M-Audio M-Track Eight - 8 Channel USB Audio Interface
Introduced in 2000, M-audio is a popular brand that is well known for it's audio interfaces.
The M-Track Eight is the largest of M-Audio's M-track line and it delivers a straightforward no-frills 8 channels of mic preamp or line inputs. Each input channel has a dedicated gain control and level display and with a high headroom input that features M-Audio's Octane Preamp Technology. The two front inputs can be switched to allow Hi-Z instrument inputs such as guitar.
There are two headphone outputs with independent levels.
The unit does not come with a MIDI interface which is a little surprising given that this is one of M-Audio's strength's but the philosophy here seems to be to focus on the A/D and do that well.
The included software looks pretty comprehensive with a waves plugin bundle including AudioTrack, Eddie Kramer Effect Channel, TrueVerb, L1 Ultramaximizer, and Manny Marroquin Delay in addition to Cubase 7 LE.
- A/D Resolution: 24-bit/96kHz
- Simultaneous I/O: 8 x 8
- Inputs: 8 x XLR/TRS Combo (2 switchable to Hi-Z instrument)
- Outputs: 8 x 1/4" Balanced. 2 x 1/4" Output Monitor. 2 x 1/4" Stereo Headphones
- Computer Connectivity: USB 2.0
- MIDI : No Midi Connections
- 8 x Octane Preamp Technology
- Phantom Power: +48V switchable for channel 1-4, 5-8
- Zero-latency monitoring
- Bundled Software : Cubase 7 LE, Waves plugin bundle
Many reviewers praised the crystal clear audio quality as well as the 'bomb proof' build of the unit. The convenient front gain controls and level meters were also popular as was having two headphones outputs.
As with many units a small number of users had significant problems getting the USB connection working properly with their computer, and those that did suggested the drivers seemed to be at fault. It was also commonly reported that the unit can get quite hot although this did not cause any malfunctions. The lack of midi input was also noted.
We were recommending this prior to December 2017 when we did a complete review of the category and found that there were more highly rated options which are now on our recommended list in our guide The Best USB Audio Interfaces - 4 / 8 / 16 Channel.