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Tascam US-16X08 16x8 channel USB Audio Interface
- Low Return Rate: 12% fewer returns than similar products
- Highly Rated: 4.1 star rating with over 100 reviews
- Popular Item: Popular with customers shopping for "tascam us-16x08"
- Eight Ultra-HDDA microphone preamps with 57dB of gain
- 16-in/8-out interface with up to 96kHz/24-bit resolution
- USB Audio Compliance 2.0 drivers for iOS compatibility
- Independent line out and headphone level controls
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From the manufacturer
Features at a glance
- Ultra-HDDA (High Definition Discrete Architecture) mic preamps with −125dBu EIN
- Eight Ultra-HDDA mic pres with XLR connectors, eight TRS inputs
- Standalone mode for use as an independent mic preamp
- Support for Windows and Macintosh
- +48V phantom power available for all microphone inputs
USB Audio Interface / Mic Preamp
The TASCAM US-16x08 captures 16 mic and line inputs to your computer with clear sound quality and advanced features to manage big sessions. Eight Ultra-HDDA microphone preamps deliver the cleanest and quietest operation in their class while delivering up to 56dB of gain. An additional eight line inputs are provided, two of them switchable to instrument level for direct guitar or bass recording. Eight balanced line outputs are also available, two with a level control on the front panel for monitoring.
Built into the US-16x08 is a DSP Mixer for low-latency digital mixing. Each channel has four-band EQ and compression for polished-sounding monitor mixes. In addition to interface mode, the US-16x08 can be used stand alone as a standalone mic preamp. Mac and Windows drivers are provided, as well as USB Class Compliant 2.0 drivers for tablets like Apple's iPad. MIDI input and output are also available on the rear panel.
Ultra-HDDA Mic Preamps Deliver Low Noise& Low Distortion
TASCAM's Ultra-HDDA (High Definition Discrete Architecture) mic preamp design is based on discrete components, just like classic professional gear. They achieve an incredible EIN rating of -125 dBu, meaning their noise level is practically below the range of hearing. Other impressive specs include a signal-to-noise ratio of 100 dB, out-speccing anything in its price range. But instead of judging the design merely by test measurments, key components were selected following extensive listening tests.
Rock Out with Amp Simulator Software using the Guitar Inputs
The first two channels can be switched to direct guitar inputs. They're ideal for direct recording of electric and acoustic guitar and bass without the need for a preamp. Use them with amp modeling software, like the TH2 effect included with SONAR X3.
* Guitar effect plug-ins sold separately.
Angled design provides excellent usability on a desktop
The angled design makes desktop viewing and operation much more comfortable for tabletop use. All other interfaces have their controls on the front or the top of the device, causing you to crane your neck to read the knobs and switches. The US-16x08 are at a natural angle, making operation easier to keep you creative.
A pair of rack ears are also included for use in a standard 19" equipment rack.
Separate Volume Controls for Headphones and Line Output
The US-16x08 includes both headphone and line output volume controls. Even when both powered monitors and headphones are connected, the user can set an optimum level for each during operation. And when you want to work on headphones, you don't need to reach around to switch off your monitors.
Sleek Industrial Design Inspires Creativity
These powerful new interfaces are housed in modern industrial designs that are as ergonomic as they are stylish. TASCAM was the first company to offer a USB audio interface, and we have fused our years of experience with acclaimed German from designbox.
TASCAM's new US series satisfies the needs of musicians from an aesthetic as well as ergonomic perspective. With its unique honeycomb structure on the side panels, the main body has a sense of weight while also maintaining a delicacy that matches the user's needs. Honeycomb structures are a feature of modern architecture, but are also a vital resource whose exceptional technical structure we can use in design. As this structure is found in nature, it has a stability and flexibility which comes with being an organic form.
-Axel Hartmann@ designbox
designbox : A German audio design company founded by Axel Hartmann and Stephan Leitl in 1995, designbox has worked on famous music industry products such as synthesizers, effect pedals and amp simulators.
