M-Audio Fast Track Pro REVIEW

M-Audio Fast Track Pro REVIEW

Headaches x2 with Fast Track Pro,

As soon as I opened the box, this audio interface has been a headache.

When plugging the audio interface in, installing the drivers off M-Audio’s website (you now have to go through Avid.com for the drivers), I plugged in a Shure SM58 dynamic microphone and realized.. I wasn’t getting much gain/volume out of my voice.

After reading online, people were saying you need a fair amount of power to get a solid amount of gain in a dynamic microphone, so I thought that was the issue.. but it wasn’t.

About a year later.. I bought a condenser microphone hoping that would fix the problem (plus a new XLR cable with hopes that would fix the problem as well), sadly though, both didn’t.

I also attempted using a 12V power supply to help give the Fast Track Pro some more juice.. but no fix again! USB worked exactly the same as the 12V power supply.

My Fast Track Pro Front

I realized, the pre-amps were terribly weak on my Fast Track Pro (the volume knobs to turn up and down the mic volume). I had to literally crank it so much to get a thick sounding vocal.

*Note — I’ve read some people’s fast track pro’s work great, but if you look on their forums, you will see an unusual amount of customers with the same problem as I am reporting here. Incredibly WEAK pre-amps

Helpful Recording Tip for Beginners

From my experience, I would highly recommend you start off with a condenser microphone. Your vocals will be noticeably warmer, more present, brighter.. just all-round better sounding. (Note, you will need phantom power to power the microphone. Most audio interfaces come with phantom power. It’s usually just a switch or a button to turn it on or off; simple as that!).

This is what I did. I purchased a Shure SM58 for my first microphone. This microphone is a dynamic microphone, so it requires a bit more power to get a louder vocal, plus, it sounds very dull compared to my condenser. (An Audio Technica 2035). After comparing the two, I was so happy I invested into a condenser microphone.

Again, just from my experience, if you’re recording some rap vocals, or just vocals in general in your bedroom, or a little home studio, check out condensers.

How I Worked Around the Weak Fast Track Pro Pre-amps,

How I got louder vocals is by purchasing a cheap separate pre-amp. The Behringer Tube Ultragain MIC200. Surprisingly, the Behringer pre-amp did the job great! (You will need 2 XLR cables to use a separate pre-amp).

Behringer Pre-Amp Front

With the M-Audio Fast Track Pro being my first audio interface, it made recording a headache! I tried different microphones, mic cables, etc. And I finally came to the conclusion that the M-Audio Fast Track Pro was the weak link all along.

This made recording very frustrating, and I’m surprised I continued as far as I did while I owned it!

Connecting an Audio Interface,

My Fast Track Pro Back

This first video is for those who are confused on the connections of an audio interface.

Simply put, the audio interface plugs in USB to your computer. From there, you plug 1 TRS 1/4″ cable into each reference monitor speaker. (So you’ll need two TRS 1/4″).

This second video, again, touches on the connections as I struggled here in the beginning. Actually plugging in your audio interface, installing the drivers, and finally, setting it up within FL Studio. Set up should be similar in every DAW (Music program).

If you don’t have a external sound card (audio interface), you can help your computer’s performance by using the ASIO4ALL drivers. ASIO4ALL should automatically get installed when you install FL Studio. It tremendously helps your computer’s performance.

Subwoofer and Audio Interface Connections,

I thought including this video would be useful if a subwoofer ever comes into mind with your studio set up.

Last Minute Sharezies,

I actually own a lot of M-Audio gear, and all of them have been phenomenal.. except the fast track pro!

What a headache. If you watched the video review, welcome to a bad experience with a product.

I bought it from www.kellysmusic.ca for about $200 and shipping and customer service was great. Make sure you update the drivers off the company’s website so you get the best performance out of the Fast Track Pro.

This was a very poor product, and definitely was not a good product to start off with in the beginning of learning about audio production. Although, one positive look on it, I have learned a lot through this!

About The Author

GratuiTous

GratuiTous is a Christian music producer striving to perfect his skills as a beatmaker, mixer, and mastering engineer. His articles strive to keep things simple, yet touch on the topic complex enough to have a decent understanding. He also releases FL Studio email series!

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19 Comments

  1. Peter johnson

    I had the 4 channel version of this, and it was nothing but pain. The main issue for me was the drivers. Both PC and Mac would be unable to see the interface without rebooting the entire system. It was several years of frustration.

    I eventually got a Scarlett 2i4 instead, too. Fewer inputs, but much better to use.

    Reply
    • GratuiTous

      Sorry to hear Peter 🙁 – I am amazed at how a large company like this can create cheap products like this but promote them as if they compete with the best, you know?

      Hope the best with your apps! (Checked your website quickly!)

      Reply
  2. ChrisB

    You guys got this thing all wrong. It’s supposed to be named the CRASHTRACK PRO.

    I hate mine to death. Hey, but they have an “update” from 2010 that doesn’t fix anything. Don’t have two sources of media open on your computer when using this piece of junk. It will get confused and CRASH.

    Like it was designed to do by the morons at M-Audio.

    Reply
    • GratuiTous

      Lol – Didn’t work out for me either.. 🙁 – However I was still able to work off of it.. just not as smoothly as it should be!

