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M-Audio Fast Track Phantom Power

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by Christopher Long, Jul 6, 2015.

  1. Christopher Long

    Christopher Long Active Member

    So I have the interface as titled. It looks like this:

    There's a switch in the back that says 48v phantom power. When I switch it on, the microphone does work. Records like crap, though. It's like recording through a cloud.

    My question is, does it have phantom power? My mic does then on when the switch is switched on.

    I see a lot of posts saying that it does not have phantom power unless you have the Fast Track Pro. So what is it?

    I believe the one I had says Fast Track 2 although I'm not home so I can't check.
  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    The Fast Track 2 is supposed to have 48V phantom power, but the M-Audio website seems to deny they ever made such a product.

    What make and model of microphone are you using?
  3. Christopher Long

    Christopher Long Active Member

    I'm using a Behringer C-1 condenser
  4. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    If the switch is on and the mic works, ( the specs for the C1 shows a light that comes on if it's receiving PP) then it probably does have phantom power... but as to the unit's gain, I don't know. It may not be sufficient enough to get the mic up to optimal levels. How high do you have the gain set? The mic is pretty cheap, Chinese made, have you tried the mic through another preamp to see if it may be the mic that is faulty? Accordingly, have you tried another mic through the M-Audio? Have you tried another mic cable?

    Is there a pad switch on the M-Audio? If so, have you checked to make sure it isn't engaged?
  5. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Are you talking/singing into the right part of the microphone? It's a side-address cardioid pattern unit, and only the side marked with a red dot is sensitive to sounds.
  6. Christopher Long

    Christopher Long Active Member

    I'm going to buy another mic and see how it goes. The higher I set the gain, the more white noise I hear. It can get really loud with the gain however.

    Yes I use the lit side.
  7. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    Altought the C1 isn't a great mic, many are able to record correctly with it. I'm doubting the preamp more than the mic. Unless you got a defective one.
    You could bring your mic to a store and try it there.. Just say you want to buy another audio interface and want to hear it with your mic...

    The noise you hear comes with the quality of the preamp and a bit of the mic too...
  8. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    there are a few possibilities...

    either the mic is defective - and you'll know if this is true or not once you try it through another device - even a cheap, basic mixer would help to determine this..

    Or, the preamp/interface has a problem - one could be that it is defective, and it's also possible that the pre doesn't supply enough gain to bring the mic up to an optimal level ( although I'd be surprised if this was the case, because condensers don't require all that much gain to work, unless the preamp itself was actually defective) Although, condensers do require a constant voltage to power the mic - this is the phantom power we've discussed, and if this is defective, it may be sending enough voltage to illuminate the indicator light, but not enough to actually power the mic.

    Before I purchased another mic, I'd first try the C1 through another pre/interface, or even connect it to a small mixer ( that has phantom power). If it works in either of these cases, then the M-Audio is defective. If the mic is still giving you the same problem, then it's the mic.

    I'm not saying that you shouldn't get a better mic at some point, but for right now, to diagnose the problem, I'd go the easiest route ( see above) first... but that's just me.

    If you are determined to buy another mic, and have a particular mic and store in mind, make sure you check out that store's return policy for microphones... if it turns out that the M-Audio is the problem and you need to buy another pre/interface, unless you can afford to purchase both a new mic and pre, you'll want to be able to return the mic to exchange it for another pre/interface.

    IMHO of course.

    Good luck.

  9. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    A few more things .. I'm just throwing these out there...

    Have you gone to the M-Audio site and made sure that you have the most current drivers installed for the interface?

    I don't think this is the real problem, in that if the drivers were glitchy, you'd likely not hear anything at all... but, stranger things have happened.

    Also, assuming you are monitoring through headphones connected to the headphone jack of the interface, is the problem you are hearing also obvious on the input to your DAW program?

    If you speak into the mic, and have it routed correctly to a track in your DAW that is recording... are the rec/input meters on the DAW track also showing very low levels...? ... Or are the levels healthy?

    Can you still hear the problem when you play that track back through your monitors?

    I'm trying to narrow down the possibilities - to see if maybe the headphone jack/amp on the interface is bad, or maybe even if your headphones may be defective...
  10. Christopher Long

    Christopher Long Active Member

    I'd like to thank you for all of your help. I should've took your advice from the start and went with other options in the price range that you suggested but of course, with the internet and all I went with the M-Audio Fast Track 2. It sounded great with acoustic guitars on YouTube so I got it. What a mistake.

    Blue screens, driver nightmares, and horrible sound on microphone gain.

    I now have the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2. It's brand new in the box and I havent touched it yet. I have faith in it, however. Hopefully I can report back with great results.
    I see that you recommended the 2i4. I got it wrong again but I hope the 2i2 does well.

    kmetal likes this.
  11. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    There isn't much difference between those two models; the 2i2 doesn't have MIDI while the 2i4 does, and the 2i4 has a couple extra outputs; but other than that, both share the exact same preamps and converters, both have Phantom Power, and both offer the same specs in terms of gain and noise.

    Thanks for giving us an update, we do appreciate it when people who come here for help get back to us and let us know what is happening. :)

    kmetal likes this.

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