|Dimensions||7.32" W ×2.56" H ×6.3" D (186mm W x 65mm H x 160mm D)||11.62" W x 2.56" H x 6.3" D (296mm W ×65mm H × 160mm D)||52(W) ×2.32(H) ×8.62(D) inch 445(W) ×59(H) ×219(D) mm||52(W) ×2.32(H) ×8.7(D) inch 445(W) ×59(H) ×222(D) mm|
|Weight||2.43lb (1.1kg)||3.53lb (1.6kg)||2.8kg / 6.11lb||2.7kg / 5.95lb|
|Accessories||USB cable, SONAR X3 LE license card, Live 9 Lite license card, User's manual, warranty card||AC adapter(GPE248-120200-Z), USB cable, SONAR X3 LE license card, Live 9 Lite license card, User's manual, warranty card||Rack mount adapter, USB cable, User's manual, warranty card, dedicated AC adapter (GPE248-120200-Z)||Rack mount adapter, USB2.0 cable, USB3.0 cable, User’s manual, warranty card, dedicated AC adapter|
The TASCAM UX-16x08 captures 16 mic and line inputs to your computer with clear sound quality and advanced features to manage big sessions. Eight Ultra-HDDA microphone preamps deliver the cleanest and quietest operation in their class while delivering up to 57dB of gain. An additional eight line inputs are provided, two of them switchable to instrument level for direct guitar or bass recording. Built into the US-16x08 is a DSP mixer for low-latency digital mixing. The US-16x08 can also be used as a standalone mic preamp. Whether using the ergonomically-designed angled desktop stand or mounting withe the included rack ears, the US-16x08 includes enough I/O for almost any music recording application.
Top customer reviews
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The "x08" in the product name apparently refers to the 8 analog outputs from the unit, which I really have no use for. For me, this is an A to D recording device and while I will likely use it for monitoring pre-recorded tracks through the headphone output, the other outputs will likely go unused. The ability to record every one of my 14 drum microphones onto a separate DAW track opens up a world of possibilities and eliminates the need for several analog devices (mixer, gates, compressors, etc.) in my studio. This device has been a major game changer for me and had it only supported the recording of 8 discrete channels, like the competitors' products, that would not have been case.
I was considering the (currently more expensive) M-Audio M-Track Eight and Presonus 1818VSL units, but chose the TASCAM in the end and boy am I glad I did! I've recorded about an hour's worth of 12 channels of drums (all recorded simultaneously) into Reaper DAW software (for Windows) at the maximums sample rate/resolution, and I haven't heard a single drop-out, pop, click, or "glitch". The mic-pres have been silent with no audible distortion or coloration.
The only issue I had was one microphone input into the unit was triggering an overload indicator (on the loudest drum strikes) in the DAW software even with the physical gain pot turned all the way down. I resolved this issue by using the dynamic compression feature in the TASCAM "Settings Panel" to apply a slight taper of the peaks on that channel. I wasn't actually planning on using the EQ or compression features of the DSP in this unit, but in this case, it was the only remedy besides changing the physical microphone configuration.
The device driver (running on Windows 8.1 x64) has been solid. I've used both the ASIO drive for multi-track recording and the WDM driver for stereo playback and monitoring. I did have an issue with Open Broadcaster Software being able to capture from the ASIO driver, but that appears to be a bug or limitation in OBS with regards to devices with more channels than it expects.
I was initially hesitant about this device due to the shipping delays apparently to address software and/or driver problems. With the exception of the occasional oddity, the software has been very reliable. These oddities (I'm not willing to call them "bugs") include:
- Although the manual makes reference to applying compression to the "master" bus, I've found no actual way to do this.
- When "unlinking" inputs, the EQ settings don't revert to the pre-link state.
- When "unchecking" the LCF (low cut filter) button in the EQ, the EQ is not restored to the pre-LCF state.
- You have to select each input individually to view it's EQ and compression settings.
- Changes made to the level fader, panning, mute and solo have no effect on the signals sent to the computer over USB (apparently by design).
- Although there's an entire tab dedicated to the "output" routing, this is really for configuring the analog outputs, not the output to the computer (i.e. there is no way to mix inputs 1 and 2 into a single "channel" over USB).
- You can "link" pairs of inputs for the purpose of sharing a single EQ and compression setting, but you cannot link more than 2 channels (e.g. to use the same EQ and compression settings for 3+ tracks)
- There's no noise gate.
I don't really expect to be using the TASCAM "Settings Panel" software all that much, so I'm not too concerned about these oddities. My main concerns are with regards to audio quality and reliability and so far, this unit really shines in this regard. I think TASCAM marketing could make it more clear that this device actually delivers *twice* the number of channels as the competition.
I made a couple of videos and put them on youtube (search for my channel: rswindell).
UPDATE (August 2015):
After upgrading from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 Pro (64-bit), the TASCAM 16x08 device driver no longer works. I upgraded the driver from v1.00 to v1.01 (the latest version currently available from TASCAM) and still, no worky. So if you'll either want to wait to upgrade to Windows 10 or if you're already running Windows 10, don't buy this product (yet). Bummer. Deducting one star (from 5 to 4). I'll continue deducting stars every month until TASCAM fixes their device driver.
