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beginner needs help with setup Audio Interfaces
Old 9th August 2008
Gear interested

Thread Starter
beginner needs help with setup

Hey everyone, Im just getting my hands on some gear to get started and Im having problems with signal routing, and also mic levels. Im using an m-audio fast track ultra 8R with USB connect and right now Im running Cubase LE. My problem is that I have to crank the gain of the mic input and the main output level to almost 100% to get a reasonable volume thru my monitors. I have heard a few people mention that the gain is a bit weak for this particular interface, is this true or am I just being stupid here. Any suggestions would be great.
Old 9th August 2008

hey welcome to gearslutz, man...

you might want to post your particular gear in the actual thread title, like

"Cubase LE / M-Audio Fast Track Issues" HELLLPPPP!!!!"

or something along those lines. it might attract users who know that particular gear better.

just an idea...good luck.

Old 9th August 2008
Gear addict
alyricalmind's Avatar

Fast Track is far from the best interface in its price range. If you can switch it, I suggest you do. I've heard some decent recordings on MobilePre's. Oh, and it might help if you mentioned what mic you're using.
Old 9th August 2008
Lives for gear
brian_delizza's Avatar

I agree with switching it. The fast track ultra (the 8ch one you have) is better than the fast track (1ch), but not by much.

For the price of that (500) you can get something much better.

I don't know how many simultaneous channels of I/O you need but you may want to consider reducing the number of channels and bumping up the quality.

just my .02
Old 9th August 2008
Lives for gear
shanabit's Avatar

Im guessing your using a DYNAMIC mic and NOT a CONDENSOR mic.

Dynamic mics (those that DONT require whats called phantom power coming through the MIC cable) tend to have LOW VOLUME output(Your mic pre doesnt have enough GAIN)

If you run it through a preamp to increase the volume level BEFORE going into your LINE INPUT, youll fix the issue.

I have a Sennheiser E835 Dynamic mic and I have to crank my MOTU 828MKii pre input up way high to get a level. I use it when Im screwing around and dont want to set up my CONDENSOR mic

In a nutshell, DYNAMIC MICS do NOT have enough signal coming out of them to give you a good level. Thats why CONDENSOR mics use a power source coming down the mic cable from a preamp to INCREASE the output of the mic

The goal is to get the MIC level up to what is called LINE level input. Preamps are what help us do this as they can INCREASE the GAIN/Volume level of the mic
Old 10th August 2008
Gear interested

Thread Starter
Thanks for the help guys. I should have mentioned that Im using a Rode NTK condenser which has its own power supply. Im also using a few SM57's and two Audix i5's for dynamics. I went with 8 inputs because Im planning on tracking drums in a few weeks. Right now Im running my software on a PC but i would like to switch it over to my Macbook Pro when it gets here. So I need the interface to be compatible. What are some of the higher quality interfaces?
Old 10th August 2008
The Fast Track is a fine interface to start out with. Keep using it OFTEN and get experience. Unless you're doing classical music, recording really quiet stuff, or using ribbon mics, the pres will be fine most of the time.

Your monitors might be a little week. If you're running DIRECT to the monitors without any processing, keep in mind that turning the gain up reeaal high may put you at risk for clipping.
Old 3rd September 2008
Gear maniac
stingray1122's Avatar

Hey guys, I just wanted to make sure there wasn't any confusion about the differences between our preamps. The new Ultra and Ultra 8R use the same Octane technology preamps as the ProFire 2626 and 610. These compare very favorably against the competitive interfaces in the price range. THe Fast Track USB and Pro use a different preamp design. The new Octane Technology preams have a maximum input level of +8dBu = +5.8dBV at minimum gain and -49.2dBV at maximum gain (given a gain range of 55dB without the 20 dB pad). I've used everything form a 57 to a Sputnik without a problem. As for the audio perfromance, our specs are very good but I always encourage people to listen to them first hand as everyone has a different oppinion.

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