Mixers and audio interfaces

I love this mixer a lot (it’s the same spring tank as the RE-201) and there’s a few folks around here that have one. It can be the much bigger brother of the Tilde Elektriske Fjaerlett - #119 by Laubmoos with feedback patching (be warned though, the headphone jack is really hot).

1 Like

I recently purchased a Motu m4 and am struggling to get a loud enough signal into the 3/4 line inputs on the back, even when I boost the signal with an external preamp. I can get it to about -16db but if I push the signal higher than that, it starts to distort. I don’t know if I have a dud or if the m4 just has lower than consumer line level, but it’s put a bad taste in my mouth, so I think I might replace it with something else.

I’m considering the Steinberger UR44c but I don’t see much talk about it. On paper, it looks pretty great and shares a lot of similar features to the m4, with the addition of two extra gained inputs. Does anyone here have experience using one?

1 Like

What do the gain level meters look like on the front?

Some questions/ideas:

What are you feeding those inputs and where is it not loud enough? The manual says that it can handle up to +18 dBu so maybe the monitoring is the issue and your preamp is pushing it up to that limit. Do you have the monitor button engaged for 3-4? Results any different with the input/playback monitoring knob?

The gain meter on the front is where it’s showing about -16db, which matches the playback meter in my daw. I’m sending a cue output from my Octatrack (with the the cue gain maxed out) going into a Norns. I’m having the input levels in the Norns turned up enough to where the output is regularly hitting 0db. The signal is then going through a umc404hd’s front inputs with the gain turned up just enough to peak every once in a while. The output from this interface is cranked all the way, which then goes into the m4’s line inputs.

Btw, I’ve checked the umc404hd’s signal through its headphone out and everything sounds fine at 12 o’clock (loud and full, without any distortion.)

This is normal for the M4 unfortunately, I actually spoke to someone who works for Motu about it last week. Fortunately those preamps are very clean and usually what I do is boost the levels in my DAW which works just fine.


I have the same problem with my M4 levels on inputs 3/4.

1 Like

Guitarists and bassists of Lines: I wonder if there exists a good combined class compliant MIDI footswitch controller + USB audio interface, that has a decent amount of footswitches (say, more than 4), and a relatively clean stereo I/O?

The use case would be to have a convenient “living room computer pedalboard”, so one could just walk in, hook up a laptop with a single USB cable, open up a DAW and a template project with eg. some amp modeling, FX and loopers, and start jamming.

These are the two options I found that are still manufactured:

The Xtone Pro seems nice otherwise, but the reviews mention the footswitches only send MIDI on release, not press. So it’s going to be a bit hard for anything needing accurate timing, which is at least close to a deal breaker for me. The HB seems to be a rebrand of another Chinese made device with “kinda irritating to configure but works OK” type reviews, not sure if it’s well made enough that it’d be worth trying out or not.

Aside that, Apogee used to make GIO that only had a mono input, and apparently the control side doesn’t work with newer Mac OSes so it isn’t worth buying one cheap used. And there’s the iRig Stomp I/O that also has a mono input, only four footswitches (expandable though), a silly “device bay” that takes space, and generally quite bad reviews.

The obvious sane option is to get a good MIDI footswitch controller and small cheap stereo audio interface, and hook them up to a tiny pedalboard with USB hub, for a similar all-in-one solution. I’m just wondering if there’s one magic box -tm- that does both well.

(I suppose some of the larger amp & fx modeling thingies like the Helix can also act as MIDI controllers and USB interfaces, but they’re quite overkill for this particular case…)

1 Like

Helix might be too much, but I’m fairly sure that the HX Stomp (standard or XL) could work for your purposes. Check the USB audio routing section of the manual if you decide to purchase, just to confirm that it will work for your needs—it should in most cases!

I’ve been really enjoying the latest Helix/HX update with the improved cab modeling, vastly improved the generally agreed-upon weakest area of Line 6’s amp modeling

1 Like

Yes, the XL might be a good option - the basic Stomp (which I used to own) only has three footswitches without connecting additional ones, which is a bit too few.

But! I’m sort of trying to figure out an alternative simpler computer-based setup from HX Effects and a couple of other things, so it still feels a bit silly and excessive to buy another Line6 multi box, and I’m not sure if swapping the Effects to Stomp XL provided intended results workflow-wise. :slight_smile: We’ll see.

1 Like

Ay y’all, my interface died and it’s destroyed my ability to work in Ableton whatsoever, since all of my favorite plugins are somewhat intense and my laptop can’t really handle them without the external card. I also don’t have the funds to replace it directly, unfortunately, and may not for a while. I’m hesitant to go for a temporary option, but I also like… can’t music right now and it’s eating at me.

I was using an apogee ensemble previously. Is there anything out there in the two to four channel realm with comparable preamps to the ensemble, powerful erm… drivers? External soundcard operations? I can’t find the word here but “will help me run some plugins that require a better soundcard then what’s in my computer”, and that’s compatible with the expanders most larger interfaces have?

Thinking I would purchase this as a stop-gap, and then save up for a while and pick up some 8-16 channel thing, maybe with lower-quality preamps, but an expander, so that I can use the smaller one I’m picking up ‘soon’ for acoustic sources and the larger one for synths.

I’m using a new-ish MacBook Pro (2020).

A macbook pro of that vintage should show no CPU performance difference between the internal audio and something like the Apogee at 512 sample latency, if that helps.


So it’s likely coincidental that my interface bit the dust at the same time I started having issues with all my ableton plugins?

Interesting. I suppose I’ll pursue support from Ableton and my plugin manufacturers with bug reports as crashes continue.


You might want to look at the MOTU M4.

It’s not even close to the Apogee but it’s very affordable, low latency, class compliant with iOS and portable.

It would at least make it possible for you to make music again while sorting out a more featured replacement for the Apogee.

I have one and love it…plus you can always use it as part of a growing aggregate audio I/o system…

1 Like

Likely coincidental I guess!

Just check your settings are set to something normal, and that the buffer size is not tiny - 512 is a good bet as @n9n9n9 suggests:


would anyone be able to recommend me an interface that would work serviceably well (low latency is probably the most important thing) with a 2011 mbp running el capitan? a friend of mine wants to start recording at home but that’s his computer situation and hes not looking to upgrade that piece at this time.

I’m pretty confident that the interface has nothing to do with it. If there is a coincidental connection between your interface gettgin fried and the other issues you’re having maybe make sure your interface is fried, too? Try it on another computer? Make sure it isn’t just the power supply?

Any other requirements like number of inputs / outputs? I think most class compliant interfaces would work, since they don’t require a driver install that may require a new MacOS version. For example the MOTU M4 is listed as working on El Capitan: Specs | MOTU.com

There are also a ton of great Firewire interfaces out there that can be used older macs with a Thunderbolt to Firewire adapter - people are liquidating them used for next to nothing because they don’t work on the newest Apple Silicon macs.


I can recommend the MOTU UltraLite mk3 Hybrid.

My music computer is a mid 2012 MacBook Pro, I’ve been using this interface since day one, and before that I was using the interface with a mid 2009 MacBook Pro (which unfortunately took a fatal fall).

As far as I’m concerned, no need to change the computer or interface anytime soon.


I still have my MK 3 hybrid, and it’s going strong. Glad to hear that yours is doing well!


does anyone know of an audio interface with 14-16 1/4" outputs? (preferably not on DSUB)