MOTU M4 Includes MOTU Performer Lite, Ableton Live Lite


I’m collecting equipment for the QFG course :wink:

What do you think about the MOTU M4 interface, which includes licenses for Performer Lite and Ableton Live Lite? (see e.g. thomann)

  1. The interface is considered to be very good, has anyone checked how it works when used with pads? I need more inputs than the Focusrite Scarlett Solo because I’m learning guitar. I’ve read various forums and MOTU seems to be the best in my budget if question 2 is ok :slight_smile:

  2. QFG recommendation is AD2. Instead of AD2, is Performer Lite or Ableton Live Lite software good or sufficient for learning/playing with pads? I know there is a budget SSD option for free, so maybe I can do without purchasing AD2 at this point? Ultimately, what I read about AD2 sounds very sensible and I think this direction is optimal for the future.


Hi Michal,
I can’t say much about the MOTU interffce as I never owned one but when I was searching for a new interface, I discarded this brand that didn’t seem to be on par with competitors, seemed clumsy to setup and not the best value for money. I also heard they are pretty unstable.
But that’s just me…
I had a small Scarlett 4i4 which is very good for the price. Good sound, super easy setup and STABLE. Why change brand if you only need more intpus and are happy with Focusrite?
I personally went for Arturia Audiofuse Studio and I felt there was a pretty big difference in sound quality (scarlett is really not bad, but the Audiofuse is a step above, especially the preamps that are very clean and deliver).
But anyway, I wouldn’t buy an interface for the software package, especially if it is the “lite versions”. These are often pretty limited and are just there to get you to be used to the software and buy the full version.
Seems like Performer is a DAW (like Ableton), nothing to do with drumming in particular.
You won’t get what AD2 has, even remotely.
AD2 is on sale at the moment the basic pack is below 120€ with 3 AD packs to pick from.
No brainer at this price.
Then make a sound card selectionbased on your guitar needs, especially the preamps…

And btw, SSD has a free version !
You can give it a try already :wink:

Hey Michal, in my experience almost every audio interface is ok. Motu I have not used a ton, so I cannot vouch for it personally, but if it’s a modern audio interface you’re probably ok.

I would indeed get Steven Slate Free at first and then maybe on Black Friday get the big discount (40% off usually) and buy AD2 with Black Oyster, Funk and Fairfax 1 kits for less than $100. That way you will get the most out of the lessons here. Other drum kits or other drum software is fine. You will just have a harder time getting the exact right sounds and you will have to figure to how to set things up to your liking.

I have a Motu M2 and am indeed very happy with it. It can get very low latency, too - which may be the most important aspect of an audio interface for pad playing. I’m also using it for guitar-playing, where low latency is also important. Focusrite audio interfaces should be good enough, too.

Couldn’t really warm up to Performer Lite. Ableton Live Lite might be the better bet. It already comes with a few drum kits. You might need to reorder the drum machine layout to match the QFG layout, especially because those drum kits in Ableton (same with Bitwig, too) do not always follow the same layout.

Keep in mind that those drum kits are clearly focused on electronic sounds. So if you want decent, realistic acoustic drum sounds you need to look for something dedicated for it, like Robert suggestions.

That’s kind of a stretch :slight_smile:
Drum racks in Ableton can do multisamples? I’m a Bitwig user and we can do multi-samples pads but that’s hell of a work!
I clearly don’t recommend this approach for finger drumming, it won’t sound realistic and it’s pretty tedious. Unless one just need to trig some sounds and doesn’t care about realistic sounding.
SSD free is certainly a better sounding / less hassle solution.

Good to hear that MOTU improved their stability issues :slight_smile:

Yes, multisamples or round robin is not what you get easily out of this. With Bitwig it’s better, I guess. They have a few multisamples drum hits and then you could add round-robin with instrument selector / random modulators. They also have e-drum synths which you could modulate with randomness or velocity.

The question is what your goal is. Realistic sounding acoustic drums? Then this approach will be really difficult. But if you like the sound and style of electronic drums, it’s working well.

Yes, I didn’t have any stability issues with MOTU M2 :slight_smile: