Home » Buyer's Guides » M-Audio and Pro Tools M-Powered

M-Audio and Pro Tools M-Powered



The combination of Pro Tools M-Powered and M-Audio interfaces provides unprecedented flexibility, allowing you to completely personalize your music production system. Pro Tools M-Powered software delivers the same core technology that’s trusted by countless professional and project studios around the world. A standardized user interface means that once you know how to run one version of Pro Tools, you know how to run them all—the primary distinction is that each version of Pro Tools works with different hardware. Where Pro Tools|HD systems take advantage of Digidesign’s premium DSP-based hardware and Pro Tools LE works only with Digidesign’s LE system hardware, Pro Tools M-Powered works with approximately two-dozen different M-Audio interfaces.





All versions of Pro Tools share the same file format, making it possible to interchange projects between any of these systems—and on both Macs and PCs. Let’s say that you have Pro Tools M-Powered 7 and a compatible M-Audio interface such as Fast Track Pro. You can collaborate and exchange files with other musicians who are using Pro Tools LE and Digidesign hardware. You can also take the files you track at home or in your project studio to a professional studio that uses a Pro Tools TDM or HD system for the full benefit of additional studio tracking, processing and mixing at the hands of a seasoned engineer and/or producer.
Conversely, you can travel or work at home with tracks created in a Pro Tools|HD studio—all you need is a compact M-Audio mobile interface. This might include tracking a live act, capturing inspiration wherever life takes you, or sitting on the living room couch with your family while cutting sound effect cues on your laptop. You can also take the studio tracks you create on any version of Pro Tools right to the stage as backing tracks.

Desktop Production

Pro Tools M-Powered works with the entire line of M-Audio Delta PCI 2.2 interface cards for personal desktop production. The best-selling Audiophile 2496 and next-generation Audiophile 192 feature 2-channel analog balanced 1⁄4” I/O and 2-channel S/PDIF coax digital I/O simultaneously and up to 24-bit/96kHz operation. The Audiophile 192 also features balanced 1⁄4” I/O, 24-bit/96kHz audio and a second pair of outputs for routing to a separate headphone mix or two different speaker systems.


   


If you need more I/O, our Delta 44 gives you 4 x 4 balanced I/O—and the Delta 66 adds S/PDIF to the package. For recording multiple players simultaneously and/or routing individual tracks to discrete outboard mixer channels, check out the Delta 1010. You get 8 x 8 balanced I/O, MIDI I/O, word clock and S/PDIF with connectors on an easily accessible rack-mounted unit. And for the budget conscious, the Delta 1010LT delivers the same package with unbalanced analog I/O and breakout cables instead of the balanced I/O rack. Delta cards in conjunction with Pro Tools M-Powered 7 offer professional features, sound and flexibility at an accessible price—easy enough for entry-level users and powerful enough for veterans.

 

USB—Music Making Anywhere, Anytime

M-Audio is virtually synonymous with mobile studio solutions. Our USB interfaces are bus powered, letting you take your music literally anywhere you want to go. For starters, the pocket-sized Transit is a Pro Tools M-Powered compatible, high-resolution, mobile audio interface for any computer and is particularly ideal for monitoring laptop production on the go. The entry-level Fast Track USB is a great way to start recording guitar and vocals one track at a time. Fast Track Pro expands your recording options with dual mic/instrument channels, balanced 1⁄4” outs, S/PDIF digital I/O and MIDI. And if microphone-based stereo recording on the go is all you need, the MobilePre USB is the perfect solution. If you want to use a keyboard and an audio interface with Pro Tools M-Powered, the KeyStudio 49i delivers both in a single USB-connected package. The onboard piano sound lets you play or write without being connected to a computer—and the unit also ships with the M-Audio GM sound module to add another 127 computer-hosted sounds. This complete songwriting solution also lets you record vocals and other instruments via the XLR mic input.

FireWire and USB 2.0—The Key to Mobile Multi-channel Studios

USB 1.1 is a good choice for working with two channels and recording CD-quality tracks. But when you want to record at high bit depths or capture multiple channels at once, you need one of our Pro Tools M-Powered compatible USB 2.0 or FireWire (IEEE 1394) interfaces.

