MOTU UltraLite-MK3 Hybrid FireWire/USB2 Audio Interface

(10 customer reviews)



As the first-ever ‘hybrid’ audio interface of its kind, the UltraLite-mk3 Hybrid provides flexible and mobile operation via FireWire or hi-speed USB2 connectivity to a Mac or PC computer, with professional audio quality at samples rates up to 192 kHz and plenty of I/O, including two mic/instrument inputs, six line-level analog inputs, ten channels of analog output, stereo S/PDIF and a stereo headphone output.

Additional information

Weight 2.5 kg
Dimensions 18 × 4.5 cm
Item Weight

‎2.5 kg

Product Dimensions

‎22 x 18 x 4.5 cm; 2.5 Kilograms

Item model number


Compatible Devices

Laptop, Personal Computer


‎240 Volts



Date First Available

2 October 2001



10 reviews for MOTU UltraLite-MK3 Hybrid FireWire/USB2 Audio Interface

  1. A. Berry

    Motu Ultralite in comparison
    As far as Amazon’s part of the process, they were stellar as usual. The unit came fast and cheaper than in my local Guitar Center, (in fact Guitar Center told me it would take 3-5 days to get it, it was out of stock).Now on to the Motu Ultralite itself. The main advantage I have found with unit is the Cuemix software. This is a wonderful companion software that not only gives you latency free direct monitoring, but you can compress and/or eq the signal pre workstation software, so the signal you record into Logic, Reason or DP is processed before the fact. This is great because I cannot track with latency and I don’t understand how anybody can. Also you can setup seperate mixes for several musicians tracking at once which is very nice. If you route the mix you want to seperate outputs and run those outputs to headphone amps (or just use an adaptor cable to send it directly to headphones) each musician can hear what they need to get lost in their own world.I use the Cuemix software quite a bit for practicing in hotel rooms with my favorite drum loops. It makes the unit a great headphone mixer for practicing quietly, but moderately loud within your own headphone world. I have to say on the downside, the headphone amp is nowhere near as loud as my ipod…seems it should blow away a little ipod, but Apple once again proves why they have cornered the market…give the people what they want….Volume!!On to the mic pre’s…Adequate for my taste. I called myself upgrading from a M-Audio Firewire 1814…but I have to say, the bass sound I got with the M-Audio was far superior and hipper for my taste. Cleaner, crisper, clearer and punchier. In this I was disappointed, but I could never depend on the M-Audio direct monitoring software no matter how much time I set aside to struggle with it. Before I changed to the Motu unit, I spent an entire afternoon trying to get M-Audios software to work…just would not happen they way they explained it would. Motu’s Cuemix worked right out of the box…but I digress. The Motu convertors make my preamped. Super hyped jazz bass sound like a old school P-Bass…grainy, unfocused and sluggish sounding, so in the end, I wont be using the unit for the hotel room recordings I thought I would be, but i’ll practice a lot.Let me backtrack for a second: I initially bought the unit because I was flying back home to record some friends on a song on my latest cd and I had to have the direct monitoring thing stable and in place. Mission accomplished. Was I in love with the final sound of the recording? Eh…I used a Audio Technica 4047 S/V mic on vocals and guitar and in my home studio it sounds stellar…in the hotel room with my friends it was adequate..sounded kind of like a SM57…But I got the job done and both the singer and guitarist had their own mixes and were comfortable tracking over headphones.In conclusion, there are great points about this unit: the construction seems sturdy and road worthy, the cue mix latency free and seperate mix software and then the not so great points: the preamps not having a hi tech sound to them mainly, no HD here folks!…and oh yeah, if they had included in the cuemix software the ability to mix the level of your host software that would have been awesome, but they didn’t, so you have to go to logic or dp and mix its level, the jump back to cuemix…minor flaw. I workaround it by routing the host software to seperate outs on the Motu, then using 1/4″ TRS cables run it back into the Motu on inputs 3 & 4, then the host software shows up on cuemix. I can then get the mix jst right all on one page…Last note…if there are any typos in this review please excuse them, I am bouncing around on a tour bus typing on my phone and not going back to check for mistakes! Laterz, Andre B.Aspects

  2. L. A. Long

    Little box , big potential.
    No technical problems at all with the installation, or drivers. On the Sonar forum site it’s been suggested that this interface will work it’s best using a TI chipset firewire interface. I have no problems so far. I’m using it now in Sonar 8.5, through firewire (motherboard VIA chipset).Within Sonar each of the mono inputs (or combined as a stereo input), can be assigned it’s own track. That’s 8 mono or 4 stereo tracks that can be recorded at once. So no more line in, single stereo input transfers for any previous SB owners. The sound quality can be awesome, but my computer is getting a bit old (XP SP3, Duo 2.4 gig, 2gig Corsair XMS, Infinity MB) and, the ultra high sample rates are probably not very realistic (176400, 192000) for myself, through Sonar with multiple tracks and plugins. But 96000 is achievable, with 40 audio and 13 MIDI tracks, using about 10 VSTs, (total round trip latency of 9.8 milliseconds, using 256 samples).My previous interface was a Sound Blaster Live, so the available options and technical details can be a little bit daunting. What I have figured out so far, is that it has an assignable return. This takes the place of the “What You Hear” function, on a SB card. The onboard hardware options are easily turned on and off, like the dynamics and EQ sections. So yeah I may not know how to fine tune each and every parameter, most of this can be done internally in a DAW.The advantage is it’s there for when it will matter to learn these functions in detail and take a huge load off my system, using the external enhancements for compression reverb etc. instead of VSTs. Right now it’s not a critical issue to myself and I have yet to actually study the manual.The included CueMix software layout is a little clunky (and what was the reason it can’t be maximized to show one more track without scrolling and separate enhancement windows?? ).But not prohibitively so and has been rock solid on my system.I’m really satisfied with this purchase and it has improved the quality and consistency of my home recordings. For the first time what I hear in the software at 96000 using mixes at about 80 megabytes in size, is what I hear on a final conversion to a 256kbit MP3, total 6.62 megabytes. The capabilities and detail adjustments are available for when I care to learn to use them and in no way obstructive, if I choose not too.The power button broke off the front of the unit and upon further inspection I found the tabs behind the knob were defective. One side was less than 1/16″ thick, which means it would have broken inevitably, being the only button I used outside the software. You would think the main button required to power it up and necessary for every use, would be a few shades more robust. I have ordered the replacement encoder: EC12E2424407

