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MOTU Audio Express 6 x 6 FireWire/USB 2.0 Audio Interface   

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Thanks to MOTU's Hybrid interface technology, the Audio Express connects to any current Mac or PC via FireWire or high-speed USB 2.0. Connect your mi...Click To Read More About This Product

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An affordable hybrid interface with a wealth of pro features for broadcast-ready recordings.

Thanks to MOTU's Hybrid interface technology, the Audio Express connects to any current Mac or PC via FireWire or high-speed USB 2.0. Connect your mic, guitar, keyboard, and digital input, and you are ready to make pro-quality recordings in your personal studio. It lets you quickly glance the levels of your mic, guitar, keyboard, and a S/PDIF device, right from the front panel. Each instrument has its own volume control. Route inputs directly to any output pair, each with its own unique mix: main outs, line outs, S/PDIF out, and phones.

Simplicity by design
Connect your powered speakers. Plug in your instruments. Adjust their volumes with the front panel knobs. Double-click to install the drivers. What could be easier? The Audio Express is designed to be simple to use, so you can focus on your music and performance.

Studio-grade sound
The Audio Express delivers MOTU's renowned, award-winning audio interface technology to your personal studio with the pristine audio quality, advanced engineering, and rock-solid performance that MOTU interfaces are known for worldwide.

You can use the Audio Express 8-bus digital mixer on stage for live performance, in your personal studio without a computer, or together with your host audio software as a low-latency monitor mixer. It gives you immediate, hands-on control of your mix using the front-panel knobs and status LEDs. To adjust the volume of an input, just turn its knob. The Audio Express lets you control mix volume independently from the input's trim level, so you never have to sacrifice sound quality for a balanced mix.

A separate mix for each output pair
The Audio Express mixer takes signals from its six inputs and mixes them to an output pair, such as the main outs. You control the volume of each input. Better yet, you can adjust input volumes differently for each output pair. In other words, each output pair can have its own unique mix. For example, you might create a balanced mix going to your PA via the main outs, but bring up the guitar for the mix going to your stage monitors via the line outs, so you can easily monitor your guitar sound. You get a separate mix for main outs, line outs, S/PDIF digital out, and phones.

As a live mixer
Because immediate volume adjustments are always within reach, the Audio Express serves as the perfect compact, portable live mixer, with or without a computer. Even without a computer, the Audio Express gives you complete control over all four mix busses with direct access to volume, mute and solo for each input.

As a studio mixer
Back in your personal studio, you can, of course, use the Audio Express to connect your mic, guitar, and other inputs to your computer. Sometimes, however, you just want to play your instruments without the computer. The Audio Express continues to serve as your studio mixer, even when your PC or Mac is turned off.

As a monitor mixer
When recording into your computer, host audio software can sometimes introduce a slight delay (latency) in what you hear as you track. You can use the Audio Express mixer, instead of monitoring through the software, to completely eliminate this delay.

On-screen mixing with CueMix app
CueMix FX gives you comprehensive graphic control over your mix and other settings in the Audio Express. CueMix FX can be operated side by side with any host audio software for Mac or Windows, and it can be controlled from the Mackie Control Universal Pro automated worksurface.

Hybrid Firewire/USB 2.0 connectivity
FireWire has long been recognized as a reliable, high-performance connectivity standard for professional audio interfaces. Meanwhile, high-speed USB 2.0 has also developed into a widely adopted standard for connecting audio devices to personal computers.

To fully support both formats, the Audio Express hybrid audio interface is equipped with a FireWire jack (400 Mb/sec) and a high-speed USB 2.0 jack (480 Mb/sec). This gives you maximum flexibility and compatibility when connecting to today's ever-expanding universe of Mac and Windows computers.

If your computer doesn't have FireWire, you can use USB. If it has both, then the choice is yours and may depend mostly on other peripherals you have.

Mic/guitar inputs
The Audio Express combo mic/guitar inputs are equipped with pristine, transparent preamps and offer individually adjustable 48V phantom power and -20dB pad. The 1/4" guitar jack provides high-impedance load characteristics suitable for passive and active pickups alike. For even more authentic feel and response when using virtual guitar amp and cabinet plug-ins, use a ZBox guitar impedance adapter.

