Motu M4 vs SSL 2+

Any music gear discussions that don't fit into one of the other forums.

Moderators: Kent, luketeaford, Joe.

Post Reply
Estes
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 606
Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2017 3:28 am
Location: Switzerland

Motu M4 vs SSL 2+

Post by Estes » Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:43 am

So I came to the conclusion that I need a portable Audio Interface.
The Motu M4 looks like a nobrainer, but now that the SSL brought up their interface with that fancy 4K button I was wondering if anyone can report how does that benefit synth sounds?

Any other Pros and cons to consider? It looks like the phone amps of the Motu are better than the ones of the SSL.
Looking for Videomodules open for trades for Eurorack.


User avatar
Blairio
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 2534
Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2013 9:50 pm
Location: Glasgow, Scotland

Re: Motu M4 vs SSL 2+

Post by Blairio » Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:27 pm

I have just bought an M4 to replace a faulty Saffire Pro 24. The difference is stunning. A bonus in terms of portability is the M4 is USB buss powered.

User avatar
Orion
Learning to Wiggle
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2015 10:15 pm
Location: New Haven, CT

Re: Motu M4 vs SSL 2+

Post by Orion » Thu Feb 13, 2020 4:07 pm

I haven't had a chance to try them but I'm very interested to see what people think as well. I've been looking at that and the Focusrite Scarlett 4i4. I've been using the gen1 2i2 that has been fairly decent audio wise, but lacks midi i/o which I wish it had for on the go use. Now the Motu interface looks interesting as well. I do like that both have real meters instead of the color changing ring that Focusrite uses.

Estes
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 606
Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2017 3:28 am
Location: Switzerland

Re: Motu M4 vs SSL 2+

Post by Estes » Thu Feb 13, 2020 4:57 pm

Orion wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 4:07 pm
I haven't had a chance to try them but I'm very interested to see what people think as well. I've been looking at that and the Focusrite Scarlett 4i4. I've been using the gen1 2i2 that has been fairly decent audio wise, but lacks midi i/o which I wish it had for on the go use. Now the Motu interface looks interesting as well. I do like that both have real meters instead of the color changing ring that Focusrite uses.
well apparently Motu is outperforming all 'budget' Audio Interfaces out there. And the reason they actually can is probably because they are now experienced Audio Interface Producers. It looks like they have put everything in there that has been requested over the years. Then more that I look at the SSL I just realise that the Interface is missing some features and maybe the preamps quality is similar to the Motu M4 but the extra two line inputs and the better headphones amps and the ability to use it standalone outperforms the SSL and some others at the same pricerange. The 4K button is a gimmick like the air button on the scarlet and dosen't seems to be a useful feature working with synths. Maybe for another workflow where you have to record on a daily basis a g singing voice it could be useful.



Watching the reviews of this dude could be useful. I think he reviewed them all, Focusrite, Motu, SSL...
Looking for Videomodules open for trades for Eurorack.


User avatar
Orion
Learning to Wiggle
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2015 10:15 pm
Location: New Haven, CT

Re: Motu M4 vs SSL 2+

Post by Orion » Fri Feb 14, 2020 12:33 pm



Got a chance to watch the videos and compare charts. Based on the reviews of the Scarlett, M2, and SSL I think the M4 is the one I would pick. I like the preamp on the SSL slightly better, but I use 32ohm headphones so the headphone amp is a letdown, and the line input on the M4 is a big deal for overall usability. Another side benefit for me are the controls on the front and the better metering. I use the interface a lot for FOH measurement mics, and usually end up setting things on top of the 2i2 because of space limitations so the small size and front controls are a plus. For a desktop setup though the SSL is a bit nicer in that regard.

Overall, I think the SSL has some compelling features, but I think the M4 is better all around especially with the extra inputs and price point.

User avatar
sduck
experimental use of gravity
Posts: 14458
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2009 6:03 pm
Location: Vortepexaion, TN, USA

Re: Motu M4 vs SSL 2+

Post by sduck » Fri Feb 14, 2020 1:12 pm

I don't have any experience with the SSL. But I do have the M4, and have to say that it's the easiest to use, most no-brainer interface I've ever had. Highly recommend.

