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Fast Track Ultra USB 2.0 Audio Interface

Item #: 
127474163893911878
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REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
 
4.8

(based on 12 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (10)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Best bang for your buck

All I have to say is WOW! I'm so glad I purchased the Fast Track Ultra. I was considering the Tascam 1641 due to its 8 XLR inputs but, the Fast Track beats...Read complete review

All I have to say is WOW! I'm so glad I purchased the Fast Track Ultra. I was considering the Tascam 1641 due to its 8 XLR inputs but, the Fast Track beats it with software and the two headphone sends. I use Reaper as my DAW and it works flawlessly with the M-Audio device. In the short time I've had with it, I never had a drop, crack or pop in any of my recordings. Some very minor downsides: The headphone outs are not particularly loud. Turning the front knob all the way, AND cranking the software send - the volume never seemed to get passed acceptable. If you need more volume, you'll probably need to re-amp it. With the font 4 inputs, although they have very low noise, the top end of the gain can be touchy causing some minute moves in order to alleviate clipping. So, the top end is pretty sensitive. The software mixer, although very handy, can become confusing when trying to monitor inputs and the recording. So not only do you have to worry about your DAW you have to be concerned with the m-audio interface. But once you get the flow of things, it's slick. If you have a good laptop, you have a portable studio. Very convenient. Overall I'm extremely excited about the possibilities. I love the interface and wouldn't change my mind or concider anything else. You can't beat the features for the price.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Decent DAW

I am running this on vista-64 and with Cubase. It works, but I have had several crashes and issues with latency. This is probably due to the fact that USB (even...Read complete review

I am running this on vista-64 and with Cubase. It works, but I have had several crashes and issues with latency. This is probably due to the fact that USB (even 2.0) is not ideal for streaming audio, since it depends on CPU heirarchy to allocate resources to the USB, which is generally bottom of the chain. I would suggest purchasing a recording device with firewire and using that instead to avoid these problems if you are planning using this for anything more serious than hobby work. The plus side is that m-audio makes great equipment, and the support people, in my opinion, are very helpful.

Reviewed by 12 customers

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(5 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

So far so good

By saxman

from Memphis

I purchased this interface as a replacement for my internal sound card in hopes of getting better quality recording from a mic. Installation was quick and easy but it took a little more time figuring out how to get it to work with my software (Sonar). After searching around for some time, I found that there are articles on m-audio's website knowledge base on how to configure the interface for Sonar as well as other apps. I also didn't understand why the device only recorded in mono and not stereo, like my sound card. Again, the forums on m-audio's website explained this. I recorded saxophone with a dynamic mic using the XLR slot and I could easily hear the difference in quality vs. the sound card. Less latency, and virtually no hum. I have used MIDI only sparingly, but so far so good. Based on my setup, I would prefer all of the slots to be on the back and only the knobs on the front. Overall, great device.

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(0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Decent latency, slightly finicky drivers

By Kenneth Arnold

from Cambridge, MA

2.5GHz Core 2 Duo MBP, OSX 10.6, Logic. Can get 6 channels of Autotune EFX inserts (in-to-out) at 64 samples buffer size (32 samples fuzzes occasionally). Haven't measured latency, but surprisingly acceptable for live effects. Builtin reverb and delay are barely useable, but you can use a DAW or AU Lab to add a better one easily. You'll want to have the DSP control software almost always open to control the hardware mixer and watch levels. Second time I plugged it in, silence with occasional clicks. Had to reboot (tried _everything_ else), nothing in logs. Hasn't happened again, but doesn't inspire confidence. Be aware that the gain potentiometers are linear (not logarithmic), so you have to turn them almost all the way up (and they're really touchy to adjust). Be prepared to spend some time setting levels. I haven't really put the pres through their paces or listened to the A/D's in detail yet. Have a look at the Flow diagram in the user manual before you buy. It will clarify the IO capabilities.

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5.0

I found my love...

By JusKolMeaL

from Roosevelt, NY

I bought a few devices that were promptly returned to my local music store... This one made the cut by far. The sound is great, its easy to use and although I really don't need the extra in/outs, it certainly has me ready for the day when it may happen. The knobs feel nice and sturdy and it has a nice blue light that fits the ambiance of my lab... I also appreciate the fact that it has an indepent power button so I don't have to unplug it, I can simply turn it off... I would recommend this item to anyone that wants to get into the studio and lay down some music. I also like the fact that it has 2 headphone jacks so I don't need anything extra outside of this device. Well worth the money.

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(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Nice Audio signal paths!