Digitally controlled analog trim
The Audio Express's analog trim circuits deliver clean sound, combined with the precision of digital control. Trim is adjusted at the input, before the mixer, so it applies to all mixes. Mix levels are controlled separately from trim, so you never sacrifice sound quality for a balanced mix.

The Audio Express provides MIDI input and output featuring sample-accurate timing with supporting software. Connect a MIDI keyboard, sound module, or control surface, and you are ready to go. The FireWire or USB connection to the computer carries both MIDI and audio so you don't need to connect an additional USB cable for MIDI.

Connect any standard momentary footswitch to trigger hands-free punch-ins during recording, or map the footswitch to any keystrokes you wish in your host audio software.

SMPTE time code sync
You can resolve the Audio Express directly to SMPTE time code without a dedicated synchronizer via any analog input. The Audio Express provides a DSP-driven phase-lock engine with sophisticated filtering that provides fast lockup times and sub-frame accuracy. This technology represents the very latest in extremely high-performance, yet cost-effective digital audio clocking. DDS also allows the Audio Express to maintain an extremely stable clock while resolved to incoming clock sources that have substantially more jitter than the Audio Express itself.

SMPTE Console software
The included MOTU SMPTE Console software (for Mac OS X and Windows) provides a complete set of tools to generate SMPTE for striping, regenerating, or slaving other devices to the computer. Like CueMix FX, the synchronization features are cross-platform and compatible with all audio sequencer software that supports the ASIO2 sample-accurate sync protocol.

Add another Audio Express (or other MOTU audio interface) as your needs grow via a standard Firewire or USB 2.0 hub. The Audio Express provides driver-level support for resolving multiple interfaces with each other so that their audio streams never drift apart over time during recording or playback.

CueMix FX
The included CueMix FX software for Mac OS X and Windows gives you graphic, on-screen control of the Audio Express's on-board audio mixer, with up to four separate stereo mixes (a separate mix for output pair). For example, you can mix all the inputs to the main outs, but also mix them to the line outs with completely different levels than the main outs. Advanced features include a tuner, oscilloscope, FFT/spectrogram, and phase analysis tools.

The Audio Express includes AudioDesk, the workstation software for Mac OS X, which provides advanced recording, editing, mixing, processing, and mastering. AudioDesk delivers the power of modern digital audio workstation technology in an easy-to-use, inspiring multitrack recording experience. Together, AudioDesk and the Audio Express are a complete, professional recording studio for your computer desktop.

  • Chassis dimensions, excluding rack ears and front and back panel knobs and connectors: 9.5" x 7" x 1.75" (24.13cm x 17.78cm x 4.45cm)
  • Knobs and connectors extend up to 0.5" (1.27cm) from front and back panels, adding 1" (2.54cm) to depth
  • With rack ears attached, fits one half of a standard 19" (48.26cm) rack at 1U high6-input, 6-output audio interface for Mac and Windows
  • 6 x 8 physical input/output channels: all channels are available simultaneously and operate independently
  • Hybrid FireWire/USB 2.0 connectivity so you can connect to your Mac or PC via either bus-powered Firewire or hi-speed USB2
  • 8-bus digital mixer routes and mixes all 6 inputs to any output pair
  • 4 separate mixes: each output pair (main outs, line outs, S/PDIF out, and phones) can have a completely different mix of all six inputs, with or without computer tracks
  • Two mic/guitar combo jacks provide hi-Z 1/4" guitar input or XLR mic input with phantom power, 20dB pad, Precision Digital Trim, and plenty of gain
  • Stereo analog inputs on line-level, balanced TRS 1/4" jacks make it great for keyboards or other line level-input signals
  • Stereo main outs on balanced TRS 1/4" jacks let you connect directly to powered speakers (or other line-level analog destination)
  • Stereo 24-bit/96kHz S/PDIF digital in/out
  • Stereo headphone output on 1/4" jack with independent volume control
  • Support for standard sample rates up to 96kHz
  • Precision Digital Trim: digitally controlled analog trim on all inputs provides adjustments in approximately 1dB increments which allows you to fine-tune the balance of your inputs and then save/recall trim configurations
  • Front-panel mixing and control: each input has its own dedicated volume knob and you can control multiple mixes with clear feedback from front-panel LEDs and metering
  • CueMix FX cross-platform mixing software: attractive on-screen graphic mixing with an instrument tuner and audio analysis tools including realtime FFT display, spectrogram "waterfall" display, oscilloscope, X-Y plot, and linear or polar phase analysis
  • Stand-alone operation: just plug in the included power adapter and you are ready to go, with or without a computer and if you need to tweak the mix, just turn the front-panel knobs
  • Front-panel volume control of main outs and headphone jack
  • Expandable: add additional interfaces for more I/O as your needs grow
  • Time code support directly resolves to (or generates) time code via any 1/4" input or output, without the need for an extra synchronizer
  • Direct Digital Synthesis (DDS): a DSP-driven phase lock engine and internal clock source that produces imperceptibly low jitter characteristics (below the noise floor), even when the Audio Express is resolved to an external clock source via SMPTE time code
  • Sample-accurate MIDI: connect a MIDI controller and/or sound module with no separate interface needed (MIDI I/O is sample-accurate with supporting software)
  • Footswitch input: connect a standard foot pedal switch (sold separately) for hands-free punch-in and punch-out while recording or map the pedal to any keystroke function in your host software
  • DC-coupled TRS outputs means it can be used with Volta (sold separately) to manipulate and sequence voltage-controlled modular synthesizers from a host DAW
  • Plug-and-play operation with your Mac or PC via FireWire or USB2: compatible with all current and recent generation Macs and PCs
  • Includes native 32- and 64-bit drivers for Mac OS X and Windows 7/Vista, including ASIO, WDM, Wave, Core Audio, and Core MIDI
  • Supports all popular Mac and Windows audio software
  • 100% compatible with all host-based effects processing in today's popular audio programs
  • Includes AudioDesk full-featured sample-accurate workstation software for the Mac with recording, editing, mixing, real-time 32-bit effects processing, and sample-accurate sync
  • Bus-powered FireWire operation
  • No need for external power when operating as a FireWire interface connected to a computer
  • A power supply is included for stand-alone operation

