1st question: Hi, I'm looking at new Line-level interfaces (MOTU MicroBook II USB Audio Interface). I'm wondering if it's possible to just go USB for using my synths in Ableton. I have a Prophet 12 and a Moog Sub Phatty, which are both USB and midi, but the interface I'm looking at doesn't have midi, only USB. Can I just bypass using midi cables now, and hook it all up via USB?

2nd question: With the MOTU MicroBook II interface, does it output to high quality studio monitors, like the Yamaha HS8's?



Thank you

  • USB makes a strict distinction between devices and hosts; you cannot connect multiple devices together directly. When using USB, you always need a PC at the top.
    – CL.
    Dec 15, 2017 at 7:56
  • What does that mean? Dec 15, 2017 at 8:22
  • That you cannot connect two USB devices to each other.
    – CL.
    Dec 15, 2017 at 13:31

1 Answer 1


Both of the synths you mention have MIDI-over-USB. So yes, you don't need MIDI cables if you have a couple of available USB ports on the computer.

Yes, you can connect the output of your MicroBook II to powered speakers (like the Yamaha HS8) or to an amplifier and speakers. It won't drive unpowered speakers directly.

  • 1
    Your last sentence isn’t quite right if you consider that there are unpowered PC speakers available that are basicslly like larger headphones in boxes. So there are a very small number of speakers in the world that can be driven by a laptop without external power, but their sound quality is generally terrible. Might as well use the built in ones instead. Dec 15, 2017 at 14:41

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