UPDATE (September 2015):
TASCAM released a new Windows device driver for this interface in September (v1.03) and I can confirm that this new version does in fact work with Windows 10 (x64). Why it took them this long to support the current version of Windows is anyone's guess, so I'll leave the star deduction in place.
I started recording about 5 years ago, and have been using an Ayre Acoustics QA-9 2 channel ADC (Analog to Digital Converter, otherwise known as a digital audio interface) for about 3 of those years. Needless to say, the QA-9 sounds absolutely incredible, but has the limitation of only having two inputs and no outputs. This was fine for recording my overdubbed songs because the most channels I'd simultaneously record was two, say for a stereo pair while recording acoustic guitar.
Within the last year I have begun recording other artists more frequently. It soon became apparent that I would need more inputs. So after researching for a while I decided to purchase this Tascam 16x08 - mainly because it was a great price for so many inputs.
After using it for almost three months, I can say that I am very happy with my purchase. The sound quality is not nearly as good as the QA-9, but unless you have a very keen ear you are very unlikely to notice the difference. Having 16 inputs is huge. It's amazing, really. I can now run 4 drum mics, a stereo pair on a guitar, two vocals, an electric guitar DI, and a bass DI all without an external mic amplifier. Since there are 8 mic inputs, two line/instrument inputs, and 6 line inputs, you would need to have an external mic amp to run more than 8 mics.
Additionally, this unit does not have a wordclock input or output, meaning that you cannot sync it with another digital audio interface.
DRIVERS AND SOFTWARE:
Some other reviewers have complained about driver incompatibility with Windows 7 and 10. I have mainly run this unit on a Windows 8.1 machine, and have had no issues at all. I use Mixcraft 7 Pro Studio as my main DAW, and the 16x08 works great as my audio I/O using the ASIO driver.
Up until about a month ago, this unit would not work with my Windows 10 machine. Windows would recognize the MIDI I/O, but not the audio. However with Tascam's recent driver update (v 1.03), the Windows 10 compatibility issue was resolved. Now it works perfectly, just like on 8.1
The Windows software that comes with this device is pretty good - It has a clean, usable interface, runs smoothly, and has some good options. The mixer functionality of the software is rather confusing though. Basically, the signal goes from the input, through the volume controls (channels 1-10), through the ADC, through the compressor and EQ, and then are split off to the USB chip before continuing to the mixer (faders), then to the DAC (Digital to Analog Converter), and finally to the main output buss. So what it boils down to is that the software mixer only affects the analog output buss, not the USB output. The downside of this configuration is that YOU CANNOT HAVE LEVEL PRESETS WHILE USING THIS AS A DIGITAL AUDIO INTERFACE - you have to physically set the gain pots on the mic channels.
Having 8 reroutable analog outputs means that you have lots of flexible routing options. For example in my setup, I have channels 1 and 2 going to my booth monitors (1 and 2 have a dedicated level control on the front panel), channels 3 and 4 as my main headphone output going to my 6 channel headphone amp/distributor, and channels 5, 6, 7, and 8 as individual headphone mixes.
PROS AND CONS:
+ Great price for so many inputs
+ Works smoothly on Windows 8.1 and 10
+ 8 built in mic preamps - no need for external preamps
+ 2 instrument level inputs - no need for a dedicated DI
+ 8 outputs allow for lot of routing options
- Only goes up to 96/24 - No hi-rez 192
- Virtual mixer does not effect USB audio
- Sounds good, not great
- No wordclock I/O
Overall, this is a great digital audio interface if you need lots of channels, aren't looking for audiophile-class sound, and don't want to spend thousands of dollars.
This new one does everything that the old one did, but expands the options a bit more. Separate knobs for headphone mix and monitor mix is nice if you switch back and forth a lot.
I haven't had any issues with this at all.
There was one time where I thought a mic input/phantom power wasn't working, but I had accidentally hit an input switch from "Mic" to "Inst". That was an embarrassing day or two. Just be wary of this if you get it. If it happens, you have no one to blame but yourself.
The mic inputs seem to need a lot of volume to pick stuff up, but that was normal with the last model as well. It's not really a big deal.
If you're on a budget, I would definitely consider this one. Phantom power, 2 inputs, MIDI, etc. That's all you'll need. I've done tons of stuff with this thing.