Motu ultralite as standalone mixer

anyone have experience with using an ultralite as a standalone mixer?

is it possible to control the internal dsp mixer with midi hardware? i understand the latest models support browser access to cuemix, but i can’t seem to find any way to address these controls via midi without involving a computer.

if this isn’t possible it seems like a big missed opportunity. would love to hook up a generic midi faderbank to a simple box of i/o without layering on operating systems…


I would have liked to do this with the mk3, but it seems it can only be set to MIDI thru when used in standalone. And no MIDI implementation chart in sight…
Regarding the mk4, as it is said to be remote controlled via WiFi using a dedicated web app that runs on mobile devices, I’m afraid we won’t be able to control it directly with our MIDI controllers.

I guess the “standalone” part is true, while the “mixer” one… (or the other way around)

So, no MIDI control it seems.
The avb ulltralite can be controlled via OSC, but that needs a computer. It even needs a browser, and editing your OSC-emitting app, because the damn OSC port changes every time the card is booted up and can’t be user-defined.

Someone at MOTU must have forgotten that mobile interfaces do not sit up 24/7/365 in a rack with UPS, air conditioning, and LAN.
I would love that our emails get read and those features (fixed OSC port and MIDI control) make it into a future firmware.

I think it is possible control CueMix with Mackie control hardware (in my case with a Behringer BCF2000 in Mackie emulated mode)

The Cuemix software can be controlled via OSC. This works in my mk3 Hybrid. I’ve used an iPad to do this in the past.

I learned to control the mixer from the front panel when in standalone (and use hardware presets to switch modes). It’s not a directly accessible mixer of course and can be a bit cumbersome, but also isn’t as bad as you would think from menu diving operation. the encoders don’t feel very nice though imo (mk3).

I imagine the avb can be controlled via Web/OSC in standalone, since it already has that network interface controller built in. The mk3 needs a computer in order to be controlled via OSC. I think that’s also true for mackie remote, someone correct me if I’m wrong.

Good to know, I’ve only tried MIDI, with no luck.
Thank you for the tip !

Edit : Thinking about it a little longer : my understanding is that CueMix FX does not run on the device itself. Am I wrong here ?
Thus, to remote control the device via CueMix FX (using OSC or Mackie Control hardware), does one still need a computer ?

If I remember correctly, you are right about cue mix needing a computer. It’s been a little bit since I used the Ultralite.

Yea, I thought about this last night after I posted and reread the original question. I’m not aware of any way (or at least an easier way) to host the MOTU over USB and operate OSC. Having a laptop/computer is a must but I will say that you don’t need to be looking at it constantly. The visual feedback on the iPad was excellent - better than the somewhat convoluted UX of Cuemix.

according to the motu site you can mix without a computer, but you need to connect a router via ethernet:

“Connect an Apple Airport™ or other Wi-Fi router directly to the UltraLite with a standard Ethernet cable and control the UltraLite AVB’s powerful mixing and DSP effects from your smartphone or tablet, without a computer. Great for live sound mixing!”


seems like the KMI K-mix is the best option at the moment if you want compact standalone digital mixing with midi control. can’t say i’m crazy about the aesthetics or those touch strips…

The Ultralite mk4 is compatible with iOS though, so you can hook it up directly with an iPad or whatever and control it through there. So at least the laptop can be cut out. Still though, no direct MIDI or device-free use as far as I can figure out.

+1 from me imo fam thx

Does the mk4 host its own ad-hoc connection or is WiFi needed?

EDIT: it appears it can connect directly with USB to a camera connection kit. Nice!

Yep, it’s straight usb connection both on devices and laptop and it hosts the software itself, so you’re not sucking cpu.

Honestly the mk4 is a huge step up compared to the earlier versions in my opinion - I instantly clicked with it, which I never did without some hassle with any other Motu devices. Also it has better connectivity (adat added for that lovely Expert Sleepers integration).
But of course, it’s still not the same as just having a midi controller in front of it to be completely free of operating systems etc.

What about something like an Expert Sleepers faderHost or Doepfer 191 with a bank of 8 dead simple VCAs and an output module to taste? Just saying… if you were going to bring an extra device, at least this provides some flexibility.

yeah that’s a good idea but i’d like to have at least 6 channels of level, pan, 2 effects sends as well as master vol & headphones. building all that control with euro modules starts to get unwieldy and expensive at that point. not to mention it eats up valuable rack space… i’m fine wiring up a mixer before performances - just trying to keep it small. currently using a tascam 424 lol.

This idea takes me back to an idea I’ve had: a no frills, no UX mixer box. Could either exist as a companion module to something like a faderHost or Doepfer 191 or as a separate discreet battery powered box akin to a Bastl Trinity synth. No controls, just jacks for audio input, CV control, panning, and output. The last row would be summed, stereo output with insert and headphones. The box would have midi in/thru. Done.

EDIT: Oh, and jumpers on the back for setting up normalization schemes for outputs (grouping channels for send purposes), cueing, DC offset for pan inputs (route channel left or right by default). And DIY at $100 or so and ~8hp would be excellent.

this is the closest i’ve seen a company get to what we are talking about…

but it’s still quite big and heavy.

I’ve looked into that before - the price is certainly right and I don’t really have a problem with Behringer stuff from a quality standpoint. Not exactly an elegant solution though… Plus, I think it wants to live in a rack which would reduce the portability factor (compared to the Ultralite, at least). With a relatively basic/cheap cable snake, you could minimize its presence significantly. But for a few hundred more, you could just get the latest gen Ultralite.

Oh hello. Just wondering if this quest turned out successful for you. I’m hoping to control the Ultralite Mk4 mixer without a laptop in sight. Hooking it up to just an iPad – or Android tablet – would be great.