M-Audio Fast Track With Pro Tools M-Powered EssentailPerhaps the most complete entry-level studio package we’ve seen.

FOR: Home and mobile recording. Fast Track has a sexy new look, with top-mounted knobs, rounded edges and monitor switching boiled down to a single button. Speaking of monitoring, the headphone output is louder than in previous builds, making it less of a hassle to find a balance between mic and instrument when recording simultaneously. The bundled Pro Tools M-Powered Essential software offers 16 tracks, MIDI sequencing, professional plug-ins and over 3GB of loops.

NOT FOR: Experienced Pro Tools users. Essential is streamlined for beginners and doesn’t offer the keyboard shortcuts that speed up editing.

–Dave Jones


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