User avatar
Orion
Learning to Wiggle
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2015 10:15 pm
Location: New Haven, CT

Re: Motu M4 vs SSL 2+

Post by Orion » Sat Feb 15, 2020 4:36 pm

Just purchased an M4. Found a weekend "holidays" deal that was too good to pass up so I took the plunge. Given the positive reviews, clean UI, and no bs plug and play nature I think it will be perfect for my needs with a little expandability for down the road.

User avatar
Monotremata
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 464
Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2014 6:21 pm
Location: Ontario, CA

Re: Motu M4 vs SSL 2+

Post by Monotremata » Sun Feb 16, 2020 1:55 pm

Orion wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 12:33 pm
Ok I had to turn it off about 45 seconds in when I realized the guy is a complete idiot. Please tell me at some point he figured out the "4K" button is an emulation of the SSL4000 and isn't for '4K audio'?

User avatar
deftinwulf
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 715
Joined: Sun Nov 03, 2013 10:34 am

Re: Motu M4 vs SSL 2+

Post by deftinwulf » Sun Feb 16, 2020 2:11 pm

Monotremata wrote:
Sun Feb 16, 2020 1:55 pm
Orion wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 12:33 pm
Ok I had to turn it off about 45 seconds in when I realized the guy is a complete idiot. Please tell me at some point he figured out the "4K" button is an emulation of the SSL4000 and isn't for '4K audio'?
There's no such thing as 4K audio, so it's pretty obviously a joke. Edit: Though to be fair, the guy is pretty dry in his delivery. :lol:

(and yes, if you watch the video, he does acknowledge this.)

Estes
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 606
Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2017 3:28 am
Location: Switzerland

Re: Motu M4 vs SSL 2+

Post by Estes » Mon Feb 17, 2020 5:15 am

Well what about this guy??

Looking for Videomodules open for trades for Eurorack.


User avatar
dubonaire
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 8443
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 10:45 pm

Re: Motu M4 vs SSL 2+

Post by dubonaire » Mon Feb 17, 2020 6:19 am

Estes wrote:
Mon Feb 17, 2020 5:15 am
Well what about this guy??
:eyes:

Estes
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 606
Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2017 3:28 am
Location: Switzerland

Re: Motu M4 vs SSL 2+

Post by Estes » Mon Feb 17, 2020 7:07 am

dubonaire wrote:
Mon Feb 17, 2020 6:19 am
Estes wrote:
Mon Feb 17, 2020 5:15 am
Well what about this guy??
:eyes:
He doesn't seems to be dry compared to the other. I loved him instantly when I stumbled upon it.
Looking for Videomodules open for trades for Eurorack.


User avatar
Monotremata
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 464
Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2014 6:21 pm
Location: Ontario, CA

Re: Motu M4 vs SSL 2+

Post by Monotremata » Thu Feb 20, 2020 11:14 pm

Estes wrote:
Mon Feb 17, 2020 5:15 am
Well what about this guy??
Oh man I didn't think it could get any better! Im gonna become a Youtube reviewer now, I can read spec sheets all damn day!

User avatar
Analog Prophet
Common Wiggler
Posts: 202
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:24 am
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Contact:

Re: Motu M4 vs SSL 2+

Post by Analog Prophet » Fri Feb 21, 2020 4:37 am

I think the review of the first guy was excellent. The second guy who states “Gimmick” can describe his own statement regarding that particular thing. But I humble myself and will not judge others efforts of making good things, if I made a review it possibly would be a disaster. I appreciate the reviews.

Im not an expert of these things (or of something else) but I have some experience by daily working with my SSL mixing console as well as SSL X-rack (containing EQs of different characters). The response of the older 4K EQs (there are different 4K EQs, named by colors) are steeper than the newer (9K) EQ that is more transparent. It means the 4K gives more character to the audio. In general 4K EQs is my go to for drums etc while I use the newer 9K for vocals etc. But that is of course a matter of taste and program (what the sound is) specific. Mostly Im too lazy to switch character and the 4K as well as the 9K character sounds great in my ears to anything.
Last edited by Analog Prophet on Fri Feb 21, 2020 5:58 am, edited 2 times in total.
The best beat of any music
is the beat of your own heart


http://www.analogprophet.com

User avatar
jonne74
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1269
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2012 11:43 am
Location: Göteborg, Sweden

Re: Motu M4 vs SSL 2+

Post by jonne74 » Fri Feb 21, 2020 5:24 am

So what does the Legacy 4k button actually do? I have a Steinberg card with "Neve" transformers and it's very obvious when you crank them up. Is this 4k a similar thing?

