Feeds
45%
M-Audio Pro Tools Recording Studio

M-Audio Pro Tools Recording Studio

Plug 'n' play, the muso way

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Business security measures using SSL

Given that music software defaults will typically set a new track to input channel one, plumb in a microphone and you’re away. Well, nearly. Dynamic mics are fine, but more expensive condenser mics require phantom power (+48V) and the FastTrack doesn’t have that, so forget about using any fancy mics. You can use both mic and guitar channels at the same time on separate tracks. I set it up to record a direct feed to the guitar input from a built-in pickup on an acoustic guitar while simultaneously capturing the natural sound with the mic.

M-Audio Pro Tools Recording Studio

Pro Tools edit window, media browser and mixer
Click for a larger image

Even though the guitar input doesn’t have a level control, it is set with sufficient gain to work fine with most pickups. I tested it out with an acoustic guitar fitted with a Schaller Oyster piezo pickup and an electric guitar with Mighty Mite humbuckers. Without the high impedance input, the piezo would have sounded very thin and brittle, but instead was warm and full-bodied. Likewise, the electric also had a much punchier sound. A word to the wise though, switching between guitar and line modes delivers an almighty thump to the output. This sort of behaviour immediately spells, ‘cheap and nasty’.

Returning to the twin track approach, the direct input was captured with no complaints, but the mic recording seemed to fizz a bit, with irregular buzzing reminiscent of mobile phone interference. Turning the mic level up, naturally, increased how noticeable this was. The mic used was an Audix OM7, designed for live vocals and very well screened – fine for test purposes considering I couldn’t use a condenser mic. Wi-Fi was off, cables were checked, replaced, even computers and geographic location were changed, but the outcome was the same – erratic noise. Check it out on this untreated, uncompressed 24-bit recording here.

So, if ballads aren’t your thing and you’re only ever going to record a thrash metal, then this might not be an issue, but unplug the mic and things get worse. The mic input channel suddenly hums like a fridge-freezer showroom. The noise is quite alarming but instantly curtailed by turning the mic input level all the way down – easy.

But an unused input really shouldn’t be humming away so loudly. More to the point, if you’re using the guitar/line input and have the mix control set for input, you’ll hear all this humming unless you remember to keep the mic level turned down completely. It’s disturbing, distracting and just not right.

M-Audio Pro Tools Recording Studio

The Structure plug-in features two edit pages to shape your sounds

Another thing that isn’t right is the software. Earlier on I mentioned that you can only hear the input signal treated with effects during recording. I lied, although this is the case with this watered-down version of Pro Tools. Use the FastTrack interface with other recording software that allows input monitoring during playback – which is just about all of them – then you can play along to a backing track with effects, which is great for working out ideas without getting bogged down by unnecessary recording.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Next page: Verdict

More from The Register

next story
Oi, Tim Cook. Apple Watch. I DARE you to tell me, IN PERSON, that it's secure
State attorney demands Apple CEO bows the knee to him
4K-ing excellent TV is on its way ... in its own sweet time, natch
For decades Hollywood actually binned its 4K files. Doh!
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
DARPA-backed jetpack prototype built to make soldiers run faster
4 Minute Mile project hatched to speed up tired troops
Hey, Mac fanbois. HGST wants you drooling over its HUGE desktop RACK
What vast digital media repository could possibly need 64 TERABYTES?
Monitors monitor's monitoring finds touch screens have 0.4% market share
Not four. Point four. Count yer booty again, Microsoft
Apple's Watch is basically electric perfume
It isn't just me-too Apple that's lost its lustre: Gadget mania is over
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.