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896mk3 Hybrid — 8 mic/guitar inputs with on-board effects and mixing

CueMix FX software

CueMix FX gives you comprehensive graphic control over your mix. CueMix FX is a completely new software front-end with attractive graphic mixing, graphic editing of parametric EQ and a convenient tabbed interface for quick access to all mixing features, digitally controlled trims and other settings in your MOTU FireWire audio interface.

CueMix FX can be operated side by side with any host audio software for Mac or Windows, and it can be controlled from the Mackie Control Universal Pro automated worksurface.

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One window with convenient tabs

Three separate tabs show inputs, mix busses and outputs. Click the "Focus" button on any channel or bus to edit its settings in the area on the right-hand side, which provides separate tabs for graphic editing of parametric EQ, compression and other effects. Each channel strip displays a graphic thumbnail of EQ curves, compressor settings and other channel specific parameters. There is also a section for talkback and listenback.

Eight stereo buses

Your MOTU FireWire audio interface supports up to eight separate stereo mixes (seven for the UltraLite-mk3) assigned to any digital or analog output pairs. For example, you could set up separate monitor mixes for the main outs and headphone outs, while two additional stereo buses could be used for send/return loops to reverb units or other outboard gear. Each mix can support all inputs (analog and digital).

DSP resources for mixing and effects

The CueMix FX flexible effects architecture allows you to apply EQ and compression on every input and output (up to 58 channels, depending on your interface), with enough DSP resources for at least one band of parametric EQ and compression on every channel at 48 kHz. However, DSP resources are allocated dynamically and a DSP meter allows you to keep tabs on your interface's CueMix FX processing resources.

Each input, output and mix bus provides a send to the Classic Reverb processor, which then feeds reverb returns to mix buses and outputs, with a selectable split point between them to prevent send/return feedback loops.

Talkback and Listenback

CueMix FX provides Talkback and Listenback features. Talkback allows an engineer in the control room to temporarily dim all audio and talk to musicians in the live room. Conversely, Listenback allows musicians to talk to the control room. For Talkback, you can set up a dedicated mic in your control room and connect it to a mic input on your interface. For Listenback, you can use one of the recording mics in the live room or you can set up a dedicated listenback mic for the musicians and connect it to a spare mic input.

Stereo operation

Two channels can be grouped to a single fader for stereo operation. Two stereo panning modes are available: balance and width. Balance mode works much like a normal stereo balance control, one channel fades in and the other fades out. Width mode collapses the stereo image to mono by adjusting the relative pans of each channel gradually to center.

For stereo inputs, an optional M/S (mid-side) decoder can be enabled with adjustable width control and software-swappable inputs.

Software metering

Signal activity of all inputs, busses and outputs can be monitored via the meters pane. In addition to the meters present on individual channels, a high-resolution meter and output bus activity associated with that channel can be displayed in the primary status window.

Effects programming

The EQ, compression and reverb tabs give you complete access to CueMix FX on-board effects, and because they are driven by hardware DSP inside the interface itself, they won't tax your host computer's CPU. You can even use the effects without a computer connected.

The tabs shown above let you focus on one channel at a time and edit its settings using the high-resolution graphic display. But EQ and dynamics settings can also be edited on all channels in line (within each channel strip), where you can compare critical settings side-by-side, as shown below.

Instrument tuner and advanced signal analysis

CueMix FX provides an accurate instrument tuner and an extensive arsenal of audio analysis tools, including a real-time FFT, spectrogram "waterfall" display, oscilloscope, and phase analysis tools.

Front-panel LCD access to all mix settings

All of the mixing features described on these pages (except for the signal analysis tools mentioned above) are available during stand-alone operation, and all of them can be accessed from the front panel LCD. This means you can program your mixes with the CueMix FX software in the studio and then take your MOTU interface on the road as a stand-alone digital mixer. Tweak your mix on location from the front panel.