User avatar
Analog Prophet
Common Wiggler
Posts: 202
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:24 am
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Contact:

Re: Motu M4 vs SSL 2+

Post by Analog Prophet » Fri Feb 21, 2020 5:30 am

jonne74 wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 5:24 am
So what does the Legacy 4k button actually do? I have a Steinberg card with "Neve" transformers and it's very obvious when you crank them up. Is this 4k a similar thing?
4K means in SSL terminology simulation of their legacy 4K EQ sound character (a mantra everybody repeat when it comes to SSL, even if SSL is more great things than that) - in this case a little bit brighter, a little bit nice distortion that gives a slightly colored and “closer” sound. But at the cost of its irreversible. Therefore a switch to chose.

Analog SSL circuitry gives a greater (richer, more overtones, more claws) sound when crank them up to a certain degree. I have no clue how it works with this 4K simulation as it is in general the amps it regards. But this amazing little card has some kind of analog SSL amps so it might be the case - would be nice to hear in a review.
The best beat of any music
is the beat of your own heart


http://www.analogprophet.com

modular_brno
Learning to Wiggle
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2020 7:23 am

Re: Motu M4 vs SSL 2+

Post by modular_brno » Thu Mar 25, 2021 6:05 am

Hi,
can anybody confirm all 4 outs from M4 are DC coupled (Monitor out & Line out)? My unit can sent CV's only from Line outputs, not from Monitor outs... According to manual, all 4 outs should be DC coupled.

User avatar
h4ndcrafted
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 4221
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 2:27 pm

Re: Motu M4 vs SSL 2+

Post by h4ndcrafted » Fri Mar 26, 2021 8:30 am

had an M2 the screen died , so I got a ssl +2 , never looked back.
No screen to break , the 4K is actually an analogue circuit and kind of gives it a smile curve ? I don’t normally have 4K on , but I intend to use it as it sound great.

On the SSL you have a mono switch , so you can test mono easy.

I’d prefer the M2 for portability , but the SSL makes an excellent monitor controller too. I love that the pots feel so sturdy too.

I got the plus because +2 because I needed midi, I hope SSL makes some larger interfaces a 4 in or 8 would be insta buy for me. I sold my MOTU 16a because I changed how I work and I just wasn’t using it as so much of my stuff has soundcards built in. Plus I got tied of waiting for the Big
Sur update.

Here they are for size, last pic you can see how the screen died in a week, not sure how others got on.
30C57F63-6E18-4B8E-B92D-7C538527133A.jpeg
4DC8AE62-BF37-480A-B1E7-96F24260E762.jpeg
AE7994FB-B629-4620-81AF-01A439E3D544.jpeg
I
99D5FC2C-8AE4-4BB4-8145-11E61565980F.jpeg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
We don't want to conquer space at all. We want to expand Earth endlessly. We don't want other worlds; we want a mirror.

User avatar
h4ndcrafted
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 4221
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 2:27 pm

Re: Motu M4 vs SSL 2+

Post by h4ndcrafted » Fri Mar 26, 2021 8:45 am

jonne74 wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 5:24 am
So what does the Legacy 4k button actually do? I have a Steinberg card with "Neve" transformers and it's very obvious when you crank them up. Is this 4k a similar thing?
This is what SSL are saying

Legacy 4K is an all-new analogue enhancement effect, inspired by the character of an SSL 4000 series console (often referred to as '4K'). With the Legacy 4K button, we've distilled 2 essential characteristics of the 4K sound into a single-circuit, which you can engage when you need to breath some life into 'boring' or 'dull' sounding input sources.

1st characteristic: High-Frequency EQ boost – The first thing engaging the Legacy 4K button will do is introduce a 'forward', yet musical high-frequency EQ boost, something which 4000-series EQs are known and loved for.

