M-Audio has taken its time in exerting itself since breaking up with Avid in 2012 and finding a new home with inMusic. It looks likes 2016 could be their year, with a number of interesting releases at NAMM. Among them are a range of stylish looking, desktop format audio interfaces with the obligatory big knob front and centre. I always feel that this console style of interface is a cause for celebration having spent many years dealing with thin rack interfaces with fiddly knobs and no personality – these give you something to get your fingers on. It’s a family of five models that grow in size and functionality. The first four share the same 24-bit studio quality, the top model boasts 32-bit, and they are all built with the same pro-grade metal casing and clear, no-nonsense layout. They look great.
Let’s walk you through the models:
M-Track Hub: A stereo monitoring interface, which means it only has outputs, with a headphone output and a 3 port USB hub, which is unexpected but welcome and is the sort of thing every USB audio interface should have, but sadly they don’t. RRP 39.99 GBP.
M-Track Solo: A 2 in/out interface with a dedicated mic and instrument input and headphone output. RRP 84.99 GBP.
M-Track 22: This is 2 in/out again but with two mic and two instrument inputs and a very welcome MIDI interface in and out. RRP 99.99 GBP.
M-Track 84: 4 mic inputs, 2 instrument inputs with dedicated preamps, 4 outputs and 2 independent headphone outputs. RRP 209.99 GBP
M-Track 1212: 2 mic and 2 instrument inputs alongside a DB25 8 channel TRS connection for connection 8 line level inputs and outputs. This is the 32-bit model. RRP 279.99 GBP.
All of them (except the hub) come with a cool bundle of AIR software including the Creative Collection, Strike, Xpand!2 and the Mini Grand. Add in the Lite version of Ableton Live and you’re good to go.
These are specified as USB-C interfaces with USB-A compatibility so it will be interesting to see what sort of cable comes with the device and what sort of latency we can expect. Will the performance be different over USB-C than USB-A? We’ll have to wait and see. They do look great, sporting stylish knobs and buttons, and gorgeous LED meters – welcome back, M-Audio.
More information: http://www.m-audio.com