M-Audio Fast Track Help

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by Mitchell Royce, Dec 25, 2005.

  1. Well, I found a M-Audio Fast Track USB soundcard under the christmas tree yesterday :hyper: . So far I've used my regular laptop soundcard to record with, with less than desirable results(lets put it this way: The thing could not handle bass frequencies at all and I had to use a distortion pedal to control input volume). I've set up everything today and just started messing around with it. Soundwise it's a huge improvement, I can now hear the lows and highs and everything is much more balanced. I've got two problems though.

    1) I can only seem to record onto the right channel. I use the 1/8'' input so I'm assuming this is because I don't have a stereo cable hooked up to it. I'm just not sure though and I would really like to record onto both channels, for panning reasons. How can I do this? It seems like the left channel is reserved for mic while the right is for the instrument input.

    2)I just cannot get enough volume while recording. At best I've gotten -10 dB out of it when record ´the bass without any effects. Sure, I can compensate for this but I'd really like a hotter signal and more control over the recording volume.

    I'm thinking I need a mixer, so I can use the XLR input on the M-Audio, which does have an input gain control, so I have more control over the input volume and to record in stereo. Is this a right assumption? I'm still quite new to recording so any pointers on how to get the most out of my gear would be much appreciated.
  2. hyperlitem

    hyperlitem Guest

    Jul 25, 2001
    Indianapolis, IN
    i havent ever messed with that card but your bass signal is mono, theres no way to make it stereo while recording. You could go and copy the whole track then pan each track to the left and the right. MY guess would be that it is a pretty simple soundcard so your not gonna get like crazy options. Even when using pro tools you cannot turn a single bass signal into stereo until after it is recorded. Im not sure this answers your problem, pm me and maybe i can work you through it.
  3. Thanks. You're right, that makes sense. Thing is, I've got a Ric which is a stereo bass and I was always looking forward to the possibilities of manipulating each pickup individually.
  4. hyperlitem

    hyperlitem Guest

    Jul 25, 2001
    Indianapolis, IN
    i think your right, theoretically u could record each pickup seperately, if you had more than one instrument input. Maby try sending one pickup into the instrument in, and connect a direct box to the other out then input that in the mic input. Again im not sure about how that card works so maybe you can only record one input at a time. Your right about the mixer though thatd let u blend the pickups.
  5. De Teng

    De Teng

    Oct 27, 2003
    Utrecht, Holland
    Perhaps you're dealing with your bass, which seems to have low output?

    I know that e.g. Bartolini picups have low output (or single coils instead of humbuckers) so that could be an issue too.

    It is maybe wise to use a compressor before the Fasttrack. It is capable of turning up you're gain (input) and have it controlled too, for the M-Audio hasn't got a compressor built-in.

    Tomorrow I'll pick-up a secondhand one, I'll post my findings when I recorded something ok?
  6. De Teng

    De Teng

    Oct 27, 2003
    Utrecht, Holland
    Yeah.. I know it now!

    Without having a preamp to the Fasttrack connected (so: instrument > preamp > Fasttrack) you must use one of the simulators they provide. Thus choosing a basic track only, connect the preamp (my situation: the preamp of the T-Max head with the DI out to the XLR input) to the fasttrack and start playing.

    Just direct plugging gives too less input to have any input signal at all (I experienced this yesterday -when all my troubles seemed far away. ;)) so you must turn up the gain.. by using the preinstalled software.

    Now I'm having problems with my secondhand one, it seems that it it is really microphonical at the moment.. I'm able to talk to the box and just hearing myself in the direct monitoring mode through the headphones. Could you test that with yours? Then we'll be able to help eachother isn't it? ;)

    Good luck!
  7. Hey Mitchell Royce,

    I was having the same problem as you. I don't have a Ric, but I had my bass modded so it would have a Mono out for each pick up, and I wanted to record both outputs at the same time using the M-Audio Fast Track USB.

    Maybe I should've checked how old this thread was to see how relevant this reply might be, but I've managed to figure it out:

    The Mic input is a Mono channel that defaults to the LEFT Channel; the Guitar/Line input is a Mono Channel that default to the RIGHT Channel. You can use both channels at the same time, provided you have the right cables, to record the outputs simultaneously. Just make sure you have a Mic preamp for each pickup you record. Therefore:

    Bass Output 1 --> Pre-Amp 1 --> (XLR) Mic Input (LEFT Channel)
    Bass Output 2 --> Pre-Amp 2 --> (1/4) Guitar Input (RIGHT Channel)