MOTU Ultralite Mk5 with VCV rack - experiences?

Hi there,

I am mulling the purchase of a new audio interface with DC coupled outputs to allow me to send CV signals out of VCV rack running on a Macbook Pro M1. I cannot see a situation that I would need to send CV in to VCV rack, only audio, so I have crossed the Expert Sleepers modules (ES-9, etc) off my list for now. I believe I can expand to these later if needed via the ADAT ports.

My attention is drawn to the MOTU Ultralite Mk5 as it seems to tick all my boxes.

I wondered if anyone here has experience of using this interface with VCV rack for CV out duties, and how you are finding it.

Does it calibrate well for pitch CV using Tunathor and/or the Silent Way modules? Anything else to consider regarding the MOTU? Tips? Pitfalls?

Maybe I should consider a different interface with similar features?

Many thanks in advance for any advice! Stim

I believe @Omri_Cohen has an Ultralite Mk4 or 5. I also recall him saying something like that he has abandoned sending pitch from the computer to Eurorack, because it’s simply too much work with the constant pitch calibration.

I have an ES-9 myself, but to be honest, if I were starting from scratch today, I would seriously consider getting a good MIDI interface for my Eurorack instead. Less hassle, more simplicity and robustness. But for some things you will need to latency compensate as well, both for DC audio and MIDI. Such is life…

For what it’s worth here’s a guide and overview I wrote of what’s involved:


Thank you Lars for your helpful response!

I did see your guide when researching and I also watched Omri’s videos on hybrid setups.

Also, I am familiar with latency issues and know that they can be solved with some compromises.

The main purpose of getting new audio interface is to have good sounding audio ins and outs. Ability to send CV is a secondary concern but a feature that I would like to have.

I will say that, although I’ve seriously considered starting an external rack for years, I’ve never actually taken the plunge. Rather, I have been content with the 3 semi modulars I have, along with VCV rack of course. But Inhave settled now on getting a small, focussed skiff to give me more flavours and hands-on control.

Currently I use a Korg SQ1 as a MIDi-CV interface and it works quite well, but I am looking for more outputs from VCV.

Maybe I should look more closely at something like keystep pro, I believe it can do 3 channels of MIDI-CV, plus all those gates. Nevertheless I still need a new audio interface.

The quest goes on!

Thanks again.

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Keystep Pro I think is a wonderful controller and sequencer and @Omri_Cohen has that one as well. It seems very impressive, it might even be 4 channels out. How well it works as an external MIDI-CV converter I don’t know, haven’t researched it, but maybe Omri knows.