Tascam US-2x2 USB Audio/MIDI Interface with Microphone Preamps and iOS Compatibility
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- Combines great audio quality and ergonomic design for a powerful 2-in/2-out USB 2 Audio interface
- Two of TASCAM’s Ultra-HDDA mic/line preamps provide up to 57dB of gain with nearly inaudible noise and distortion specs
- The audio design features high-performance, musical components like NE5532 op amps for rich sound quality without coloring the source
- Includes class-compliant drivers for plug-and-play operation on Mac OSX and iOS devices, and a simple driver adds ASIO compatibility for Windows
- MIDI in and out are also included for connecting synths, drum machines, and controllers
- Includes two DAW applications to choose from–-both Cakewalk SONAR X3 LE and Abelton Live Lite 9
- Features XLR and TRS inputs that accept balanced mic and line level signals, with a high-impedance option for recording electric guitar and bass
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From the manufacturer
Features at a glance
- Two Ultra-HDDA mic preamplifiers
- Two XLR/TRS (MIC/LINE) inputs with full +48V phantom power
- Two TRS analog balanced outputs
- USB bus-powered for mobile recording
- Optional AC adaptor available for use with iOS devices
USB Audio / MIDI Interface
TASCAM’s US-2x2 combines great audio quality and ergonomic design for a powerful 2-in/2-out USB 2 Audio interface.
Two of TASCAM’s Ultra-HDDA mic/line preamps provide up to 57dB of gain with nearly inaudible noise and distortion specs. The audio design features high-performance, musical components like NE5532 op amps for rich sound quality without coloring the source.
The US-2x2 includes class-compliant drivers for plug-and-play operation on Mac OSX and iOS devices like the iPad, and a simple driver adds ASIO compatibility for Windows. MIDI in and out are also included for connecting synths, drum machines, and controllers. The interface includes two DAW applications to choose from – both Cakewalk SONAR X3 LE and Abelton Live Lite 9.
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 101 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.
XLR and TRS Accept Balanced Mic and Line Level Signals
The mic input features a professional XLR connector, which supplies +48V phantom power for condenser microphones. The US-2x2 is built from heavy duty metal throughout, so it stays on your desk even when moving mics around. The combo input jack includes TRS inputs for balanced line-level signals from professional processors and synthesizers. Finally, the two inputs can be switched to high-impedance for direct recording of electric guitar and bass. (Only the XLR or 1/4" input can be used, not both at the same time.)
Angled design provides excellent usability on a desktop
The angled design 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-2x2 and 4x4 are at a natural angle, making operation easier to keep you creative.
Separate Volume Controls for Headphones and Line Output
The US-2x2 and US-4x4 include 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|
TASCAM's US 2x2 features a new ergonomic design and some of the best audio specifications available for the ultimate 2-channel interface for home, project, and mobile studios. A pair of TASCAM's Ultra-HDDA mic/line preamps provide up to 57dB of gain with nearly inaudible noise and distortion specs. The 2-in/2out audio interface is powered through its USB 2.0 connection or an optional power adapter. MIDI in and out are also included for connecting synths, drum machines, and controllers. The interface includes two DAW applications to choose from - both Cakewalk Sonar X3 LE and Abelton Live Lite 9
Top reviews from the United States
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I have never experienced so many issues with an audio interface before. Between weird glitches like audio being pitched down for inputs to my PC not recogizing any audio devices because I selected it as my output, the Tascam US-16x08 has the worst driver for an audio interface I’ve used.
I have to restart my computer and tascam device multiple times a day to get it to properly work. Do not buy this if you have a windows 10 machine. I am not sure about the mac drivers or older windows computers, but their support line does not accept phone calls for tech support so I would avoid this product at all costs.
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 couldn't use it in church to record services or even at home to make music, because it wasn't reliable to record or playback. This is compared to my Tascam UH-7000, where for fun I can go as low as 64 samples latency at 192 kHz and it glitches out occasionally if the CPU usage goes above 80%. I never tried it on my Mac, though. Do I miss my US-16x08? YES. The headphone output had lots of power and a very clean sound. You could really enjoy music with it, because it sounded really good. The pre-amps were pristine and low noise. For $300, the unit is a bargain if it wasn't for such bad drivers.
I was impressed by it on first listen and on first recording, only to be punished by those horrendous glitches that I'd never heard before in my life. So yeah, guys...I can't recommend this unit even if it sounds fantastic. I'm sure there are workarounds or even ASIO4ALL drivers that work better than Tascam's, but I never tried that. Only success was using it for playing music on foobar2000 on WASAPI event mode.
If it wasn't for the driver issues, I'd give this unit 5 stars, because everything else punches above the $300 price. Build quality looks and feels good, and audio recording/playback quality is great. Thanks for reading and God bless.
Top reviews from other countries
The updated version is not at all better in terms of latency compared to the previous gen - very hard to play even on good specs win 10 machine + reaper, though on board effects are nice addition. We were about to sell it for that reason - but by chance tried using it with iPad Cubasis - this was a big bang! It all works with Cubasis 3 seamlessly and completely covers need of a 16 inputs band even on iPad Air gen 2. It just flies on latest pro 12.9. Highly recommend - it's stable as a rock and does all you need for live mixing & performance. Literary just plug and play. One thing though that on-board effects are off. Good luck.
This was not the case with my US 2x2 which had aurally equal headphone monitoring for both channels when used with a power adapter as a stand-alone unit.
A bit noisy.
Overall, decent interface for the price.
There is a setting in the sound cards software that basically causes the device not to wake up when starting the computer. Happens on 4 of my systems 2 MAC and 2 PC. Tascam's support says my computers are broken! LMFAO! They did offer a solution and that worked. Overall gave it a 3 because support took a week to get back to me with a solution!
Otherwise great buy!