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MF MD HG Ask Our Gearheads 07-08-14

M-Audio Fast Track Pro Mobile USB Audio/MIDI Interface  

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    M-Audio

    A compact and intuitive interface for your computer-based recording studio.

    One of the most popular audio interfaces ever, the M-Audio Fast Track Pro Mobile USB Audio/MIDI Interface is an affordable, reliable piece of equipment loaded with professional features for optimal mobile recording flexibility. You get 2 front-panel mic/line inputs complete with phantom power for condenser microphones, inserts for outboard effects, balanced and unbalanced analog outputs, S/PDIF digital I/O, MIDI I/O, and more.

    The M-Audio Fast Track Pro also offers near-zero latency direct hardware monitoring and low-latency ASIO software monitoring, plus an A/B source switch and dual output pairs for DJ-style cueing. Compatible with most popular PC and Mac music software, the Fast Track interface's USB connection and bus power along with class compliancy for Mac OS X* make it a breeze to set up.

    Professional Recording—Anywhere, Anytime
    With the M-Audio Fast Track Pro, you'll get professional results whenever and wherever you want to record. A single USB connection gives you access to all the I/O you need for microphones and instruments like guitars, as well as MIDI- and S/PDIF-equipped digital audio gear. The microphone inputs are even phantom powered to accommodate studio-quality condenser microphones. M-Audio's acclaimed driver software gives you total routing control over the 4 x 4 I/O—including setting up an effects loop with external devices.

    Monitoring Flexibility
    The M-Audio Fast Track Pro audio interface also has a powerful headphone amplifier with volume control. Hardware direct monitoring eliminates the latency or delay inherent in even the best internal circuitry while listening to your input and existing tracks. You can also listen to your input complete with effects while recording by using the low-latency ASIO monitoring. Connect to a DJ mixer with the 2 pairs of analog outputs and use the front-panel A/B source switch to audition cues.

    Ableton Live Lite
    M-Audio also includes multi-award-winning Ableton Live 5 software. The Live 5's revolutionary loop-based paradigm dramatically simplifies audio production, so you can drag and drop audio clips in real time, record linear tracks, add effects, perform live remixes, and much more.

    Features

    • 1/4", RCA, XLR, and MIDI inputs.
    • 24-bit/96kHz audio interface
    • 2 front panel mic/instrument preamp inputs (Neutrik XLR/ 1/4" TRS) with:
    • gain controls
    • signal/peak lights
    • pads for each input
    • insert jack (1/4" TRS) for outboard processors
    • 2 balanced outputs (1/4" TRS)
    • 4 unbalanced outputs (RCA)
    • 2 x 2 S/PDIF digital I/O with with 2-channel PCM
    • S/PDIF out also supports pass-through of AC-3/DTS surround-encoded content
    • 1 x 1 MIDI I/O with activity LEDs
    • headphone output (1/4" TRS) with level control
    • headphone A/B source switch for DJ-style cueing
    • input/playback mix control for hardware direct monitoring
    • mono switch for input/playback direct monitoring
    • master output level control
    • near zero-latency hardware direct monitoring
    • low-latency ASIO software monitoring
    • includes Ableton Live Lite 5 for creative recording and mixing
    • USB connection to computer
    • powered via USB or optional AC power adapter

    Get into digital recording with a minimal investment. Put it in the cart!

     

    Fast Track Pro Mobile USB Audio/MIDI Interface Specifications:

    • Mac and PC compatible; class compliant with Mac OS X 10.3.9 and higher.
    • *Class compliancy supports 16-bit/48kHz 2 x 4 operation on OS X 10.3.9 and higher. Driver installation required to access more I/O.
    Customer Reviews
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    Review Snapshot®

    by PowerReviews
    M-AudioFast Track Pro Mobile USB Audio/MIDI Interface
     
    3.7

    (based on 62 reviews)

    Ratings Distribution

    • 5 Stars

       

      (27)

    • 4 Stars

       

      (11)

    • 3 Stars

       

      (6)

    • 2 Stars

       

      (13)

    • 1 Stars

       

      (5)

    Most Liked Positive Review

     

    Works Well-Great Value

    This product performs well, sounds great, and was a snap to set up on my MAC based Logic Studio. It comes with some outputs I do not use, but in general, it...Read complete review

    This product performs well, sounds great, and was a snap to set up on my MAC based Logic Studio. It comes with some outputs I do not use, but in general, it has everything one might need to run a home studio or a portable studio.

    It is made of plastic, not metal, so some caution must be taken in handling. However, the product is sturdy and built well.