Ready to record? Get your ideas down with the help of this versatile interface. Order now!


Audio Express 6 x 6 FireWire/USB 2.0 Audio Interface

  • Chassis dimensions, excluding rack ears and front and back panel knobs and connectors: 9.5" x 7" x 1.75" (24.13cm x 17.78cm x 4.45cm)
    Knobs and connectors extend up to 0.5" (1.27cm) from front and back panels, adding 1" (2.54cm) to depth
    With rack ears attached, fits one half of a standard 19" (48.26cm) rack at 1U high

Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
MOTUAudio Express 6 x 6 FireWire/USB 2.0 Audio Interface

(based on 6 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars



  • 4 Stars



  • 3 Stars



  • 2 Stars



  • 1 Stars




of respondents would recommend this to a friend.


  • Compact (4)
  • Durable (4)
  • Versatile (4)
  • Good audio (3)
  • Lightweight (3)


No Cons

Best Uses

  • Home studio (4)

Reviewed by 6 customers

Displaying reviews 1-6

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(5 of 6 customers found this review helpful)


I would not buy again

By sprenicole

from Los Angeles

About Me Novice



    • Confuzing
    • Pricey / Poor Value
    • Unreliable

    Best Uses

      Comments about MOTU Audio Express 6 x 6 FireWire/USB 2.0 Audio Interface:

      I have purchased this interface almost 3 years ago and since than I had a lot of problems. First things first. It is not Windows friendly. After I had my nerves stretched long enough I decided to sell my old Windows Laptop and buy a MAC to get rid of all the problems, errors, clicks I had before. A lot of times the windows will not see the interface, i would have to restart the computer over and over again. I should mention it was a bran new computer. After I bought the mac, things started running almost good until I went to a friends party and decided to perform using my home setting studio. Bad idea. I did not take my monitors with me per his advise and when he hooked his old monitor to the interface, not sure what happened, but ever since it I cannot get any sound from the mic. I checked both mic and mic cable and they are both working. Computer running alright. When I notice is also I have no changed in cue mix when I turn the knobs left of right. So, definitely something happened with the interface back than. Now I had to spend even more money to ask for a professional help (I asked several professionals) and they are confused as well. The only conclusion they could rich was that there is definitely something wrong with the interface. I will probably send it back to MOTU to see what's my next step. I want to mention that I have only used it a few times since at first I had the multiple errors with windows and soon after I got the mac, in almost 8 month the interface stopped working after I hooked it to an old monitor.

