Mark of the Unicorn (MOTU) Traveler Portable FireWire Audio Interface

No longer available at zZounds
MOTU Warranty MOTU offers a 2 year warranty on all Firewire interfaces and all Video/Audio interfaces. USB MIDI interfaces and PCI Audio interfaces carry a 90 day warranty.
If you have additional warranty questions, please contact the manufacturer at 617-576-2760
(64 ratings)
Submitted February 24, 2005 by a customer from buckeye-express.com
"Great Interface, nice features, screen, midi timing,+mine came w/ PSU!"
Verified Customer zZounds has verified that this reviewer made a purchase from us.
I'm happy, its serving its exact purpose right out of the box. Audio is clean, and midi is flawless (thank you MOTU!-no more headaches!) I've not tried it with a laptop or live, though I have no doubt it would perform flawlessly as an interface or even as a mixer. Seeing as its made to be toted, I wish it were a tad more sturdy, specifically the screen, but the unit itself is nice and solid. I only wish I had opted for this sort of professional interface sooner instead of wasting my time with cheaper products that were simply not as perfectly suited for DAW work.

Sound
I don't have a ton to compare it to right now, but it sounds as clear and clean, certainly as nice, as the Digi001/002R. Other than that, its a pretty straight forward interface, 4 pre's are nice.

Features
A tad expensive, but really brilliant in terms of tweakability! You can save multiple mixes with their various cooresponding parameters and pull them up instantly, very nice! You can even name them whatever you like, and the screen changes to indicate specifically what parameter you're changing and give you a detailed readout (sort of like the Remote25 only for audio.) Really I was actually a bit confused thinking there were only 4 audio ins, but there are actually 10 total inputs, 4 pre's and 6 line-ins, which is great considering you can use the Traveler as a portable digital mixer!! Also to note, my particular unit did come with read more a PSU as well as a firewire cable, and I had no trouble powering it just from the FW cable when it is connected to my Apple desktop.

Quality
Hmm, the unit body itself is solid and pretty compact and heavy duty. But...I'm a bit worried as the knobs are a bit 'sticky' (hard to turn) despite being very small and plastic feeling. Hopefully they just need to be broken in or something. Plus, (this is a major worry for me) when you depress the knobs near the screen, or 'click them down' as it were, to enter a parameter, the screen appears to literally bend down and move in, like you're pressing on a plastic blister-pack. Reeeaally going to send in that warranty card this time...

Value
The mix matrix is great, well worth the bit of extra cost for me at least as I don't currently have a traditional mixer. I wish the buttons were a bit more study feeling, and the screen-depression issue is making me a little nervous, but all in all I'm really glad to have opted for MOTU quality, its so much less of a headache than dealing with a cheaper and less widely tested interface. I'm also very happy that everything works out of the box, despite being a very new product. Well worth the extra $100 or so above the 828MKII, a truly portable mix/i/o solution.

Manufacturer Support
I'll give them the benefit of the doubt. Plus the website was easy to get the latest drivers from and they had very clear installation instructions in OSX.

The Wow Factor
The display and mix matrix, the whole editing system is very cool, much like the old Emu Command Stations midi editing. I've never seen such an intuitive interface so begging to be tweaked, this vs. NO screen on the Digi002R. Rather nice looking overall, buttons feel, though do not look, a tad cheap perhaps. Still though, the screen, the screen is such a cool idea and so handy!

Musical Background:
Recording Student

Musical Style:
Industrial, Rock
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