on April 28, 2011
I bought this unit partly because it came with a nice audio recording program called cubase. I like the interface but trying to register and run the free software has proven to be impossable. Great interface but don't buy it hoping to be able to use the software the company behind the Software has made it impossable to use their product (Steinberg). Interface is really usefull and easy to use. 8 xlr, six 1/4" plus midi and spdif(digital) inputs to connect to your computer with a single usb cord. Four assignable outputs. Phantom power to boot on the xlr ins. Very clean sound and I haven't add any problems with latense. Used it to record my band live, no problems running all 14 analog inputs and spdif at once for 15 tracks.
on May 15, 2012
I purchased this interface after deciding long and hard to upgrade to computer-based recording from my standalone units. I had great luck with my original Tascam DP-01 digital 8-track so I decided on the Tascam US-1800 as my new interface of choice.
The US-1800 unit has a great built quality. The knobs feel nice and the casing feels sturdy. My unit came with the current drivers.
I've recorded five songs so far, 6 drum mics recording live at the same time. I've had no issues whatsoever. No latency issues, no pops, no clicks. I'm running Reaper x64 bit as my DAW.
-Quad-Core i7 Processor
on March 17, 2012
I purchased a Tascam US-1800 interface about a week ago and the unit stopped functioning. I was adjusting the latency settings when the sound began to fade and disappeared into static. Now my computer no longer recognizes the device and the USB indicator on the unit does not light up.
I made sure that any cords were not responsible, reinstalled the drivers, rebooted my computer, etc. All USB ports on my laptop are in working condition as I tried using other devices with no problems.
The unit was plugged into a surge protector in a grounded power outlet and it worked fine the first few days I had it. After the first few days of use, a series of pops and clicks began to emerge, which I attributed to buffering or latency issues; I tried to remedy this by doing common troubleshooting steps, eg. eliminating start up programs and adjusting latency times in my DAW software and within the Tascam US-1800 ASIO audio drivers that is provided with the unit, but then the unit stopped functioning/responding altogether.
Do not believe I am at fault for device failure. Believe I have purchased a defective unit (and getting the impression that there is more than one defective unit out there).
I bought the device at Guitar Center but do not have much faith in them exchanging it as they stated at time of purchase that due to the unit being bundled with Cubase LE, copyright and piracy laws prevent returns of such interfaces.
So my concern is that I might have to wait while GC ships it all the way to Montebello, CA on the West Coast (I'm in New England) which after all is said and done could take at least a month for me to get my unit shipped there, repaired, sent back, and would put the unit at further risk of being damaged during shipment at great distances and multiple changing of hands. And I'd still be stuck without a way to record my music.
I want to know if Tascam/Teac will honor their warranty and allow me to take it to my nearest authorized repair center. Will post an update when I know more.
It has been confirmed by Tascam and Guitar Center that my US-1800 is defective. Just read similar reviews posted here on Amazon about the 1800 not functioning after a short period of ownership.
I bought the device at Guitar Center in Warwick, RI. Took it down to them and they will not refund my money or exchange it. They say that since the unit is bundled with Cubase LE software which contains a registration license, copyright and piracy laws prevent returns of such interfaces.
What a load of bull. The law is backwards and protects corporate thievery then. It's not even a full version of Cubase -- it's the Light Edition... but you can download full versions of Cubase trial versions on the freakin' internet -- although the bundled software is helpful to some, Cubase is a pain in the butt to install. Wouldn't be my first choice for a DAW (unless I was doing stuff exclusively in MIDI.)
Guitar Center offered me the option to "purchase" a "loaner" at SAME cost until my US-1800 is repaired and then I can return the "loaner" and get a refund on the cost of the loaner.
Why would I spend more money (double the money) on a product that is already receiving negative reviews on Amazon and Guitar Center's site that describe the same exact issue I'm having? I'd have to be a real idiot to make the same mistake TWICE.
Now I am stuck with a useless $300 piece of junk (nearly $400 if you include the optional 3 year ADH Pro Coverage extended warranty which I purchased as well -- which was also a waste of money since all they can offer is free shipping to a repair center. Whooptie doo.)
My only option is to ship it to Tascam in California. The way UPS handles their packages (tossing it around, packing heavy items on top of it, leaving it on your doorstep free for the taking) I'll probably end up with a damaged interface, or none at all.
Either way I'm still stuck without a way to record my music. Thanks Tascam and Guitar Center, you've both really made my year and musical recording experience wonderful!
To anybody doing their research -- don't ignore the negative reviews like I did. I assumed that they were isolated experiences where the unit died due to malfunction or was simply the user's fault. I would recommend looking at other interfaces (Presonus, Focusrite, Motu, etc.) Tascam is not what it used to be...neither is Guitar Center.
I will never buy anything at a Guitar Center again. Guitar Center is a rip off. You can find this unit here at Amazon for $284.56 NEW -- that's about $15 less than GC's price. If you're really smart you'll but the unit at Guitar Center then print out a copy of Amazon's lower price and take it back to GC and take advantage of their 30-day price guarantee and get a refund on 100% of the difference, plus another 10% of that difference.
