The MicroBook from MOTU aims to bring professional level studio recording capabilities to a Mac or PC computer. The bus-powered USB interface offers users up to four simultaneous inputs as well as a host of studio mixing tools and audio analyzers. It uses industry standard Mac and PC drivers to ensure maximum software compatibility and is small and light enough to fit in a pocket.
Despite its compact size, the MicroBook audio interface packs in some mighty studio quality recording tools for musicians on-the-go or would-be engineers. It can record up to four inputs simultaneously from dedicated guitar and mic sockets at the front and a couple of line-in sockets to the rear. Audio is output via balanced TRS quarter-inch main outs, stereo "mini" line out, S/PDIF digital out, and phones.
All of the mixing and tweaking takes place via USB connection to a Mac or PC, either using the supplied software or third party suites such as Ableton Live, Sony Sound Forge, Steinberg Cubase and so on thanks to the MicroBook's use of Core Audio and standard Wave and ASIO drivers. The unit comes shipped with CueMix FX software for Windows and Mac users which gives a graphic representation of the device's audio mixer.
Users benefit from up to five separate stereo mixes, 7-band parametric EQ, and compression on every input and output as well as advanced audio tools like Fast Fourier Transform/spectrogram, oscilloscope and other production tools. Those with a Mac also get treated to AudioDesk DAW software for editing, mixing, processing, and mastering of recordings.
The company's Jim Cooper said: "Our tests show that it matches or exceeds the measured audio specifications of other so-called 'high-end' interfaces on the market that cost two and three times as much. So it's perfect for discriminating users who want quality I/O for on-the-go recording, personal studio tracking, laptop-based DJing, and many other applications."
The unit's balanced input/output connections are shielded from RF interference, AC hum and other annoying external factors that can spoil a recording. Its microphone preamp is optimized for quality sound delivery, each input/output has from seven separate filters and a classic compressor and the digitally-controlled analog trim offers "the pristine signal quality of analog audio circuitry and the fine-tune precision of digital control."
The MicroBook supports both 44.1 and 48 kHz sample rates, gives the user the power to correct phase and polarity issues and offers live monitoring of recordings or subsequent playback is offered via programmable analog stereo outputs, digital output, and stereo-mini output jacks. The 10-bus digital mixer also allows users to mix live inputs from sources such as guitar, keyboard or mic with live computer tracks or media players connected via a mini-jack input.
MOTU has announced July availability for the MicroBook personal audio interface with a US$269 price tag.
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