The FireWire Solo is designed primarily as an easy solution for songwriters, delivering 6 x 4 I/O including microphone, guitar and line inputs, as well as S/PDIF. Next up is the FireWire 410 featuring dual front-panel mic/instrument inputs for stereo or 2-channel recording, plus two independent headphone amps for working with a partner. There are also eight analog outs plus S/PDIF—great for scenarios where you want to run discrete output channels to independent mixer channels and other outboard gear, or as separate surround outputs (surround-compatible software required). The next step up is our Fast Track Ultra USB 2.0 interface.* Fast Track Ultra provides 8 x 8 audio I/O including four preamps featuring our award-winning Octane preamp technology. The on-board MX Core DSP mixer processes eight hardware inputs and eight software returns to the eight hardware outputs, delivering flexible routing and monitoring complete with delay and reverb.

 

If you’re looking for the ultimate in a host-based project studio interface, ProFire 2626* delivers 26 x 26 simultaneous I/O**, complete with an on-board DSP mixer sourced from up to 52 audio streams. It features every kind of connection you need—including Octane preamp technology on all eight analog inputs, ADAT, S/PDIF, word clock and MIDI. Critically acclaimed JetPLL jitter elimination technology ensures pristine audio quality and reliable synchronization all the way up to high-definition 24-bit/192kHz resolution. Finally, our ProFire Lightbridge interface delivers up to 32 channels** of Lightpipe I/O connectivity to digital preamps like Octane, digital mixers, ADATs, dedicated software instrument CPUs and the like.

*Compatible with Pro Tools M-Powered 7.4 with downloadable update. Visit m-audio.com for download availability.
** Pro Tools M-Powered supports a maximum of 18 x 18 I/O.

Pro Tools M-Powered for DJs

DJs and other electronic music producers can now tap into the Elastic Time looping capabilities of Pro Tools M-Powered when working in the studio. You can ReWire in M-Audio’s groundbreaking Torq DJ software to add further processing, editing and polishing to your performances—the best of the DJ and traditional production worlds. Our Torq line also offers several USB interfaces that are compatible with Pro Tools M-Powered. Torq Conectiv provides 4 x 4 RCA I/O with phono preamps via USB, along with two mix knobs for blending analog and digital tracks. Torq Xponent delivers two virtual decks in the form of a combination USB audio interface and MIDI control surface that integrates with Torq.

 

Total Control with ProjectMix I/O and NRV10

If you produce music regularly, you’ll appreciate how the ProjectMix I/O brings the feel of a traditional recording console to your Pro Tools M-Powered 7 rig. This powerhouse combines an 18 x 14 audio interface with an 8-channel control surface complete with moving faders. In fact, it’s the only interface/control surface that lets you record directly into Pro Tools M-Powered 7. Rotary encoders double to control either channel strip or plug-in functions. Where the ProjectMix I/O integrates an audio interface with a control surface, our NRV10 integrates an 8-channel analog mixer with a 10 x 10 FireWire interface—bridging the gap between studio and stage. This clever design allows you to record mixer channels directly to Pro Tools M-Powered, as well as return multiple tracks to discrete mixer channels for playback. The NRV10 also serves as a standalone analog mixer for practicing without booting your computer. Additionally, it’s great for taking your studio tracks to gigs, where you can mix and process your Pro Tools M-Powered tracks along with live inputs.

New in Pro Tools 7.4: Elastic Audio

Pro Tools M-Powered 7.4 delivers a variety of exciting new features—and the biggest news is Elastic Time, a real-time tempo manipulation that makes it easy to change tempo or time on the fly without affecting pitch. With Elastic Time, Pro Tools M-Powered 7.4 makes loop-based music creation faster and more imaginative than ever. It allows you to change the tempo and timing of loops, music, dialog and other sound files without cutting up audio. Easily create loops from any audio file—even entire compositions—with the help of powerful tempo and transient analysis. Imported audio files and loops automatically conform to match your session’s tempo. The new Context Preview also lets you quickly audition them in sync with your session tempo. Elastic Time provides a choice of top-quality algorithms to make your time manipulation virtually undetectable.

