Product Comparison: M-Audio M-Track Eight vs Focusrite Scarlett 18i20


General Specifications
Brand
M-Audio
Focusrite
Model
M-Track Eight
Scarlett 18i20
Origin
China
China
About the Product
Add a professional edge to your studio with the M-Track Eight from M-Audio. This eight-input USB 2.0 audio interface enables you to track large music ensembles, record the band, or mic an entire drum set with pro-grade audio components and a myriad of connections. M-Track Eight connects to your computer via USB 2.0 and easily integrates into your studio with its standard 1U 19” rack size. With a single USB cable, M-Track Eight creates a two-way audio connection with your Mac or PC, enabling you to record directly into your favorite DAW or playback audio to mix and master your tracks. Plus, Cubase 7 LE comes bundled with M-Track Eight for out-of-the-box music creation and gives you a powerful software environment to record, edit, and bounce down your songs. The included software suite also offers an impressive selection of plugin effects from Waves Audio to put a professional finish to your production: AudioTrack, Eddie Kramer Effect Channel, TrueVerb, L1 Ultramaximizer, and Manny Marroquin Delay.
Our latest generation 18-in, 20-out USB audio interface can handle just about anything your band or studio can throw at it. Beautiful and rack mountable, it gives you loads of I/O, pristine sound quality, separate stereo headphone mixes, extensive expansion options and round-trip latency as low as 2.74ms*, all in a 1U space.
Key Specs
Form Factor
Rackmount
Rackmount
Control Interfaces
XLR or 1/4" Combo
XLR or 1/4" Combo, 1/4" TRS, RCA, Optical, SPDIF, MIDI
A/D Resolution
24-bit/96kHz
24bit/192kHz
Number of Preamps
8
8
Simultaneous I/O
8/8
18/20
What customers say about "Key Specs"
M-Audio M-Track Eight High-Resolution USB 2.0 Audio Interface
  • The m-audio interface is plain, and simple to use. Who cares if it doesn't have fancy add-ons, it sounds badass! The preamps and a/d d/a converters are excellent and do the system justice for recording and playback.
  • The M-Track Eight is a stable interface which plays well with multiple audio apps at once (the 18i20 failed my tests miserably in this regard). The MT8 interface doesn't have all the bells and whistles of the more expensive options but what it does it does well, and that is route and record audio.
  • I couldn't find one review for this particular interface anywhere, so heres my own two cents. The M audio M track is a quality piece of equipment. The preamps are super clean with minimal noise, the A/D converters are decent enough to work with, especially for an up and coming band.
  • Needed a new USB interface for my DAW and have always been pleased with M-Audio's gear (I've got one of their MIDI's as my primary keyboard in the studio) so I figured I would try out this unit. Very pleased overall.
  • Solid little interface for the money. I like it a lot.
Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 (1st GENERATION) USB Audio Interface
  • The rack mounted 18i20 serves my needs impeccably. I use outboard processing gear and everything is accessed through a patchbay so all the ins and outs are accessible without having to reach around back.
  • I got this on sale, and I'm absolutely blown away by the quality! It sounds awesome on drum recordings, the latency is definitely the best you'll find in a USB interface, and the Focusrite Control software is really useful for creating monitor mixes!
  • The routing options are perfect for what I need, clean pristine sound all around I love this thing and the quality will have me adding the Scarlett OctoPre for an additional 8 inputs.
  • I have had my Focusrite 18i20 for about the past 6 months and is remarkable. I can plug my guitar in and have it produce a rich tone. with the 18 in and 20 out, I can record a choir with keyboards, guitar and as many instruments I choose to use. it is a great interface.
  • My most surprising finding was that the built in audio of my 6 year old Dell laptop handled multiple audio apps simultaneously with better latency than the 18i20 did. Kinda sad, really when you consider the price of this interface.
  • The headphone amps are nothing special. They drive my low-impedance (around 60 ohm) cans just fine, but I doubt they would be able to push much higher-impedance headphones to a loud volume. Also, they're pretty noisy. It's not noticeable when recording drums.
Size & Weight
Height
1.7 in.
1.73 in.
Width
19.0 in.
19 in.
Depth
5.9 in.
11.25 in.
Weight
4.37 lbs.
7.21 lbs.
What customers say about "Size & Weight"
M-Audio M-Track Eight High-Resolution USB 2.0 Audio Interface
  • If you're interested in a low latency, quiet, portable USB interface for 8-16 tracks with very few plug ins, you should consider this.
  • The build quality is solid metal and it feels like it can take a punch. When switched on, it does create a bit of heat so that it feels warm when touched.
  • Portable and lightweight, solid build quality, also comes with some bundled software and Waves plugins. Ideal for portable recordings or home studio.
Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 (1st GENERATION) USB Audio Interface
  • Exactly what I was looking for. I love the sturdy construction and the meters on the front.
  • Looks and feels very professional. Not bulky and easy to mount.
