Ok so i'm looking to start recording.
Iv been looking at the M-audio fast track as lots of people have recommended it as a cheap and good way to record.
And i have found it for £50, my question is -
There is a pack online for £100 that gives you the unit and a microphone (m-audio sound check) im not sure whether its worth the £100 or if the unit alone will give me good recordings, and i was thinking plugging into the computer will be better for me (noisy environment, rowdy neighbours etc) and using the software to change my sound.
Any ideas?
Well I've got the fastrack, and it's not bad. Only issue I've found is that sometimes sound cuts out on playback or goes crazy, eg changing tempos and sounds crackly. It doesn't affect your recording, just kinda goes nuts in that regard. It's probably a software issue with my Ableton and not the Fastrack though.

As far as a mic, if you're serious about recording, go get a condenser mic or a Shure SM57. I wouldn't worry about what kind of midrange mic will come in a 'package'. usually if it comes in a 'package' it's not very good anyway.
I would save up for a better mic.

I have the Fast Track Pro and I've never had any problems like mentioned above. I did ditch the Ableton software that came with and opted for Cakewalk Music Creator. It's a $40 download from their website.

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I'm not sure what mics cost in the UK and all with conversion rates, but you could pickup the fast track and an sm57 for about $200 USD. If that's within your budget go for it.

As far as results without a mic then that really depends on what you play and if you're dependent on the tone of your amp. But in general yes you can get some nice sounds via software modeling. It takes some experimenting (like everything else) to find the sweet spot, especially for guitar distortion.

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I have the fast track USB which I bought for around $100 about 10 months ago and it works well for me...It has 2 preamps in it I think...even though it has preamps Im still going to get a good preamp as well just to boost signal even more...plus if you get a condensor mic you will need phantom power which i dont think the Fast track usb has (fast track pro might not sure).

I think the USB is a good interface...you can just add stuff to enhance your recording alomg the way when you get the cash.

Right now this is my setup and where Im going with it.

Fast track USB
Guitar (keyboard ect)
Guitar effect pedals
Guitar AMP (I usually line out from back of amp into fast track or you could use headphone or not use an amp at all however it sounds better with an amp)
Things Im getting next to enhance recording which i dont have yet however are an essential ingredient to a decent sound which Im finding out by reading recording message boards.
A pretty good preamp for around $150...one of the best for around $150 is M Audio DMP3...Dont confuse it with the audio buddy...its much better than that.

Compressor...Not sure which one I want yet...(compressor is good for leveling out the sound of the guitar so there is a continuity to the whole guitar track...no harsh peaks in sounds.

Equalizer...not sure which one I want yet...lots of choices...could just get a nice EQ guitar pedal.

-------------<to be continued>--------------

Thats where im at in regards to gear...the farther you get into recording the more you learn what can make your sound better...What comes after I get my EQ im not sure...I could use VST plugins instead of getting a real compressor or EQ however it just doesnt work as well.

Here is the m audio fast Track

Here is M audio DMP3 preamp

I dont have the DMP3 preamp yet or the compressor or EQ however I just did a basic recording with the fast track,Amp,MXR overdrive effect pedal,MXR phaser and of course my guitar plus i used VST plugins for reverb,EQ,Compression ect...recording would be better with real EQ and what not.

My recordings are not that great yet however slowly they are getting a bit better...the bass line in the song was actually played on an electric guitar and I added some EQ and took out the highs to make it sound more bass like.

Song is called "Girl I Knew"..no vocals yet...need a good preamp and condensor mic...A good brand of condensor mic is RODE or AKG...the RODE NT series is an excellent mic...you can see them on ebay for under $200.

Song is in the snow capped mountain moonlight album...click on view tracks in green.


Rode mics


Rodes on Ebay

The RØDE NT1-A. Winner of the Electronic Musician 2004 Editor's Choice Award and the world's quietest studio condenser microphone

Most people would say buy a dynamic mic like a shure sm57 or 58 however im reading a lot on some pro audio boards and they are all using condensors for vocals and acoustic and even electric guitars...they all seem to be trading away the shure mics and upgrading to Rode and AKG except for the drummers who probably use other types of mics to mic their drums.

I like the fast track USB however if I had the cash I would buy the mackie Onyx 400F...It goes for like $500 on ebay...its an interface and preamp and ive heard some peoples recording that sound amazing from using this thing.
Go to this page to hear my original song recordings

Click Here
Last edited by D_Vincent at Mar 11, 2008,