Lvrgrl’s Weblog

M-Audio Review
May 27, 2008, 4:12 pm
Filed under: technology | Tags:

(edited and posted on Cool Hunting)

Ditch your belkin ipod accessory for this highly superior portable recording device from M-Audio. The Microtrack II changed my life with its simple and straightforward interface and bare bones features. Bare bones might sound like a bad thing for a gadget with a hefty price-tag, but don’t fear the reaper. By cutting back on tricky twisty knobs and favoring a few straightforward buttons, you’ll sound good after just a few strokes of the thumb.

Top Features:

1. Range: This puppy picks up whispers from the next room or captures noisey bands through dance club speakers. Pop on the tiny T mic on the top of the device and adjust the levels by following the simple red lights that will indicate when you are on overload.

Note – Takes of loud shows may not be as nuanced as you remember it if you turn all the levels down to their lowest setting. One tricksters tip is to leave the levels high and muff the mic a bit to cut back on the overages.

2. File Format: Save as a Wav or direct to Mp3. Don’t ask me to explain the difference. All I know is that WAV files are the real deal but take up a lot of space. I’m perfectly happy with an Mp3 file as the source, giving me lots of room for recording without downloading and clearing space on the memory card.

3. Portability: It’s really light so you can take it with you everywhere making field recordings fun and easy.

4. Getting the files onto your Mac is a snap-job. Rather then the usual where’s-the-CD-that-came-with-the-unit-i-cant-find-it-im-never-going-to-get-the-files-off-this-thing rigamarole, you just need the USB cable to charge and transfer files. You can even rename the files directly on your device and use the recorder as a player during downtime.

5. Playback Quality: Bottom line: files end up sounding really really good for anyone dabbling in recording on the fly. Human speaking voices end up sounding particularly alive; a laugh recorded in one room and played back in another will trick your partner into thinking there’s two of you – for better or for worse.

One drawback is that the battery is a bitch. Unfortunately this thing seems to hemorrhage power, even when it’s off – so get used to bringing the USB charger along for the ride.


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