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Rating and Reviews: MAudio Fast Track 8R

Designed for the studio, the M-Audio Fast Track Ultra 8R has eight robust preamps, 8x8 96 kHz/24-bit recording, and sophisticated built-in effects.

User Ratings
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Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
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The Wow Factor
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"Excellent audio/midi interface for your DAW. Worth every penny!" submitted October 20, 2008

Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
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SPOTLIGHT REVIEW
Sound: Overall, I'd say the sound quality is pretty superb for a unit under a thousand bucks. The preamps are quite generous with accurate capture of sound. What goes in, is what you are hearing go in and nothing less. I spend very little time adjusting software EQ, post tracking. Only slight adjustments need to be made and I'm well within the desired range of sound I'm seeking out of my instruments/vocs. Feature: This unit is pretty basic, but has some extremely valuable features. First off... The routing is rather versatile. You have 8 XLR and 1/4 inch jacks on the rear for inputs. Channels one and two have 1/4 inputs in the front for easy line in during sessions. On the rear panel you also have 8 monitor output groups, channel outputs 1 & 2 can be controlled via the master volume knob on the front of the panel. (I send those directly to my active monitors). The other groups can be designated for right and left outputs in any configuration you like, through the virtual mixer software. You have one midi in and out on the rear panel. The front supports two headphone monitor jacks and has the capability of creating two different monitor mixes for each. Channels 1 - 8 support phantom power, and work great with a decent condenser mic. The hugest feature and selling point for me, was the fact that channels 1 & 2 support channel inserts for whatever hardware arsenal you have included in your rack. You have clipping LEDS on all channels. Ease of Use: This is hands down and without a doubt the easiest unit that I have ever used. I don't think I've had less problems with any DAW interface ever. I plugged this unit in, and I was on my way to making beautiful sound. The unit is plain, which adds to its ease of use. There isn't a digital display or 50 buttons on the front end. Each channel has a gain knob, and that is really as complicated as it gets. I honestly feel that the unit is built to use with a solid software platform. Sonar, Cubase, Protools, or REAPER should do just fine. Honestly if you master one or more of those pieces of software, you wont really need anything other than this interface to make killer recordings. Quality: This thing seems like its built like a tank. If they needed to make it more durable, they might consider metal gain knobs. That is only if they REALLY needed to make it more durable. The face is what appears to be brushed aluminum/steel and mounts easily into any rack. It appears sturdy and all input/output ports are solidly constructed. Value: For the money... you'd be hard pressed to find another rack mountable unit of this quality, and with channel inserts. It's quite impressive and worth every penny. Manufacturer Support: I honestly can't say as though I've needed customer support. Like I said. I plugged the unit in, and have been happy ever since. I would however like to make a recommendation. The manual for this unit is not tremendously in depth. Better explanations of features (especially the effects send configuration) would be helpful. It took me a little while to figure that out on my own. (Okay, maybe 20 minutes) The Wow Factor: It's mysteriously intriguing. I wouldn't call it sexy, but if I saw it on a personals add, I would most likely go on at least one date with it. If I went on one date, I'd probably try and go on another and maybe another afterward. You get the idea. Overall: Hopefully for quite sometime. :)
42 of 43 people (97.67%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Awesome" submitted February 5, 2009

By a customer from aol.com
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Musical Background: Musician with recording on the side.
Music Style: Metal
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VERIFIED BUYER
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Sound: Great sound. Way better than my yamaha mixing board. The preamps are really quiet and clear. Feature: The unit came with a driver cd and some recording program that can record 4 inputs so I didn't bother installing that. I ordered the new pro tools 8 and this works fine with it. I saw this video on this one website about this guy testing each feature. He said the biggest problem was when you pull the knobs out to engage the -20 pad they would come off. Mine didn't so I assume M-Audio fixed that problem. Download the drivers from the maudio website and if you look around on there you'll find some plugins you can use with the unit for free. Other than all that the description to the right is pretty darn accurate. But it came with a line lump. ---{X}--- keep it away from your gear so you wont get any interference from it. Ease of Use: USB, plug and go. Very simple interface. Inputs on the back, knobs on the front. Quality: Im sure I'll have this for a while, at least a few years. Its built to last. Maudio didnt skimp out on anything to mkae it cheaper so thats always good. Everythings metal and solid. When you pull the knobs out they click in to position. The box it comes in has alot of squishy foam so its NOT going to get hurt during shipping. Value: I think the price is right compared to anything else out there but I dont think Id pay anymore than what its selling for. Manufacturer Support: I never needed to call about anything so that makes it a 10. The Wow Factor: I wanted the profire 2626 because I wanted to be able to expand my inputs but I didn't want to bother with the TI chipset for firewire so I settled for the fast track. This unit is plug and play. Overall: I really like it. Its fun to use. If I needed to upgrade for more than 8 inputs Id get the profire to do travel recording and use this for at home.
30 of 34 people (88.24%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"M Audio Ultra 8r" submitted April 10, 2012

