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Posted on November 2, 2010 by Joe Stachowiak There have been 0 comments

It was a moment of wonder when the first pocket watch was introduced to the world, allowing people to carry the time on them wherever they may go. In the same way, the miniaturisation of the mobile phone proved to be a great commercial success, and nowadays you will be hard pushed to find someone who doesn't own one for themselves. The tape measure was another handy portable invention! Fans of the television series Alan Partridge may remember the quote, 'Course, tape measures, in those days, were viewed with suspicion. Anyone who could unfurl fifteen feet of thin sheet metal from a pocket-sized box would have been killed as a witch!'

I wonder how those same people would view a recording studio that fits in your pocket then?



Ok, so it's not exactly Abbey Road, but with a single plug and play USB connection to your Mac or PC computer, the MOTU Microbook creates a 4 input, 2 output recording studio with the quality required to complete a full professional project. Now thats not a bad addition to our list of pocket sized revelations is it?


The MOTU Microbook features high quality A/D and D/A converters on all its connections, and offers enough inputs to connect a microphone (48V phantom power may be supplied if required for condenser mics), a guitar, and a stereo input (for a keyboard, drum machine, effects processor, etc), and is capable of recording all 4 inputs simultaneously. The MOTU Microbook even allows you to connect your iPod, which may be useful for the purposes of rehearsal or sampling.

What's more, all analog inputs combine the best of both worlds by utilising digitally controlled analog trim. What this basically means, is that each input gets the warm signal quality that makes analog so appealing, combined with the precision of digital control. The MOTU Microbook even makes it possible to store and recall custom trim settings on your computer. It's hard to argue with such exciting possibilities as these!

To monitor the output, the MOTU Microbook features connections for two powered studio monitors, a stereo out connection for desktop speakers, a S/PDIF connection for digital output to a variety of devices (e.g. speakers with a digital input, an effects processor, or a home theatre system with Dolby decoding), and a headphone socket.


It is also worth noting the MOTU Microbook keeps firmly in line with its award winning predecessors, implementing high quality balanced connections on all of it's inputs and outputs. This gives protection of the utmost amount against RF interference, AC hum, and other noise-producing environmental factors.

The MOTU Microbook can run seamlessly alongside most of your favourite software packages, including Logic, Cubase, Ableton, Record and Reason, Kontakt, Cakewalk Sonar, Image Line FL Studio, Sony Acid, plus many more. Click here to go to the official MOTU website and view the full list of compatible software packages. Alternatively, if you are running the MOTU Microbook alongside a Mac, you have the option of working with the included Audiodesk DAW software to edit and finalise your recordings. However you decide to do it, you will always find that the MOTU Microbook is easy to setup, and offers the highest of quality.

The Cuemix FX software is also included with the MOTU Microbook, and is compatible with both Mac and PC platforms. It includes an on-screen mixer, which may be used to control the Microbook's on-board audio mixer, and allows you to save up to 5 separate stereo mixes, plus it provides 7-band parametric EQ and compression for every input and output of the MOTU Microbook. Hence, the Microbook is not just an audio interface, but is also an audio mixer, which even allows for the mixing of live inputs with your host software playback tracks.


...that really is the icing on the cake! As well as being able to quickly and simply configure input, output, mix, and channel settings options, there are a number of other worthy additions to the Cuemix FX software...

The sine wave generator is an extremely useful tool for setting levels, calibrating equipment, and sound design. The white and pink noise generators are perfect for sound effects, filter sweeps, and masking. The FFT and Spectrogram allow you to visually monitor the frequency content of your audio, which is particularly useful when it comes to the task of mixing down. Also included is an oscilloscope, X-Y plot, and Phase Analyser (which again provide useful tools when it comes to the mix down), and an instrument tuner for guitars, basses, saxophones, or any other tuned instrument you wish!


The MOTU Microbook is perfect for on-the-go remote recording, personal studio production, laptop DJing, and much more! And it is all contained in one handy pocket sized silver compartment. Now what do you say to that Mr. Partridge? Let battle commence!

Purchase the MOTU Microbook

This post was posted in Blog entries, Computer Music, In-Depth Reviews, Recording and was tagged with audio interface, review