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Wednesday
Jan282009

Alesis ProTrack review and audio recording test

I decided to take matters into my own hands and buy an Alesis ProTrack to give it a hands-on review, something that apparently nobody on the Internet has published to date (according to Google).  AudioMidi.com was gracious enough to let me purchase one with the understanding that I will most likely return it after I finish my evaluation.  For the test I used my tiny iPod Nano 2nd gen (the cheapest device you can use with the ProTrack). 

I won't waste much time on the physical attributes of the ProTrack, since that's been well enough covered in the overview from NAMM I posted a few posts back.  This is all about the audio quality.  First impression was "blech!", but let me explain why. I was getting a rhythmic clicking sound on every recording test.  I didn't have any AAA batteries around to test it so I used the supplied AC power supply for my tests.  What I DIDN'T know (because I didn't read the manual yet) was that recording while the unit is in charging mode is not recommended.  Turning off the charging mode switch made all the difference.

The internal microphones are serviceable perhaps for recording a live rock concert, but for any quieter sources, the noise floor becomes glaringly obvious.  Fidelity is OK, but the level of hiss while recording a voice was unacceptable for any professional applications.  However, this unit has XLR mic inputs with 48V Phantom power, THE feature that makes this $200 unit stand out among its brethren.  This is where the ProTrack really shines!
Using with a condenser mic, in this case an MXL1006, I got what I thought are pretty amazing results.  

Take a listen to the recording test and see what you think...
Alesis_ProTrack.mp3


If you are impressed, get one from audiomidi.com.
Once Apple lets you attach the recording to an email and send it directly from an iPhone, it'll be a remarkable killer tool!

 

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