MOTU Traveler-mk3 Portable FireWire Audio Interface

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Expand your studio in with this versatile interface, featuring 28 inputs, 30 outputs and 8 channels of high-quality 192 kHz analog recording and playback.

Engineered for high-end mobile recording applications, the MOTU Traveler-mk3 delivers four very high quality mic inputs, bus power, optional battery power and DSP-driven mixing and effects processing.

The Traveler-mk3 provides eight channels of pristine 192 kHz analog recording and playback, combined with twenty channels of digital I/O in ADAT optical, AES/EBU and S/PDIF formats. Expand your system by connecting additional MOTU FireWire audio interfaces or the 8pre mic input expander.

The Traveler-mk3 is equally well-suited for studio, stage and remote locations, with or without a computer. As an interface or stand-alone mixer, the Traveler-mk3 provides 28 separate inputs and 30 separate outputs, including four XLR/quarter-inch "combo" mic/instrument analog inputs equipped with pre-amps, individual 48V phantom power switches and Digital Precision Trim(tm) controls conveniently adjusted from the front panel or CueMix FX(tm) software.

Connect all of your audio instruments and gear, including mics, guitars, synths, keyboards, drum machines and even effects processors. Record, monitor, route and process all of these live inputs using the professional on-board CueMix FX digital mixer with no latency and no processor strain on your computer. Apply hardware DSP-driven effects processing to inputs, outputs, and busses independent of your host computer.

Add Classic Reverb with lengths up to 60 seconds. Further sculpt your sound with 7-band parametric EQ featuring filter types carefully read more modeled after British analog console EQs. Choose between two forms of compression: a conventional compressor and the Leveler(tm), an accurate model of the legendary LA-2A(tm) optical compressor that provides vintage, musical automatic gain control. When recording from the four mic/guitar inputs, the Traveler-mk3's signal overload protection gives you an extra 12 dB of headroom above zero with no clipping or harsh artifacts.

After programming the on-board mixing in the studio, unplug the Traveler-mk3, remove the rack brackets, and take it on the road for operation as a portable, bus-powered audio interface for a laptop or battery-operated stand-alone mixer with effects. The Traveler slides easily into your backpack and fits neatly beneath your laptop. All mixing and effects parameters are adjustable using the front panel backlit LCD. Record extended sessions even in the most remote locations with the complete freedom of field battery power.

The Traveler-mk3 provides cross-platform compatibility with Mac and Windows and all of your favorite audio software and host-based effects via WDM/ASIO/Core Audio drivers. Or you can use the included AudioDesk workstation software for Mac, with 24-bit recording/editing and 32-bit mixing/processing/mastering.
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Sturdy lightweight construction -- ready to travel with you anywhere.

Compact size (14.75 x 9 inches) -- fits easily into a napsack, briefcase or computer bag and sits perfectly under any laptop.

Powered by computer* -- no additional power supply necessary for complete recording freedom.

Optional battery power -- standard field battery pack (sold separately) can be used for extended remote recording sessions and stand-alone operation as a complete digital mixer.

28 inputs / 30 outputs (at 44.1/48 kHz) -- there's no channel sharing in the Traveler-mk3. Mic inputs, TRS analog, AES/EBU, RCA S/PDIF and phones are all handled as separate channels.

Four combo jacks provide hi-Z 1/4" guitar input or low-Z XLR mic input with transparent preamps, phantom power, pad and plenty of gain.

Clip protection -- Mic/guitar input limiter prevents digital clipping and distortion from overloaded signal levels up to +12 dB over zero.

Individual 48V phantom power on each mic input -- mix and match microphones.

Four 24-bit 192kHz analog inputs and eight analog outputs on balanced/unbalanced 1/4 in. TRS jacks.

Digital Precision Trim -- adjust input gain in 1dB increments on all analog inputs (mic/guitar inputs + quarter-inch TRS inputs). Fine-tune the balance of your analog inputs. Save and recall multiple trim setups.

High-resolution recording -- The Traveler-mk3 can operate all analog I/O at sample rates up to 192kHz.

Flexible optical I/O -- 16 channels of ADAT lightpipe, 8 channels of SMUX (96 kHz) or two pairs of stereo TOSLink. Mix and match formats between the two banks.

CueMix FX -- flexible 28 input/16 bus mixer with on-board DSP effects, including classic reverb with sends/returns, plus modeled EQ and vintage compression on every input and output.

Multiple CueMix FX mixes -- for example, create different monitor mixes for the main outs and headphones. Or add send/return loops for outboard gear with no latency.

