Track Factory Factory is a pre-configured DAW studio kit with everything you need to start creating, recording and mixing music anywhere—just add your own computer monitor. Great for songwriters, schools, and rehearsals, the small and compact Track Factory is based around an Intel NUC PC that PC Audio Labs has optimized for audio recording; it comes with Cakewalk Sonar Professional pre-installed and running on Windows 10 Home Edition. Sonar Pro includes professional mixing effects, loops, virtual instruments and Melodyne Essential.
Smaller than a laptop (measures 4-inches square), the NUC PC has a 2.7 GHz Intel- CoreTM i5 processor, 8 GB of RAM and a 256-GB solid-state drive. Track Factory comes with a Tascam US-2X2 audio interface, keyboard, mouse, four USB 3.0 ports, a mini- display port, mini-HDMI and Ethernet jacks, plus WI-FI and built-in Bluetooth.
The US-2X2 (2-inputs and 2-outputs) interface works up to 24-bit/96 kHz and has two Ultra-HDDA pre-amps with Combo jacks for line level or mic inputs, and there are two balanced TRS Line outputs and MIDI jacks on the rear panel. I found the unit well made with level controls for line output, built-in headphone amp, and easy-to-read peak level meters with switchable 48-volt phantom powering.
To complete the package, Track Factory comes with Tascam’s TM-80 condenser mic with desktop stand, shock mount, clip and cable. You also get a pair of Tascam’s closed-back TH-02 foldable headphones. For someone starting out and getting setup, I found thoughtful that you also get up to 20-minutes of personal online training and configuration session plus technical support.
The Tascam Track Factory Project with its US 2X2 interface is a compact, portable dedicated DAW system for anyone—beginners to pros. It’ll fit into a backpack and go anywhere. To get you going besides Sonar Pro software, it comes with Ableton Live 9 Lite, basic Web browser, and text editor. It sells for $1,299 MSRP.
Barry Rudolph is a recording engineer/mixer who has worked on over 30 gold and platinum records. He has recorded and/or mixed Lynyrd Skynyrd, Hall & Oates, Pat Benatar, Rod Stewart, the Corrs and more. Barry has his own futuristic music mixing facility and loves teaching audio engineering at Musician’s Institute, Hollywood, CA. He is a lifetime Grammy-voting member of NARAS and a contributing editor for Mix Magazine. barryrudolph.com