    The only thing that did not please me was the lack of seperate volume controls for the rear outputs, but one can compensate by using a headphone amp plugged into one of the rear outputs and then using the amp to control the volume of the phones. This has nothing to do with the front headphone jack, which does have a seperate volume control. I just like using the rear outputs.

    I use it to record a pre-recorded blog talk Internet radio show, and it performs like a champ. The set up was simple, and I use it on my MAC. The product's control panel (where you can select what outputs to use and what bit rate, etc.) will be placed in your MAC "System Preferences". Remember that! I installed the drivers and then I could not find the control panel anywhere. I read the instructions again, and found it in System Preferences.

    The driver CD that comes with the product will be dated. However, it was a snap to go online, click on your product, and download the current and latest drivers for your unit.

    I reccommend this product for the value.
    I gave it a nine instead of a ten only because one cannot control the rear output(s) volume seperately. I had a PreSonus Firebox before it blew up and with it I could control the volume of my main studio monitors seperate from the volume (from the rear, not the headphone jack) to my headphone amp so I could run six headphones from the mix.

    This is not a huge deal. I can "adjust" the headphone amp volume to make up the difference, but it was nice being able to set a level and leave it there without having to adjust the mains to compensate.
    Quality: I gave it an eight instead of a ten only because it is made of plastic. However, the quality (sturdiness, dependability, etc) is excellent. Again, I went from a PreSonus FireBox that was in a metal casing with metal knobs, and it was heavey and sturdy (it also blew up on me after three years, so that is the quality there). The M-Audio is plastic, but I realize that if it were metel, it would cost $400-$500. It is sturdy, but it is plastic, and with that comes more careful handling.
    You cannot beat this value! For the money, you get a full studio capable box and record up to four folks at a time. This has great outputs and sound and with plenty of features. This product is well worth the money. I would buy this one again.

    VS

    Most Liked Negative Review

     

    Reliable Hardware, Unreliable Driver

    I've used this box for one year now. The hardware is reliable and works well with my condenser mics that need phantom power. I've left it "on" for most of...Read complete review

    I've used this box for one year now. The hardware is reliable and works well with my condenser mics that need phantom power. I've left it "on" for most of this year and the lights shine brightly and it still works fine.

    The problem, as others have mentioned, is the ASIO driver. It hasn't been updated in years and it is simply not a well-written driver compared to what else is available. It hangs often, and absolutely if you let the computer enter sleep mode. If you route other software through the box (media players, etc.) then try to start your editing software (in my case, Ableton Live 9), the driver will fail in the editor with a message that the bit rate is not supported. To get it to work again, you have to reroute default output away from the box, then try to get the editor to open the ASIO again. Sometimes you'll have to reboot the box and/or the computer. I've learned the dance and it's more of an annoyance, but it took me days to figure out the path of least resistance to getting the box working again.

    When you get it figured out, it produces fine recordings for amateur standards (given the 48K, not 96K, limit when you go bi-directional, which you will always do when you're, say, singing to a music track in your editor).

    I've got the headphone volume all the way up and my Bose Quiet Comfort headphones are weak. I wish it had more gain on the headphone output.

    I bought this as a bundled deal which resulted in a very nice price. If I had to pay more for it, I would have been even more critical. For the price I paid, I can live with a little hassle... still, I'm here looking for alternatives so if your time is real money, go for less hassle. I'm a (very) amateur singer so this is just entertainment for me.

    I *have* recommended it to a friend, so I'll say "yes" to that, but it was because he is as "cost-conscious" as me and I was going to show him the workarounds. If you are pretty computer savvy you'll figure it out and save money.

    I'll post a picture of my studio but unfortunately the one hidden thing is the Fast Track Pro box (behind a monitor). However, it is certainly sufficient for an amateur studio like this and is THE I/O box serving everything here. I've set the levels and really don't have to mess with it daily.

    FYI, note the MIDI I/O is the old school style, and I still have equipment that uses that. If you've got USB MIDI devices this isn't for you.

    Reviewed by 62 customers

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    (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

     
    3.0

    Reliable Hardware, Unreliable Driver

    By SammyJ

    from Austin, TX

    About Me Experienced

    Pros

    • Compact
    • Durable
    • Easy To Use

    Cons

    • Asio Driver Unreliable

    Best Uses

    • Amateur Recording
    • Home Studio

    Comments about M-Audio Fast Track Pro Mobile USB Audio/MIDI Interface:

    I've used this box for one year now. The hardware is reliable and works well with my condenser mics that need phantom power. I've left it "on" for most of this year and the lights shine brightly and it still works fine.

