n-Track and M-Audio Mobile Pre

Really need some help

Hi there!

I’ve seen some discussion of this very topic, but I can’t seem to get definitive guidance on the Windows audio and n-Track Audio Devices/Buffering settings. Here is my setup:

- Dell Latitude laptop, model C810, 1,133MHz, 512M RAM, ESS Maestro built-in sound card, Windows 2000 Professional.
- n-Track v 4.0.3 (17/12/2004) Build 1735
- Mobile Pre installed and working for normal audio playback (ie: WMP, RealPlayer, etc.)

When I playback in n-Track, it either sounds fast like a chipmunk or crashes Windows. I’ve changed the Audio Devices in n-Track to the “M-Audio MobilePre” for both playback and recording. I’ve tried various Buffering pre-sets, and for one moment playback sounded normal but then it crashed (can’t remember what setting that was). I have no idea what all the stuff means under “More options” in Buffering, so I really need some help here. I don’t know what other n-Track or Windows settings might be invloved in making this work either.

So, any feedback or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks a lot,


The “chipmunk” effect that you mentioned could indicate a mis-match in the sample-rate settings… try to set the sample-rate at 44.1KHz.

(Sorry, I don’t know your hardware, so I don’t know exactly where you need to click for this setting…)


I can’t help you fix your problem because m-audio and Flavio could not help me when I had the pre usb.I finnally gave up after my comp went from crashing every half hr to crashing when I moved the timeline slider.We are talking blue screen crashes and lockups.I think there is a driver issue with mobile pre and n track. I wish it had worked because I know other people with other recording programs that it works fine with. Also I had the chipmunk effect at times but not consistently.One minute it would play back fine the next time I had Alvin.

One more thing and I really dont like to be Mr.negative because I am about as far from an audio expert as you can get. But I tried every frigin adjustment that I could find to no avail.I really hope someone with the right knowledge can help you figure it out because the mobile pre is a nice compact quiet unit.

Thanks for the feedback.

John - The sample rate in n-Track is set to 44100 for sure. I’m gonna look around and see where else this might be set. Do you think I need to disable the ESS Maestro laptop built-in sound card?

291dw - Yikes! Not good news from your perspective. I had read good things about the Mobile Pre like you said, and after using only headphones and moving WAV files over to the laptop for n-Track mixing (that were recorded elsewhere) I thought I was finally going to have a nice little self-contained laptop recording and mixing setup. I’ve seen others, and some here at this forum, that use n-Track with the M.Pre, so maybe you (we?) have the wrong laptop for this. I sure hope I get it to work… I’ll post my progress.


Quote (Scott-Le-Rock @ Jan. 11 2006,14:34)
John - The sample rate in n-Track is set to 44100 for sure. I'm gonna look around and see where else this might be set. Do you think I need to disable the ESS Maestro laptop built-in sound card?

Well it wouldn't hurt anything to try... Mine are just general suggestions... Based on 291dw's comments, you may have a bigger issue than just a few settings. You might want to try to email Flavio directly via the "Support" button.


Yep, I sent in a help request via support, so we’ll see what happens… fingers crossed.

From what I have read on this forum a stand alone laptop or dedicated computer is the way to go. So that is in your favor That is not the case with me.I have kids stuff,My stuff , wifes stuff on mine so I tried my best to turn stuff off when I was fooling with pre usb. My dell is a fairly new 2400 pent 4 with 512 ram on xp. I have a neighborhood I.T. guy that spent 3 hrs going to places on my comp that I would never figure out how to access to look for hidden files and such that could have caused the problem.Nada.When I switched to a simple pre amp and card no more (major)problems. Just for your info at that time I was using the 4.03 build 1753 or 4 I `think. I am curious if a later build and/or version might work? I hope for your sake it is not a true driver problem or maybe there is a dL that might fix things.With mine, it was like the comp was going straight to the glitch and it crashed easier and easier. I am sure there are people that can shed more light and come up with fix it ideas instead of comiserating which wont help you.Good luck

Here’s a good place to get started on how to tweak you PC for DAW work:


John, thanks for that link. I’m running Windows 2000, so a lot of the stuff there doesn’t apply. Win2000 might be part of my problem too!

Last night I tried a few things and the results were worse!!! Slow staggered playback. System locking up. Core memory dumps. I disabled the internal laptop sound card, made sure that n-Track was set to 44100 sample rate, blah, blah, blah and no happiness at all. I’m considering taking this Mobile Pre back to Guitar Center and changing it for something else. Even though it was a gift from my wife, she’ll be happier if I’m not wrestling with this @#%*&!! thing and getting all worked up into a seething lather :angry: . There’s a Firewire interface that’s about the same price of $199 so that might be an option. Either that or get a Digitech pedal and a used acoustic. Now those I know how to configure!!! :p

One last option is to take n-Track out of the picture. The Mobile Pre came with “live lite 4” software, so I’ll try that out and see what happens.

Any last ditch suggestions before this thing gets sent back?


By the way, I haven’t heard a word from the n-Track support folks (I mean Flavio).

Quote (Scott-Le-Rock @ Jan. 13 2006,17:40)
I'm considering taking this Mobile Pre back to Guitar Center and changing it for something else.

Be glad that you didn't buy it from Musician's Friend - they have a "No Return" policy on soundcards, or at least they did when I got screwed. Good luck to ya!

Yep, the guys at Guitar Center have pretty great policies, and I already checked about exchanging the Mobile Pre for something else.

Problem is when I go there, I see so much wonderful stuff. There was a used Vox AC30 amp for sale… I want I want.


I also bought my mobile pre from guitar center.The thing was ,I went in looking to buy a simple pre amp and ended up with the pre usb. I used it for a month and took it back ,no questions asked. They said If I was not satisfied ,no problem.

I was ready for a big fight but it did not happen .Something to be said for that. That is how you keep customers.


Got a new laptop, a Dell Precision M70. It’s a high-end machine and I’m very happy to report that n-track is working very well with the Mobile-Pre. Turns out that my old laptop was failing and that was causing all the trouble. It’s a great day!!!

Thanks to all for the help along the way. Glad I didn’t take it back to Gtr Ctr after all.


Glad you got it worked out.I was at the end of my rope.I think my rope is shorter than a lot of people on this forum .My desktop is fairly new but there was something wrong somewhere. I was not about to buy a new computer to accommodate the moblile pre.Later