M-Audio Fast Track Pro 4x4 Mobile USB Audio/MIDI Interface with Preamps

General Information

The Fast Track Pro delivers all the mobile recording flexibility of the Fast Track, plus even more professional features. You get two front-panel mic/line inputs complete with phantom power for condenser microphones, inserts for outboard effects, balanced and unbalanced analog outputs, S/PDIF digital I/O, MIDI I/O, and more. Fast Track Pro also features near zero-latency direct hardware monitoring and low-latency ASIO software monitoring, plus an headphone A/B source switch and dual output pairs for DJ-style cueing. Fast Track Pro is compatible with most popular PC and Mac music software.

Features Include:

* 24-bit/96kHz audio interface
* 2 front panel mic/instrument preamp inputs (Neutrik XLR / 1/4'' TRS Combi) with: gain controls, signal/peak lights; pads for each input; insert jack (1/4" TRS) for outboard processors
* 2 balanced outputs (1/4" TRS)
* 4 unbalanced outputs (RCA)
* S/PDIF digital I/O with w/ 2-channel PCM
* S/PDIF out also supports pass-through of AC-3/DTS surround-encoded content
* 1 x 1 MIDI I/O with activity LEDs * Headphone output (1/4? TRS) with level control
* Headphone A/B source switch for DJ-style cueing
* Input/playback mix control for hardware direct monitoring
* Mono switch for input/playback direct monitoring
* Master output level control
* Near zero-latency hardware direct monitoring
* Low-latency ASIO software monitoring
* USB connection to computer
* Powered via USB or optional AC power adapter
* Kensington lock port

Latest reviews


Pros: Phantom power, two stereo outputs, balanced, mix button, separate speaker/headphone amp volume, A/B source button for headphones
Cons: ASIO drivers hate everything
Review equipment: AKG K272 HD, Sony XB-500, Sennheiser CX-300 II and Behringer B3031A studio monitors. Compared with FiiO E7 and Realtek ALC892 integrated.

I gave it the full score, because I got it for $120, yet it includes diverse inputs, balanced 1/2 outputs, switchable headphone output.. Basically for me, every feature in the product description is worth a few pennies.

Audio Quality
Very little hiss turned all the way up with Sennheiser CX-300 and Sony EX-10LP. Might not want to use with really sensitive IEM, not sure. You're better off hooking a near-zero output impedance headphone amplifier into it from the rear if you fancy IEM but also like the "pro" connectivity of this interface. With AKG K272 HD and Sony XB-500 there are no complaints, sounds very much like the FiiO E7 on the neutral EQ setting. There is no audible distortion driving both headphones at maximum volume. That being said, there is no big "headroom", the AKG K272 HD get uncomfortably loud, but more inefficient headphones will not go beyond moderately loud. I personally listen at very modest volumes, so this interface will do great, and sounds good!
The balanced connection is a lifesaver. FiiO E7 and the Realtek both were very difficult in lowest volume levels with my Behringer B3031A, because there was always audible chirps that only got worse and worse with increasing CPU and GPU load. Night-time listening was a no-no, now there's no interference at all.

It's plastic, but seems durable and rigid. The potentiometers don't rustle at all, I can't hear channel imbalance, and connectors seem solid. Being plastic, it doesn't do a good job rejecting RFI, so keep your cellphone a foots distance away from it (why would you have a cellphone hugging your audio equipment anyway?)

I like the blue and the surface isgood looking. What's beneath the surface, I do not know, and don't currently have means to measure it's performance.


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