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February Giveaway

Focusrite TrakMaster PRO Reviews

4.0 stars based on 8 customer reviews
  • Customer
    from FAYETTEVILLE,NC March 9, 2010Music Background:
    UP N COMIN RC,RA

    MYYYYY GOODNESS THIS THING SOUNDS SWEET!!!!!

    THIS THING SOUNDS SWEET MAN, MY GOODNESS I CAN HEAR DA DIFFERENCE ALREADY!!...JUST COMIN OUT DA BOX MAN I DID A QUICK TEST AND IT SOUNDS BETTER DEN WHAT I BEEN PLAYIN WIT, MY GOOD CAUSE I CAN TELL WHEN SOMETHING OR A PIECE OF EQUIPMENT IS GOOD OR NOT, I'M FOR SENDING STUFF BACK DAT DOESN'T SOUND UP TO PAR BUT MY GOOD I CAN HEAR DA DIFFERENCE ALREADY WITHOUT RAW, WITHOUT ANY PLUG-INS
    GOOD, MAAAAN... NICE! DEY BEEN TRYIN KEEP FROM DIS ALL DIS TIME SUPPRESIN THE QUALITY OF THIS BABY JUST TO MAKE MORE BUT DAT DOESN'T MAKE ANY SENSE I COULD GO ON ABOUT HOW GOOD IT SOUNDS, I THINK

  • c.locke
    from okc,ok April 24, 2009Music Background:
    recording engineer

    you have to get at least one

    ive had this unit for a year 1/2 an i had the chance to compare it to a avalon,la610,ua710 all high end units which i had in my studio.we did some takes on all these units an the avalon sounded no differnt than the trakmaster pro no disrespect,but you dont need to spend 2000.00 to get a great sounding record.out of all the high end units i had ,i liked the la 610 the best.you have to get this trakmaster pro

  • Burris Krista
    from Los Angeles, CA USA October 7, 2006Music Background:
    Pro recording engineer with 24 years of studio experience.

    the most useful of the mid-level channel strips from any manufacturer!

    I own the trakmaster and continue to use it after having previously owned the Joe Meek 3Q, presonus eureka, dbx 286, and art pro channel. There are only two units remaining out of all of those, the art and this focusrite. The focusrite is the most useful of them all, the art is good on some types of vocals, the meek had it's uses but the eq and compressor on it had such a distinctive sound that I tended not to use them when tracking, and the eureka just had an unfocused sound to it's preamp.

    The trakmaster has an amazing, clean, pure preamp with the best specs out of the bunch, adjustable input impedence, and tons of noise free gain. It's very neutral yet still has a bit of warmth to it not provided by something like a grace 101 or m-audio dmp-3 (both of which I have also owned but only kept the grace).

    Considering the availability of inexpensive pro-level gear out there I would recommend getting one of these to use for most of your recording, and maybe something a little warmer like an avalon or neve strip for rock lead vocal situations since the trakmaster isn't the warmest sound out there, it's much more accurate than most however.

    Great on acoustic guitar, great on 90% of vocals, NICE COMPRESSOR (amazing actually), nice sounding but limited eq but most people won't use the eq when tracking anyway (would be more useful for live use I think), optional digital converter addon as well with great sounding focusrite converters which is a plus if you want it at a later date. I have great converters already so won't bother.

    If you need it, the built in zero latency monitoring mixer is a great idea in the trakmaster, well implemented, just not something I need (I have a pro studio with a 24 channel mixer just for traking and a separate monitoring mixer).

    I now use the trakmaster for most of my pro work.

    Great build quality too, although I would prefer buttons and knobs that were a little heavier feeling. The way the power supply cord screws onto the back of the unit is excellent, shared by other focusrite boxes I have used (but can't afford to own), but I didn't expect it at this price point. Also after looking inside the unit I can say the circuit board is very high quality (no cheap m-audio or presonus boards here) and the design is consistent with the high end focusrite red series, just that there are more chips and fewer transistors in this than in the red box I've seen opened, but the choices of opamps etc are very high quality and there is class A technology in the mic pre although some of it is discrete, but they were being honest, it is Class A.

  • Mesa One
    from Oakland, CA April 11, 2008Music Background:
    Aspiring engineer

    Good for the price, but...

