Help deciding wether to return Motu M6 to exchange for Ultralite Mk5 (Solved)

I’ve never had an audio interface, and had only started recording to Ableton via Heat as audio interface, so I’m very new to how to integrate an audio interface in a setup.

I just got a Motu M6 in from Thomann today, and thought it would be perfect for my needs. 6i4o is enough for me. Specifically what my use case is:

  • Sometimes using it to record into my DAW (2 inputs for Mackie main out, 2 inputs for Mackie Alt34 outputs, and sometimes 2 more inputs for Syntakt separately).
  • More often, I want to use the Audio Interface without having my computer on. So I believe it’s called “direct monitoring” that is most important for me.

I thought the Motu M6 would be perfect for me, it even has dedicated buttons for engaging Direct Monitoring. But unless I’m mistaking, I just found out that there’s no way to pan the channels hard left and right, so it sums all stereo channels to mono. That’s true, right? Anyone know if I’m mistaken?

Otherwise I think I will in the end return it for the more expensive Ultralite Mk5. I thought it was overkill for me, but perhaps that’s what I need. Before I make another mistake by misinterpreting things:

  1. The Ultralite Mk5 is supposed to work without DAW ánd with different routings that you can setup right? So I could make a routing/program for Hardware use, and another for when I want to turn my DAW on? (I could make a patch/routing where I pan L&R inputs from stereo sources?)
  2. Is it easy to switch between the two, for when I run my DAW or don’t? Anyone has it and switches between different routings occasionally?

Thanks for your input - I’ve long put off getting an audio interface because of not understanding this stuff, but hope that I’m close to having it sorted now.

Thanks, LTMD

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I don’t have either yet but I want to upgrade my Scarlett Solo and actually trying to decide between M6 and ULmk5 with a strong lean towards ULmk5 so I’m here to follow the thread :slight_smile:

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I have had an Ultralite mk3 for years. It’s so versatile and compact.

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Honestly I NEVER heard about an audio interface that doesn’t give you the possibility of panning left and right. If that’s true, it’s very strange.

Maybe it’s my green behind-the-earness - I’d hope so. But you still think so for the use case of using it standalone with the computer disengaged?

!! I’ve found it in the troubleshooting of the manual!

Press and hold the MON button All to enable/disable stereo
monitoring mode.

I think it works now. Couldn’t be happier if indeed it does!

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Thanks Jacopo - I’ve figured it out now. Stuff with computers stresses me out a bit and then I forget to think straight.

All working now:)

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Glad I could help

ok this ended too quick lol, I hoped to see more discussion on advantages/disadvantages of the differences between these two… oh well, going to try research some more and figure out which one to get.

I previously had an 828 mk2, and currently have an M4.

The M series seems to be MOTU’s minimalistic interface - you get the excellent current generation DACs and ADCs, nice front panel controls, and not much else.

The 828 series and I think the Ultralites as well are not just audio interfaces, but also digital mixers. The various models mostly vary in size, number of ports and whether the mixer is controlled from an app or via a web page.

It sounds like you want a digital mixer, if so then pick the one that has as much IO as you actually need and has an interface you like. The M series has excellent DACs and ADCs but is very limited without a host.

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thanks, I lean towards the ULmk5 as it seems more “future proof” to me with ADAT/S-PDIF options and also it has the built in EQ which I can use to clear up individual AR channels on the fly, looks to me that the extra features well worth the ~$200 difference between the two.

I have a question about the outputs, I’ve read in the manual: The outputs are DC-coupled, so they can be used for CV control output.
so I can use these to modulate AR stuff? how does it work? like how can I control the CV from the interface? do I send like a sine wave in ableton to the output to create LFO or something?

Based on my description your recommendation is probably very true. But to share a bit more for my use case: I want to use it often without engaging my computer. But I will always have analog mixer in front of it - as I love mixers as part of my setup, for fx sends and EQs.

So actually the basics of the M6 seem very good for me, with the front panel controls for switching between direct monitoring or processed (DAW) audio!

For now I think I’ll use it for one of two scenarios:

  • Mackie 1202 main outs + Alt34 outs + reverb LR
  • When I open up my A&H Mixwizard I can change the Direct Outs to post-fader, and use those to send any channel I want to my M6.

Ultralite seems better on multiple fronts, amongst which are:

  • More I/O
  • expandable with Spdf
  • And what I wish I’d have on the M6: Low cut for some channels.

But for my first Interface I didn’t want to be overly spendy. Plus the cost of the M6 I could deduct tax this year, whilst the higher cost of Uktralite I would have to deduct over the period of 5 years…

So as is clear I know little about audio interfaces. But to give it a try: I’m not sure what happens if you throw audio through the DC coupled outputs (or if you have to engage them or not). But in modular terms it just means that they’re equipped to go below audio rate frequencies, like lfos. And I know that for example Ableton has “CV tools” in their Normal or Full suite, that are able to create stuff like lfos for your modular or other gear that works with CV.

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Plus: I think it’s only part of the full Suite - best check before you take my word for it :wink:

got it, thanks! I have the suite so I’ve installed CV tools and I get it, they can send CV to external outputs. not sure this is something I need though because with OB I can have regular lfos.

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Stop being rational and delivering updates on what’s happening with the Behringer products.

I want more poison fuelled, anti-B hate filled rants to read while I sip my morning coffee.

CV tools also does stuff like clocks and gates for example - that should also work on any interface they say in that link. So you could just give it a spin. Cheers!

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I have the UL5 and M4. If you need future expandability, get the UL5. If you need the portability and don’t care about the expandability, the M6 will be great. Both work with iOS, as well.