Wed, 02 Feb 2011 Avid Recording Studio review
Entry-level recording – including hardware – from the Pro Tools people
- Manufacturer: Avid
- Pros: High quality, 24-bit/48KHz recording; Pro Tools bundle includes generous selection of instruments and audio loops; inexpensive
- Cons: Only 16 audio tracks; limited to recording two tracks simultaneously; no support for third-party plug-ins; can’t run software when M-Audio interface isn’t present
- Price: £101.95
- Star rating:
Recording Studio is a bundle for home-recording enthusiasts that includes Pro Tools M Powered SE 8.0.3 and Avid’s M-Audio Fast Track USB interface that lets you record real instruments like guitars and vocals.
There’s a standard jack input for instruments and an XLR with 48V phantom power for recording from a condenser mic; there are two line outs for speakers, a USB connector for the Mac, plus volume controls for the mic and jack inputs and a third to control the output to the headphones and any attached speakers. This setup allows you to record, say, guitar and vocals in one take onto separate tracks and then add loops and software instruments from the included library.
Pro Tools SE is a scaled-down version of the real thing. There’s still plenty of scope for cutting, copying and pasting audio and MIDI regions round the main track window, and a decent MIDI editor lets you nudge individual notes about, change their velocity and so on.
You can also combine multiple audio takes into a single composite one, letting you grab the best bits from each. You can’t edit the actual audio, though, and there’s no support for plug-ins or even a competitive upgrade path, which makes the included software something of a dead end.
For a spit over £100, you’re getting all the hardware and software you need to start home recording, but where you go after that isn’t clear – an upgrade to the full version of M-Powered that sliced money off the retail price of £252.95 would make this easier to recommend.