Frankly, do yourself a favor, if you're going to buy an expensive doorstop don't buy it at Guitar Center. Good luck!
on July 23, 2014
This is a pretty handy interface, but some users (rightly so) will not be happy about its lack of metering. Yes, there are overload LEDs for each channel, but that's it.
On the 'plus' side, the preamplifiers are indeed very quiet right up until you turn the (individual gain) knob to the 3 o'clock position, above which point they get noticeably noisier. That's pretty much to be expected though, and frankly, if you need that much gain from that particular microphone, you probably should use a different microphone with higher sensitivity.
It's pretty spartan, but then again, there's a reason why it's at this price point, and as long as you can live with the lack of metering, then you might want to think about this one.
on April 2, 2014
For what it is, this is an amazing value. I've only had it for a day, but so far it's doing well.
I got it as a replacement for a PreSonus 1818vsl. The Presonus unit had a driver bug which made it incompatible with the Intel eXtensible Host Controller chipset on my new Windows 8 computer, causing the playback to be plagued with constant digital distortion.
This Tascam unit has no such driver problems, it worked perfectly and has perfect playback and recording with no glitches, at the lowest latency settings. So right there that makes it 1000 percent better than the Presonus unit.
It's also a lot less expensive than the Presonus unit, and for good reason: It's not nearly as feature-rich. I'll start there:
- It has no software effects, and in fact it has no software mixer panel at all. The only settings you can choose in the driver are the buffer settings and the clock source and that's about it. No fancy mix routings available.
- No level meters on the front panel to help you adjust the gains. No software mix panel, so no level meters there either. Hope your DAW is good at level metering in realtime for you.
- It has no ADAT inputs, and its SPDIF inputs didn't work for my particular application. My prior interface would let me choose whether it was a master for the SPDIF, or a slave, in terms of the sample rate. The US-1800 didn't have that option: If I connected an external SPDIF source, the US-1800 automatically slaved to its sample rate. If I tried to set it to force the sample rate, it deliberately shuts off the SPDIF input. So basically, what happened is that I wanted to record at 44.1khz, but since the my SPDIF device defaults to 48khz at power-on, I couldn't use it here, because it kept forcing the US-1800 to 48khz. For me this was OK, I ended up using something else to accomplish the same thing via analog, and I'm getting rid of the other SPDIF device.
- The front panel inputs are just XLR cable inputs, they don't have that convenient option where you can optionally plug a 1/4" cable into the center of the XLR plug (though there are two front-panel 1/4" inputs which offset that limitation).
- Overall Mic input gain levels seemed a bit quieter than my prior interface. But I think they have enough gain for my condenser mics. I don't think I'll run into a problem there, but long term this remains to be seen.
- The gain and volume knobs on its front panel do not have any silkscreening on them to indicate where they are pointed. They are shiny black knobs and you can't tell by looking at them where they are turned to. This was easily fixable with a silver sharpie, though.
- It Just Works. I can't stress how important this was to me. This is a replacement for a Presonus unit which Just Didn't Work. This is compatible with the new USB 3.0 chipset in my new computer. Win.
- It has an awesome feature that I always wished for, but which I've never seen in one of these kinds of units: A knob which controls the headphone/monitor balance between the computer playback and the mic feedback. So often, in the past, I'd have someone tracking in the booth with the headphones on, and they'd say, "I need a little more of me, and a little less of the backing track". I couldn't do that, at least, not with one setting. I could turn the backing track down in the DAW, and I could adjust the overall levels of the interface, but never control the monitor/playback balance as a single operation. They'd have to turn themselves up by turning up their headphone amp in the booth while I lowered the backing tracks in the DAW. NO LONGER! Now, when they say that to me, I just twist the knob on the US-1800's front panel. AWESOME.
- Useful +4/-10 gain switches on the back-panel 1/4" inputs.
- Power switch on the front panel instead of on the back like most other gear.
- Noise floor levels seemed OK, though I have no quantitative way to measure that myself. It's possible that the thing I mentioned above, where I noticed that the gain knobs don't seem let me get as loud as my last interface, might be related to that. Maybe their gain structure just leans towards the quiet end to keep the noise floor down. I think this is a good thing, I'm not sure though. Long term, we'll have to see.
- The simplicity of the setup, the fact that there is no software mixer panel, means that all of its output just work all the time. Every other interface I've gotten, I've had to puzzle over their software mixers and do some kind of routing changes in their mix panels before I could get any sound out of them. Not so with this one. This Just Works out of the box: Mic plugged into input 1, sound from that mic (and from the computer) comes out of the outputs. Period. Though this means that I can't do fancy routing where I mute the mics on some of the outputs to prevent feedback, or I can't do separate monitor sub-mixes, those things don't matter to me in my particular arrangement. If I were doing things on a larger scale I might need those features, but right now those complicated mixer routings just get in my way. This thing is SIMPLE, and right now I like that.
