MicroBook-IIc-iso

The iPad has matured into a serious musical instrument and production tool. So it only makes sense to give it a serious audio interface.

Now you can add to the list of candidates MOTU’s MicroBook IIc. MOTU announced this week their mobile interface is class-compliant, which means you can use it with the iPad. Since powering an audio interface would drain the iPad’s battery, you’ll instead connect this device via USB and the anachronistically-named Camera Connection Kit adapter, then use the AC power adapter in the box for juice. (It’s bus-powered on other devices.)

It’s also worth mentioning that this is an option for Linux, too – especially with Bitwig Studio running native and various hardware options out there for building dedicated music devices. MOTU doesn’t officially support that, but that’s no reason you can’t plug this into your Raspberry Pi (and if you’re sophisticated to run Linux, you probably don’t worry too much about calling MOTU support). Linux is the unexpected recipient of iOS’ class compliant support.

MicroBook-IIc-rear

MicroBook-IIc-front

Steinberg, Roland, RME, and others have all been adding some worthwhile devices to the mix, but MOTU’s MicroBook IIc has some specs that could make it a perfect fit. For one, it’s US$249, but focuses on some higher-spec features. There’s a mic input and guitar input, each with digital trims that make setting level easier. And you get line input – both 1/4″ and stereo mini, plus balanced stereo out (and minijack out, too).

That particular complement of I/O could make this the ideal companion to the iPad (or, for that matter, iPhone). For a solo musician, you’ve got an easy way to record, so you don’t have to lug an unwieldy laptop over to the studio or practice room. And for live gigs, you have everything you need to capture shows.

MOTU also packs their interfaces with extras, and the MicroBook inherits those features from its bigger siblings. There’s a built-in 8-bus digital mixer. THere’s a multi-band EQ, compressor, and test-tone generator. There are instrument tuner and analysis tools, including FFT display and oscilloscope. There’s even MOTU’s bundled AudioDesk DAW.

All of that means this is more or less an all-in-one mobile toolkit, and you can pass off duties here to an iPad even if your laptop and another interface are busy in the show.

The hardware is shipping now. More:

http://www.motu.com/products/motuaudio/microbook

I’m curious – how do you use your iPad on the go? And what audio interface are you using? Let us know in comments.

  • NOIISE

    Im assuming that it wont charge the device, which is quite a pain 🙁
    IMO that would leave the Focusrite dock in top place as an iOS interface, even though the MOTU will have all that awesome onboard DSP power.

    • Six

      Iconnect audio4+ holds top place in IOS connectivity, Focusrite dock is outdated tech…

      • Yep, I’m quite fond of the iConnect, no question. Heck, even solid away from iOS, too. So… review in store.

        • heinrich zwahlen

          I experience some serious latency issues with my iconnect 2+ when using it with Ableton….makes it unsuitable for midi sequencing of ipad synths in the DAW!
          Am i missing something here?

      • Will

        Yep, if iOS is your target, I’m not sure why someone would get this over the ICM4A. The MIDI only versions have the rather serious drawback of requiring you to send audio to a computer (or disengage audio and use the headphone jack).

        iOS version of iConfig for the ICM4A+ is in late beta. Looking pretty solid.

  • NOIISE

    Im assuming that it wont charge the device, which is quite a pain 🙁
    IMO that would leave the Focusrite dock in top place as an iOS interface, even though the MOTU will have all that awesome onboard DSP power.

    • Six

      Iconnect audio4+ holds top place in IOS connectivity, Focusrite dock is outdated tech…

      • Yep, I’m quite fond of the iConnect, no question. Heck, even solid away from iOS, too. So… review in store.

        • heinrich zwahlen

          I experience some serious latency issues with my iconnect 2+ when using it with Ableton….makes it unsuitable for midi sequencing of ipad synths in the DAW!
          Am i missing something here?

      • Will

        Yep, if iOS is your target, I’m not sure why someone would get this over the ICM4A. The MIDI only versions have the rather serious drawback of requiring you to send audio to a computer (or disengage audio and use the headphone jack).

        iOS version of iConfig for the ICM4A+ is in late beta. Looking pretty solid.

  • z

    Woohoo! I Happen to use the Microbook 2 in my little studio and just got an iPad in the summer. I’ve also recently dabbled in Linux music making, and lack of audio drivers was my main trouble. This is perfect!