Complete Virtual Workstations

Like all versions of Pro Tools, Pro Tools M-Powered supports RTAS® plug-ins. RTAS support means that Pro Tools M-Powered is much more than just software—it’s a platform that you can expand with world-class virtual instruments and effects, configuring it into a custom workstation that perfectly suits your music and working style. Pro Tools M-Powered ships with 35 DigiRack and Bomb Factory plug-ins to get you started. (Bomb Factory specializes in expert emulations of vintage studio gear.) Chorus, reverb, EQ, delays and compression are just some of the processors you get right out of the box. You also get two powerful virtual instruments from Digidesign’s Advanced Instrument Research group—the Xpand! sample-playback/synthesis workstation (with 1000 presets of creative instruments and other sounds) and Structure Free sample player (complete with over 885 MB of high-quality sampled instruments). And that’s just the beginning—there are literally hundreds of effect, instrument and production plug-ins available from Digidesign, M-Audio and our partners.

Processing Plethora. When you want to explore beyond the generous complement of effects that ship with Pro Tools M-Powered, a natural first stop would be the two other bundles Digidesign offers through M-Audio. Producer Factory Bundle includes Moogerfooger Analog Delay, JOEMEEK VC5 Meequalizer and SC2 Compressor, Cosmonaut Voice and Digidesign’s Maxim limiter/maximizer. Producer Factory Pro Bundle features BF-3A (classic compressor) and D-Fi (analog/retro processing), Tel-Ray Variable Delay, Tech 21 SansAmp (amplifier and cabinet simulation), Moogerfooger Ring Modulator, and Voce Spin (rotary speaker) and Chorus/Vibrato.

M-Audio is also proud to distribute three amazing Pro Tools M-Powered compatible plug-ins from iZotope, all of which offer unique effects and utilize 64-bit internal processing for totally pristine sound. Spectron delivers spectral domain processing to provide control over selective frequency bands for delay- and modulation-based effects that are completely individual. If you crave distortion, Trash is the king, giving you everything from tape saturation to fuzz to a ton of amp cabinet models. And the art of mastering has never been simpler with iZotope’s Ozone 3, where expert instructional materials accompany a set of completely integrated mastering tools.

Virtual Instruments Galore. There are many additional virtual instruments that transform Pro Tools M-Powered into a dream workstation for composers and producers, several of which come from the Digidesign Advanced Instrument Research group (A.I.R.). The full version of Structure turns Pro Tools into a world-class sampling system. Hybrid is a high-definition RTAS synthesizer that combines the warmth of classic analog waveforms with digital wavetables, so you can emulate your favorite synths or create something no one has ever heard before. Velvet delivers when it comes to vintage electric pianos—and Strike is the ultimate virtual drummer.

For guitar amp emulation, check out the Eleven plug-in from Digidesign. Eleven gives you highly realistic, jaw-dropping guitar tones based on the world’s most coveted vintage and modern tube amps, speaker cabinets, and mics—right in your Pro Tools M-Powered rig.

If you crave signature vintage sounds, check out GForce’s expert virtual models of prominent vintage synths and keyboards that helped define the electronic music revolution. Choose from The Oddity (ARP Odyssey), Minimonsta:Melohman (Minimoog), impOSCar (OSCar) and M-Tron (Mellotron). These award-winning instruments are stunningly realistic—except that they don’t go out of tune or get dirty pots and switches—and now include exciting new features the original instrument designers couldn’t have imagined. In addition, GForce’s Virtual String Machine delivers over a dozen classic string machines.

In a similar vein, Way Out Ware’s TimewARP 2600 is the quintessential emulation of the venerable ARP 2600 from the early ‘70s. KikAxxe is a faithful reproduction of the old ARP Axxe, with the addition of an integrated drum machine and tape delay unit. You can audition most of these incredible instruments and more right now at m-audio.com.

---
As you can see, Pro Tools M-Powered 7 combined with M-Audio gear offers unprecedented new possibilities in audio production. And that’s even before you consider the ton of third-party software that allows you to customize your own unique work environment. It’s all about choices, compatibility and synergistic workflow between studio, stage, home and the road—and taking your music as far as you want to go.