updated 11:25 am EST, Wed November 28, 2007
M-Audio Fast Track Ultra
Hardware and software maker M-Audio is preparing a new audio interface, the Fast Track Ultra. The unit is an 8x8 device with MIDI support, and connects to a Mac or PC via USB 2.0; six analog inputs and outputs are provided, along with a two-channel S/PDIF I/O. The Ultra can actually be used as a 16x8 device however, due in part to an eight-core DSP processor, which also minimizes latency and allows effects such as reverb. Four preamps boost the signal, and audio is streamed to a computer in 24 bits at 96kHz.
The USB connection is enough to power two analog channels, S/PDIF and one headphone output; using all ports requires a dedicated power supply, which is bundled in the package. The Ultra should be out by the end of the year, at a cost of $450.