Fast Track USB review by M-Audio

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reliability & Durability: 7
  • Ease of Use: 6
  • Reviewer's score: 7 Good
  • Users' score: 6.8 (18 votes)
M-Audio: Fast Track USB
6

Purchased from: Sound Control

Sound — 8
In terms of sound quality, it's not bad. For the price it's quite a good piece of kit. Using ASIO drivers and if your PC is a decent spec you can get latency's as low as 2.9ms. The recording sound quality on the instrument input is very good. The XLR input is exceptionally good. I've used it for both mic'ing my amp and recording vocals. Their is a light on the front which shows you if you are hitting the optimum level of signal and one to tell you if you are clipping with your input signal. I use it with Sonar 7 and normally use either Guitar Rig 3 are Amplitube 2 as my guitar plug ins.

Overall Impression — 7
My overall impression of the M-Audio Fast Track is that it's a good piece of kit for someone who wants to record on a budget and get professional results. It's very well made and is a professional sounding device. The only downside to it is that lacks a vast amount if inputs as it only has 1 XLR input and 1 instrument input. Other than that it's all good.

Reliability & Durability — 7
Its made of plastic but seems as if it can take a bit of a beating. I wouldn't have said you could use it for gigging (as in using it as your input into guitar rig to send to a PA). So far the only problem I have had with it is upgrading to XP SP3 as the current drivers don't support it. However M-Audio have told me that they will be updating the drivers soon.

Ease of Use — 6
When I first got this I was extremely excited to have something that was made specifically for recording guitar. For the price you get the unit which has a master volume control, a mix level control so you can hear what is being played back as well as the thing you are recording and a gain control for the XLR input, a nice manual for basic operation, USB lead to attach it to the computer, GT Express software (stompbox effects program) and Ableton Live 6 recording software. It's very easy to setup. I installed all the bundled software off the disk as well as installing the drivers off the CD. All that was left to do was plug the unit in via USB. You don't need a power adapter for it as it runs off the BUS power of your USB port. This makes it idea for someone Who wants a mobile recording station. I plugged my guitar into the guitar input and made sure it was set to instrument rather than line in. I tried the bundled software but found it to be a complete waste of time. GT player express, while being free is not a great program and it doesn't sound very good at all. I prefer the sound of guitar rig 3 to this. As for the recording software, as it's a Live version it means it's not the full version therefore it's very limited. Because of this I use it with Sonar 7.

8 comments sorted by best / new / date

    austinmv10
    i got this for my birthday. it seems to be fine except that the program crashes everytime i try to use it, and a pop-up comes up claiming that "something could not be read". I have a fairly new computer so i doubt my computer is the problem. I'm overall very disappionted at this program. I make records by some simple program from the internet and it doesnt crash on me. not the best sound though. but at least it works.
    Alexand3r
    M-audio fast track USB = Audio interface a.k.a sound card for audio production but also works as sound card & Line 6 TonePort UX1 = Guitar/bass/vocals recording interface and is NOT a sound card.
    121lespaul
    austinmv10 wrote: i got this for my birthday. it seems to be fine except that the program crashes everytime i try to use it, and a pop-up comes up claiming that "something could not be read". I have a fairly new computer so i doubt my computer is the problem. I'm overall very disappionted at this program. I make records by some simple program from the internet and it doesnt crash on me. not the best sound though. but at least it works.
    you may have the version that doesnt work on windows vista get the 2.0 version thats the one i got and its supposed to fix that problem
    0mnis14sh
    Great review but how noisy is this kind of setup? My current solution to the electrical noise I get when playing with guitar rig 3 is to use the silencing tool for when you're not playing, but this doesn't fix the added noise you get when playing (because it couldn't). So yeah, how noisy compared to an onboard setup?
    X_Op3th_X
    The only downside to it is that lacks a vast amount if inputs as it only has 1 XLR input and 1 instrument input.
    What M-Audio tried to do here, in my opinion, was to give people a soundcard that's simple and does a decent job, keeping costs low while having the basics of a home studio sound card. Keeping that in mind, having more inputs would be useless since this interface is only suitable for people wanting to get down ideas or record instruments in a good quality. So I actually think this is the optimal choice, if you don't want to record multi track. I'd give it a better rating since this is the mindset as I see it...
    charvel_man
    Spiridon69 wrote: is it usb 2.0?
    Just watched an M-Audio review of it and the guy said it was 1.1.