MOTU, Inc. (www.motu.com) has introduced the Traveler-mk3, a mobile Firewire audio interface for Mac and Windows personal computers that provides eight channels of pristine 192kHz analog recording and playback combined with twenty channels of digital I/O in ADAT optical, AES/EBU and S/PDIF formats.
Engineered for portable recording situations with either desktop or laptop computers, the Traveler-mk3 draws power from its Firewire connection to the computer. For extended remote sessions, the Traveler can be powered by an industry-standard field battery pack. As a complete audio recording system with 28 inputs and 30 outputs operating simultaneously, including four XLR/TRS "combo" style mic inputs equipped with high-quality preamps, the Traveler-mk3 inherits many features from MOTU’s award-winning Traveler interface and adds many additional significant new features, including V-Limit™ signal overload protection, true hi-Z guitar inputs, a 32-bit floating point DSP for on-board effects and mixing, two banks of configurable optical I/O and much more.
"The V-Limit hardware limiters we've added to all four mic inputs make the Traveler-mk3 even more versatile, especially for remote sessions in non-studio recording environments," said Jim Cooper, Director of Marketing at MOTU. "The new reverb, modeled EQ and vintage compression sound absolutely superb and add a whole new dimension to recording sessions and stand-alone operation as a digital mixer."
Unique mobile design
At 3.8 pounds and 14.75 inches wide by 9 inches deep, the Traveler-mk3 is housed in a strong, lightweight aluminum alloy case that fits neatly beneath any 15-inch laptop and slides easily into a backpack or computer bag. Sturdy rack ears are included for convenient 19-inch rack mount installation.
New "mk3" feature highlights
More inputs and outputs — The Traveler-mk3 provides a total of 28 inputs and 30 outputs (at 44.1/48kHz), including four XLR/TRS "combo" style mic inputs, TRS analog, two new configurable banks of optical, AES/EBU, new RCA S/PDIF jacks and phones, all simultaneously available as separate I/O channels. All analog and digital I/O channels can operate at sample rates up to 96kHz, and all eight channels of analog I/O support very high-resolution 192kHz operation.
Latest-generation converters and preamps — The Traveler-mk3 analog section is equipped with latest-generation A/D/A converters and mic preamps.
True hi-impedance guitar inputs — Four combo jacks provide true hi-Z 1/4” guitar input or low-Z XLR mic input with transparent preamps, phantom power, pad and plenty of gain.
V-Limit™ and Soft Clip overload protection — The V-Limit hardware limiter is exclusive to MOTU "mk3" audio interface preamp inputs and prevents digital clipping and distortion from overloaded signal levels up to +12 dB over zero. Additional protection can be applied to the mic/guitar inputs by enabling the Traveler-mk3's Soft Clip feature, which engages just before clipping occurs and helps reduce perceptible distortion.
Digital Precision Trim™ — Users can now adjust input gain in 1dB increments on ALL analog inputs (mic/guitar inputs + quarter-inch TRS inputs). Users can fine-tune the balance of all analog inputs, then save and recall multiple trim setups.
CueMix FX™ — CueMix FX is a flexible, DSP-driven 28 input/16 bus mixer with effects processing, including classic reverb with sends/returns, plus modeled British analog console EQ and vintage compression on every input and output. CueMix FX offers two forms of compression: a conventional compressor and the Leveler™, an accurate model of the legendary Teletronix™ LA-2A™ optical leveling amplifier, known for its unique and highly sought-after Automatic Gain Control (AGC) characteristics.
Advanced audio signal analysis — The Traveler-mk3's included CueMix FX software provides two new advanced diagnostic tools: real-time FFT and spectrogram "waferfall" displays for visual analysis of individual audio signals and entire mixes. This CueMix FX software upgrade will ship with the Traveler-mk3, but it will also be available for download at motu.com and enables these new tools for owners of all currently shipping MOTU "mk3" Firewire audio interfaces, including the 828mk3, 896mk3, UltraLite-mk3 and even the V4HD FireWire video interface.
Flexible optical I/O — The Traveler-mk3 provides 16 channels of ADAT lightpipe, 8 channels of SMUX (96kHz) or two pairs of stereo TOSLink. Mix and match formats between the two banks.
Expanded front-panel control — The Traveler-mk3 front panel has been modified to support all of the new CueMix FX mixing and effects processing features directly from the LCD menus. Users can access their entire mix or any Traveler-mk3 setting. The LCD also now provides comprehensive level metering, including vertical meters for entire banks (8 channels at once) or horizontal long-throw metering for individual channels. Meter banks are quickly accessible via the dedicated METERS rotary encoder on the front panel.
New MIDI Time Code support — Similar to all current MOTU Firewire audio interfaces, the Traveler-mk3 provides built-in SMPTE time code synchronization features, allowing it to resolve to and generate longitudinal time code (LTC). New MIDI Time Code (MTC) support allows Apple Logic Pro and other MTC-compatible Mac software to resolve to time code via MTC with no additional synchronizer needed. Mac or Windows hosts that support the Core Audio or ASIO2 sample-accurate sync protocols can resolve to time code via the Traveler-mk3 with near-sample accurate precision. MIDI Time Code support will be available for other "mk3" Firewire interfaces as well via a driver update at motu.com/download.
Support for the MOTU 8pre mic input expander — Users can connect the 8pre interface via one or two optical banks to add eight more mic inputs at sample rates up to 96kHz, fully integrated into the Traveler-mk3's CueMix FX mixing environment via pristine optical digital connection.
Included AudioDesk 3 workstation software gets a major upgrade — AudioDesk is a full-featured sample-accurate workstation software for Mac OS X with recording, editing, mixing, real-time 32-bit effects processing and sample-accurate sync. Version 3 offers new features, enhanced operation and improved performance at all levels, from hundreds of small enhancements driven by user requests to a sleek new look and feel to inspire creativity and drive productivity. AudioDesk 3 will be available as a free upgrade to all registered MOTU audio interface owners.
Additional Traveler-mk3 features
Powered by computer — no additional power supply necessary for complete recording freedom.
Optional battery power — standard field battery pack (sold separately) can be used for extended remote recording sessions and stand-alone operation as a complete digital mixer.
Individual 48V phantom power on each mic input — mix and match condenser and dynamic microphones.
Quarter-inch analog I/O — Provides four 24-bit 192kHz analog inputs and eight analog outputs on balanced/unbalanced 1/4" TRS jacks.
Stand-alone operation — Users can program mixes at the studio and then take the Traveler-mk3 on the road without a computer. Power is supplied by the included DC power adapter or a field battery pack. Users can adjust settings using the back-lit front-panel LCD.
Sample-accurate MIDI — Users can connect a MIDI controller and/or sound module with no separate interface needed. MIDI I/O is sample-accurate with supporting software.
Word clock input/output — Allows the Traveler-mk3 to be synchronized with any digital audio clock source.
Plug-and-play operation with your Mac or PC via Firewire — Two Firewire 400 ports allow for daisy-chaining without a hub. Works with a Firewire 800 connection via a simple adapter or FW400-to-800 cable.
Includes drivers for Mac OS X and Windows XP/Vista, including ASIO, WDM, Core Audio, and Core MIDI.
Front panel volume control for monitoring. Stereo, Quad, 5.1, 7.1 and user-defined surround monitoring setups are available.
The Traveler-mk3 is expected to ship Q1 of 2009 at the same price as the original award-winning Traveler.