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View Full Version : M-Audio Fast Track Pro - Clipping/Distored with GarageBand




CaptainHighTop
Jul 10, 2011, 07:12 AM
Hi,

Are there any GarageBand users who are using the M-Audio Fast Track Pro? If so, I could use some help.

I just received my iMac and my M-Audio Fast Track Pro (USB Audio Interface). When I try and play bass or guitar through the FTP it clips really bad. I've found a lot of threads on the internet saying they have the same issue but I have not found a solution yet.

Q: my iMac has Mac OS X 10.6.8 but the latest drivers from M-Audio for the FTP is 10.6.7. Could this be the issue? I keep reading that M-Audio's weak link is their lack of driver updates.

Q: could the clipping come from placing the audio interface too close to the monitor? The USB cable is really short and one post I read said not to have it sitting under the monitor.

Q: when I use GarageBand and I create a track with a drum loop, I can adjust the level (the one on the right at the bottom - not talking about the master) and I can also use the Automatic Level Check. But if I turn on the FTP, those two level features grey out and I can't use them. I don't know why that happens and I'm wondering if it could be a clue to the clipping/distortion.

Q: the FTP has a "Mix" knob. All the way to the left and you only hear the input device (guitar, bass, etc...). All the way to the right and you only hear what is coming out of the DAW (drum tracks, etc...). Straight up the middle and you get a mix of them both. If I set this Mix knob all the way to the left I do not get any clipping and my guitar and bass sound great. But as soon as I move it towards the middle so I can hear the drum track while I play, the clipping kicks in really bad.

I spent at least 4 hours last night trying to figure this out and I'm really frustrated. There's nothing worse than getting new, awesome gear (first time I've ever owned a Mac) and not be able to use it (GarageBand).

Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!



CaptainHighTop
Jul 10, 2011, 07:22 AM
Oh yeah, I also read where someone was suggesting it could be interference with Bluetooth and they suggested you turn off all BT connections. Well I can't. I need my wireless keyboard and mouse to work. Any thoughts on this?

As I mentioned above, when I turn the Mix on the FTP all the way to the left my guitar and bass sound great, no clipping. So that sort of tells me that all of these things like Bluetooth, fluorescent lighting, location of the FTP box in relation to the monitor, etc... is not the issue.

Just trying to narrow it down. I really have to figure this out.

Thanks!

CaptainHighTop
Jul 10, 2011, 09:14 AM
Regarding the drivers....

The driver page on M-Audio's site lists the latest Mac OS driver as Mac OS 10.6.7 64 bit (and my system is running: Mac OS X 10.6.8), when I actually try to pull that driver down, all it offers is FastTrackPro_OSX_1.7-2v2.dmg. And it lists this driver for all versions from Mac OS 10.5.8 up to 10.6.7.

Just wondering if it could be a driver issue.

jackerin
Jul 10, 2011, 12:30 PM
Q: the FTP has a "Mix" knob. All the way to the left and you only hear the input device (guitar, bass, etc...). All the way to the right and you only hear what is coming out of the DAW (drum tracks, etc...). Straight up the middle and you get a mix of them both. If I set this Mix knob all the way to the left I do not get any clipping and my guitar and bass sound great. But as soon as I move it towards the middle so I can hear the drum track while I play, the clipping kicks in really bad.
Sounds like this is connected to the cause. I'm guessing the sound from the drums is somehow piped back in on the input somehow. Just a guess since I don't have that AI; you could also try on the M-audio forums, for example http://forums.m-audio.com/showthread.php?23370-Fast-Track-Pro-Gain-and-mix-knob-not-working-properly

Checked the manual quickly and saw this:The real advantage of the Mix knob is that it enables you to monitor your live inputs in real time as you’re recording them, while also monitoring the existing tracks coming from your DAW, as well as allowing you to control the relative levels of both sources. When you do this, be sure to mute the inputs on the tracks you’re recording. Otherwise, you’ll hear the direct signal AND the return signal from the DAW.Did you try it?

ChrisA
Jul 11, 2011, 01:28 PM
Hi,


Q: the FTP has a "Mix" knob. All the way to the left and you only hear the input device (guitar, bass, etc...). All the way to the right and you only hear what is coming out of the DAW (drum tracks, etc...). Straight up the middle and you get a mix of them both. If I set this Mix knob all the way to the left I do not get any clipping and my guitar and bass sound great. But as soon as I move it towards the middle so I can hear the drum track while I play, the clipping kicks in really bad.

I spent at least 4 hours last night trying to figure this out and I'm really frustrated. There's nothing worse than getting new, awesome gear (first time I've ever owned a Mac) and not be able to use it (GarageBand).

Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

You don't say if the clipping is present in the recordings or just in the monitor headphones. In fact are you even using headphones?

What happens if you turn the volume knob on the bass down? Is the bass active or passive?

I doubt this has anything to do with software and drivers, it's an analog thing I bet. A metter of getting the level adjusted corectly

CaptainHighTop
Jul 13, 2011, 12:00 AM
Thanks Chris & jackerin. Thanks for the tips. It's working now. The fix was to change the Fast Track Pro from 24-bit to 16-bit. I was able to get that advice on the M-Audio forums.

I love my new iMac. It's the first Apple computer I've ever owned and now that I'm able to record on it, I like it even more!