M-Audio Fast Track Ultra USB 2.0 Audio Interface

No longer available at zZounds
Take your recordings to the next level with the M-Audio Fast Track Ultra, featuring 24-bit/96khz capability and Ableton Live Lite software.

The M-Audio Fast Track Ultra 8 x 8 audio/MIDI interface takes M-Audio's acclaimed mobile recording line to the next level with high-speed USB 2.0 connectivity, MX Core DSP mixer and four preamps with award-winning Octane technology.

Featuring both analog and digital I/O, it allows recording on all eight channels simultaneously with pristine 24-bit/96kHz fidelity-while M-Audio's mature low-latency drivers ensure rock-solid stability and performance. The on-board MX Core DSP mixer processes eight hardware inputs and eight software returns to the eight hardware outputs, delivering flexible routing and monitoring with delay and reverb.

Compatible with most major audio software, Fast Track Ultra lets you record the way you want-in the studio or on the go.

Highlights

- High-speed USB 2.0 Interface: Simultaneous 8 x 8 24-bit/96kHz audio
- MX Core DSP Technology: Flexible channel routing, monitor sub-mixing and effects processing
- 4 preamps with Award-winning M-Audio Octane Technology: Premium input circuitry
- Compatible with Mac and PC: Works with most audio production software

Features

- 24-bit/96kHz professional audio on all I/O simultaneously
- High-speed USB 2.0 interface
- 6 balanced line inputs
- 6 balanced analog outputs
- 2 analog inserts
- S/PDIF digital I/O
- Built-in 1 x 1 MIDI interface
- 2 independent headphone outputs with individual volume controls
- USB bus power*
- Full ASIO 2.0, WDM, MME, and Core Audio read more support
- Compatible with most major audio production software

MX Core DSP technology:
- Digital effects processing with assignable parameters
- Flexible channel routing options
- Expands DSP mixing interface to 16 x 8

4 preamps with award-winning M-Audio Octane technology:
- 4 XLR microphone inputs - including 2 XLR/TRS combo jacks for mic or instrument level inputs
- 20dB pad on each preamp
- Signal/peak LED indicator lights
- Phantom power

* USB bus power enables analog channels 1 and 2, S/PDIF I/O, and headphone output 1; included power supply required for full 8 x 8 operation.
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Minimum System Requirements

Windows
- Windows XP (32-bit) with SP2 or higher
- DirectX 9.0c or higher (included in XP)
- USB 2.0 port
- Windows Vista (32-bit versions)
- 1.6 GHz processor (CPU requirement may be higher for laptops)
- 512 MB RAM*
- Windows Vista Home Premium, Business and Ultimate require 1 GB RAM.

Mac
- Mac OS X 10.3.9 or higher
- USB 2.0 port
- 512 MB RAM
- 1 GHz CPU

*Please check your audio software for additional minimum system requirements.

Package includes:
- Fast Track Ultra
- Printed quick start guide
- M-Audio USB driver CD with PDF documentation
- Ableton Live Lite CD
- USB cable (6 foot)
- Power supply

For support or warranty questions, please contact the manufacturer:
Phone: 401-658-5765

Reviewers gave this product an overall rating of 10 out of 10 stars. (30 ratings)
Submitted April 20, 2010 by a customer from q.com
"Works, keeps me recording in M-powered protools in Windows 7. Who else can say that right now?"
Overall: 10 out of 10 stars
Verified Customer zZounds has verified that this reviewer made a purchase from us.
This review has been selected by our experts as particularly helpful.
I'm probably into this interface for the next few years as long as the positive compatibility keeps coming.

Sound
I have a great experience with the sound quality - Rode NT1A and Xboard 61 and my Bass guitar, all sounded good on the Ultra Pre's. Maybe not enough gain on the NT1A, but with some assertive mic technique is pretty good. I'm thinking of getting a pre amp to augment, but mike situation very servicable so far. I've recorded some voice over work which seems a little weak sometimes. Have to crank up the gain dangerously close to distortion areas, but seem to just miss unusable traks so far. overall very good, but cranking up to 9 out of ten makes me nervous as an engineer :)

Features
It does what I ask of it. I want Midi, and it does it, I want line level bass guitar and it gives me some nice levels, I use M-powered pro tools, so I don't know what ableton lite would do in Window's 7. M-powered pro tools completely stable at this point (knock on wood) My bass works fine, some more effects would be nice, but I use a compressor for it and not much else, so I don't know if that would be all that useful to me.

Ease of Use
I dig what I've gotten so far, but I think the learning curve for pro tools is pretty high. so it's not a gig against the Ultra, but if you use it with pro tools, it just requires some extra effort. The Manual is clear, it's just that to use pro tools read more you have to be persistent. It's there, it just is on the boards and hard to get to - (example - when pro tools decides to go into record pause, change the sample rate in the playback and it magically works for awhile) couldn't be simpler, but could be fixed by a more pro active programmer.

Quality
It may be plastic, but hey, the thing looks good to me. Connections seem solid (sort of a newbie here in that the only other unit I've owned was another solid Edirol unit) Nothing that seems flimsy, all seems to work so far . . .

Value
It's worth what I paid for it and M-powered protools, although, be aware that when you buy it, you'll need a DAW and if you go Protools, the DAW SE comes with it, so the prices are comparable between this unit and the higher end, solidly built digidesign units.

Manufacturer Support
No evaluation here, the thing worked even in Windows 7 - with Beta version of Pro Tools for Windows 7. Upgrades/ Windows 7 drivers readily avialable and easy to install. Have not needed tech support.

The Wow Factor
Dude, if I want sex, I'm not looking at an audio interface, even I'm not that perverted :)

Musical Background:
Hobbyist

Musical Style:
Alternative
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