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Overview by GAK

MOTU’s UltraLite-mk5 is the successor to the acclaimed mk4 and the 5th generation of their innovative UltraLite series. Combining world-class sound quality, an impressive feature-set & rock-solid construction with a portable size and an attainable price, the UltraLite-mk5 is easily one of the most compelling audio interfaces on the market today.

World-Class Sound

What sets the UltraLite-mk5 apart from the competition its professional-grade sound quality and analogue audio performance. Equipped with state-of-the-art ESS Sabre32 DAC technology, which features ES9026PRO DAC, the UL-mk5 delivers an astounding 125dB of dynamic range, -114 dB THD+N and sample rates up to 192 kHz.

Ultra-Low Latency Performance

Thanks to the optimised drivers for PC & Mac, the MOTU UltraLite-mk5 boasts incredible ultra-low latency performance - an essential feature for smooth and effortless tracking. Used in tandem with a high-performance DAW at 96kHz and 32-sample buffer size, the UL-mk5 can pull off a lightning-fast round-trip latency of 2.4ms

Sleek, Robust Design

In addition to the interior upgrades, the UltraLite-mk5 sports exterior enhancements as well, incorporating a new sleek & sophisticated aesthetic. The most significant external upgrade to the UL-mk5 is the crisp, high-resolution OLED display, which provides useful visual feedback for digital audio & MIDI activity indicators and precise long-throw metering for the analog I/O. Plus, with its robust and portable steel chassis and moulded aluminium end caps, the UL-mk5 can handle lengthy recording sessions & rigorous live performances with ease.

Flexible Audio Routing

Outfitted with a whopping 18 inputs & 22 outputs, the UltraLite-mk5 allows you to hook up your entire studio rig with ease. With a total of 40 independent and simultaneous I/O channels, which includes 2 combination instrument/line/microphone inputs, 6 balanced line inputs, 10 balanced line outputs (with 125dB dynamic range), 5-pin MIDI I/O & 8-channel optical I/O, you have a tonne of routing flexibility at your disposal. The sheer amount of I/O that MOTU have condensed into the UL-mk5 is astounding!

Both of the Ultra Lite-mk5’s microphone inputs are fully-featured, with 48V phantom power to give your condenser mic the juice it needs, a substantial +74dB of independent preamp gain and a handy -20dB pad option.

Versatile Tracking & Onboard FX

MOTU’s UL-mk5 has been thoughtfully designed and offers plenty of versatility when it comes to tracking. There’s a headphone output that can either reflect the main outputs or be used with its own mix onboard, onboard 4-band parametric EQ, reverb & compression that can be applied to the headphone mix and/or recorded tracks and direct monitor mixing for every analogue output pair.

iOS Compatible

Another upgrade to the UltraLite-mk5 is high-speed USB-C connectivity and straightforward class-compliant functionality with iOS devices, enabling you to use the UL-mk5 as a fantastic mobile recording tool. The UL-mk5 has also been primed for BigSur and M1 equipped Macs.

Primed For Streaming

If you’re a live-streamer, podcaster or content creator that demands professional-quality audio with minimal fuss, the MOTU UltraLite-mk5 is an excellent choice. Using the UL-mk5’s loopback channels to your host computer/iOS device, routing audio sources such as your computer’s output and live inputs into your favourite streaming software couldn’t be easier.

Ready For The Rack

Prefer to rack mount your studio gear or use a rack-based rig on the road? The MOTU UltraLite-mk5 can be transformed into a rack-ready interface with a separate half-rack mounting kit, which features tough steel brackets that can withstand the rigours of the road. A half-rack couple kit is also available for connecting two UL-mk5 units together within your rack case of choice.

Premium Software Bundle

Not only are you receiving one of the best interfaces in its price range with the MOTU UltraLite-mk5, you also receive a premium software bundle. First up is CueMix 5 (compatible with iOS, macOS & Windows), which handles live monitoring of the UL-mk5’s inputs whilst providing you with intuitively deep, graphics-based control over your mixing session and instant access to all of the UL-mk5’s internal settings. Next is MOTU’s Performer Lite, a powerful DAW that has all the tools you need to begin creating fresh productions, including more than 100 virtual instruments and a selection of gorgeous effect plug-ins. Complimenting Performer Lite is the free 6GB sample library, which contains high-quality loops & sounds from esteemed creators Loopmasters, Big Fish Audio and Lucid Samples.

The UltraLite-mk5 is another success from MOTU and a more than worthy successor to the award-winning mk4. Offering pro-grade sound, a wealth of features and an array of I/O at an attractive price, the UL-mk5 is a top choice if you’re in the market for a portable interface.