  3. Primm

    Perfect for monitoring 5.1 surround in Premiere Pro CS6
    Perfect for monitoring 5.1 surround in Premiere Pro CS6 on a MAC. Installed flawless as anything that is made for MAC. Inside premiere pro I set the audio interface to the Motu and then assigned the outputs to be the 6 different channels i.e. Center, right rear, sub etc. Then I have a surround receiver that has 5.1 analog multi inputs. This way I don’t have to buy pricy powered speakers and can use my existing sound system. I export the video using Dolby digital surecode I paid for the license for that well worth it. The thing I have figured out if you want to monitor a sequence that is stereo only it want output sound. Then you have to change your receiver in my case to the optical input. Then when you are in a 5.1 sequence you have to switch back to the multi a log input. Not an issue I just wish it would just output right and left channels but it don’t tried everything. But work around is just set every sequence to 5.1. Or if you want to use the source monitor to review footage you have to switch to optical on the receiver to hear that sound. You don’t have to change anything in the Mac it just automatically furring setup any multi channel source will out put on the Motu and any stereo source will output on the optical out. This is in premiere. The Mac sounds will output right and left but no subwoofer. Hope this helps someone. Really love being able to monitor surround while editing instead of just guessing like I was doing. You will have to have the surecode license in premiere I think 300.00 and that will allow you to export Dolby digital 5.1. I got some pictures showing the 5.1 anolg input on my receiver. Problem is all new receivers do not have this feature. I happen to have three that do.

  4. Jonathan Osborne

    I like the usb and fire were options
    I bought this in 2016 and picked it over some of the newer models.I like the usb and fire were options. I use USB mainly.Its great to have so many ins and outs in such a small box. at first I got this to sound edit a few films that I had to travel to work on. But now I use this as my main interface in my studio. I am thinking about buying another.

  5. Gian Paolo Gritti

    It’s more than I expected
    It`s a great portable interface with a bunch of features, all of them are pretty useful (especially the reverb and EQ). I/O count is all I`ve ever needed in mi homestudio but if recording drums is in your plans I suggest to look for something with more than 2 preamps. I carry it around in my bag and have done a lot of gigs with it, it has never let me down, not once. It`s very stable but I`d recommend to use it with OSX and not in Windows, MOTU has focused almost all of they products to mac users so their drivers seem to work better under OSX, not a problem for me though. It feels very sturdy and heavy for a little piece of equipment. It’s kind of hard to get things right when not connected to a computer and trying to use it as a standalone mixer but If that`s what you`re planning to use it for I`d recommend to look for something else. It’s more than I expected, good for MOTU.

  6. Daniel

    das Beste Ever
    Das Beste Ever & super Leistung…Mit ‘nem Knopfdruck immer sofort bereit für spontane Aufnahme 👍

  7. A. Abalos

    USB Functionality broken
    I purchased the MOTU UltraLite-MK3 Hybrid due to the added USB2 port and my need for more inputs and outputs. It appears to work perfectly fine in OS X (using FireWire), but booting into Windows, I failed to get it to work via USB on one system with Windows 7 64-bit and a Mac Pro running Windows XP 32-bit through Boot Camp. I’ve updated and re-installed drivers numerous times. Unfortunately I don’t believe I’m alone with this issue since there are complaints about the unit’s USB port on the MOTU user forums. Some people are recommending purchasing a FireWire card, but doesn’t that defeat the purpose of getting the Hybrid? It’s already past 30 days so I cannot return the unit (I unfortunately only discovered the broken USB functionality recently) and MOTU technical support is impossible to get to. The Phone Technical Support line is always busy and if you call the Customer Support line (which is separate), they tell you essentially to wait your turn (meaning busy signals for hours and no contact). If you want to file an online ticket, good luck on having someone look at it. MOTU does not supply PDFs of their manuals so if you lose the one you have, you are lost. I wish I hadn’t bought this expensive piece of garbage.

  8. Josh Sommer

    Just OK
    I think this is a great product. My only issue is that a very high pitched audio signal takes over the audio every now and then. I didn’t think it was an issue, but now it is going like all the time. I need to get a warranty replace of this now, so it is kind of a hassle! Overall, I find that the lag free quality of the mic is really cool. Also, if guitar is played it has non latency. Other than that, it is just okay for me.

  9. Timmi

    Ich habe lange nach einer externen Soundkarte mit vielen Anschlussmöglichkeiten gesucht. Der Sound sollte ebenfalls perfekt sein, kein Brummen, Rauschen oder andere Geräusche die nerven.Mit der MOTU ist man bestens bedient. Treiber installieren, Gerät anschließen und Sound genießen. Die mitgelieferte Software erfüllt ihr übriges in Sachen Sound und Qualität.Würde ich wieder kaufen.

  10. Marius

    Good audio inter face
    I had couple issue with firewire connection, but seems working good so far, solid unit, recommend for home studio’s motu making great sound cards.

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