Interfaces
Analog Inputs
8 x XLR-1/4" combo
8 x XLR-1/4" combo
Analog Outputs
8 x 1/4" (line out), 2 x 1/4" (monitor out)
8 x 1/4" (line out), 2 x 1/4" (monitor out), 2 x 1/4" (headphones)
Digital Inputs
USB
Optical, SPDIF, USB
MIDI I/O
No
In/Out
Digital Outputs
Optical, SPDIF
What customers say about "Interfaces"
M-Audio M-Track Eight High-Resolution USB 2.0 Audio Interface
  • It's full of different outputs, has 8 inputs and each one packs a punch. I work at a college for audio engineering, and the focusrite interface they have at each desk don't come close to this one in terms of sheer quality of sound.
  • I'd like to see them put out a MIDI/SPDIF/ and maybe even 192khz version of this unit. They've already got an M-Track 2x2M with this functionality, shouldn't be hard to add that stuff into a new rack unit. Call it the M-Track Eight MkII. Hint hint.
  • Since it has 8 inputs, it's possible to professionally record drums in my room.
  • Works great. midi interface is a bonus
  • The only thing I think that could have been done better would be phantom power control for individual channels, and not just 1-2/3-4 grouping.
Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 (1st GENERATION) USB Audio Interface
  • Just what I needed! Plenty of In's plenty of Out's for all my Analog gear......and my future gear.
  • My fear from past experiences with audio interfaces was compatibility/connectivity issues. But I had no problems with this one. Great sound, great functionality, quality build and the included routing software is helpful. Also, it comes with a good set of plug ins and more are offered every month
  • I chose this because I needed the eight separate pres each with its own channel, plus the USB connection allowed me easy and flexible routing without having to mess with adding another FireWire port on my computer.
  • I love the headphone monitor outs as well, very clean and accurate, better than my ultralite.
  • Love every feature it has,dual headphone jacks as well as the 8 line outs for more headphones or monitors.
Features
Extras
High-headroom inputs with Octane Preamp Technology Pristine, 8 XLR+1/4″ combo inputs with individual metering Dual headphone outs, Zero-latency monitoring with USB/Analog Direct Balance control
Eight Scarlett mic preamps with plenty of even gain, exceptional headroom, low noise and minimal distortion, Two newly-designed instrument inputs, now with increased headroom for seriously hot pick-ups, Class-leading digital conversion at up to 24-bit / 192kHz, ADAT expansion ports allow you to add an extra eight analogue inputs and outputs, Ten balanced analogue outputs, including a dedicated stereo pair with anti-thump circuitry, Focusrite Control software to easily configure your monitoring and routing setups, All the additional software and loops you need to record, Remote control from iPhone or iPad - Download the free Focusrite iOS Control app
Power Supply
19V DC
AC adapter
Phantom Power
Yes
Yes
Bus Powered
No
No
OS Requirements - Mac
10.7.5 and higher
Mac OS X 10.10 (Yosemite) or OS X 10.11 (El Capitan)
OS Requirements - PC
Windows 7 SP1/8/8.1/10
Windows 7 (32- or 64-bit), 8.1 and 10
What customers say about "Features"
M-Audio M-Track Eight High-Resolution USB 2.0 Audio Interface
  • It's easy to figure out, easy to route, fits in a rack, and sounds great. You probably will have a hard time finding another interface with this many inputs for the price.
  • The 48v phantom power switches are too close to other switches and knobs (when will manufacturers figure out that many a fine microphone's been fried this way?).
  • I bought this as an upgrade for my M-Audio Mobile Pre interface which was tied to ProTools SE software. The MTrack Quad interface comes with ProTools Express which comes with powerful audio editor plugins.
  • The lack of functionality in the driver control panel is the only real disappointment here. And I'd rather have a built in power supply, rather than an external box on the floor with more cable clutter/tanlges to deal with.
  • The only complaints i have is that it gets a little hot after prolonged use, and if you're using a lot of outboard gear while tracking, latency can become an issue.
Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 (1st GENERATION) USB Audio Interface
  • The interface is exactly what I hoped for. I bought it so I could record live drums at home. It sounds great. All the free software downloaded and works. No issues whatsoever. Plug it in. Do what it says on the box and it is so much fun recording!
  • I have a gen 1 unit and the main reason I chose the unit is because of the save to hardware ROM feature. It gives me the ability to route a backup signal to a remote hard disk recorder so IF my laptop were to go down I am still recording, and it has saved me more than once!
  • This Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 (second gen) is my new favorite interface. Many more outs and ins than my last device. Runs very smoothly on USB 2.0 without a hitch and with near perfect latency.
  • The best thing is the very flexible monitoring: 5 independent stereo mixes are possible, all controllable from the computer and/or remote controlled using (free) iPad and iPhone apps.
  • It does have one unusual characteristic--the taper in the pots seems odd. I adjust them to where they're almost loud enough, then if I move them another 1/8th inch, they're way too loud.
  • It likes to switch itself between buffer sizes randomly, causing even more problems when working in my DAW.
Warranty / Certifications
Manufacturer Warranty
1 year(s)
2 year(s)
Certifications
FCC
FCC, CE
Other Information
Manufacturer
MSRP
449.99 $


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