MOTU is now shipping the 4pre ($495), a compact, half-rackspace hybrid audio interface and mixer with six inputs and eight outputs. The 4pre connects via FireWire or high-speed USB 2 to a Mac or PC computer and delivers professional audio quality, straightforward front-panel mixing, and I/O that includes four mic inputs with preamps, alternative guitar/line inputs, four channels of analog output, stereo S/PDIF and two stereo headphone outputs.
Advanced features include digitally controlled analog trim, DDS (Direct Digital Synthesis) audio clocking for exceptionally low jitter performance, and an instrument tuner.
Four XLR/TRS "combo" jacks equipped with clean, transparent preamps provide input for up to four microphones, with individual 48-volt phantom power and -20 dB pad. All settings can be adjusted directly on the front panel, or from the 4pre's CueMix software running on the computer.
Alternately, the four ¼-inch (TRS) analog inputs provide two hi-Z guitar inputs and two balanced line level inputs, allowing users to connect guitars, a keyboard, drum machine, or other line-level instrument. Four ¼-inch (TRS) analog outputs can be connected to powered monitors, stage wedges, or other output destinations.
All ¼-inch analog connectors are balanced to ensure the best-possible protection against RF interference, AC hum, and other noise-producing environmental factors.
The 4pre's two guitar jacks provide high-impedance load characteristics suitable for passive and active pickups alike, to deliver proper guitar tone to host software.
The MOTU 4pre's rear panel offers four mic inputs with combo jacks. Flexible combo jacks provide four XLR mic inputs, two hi-Z ¼-inch guitar inputs, and stereo line-level (+4/-10) input. Mic inputs provide individual preamps, phantom power, 20dB pad, Precision Digital Trim‚ and plenty of gain.
The rear panel includes S/PDIF digital I/O at sample rates up to 96 kHz.