Poll: Which one?
Poll Options
View poll results: Which one?
Mixer interface
2 25%
Rack interface
6 75%
Other (please specify)
0 0%
Voters: 8.
#1
I've got two choices that I've found for me. Both of them being Tascam USB 2.0 interfaces. The first is a mixer with 6 XLR inputs, 2 sets of stereo line ins, and a couple RCA inputs. The second is rack mountable and has 8 XLR inputs. I figure I can use my 2 channel preamp to get two more XLR inputs on the mixer, plus I'd get the feel of a mixer as well, whereas I can't figure out any plus sides to the rack mountable interface, especially since I wouldn't be able to do line ins with it (without a converter).

Opinions? Also, if you vote "Other", don't suggest something with firewire, I can't use it, and I can't really afford to upgrade my laptop and desktop with Firewire ports.

http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com/product/Tascam-M164UF-16Input-Mixer-with-Effects-and-USB-2.0-Interface?sku=582248

http://pro-audio.musiciansfriend.com/product/Tascam-US1641-USB-2.0-Audio-MIDI-Computer-Interface?sku=245002
#2
Get the rack unit. I've never been a fan of the USB Mixers. They just don't sound the same and really become a huge distraction when recording.
Derpy Derp Derp Herp Derp
#3
Quote by lockwolf
Get the rack unit. I've never been a fan of the USB Mixers. They just don't sound the same and really become a huge distraction when recording.

Just curious, but how do they sound different and become a distraction when recording? I'd think it would make recording a bit easier with the sliders.
#4
You get some hands on feel with the mixer but IMO they are like the Mackie Onyx where as they are built to be set in a live stage and made to mix shows while sending the preamped signal to the computer for later mixing and tweaking.

I vote for the TAscam rack interface. I'm just not a huge fan of their iffy drivers and lack of customer support.

From what I can tell, the Tascam mixer with USB does not operate as a control surface so it's quite pointless to even have...
Last edited by moody07747 at Jun 11, 2010,
#5
Well first off, what are you planning to use it for?
This is pretty important in any gear purchase.

Just guitar?
Micing up amps, going direct in with guitar?

Micing drums or micing up rehearsals?
Recording your bands live shows?

EDIT: it looks like the rack mount would be better for recording, if you were planning to mix on the computer because most of the fader mixer's features are the faders, eq and some aux sends for mixing, which will mostly just get in the way while mixing on the computer. and you get 2 more xlr inputs.

Where as the fader inline mixer would be better if you were mixing from a DAT or some other form besides computer. Which in this age, there's really no reason not to mix from a comp.
Last edited by Rakoro at Jun 11, 2010,
#6
Quote by Alex Vik
Just curious, but how do they sound different and become a distraction when recording? I'd think it would make recording a bit easier with the sliders.


Often USB is too slow and you can hear some latency, like you see the drummer hit the snare, but hear it in the speakers half a second later.

Also the digital to analog converters aren't as good either so they don't really sound that great. This is why a Digidesign 003 interface sounds so much better than an Mbox mini.

The sliders are really only useful during mixing, and it's usually alot easier to mix on a DAW program like Cubase, Pro Tools or Logic than it is to mix on a small little mixer with less than ideal components.

EDIT: Consequently, this is why firewire interfaces are usually more expensive, they use higher quality components and are also designed to be a little faster to help with latency. I don't know how tascam interfaces perform. Also, I know that firewire isn't available to you, depending on your laptop you can get an express card that slots in and can provide firewire, but for your purposes USB is probably easier.
Firewire is really only worth it for the engineers and the hobbyists. And people who have the money for it too I guess.
Last edited by Rakoro at Jun 11, 2010,
#7
Quote by Rakoro
Often USB is too slow and you can hear some latency, like you see the drummer hit the snare, but hear it in the speakers half a second later.

Also the digital to analog converters aren't as good either so they don't really sound that great. This is why a Digidesign 003 interface sounds so much better than an Mbox mini.

The sliders are really only useful during mixing, and it's usually alot easier to mix on a DAW program like Cubase, Pro Tools or Logic than it is to mix on a small little mixer with less than ideal components.

EDIT: Consequently, this is why firewire interfaces are usually more expensive, they use higher quality components and are also designed to be a little faster to help with latency. I don't know how tascam interfaces perform. Also, I know that firewire isn't available to you, depending on your laptop you can get an express card that slots in and can provide firewire, but for your purposes USB is probably easier.
Firewire is really only worth it for the engineers and the hobbyists. And people who have the money for it too I guess.


USB 2.0 is faster than Firewire and with the proper settings, there should be no latency at all worth worrying about.
USB3 just came out recently and is just starting to get put on new Motherboards...It's just faster than version 2 but I've yet to see any audio interfaces even use this connection speed.

As stated before, I don't see any documents or video explaining that this USB mixer acts as a control surface.

Overall, you can always buy a stand alone control surface if you want to but really, it's not too annoying to mix with a mouse.
#8
Personally I would take the rack interface. Purely and simply because it has more inputs. However, it depends what you're planning on using it for. If you're going to be recording drums, for example, you'll want as many inputs as you can get, but if it's only for guitar, I think you'd struggle to utilise 6 inputs, never mind 8.

Plus, the desk isn't really going to do anything for you that your DAW can't already do better. The EQs and such are probably unusable if you want a professional sound. The only slight advantage is being able to manually adjust levels and such, but I don't think that's a deciding factor.