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M-Track + ASIO, output to headphones heavily distorted


I have the M-Track ( and am trying to get it to work with Ableton, to where I can play my guitar and hear it with no lag in Ableton (with or without audio effects).

I have been scouring online, but can't find a solution to my issue.

I chose "ASIO" as my Driver type, and then "M-Track Quad ASIO Driver" as the Audio Device.

I have my guitar plugged in to Input 2, and have the "Monitor Mix" set to USB (all the way right). I have GAIN turned all the way down. I can successfully record my guitar into Ableton, as I can see the levels going up/down, and the audio actually recording. However, when I turn the Monitor to "IN", I expect to hear audio as I play. I hear nothing.

However, if I turn the GAIN on the M-Track all the way up, I can hear the guitar, with no delay, but it is EXTREMELY distorted, and cracks as well.

If I turn the monitor off in Ableton, and play back my recorded guitar audio, even when GAIN is off on the m-track, the audio playback is again extremely distorted, and cracks in and out.

I have Windows 10, 16GB Ram, so I don't think it's the computer.

What could be causing this issue? I have also tried using "ASIO4All v2" as the input device, with the M-Track as the WDM Device. I have noticed if I change that setting to my Laptop's soundcard, I hear the guitar without distortion, just as I recorded it.

However, with the Laptop card selected, I can't get any audio from my guitar into Live.

Any ideas? please let me know if I can clarify anything!
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  • Hey Chad,

    Thanks for posting!

    It sounds like you might be using an incorrect driver. The driver for the original M-Track can be accessed here:

    M-Audio M-Track Driver - Windows

    You don't necessarily need to keep your gain all the way down. You can add gain to taste, just be sure that your signal is not clipping. Also be sure to use the Guitar/Line input on the M-Track and set the input type switch to 'guitar'.

    Install and select that driver within Live. Do you still experience unwanted distortion in your signal?
    • Hi Nick, thanks for your reply. I did have that driver installed and selected, but I "Repaired" it and tried again - same issue. Also, I forgot to note that when it does work, it's only coming out of the left headphone, despite "Stereo" being switched on the M-Track. I've got the guitar in Line 1, gain to 0, an monitor mix all the way to USB. I can *see* the recording working in Live, but when I try to hear playback, only when gain is set ALL the way up, I can hear the audio...but it's not regular "acoustic guitar", it's (perhaps obviously) super distorted, and yet faint at the same time. If I change the driver back to MME/Direct X, and play back the audio, it sounds just fine! Another test - if I keep the MME/Direct X, but choose the M-Track as the Output, same issue. I can't hear the guitar unless I play it loud, and it's still heavily distorted/cracking and faint. (Also, quick note; I'm using iPhone headphones with a 1/4 to 1/8" converter to listen. Could that be the issue completely?)
    • Ah - sorry to keep commenting. I kept the MME/Direct X, choosing M-track as audio output, and even other audio sources like YouTube sound distorted and mono. Just mentioning in case it helps...

      Edit: This may be due to the fact that I believe the 1/4 to 1/8mm converter I got is a mono (it only has one band, not two, on the metal part).

      Further, I find that if I turn the settings on the M-Audio driver to the max latency, the audio is a *little* better, but I still have to turn Gain on at least half way to hear anything...and it still is cracking/popping.
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  • Hey Chad,

    I set up a session with Ableton, an M-Track, and an electric guitar and was able to input without the clipping or distortion you're experiencing. These were my settings in Ableton:

    On an audio track in Ableton, I input the guitar to the Guitar/Line input and had the Mic/Line/Guitar switch set to 'Guitar'. Gain for channel 1 was at about 9 o'clock. Headphone output switched to stereo, level at about noon. I set my monitor mix to noon for an equal blend of computer output and direct audio. I did experience some latency between the two signals but that was expected and for the sake of this test, inconsequential.

    Can you replicate these settings and let me know the outcome?
    • Howdy Nick - I tried that and while the sound was a bunch better the lag was about half a note off. However! I switched the driver to ASIO, choosing the M-track for both input and output, and it's now sounding good! (I don't know what I'm doing differently now that I wasn't before...). I can turn it all the way to USB, and hear the guitar the same time as I play it. ...However, I still get a bit of buzzing/static when I play, especially with a "Lead"/"Rock"/heavy gain type Amp in Ableton. I am using (via the M-Audio settings, not in Ableton) 512 or lower Buffer Sizes. But, this is doing much better than before, but still buzzy. When I play it back, it still sounds buzzier than I'd thought. Perhaps there's a sample audio track of "Heavy" amp somewhere, that I can see if that's just how it is, or if I'm indeed getting too much buzz/gain? Thanks a lot for your help!
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