    The problem, as others have mentioned, is the ASIO driver. It hasn't been updated in years and it is simply not a well-written driver compared to what else is available. It hangs often, and absolutely if you let the computer enter sleep mode. If you route other software through the box (media players, etc.) then try to start your editing software (in my case, Ableton Live 9), the driver will fail in the editor with a message that the bit rate is not supported. To get it to work again, you have to reroute default output away from the box, then try to get the editor to open the ASIO again. Sometimes you'll have to reboot the box and/or the computer. I've learned the dance and it's more of an annoyance, but it took me days to figure out the path of least resistance to getting the box working again.

    When you get it figured out, it produces fine recordings for amateur standards (given the 48K, not 96K, limit when you go bi-directional, which you will always do when you're, say, singing to a music track in your editor).

    I've got the headphone volume all the way up and my Bose Quiet Comfort headphones are weak. I wish it had more gain on the headphone output.

    I bought this as a bundled deal which resulted in a very nice price. If I had to pay more for it, I would have been even more critical. For the price I paid, I can live with a little hassle... still, I'm here looking for alternatives so if your time is real money, go for less hassle. I'm a (very) amateur singer so this is just entertainment for me.

    I *have* recommended it to a friend, so I'll say "yes" to that, but it was because he is as "cost-conscious" as me and I was going to show him the workarounds. If you are pretty computer savvy you'll figure it out and save money.

    I'll post a picture of my studio but unfortunately the one hidden thing is the Fast Track Pro box (behind a monitor). However, it is certainly sufficient for an amateur studio like this and is THE I/O box serving everything here. I've set the levels and really don't have to mess with it daily.

    FYI, note the MIDI I/O is the old school style, and I still have equipment that uses that. If you've got USB MIDI devices this isn't for you.

    Comment on this review

     
    5.0

    Works Well-Great Value

    By Paul Villanueva

    from Hemet, CA>

    Comments about M-Audio Fast Track Pro Mobile USB Audio/MIDI Interface:

    This product performs well, sounds great, and was a snap to set up on my MAC based Logic Studio. It comes with some outputs I do not use, but in general, it has everything one might need to run a home studio or a portable studio.

    It is made of plastic, not metal, so some caution must be taken in handling. However, the product is sturdy and built well.

    The only thing that did not please me was the lack of seperate volume controls for the rear outputs, but one can compensate by using a headphone amp plugged into one of the rear outputs and then using the amp to control the volume of the phones. This has nothing to do with the front headphone jack, which does have a seperate volume control. I just like using the rear outputs.

    I use it to record a pre-recorded blog talk Internet radio show, and it performs like a champ. The set up was simple, and I use it on my MAC. The product's control panel (where you can select what outputs to use and what bit rate, etc.) will be placed in your MAC "System Preferences". Remember that! I installed the drivers and then I could not find the control panel anywhere. I read the instructions again, and found it in System Preferences.

    The driver CD that comes with the product will be dated. However, it was a snap to go online, click on your product, and download the current and latest drivers for your unit.

    I reccommend this product for the value.
    I gave it a nine instead of a ten only because one cannot control the rear output(s) volume seperately. I had a PreSonus Firebox before it blew up and with it I could control the volume of my main studio monitors seperate from the volume (from the rear, not the headphone jack) to my headphone amp so I could run six headphones from the mix.

    This is not a huge deal. I can "adjust" the headphone amp volume to make up the difference, but it was nice being able to set a level and leave it there without having to adjust the mains to compensate.
    Quality: I gave it an eight instead of a ten only because it is made of plastic. However, the quality (sturdiness, dependability, etc) is excellent. Again, I went from a PreSonus FireBox that was in a metal casing with metal knobs, and it was heavey and sturdy (it also blew up on me after three years, so that is the quality there). The M-Audio is plastic, but I realize that if it were metel, it would cost $400-$500. It is sturdy, but it is plastic, and with that comes more careful handling.
    You cannot beat this value! For the money, you get a full studio capable box and record up to four folks at a time. This has great outputs and sound and with plenty of features. This product is well worth the money. I would buy this one again.

    Comment on this review

    (0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    M-Audio Fast Track Pro

    Comments about M-Audio Fast Track Pro Mobile USB Audio/MIDI Interface:

    9
    Took my latency away all together. mine is hooked up to my pc to pc speakers to my stereo speakers with this setup so far i hear sound from ableton from pc speakers an sound from my guitar from stereo speakers, works good.
    im trying to get sound from both at the same time is my only trouble so far.

