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M-Audio M-Track Solo Vs Duo: Everything Compared

The badge on new M-Audio audio/MIDI devices has been Air 192, and it was unclear whether the long-running M-Track name was being retired.

We just got two new M-Track devices, so the brand isn’t going away. It’s worth noting that the M-Track Solo and Duo are only audio interfaces. There are USB-powered devices with 2-in 2-out connectivity and 24-bit or 48kHz operation.

M-Audio M-Track Solo And Duo: Comparison Table

FeaturesM Audio – m-track soloM Audio – m-track duo
Launching Year20202019
BrandM AudioOneOdio
Model NameM Track SoloM Track Duo
Connector TypeWiredWired
Available ColorsBlackBlack
Max Input Power1600mW1450mW
CompatibilityPCPC
No. of Channels22
Connection Distance Range (Bluetooth)NANA
Weight10.6 Ounces12.7 Ounces
Online Price RangesRs.5,099Rs.5,999
Customer Ratings4.2/54.6/5

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M-Audio M-Track Solo And Duo: Detailed Analysis

Hardware

The use of the system-native Core Audio rather than a separate driver or control panel simplifies getting started with the hardware on macOS. For Windows users, m-audio.com provides a driver. As a result of this approach, Core Audio’s latency performance limits are occasionally exceeded, but it also prevents drivers from becoming out of date too quickly. This is an advantage over the practice of discontinuing support for perfectly functional devices by failing to sign the most recent operating systems. This will not be an issue on the M-Tracks.

The prospect of being able to use their apps on iOS excites musicians, but the implementation is clumsy. Users must purchase an additional (expensive) Apple brand USB connection kit to power the audio interface, which requires additional research and money.

Features

M-Audio M-Track solo

Their feature sets differ slightly, but their underlying specifications are very similar. The Solo includes a microphone/line channel with a phantom power switch and a line/instrument channel.

The only audio output on the front panel is a 1/8-inch headphone jack “a small plug.” Both outputs share the same output level control. You have the option of monitoring only the output stream (USB) or both the inputs and the output stream (mono Direct).

The Duo has two switchable phantom power mic/line/instrument inputs. “Both the headphone output and the TRS jacks are available, and the headphone/output level can be controlled independently.” Duo, like Solo, has zero latency switching when combining input and output streams, but it also has the option of mono or stereo (hard panned).

Which Is The Better Option?

Although the dynamic range specifications of DA converters are not as high as those of slightly more expensive interface offerings from Audient and others, they sound clear and articulate when played back. Mic preamps (with a gain of 54 dB) have a knob that is notchy at the upper end, causing the gain to spike dramatically when turned all the way up.

The mono/stereo direct monitor modes (available only on the Duo) are extremely useful when using headphones. Stereo headphones can distinguish two signals, or only one ear can receive the input signal. It would have been nice to have direct monitor/playback balance control, but we can’t have everything. This would make getting the right monitor mix much easier. Even inexperienced users may be tempted to increase the input gain until they can hear themselves rather than trimming the output faders in their DAW, which is time-consuming and inconvenient. The headphone amplifier drives a 55-ohm pair of headphones to achieve a reasonable output level. Lower impedance headphones, on the other hand, are required for a truly loud sound.

Each package includes a USB-B to A cable as well as an instruction manual. After you’ve registered your device on the M-website, you’ll be able to download a useful software package. Audio’s AIR Music Technology is being expanded! Pro Tools First M-Audio Edition and MPC Beats are included, in addition to two synthesizers, eleven Lite guitar amp sims, and twenty Avid plugins.

Despite their simple design, the black finish, recessed rubberized knobs, and functional selector switches of both units make them feel solid. Both units have rubber feet to keep them from sliding around on a desk, and their lightweight makes them easy to transport.

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Performance

M-Audio M-Track Duo

To get started with class-compliant drivers, simply plugin and select the device in your audio software. There are no output meters or USB-active LEDs on either interface, making it difficult to determine whether or not the devices are connected and functioning properly.

Each of the four input ports has two-tone (green/red) LEDs to help you easily set up a healthy but clean signal level. The phantom power indicator is orange as well.

M-Crystal Audio’s Preamp design is used in both interfaces, with up to 54dB of gain for mic and up to 44dB of gain for line/instrument. This is a must-have accessory for low-output dynamic microphones or passive guitars.

However, I avoided using the red clip LED because we discovered it made a loud noise when both interfaces were overloaded. I was able to achieve a 9.4ms roundtrip latency at 44.1kHz and a 64 sample buffer using Mac OS X drivers. While it isn’t up to par with the best, it will suffice for the time being.

M-no-nonsense Although the lack of MIDI is disappointing, the audio interfaces are so straightforward that it’s difficult to find flaws. And, for an extra ten dollars, we’d go with the more versatile M-Track Duo.

Recommendations From Customers

“If you’re on a tight budget but still want good audio quality, I highly recommend checking out the new M-Tracks.” Despite the fact that some useful features have been omitted to reduce the price, they are still a good investment.”

“The material of choice for these low-cost audio interfaces is plastic.” When compared to more expensive interfaces of comparable function, these are sturdier and have sticky feet that help keep them on the desk when cables are pulled around. They are, however, extremely light. Although the construction quality isn’t great, you have to admit that they’re adequate for the price.”

MM-Audio M-Track Solo And Duo: Quick Result

ParticularsM Audio – m-track soloM Audio – m-track duoWhich one is the best?
SpecsGoodAmazingAny
ConnectivityGreatGoodBoth
OutputGreatGreatAny

M-Audio M-Track Solo And Duo: Final Verdict

If you’re on a tight budget but still want good audio quality, we highly recommend checking out the new M-Tracks. Even though some features were omitted to keep the price low, it’s still a good deal. Prospective buyers should keep in mind that MIDI I/O and higher sample rates are available at comparable prices from brands such as Behringer.

These M-Tracks are a great option for beginners because they are portable and have an impressive list of features.

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Tarun Verma

Written by Tarun Verma

A serious technical content writer with a view to change the world with my philosophy and ideology and make this planet an even better place to live

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