MOTU Audio Express 6x6 Hybrid FireWire and USB 2.0 Audio Interface

The MOTU Audio Express is a versatile audio interface featuring 6 inputs and 6 outputs bringing pro quality recording to any home studio.

Thanks to MOTU's Hybrid interface technology, the Audio Express USB/FireWire Audio Interface connects to any current Mac or PC via FireWire or high-speed USB 2.0. Connect your mic, guitar, keyboard, and digital input, and you are ready to make pro-quality recordings in your personal studio. You can also use the Audio Express 8-bus digital mixer on stage for live performance, in your personal studio without a computer, or together with your host audio software as a low-latency monitor mixer. The MOTU Audio Express has more capabilities than and interfaces far above its price!

Get a closer look with this video from MOTU:


- 6-input, 6-output audio interface compatible with Mac and Windows
- 6 x 8 physical input/output channels operate independently
- Hybrid FireWire/USB 2.0 connectivity connect to your Mac or PC
- 8-bus digital mixer routes and mixes all six inputs to any output pair
- Each output pair can have a different mix of all 6 inputs, with or without computer tracks
- Two mic/guitar combo jacks provide 1/4 inch guitar or XLR mic input with phantom power, 20 dB pad, Precision Digital Trim, and plenty of gain
- Stereo 1/4 inch line level inputs for keyboards or other line level-input signals
- Stereo 1/4 inch TRS main outs connects directly to powered speakers
- Stereo 24-bit 96kHz S/PDIF digital in/out
- Stereo 1/4 inch headphone output with independent volume control
- Each input has its own dedicated volume knob for control of multiple mixes with clear read more feedback from front panel LEDs and metering
- Bring to your gig with or without a computer to tweak monitor mixes
- Front panel volume control of main outs and headphone jack
- Connect a MIDI controller and/or sound module with no separate interface needed
- Foot switch input for hands-free punch-in and punch-out while recording
- Includes AudioDesk full-featured sample-accurate workstation software for the Mac with recording, editing, mixing, real-time 32-bit effects processing and sample-accurate sync
- A power supply is included for stand-alone operation.

Hands-on mixing for studio and stage

Quickly balance the levels of your mic, guitar, keyboard, and a S/PDIF device, right from the front panel. Each instrument has its own volume control. Route inputs directly to any output pair, each with its own unique mix: main outs, line outs, S/PDIF out, and phones.

Hands-on control of your mix

What makes the Audio Express unique? Immediate, hands-on control of your mix using the front-panel knobs and status LEDs. To adjust the volume of an input, just turn its knob. The Audio Express lets you control mix volume independently from the input's trim level, so you never have to sacrifice sound quality for a balanced mix.

A separate mix for each output pair

The Audio Express mixer takes signals from its six inputs and mixes them to an output pair, such as the main outs. You control the volume of each input. Better yet, you can adjust input volumes differently for each output pair. In other words, each output pair can have its own unique mix. For example, you might create a balanced mix going to your PA via the main outs, but bring up the guitar for the mix going to your stage monitors via the line outs, so you can easily monitor your guitar sound. You get a separate mix for main outs, line outs, S/PDIF digital out, and phones.

As a live mixer:Because immediate volume adjustments are always within reach, the Audio Express serves as the perfect compact, portable live mixer, with or without a computer. Even without a computer, the Audio Express gives you complete control over all four mix busses with direct access to volume, mute and solo for each input.

As a studio mixer:Back in your personal studio, you can of course use the Audio Express to connect your mic, guitar, and other inputs to your computer. Sometimes, however, you just want to play your instruments, without the computer. The Audio Express continues to serve as your studio mixer, even when your PC or Mac is turned off.

As a monitor mixer:When recording into your computer, host audio software can sometimes introduce a slight delay (latency) in what you hear as you track. You can use the Audio Express mixer, instead of monitoring through the software, to completely eliminate this delay.

On-screen mixing with CueMix app

CueMix FX gives you comprehensive graphic control over your mix and other settings in the Audio Express. CueMix FX can be operated side by side with any host audio software for Mac or Windows, and it can be controlled from the Mackie Control Universal Pro automated worksurface.

