Tascam US-16X08
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Tascam US-16X08
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All user reviews of 3/5 for the Tascam US-16X08

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Average Score:3.0( 3/5 based on 3 reviews )
 1 user review33 %
 1 user review33 %
 1 user review33 %
Audience: Beginners
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M-R11/15/2015

M-R's review"Good, not perfect"

Tascam US-16X08
Hi all, I have been looking myself for reviews or videos on this Tascam US-16x08 audio interface.
First, here it is :



Content

Unboxing, the product looks well-finished, gain knobs look sturdy.
Originally, the two sides are screwed upon a frame to allow leaning it slightly.
If you wish to put it in a 19" rack, dedicated mounting bars are provided to replace the sides.
AC adapter is universal, with a US-to-EU adapter.

Installation & Windows drivers

This is where the troubles begin. Tascam has (lately) put online 1.0 drivers for Windows and/or Mac.
Caution: don't do the same mistake I did, install the drivers BEFORE turning on the USB-connected interface.
Why is that? Out of the three peripherals it detects (without the drivers installed), 1 was not recognized (red cross). Difficult to sort out afterwards.
Except for this small inconvenient, nothing to mention. A light indicator shows whether the USB connection is working or not (practical in case anything went wrong).

Standalone mixer interface

It is composed of three tabs :



This is the mixer part, if you wish to use it standalone without a third-party program (Cubase, Sonar etc...).
The basics are here, EQ, compressor. I haven't tested it in standalone mode, but my mic signal was detected with a very little latency. 10 stage/mixe settings can be saved.



This picture shows the interface's routing.
A downside, only the outs are assignable and can be changed.
You can choose either a Master L/R out or another out for monitors or headphones while recording.
As a reminder, the device itself has a headphone out, which can be parametered to receive either the global mix or one specific out.



This is the part where buffer size can be managed.
And this is where the interface causes problems. I'll describe those I faced.
Originally, buffer size is set at 512, which allows a 12ms latency "in" and almost 30ms "out": for live headphone monitoring, it becomes hard to manage with a total 12+30=42 ms. Latency can be heard.
Through a mixern no problem of course.

I first tried to use the interface with my laptop computer: i7 2GHZ / 4 GB RAM. And - catastrophic, no way to get under 512. Sometimes I managed to get to 256, sometimes not, so I was about to return the interface. I used several different DAWs, including CUBASE 5 - Ableton Live - Reaper version 5.
Depending on the software used, it worked more or less. What is impossible to understand is the fact the CPU never was overloaded.

So, I switched to my desktop computer. i7 3700k - 3.8Ghz / 16gb Ram / SSD

I first had the same problem in 256 with Cubase. I tried with Reaper 4.77 64bits, and everything worked fine even with a 64 buffer (2 ms latency in/6ms out). I dare not change the buffer setting so that the problem doesn't reappear. I also tried Reaper 4.77 on the laptop but the problem was still there. I conclude a big setup is needed to get under 256, and that the drivers are still very unstable as nothing seems logical in the way the buffers are managed.

OTHER VARIOUS DETAILS:
- I have already used different M-Audio interfaces including the 2-ins Fast Track Pro, and mis gain was set to 8-9. Here, the gain is only at 6-7 with the same AT2020 XLR-style diaphragm mic. Sound is very clean.
- 8 XLR preamplified ins and 2 front panel line ins which are useful as one can choose either line or mic level. The same behind with a +4dB/-10dB selector.
- I haven't tried the MIDI function as my keyboard is USB

Overall:
I think the drivers are still unstable, hence the interface doesn't work properly. I thought of sending it back then I thought I'd keep it to see whether new drivers wouldn't solve the remaining bugs. Currently drivers are still at v1.0.

As a conclusion, should this interface be recommended or not?

If you wish to use this 16 ins interface just for recording using a mixer for headphone monitoring, do nos hesitate, this price in just awesome. Preamps are very good (for this price range).

If you intend to use it for a 100% homestudio recording with a need for several monitoring outs with a not-so-powerful computer, I advise you to wait for other feedbacks on this product. Everyone can adapt more or less to latency but as far as I am concerned more than 20ms is very disturbing.

This remains a very good product but it is hindered by youthful bugs. Hopefully it will soon be sorted out.

Thanks for reading.
So long!