    So overall, I would rate this a must-buy if you can get it used. The deal brakers for me personally are the front-panel-only inputs (bad), the multi-function VU meter (good), the compressor controls (bad) and the features (good).

    I'll go from left to right, across the front of the unit.

    Phantom power switch is standard when you're spending more than about $100 on a preamp. no problems there. All the switches on this unit are toggle, and have LEDs behind them. Very nice for quick reference. The inputs are on the front of the unit -- I prefer them on the back, and many other units allow for an additional input in the front of their rackmount units for spontanaity -- i like that. This unit however will clog your rack with whatever cords you plug into it. I do like the fact that the inputs arent neutrik 2-in-1 plugs, this machine has a seperate XLR input and 1/4" with a switchable line/instrument button.

    The gain knob: its a gain knob. What else can I say? the knobs on this unit provide enough resistance so that you dont make accidentally large changes, and the white-on-black design makes the settings highly visible.

    The high pass filter is ok. I'm not a pro, and i only use the HPF switch on mics to get rid of floor vibrations. This feature is good to have, but not necessary.

    Here's the big part. The compressor has VERY limited controls. Instead of having standard compressor controls (thresh, ratio, attack, release, etc) the compressor has 4. Threshold means what it means. "Comp slow attack" is for sound sources that need to be compressed, but you want to retain the original punch to them, like drum loops, or plucked strings. It does have a makeup gain knob, which is essential, and it has a "squash" button, which to my ear mimics a 4:1 ratio. So basically it is a compressor with only 2 choices of ratio, and 2 choices of attack.

    The monitoing section is great to have, since the microphone signal will essentially bypass 2 phases of your soundcard's A/D converter, instead going directly to your headphones. this will improve the timing, as even the best soundcards clock in at about 6 to 7 MS. For normal monitoring, you double that (mic signal goes incomputer, latent, and comes out computer, latent) and essentially the direct monitoring saves you at least 14 MS.

    I don't like this layout one bit, but the preamp and monitor section alone are worth the money you will pay for this unit. I purposefully skipped the MID SCOOP function because it is useless (you are better of EQing in your DAW anyway) but if this is in your budget, do yourself a favor and get it.

  • MARVIN SAEZ TATE
    from newport,rhode island October 2, 2007Music Background:
    studio owner,premastering engineer,producer,hip-hop,trance artist

    Hey don't be fooled by the price !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I purchased this channel strip in 07/07 and i use it with a ROLAND FANTOM X-8,and a MOJAVE AUDIO MA-200 .well believe me for the price it is a godsend.if and when i purchase something beyond this piece of PRO GEAR,it will be another focusrite product.many,i mean many people are sleeping on this unit,but thats o.k. with me because when i am at the grammys picking up those awards i'll have the last laugh.

  • Steve
    from Seattle, WA September 16, 2006Music Background:
    Hobbyist

    Nice Piece of Hardware

    I've had this for about a year. I use it mainly for vocals and have found that they have improved greatly over just using my DAW interfaces' preamps. I always use the built-in compressor with a little compression and I can't hear it, other than it makes mixing easier. It looks great and has an easy-to-use latency free monitoring section for the headphones (you can plug your computer outputs into the back of this and then mix what you're recording with it along with your DAW mix for tacking your vocal). Optionally, I thought about getting the digital output card for this, but then realized that it costs as much as this entire unit.

  • manny
    from lincoln park, detroit, MI June 16, 2008Music Background:
    recording engineer, church musician, addicted to audio recording

    good stuff

    this is a good product.
    not the most pro but it'll do thwe job
    i own one of this but im ready to upgrade
    after 2 years using it.
    what like the most is the headroom that my motu 8pre couldn't provide.
    on a tight budget you can't go wrong with this baby!

  • Customer
    from October 11, 2010

    focusrite support

    Although I didn't buy it at Sweetwater so they bear no blame, my TrakMaster Pro developed a loud hiss starting at 7 on the gain and sounding like a jet engine with the gain all the way up less than two weeks after I got it. Focusrite support has been slow and is giving me the runaround, asking if I have a power conditioner or a ground problem. There is no 60 cycle hum, there is no hum at all. Just an annoying white noise hiss that makes it unusable when setting the gain on the unit past 5 or 6. Has anyone else dealt with their support or experienced this hiss?

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