  • z

    Woohoo! I Happen to use the Microbook 2 in my little studio and just got an iPad in the summer. I’ve also recently dabbled in Linux music making, and lack of audio drivers was my main trouble. This is perfect!

  • boboter

    So, is this a completely new device or can the regular Microbook 2 be upgraded via software to become cc?

  • boboter

    So, is this a completely new device or can the regular Microbook 2 be upgraded via software to become cc?

  • m.c. phoo (pro’d em cee fu)

    looks v. sweet – like something you’d feel v. secure throwing in the backpack – and light enough to do it. Sounds like the bundle is v. useful as well. way to go – used to use only MOTU dp till got the live bug – they always make solid, reliable stuff.
    and great that it can do something with linux/bitwig.
    But have been finding that the duet for ipad/mac to be a v. v. nice solution on the go and just about anywhere else. That it powers an ipad while using it say with arturia – that’s cool

  • m.c. phoo (pro’d em cee fu)

    looks v. sweet – like something you’d feel v. secure throwing in the backpack – and light enough to do it. Sounds like the bundle is v. useful as well. way to go – used to use only MOTU dp till got the live bug – they always make solid, reliable stuff.
    and great that it can do something with linux/bitwig.
    But have been finding that the duet for ipad/mac to be a v. v. nice solution on the go and just about anywhere else. That it powers an ipad while using it say with arturia – that’s cool

  • heinrich zwahlen

    I’ve been using an apogee one. it is very portable, has great converters and can even serve as a pretty decent mike.

  • heinrich zwahlen

    I’ve been using an apogee one. it is very portable, has great converters and can even serve as a pretty decent mike.

  • Guest

    “High-speed USB 2.0”?

  • Guest

    “High-speed USB 2.0”?

  • Om10

    Been using the Microbook II for a couple of years now. A superb interface for studio and live….especially live. Hardly weighs a thing in my backpack & is rock solid.

    Been playing live with iPad (patterning/Samplr/borderlands) unsync’d to my live set via the line in. Next logical step is to connect it to Mac via usb and studiomux (freeing up the line in for my blofeld). Not sure if this upgraded interface would change that plan to be honest…

  • Om10

    Been using the Microbook II for a couple of years now. A superb interface for studio and live….especially live. Hardly weighs a thing in my backpack & is rock solid.

    Been playing live with iPad (patterning/Samplr/borderlands) unsync’d to my live set via the line in. Next logical step is to connect it to Mac via usb and studiomux (freeing up the line in for my blofeld). Not sure if this upgraded interface would change that plan to be honest…

  • Grzegorz Bojanek

    Line 6 SOnic Port VX can do that, too + has got mono and stereo micc on board. Well, I use both with iPhone/iPad and MacBook. Perfect match for me. Maybe it is not the MOTO quality – still it is great!

  • Grzegorz Bojanek

    Line 6 SOnic Port VX can do that, too + has got mono and stereo micc on board. Well, I use both with iPhone/iPad and MacBook. Perfect match for me. Maybe it is not the MOTO quality – still it is great!

  • Popo Bawa

    It seems that Linux support is unofficial, meaning that this thing simply works with existing drivers. And that MOTU’s included software probably won’t work.

    But it’s nice that this is another option!

    • Hans Schnakenhals

      Reminds me of “MOTU is hostile towards Linux.” – That still counts, compatibility a side effect of being class compliant.

  • Popo Bawa

    It seems that Linux support is unofficial, meaning that this thing simply works with existing drivers. And that MOTU’s included software probably won’t work.

    But it’s nice that this is another option!

    • Hans Schnakenhals

      Reminds me of “MOTU is hostile towards Linux.” – That still counts, compatibility a side effect of being class compliant.

  • I just tried one on Kubuntu 15.04. It shows up with 7.1 outputs and 5.1 inputs, but all I seem to get out is noise. This is using Pulseaudio

  • I just tried one on Kubuntu 15.04. It shows up with 7.1 outputs and 5.1 inputs, but all I seem to get out is noise. This is using Pulseaudio

  • an3

    the regular 2 can also be buspowered with a y cable, BUT i wunder if the power – latency issues (latency suddenly skipping after a while, introducing an incredible delay/latency are solved with the new one ?!)

  • Denis Terekhov

    Hi there! As far as I understand, MOTU Microbook 2 now works in Linux via default class-compliant drivers. May I use all 6×8 channels or only 2×2? And does Microbook 2 works without computer in mixer mode? Thanks!