Included CueMix FX Software (Mac and PC)

The included CueMix FX software for Mac OS X and Windows gives you graphic, on-screen control of the Audio Express's on-board audio mixer, with up to four separate stereo mixes ( a separate mix for output pair). For example, you can mix all the inputs to the main outs, but also mix them to the line outs with completely different levels than the main outs. Advanced features include a tuner, oscilloscope, FFT/spectrogram, and phase analysis tools.

Included AudioDesk Software (Mac)

The Audio Express includes AudioDesk, the workstation software for Mac OS X, which provides advanced recording, editing, mixing, processing, and mastering. AudioDesk delivers the power of modern digital audio workstation technology in an easy-to-use, inspiring multitrack recording experience. Together, AudioDesk and the Audio Express are a complete, professional recording studio for your computer desktop.
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Hybrid System Requirements

PowerPC G4 CPU 1 GHz or faster (including PowerPC G5 CPUs and all Intel processor Macs)
Mac OS X version 10.5 or 10.6; v10.5.8 or later required

Pentium 4 CPU (or equivalent) 1 GHz or faster
Windows 7 or Vista, 32- or 64-bit; Vista SP 2 or later required

For all systems:
1 GB RAM; 2 GB or more recommended
Available FireWire or USB2 port
Large hard disk drive (preferably at least 100 GB)

Dimensions: 9.5 x 7 x 1.75 inches (24.13x17.78x4.45cm)

Software Compatibility

Mac: The Audio Express ships with standard Core Audio drivers for Mac OS X for compatibility with virtually all Core Audio-compatible apps, including:

MOTU Digital Performer, MOTU AudioDesk, Avid Pro Tools (version 9 or later), Apple Logic Pro, Apple Logic Express, Apple Garage Band, Apple SoundTrack Pro, Ableton Live, Propellerhead Record and Reason, Steinberg Cubase, Cockos Reaper, Native Instruments Kontakt, Waves stand-alone apps (and plug-ins, via any compatible host)

Windows: The Audio Express ships with standard Wave and ASIO drivers for Windows 7 and Windows Vista for compatibility with virtually all Wave-compatible audio apps, including:

Avid Pro Tools (version 9 or later), Ableton Live, Cakewalk Sonar, Steinberg Cubase, Propellerhead Record and Reason, Image Line FL Studio, Sony Vegas Pro, Sony Sound Forge, Sony Acid, Cockos Reaper, Native Instruments Kontakt, Waves stand-alone apps (and plug-ins, via any compatible host)
Dimensions and Weight in Packaging
Shipping Weight: 5 lbs
Shipping Dimensions: 15 x 12 x 6 in
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 8456

For support or warranty questions, please contact the manufacturer:
Phone: 617-576-2760

Reviewers gave this product an overall rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars. (3 ratings)
Submitted December 12, 2011 by a customer from

"Good product but not the best for the price."

Overall: 3.5 out of 5 stars
(see rating details)
Verified Customer zZounds has verified that this reviewer made a purchase from us.
Giving this a 7 since I had latency issues on Win7 but no real beef with OSX (both using the latest drivers from MOTU's website). Clean sound, rugged design, aesthetically pleasing.

Quality is excellent with this unit. MOTU has a knack for amazing sound.

Packed full of features for using with or without a computer. Definitely a sweet combination.

Ease of Use
Depends on what you're using it for. You can get extremely in-depth with this i/o if that's your thing or use it for a simple setup. I was going to use this as my live performer for DJing - but ran into a few hiccups in the latency department. (please note I am not going to comment on anything OTHER than the latest drivers from their website - only 1st party for testing). Latency was 20ms round trip. That's the best I could manage. My firewire device (M-Audio) can hit 3.6ms round trip and my USB 1.1 Fast Track Pro can hit 10ms round trip. Not sure what the deal was with the MOTU - but after as much tinkering as I could with buffer/sample rate - I could not get below 20ms which is a no-no for live performance. Using it as a stand-alone is obviously fine. Using it with 3rd party drivers proved to be better, but still not as close as the far cheaper Fast Track or my Profire 610.

Tops. MOTU products are always fantastic.

A little read more steep for what the hardware does - but it is MOTU.

Manufacturer Support
Fine with trying to nail down my latency issues although we never did actually get it resolved - but their service was fast and friendly.

Musical Background:
Since I was 6.

Musical Style:
Electronic, classical, horror.
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