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Fasttrack 2 review

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M Audio sells two versions of this, with roughly equal specifications for the home recording crowd. I've used an mbox2 for a while, and my dad wanted this for a portable setup. The Fastrack, or Fastrack 2 is a revised model with a few design improvements - such as moving all the outputs to the front, moving the dials for volume to the back and a few others, and the original revision is sold a little cheaper as the "Protools Recording studio". My review is primarily about the revised version, though I'll touch on the cheaper varient as i go along.


While its small and plastic, it has the air of being fairly well made, though lacking the rather impressive heft of its older cousin. Inputwise, you have one XLR input, and one 1/4 inch input jack - on the original version you have a selection button to choose between guitar and line in. On the revised version, both of these and the headphone jack are in front, with RCA audio output ports, and a USB port behind - on the original, the headphone jack is the only jack in front - since this space is taken up by dials.


Both of them have 3 dials, one for the guitar input, one for the mic and one for the output volume. On the new revision these are HUGE dials on top, and on the old one, rather conventional pen capish looking ones.


Now the nice part - while you had to look for drivers for the mbox2, drivers are provided on a seperate cd, and the fastrack works as both a directsound device on XP, and ASIO- it also has WDM support. This means you can use this as a fairly nice external soundcard, without jumping too many hoops, or set this up as an ASIO device on foobar for more awesome


EDIT: it kinda works with linux, but dosen't sound as good as foobar2k/asio on windows. I remember some mention of it working as a 'normal' usb external device and the drivers enable additional features in the other models, so maybe there's some secret sauce in the windows drivers...


The specifications on the website claim that its got a 24 bit DAC - Foobar2000 believes its 32 bit for some reason. Sound quality is excellent, though i haven't ABed this with the mbox2 since it've been playing with this, and logistical issues.


Softwarewise, the usual suspects - maudio protools essentials, (which i haven't installed, i got LE and it works with this) and a driver cd. This will work with any ASIO capable mixing/editing app


I got my mbox2 for about 300-400 dollars. This family? The RRP for the original revision (as part of the protools recording studio) is 99USD. The newer revision i have is about 150 USD . (the local distributor only had the new revision, for about 195 SGD) It works a treat with foobar or any other ASIO device, and works like a proper sound card, which is useful especially on laptops. It also manages to power my Audiotechnica M50s with a whole load of power to spare.


Sadly enough, as far as listening is concerned, i'll be retireing my mbox2 for music listening. (recordingwise, i need the extra inputs), since this fits in my tiny desk better ;p,

This is the version i have and this is the older revision



the guide for the mbox2 and foobar2000 will work on this, and it really sounds better than using the DS option to me- then again, this means i can use this with other apps that don't support ASIO.

Edited by Faileas

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