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Focusrite TrakMaster Pro Channel Strip

High-quality mic preamp, compression and EQ. Optional digital output. (17) Read 4 reviews for this product | Rate and review this product
Ships to: Can ship to United States
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Product Description

TrakMaster Pro, a professional microphone preamplifier/compressor, is the latest in Focusrite's Platinum Pro series and the company's most affordable recording channel strip to date. Providing performance specifications never before seen at this price point, TrakMaster Pro features a mic preamp derived from Focusrite's award-winning Green range, front panel DI, problem-solving mid-scoop EQ, intuitive optical compression, latency-free monitoring, and the Platinum Pro series ADC option.

The preamp demonstrates the same wide-bandwidth philosophy as past Focusrite preamps, ensuring low noise and distortion and delivering clarity without unwanted artifacts. The low impedance switch, a feature previously unavailable at this price point, brings yet further sound options to the recording process. Also featured are phantom power and a high pass filter for controlling rumble, proximity effect and pop reduction.

The mid-scoop EQ is a quick and effective problem-solver, with two different cut-depths and an adjustable frequency control. Ranging from 120Hz to 2kHz, it's ideal for problem solving or for great miked-up speaker cabinets. Staying true to the Focusrite philosophy, the intuitive optical vintage compressor has been tuned by ear and features Focusrite's custom fast-acting optos operating in Class A mode, allowing for smoother, lower-distortion performance than comparative off-the-shelf VCA circuits. With the addition of variable attack and the unique 'Squash' mode (ideal for punchy drum sounds), this compressor is equally capable of transparent compression or imposing a character of its own. Either way, it brings professional compression within reach of a new audience.

The original TrakMaster's metering section has been massively augmented, and now features a unique 'porthole'-style peak level meter, alongside the trademark for the Platinum Pro series, latency-free monitoring. This section offers the capacity to monitor tracked signals within the mix directly at source, avoiding having to monitor via the DAW or digital desk. A headphone or monitor mix can be created for either the artist or the engineer, with immediate, tactile control over levels. Finally, TrakMaster Pro accepts the established Platinum Pro 24-bit, 96kHz stereo analog to digital converter, providing a high-quality direct digital route from the TrakMaster Pro to the DAW.

Focusrite's always been clear on the philosophy behind the Platinum range and they're only too aware of what they need to deliver to stay ahead of the game in this market. While TrakMaster Pro is the most affordable unit Focusrite has ever produced, it still breaks barriers. Carrying on where the TrakMaster left off, you've now got switchable impedance and latency-free monitoring -- features that previously just weren't available at this price point. Quite simply, TrakMaster Pro provides more bang for your buck than any other unit on the market.

FAQ
Q: What is the difference between +4dBu and -10dBV

A: These are different signal operating levels. +4dBu usually refers to professional equipment and -10dBV usually refers to semi-professional or consumer equipment. It is important to make sure that any two or more devices connected to each other are operating at the same signal level. The +4dBu/-10dBV line outputs on the rear of the TrakMaster Pro give the option of either analog output level. If the +4dBu output of a device feeds the -10dBV input of another device, this may cause the second device to overload. Alternatively, if the -10dBV output of a device feeds the +4dBu input of another device, the second device may receive a signal level which is too low (i.e. too quiet). -10dBV devices are usually connected using a mono 1/4 in. jack, this is known as an 'unbalanced' connection. +4dBu devices are usually connected using a TRS (stereo) 1/4 in. jack, or XLRs. This is known as a 'balanced' connection.

Q: Should I use balanced connectors with my TrakMaster Pro

A: Preferably yes; the line level analog input and +4dBu output are balanced, operating at +4dBu. If you wish to connect unbalanced equipment to the TrakMaster Pro's line input however, this can be done, but the signal level will be 6dB lower. The 1/4 in. TRS input will expect to receive an unbalanced signal if the INST switch is engaged.

Q: Does the TrakMaster Pro have the same kind of spectacular bandwidth that has given the Red and ISA range units their reputation for 'open-ended' sound?