By Zach Amster in Boulder, CO
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Musical Background: Playing rock and roll since I came out of the womb
Music Style: Rock.
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Overall: When shopping for an interface, I wanted to find the best value for what I was getting. I needed at least 8 xlr inputs so I could record drums. This product was definitely the best product for the price, however, I was skeptical because I never heard any reviews of live instruments like mic'd amplifiers or drums. The only downside to the value of this deal is that it comes with the beginner pro tools where you can only record a max of 2 tracks at a time. So 90 more dollars can get you pro-tools MP which works only with M-Audio products. Sound Quality - the preamps are great. So far I have recorded 2 songs with super loud guitars and drums in a room built with concrete walls and I was surprised with the sound quality. Hear for yourself - www.soundclud.com/zach-amster (2 out of the 3 tracks are recorded with the Ultra 8r and you can tell which ones). Downfalls - 1). The headphone volume is pretty low. Have to crank it full blast for my drummer to play over the guitars. 2). Comes with beginner pro tools. If it has 8 xlr inputs then why give the protools that only allows for 2 simultaneous tracks to be recorded? 3). Preamp Volume - The volume on the preamps tends to be a little low so you have to crank them a bit. Overall, I am very pleased with this product! soundcloud.com/zach-amster (2/3 tracks recorded with this product)
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"Good features, good sound, unreliable" submitted July 17, 2009

By a customer from johnstjam.net
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Musical Background: Active musician, recording engineer
Music Style: Acoustic, roots, Americana
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VERIFIED BUYER
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Sound: Very clean. Feature: The 8 ins and 8 outs are great. You can run the mics/instruments into this and then go out to the mixer (house) when recording live. It has clip lights and phantom power, and the -20dB pad is useful when you don't pass the signal through a mixer first. Ease of Use: The hardware was very easy to set up and use, but it was not immediately clear to me why I only got channels 1 & 2 in the fist headphone jack and channels 3 & 4 in jack #2. Turns out it's a software setting, but it took me a while as the documentation was difficult to follow. Quality: I had to send the first one back after a month when the thing just died one day. No power at all. The second one went back when channel 7 stopped working and I couldn't record to a laptop because it was too processor-intensive. Value: It's a nice unit for the money -- when it works. Manufacturer Support: The support personnel were terrific. Very helpful and knowledgeable, but it took a loooooong time to finally get through. I spent about 4 hours over 3 days trying to get them on the phone after my emails went unanswered for a week. The Wow Factor: I chose this over the competition because it fit in a single rack space -- very appealing. I ended up replacing it with a Line-6 that takes up 2 rack spaces, but seems more reliable so far. Overall: I think this is probably a good unit; it seems pretty well thought-out, but I must have gotten a couple of lemons. Still, I'd have trouble recommending it.
8 of 9 people (88.89%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Look else where, if you want satisfaction and quality for your money. The Windows 7 64 bit drivers only give you limited functi" submitted December 12, 2010

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Sound
Features
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Value
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Musical Background: Studio Engineer
Music Style: Alternative, Chill, Deep Chill, Dark Ambient, Experimental
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Sound: It's clear and all, but volume only has one good setting all the up... Feature: Should have done more research before I bought it. I bought this to hook up to a HP DV7 that did not have firewire. I run a RME Fireface 800 thru my old Apple P4 Powerbook via Firewire 800. The Fireface 800 blows this out of the water. The Ultra is more of a patch thru than a external soundcard. You have to turn the volume knobs all the way up to get any decent volume. My Line 6 POD X3 Pro does a better job at running source than this Fast Track Ultra 8 does. For five hundred dollars I expected more than this! Oh well I use it as a source selector to route signals to better sound cards now! So it has some use, albeit FIVE HUNDRED dollars for that........Hmmm Ease of Use: Easy to use Quality: Knobs could have been better. Back panel coax could have been implemented better. Toslink would have been nice. Value: read the use box Manufacturer Support: Never had to use it The Wow Factor: Looks good Overall: Was never satisfied with it. It's falsely advertised. Should be completely redesigned.
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"Best in Its Class" submitted September 26, 2008

By a customer from mail.com
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Musical Background: professional amateur
Music Style: acoustic, alternative, electronic
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VERIFIED BUYER
zZounds has verified that this customer bought this product from us.
Sound: first rate mic preamps, MIDI, SPDIF, high quality digital conversion Feature: it has 8 ins/8 outs, including SPDIF. to use digital in/out you give up channels 7 & 8. also, there's not a separate main monitor out. you gotta use outs 1 & 2. Ease of Use: very easy. unit is simple. cool software interface (+ basic reverb and delay) Quality: metal chassis, attractive looking and seemingly well made. bought this to replace a problematic motu interface. Value: this is simply the best product in its price range. usb 2 is very fast and also reliable. Manufacturer Support: every time I've dealt with m-audio tech support they've been exemplary: helpful, patient, knowledgeable, professional. they're also dedicated to driver updates, very important for an interface. The Wow Factor: beautyfool Overall: if i needed to replace this i'd buy the same one
27 of 27 people (100%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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