M-Audio Fast Track USB: low/no signal?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by Tony Corman, Jan 21, 2008.

  1. Tony Corman macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    #1
    AFAIK I'm doing everything right, but Garage Band gets only a weak signal from the box.

    * Driver seems right -- OS X isn't complaining and does see the device

    * I've changed settings per instructions

    * Verified cables are OK, tried a mic, toggled line/instr level

    The Signal light blinks a bit but not much, and when I monitor, I can hear
    a bit of clicking, but the signal is clearly not at strength. Am I missing something obvious?
     
  2. sfs macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2008
    Location:
    Texas
    #2
    I have a Fast Track Pro, so I'm not sure how much of this will apply to you, but every now and again it gets ornery and does about the same thing.
    So far, following one or more of these steps has been able to solve the problem for me each time.

    1. Confirm that you have installed the latest M-Audio drivers, and that all of the M-Audio processes are running. Confirm that you can make modifications to the preamp configuration (enable/disable S/PDIF, second channel or output group, etc.) to make sure the drivers are working.

    2. Power down, then power up the interface, and then restart the audio application(s).
    (Speaking of, if you have anything that's actively running audio - even silence - through the interface other than your recording instance of GarageBand, you should probably exit it just to be sure that nothing's locking the drivers.)

    3. Confirm that either a) all insert-jack gear is working properly and is receiving and sending signal, or b) there is nothing plugged into the insert jack.

    4. Reduce bit depth on both interface and software.

    5. Disable software monitoring, and use the hardware loopback.

    6. (I hate to mention this one, but I suppose we've all been here once or twice) Confirm that either a) you are using a dynamic mic, or b) that you have enabled phantom power for the condenser circuits. Also ensure that your gain knob is set fairly high - I've found that most condensers warm up nicely at around 75-80% gain on this preamp.

    7. Reboot the computer. Some days, it just wants a little attention.

    If none of the above work, attempt to record a line-level signal such as a guitar, or even an mp3 player. Confirm that your interface does receive signals in the first place. Try recording with another program, particularly something basic that only does recording. Try using your interface on another computer; even - gasp! - a Windows box. Do make sure to install the drivers before connecting the device or it won't work properly. If you use Windows, the built-in Sound Recorder works fine for testing.

    And if everything fails, call M-Audio and demand a warranty replacement.
     
  3. Drumjim85 macrumors 68030

    Drumjim85

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    #3
    while sfs has seemed to cover most of what could be wrong... Just to make sure, what are you trying to record??
    A line level device (at +10 or -4 ?)
    a mic (dynamic, condensor, ribon(I doubt it))

    I'm assuming that this sound card has a pre built in...
     
  4. Tony Corman thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    #4
    Workaround

    In answer to preceding -- this is the low-end box. I assume it has a pre; in any event, it's configure so newbies like me can plug in a mic and electric guitar and be off to the races. I gave up on the guitar jack, got a DI box, and am able to record just fine using the XLR input, but the guitar jack really should work. No response from m-audio tech support, needless to say, after opening 2 tickets.
     

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