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Rating and Reviews: MOTU MicroBook IIc

Get MOTU quality in a go-anywhere USB interface. The MicroBook gives you a XLR mic pre, 1/4" guitar input, 2 line inputs, 4 line outs and S/PDIF digital out.

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The Wow Factor
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"Portability and power" submitted April 24, 2016

By Rob A
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Pro player, many years of experience
Music Style: Jazz, Funk, R&B, Brazilian
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Overall: I've had my Microbook IIc a little over three months. It's a well-made and pretty deep piece of audio equipment that might take a little while to fully master and appreciate. I play keyboards using a Mac laptop rig on the road, and needed a portable audio interface that would let me run a wired in-ears setup. I travel light; I don't want to bring a rack of gear, so the fact that the Microbook IIc slips into my laptop bag is a big plus. I've geeked out a bit and set up my plugin hosting software (Plogue Bidule) to send OSC to CueMix FX using several knobs on my Roland midi controller – so from my keyboard I can control the level of my keys in my ears, as well as an ambient stereo mic (plugged into the Microbook's 1/8" line input), and an xlr feed from the monitor desk (plugged into the Mic input). Putting OSC control into MOTU interfaces is a very nice feature (a lot of digital mixers do this now) but they’ve designed it to work only with an iPad running an app called TouchOSC. It took a few hours of googling and some help from more knowledgeable folk to get Bidule to talk to CueMix FX– MOTU could not help me at all there. As you might know, the Microbook IIc has a built-in DSP mixer that lets you put compression and eq on every input and output. I set up the compressor on the headphones output to act as a limiter, which is a safety feature of most if not all dedicated in-ears systems. The built-in DSP means that the audio from the interface's inputs can be processed and mixed back to my in-ears without going through the computer – which would create latency and make this interface unusable for me. After quite a bit of research it really looks like the Microbook IIc is the only interface made that satisfies all my requirements – portability, multiple inputs, and built-in mixing and DSP. So far I’m very happy with my purchase.
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