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M-Audio: Interfaces Made Easy
Getting started to set-up your own home music studio doesn't need to be complicated. To get started there are a few key pieces of equipment and the audio interface is one of them. An audio interface converts analogue sound from instruments to zero and ones so your computer can understand and the opposite taking zero and ones the computer understands back to analogue sound for your speakers to playback. For serious recording that requires adequate sample and bit rate an audio interface is a very important tool. Once you connect your audio interface your computer will download the right drivers and next time you start up your recording software it will detect the new hardware and you are on your way to making pro recordings.
Personally I think M-Audio makes great entry level gear for the home music studio and the Fast Track Pro is really no different. The option to record up to 24bit at 96khz shows that the Fast Track Pro means business considering the standard is 16bit at 44.1Khz. This audio interface also comes equipped with pro connectors like 1/4" jacks for line level inputs as well as outputs for your monitors and obviously XLR inputs for your microphones. The two microphone inputs come equipped with phantom power so you can plug in your fancy condenser microphones as well. The high resolution and pro grade connectors leaves you with more time making good recordings and less time troubleshooting. With just one simple USB cord you are ready to get down to business.
A downside of the Interface is lack of inputs and outputs, at one point it was great for me because if you just want to make beats, mix or just record two to three tracks on your computer it was great but beyond that it is limited. I also found the buttons to be small and fragile but those are small drawbacks in the grand scheme of things. It is a great tool for those of you who get inspired and need to get something recorded quickly and painlessly because of its simplicity to use.
The M-Audio interface allows you to stay flexible because you can pick the type of software you love and the equipment you love and the computer you love and the M-Audio Fast Track Pro will work with it all. This allows you to add to your studio set up without worrying if it will work with your interface.
The M-Audio interface was the very first audio interface I bought when I was in recording arts college and I used it for all my assignments and projects without any problems. I still take it with me if I am going to mix or record somewhere else, and it seems compatible with lots of set ups. The controls can feel touchy and it would be nice if it had more inputs but overall I would recommend this to anyone who wants a cost effective way to get into audio.