Audio interface Post Production preamp Production Tech

Tascam US–2X2 preamp/A-D converter interface review by Allan Tépper

Tascam US–2X2 preamp/A-D converter interface review by Allan Tépper

The Tascam US-2×2 is an audio interface which gives two mic preamps/A-D & D-A converters. These two mic preamps supply as much as 57 dB of achieve every, with almost inaudible noise and distortion. I applaud Tascam for publishing this achieve spec, since only a few interface producers hassle to take action on this comparatively low worth vary. That obtainable 57 dB achieve is adequate for all however probably the most gain-hungry dynamic microphones, particularly given particulars I’ll clarify forward. The US-2×2 can also be bus-powered when used with a Chromebook, Mac or Home windows pc! (You’ll typically want exterior energy to make use of it with a smartphone or a pill.) Forward you’ll discover ways to make the US-2×2 work optimally on Mac —with out even putting in the extraordinarily outdated macOS Tascam software program— and listen to check recordings I made with each dynamic and condenser microphones.

How I made the primary check recording

Every time I check a preamp, I choose to take action primarily utilizing a dynamic microphone (not an electret condenser microphone), to ensure that the preamp is working the toughest.

That’s why I made the primary recording check for this review utilizing the Pyle PDMIC78 (illustrated above, reviewed right here, Amazon — B&H) dynamic microphone utilizing the 2 Shure equipment which match it completely: the A55M shockmount (Amazon — B&H) and the big presidential Shure A81WS windscreen (Amazon • B&H). As almost all the time, I made the uncooked mono WAV recording at 48 kHz/24 bit to Hindenburg Journalist Professional, my favourite multitrack software program for Mac for audio storytellers (additionally out there for Home windows). See my associated Hindenburg Journalist Professional articles… All audio manufacturing & distribution ought to go 48 kHz and in addition Understanding 24-bit vs 16-bit audio manufacturing & distribution.

Primary check made with the PDMIC78 dynamic microphone×2-test-recording_nivelado.wav

The above is a a trimmed, normalized, non-compressed mono 48 kHz/16-bit WAV file. Use WiFI until you have got unmetered cellular knowledge.

Auxiliary check made with the RØDE M5 electret condenser microphone

The above is a compressed 48 kHz MP3 file, edited into BeyondPodcasting palindromic episode 11. The whole lot you hear from my voice was recorded utilizing the RØDE M5 microphone (reviewed right here, Amazon — B&H) utilizing 48-volt phantom energy by means of the identical US-2×2. I additionally used the identical Shure equipment, which match the M5 completely.

Relating to achieve and recording ranges

Particularly once I report a uncooked recording at 24-bit decision, I usually achieve this by concentrating on peaks at a conservative -12 dB, figuring out that I’ll normalize and sometimes compress later in publish manufacturing. That’s why (for me) the maths works, i.e. if a microphone just like the Pyle PDMIC78 is rated with a sensitivity of -54 dB and a given preamp presents a most of 57 dB achieve, there’s greater than sufficient achieve even to document virtually at zero dB, which I by no means do anyway in uncooked recordings. (I do have a daring good friend who likes to make all of his uncooked recordings near zero dB. You understand who you’re.) Assuming that a preamp is completely clear at its most obtainable achieve (up to now, they have been fairly noisy on the max; these days, they’re typically as clear as a whistle at max), I might solely want 45 dB of achieve from a -54 db microphone to report at -12 db, although my daring pal would wish almost 45 dB of achieve. We each have greater than sufficient with the out there 57 dB. In fact, I’m glad to have loads of additional achieve, so the preamp doesn’t must be maxed out.

Probably the most gain-hungry microphones available on the market is the Shure SM7b (Amazon — B&H). I don’t have an SM7B right here to check proper now, however I do know that it’s rated with a sensitivity of -59 dB. That’s a lot much less delicate than the PDMIC78 (which is rated at -54 dB). Nevertheless, given how clear the US-2×2 is, it appears to have greater than sufficient achieve even for the SM7B.

But when the US-2×2 didn’t have sufficient for a specific mic, I might add a pre-preamp just like the SS-1 from Merely Sound Firm (proven above), which I simply acquired and I’ll be reviewing within the close to future. With its 27 dB of pregain powered by inline phantom energy, a dynamic microphone just like the PDMIC78 will act as if it had a sensitivity of -27 db, and a dynamic SM7B will behave as if it had a sensitivity of -32 dB.

The best way to keep away from utilizing the extraordinarily outdated macOS Tascam software program

Use the factory-installed Audio MIDI Setup, which is situated within the Utilities folder in your Mac. Should you don’t know the place that folder is situated, go the the Go menu within the Finder.