    Comment on this review

    (4 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Works with linux out of the box!

    By Vasilii Artyukhov

    from Undisclosed

    Comments about M-Audio Fast Track Pro Mobile USB Audio/MIDI Interface:

    Works with linux, no driver installation required.

    Comment on this review

    (3 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

     
    2.0

    No Customer Support !!!!!

    By Sal Aversano

    from by the NJ Shore

    Comments about M-Audio Fast Track Pro Mobile USB Audio/MIDI Interface:

    Customer tech support from this company is very bad, there's no phone number to call, they might answer and an e-mail, but that's about it. I've just recently gotten a new tower and I'm having bad latency problems and there's no one to go to for help. I'm never buying anything from Avid again !!!

    Comment on this review

    (6 of 11 customers found this review helpful)

     
    2.0

    Misleading- Beware!

    By Carl Jurew

    from Colorado

    Comments about M-Audio Fast Track Pro Mobile USB Audio/MIDI Interface:

    M-Audio needs to be more up-front with providing specs to a prospective buyer. My advice: Before you buy ANYTHING....download the PDF manual first and get the big picture instead of relying on only the marketing hype!
    I bought the Fast Track Pro thinking (based on the specs provided) that I could record one track while listening to the other tracks all at 24 bit and 96k. WRONG! Bi-directional transfer causes the unit to default to 16 bit, 48k. In addition, I bought self powered digital studio monitors so I could benefit from digital signal. The problem arose when I realized that my sub-woofer (which uses XLR cabling) gets muted when you select S/PDIF out. HOW STUPID! Why mute the balanced analog outputs when digital out is selected? I had to cut the connectors off and install 1/4 in. TS. I wasted extra money on good quality XLR cables for NOTHING! Thanks, M-Audio!

    Comment on this review

    (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

     
    2.0

    Good unit, Bad drivers

    By Mike123shafer

    from Maryland

    Comments about M-Audio Fast Track Pro Mobile USB Audio/MIDI Interface:

    The Bottom line is this is a good piece of hardware, but software sucks. The main issue is VIRTUAL ASIO drivers. This unit will only channel through one Virtual ASIO driver (ASIO4ALL interferes with it), and anything else that uses ASIO (web cams, Winamp, online video), upon opening your recording software get ready for all the ASIO problems you'll encounter. Restarting your computer even Reloading the software is common with this product. Check out E-MU, they use a application called "DSP" so you'll have Virtual ASIO channels.

    Comment on this review

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Very good, but still has room for improvement

    By ShredWithKitty

    from Miami FL

    Comments about M-Audio Fast Track Pro Mobile USB Audio/MIDI Interface:

    I've owned this for about 7 months, I've been using mainly to records electric guitars, either line or with Mic. I'm using Logic as my DAW. The goods:The sound is good. The latency is low as long as you use a small buffer and little-to-no plugins during recording. And it's very easy to setup.The bads/could-be-betters:-The preamps lack gain!! only 40dB!! if you're planning on recording mic'd guitar amps without setting the amp at extreme volume, you'll lack gain. -It doesn't support Sleep Mode in Mac, if you do sleep, the sound card will crash and you need to restart it. Not a big deal, but annoying...-It advertises it's Max sample rate at 96 KHz, but that's using only outputs OR inputs, not both. You'll work at 48. But let's be honest; if you spend only $200 in a sound card, then nobody will notice the difference between 48 and 96 KHz...Still it's very cheap and very useful, and a good value, as it does its job very well. If you desperately need to make decent recordings without using funky cell phone or laptop mics, this is it!!

    Comment on this review

    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    My First Love....

    By KlayMAster

    from Alabama! YAH!

    Comments about M-Audio Fast Track Pro Mobile USB Audio/MIDI Interface:

    This is my first audio interface. I think its okay. My sounds are clean and compressed and sound good as long as i dont use distortion from my amp. I dont know if there are any better for the price but this beats lexicons and tascams and usb mixers. I think you could be happy with this. It does all its supposed to do very well and everyone says at all the local music shops that its the best quality. so go for it!

    Comment on this review

     
    3.0

    Broken mic jack

    By Anonymous

    from Undisclosed

    Comments about M-Audio Fast Track Pro Mobile USB Audio/MIDI Interface:

    This interface worked fine, however one of the mic inputs has stopped working. Before that, it worked well for simple mono and stereo recording.

    Comment on this review

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