M-Audio Raises Home Studio Audio Interface Standards With Latest M-Track USB-C Series

February 2 2016, 03:10

During NAMM 2016, M-Audio (now part of inMusic Brands), introduced a family of five audio interfaces, aiming to bring computer-based recording to a whole new level, by combining the highest quality with simple and intuitive operation. These affordable desktop devices all support 24-bit / 192kHz recording and already use new USB-C High Speed Audio interfaces. The top model, M-Track 1212, even supports 32-bit resolution audio.

At the 2016 NAMM show, M-Audio announced the introduction of the latest versions of their renowned M-Track audio recording/monitoring interfaces. The new M-Track family includes five desktop models, all with clever features and modern industrial design with large central controls for simple, ergonomic operation. The first four models have full 24-bit studio-quality audio performance, along with a pro-grade rugged all-metal chassis, high-headroom pre-amps and class-leading audio performance on the inputs. The top model — the M-Track 1212 12-in/12 Out USB-C High Speed Audio Interface — boasts 32-bit 192kHz (32-bit/192kHz PCM) support, significantly raising the performance bar for elite recording audio interfaces.

Even though the series uses the new USB-C type connectors (which will be the standard very quickly), the company doesn’t reveal exactly what USB specification it has adopted (3.0, 3.1?). The use of the designation High Speed implies this is still the standard 480 Mbit/s interface and not yet SuperSpeed - 5 Gbit/s or SuperSpeed+ 10Gbit/s.

The series starts with the simple M-Track Hub, a USB Monitoring Interface with a built-in 3-port hub, offering 24-bit resolution on playback, two balanced 1/4” main outputs with dedicated large metal level control and headphone out with independent level control. The M-Track Hub is able to power up to three separate USB MIDI devices and is the only model in the series to still feature existing USB Type A standard connectors.

The next one in the series is the M-Track Solo, already a 24/192 USB-C High Speed 2x2 professional recording and monitoring audio interface. Intended for solo artists, the unit features a dedicated XLR/TRS combo input and one dedicated instrument input plus headphone out with independent level control, leveraging all the advantages of a USB-C high-speed audio interface (compatible w/USB-A) with zero-latency monitoring with
USB/Direct Balance control. To make it an appealing proposition,  M-Audio bundles the AIR Creative Collection FX software (with 20 FX AU/VST plugins), Ableton Live Lite, AIR Strike, AIR Xpand!2 and AIR Mini Grand.

The third new interface is the M-Track 22, also a 24bit/192kHz USB-C High Speed 2x2 audio interface with the ability to switch between two XLR/TRS combo inputs or two instrument inputs on the fly, with auto sensing front and real panel jacks. This unit also adds 5-pin MIDI input/output for connecting all external MIDI instruments and controllers and allows zero-latency monitoring with USB/Direct Balance control. The included software is the same bundle as the M-Track Solo.

Already targeting the production needs in project studios, the new M-Audio M-Track 84 is a 24bit/192kHz USB-C High Speed 8x4 audio interface with four XLR/TRS combo inputs, two instrument inputs with dedicated pre-amps for maximum recording
control, two headphone outputs with independent source select switches (1/2 or 3/4) and level controls, supporting up to two recording musicians with two separate mixes. It features the same software bundle.

Finally, the new flagship M-Track 1212 12-in/12 Out USB-C High Speed audio interface supports up to 32-bit 192kHz audio (of course you can still use it in 24-bit or even 16-bit modes) and allows switching between two XLR/TRS combo inputs or two instrument inputs on the fly, as well as supporting full multitrack recording sessions using two DB25 8-channel TRS connectors for connecting 8 line-level inputs and outputs. The unit features a control Panel application to allow creating mix groups, and routing sub mixes and comes also with the AIR Creative Collection FX plugins, Ableton Live Lite, AIR Strike, AIR Xpand!2 and AIR Mini Grand virtual instruments.

“We are extremely enthusiastic about these latest M-Track audio interfaces,” said J.C. Sutherland, M-Audio Product Manager. “Their full-featured specifications and no-compromise performance guarantees that musicians and recording engineers of every level will enjoy immediate, impressive results that bring a new dimension of sophistication and depth to their productions.”

U.S. Retail Pricing will be as follows:
M-Track Hub $69
M-Track Solo $99
M-Track 22 $149
M-Track 84 $299
M-Track 1212 $399
They will all be available during the 2nd Quarter of 2016.
m-audio.com | inmusicbrands.com
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