I read some other reviews which talked about reliability issues. I've only had this thing for a day so I can't comment on those. I can say that it works right now out of the box, and I'm hoping that I won't have any long term issues.
on January 8, 2015
What happened to me:
I have a friend who has loved his 1800 and convinced me to get one. Purchased this unit used on Ebay from a great turnaround/profit seller. I got it, installed it, and immediately had static artifacts. In the process of trying to diagnose the issue, the static began to squelch and I lost USB connection. I reinstalled the drivers, tried new cables, restarted my Mac. The unit simply stopped being recognized or acknowledged by the OS, the drivers, or my DAW. Thankfully, this happened at home while testing it and not while I was out on a paid gig. I understand that this stuff happens; the people I contract with aren't always as understanding. Shipped it back through Ebay. Looks like I'll get a full refund. Thank the Lord.
What you do:
More importantly, do your homework and find that many other people have had this happen. Look for the review on Amazon telling about the customer service dialogue. As already stated elsewhere, I wouldn't trust this unit even if it was fixed. Nor would I trust another 1800 given the surplus of duplicate experiences. I love the idea of a cheap, easy, quick-and-dirty 16x4 USB interface. But TASCAM has pooped out enough duds of this model to make me question any other consequential purchase from them. In hindsight, I feel a little silly for buying it. You're much better off going with a Focusrite 18i20 or a Presonus 1818. If you're looking for something a little dated and therefore a little cheaper, look for the Presonus Firestudio Project. Or if your computer is older and still solid, the Presonus Firepod. These are the models the US-1800 tries to mimic. Though you'll spend more money, you'll only spend it once.
The device itself:
Though wholly compromised by static, the sound I got from the device was decent. Compared to my standby, USB-powered M-Audio MobilePre, the pres sound good, but not great. Still a bit harsh and thin, but the unit is an amateur piece of hardware and that's to be expected. I was pleasantly surprised by how much gain I got from each channel. Wouldn't power an SM7B or a ribbon. But enough to make most dynamic mics sound clear. It's pretty lightweight, but had that cheap airiness to it. The knobs felt surprisingly solid. Routing options in the software were limited, but wouldn't stop me from using it. The lone front headphone jack is eternally bound to outputs 1-2. Individual (mono) 1/4' connections for all four outs located in the back. Digital outputs in rear as well, but I didn't have time to use them. The XLRs on the front panel felt solid, though would be more appreciated if they were the newer multi connections. I didn't find a way to monitor from the device itself, which seemed a little odd given that most run-of-the-mill 2x2s will do that. Maybe it was buried in the software somewhere and I just didn't have time to find it. Phantom power seems solid and is definitely an improvement for anyone accustomed to USB-driven phantom as I once was.
Ultimately, I would have used the TASCAM US-1800 for all it's worth. But lo, the aroma of lemon has tainted the TASCAM name once again. Don't buy this product.
MacBook Pro Late '09
Mac OSX 10.10 Yosemite
2.53 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
4 GB RAM
on January 7, 2013
I've had this for about six months now. My band has been using this to record and mix live through the computer with no issues. With Cubase, its a good idea to make sure and turn the latency down (you have to do this each time you start cubase for some reason) and latency will be negligible. We use at least 8 tracks simultaneously just about everytime we fire it up, and it works without a hitch. For the amount of inputs, it can't be beat. From the other reviews, it seems as though it may be hit or miss... but its definitely been a hit for us. Well worth the money.
on January 26, 2015
I've had this for over 2 years now. I'm running it off a MacBook Pro (currently on Mavericks). I'm a drummer that likes to play around with other instruments and write songs or just play music. This thing has recorded 9 tracks at once on my drum kit. I'm not a professional recording engineer but when I play my drum tracks back they sound the same if not better than the ones I hear on YouTube. I am running this into Pro Tools 10 with no issues.
on May 30, 2012
I was very satisfied with the performance of the interface at first. All the channels worked fine, and simultaneously recording 6 or 7 tracks at one time was a breeze. I never used the included software. However, after a few days of using the interface, it refused to connect with my Mac. I restarted my computer, uninstalled the driver, and reinstalled the latest driver. I also tried using different USB cables to connect the equipment, to no avail. After contacting Tascam customer support it is clear that I have a defective unit. I attempted to deal with the distributor, but because of some rules of communication that Amazon has, it was a frustrating experience. I attempted to return the product because that was the only option given to be on the Amazon order page for a problem. Come to find out that it is impossible to return this item because of the bundled software. I have been out of a means to record music for a month now, and can only see a few more months of trouble on the horizon. This is a devastating blow to any working class musician, because we have to put aside money for months to pay for hardware like this. I am very upset with this product, the distributor's support system, and amazon's interface when it comes to reporting a problem. DO NOT BUY THIS INTERFACE, IT IS NOT WORTH THE TROUBLE.
on April 26, 2014
I did a lot of research before purchasing this unit. I was looking for the product with the largest number of pre-amp mic inputs for the lowest cost. This unit worked flawlessly for me. My biggest concern before purchasing the unit was whether or not I'd be able to provide live monitoring for the musicians. On the lowest latency setting, the lag was negligible and no one complained about any noticeable delay.
Bottom line: this is a fantastic unit for home or small studio recording. Clean signal, plenty of inputs, and durable build. Highly recommended.