Here is the new M-Audio Fast Track C600 USB audio interface. Say hello to a new trend, the desktop audio interface. This is as opposed to the usual audio interface, which is designed to fit in a rack space. That makes them have to have all the controls and plugs, etc. on the front face with nothing on the top. The desktop interface like the M-Audio C600 utilizes the top as well as the sides, making it perfect for sitting on a desk or table top and very easily using the controls.
So what else is cool about the Fast Track C600? It has 4 microphone inputs, which is what I was most interested in. But there are some truly awesome features that I did not expect from an interface.
There are 6 outputs set up as pairs A (output 1/2), B (outputs 3/4) and C (outputs 5/6). Each pair has an on/off button on the top of the unit so you can set up different speakers and easily switch between them to hear mixes on different speakers, which can help with monitoring.
This is fantastic. There are physical controls for Play, Record, Stop, Fast-Forward and Rewind on the top of the unit. You can assign these controls, via MIDI, to your audio recording software program. The thing most people feel like they miss when doing computer audio recording is the physical controls. You either have to use a mouse to do everything, or you figure out keyboard shortcuts. Audio interfaces traditionally do not have these, probably because they have been traditionally designed to be in a rack and not on a desktop. But it makes total sense to have controls like this on an audio interface.
OK so what else is on this thing? Here’s the rest of the story. It has 6 inputs and 8 outputs, four mic preamps, digital I/O (input/output) (S/PDIF), MIDI I/O, and 24-bit/96KHz recording. It is also USB Bus powered, so you don’t have to deal with a wall-wart type power cable.
And you get all this for $399.99 at B&H PHto/Video/Pro Audio. Go check it out at that link back there to see more details, pictures and to purchase.