M-Audio Fast Track 2 review

The Original M-Audio Fast Track shipped back in 2005 and has now been updated to the Fast Track 2 which has some nice improvements over the original.  The two most important improvements are the addition of phantom power and input gain control over the ¼” guitar input.

Reviewed: M-Audio Fast Track 2, MSRP: $149.99 Communication: USB / (Mac and Windows).

There is one output level knob that controls both the main output level and the headphone level. However the main output levels are muted when headphones are inserted in to the headphone jack.

The input/playback knob from the original Fast Track has been replaced with a simple Direct Monitoring button. When this is pressed, a mono mix of the mic input signal and the guitar input signal is sent to the main outputs and the headphone output along with the stereo output of the DAW. When the Direct Monitoring button is used, the recording tracks should be muted so the direct signal is not combined with the recorded signal in the DAW.

Fast Track II can record at bit depths of 16 or 24 and sample rates of 44.1kHz and 48kHz.  Newer converters are used on the unit which do sound much better then the original Fast Track.

Pro Tools M-Powered Essential Software
The simple additions of 48V phantom power and gain control over the instrument input make the Fast Track II much more appealing to a wider audience then the original Fast Track, but it’s the bundled software that really makes this product a home run.

Pro Tools M-Powered Essential software is an entry level version of Pro Tools 8.0 that makes it very easy to start recording and mixing songs. The software includes nearly 9GB of loops, virtual instruments and effect plug-ins.  That’s plenty of horse power to get the job done!
Here’s the feature list:
  • award-winning Pro Tools composing, recording, editing and mixing features
  • streamlined interface for easy use
  • mix up to 16 simultaneous mono or stereo audio tracks
  • integrated MIDI sequencing
  • supports up to 8 simultaneous virtual Instrument tracks and 8 MIDI tracks
  • includes powerful Structure Essential virtual instrument with 60+ sounds
  • powerful, pro-quality effects plug-ins included
  • built-in SansAmp classic guitar amp modeling and distortion effects
  • comes with over 3GB of audio loops
  • get started easily with music creation templates and demos covering multiple musical styles
  • supports 2 simultaneous audio inputs and outputs
  • compatible with PC and Mac computers
Minimum System Requirements
  •  OSX 10.5.5
  • 1.8GHz multi-core processor
  • Windows XP (SP3)* *Home and Professional Edition only. Windows Media Center Edition is not supported.
  • Windows Vista 32/64
  • 1.8GHz multi-core processor (Intel or AMD)
In Conclusion
With a street price of only $119, the Fast Track II is now the easiest and most affordable way to start recording with Pro Tools.  Sessions recorded with the Pro Tools M-Powered Essential Software are completely compatible with Pro Tools 8.0 LE and HD systems. Which means you can start a song at home in your bedroom and take it to any Pro Tools studio to continue recording and mixing.

Buy M-Audio Fast Track 2 on Amazon

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