A: Yes. The audio bandwidth of the TrakMaster Pro is 10Hz to 200kHz!

Q: Can I take my TrakMaster Pro with me when I travel internationally?

A: It depends. There are three versions of the TrakMaster Pro mains transformer. One is suitable for use in North America and Japan, with mains voltages in the 100-120V range. The other two versions are designed for use in the UK and Europe (the only difference being the mains plug), with mains voltages in the 200-240V range. If you buy a TrakMaster Pro in a particular territory, it will be configured for ONLY that territory's mains voltage range. For example, if you're travelling from the USA to the UK, you CANNOT use your US model TrakMaster Pro with the supplied mains transformer. But if the mains voltage in the country you're visiting is in the same range, you can use the TrakMaster Pro with no problems -- so taking a TrakMaster Pro from the USA to Japan, or from Germany to France, for example, would be fine. An external supply for different territories is available from your local Focusrite distributor.

Q: Can I retrofit a digital board to an analog TrakMaster Pro at a later date?

A: Yes, and you can do it yourself -- it can easily be retro-fitted by the customer without any soldering etc, just a few screws to undo and one clip-connector to join to the main PCB.

zZounds is an authorized dealer of Focusrite products.
Mic input response:
-- Gain: +13dB to +60dB

-- Input impedance: 2.5 kilohms (150 ohms in Lo Z mode)

-- EIN: 126dB @ 60dB gain with 150 ohms termination & 22Hz/22kHz filter

-- THD+N @ min gain (+13dB): 0.001% with 0dBu input & 22Hz/22kHz filter

-- THD+N @ max gain (+60dB): 0.009% with -38dBu input & 22Hz/22kHz filter

-- THD+N @ max input (+8dBu): 0.001% with 22Hz/22kHz filter

-- Frequency response @ min gain (+13dB) with -13dBu input: -3dB @ 10Hz & -2.3dB @ 200kHz

-- Frequency response @ max gain (+60dB) with -60dBu input: -3dB @ 13Hz & -3dB @ 78kHz

-- CMRR @ max gain (+60dB): 80dB

Line input response:
-- Gain: -10dB to +36dB

-- Input impedance: 24 kilohms

-- Noise @ unity gain (0dB): -88dBu with 22Hz/22kHz filter

-- S/N ratio relative to max headroom (+36dBu): 124dB

-- S/N ratio relative to 0dBFSs (+22dBu): 110dB

-- THD+N @ unity gain (0dB): 0.001% with 0dBFS (+22dBu) input and 22Hz/22kHz filter

-- Frequency response @ unity gain (0dB): -2.8dB @ 10Hz & -3dB @ 200kHz

Instrument input response:
-- Gain: +13dB to +60dB

-- Input impedance: 1 Megohm

-- Noise @ min gain (+13dB): -87dBu with 22Hz/22kHz filter

-- Noise @ max gain (+60dB): -45dBu with 22Hz/22kHz filter

-- THD+N @ min gain (+13dB): 0.004% with 0dBu input & 22Hz/22kHz filter

-- Frequency response @ min gain (+13dB) with -13dBu input: -3dB @ 10Hz & -2.3dB @ 200kHz

Level meter:
-- Peak level moving coil meter

-- Input & output: -24dBFS to +2dBFS (-2dBu to +24dBu), +22dBu: 0dBFS

-- Gain change: 0dB to 24dB

Hi pass filter:
-- Roll-off: 12dB/octave 2-pole filter

-- Cutoff frequency: -3dB @ 120Hz, -6dB @ 85Hz, -12dB @ 56Hz

Mid scoop EQ:
-- EQ shape: peak

-- Center frequency: variable between 120Hz and 2kHz

-- Cut (Deep switch out): -5dB

-- Cut (Deep switch in): -10dB

-- Q (Deep switch out): 0.7

-- Q (Deep switch in): 2

Compressor:
-- Threshold range (Squash switch out): -54dBFS (-32dBu) to -18dBFS (+4dBu)

-- Threshold range (Squash switch in): -37dBFS (-15dBu) to -4dBFS (+18dBu)

-- Compressor ratio (Squash switch out): 2.5:1

-- Compressor ratio (Squash switch in): 35:1

-- Noise: -90dBu measured with a 22Hz/22kHz bandpass filter.

