M-Audio Fast Track Pro
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M-Audio Fast Track Pro

Fast Track Pro, USB audio interface from M-Audio in the Fast Track series.

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content in English
OtterXZY 01/28/2009

M-Audio Fast Track Pro : OtterXZY のユーザーレビュー (content in English)

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This is the M-Audio Fast Track Pro with 4x4 input lines with Midi In and Out, Phantom Power and a stereo out. I bought this as a foray into the world of digital recording and I haven't had to buy anything else.

The box is incredibly light-weight and durable (not scratch resistant, but durable). One of the features that really enticed me about the box was the unique front two ports on the box which allo you to either go 1/4 in or XLR in; they are dual purpose. I also took a hands on look of one of these at a store and was happy with the general lay out and ease of operation. Nothing complicated, you have knobs for input volume, panning, toggling PAD etc.

I use this box in conjunction with my Intel Dual Core Macbook, which I run Digital Performer on. It took a little work to sync it up correctly with DP but in the end it worked incredibly well. If you are also a Mac User and want to use Garage Band, its as simple as plug and play.

I have taken full use of ever port on this box. I've ran guitars, bass, vocals and microphones through the inputs; ran a MIDI controller into the back and Stereo-ed outed to a sound system. I'm impressed by the extreme capability and ease of use with this tool.

UTILIZATION

The package comes with Abelton software and drivers. The drivers installed with ease and allowed for plug and play connection with most simple software (like I said with DP, it was a bit harder). The Abelton softare never really grew on me, it was more geared towards guitarists who were just entering the world of digital recording/manipulation.

Fortunately enough the programs, drivers and box itself is highly compatible and will work on both PC and Mac (brownie points).

The one thing that irked me was the manual was a little soft on a few areas. As obvious and easy as the box is, there were a few things I had a hard time finding out (for example trying to utilize the stereo inputs).

It seems as if M-Audio wanted to make a great beginners box with a simplistic layout and good beginning software but didn't follow up with any reading material to come full circle.

GETTING STARTED

M-Audio has always been good about releasing updated drivers so as to keep all their products working throughout. Any and all drivers I have to update for this product have been done so with ease, though they are not released very often.

With this box, like I stated above I use Garage Band and Digital Performer with. I lent this box to a friend of mine who used it to record his band via his PC and Sony Acid. He too was very pleased with the plug and play ease and found the learning curve for general line in recording easy. Like me though, he said that using the handful of advanced features is slightly difficult and there is not much material on that.

The box is incredibly responsive as it is bus powered. The box can run off of pure USB power, but I prefer to also have an adapter so as to not put too much strain on the USB connection/computer.

The one thing that is very sketchy about the description of this box is that it says 4x4, which leads you to believe you can do 4 simultaneous recording inputs. Upon further review, the box itself can handle 2 mono/single line ins, or it can record a stereo track for two instruments (two mics/ins each hence the 4x4).

I was a bit disappointed by this and I begrudged the fact that M-Audio didn't make this very clear but in retrospect I still enjoy this product for what it can do.

OVERALL OPINION

I've been using this box for about 3 years. I've used it to record 4 piece bands or even just myself alone.

What I like most about it is that once you really fully understand how to use the box, there is a lot you can use it for. However, like I've stated before the learning curve is very fast in the beginning but then you hit a bit of a wall once you try to move beyond the simple line in features. If M-Audio had better support on these features, I believe this box would be widely accepted by many in all areas of recording.

I paid roughly 250 dollars American for this piece of equipment. I looked extensively at other models. Tascam recorders, other M-Audios, Line 6 and many more. What really turned me on to this box was the dual purpose inputs on the front and phantom power. I know that sounds pretty standard on some recorders but with my small budget this seemed to be the most bang for my buck.

For the price, which I think has dropped down to about 200 dollars due to the release of it's big brother, I think it's not a bad box. Definitely a great tool to use if you are starting out in the world of recording.

Knowing what I know now, I wish I saved a bit more to get something that has more line-ins or simultaneous recording. Those aspects seem to be absolutely golden when it comes to purchasing these, the more the better. But in reality, if you don't know how to utilize them you are better of with starting with something like this.

Ultimately, I have no regrets in buying this product. It has served me incredibly well and I have gotten my money's worth out of it. I wouldn't be so hasty to recommend it right of the bat to somebody but I believe that within the 300 dollar price range this tool is hard to beat.