  • 18 x 22 USB audio interface with DSP, mixing and effects
  • Superb analog audio performance driven by ESS Sabre32 Ultra™ DAC Technology
  • Ultra-low latency for host software processing
  • Precision front-panel metering for all analog I/O with high-resolution OLED display
  • 2x mic/line/hi-Z guitar inputs on combo XLR/TRS
  • Individual preamp gain and 48V phantom power for each mic input
  • Measured -129 dB EIN on mic inputs
  • 10x balanced, DC-coupled 1/4-inch TRS analog outputs with 125 dB dynamic range
  • Hardware (direct) monitor mixing for each analog output pair (6 mix busses)
  • 6x balanced 1/4-inch TRS analog inputs with measured 120 dB dynamic range
  • 1x optical digital I/O (8-channel optical or 2-channel TOSLink)
  • 2x RCA S/PDIF digital I/O
  • 1x headphone out (driven by ESS converters) with independent volume control
  • MIDI in/out
  • Support for 44.1 to 192 kHz sample rates
  • USB audio class compliant for plug-and-play operation on Mac (no driver required)
  • Windows driver with 2.4 ms Round Trip Latency (32 sample buffer at 96 kHz)
  • Mac driver (optional, for 2.4 ms [email protected]/96 kHz and loopback feature)
  • iOS compatible (USB audio class compliant)
  • Driver loopback for capturing host output, live streaming and podcasting
  • DSP-driven 22 x 6 monitor mixer (separate monitor mix for each analog output pair)
  • On-board effects including reverb, 4-band parametric EQ and dynamics
  • Rugged steel construction
  • CueMix 5 app to control mixing and settings from your Mac, PC or iOS device
  • MOTU Performer Lite 10 workstation software included
  • 100+ instruments (in Performer Lite)
  • Over 6 GB of included free loops, samples and one-shots
  • Rack-mountable as a single unit or side by side (mounting kits sold separately)
  • Two-year warranty
  • Sample rates: 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192 kHz
  • Mic/line/guitar inputs: 2 x XLR/TRS "combo" jacks, 1 MΩ impedance on the line/instr inputs
  • Analog inputs: 6 x 1/4" TRS line in (balanced)
  • Analog outputs: 10 x 1/4" TRS line out (balanced, DC coupled)
  • Digital I/O: 1 bank (8 ch) of ADAT optical at 1x sample rates, 1 bank (4 ch) of SMUX optical at 2x sample rates, Switchable to stereo TOSLink (optical S/PDIF), 1 x stereo S/PDIF on RCA (up to 96 kHz)
  • Computer I/O: 1 x USB-C 2.0 audio class compliant, Compatible with USB Type A (with adapter or C-to-A cable)
  • Total audio I/O: 18 in / 22 out (40 total) at 1x sample rates, 14 in / 18 out (32 total) at 2x sample rates, 8 in / 12 out (20 total) at 4x sample rates
  • MIDI I/O: 1 x MIDI IN, 1 x MIDI OUT, 16 MIDI channels to/from computer host
  • Headphone: 1 x 1/4" TRS stereo phone
  • Phantom power: 2 x individual +48V
  • Front panel: 2 x XLR/TRS combo inputs, 1 x 1/4" TRS headphone output, 1 x potentiometer - phone/monitor vol, 2 x potentiometer - mic/instr input gain, 4 x switches • (2) 48V and (2) pad, 1x high-resolution white OLED display for metering/status
  • Power: External 12-18V DC power supply, 1.0A max - tip pos or neg
  • Dimensions and weight (width x depth x height, enclosure only): 8.6 x 6.9 x 1.75 inches, 22 x 17.5 x 4.5 cm, 2.875 lbs / 1.31 kg
  • Line Input: 1/4" TRS, balanced - tip hot, 120 dB, -114 dB (0.0002%), 24 dBu
  • Line Output: 1/4" TRS, balanced - tip hot, 125 dB, -114 dB (0.0002%), 21 dBu
  • Mic input: XLR - balanced - pin 2 hot, 115 dB, THD+N: -113 dB - EIN: -129 dBu, Max level: 0 dBu - Preamp gain: +74 dB
  • Phones: 1/4", TRS stereo, 118 dB, -110 dB (0.0003%), Max level: 14 dBu - Output Impedance: <1 Ohm
  • Mac System Requirements: Intel Core i3 Mac or faster (including the new M1 Macs), 4 GB RAM; 8 GB or more recommended, macOS version 10.11 or later (Optional driver requires 10.13 or later), Available USB port, A large hard drive (at least 500 GB for recording)
  • Windows System Requirements: Intel Core i3 PC (or AMD equivalent), 4 GB RAM; 8 GB or more recommended, Windows 10, Available USB port, A large hard drive (at least 500 GB for recording)
  • Class-Compliant Support: USB audio class compliant for plug-and-play operation on Mac or iOS (no driver required)
  • CueMix 5
  • MOTU Performer Lite
  • 6GB of loops and sounds from Big Fish Audio, LucidSamples, Loopmasters and MOTU
  • MOTU Performer Lite
  • MOTU Digital Performer
  • Avid Pro Tools (version 9 or later)
  • Apple Logic Pro
  • Apple Logic Express
  • Apple Garage Band
  • Apple SoundTrack Pro
  • Ableton Live
  • Presonus Studio One
  • Propellerhead Record & Reason
  • Steinberg Cubase
  • Cockos Reaper
  • Native Instruments Kontakt
  • Waves stand-alone apps (and plug-ins, via compatible host)
  • MOTU Performer Lite
  • MOTU Digital Performer
  • Avid Pro Tools (version 9 or later)
  • Ableton Live
  • Cakewalk Sonar
  • Cockos Reaper
  • Image Line FL Studio
  • Native Instruments Kontakt
  • Presonus Studio One
  • Propellerhead Record & Reason
  • Sony Vegas Pro
  • Sony Sound Forge
  • Sony Acid
  • Steinberg Cubase
  • Waves stand-alone apps (and plug-ins, via compatible host)

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  • Timo Saila

    20/5/2021

    So far so good, the software has some teething issues (on Big Sur) but completely workable. Latency is ultra low and preamps super clean. Lovely small footprint professional interface!

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