Review: M-Audio M-Track Eight

An 8-in, 8-out audio interface for under $400? M-Audio's new M-Track Eight comes bundled with Cubase LE, has XLR combos for all channels with Octane preamps. But does it make the grade? We find out.  

The M-Audio M-Track Eight is a quick and easy way to get eight channels of audio both in and out of your DAW. Its simplicity in design will either make you smile or cringe, depending on what you're looking for. I spent some time with it and here's what I found'

Matt Vanacoro is one of New York's premier musicans. Matt has collaborated as a keyboardist in studio and on stage with artists such as Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater), Mark Wood (Trans-Siberian Orchestra), Mark Rivera (Billy Joel Band), Aaron Carter, Amy Regan, Jay Azzolina, Marcus Ratzenboeck (Tantric), KeKe Palmer, C-Note, Jordan Knig... Read More


I'm guessign Matt must have reviewed this using a Mac, as one of its biggest flaws is that it *does* require drivers on Windows, and even worse, the drivers are buggy, which makes it a disaster in professional settings.

This is a potentially excellent product spoiled, as are several of M-Audio's products, by buggy Windows drivers. Just look at M-Audio's own support forum or search online for M-audio Drivers Crash to see the scale of the problem.

It's very clear that M-Audio really needs to get its act together and hire driver experts to resolve the niggles before what should be trivial issues drag the company's reputation down the pan.

The 'tech support' staff really don't help - they just try to point the finger at anything else they can think of other than an obvious problem with M-Audio drivers.

Whatever the root cause, if drivers installed on otherwise smooth running machines from a wide range of users and situations cause them to fall over repeatedly and frequently, then the drivers are not fit for purpose.

Writing reliable drivers is perhaps one of the toughest software jobs to do, but that is what we are paying good money for, not a pile of bundled software tat that we could get as a cheap add-on if we really wanted it.

Good software drivers cope with real situations on real machines, day-in day-out. Sadly for those of us who have bought into the promise of their hardware, M-Audio's current drivers for the M-Track Eight do not do this.

The unit also gets very hot in use (and takes a lot more power than ought to be necessary). The line inputs go into clipping at rather low levels for 'professional' hardware.

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