The Tascam US-1641 is a 16 input, 4 output usb midi recording interface. It includes 8 mic inputs with phantom power and 60db of gain, two balanced TRS line/guitar inputs, four more balanced inputs on the back of the unit, digital input and output via S/PDIF, separate monitor output, separate headphone output, and midi in and midi out capabilities. Although this is an older, discontinued product, in some ways I prefer it over the newer version. One reason, is that the US-1641 has a simple power cord connection, whereas the newer recording interface uses a special power adapter (not sure why they made the change).
Although this unit is older and discontinued, it works flawlessly on my Windows 7 system. For recording drums and recording live sessions, you cannot beat this unit, for a small home studio. I use it every week to record my band's practice, and even when I use it with my older Windows XP system (that I keep in our practice room), my computer can easy handle all of the inputs at once.
Mainly, this unit is invaluable for recording drums, where more than two inputs (which is what my main audio interface has) in necessary. With the ability to hook up 8 phantom-powered mics directly, plus 6 additional 1/4 line-leve inputs, you have the capacity to record any standard drum set. The gains are fairly easy to set on the device, as there are light indicators to let you know when a channel is receiving input, and when the input is too hot. However, even if the indicator doesn't turn red, I find that sometimes the input still gets a bit clipped and distorted if you are not careful with the volume levels. This happens in particular with large diaphragm condenser microphones, which I find myself turning the gain all the way down to prevent clipping.
Installation is relatively easy, but it always seems necessary to download new drivers from Tascam's website directly. The Tascam US-1641 is fully compatible with 64-bit and 32-bit Windows systems. I have not tried it yet on a Mac OS computer (but usually, it's the Windows systems that tend to lack support, not Mac).
Overall, this is a great audio and midi interface that any small studio should pick up, certainly if they need to recording drums or live sessions.
The Tascam US 1641 was the first audio interface I bought when I wanted to get into digital recording with my computer. I was running it with a Hewlett Packard lap top with a 3 Ghz processor and 2 GB of RAM and using Cubase SX as a sequencer. It has eight XLR input based pre amplifiers and then has eight more ADAT inputs and outputs and also has a AES/EBU connections.
Setting up the US 1641 was quick and painless. I had no compatibility issues and was able to have the unit up and running with my machine within minutes. The general configuration of the unit is simple and easy to follow, which makes it easy to manipulate and to learn what everything does. The manual is complete and through and is useful when setting up and using this audio interface.
I ran the US 1641 with Cubase SX without any problems. The drivers were stable and are updated pretty often. I was able to record without any latency, as this machine does all of its processing within the unit, freeing up space on my computer. I was able to record at least ten tracks at once, sometimes more, which has more to do with my computer I think, but being as fast as this interface is, it definitely helps to run everything quickly and smoothly.
I bought the US 1641 about four years ago, but I have since switched to a Pro Tools based system with a different audio interface. The reason I switched had nothing to do with this unit, as I think this is better than the audio interface I have now - a Digidesign Digi 002 rack version. The reason I switched was simply because I need to run Pro Tools. If you don't use Pro Tools, this is one of the best home studio audio interfaces you can get. The preamps aren't the best sounding, but are definitely usable and will get a pretty clean sound. One of my favorite parts about this is the metering, as it is extremely clear and looks great! This interface worked great for me while I had it, and if I could run Pro Tools with it, I would still have it. Highly recommended for those looking to put together a computer based home studio with an audio interface like this one.
The Tascam US 1641 is probably, next to its newer, more attractively shaded successor, the US 1800, the greatest deal when it comes to inputs and outputs for the price in an interface. 16 inputs and 4 outputs for under $300 is quite a steal, and nothing on it screams that it is cheap at all. It is a very solid, very robust looking unit, and it does not slack in the latency department either. I have not even bothered with universal ASIO drivers for these because the 1641 is not terribly inhibitive when it comes to recording and monitoring. It can record in 96 k at a 24 bit depth, which means you get 144 dB of headroom, a lower noise floor, and much less incentive to use compression for sources that just happen to be too dynamic, such as classically trained singers. Being one, that is a huge deal to me.
The drivers for this device are a little old and antiquated, but they serve their purpose and have never failed on me. Usually, I found that whatever program I was using was the culprit. The nice thing about this is that just about everything is on the front, and while it lacks monitorning capabilities, lacking meters, and lacking any sort of specific signal indication, this is, remember, a device that is here to just help you record, real fast, for real cheap. The preamps for what you are getting are unreal. Consider the fact that this interface has 10 preamps on it, and while they do seem a little distant and unsaturated, they get the job done cleanly, and can be messed with ITB.
It is set up just like any other interface. Nothing much to say here. There is nothing distinctive about this one.
I love this interface almost as much as I loved that money I would have spend on something more expensive and higher quality. It is not the greatest machine in the world, but it gets the job done. Well. It is a massive amount of inputs for next to nothing.
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gillou666's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)
I iMAC C2D 2.8GHz pocde an extrem so I speak on Mac-intel, Ormis stand-alone or can be judged an audio record of very good quality this card is a disaster.
the USB-audio.com licensed drivers I already used for other compatible interfaces, put me a bordle unnamed, I came back over fifteen years to results seen such a mess, especially since Uninstalling leaves traces indlbiles plants that you regularly your other drivers, so total incompatibility MAC.
So flee this card if you are pocesseur intel mac, you'll be quite a total reinstalling your system, some kernel-panic, wild reboot etc ... besides the updating does not help firmeware nothing.
Do not rely on Tascam to get you out of.
A big thank you to Jacky Musik-Service in Germany for his professionalism, a site that I recommend, and SHAME TASCAM out such abration clubbing the qualities of the USB-2 by fucking openly the mouth of the world, and having not even respond correcting its customers. Really out of the FW-1804 catalog for DAUBE like there nothing to be proud of, then run away or wait two years they put the day driver as is usual with them.
Small addition date:
taken after information with various sources this card is allergic skin MAC OSX for short incompatibility of the wise drivers ...