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.
This is probably the worst product I have ever purchased period. The preamps sound fine and the dual channel is a good deal on paper. The problem with this device lies purely in its practical functionality. It simply doesn't operate properly and after a lot of searching every troubleshooting forum I could find it seems the problems don't lie in some operating system or DAW compatibility flaw. Its something with the engineering of the product itself.
In a nutshell:
A)The playback is often distorted terribly. Especially in conjunction with the bundled software. (SIDENOTE: it comes bundled with pro tools SE. DO NOT confuse this with the much more capable pro tools LE.) Now this is the biggest problem and as it cannot be fixed usually, in my book this compromises everything. What are you gonna do with a randomly distorting interface.
In fact I'm not even going to go into the other issues. If I haven't convinced you then best of luck with this hell spawn of an interface.
I am not new to this game. I had very good equipment but had to sell it. I bought this just to get some demos down. A band-aid to help me out until I could finance a rebuild. I'm also not some nit picky hater or anything. I really wanted this product to work out but six months later... I give up and hope to save some other poor chap. Cheers.
I bought this about 5 years ago from a Music shop. From day one it would randomly just cut right out. And this was with 3 different computers. I updated drivers etc. I hate the M audio support site. It's makes you jump through hoops?? Anyhow It worked better if I used a wall wart for power. But still would just quit for no reason. You would have to re boot it. It was useless for live recording because of this so I bought a Tascam us1641.
The other issue was a background hiss that was always there. Thankfully I never had to use the Pre amps and I used my 01V digital mixer via the SPDIF in/out. MIDI works fine too so I used it for a few years and it now sits in a box of other discarded equipment.
Basiclly I found it to be cheaply made. All the connections are unsecured and loose fitting and the plastic box. Compared to the Tascam which is steel and the connectors are a lot more secured. I know they are popular and cheap, but I guess I got a dud.