Independent preamp gain, 48V phantom power and monitor switch for each input

Analog inputs: 2 x 1/4" line in
Analog outputs:
• 4 x 1/4" TRS line out (balanced, DC coupled)
• 4 x RCA (unbalanced) analog out (mirrored)
• 1 x 1/4" TRS stereo headphone

Computer I/O:
• 1 x USB-C (compatible with USB Type A) 2.0 audio class compliant

MIDI I/O:
• 1 x MIDI IN
• 1 x MIDI OUT
• 16 MIDI channels to/from computer host

Headphone: 1 x 1/4" TRS stereo phone

Phantom power: 2 x individual +48V

Front panel:
• 1 x 1/4" TRS headphone output
• 2 x XLR/TRS combo inputs
• 1 x potentiometer • monitor vol
• 1 x potentiometer • phone vol
• 1 x potentiometer • input monitor mix
• 2 x potentiometer • mic/line/guitar input gain
• 5 x switches • (2) 48V, (2) MON and (1) 3-4
• 160 x 120 pixel full-coloured LCD with input and output level meters

Power: Bus-powered through USB

Dimensions, enclosure only (W x D x H): 20.955 x 10.8 x 4.5 cm (8.25 x 4.25 x 1.75 inches)
Weight: 1.55 lbs / 0.7 kg

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

Mac System Requirements
• 1 GHz Intel-based Mac or faster
• 2 GB RAM; 4 GB or more recommended
• macOS version 10.11 or later
• Available USB port
• A large hard drive (at least 500 GB for recording)

Windows System Requirements
• 1 GHz Pentium-based PC compatible or faster
• 2 GB RAM; 4 GB or more recommended
• Windows 7, 8 or 10
• Available USB port
• A large hard drive (at least 500 GB for recording)

Class-Compliant Support: USB audio class compliant for plug-and-play operation on Mac or iOS (no driver required)

Included Software:
• MOTU Performer Lite
• Ableton Live 10 Lite
• 6GB of loops and sounds from Big Fish Audio, LucidSamples, Loopmasters and MOTU

Best budget interface I've ever had1 of 1 customers found this review helpful

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Product ExperienceI own it
Closest StoreVancouver, British Columbia
I've owed a lot of interfaces over 20+ years and this is the best entry-level basic one I've used by far.\nThis thing is small, USB powered, stable, low latency, and has good sounding pre-amps. It doesn't have complicated config software or any dumb licensing and does exactly what it needs to do with only physical controls.\nBest feature for me is that it works independently of a host computer, so I can use it with the PC off (with USB power only) and it's still 2 preamps and a 4 channel mixer.
Posted by Jay Omega on Jan 22, 2023
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sounds great0 of 0 customers found this review helpful

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Product ExperienceI own it
Closest StoreBrampton, Ontario
no issues 2 years
Posted by claw on Nov 16, 2022
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Must Give my Two Cents1 of 1 customers found this review helpful

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Product ExperienceI own it
Closest StoreWhite Rock, British Columbia
Lots of the negative reviews are based around quality and incompatibility issues which is fair, but I believe, based on some research, Motu has more recently addressed those in 2022.. One reviewer also wanted software, but I'm not sure exactly what software one would need with an interface. You get the driver window that lets you change sample rate and buffer size,with an option to open when connected, an option for low latency safety offset, and an option to sync to Windows sample rate. I'm not sure what else you'd need.

Assuming you have no issues, this is an excellent interface and deserves 5 stars. It is especially good for the value. Nothing really compares to the M4 at this price range in my opinion. The M2 is also nice if you only need to 2 XLR jacks, and not the 2 extra quarter inch ins.

Be sure to update to the latest firmware. I found the m4 to be exceptionally stable. All the cords are snug and secure. The digital meters are awesome. And the loopback feature is really handy for lots of things I'm sure but I use it for livestreaming and playing guitar through a DAW. The USB-C conenection is nice and snug, the power switch is tight and solid.

Sound quality is nice and transparent, lots of headroom, low noise floor. It's a very solid device. Look into the quality improvements yourself though, I just had to share my experience. I also researched the M4 and other interfaces for weeks before making my purchase, and this to me seemed like the clear winner. The construction is very solid too, the dials are very snug, the volume knob is metal and housing is metal. Oh yeah and MIDI in and out works excellent. Plenty of volume from the headphone output, with AKG240s. Never gone anywhere near full. One drawback I hear is people with more power hungry, typically higher end, headphones find the volume is a bit weak. Also the line inputs in the back typically need to be peramped. Mixers and stuff work fine, but a synth might need a preamp for example.