Advanced audio signal analysis -- CueMix FX software provides real-time FFT and spectrogram "waterfall" displays for visual analysis of individual signals and entire mixes.

Front-panel control -- access your entire mix, or any Traveler-mk3 setting, directly from the front panel.

Stand-alone operation -- program your mixes at the studio and then bring the Traveler-mk3 to your gig -- no computer needed. Just plug in the included DC power adapter. Tweak settings using the back-lit LCD.

Sample-accurate MIDI -- connect a MIDI controller and/or sound module with no separate interface needed. MIDI I/O is sample-accurate with supporting software.

Expandable -- add additional interfaces for more I/O as your needs grow.

Compatible with the 8pre mic input expander -- connect the 8pre via optical for 8 more mic inputs at sample rates up to 96 kHz fully integrated into the Traveler-mk3's CueMix FX mixing environment.

Eight 24-bit 192kHz outputs on balanced/unbalanced 1/4" TRS jacks.

Phone jack with front panel volume control.

Stereo 24-bit 96kHz AES/EBU in/out.

Stereo 24-bit 96kHz S/PDIF in/out.

Word clock in and out.

Built-in SMPTE time code sync -- resolves to and generates time code. Allows you to directly resolve Digital Performer, Logic, Cubase, Nuendo and other compatible host software to time code with no additional synchronizer needed.

Plug-and-play operation with your Mac or PC via FireWire.

Includes drivers for Mac OS X and Windows XP/Vista, including ASIO, WDM, Core Audio, and Core MIDI.

Supports all popular Mac and Windows audio software.

100% compatible with all host-based effects processing in today's popular audio programs.

Includes AudioDesk 3 full-featured sample-accurate workstation software for the Mac OS X with recording, editing, mixing, real-time 32-bit effects processing & sample-accurate sync.

Plug-and-play operation with your Mac or PC via FireWire -- Two FireWire 400 ports allow for daisy-chaining without a hub. Works with a FireWire 800 connection via a simple adapter or FW400-to-800 cable.

Front panel volume control for monitoring. Stereo, Quad, 5.1, 7.1 and user-defined surround monitoring setups available.

Front panel meters or activity LEDs for all analog, digital and MIDI I/O, plus SMPTE sync, tach and lock LEDs.

Comprehensive level metering -- Front panel LCD provides vertical meters for entire banks (8 channels at once) or horizontal long-throw metering for individual channels. Meter banks are quickly accessible via the dedicated METERS rotary encoder on the front panel.

Dedicated front panel clock status LEDs.

*Bus power requires a non-adapted 6-pin FireWire port

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

Reviewers gave this product an overall rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. (5 ratings)
Submitted October 5, 2009 by a customer from

"Great sounds, lots of channels, very flexible."

Overall: 4.5 out of 5 stars
(see rating details)
Verified Customer zZounds has verified that this reviewer made a purchase from us.
About a year ago I got a MOTU Traveler, which is NOT the mk iii, but the one just before. Looks the same, seems to have an identical user interface... This it my first firewire audio interface. I've used the mac built-in, a Tascam 828 usb, and an Alesis photo-25 for their audio inputs/outputs, and the traveler, even to my very non-golden-ears and mid-range mics & phones & speakers, is much clearer, cleaner, quieter and crisper.

For my needs it's perfect. I use it for general recording, plug microphones and guitars and electronic drumkits straight in, and play various mixes out to 2 or 4 channels. I wouldn't mind a jack or two on the front, though. :) Only headphones there. I *love love love* that it is firewire powered. Easy, easy.

Ease of Use
It takes me a little while to remember the front-panel navigation when I don't use it for a few weeks. You can mix inputs to the outputs bypassing the computer pretty quickly... once you know what all the little cursor controls do. Same for input levels. When you're fluent, that's very useful for, say, a live situation where you want to, quick! add a live mic to the presequenced parts. The soundman didn't have to give us (quick) a third channel.

I've been bopping this thing around in bins and backpacks for light party/road use, works great.

I read more paid about $900; that's the same price as the updated MK III. For a rock solid great sounding gadget with so many inputs & outputs, that seems Just Right. I never knew I needed all those ins and outs til I had them! Dabbled with quad monitoring, external effects routing... what fun.

Manufacturer Support
I've had a couple of problems and google invariably took me back to the MOTU web site where a software update was a-waiting. I had one problem where it latches into a high-pitched-whine mode, but a power cycle and reboot always corrected it. It hasn't happened in a long while; I think one of the updates made it go away.

Musical Background:

Musical Style:
electronic & experimental
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