M-Audio Fast Track Pro by JosiahMann
I got the Fast Track Pro at Guitar Center five years ago as my first piece of recording equipment. Now that I know a little bit more about audio, I'm glad that I went with this and think the price to performance ratio is great(especially because this came bundled with Pro Tools M-Powered).
The preamps are not bad quality and it has balanced inputs and outputs. I did have some trouble with the drivers when I first got it but the updated drivers on the website resolved that. You really do have to follow the instructions with installation though or you're asking for clicks and pops all the time.
I'm now running my mic signal through a better preamp and there's a noticable difference, but again just as an interface this is a pretty solid piece of equipment.
24-bit/96kHz audio interface with dual mic/instrument preamps
balanced/unbalanced analog I/O
S/PDIF coaxial; MIDI I/O
¼” headphone output with level control and A/B source switch
Mac and PC compatible; class compliant with Mac OS X 10.3.9 and higher
The Fast Track Pro delivers all the mobile recording flexibility of the Fast Track USB, plus even more professional features. You get 2 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 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. USB connection and bus power along with class compliancy for Mac OS X* make it a breeze to set up.