M-Audio Ships Fast Track Ultra 8R
Rack-mountable 8 x 8 USB 2.0 interface brings full-featured studio solution to Fast Track product family
M-Audio, a leading provider of creative tools for musicians and a part of Avid Technology, Inc. (Nasdaq: AVID), today announced availability of the rack-mountable Fast Track® Ultra 8R 8 x 8 audio MIDI interface, which follows the release of the mobile Fast Track Ultra interface. The Fast Track Ultra 8R interface features high-speed USB 2.0 connectivity, MX Core™ DSP mixer, and eight preamps with award-winning Octane™ technology—introducing a comprehensive studio solution to the acclaimed Fast Track product family.
Designed for demanding multi-track projects, the Fast Track Ultra 8R interface features a rugged 1U rack-mountable metal chassis. Like the FireWire serial (IEEE 1394) bus, high-speed USB 2.0 technology delivers the bandwidth for advanced performance with 24-bit/96kHz audio resolution throughout the recording and monitoring process. The increased data speed lets users enjoy exceptional fidelity on all of the inputs and outputs simultaneously. USB 2.0 is also ubiquitous on all current PC and Mac® computers.
The Fast Track Ultra 8R interface features eight 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 miking drum kits and complete ensembles. 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. In addition, all eight inputs accept line-level signals. Fast Track Ultra 8R also provides two front-panel ¼” instrument inputs.
Like the Fast Track Ultra, the Fast Track Ultra 8R interface incorporates M-Audio’s 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, and 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 8R interface provides eight channels of analog inputs and outputs plus 2-channel digital S/PDIF for input flexibility. The interface also features two dedicated analog inserts on the first two channels, allowing users to insert outboard processing before A/D conversion. Easy connection via USB 2.0 delivers both audio and MIDI communication with a computer. The Fast Track Ultra 8R interface is compatible with most major audio software and seamlessly integrates into any studio setup.
“The Fast Track Ultra is bringing innovative new functionality to users who record in personal studios or on the go,” said Adam Castillo, M-Audio’s marketing director. “The Fast Track Ultra 8R builds on this power and functionality with four additional preamps in a rack-mountable metal chassis, making it ideal for demanding projects. By adding the Fast Track Ultra 8R to the line, M-Audio delivers a Fast Track solution for every recordist, from the professional producer to the entry-level singer/songwriter.”
The Fast Track Ultra 8R is currently shipping and carries an MSRP of £399 (the desktop version Fast Track Ultra is also available at £279).