I stepped up from my Behringer UMC204 which was pretty good for it's price as well. But this is a clear improvement in features and stability, and even my recordings sound slightly better too.
Posted by Dustin M on Sep 24, 2022
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Faulty unit; Some Quality Issues with Motu?0 of 0 customers found this review helpful

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Product ExperienceI own it
Closest StoreToronto (Bloor St.), Ontario
Received a dud. The audio coming out was high-pitched, tinny, digitally distorted. Will be returning unit.

Owned another Motu interface before: the UltraLite mk3. That unit was great, although, again, some quality issues. A few years after owning it, the headphone volume knob stopped working, and two of the plastic knobs broke off.

This will likely be the last time I buy another Motu product. What a shame, because they have a good reputation, and are more Mac focussed (which is the computer I'm using),
Posted by K on Feb 24, 2022
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Great Interface ... for just 1 1/2 days3 of 5 customers found this review helpful

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Product ExperienceI've tried it
Closest StoreVancouver, British Columbia
After conducting research on website publications and YouTube I chose the MOTU M4 as it was rated quite highly. I registered and installed everything as per all instructions. It worked perfectly and sounded really great -- until the second day when all sound was lost. The lights still worked, but there was no sound registering on the meters or monitors. This may or may not be related to the Sleep - Energy Saving function (little published data, conflicting info) which I disabled in favour of simple on-off. The Screen Saver was activated which affects only the screen, not the CPU. My iMac is sufficiently powerful (64 GB RAM, 500 GB storage) to handle any OS compatible USB device and DAW (I use Logic Pro X) and has worked perfectly for over two years.

I registered an online troubleshoot request with MOTU and a few days later the tech issued some instructions (delete the M4 download from the Applications folder, restart everything with the unit connected). Nothing. I've restarted several times, rechecked all ticked M4 input / output boxes, checked all cables, and asked MOTU to follow up. Nothing. Nada. Nil. Not a peep. I emailed Long & McQuade and was immediately offered a refund or exchange.

Eleven days after purchase I exchanged the M4 for a Solid State Logic 2+ and it worked perfectly on the first try with music videos and my Arturia Keylab Essential keyboard. I'll try recording soon, but am confident it will work as advertised. SSL 2+ is lower in volume than the MOTU but the clarity is great. SS has a little blurb on their website about turning off the Sleep / Energy Saver function. I would urge all owners of audio interfaces to heed this advice, just in case.

After this experience I could never in good conscience recommend MOTU, especially from a customer service perspective. However, Wesley with the Vancouver L&M store provided top drawer customer service without hesitation and helped resolve this problem very quickly. For that I am grateful.
Posted by MB on Nov 19, 2021
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If you need no more than a 4-channel interface, this is the one!0 of 0 customers found this review helpful

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Product ExperienceI own it
Closest StoreStratford, Ontario
This MOTU M4 is the best bang-for-the-buck out there if you figure that you won't need more than a 4-ch. connection (at one time). The integrity of sound is most definitely up there. I have been a studio power user for decades now, and need to go deep into anything I decide is right for my needs. I am using it with Logic ProX currently and love the marriage of this MOTU into the techno family. The M4 has not once ever disappointed me on any level. Every possible configuration in the analogue world has been fulfilled in this unit. For $315, I don't think this can be beat by any others in it's feature class. Just stop searching and get one. You will love it! No setup required. Just plug it into your computer , open up your audio software, and go! Have fun.
Posted by Rick Francis on Oct 29, 2021
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A good box0 of 0 customers found this review helpful

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Product ExperienceI own it
Closest StoreToronto (Bloor St.), Ontario
Nothing really compares features-wise at $300. I've had mine for 4-5 months and generally speaking it's great for everything that matters.
Two issues I've had:
1. the HP jack occasionally craps out on one side but a jiggle gets it back in place quickly.
2. Also main level knob has gotten a little loose and spins on the shaft a little bit now. No screw to re-tighten from the outside so it just is that way now I guess?
Would def still recommend!
Posted by geary cooper on Oct 9, 2021
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So Far So Good!!1 of 1 customers found this review helpful

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Product ExperienceI own it
Closest StoreOttawa, Ontario
Still learning the in's and out's but so far so good!
Finally an interface that just works! My old one was quite stressful to use.
My requirements were
- MIDI IN
- low ASIO latency
- overall high scorer in numerous small interface comparisons
- affordable
- USB 3
Recording music is complex. The M4 makes it a LOT easier.
Posted by D on Dec 26, 2020
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Results May Vary3 of 4 customers found this review helpful

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Product ExperienceI own it
Closest StoreHamilton, Ontario
Does everything it they say it does and does it well.
Sadly there is ZERO software for this.
I upgraded from a MOTU Microbook II which still works and is Amazing. The MixCue software it comes with would have been a perfect fit with the M4.
The M4 is great but just seems soulless with out any software.
Also, the Headphone output IS loud but sounds thin in contrast to the MBII which was warm an full jus slightly less output. [i noticed the difference immediately]
Posted by Kryztie on Dec 9, 2020
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Great product, great value!4 of 4 customers found this review helpful

