M-Audio Ships Fast Track Ultra Audio Interface

M-Audio USB Audio Interface

USB audio interfaces keep getting cheaper and more powerful.

M-Audio is now shipping the Fast Track Ultra audio interface. The 8 x 8 audio interface with MIDI features high-speed USB 2.0 connectivity, MX Core DSP mixer and four preamps, making it one of M-Audio’s most powerful interfaces to date.

The Fast Track Ultra carries an MSRP of US $449.95.


Designed for mobile and desktop production, the compact Fast Track Ultra interface utilizes high-speed USB 2.0 technology for advanced performance. Like the Apple FireWire serial bus, USB 2.0 delivers the bandwidth for 24-bit/96kHz audio resolution throughout the recording and monitoring process. The increased data speed lets users enjoy exceptional fidelity on all inputs and outputs simultaneously. USB 2.0 is also ubiquitous on all current PC and Mac computers.

The Fast Track Ultra introduces M-Audio’s brand-new MX Core DSP technology. The robust MX Core mixer employs an array of eight individual DSP cores to deliver near-zero latency, effects and a matrix for sophisticated channel routing options—accessible via an intuitive control panel that utilizes a separate mixer for each pair of outputs. MX Core technology enables users to apply reverb while tracking vocals to get more out of an artist’s performance, or take advantage of the two independent headphone outputs to create separate monitor mixes when recording multiple musicians—all without burdening the computer. The mixer provides for up to a 16 x 8 configuration, allowing users to connect microphones, synths and other outboard gear to any of the interface’s hardware inputs, then mix them with the eight audio streams coming from the computer without taxing the CPU.

The Fast Track Ultra features four preamps with multi-award winning M-Audio Octane technology, creating a premium front end that delivers exceptional audio clarity. Users get professional low-noise, high-gain preamplification with enough channels for a variety of miking applications. Features include +48V phantom power for condenser mics, signal/peak LED indicator lights and a pull-out gain knob that activates a 20dB pad for recording at high volumes. The first two inputs also accept instrument-level signals.

The Fast Track Ultra provides a complete recording solution, with six channels of analog inputs and outputs plus 2-channel digital S/PDIF I/O. Unlike most USB interfaces, the unit features two dedicated inserts on the first two channels, facilitating the insertion of outboard processing before A/D conversion. Easy connection via a single USB 2.0 cable delivers audio/MIDI communication with a computer, as well as bus power*. Compatibility with most audio software means seamless integration into any studio setup.

*USB bus power enables analog channels 1 and 2, S/PDIF I/O, and headphone output 1; included power supply required for full 8 x 8 operation.

6 thoughts on “M-Audio Ships Fast Track Ultra Audio Interface

  1. If you’re serious about computer audio, get a firewire-based interface instead. The USB audio spec makes it very difficult for hardware developers to truly provide high-quality, consistent audio. You can google for phrases like “usb audio spec” and “usb audio problems” to learn more.

  2. Seriously, I don’t care how difficult it is to provide good USB audio hardware. To tell you the truth, I think it’s lazy to say that you shouldn’t want something because it’s difficult.

    problems are things to be overcome, not insurmountable obstacles. I kinda want one. 8×8 through USB2 is exactly what I happen to need. I’m just waiting for them to put the manual on the website so I can really dig into it before I make a decision.

  3. USB 2.0 is faster than firewire PERIOD. If you are serious about your music get a decent sound card with 24 bit 192 khz.. Then get good converters. RME has the best converters for the price BUT if your pockets run deep then go Apogee.

  4. What product, “…does the same stuff…” at half the price?
    I like the idea of a 1/2 space unit that will record 2 live mics and 4 channels off the board for $350. I’d love to get more channels or pay less. Is there another product or is mr. audio clueless?

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