2nd characteristic: Subtle-Harmonic Distortion – 4K consoles are synonymous with imparting a certain 'mojo' to signals passing through them. This mojo comes through multiple stages of harmonic distortion from compressor VCAs, VCA Faders and other crucial areas like the transistor mix amps. Using modern components, we've created a circuit that injects a controlled amount of finely-tuned, sweet- sounding harmonic distortion into the signal path, helping to give your sound more edge!
We don't want to conquer space at all. We want to expand Earth endlessly. We don't want other worlds; we want a mirror.

User avatar
h4ndcrafted
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 4221
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 2:27 pm

Re: Motu M4 vs SSL 2+

Post by h4ndcrafted » Fri Mar 26, 2021 3:45 pm

Oh don’t discount the Roland rubix range as well , they have one knob compressors on some of them, mono switch, ground lift and I find Rolands midi interfaces to be really solid.
Just thought I add that as I’ve wanted a portable and have looked through pros and cons of quite a few.
Rolands stuff usually has their driver , which again I find solid on Mac and a class compliant mode for more compatibility, iOS etc . Not sure if it’s like that on the Rubix.
We don't want to conquer space at all. We want to expand Earth endlessly. We don't want other worlds; we want a mirror.

User avatar
deftinwulf
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 715
Joined: Sun Nov 03, 2013 10:34 am

Re: Motu M4 vs SSL 2+

Post by deftinwulf » Fri Mar 26, 2021 6:45 pm

I genuinely wish MOTU would take the exact technology in the M4 and just scale it up to an "M8" with more I/O. So much so that I wrote MOTU about it. Still awaiting reply.

Anyway, I was interested in the Rubix44 for all the great reasons mentioned above, but in the end it didn't offer more I/O than the MOTU and, needing Roland's driver to operate, caused me to bail out of fear it may be abandoned like some of their other hardware in the past (*cough* Aira Modular). That made me pull the trigger on the MOTU.

And I'm SUPER glad I did. Because it's awesome all around, but specifically it has the greatest Windows driver of any interface I've ever used. Why? Because it allows you to use ASIO audio from multiple sources SIMULTANEOUSLY and AUTOMATICALLY. I couldn't believe it when I read the review on Sweetwater that mentioned this fact. Anyone who uses windows knows that ASIO is normally system exclusive which means you can have audio from your DAW, or audio from that Youtube tutorial you're watching, but not both simultaneously. Somehow, the absolute wizards at MOTU found a way to make it work. I don't know how they did it, but they did. Simply amazing. :hail:

So yeah, MOTU, can you make me that M8 I asked for? I'll pre-order it immediately. ;)

User avatar
h4ndcrafted
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 4221
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 2:27 pm

Re: Motu M4 vs SSL 2+

Post by h4ndcrafted » Tue Mar 30, 2021 12:35 pm

MOTU has a good rep , but twice they have been ages bringing out drivers, apparently that is the exception , not the norm. But it has made me raise an eyebrow.

Sounds like yr happy with yr choice , fwiw the rolands run in class compliant mode as well, so the6 won’t be obsolete any time soon.
We don't want to conquer space at all. We want to expand Earth endlessly. We don't want other worlds; we want a mirror.

User avatar
deftinwulf
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 715
Joined: Sun Nov 03, 2013 10:34 am

Re: Motu M4 vs SSL 2+

Post by deftinwulf » Tue Mar 30, 2021 12:41 pm

h4ndcrafted wrote:
Tue Mar 30, 2021 12:35 pm
fwiw the rolands run in class compliant mode as well, so the6 won’t be obsolete any time soon.
Oh, that's great to know actually. If Roland were to do a Rubix 88 with 4 stereo in/out pairs I would certainly consider it. I do really like the built in limiter options. But for my money, I don't know if I can ever go back to using an interface with "standard" ASIO (system exclusive). Maybe other manufacturers can do what they did?

Estes
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 606
Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2017 3:28 am
Location: Switzerland

Re: Motu M4 vs SSL 2+

Post by Estes » Tue Mar 30, 2021 2:07 pm

In the end I ended up with RME, its definetly not the same price range but the difference in sound quality ist quite big. In Modular Synthsounds its just greqt to hear so much more details. Still for my purposes at home I wpuld probably consider the m2, but for now I'm settled...
Looking for Videomodules open for trades for Eurorack.


Post Reply

Return to “General Gear”