Saturday, October 6, 2007

M-Audio Microtrack II available for $299 in November

While Marantz was a no show at the AES convention, I did get a close look at a non-functional M-Audio Microtrack II.

I used a Microtrack for a little while at my old radio station. It was a decent little machine. The quarter-inch mic and line inputs seemed a bit sturdier than the 1/8th inch inputs on a minidisc recorder. The ability to record uncompressed WAV audio or MP3 was nice. And the sound quality was respectable for a $400 unit.

But there was no way to make track marks, the menu system was a bit clunky, and it took 15 seconds to boot up, making it less than ideal for grab and go recording. The Microtrack also had a non-removable internal rechargeable battery, meaning you had to get a makeshift external battery if you wanted to record for more than 4 hours at a time without stopping to recharge.

One of the strangest choices M-Audio made with the original Microtrack was the inclusion of a 30V phantom power supply. That means you could get certain powered microphones to work off of phantom power, while others would not. Some issues M-Audio was able to address through firmware upgrades. For example you couldn't record in mono when the unit was first released, but a firmware upgrade eventually added support for mono recording.

The Microtrack II doesn't address all of those issues, but it does appear to be a step in the right direction. Here are some of the updates:
  • 48V phantom power
  • Better battery life (but the battery is still non-removable)
  • BWF file marking ability
  • A new brightness control button on the side
  • A shiny new $299 price tag (making this unit about $100 cheaper than the original Microtrack)
I'm not sure if that price is list or street, as the M-Audio rep didn't seem to have a lot of details. but he said the Microtrack II should be available in November, and that the company would be phasing out the original Microtrack.

Update: It looks like that $299 is the street price. Minidisco has a preorder page up for the Microtrack II and it's selling for $299.

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11 comments:

Rob Scott said...

Hi I am currently looking into buying a Dictaphone. I was told that the microtrack II is the way to go.

What are your thoughts on the matter? Which Dictaphones do you recommend?

Anonymous said...

Hi there, just posting a note to say that I have received the MiroTrack II and I love it, WHEN IT WORKS! That's right, it keeps freezing and I just got off the phone with M-Audio... apparently it's an issue affecting some units with the firmware and they are aware of it. Both the original firmware 1.0 and the December update 1.0.1 are affected. They are working to correct it but I cannot seem to find any mention online of other users experiencing this problem so I thought I would try to spread out some information.

Anonymous said...

I'll have to agree with the freeze comment. The one song I got in the box was really good and the rest of the time it was frozen on Writing to File. Hope they get a fix soon.

Anonymous said...

ditto on the freezing problem... but, GREAT sound on it when it actually works for a few minutes. If anyone finds out about updates/recalls, please post! Thanks

Funkysax said...

Microtrack II Freezing!!!

Yes, I am onto my second unit which I picked up today and just about to throw it out the window when I read these comments.

I thought it was a problem with the compact flash but on reading these it seems that M Audio need to get their ACT TOGETHER!!!

Not happy.

I will however hang onto it in the hope they fix the problem soon otherwise back to the shop for a full refund!

Funkysax

Anonymous said...

Freeze city! As mentioned it does sound great. When it freezes I hold onto the power and menu button at the same time for about 8 seconds and release. The power goes off. It freezes when I try to delete and when writing. When I delete I know it is going to freeze so I don't wait it out anymore. I delete, wait a few seconds, then press the two buttons to power off.

Anonymous said...

Micritrack 2 freezing every time i stop recording.I1m really happy with the menu functions and the sound quality but freeznig is simply UNACCEPTABLE! At least M-audio should post a note on their website saying sorry and informing their customers when the bug will be fixed.M-audio's
customer care is is shamefully crap.

Anonymous said...

I am having trouble with the MicroTrack stopping during recording, but it wasn't frozen. Yes, there was space left on the card. Any ideas? I have had the problem with 2 different cards.

Anonymous said...

I bought the MicroTrack II at Thomann and have been trying it out for some days (March 2009). This is one nifty little device. Sound quality is great. HOWEVER, unlike what M-Audio says, the MicroTrack II does NOT really support recording off an *unbalanced* line level source. M-Audio in their knowledgebase recommends to use the 1/8" input jack for unbalanced sources. This jack, however, passes 5V phantom power for microphones and this CANNOT be switched off. With a voltmeter I measured about 4V DC on each channel (L and R) to ground. This voltage can have a negative influence on your sound, if not CAUSE DAMAGE to your equipment. The technical support of Allen & Heath, the brand of my mixer, recommends to NOT connect ANYTHING line out to the 1/8" jack of the MicroTrack II. The 1/4" jacks are said to produce a clicking noise when connecting them to an unbalanced line level signal. A warning to anyone thinking of buying the MicroTrack II. M-Audio support DID NOT reply to questions I had about their questionable recommendations.

Anonymous said...

Freeze city! As mentioned it does sound great. When it freezes I hold onto the power and menu button at the same time for about 8 seconds and release. The power goes off. It freezes when I try to delete and when writing. When I delete I know it is going to freeze so I don't wait it out anymore. I delete, wait a few seconds, then press the two buttons to power off.

Anonymous said...

Almost every store has discontinued this model because they know taht the freezing problem is not acceptable. I'll never buy u M-audio product anymore. They have done nothing about this problem or the firmware simce 2008!

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