Excellent audio recording quality, easy to use, dual wav and mp3 format
Unit needs to be sent back to the factory for battery replacement, abysmal tech support
It is fortunate that M-Audio has good products because their customer support is terrible. I was on the phone yesterday for an hour and could not get through. I bought a Microtrack II a few days ago and had problems with it. Since I wasn't getting any help from ... Read full review
It is fortunate that M-Audio has good products because their customer support is terrible. I was on the phone yesterday for an hour and could not get through. I bought a Microtrack II a few days ago and had problems with it. Since I wasn't getting any help from M-audio, I hit a couple forums and found the answers.
The MIcrotrack II is a phenomenal device that cleanly records (did not try bal line in) on all three inputs. The T mic is exceptional as is the s/pdif. File transfer is easy, but the unit froze on a few occasions (reset with no file loss). I have the beta version firmware but want to see if I can live with 1.0.1.
The bootup is no problem and since the unit has record monitor, like an analog unit, you can adjust levels before recording. The controls are the best and simplest with few screens to page through. Although the internal EQ is somewhat lacking, the clean audio can be adequately mastered with Audacity. Being able to use either format (mp3 or wav) is a plus for record times, and the CF is very stable and not subject to shock or movement issues.
Since the unit reads most common sample and bit rates, there was no need of of a converter to sync digital s/pdif signals.
The manual does not indicate that you can use the 1/8 mic input for un bal line in, but that issue was resolved on m-audio's faq. The unit is designed for someone with some computer knowledge, so the manual needs to be written for people who have no computer skills. I have found that many computer owners have issues just opening their e-mail.
I don't appreciate the fact that it costs $75 to have the battery replaced by the factory, which is almost 1/3 the cost of the unit. I have a cheap portable usb battery pack in the event I lose power during a lengthy recording session. The unit will play back or record while charging by usb or the included power supply, but will not charge up as quickly. It is important to note that the battery needs to be charged completely first before use. The initial charge required 4 hours. If this is not done, you will encounter short battery periods of usage.
The microtrack II will not play most files recorded by other manufacturers through uploads, so there is a conversion process that is required to upload and play (no big deal). I used Total Recorder to format non m-audio files, and then used Audacity to compact them to mp3, at that point I could upload the files to the Micrtotrack II.
Audacity, btw is a good "what you hear" recording software and is great for uploading multitracked mix down files for the Microtrack II, so if you have a DAW or home recording studio, this software is adequate and bundled with the Microtrack II. I believe it is limited to 16 mono or 8 stereo tracks, but I am uncertain how many merge (virtual) tracks are available.
I was the last audiophile to go digital, as recording software had problems. I use dedicated equipment to resolve latency and lock up issues. During my analog years I spent $1000s on equipment that wasn't near the quality of the Microtrack II (which is only $300). The bottom line is, I can leave my 400 lb portable rig home and can enjoy the spontaneity of using a device the size of a deck of cards and enjoy the same quality of audio AND the ease of file transfer.
The Microtrack II is a musician's and recording enthusiast's answer to short notice gigs or impromptu jams. The audio ports cover most needs (except bal line out). I would not recommend the unit to anyone who is impatient or does not want to take the time to learn how to operate the unit. That goes without saying for anything electronic. These individuals are better off with an inexpensive cassette recorder.
For my purpose I rate the unit 5 stars, tech support (M-Audio) 0, manual 3, battery 1. I would recommend a battery belt pack for long recording sessions. CF cards aren't too bad, depending what bit and sample rate you record at. Although it is an excellent portable recorder, if you want to lay down some serious tracks for publishing, you want something larger, with more tracks, and a larger price tag.