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Product ExperienceI own it
Closest StoreBrampton, Ontario
Motu has done a fantastic job with the M4. Excellent sound quality, simple installation.
The ease of use is the best. The input/monitor mix dial is perfect on the front panel for blending line in instruments with computer audio. Level meters on the front panel are a great feature too. No more software mixer hassle, I like that alot.
The extra pair of 1/4" inputs on the back panel for my synth are what I've been waiting for at this price.
Solid construction, knurled knobs, discrete look are a bonus.
Motu has done a great job of getting this much quality and simplicity into an affordable price range for smaller home studio setups.
Posted by Ron on Oct 22, 2020
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MOTU M45 of 5 customers found this review helpful

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Product ExperienceI own it
Closest StoreNorth Vancouver, British Columbia
This interface is simply amazing.
Solidly constructed with beautiful metering.
Love the two line ins for thoes of us who want to use our own mic preamps and other outboard gear. Lots of extras too.
Made in the U.S.A.
Posted by James Wallace on Aug 19, 2020
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Performance Warranty Banner

Protect your investment with the Long & McQuade Performance Warranty

A warranty can be a very important factor when making a buying decision. Because repairs can be very expensive in terms of parts and labour costs, manufacturers usually only provide one year limited warranties that generally only cover items that malfunction due to a manufacturer’s defect. With an important purchase such as a musical
instrument or piece of studio gear, however, many people want to have the peace of mind in knowing that their investment will be protected should the product no longer be performing at 100%.

Because of this, Long & McQuade provides our customers with a FREE one-year Performance Warranty on most of our products. The Long & McQuade Performance Warranty supplements the manufacturer’s warranty to ensure that our customers receive complete “no hassle” warranty coverage within their first year.

How does the Long & McQuade Performance Warranty differ from most manufacturers' warranties?
  • Performance Guarantee: Normal wear and tear is covered, so your product will be performing as well as the day you purchased it for the entire duration of the coverage. Band and Orchestral Performance Warranty does not include replacing pads or cleaning for woodwind instruments, unless deemed necessary by our repair staff. Ultrasonic cleaning for brass instruments will be provided if deemed necessary by our repair staff, but is not routinely offered under the Performance Warranty.
  • Product Replacement: If your product cannot be fixed or costs too much to fix, we will replace it with the equivalent model for no additional charge. If this is not possible, a full refund will be provided.
  • No Lemon Policy: Your product will be replaced should the same problem occur multiple times.
  • Convenient: Easy drop off and pick up of the product at any Long & McQuade location.
  • Guitar Setup: Guitars purchased at Long & McQuade come with 1 free setup, to be redeemed within 1 year for new guitars and 90 days for used guitars.
  • Loaners Available: A loaner product may be given while the product is being repaired.
  • Power Surge Protection: Your product is covered even if damaged from a power surge.
  • Accessory Coverage: Any peripheral devices or accessories that come with your product (i.e. foot pedal, case) are also covered.
  • Commercial Use Coverage: Music and recording professionals who purchase gear for “heavy-use” commercial purposes will still be covered.
 

Long & McQuade reserves the right to restrict the purchase of additional years of Performance Warranty. Used products come with a 3-month Long & McQuade Performance Warranty. Some products (i.e. computers, software, cymbals and other items) are covered only by the manufacturer‘s warranty. Consumables (i.e. strings, reeds, drum sticks, batteries, tubes, cross faders) are excluded as they are designed to be replaced. Cosmetic Damage, Accidental Damage, or problems caused by Humidity or Temperature Issues are not covered. Speakers damaged by overpowering are generally not covered. Our coverage does not provide compensation for loss of use. As of June 2018 the Performance Warranty is no longer transferable. The warranty is only valid in Canada.

Purchasing additional years of coverage

Some manufacturers provide warranties for longer than 1 year; however, these are usually limited warranties that do not provide the same coverage as the Long & McQuade Performance Warranty. Customers interested in more complete and convenient (but not necessarily longer) coverage are still able to purchase additional years of the Performance Warranty.

If you are interested in receiving this coverage for longer than one year, you have the option of purchasing additional years of the Performance Warranty. The pricing is as follows:

  • NEW products: 4% of the current new selling price to double the warranty from 1 year to 2 years. 4% for each additional year.
  • USED products: 4% of the current new selling price to increase the warranty from 3 months to 1 year. 4% for each additional year.
  • GUITARS: 4% of the current new selling price to double the warranty from 1 year to 2 years. 4% for each additional year. $45 maximum. An additional free setup is not included with additional purchased years of Performance Warranty.
  • BAND and ORCHESTRAL instruments: 4% of the current new selling price to double the warranty from 1 year to 2 years. 4% for each additional year.