Language points on macOS

In case your Mac is configured within the Castilian language as mine is, then the Audio MIDI Setup is known as Configuración de Audio MIDI and also you’ll discover it within the folder referred to as Utilidades which is within the Ir menu within the Finder. (Apple translated all of these names besides Finder. The proprietor of brand name names has the correct to translate all of its model names or not, in every case. Sadly, Google Chrome’s translation group for macOS went forward and translated Finder although it had not jurisdiction to take action… and even translated it incorrectly within the contextual menu once we obtain information. C’mon Google Chrome translation workforce for macOS: You need to solely translate model names that the proprietor has translated. Please put it again to Finder till such time as Apple decides to translate it.)

Choose the gadget you need to configure within the left column after which set the sampling price to our desired 48 kHz for its enter and output. After you’ve gotten set the sampling price for the gadget, you must be capable of choose every channel particularly with any multitrack audio software program like Hindenburg Journalist Professional.

If it’s worthwhile to document one or two tracks from the US-2×2 in a multitrack audio software program like Hindenburg Journalist Professional and —as well as— have to document a digital supply on a separate monitor like Cleanfeed by way of Chrome, use a middleware software program like Sound Siphon or Audio Hijack. Comply with my directions to keep away from Soundflower which I coated in How one can set up/replace Hindenburg Journalist (Professional) with out Soundflower. You also needs to use a middleware software program like Sound Siphon or Audio Hijack if you might want to mix each of US-2×2 microphone inputs right into a non-multitrack software program like Skype. I’ll be reviewing Sound Siphon within the close to future. Subscribe or resubscribe to my mailing record to be notified.

Latency-free monitoring combined with the pc’s audio

Like the only channel iRig Pre HD interface I reviewed in November of 2017, which has since dropped in worth to ≈US$80 (Amazon — B&H), the Tascam US-2×2 has latency-free monitoring to listen to your self with none noticeable delay when you converse, which is important for confidence, i.e. to guarantee you’ve excellent mic placement to your mouth. The Tascam US-2×2 additionally has a Monitor Stability management to set the relative quantity of the interface’s output in your headphones and that of the host pc, i.e. in case you are listening to an interviewee by way of an internet service like Cleanfeed (reviewed in these articles).

The headphone output of the ≈US$150 Tascam US-2×2 (Amazon — B&H) —and its ≈US$100 little sister the Tascam US-1×2 (Amazon — B&H)— use a 1/four” TRS stereo connection for headphones, and labored nice with my present favourite acoustically isolating, brandable CB-1 Standing Audio headphones (illustrated above, reviewed right here, Amazon).

MIDI enter and output

The US-2X2 additionally consists of MIDI enter and output on the rear panel, which I didn’t check. Some may use this function to attach a MIDI controller, keyboard, or synthesizer.


If you have to join as much as two balanced XLR microphones (or one balanced XLR microphone and one line-level or instrument degree supply) to your pc and your finances is round US$150, the Tascam US–2X2 (Amazon — B&H) ought to definitely be in your brief listing of candidates. Nevertheless, in case you are positive you solely want to attach a single balanced microphone at a time, plus probably a single line-level or instrument degree supply, you may contemplate its little sister, the ≈US$100 Tascam US-1×2 (Amazon — B&H). Both method, avoid the Tascam software program and avoid Soundflower. Comply with my directions on this article.

However, for those who solely want to attach a single XLR microphone to your smartphone or pc, with none line or instrument degree supply and with none MIDI, you may think about the now ≈US$80 iRig Pre HD (Amazon — B&H).

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FTC disclosure

No producer is particularly paying Allan Tépper or TecnoTur LLC to put in writing this text or the talked about books. A number of the different producers listed above have contracted Tépper and/or TecnoTur LLC to hold out consulting and/or translations/localizations/transcreations. Most of the producers listed above have despatched Allan Tépper review models, together with Tascam. Up to now, not one of the producers listed above is/are sponsors of the TecnoTur , BeyondPodcasting or TuRadioGlobal packages, though they’re welcome to take action, and a few are, could also be (or might have been) sponsors of ProVideo Coalition journal. Some hyperlinks to 3rd events listed on this article and/or on this net web page might not directly profit TecnoTur LLC by way of affiliate packages. Allan Tépper’s opinions are his personal.

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The articles contained within the TecnoTur channel in ProVideo Coalition journal are copyright Allan Tépper/TecnoTur LLC, besides the place in any other case attributed. Unauthorized use is prohibited with out prior approval, besides for brief quotes which hyperlink again to this web page, that are inspired!

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