      Currently, I have the Focusrite Scarlett 2i4.. It’s better for sure, but not as many inputs as the Fast Track Pro!

      Reply
  3. Eric

    I have been having the same exact problem with my FTP. It’s so frustrating, I’m getting ready to throw it against the wall. My FTP has the 48v PP built-in, which I thought was a win-win when I bought it in the event I purchased a condenser mic. I bought a Rode NT1-A Condenser Mic, it worked maybe the first time I plugged it in, not great at that. Then, all of a sudden, it starts picking up a windy-blowing type sound when I go to record. The only way I can get it to pick up vocals is by turning the gain all the way up, and it sounds freakin’ terrible. I decided to purchase a power supply for the the FTP, thinking it needed more power than just plugging in via USB on the computer. Nope, still has issues. I’ve already dumped about $175 on this POS, and I’m at my wits end. Not sure if it’s even worth contacting Avid about it, or just purchase the pre-amp you’ve suggested. AHHHHHHH.

    Reply
    • GratuiTous

      Hey Eric,

      Yes.. I know it’s sad isn’t it! — How can they sell a product like this? — It was $200 for me brand-new!

      That windy sound.. is it because you’re mic is too close to your speakers when you turn up the volume, creating feedback?

      Honestly, getting the pre-amp is probably the best answer.

      The reason being:

      • It will give you louder vocals
      • This Behringer Ultra Tube MIC 200 is a tube pre-amp. When driven a bit hard, it gives your vocals a bit of saturation (distortion in a good way), and makes your recording sound fuller!

      I have now moved onto the Focusrite Scarlett 2i4.. which I am much happier with, it has better pre-amps and is less buggy, however.. I’m not too happy with the amount of ins/outs/connections!

      However, so far it’s been good (The Focusrite Scarlett 2i4). Sorry to hear about your situation as well 🙁

      Reply
  4. John

    M-AUDIO is a low grade equipment at a premium price.. Of all the Production I have used this stuff is impossible to hook up and has more error messages and hangups than I have ever seen. Brilliant marketing for a substandard product.

    Reply
  5. M-AUDIO gives cancer

    this has to be the biggest piece of dog shit to hit this galaxy. smash this thing with a sledgehammer ASAP. throwing it in front of a train will give you more satisfaction than selling it on ebay…. plus you won’t be bringing torture to another poor soul with this useless slimy heap of anal dandruff regurgitated from a whale’s twat. “M-AUDIO” and “audio interface” should never be used in the same sentence unless it is.. “M-AUDIO’s audio interfaces make me want to be dragged in gravel naked at 150 MPH while listening to a hybrid of Aaron Carter and Creed.”

    Reply
    • GratuiTous

      Lol! I do have to agree, it is a very poor product. I have now sold mine for a Focusrite Scarlett 2i4. It’s been great so far! No bugs, pre-amps are quite a bit stronger. Much happier!

      Reply
  6. Eric Tipton

    Your comments about the Fast Track Pro are comical. Maybe you should have bought the power supply for a steady power versus USB. Pre amps work great for vocals.

    Reply
    • GratuiTous

      Did you watch the video review? Welcome to my problems with the Fast Track Pro ;).

      I did try a power supply and made absolutely no difference. I purchased a lemon sir! (As did many others as you can read on their forums!).

      I recently got a Scarlett 2i4, say good bye to the headaches of M-Audio’s Fast Track Pro!

      Reply
  7. Emmanuel

    please hw can i connect my fast track pro with cubase 5

    Reply
  8. Mike Beck

    If you plug it in with the wall wart, condensor mics work a lot better.

    Reply
  9. Gentlehouse

    I use USB and I never had a problem while recording with a condenser mic. I had much success. Used B-2 Behringer condenser mic. No problem at all.

    Reply
    • GratuiTous

      Awesome news on your end! lol — I’m still having troubles with my M-Audio Fast Track Pro. — I’ve read around that some peoples are great, and there a lots of bad ones.

      Reply
  10. Ministerblak

    I must agree! I have a M Audio Ultra 8 and it has to be the worst sounding sound ever, the issue is with  version of protools I have to have that thing on, the way I bypass it is this, I run from an aux source on my board (Alesis USB Mixer)-to the M audio, bypassing all of the settings. That seems to work and it gives me a great sound when I use my external compressor. I have Sonar X1, so I rarely track in Protools unless someone demands that I use it. (sometimes I still record in Sonar X1 and import the waves into protools to bypass messing with the M audio ultra). To be a professional audio company, they made one of the worst preamps ever. 

    Reply
  11. GratuiTous

    Hey Jack. I have tried a power supply and it made no difference at all. There is a spot when I turn the knob on the interface where it turns from nothing to really loud out of no where. I just feel like I’m not able to have 100% control over my voice.

    For $200, I am pretty unhappy with it, which left me having to a get a pre-amp like this one.

    Reply
  12. jack

    Hi GratuiTous,

    I didnt see the whole video but looks like you dont have the power supply for the phanton´s m-audio input.

    If you use phantom power you will need 40v, and USB just give you 5v, so that is why you have a 40v input in the m-audio’s back

    Let me know if am wrong, but looks like your review is not correct

    Reply

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