-- Make-up gain: 0 to +30dB.

Optional ADC performance:
-- Sample frequency: 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz & 96kHz

-- Bit depth: 24bit

-- Maximum analog input level: +22dBu (0dBfs)

-- Dynamic range: 109dB 'A' weighted

External word clock input: BNC connector

ADC external in: balanced 1/4 in. TRS jack socket input (+4dBu)

Monitor in: 2 x balanced 1/4 in. TRS jack socket inputs (+4dBu)

Monitor out: 2 x balanced 1/4 in. TRS jack socket outputs (+4dBu)

Line out:
-- Balanced 1/4 in. TRS jack socket output (+4dBu)

-- Unbalanced 1/4 in. TRS jack socket output (-10dBV)
If you have additional warranty questions, please contact the manufacturer at 310-322-5500
Customer Reviews
4 out of 5 (17 ratings) Rate and Review This Product
zZounds has verified that this customer bought this product from us. "Good pre, but not good for much else."
Sound: The preamp is clean, but I wish that they focused a bit more on the pre and added an EQ section rather than the compression, which is some of the worst I've heard. There is no control for attack and release times, ratio, and the threshold is a simple 1-10 instead of based on db. The make up gain on the compression is noisy. The bass cut makes everything sound very thin, and is impossible to guage. The preamp itsself is great though. Feature: The preamp is great. I wish that it had an EQ section, and the compression has got to go. Ease of Use: The compression and low cut are nearly impossible to use, but other than that is very straightforward. Quality: It's pretty solid. It's focusrite, so it should last me a while. Value: It's a good preamp, but they just made the mistake of trying to wow the consumer with a number of features instead of making sure that the features were solid. If you're looking for a good inexpensive preamp, this one is good, but don't count on it for compression. Manufacturer Support: I haven't had to use the support yet. The Wow Factor: It looks very nice. Overall: It's a good unit. The preamp is solid, but the features kind of suck. I would rather have to of these preamps in the strip with EQ than the compression and bass cut. It would also be nice if the XLR and TRS inputs were on the back instead of on the front.
Style of Music: Rock, folk, adult contemporary
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This review has been selected by our experts as particularly helpful. "Best channel strip under $800."
Sound: The Trakmaster sounds very very good, easily the quietness and sound quality of a professional set of tools, definitely stands up to the focusrite name and heritage. While this unit doesn't have an input transformer so it's mic pre is very clean and sterile, that is a good thing for this type of unit. IT actually imparts a bit of warmth on the tone that something like my grace 101 doesn't have, and I tried a m-audio dmp-3 as well and prefer to tone of this pre to the dmp-3, although that's purely a matter of taste, they're both very good but a little different is all. Hard to explain, but it seems to be in the way that the trakmaster accentuates the best sound of even the least expensive microphones, dynamic condensor and even ribbon (it has a special ribbon low impedence mode!). It just works better and sounds more like the tone I wanted (uncolored but musical). Feature: I wish it had more controls and the eq section sounds good but is almost useless to me. Joe meek 3q has better features, but it's compressor is just too colored for my needs, and I wanted focusrite quality. The power supply connector alone is incredible in this unit, far better than any competition (screws onto the back of the trakmaster!). Ease of Use: easiest to use channel strip I've used out of 6 or 7 other models over the years. Quality: unbelievable build quality. but I don't like the easy to turn knobs, too easy in my opinion, and the switches don't excite me either, I actually prefer alesis controls to these, but the unit itself is built like a tank otherwise. Value: best value for your money that's out there these days, even better than meek, m-audio, ART and studio projects products that I have all used professionally before this in my search for the ultimate inexpensive channel strip. Manufacturer Support: don't know yet, haven't needed it. The Wow Factor: great looking, focusrite name, nuff said. Overall: just get one, don't even think about it.
Style of Music: versatile
5 of 7 people (71.43%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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