MOTU M4 patching…

Hey GP‘s….

I have a really big problem :roll_eyes: my focusrite Safire 6 usb has to be replaced directly because I have my Input Signal onto my FOH signal. I think that the input/playback poti has no „real“ 100% position.

And I have a gig on Saturday!

My new interface MOTU M4 is on his way to me :partying_face: and I need your help with the settings.

As I wrote in my topic here i need my output to FOH on 1/2 and I need a input signal for my inears.

Maybe it is really logically with the software, but I’m a bit scared shitless - as you may could imagine :joy:

I have the MOTU M4.

Here’s what I have setup…

Outputs 1-2 on the M4 are called ‘monitor’ by the nomenclature of the device itself and the large front knob of the M4 controls the output of ch 1-2. So, I use the M4’s output 1-2 as the source for my monitor feed. I run this to a Rolls PM50se and then to my ears. FWIW… I set the front dial to max and leave it there, I control the actual volume of my ears via the Rolls.

Outputs 3-4 I send to FOH. Outputs 3-4 have no additional attenuation control on the front panel of the M4 so I set this level only within GP. However, I pretty much leave the output level at default and let FOH sort out how loud that needs to be. Be sure to use TRS (balanced) cables from 3-4 to the stage box.

To make sure I am giving myself and FOH a good signal to noise ratio, I just make sure I am properly gain-staged leading up to the 3-4 output. I have a widget mixer setup that allows me to send different levels to my 1-2 bus and my 3-4 bus… but I tend to not even uses these adjustments… I just leave them at ‘unity’.

Per the other topic I responded to about -18dB metering, etc… just make sure you’re not getting into the orange/red range on any of your instruments, and this includes any instruments you might be taking as line/mic into GP via the M4’s inputs. Target -18dB, maybe 3-6dB over that for solos and let FOH do the rest.

The only tricky part is making sure that what ever source you’re taking into the M4 that is not intended to go to FOH but is intended to go to your 1-2 output for your ears, basically your monitor mix (ie. vocals, other instruments on stage, condenser stage mics) is routed so it never goes out of 3-4… otherwise you’d create chaos and potentially feedback for your FOH engineer. This is easily solved by making a gain stage for this input signal and routing it only to outputs 1-2. Don’t even risk any kind of matrix that would allow it to go out 3-4.

I hope this helps.

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Here’s a visual as well. This is my wiring diagram from my global rackspace.

You don’t need to get this fancy or use the global but this illustrates the idea I was describing…


MOTU M4 inputs 1 and 2 are for my monitor mix input into GP. These are the front panel inputs on the device. This has my monitor mix coming from FOH/Monitors and/or a condenser stage mic that I use to hear the room with. I like to have these on the front panel so I can just tweak the gain knob if necessary or if I am running a stage mic into my ears, I can easily add Phantom power for it.

!! Make sure that inputs 1-2 are not routed at all to outputs 3-4. In this diagram, they are but they are muted on the MASTER MIX mixer. To be safe, don’t even run them to this mixer.

MOTU M4 inputs 3-4 are the rear panel inputs. This I use to take sound in from my Hammond XK-5 organ. This is my only ‘analog audio’ instrument source.


All my song-by-song VST keyboard instruments are kept in my local Rackspace so these are coming “From Rackspace” and hitting the splitter, then I have control of each channel independently going to monitor mix or master (FOH) mix… not that I really need to use that. It’s a nice to have incase the FOH engineer says to me “your organ is too loud and your piano is too soft” I can balance my output for him but keep it the way I like it for my ears.

Not shown, there should be a gentle/fast limiter in my setup after the MON MIX and MASTER MIX plugins. I’m was tinkering with different options for this so they are removed in this illustration.


MOTU M4 outputs CH 1-2 are to my ears (monitors) and CH 3-4 are for FOH.


Widget wise… I have something basic like the above where I have my VST sources, my monitor input sources and my bus outputs all accessible with mutes and separate gain stages (for cutting volume, not adding).

My VST channels have faders to feed the FOH bus and purple colored pots that feed the monitor bus. Everything is individually mutable and for the VST channels those mutes are wired to the channel inputs on the splitter.

If the VST gain stages are set properly up-stream of this ‘mixer’ than nothing really needs to be adjusted here.

This is just one approach… it doesn’t need to be this elaborate and you don’t have to use the inputs and outputs of the M4 as I described but this works for me so I thought I would share.


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Hey Brandon,

as i wrote you in the messages,… THANK YOU :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes: you safed my life at this point! Everything works fine!

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