MOTU is now shipping the UltraLite, a half-rackspace, bus-powered FireWire audio interface that turns a laptop or desktop Power Mac, Intel Mac or PC into a mobile 24-bit, 96kHz recording studio with 10 inputs and 14 outputs.
Housed in sturdy yet lightweight aluminum alloy, the UltraLite provides 2 mic/instrument inputs with preamps, 48V phantom power, unique three-way pad switch (-36, -18 and 0dB) and front-panel Digital Precision Trim knobs that provide 24dB of gain in 1dB increments for a total gain range of 60dB.
There is plenty of additional analog I/O via 6 balanced line-level quarter-inch (TRS) inputs (a total of 8 analog ins) and 10 analog TRS outputs. Also included are 96 kHz stereo S/PDIF digital I/O, a dedicated stereo headphone output and MIDI I/O for a controller keyboard and other gear. MIDI performance is sample-accurate with supporting software.
Users can connect microphones, guitars, synths, keyboards, drum machines and even effects processors, and then use the UltraLite's built in 8-bus mixer to monitor all of these live inputs via the UltraLite's main outs, headphone jack or any other output — with virtually no monitoring latency and no processor drain on the computer. Users can even create up to four separate (stereo) monitor mixes for the main outs, headphones and other outputs.
Everything, including talk-back and listen-back, can be controlled from the included CueMix Console™ software, just like a conventional mixer. When using the UltraLite to mix without a computer, users can control CueMix directly from the UltraLite's front-panel.
When the user finishes front-panel programming, the backlit LCD displays 8-segment level meters for all inputs and outputs simultaneously, providing instant and continuous feedback to the user, even in low light environments.
The UltraLite can draw power directly from its FireWire bus connection to the computer (no AC required) or from the included DC power supply when operating as a stand-alone mixer.
Users can easily expand their system by connecting additional UltraLite, Traveler, 828 or 896 FireWire audio interfaces. The UltraLite provides two FireWire A (400Mbit) ports for easy and convenient daisy-chaining.
The UltraLite also provides on-board SMPTE time code synchronization features, which allow users to slave their UltraLite system to SMPTE time code (via any analog input) without a synchronizer. The UltraLite can also generate time code and send it to any analog output. These sync features are provided by a DSP-driven phase-lock engine with sophisticated filtering that provides fast lockup times and sub-frame accuracy. The synchronization features are cross-platform and compatible with all audio sequencer software that supports the ASIO2 sample-accurate sync protocol.
The UltraLite provides cross-platform compatibility with Mac OS X 10.3 or higher (including the new Intel Macs), Windows XP and any audio software that supports standard WDM/ASIO/Core Audio drivers. The included AudioDesk workstation software for Macintosh provides 24-bit recording/editing and 32-bit mixing/processing/mastering.
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