Pro Tools M-Powered Essential is a new cutdown version of Avid's legendary recording software, and the company has announced that it's now being bundled with M-Audio's Fast Track audio interface.
This bus-powered, 2-in/2-out USB 2.0 device has just been redesigned, sporting upgraded preamps to deliver what M-Audio claims is a better quality of recorded sound. It features an XLR mic input, a 1/4-inch instrument input with gain control, a 1/4-inch headphone output and RCA stereo outputs.
Further controls include an output level knob (for the headphone and speaker outputs) and a direct monitor button.
Moving back to Pro Tools M-Powered Essential, this is based on the standard version of the software and enables you to record on up to 16 audio tracks. Up to eight virtual instrument tracks can be used simultaneously, and the Structure Essential plug-in (which gives you more than 60 sounds) comes supplied.
The new Fast Track bundle will set you back £91/$149 - a price that, for a Pro Tools-based system, would have been unthinkable just a few years ago. There are, of course, other options available, but if your budget is tight and you're looking for a one-stop solution, we'd say that this one is well worth a look.