      (3 of 5 customers found this review helpful)


      Not friendly with my Win7 out of the box

      By Cakes

      from Annandale, VA

      About Me Experienced

      Verified Buyer


      • Compact
      • Durable
      • Versatile


        Best Uses

        • Home Studio
        • Professional Recording

        Comments about MOTU Audio Express 6 x 6 FireWire/USB 2.0 Audio Interface:

        I am running this on a Core i5 with 16GB of RAM. I bought it as a replacement for my E-Mu 1820 PCI. This MOTU sounds nice and clean when it has worked. Problems I've had so far: 1) crackling audio output (resolved by decreasing the stock buffer size), 2) figuring out the hardware knobs and the software mixer was not intuitive. I think I lucked into getting it to work on day 2 of ownership. I'm still working on getting my levels hot/trim enough. The sound is not as rich as my 1820 was but I suspect that may be due to my inexperience with this new box and the software, 3) The audio has completely cut out on 3 occasions. This is really the only issue that worries me. I leave my machine on all the time and have lost audio multiple times. Hot plugging did not solve the issue. I have had to restart.

        I have not hooked this up to my mac yet so I consider this is a work in progress and my rating subject to change. At this point though I just wish it was more Windows friendly out of the box.

        (1 of 3 customers found this review helpful)


        Difficult to figure out the output setti

        By Fargone

        from Marlborough, MA

        Comments about MOTU Audio Express 6 x 6 FireWire/USB 2.0 Audio Interface:

        it took me hours to figure out the output channel settings. The manual does not specify.



        By PatientSon

        from The West Coast, Canada

        About Me Experienced


        • Clear Sound
        • Compact
        • Durable
        • Easy To Use
        • Lightweight
        • Versatile


          Best Uses

          • Amateur Recording
          • Home Studio

          Comments about MOTU Audio Express 6 x 6 FireWire/USB 2.0 Audio Interface:

          Quality and precision are the two main words that come to mind; a solid metal enclosure, gold plated 1/4 inch, S/PDIF and phones jacks, sturdy push-button knobs for multi-mode operation corresponding with clearly labelled and organized LED lights, 1dB increments on each dial, separate 48V phantom power for each of the 2 mic preamps, a pedal jack for remote punch in/out recording, and most importantly, the output sound is pristine. I'm currently using the Audio Express on a Windows 7 64-bit operating system with Audacity and Reason 6.5. I resolved a latency issue by lowering the sample rate in the included Motu Audio Console (p. 31 of manual under "Samples Per Buffer"); CueMix FX is also included for zero latency monitoring (and as a standalone mixer) of a dry mix or without DAW effects. I'm using a Roland XP-80 to trigger sound patches in Reason 6.5 via the "midi in" of the Audio Express. In short, I'm relieved and glad I got it.

          (0 of 6 customers found this review helpful)


          Complex little unit

          By hvactech

          from Vernon, CT

          About Me Novice

          Verified Buyer


          • Clear Sound
          • Compact
          • Durable
          • Lightweight
          • Versatile


          • Very complex

          Best Uses

          • Home Studio

          Comments about MOTU Audio Express 6 x 6 FireWire/USB 2.0 Audio Interface:

          You need an engineering degree in music to learn how to work this thing.

          (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)


          Great sound and portability cheap!

          By SlickGuitar

          from White Haven, PA

          About Me Professional Musician

          Ask me a question

          Verified Buyer


          • Clear Sound
          • Compact
          • Durable
          • Easy To Use
          • Lightweight
          • Low latency
          • Quiet
          • Transparent
          • Versatile


          • none

          Best Uses

          • Amateur Recording
          • Events
          • Home Studio
          • Mobile DJ
          • Performances
          • Professional Recording

          Comments about MOTU Audio Express 6 x 6 FireWire/USB 2.0 Audio Interface:

          This is a great piece if you are looking for portability, durability, and good sound quality with low latency. It's very quiet and works well on any platform (Windows 7 using USB is my setup).

          MOTU units are very durable ... my Ultralite ran forever and only got rid of it because I dumped Firewire and went to USB only. This is simply a secondary or alternate inteface for what I do, but, it does what it does very well. If you need a small interface for doing a few tracks at a time, it is a fantastic deal.

          Displaying reviews 1-6

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