By Don Belisle

from wichita, ks

I needed a digital IO for mastering from my main DAW. The audio signal paths sound pristine! The big thing for me was a clean headphone monitor output that was true to the mix I sending to the SPDIF input. Installing the unit was simple, I went to the web and downloaded the latest driver 1st. The unit did a firmware update for the FastTrack`s hardware. My fresh install of Win 7-32 bit loved the interface. I have no problems at all running mastering worthy mixdowns thru the unit. I use Sonar 8.5 for my choice of tools. Not a problem at all with Sonar finding the interface. Things appear to be rock solid! Low noise and great preamps. I feel I got more than my monies worth for an 8 channel USB 2.0 audio interface. It seems the latest version of the FastTrack Ultra, with the latest firmware update is a huge winner for my needs. I still use my M-Audio FW410 as well as the Motu Ultralite III. All were purchased from GC. I did not even look at the software included, and the mixer GUI for the FastTrack Ultra needs updating. But the functionality is still there. I would buy again for sure, the price was comfortable, but not cheap. If your interested, get a new one ( don`t go used! ), update the firmware driver, and rock on! I`m very pleased! DB

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5.0

Excellent Buy.

By Colin Seaman

from Chicago, IL

I bought this after getting sick of dealing with my Steinberg Omega recording interface. Its nice to be able to have enough inputs to mic an entire drum kit. I thought at first I would have eight inputs to play around with, but it turns out you can only plug six microphones into it. The other two inputs are for s/pdif or MIDI. That was a bit disappointing, but it made me get more creative with my mic setup. Something cool that I discovered accidentally: you don't actually need to have the FastTrack plugged into the wall for it operate, it will run just off of USB power. You only get two mic pre's and one MIDI input, but you still get the ability to use phantom power and that's excellent for doing a spot recording of a live performance or whatever. One common complaint is that the headphone output volume is really quiet. This could be because of the type of headphones people are using (high ohm ratings need more juice before they get really loud), so if you're willing to throw down some money for a set of headphones with low ohm rating (less than 100 ohms) it should probably fix any loudness issue. Some professional-grade headphones can be as inexpensive as $100 or less (Sennheiser). But yeah, definitely a worth the money. I'd recommend it to anyone looking to step up their recording but not looking to buy a huge mixing board.

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(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Awesome piece of equipment!

By Tyler

from Jacksonville, FL

After reading reviews I was dead set on purchasing this interface for recording my band. 96k, 24 bit recording with NO noticeable latency on a dell laptop. 3gb RAM with Vista 32 bit. This thing is awesome! After adding 2 preamps I'm able to record 6 simultaneous inputs for drums. The preamps sound great, low noise and plenty of gain. Cubase has a way to adjust the click track volume so the headphone amp volume is not a problem for me.. pretty loud. As of right now I'm EXTREMELY happy with my purchase. You won't be disappointed!

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(6 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great Deal!

By Blake E

from Kentucky

For the price and quality, this can't be beat! This is perfect for recording on the go. The four built in octane preamps is perfect for recording drums, or up to 2 guitar players that sing! MIDI is also great, along with the S/PDIF. This would also be great for beginning artists.

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(10 of 11 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Very Cool!

By High Voltage

from Seattle, WA

I am a noob to computer recording. I bought this on recommendation from a friend. I really had no idea how to use it or how to integrate it with my software. The actuall manual has no use instructions, that was all on the CD. But Simply installing it, turning it on and plugging in instruments, it took about half an hour before I was recoding with it. The sound quality is great and seems to have a lot of features and I/O. Maybe soon I will actually read the user guid for it and learn how to do all of the fancy things this baby is capable of. It is great for noobs like me and seasoned Pros. Great quality and easy to use and set up.

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(6 of 11 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

Decent DAW

By Tyler

from shelton, ct

I am running this on vista-64 and with Cubase. It works, but I have had several crashes and issues with latency. This is probably due to the fact that USB (even 2.0) is not ideal for streaming audio, since it depends on CPU heirarchy to allocate resources to the USB, which is generally bottom of the chain. I would suggest purchasing a recording device with firewire and using that instead to avoid these problems if you are planning using this for anything more serious than hobby work. The plus side is that m-audio makes great equipment, and the support people, in my opinion, are very helpful.

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(9 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Very flexible and versatile

By Tony

from Tacoma, WA

I just purchased this bad bay and I couldn't believe what you get for such a low cost. I have used Tascam and an RME Fireface in the past and sold my Tascam 'cause I couldn't get it to work in a Vista 64 bit environment and sold my RME FF 'cause I am a moron. Anyway, the preamps are sufficent, not real real powerful, but they work good and....this unit works great in a 64 bit enviornment with a great virtual mixer.

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