Recording in a Small Home Studio
- Review - 09/06/2016
Featuring: Tascam US16x08, Behringer
HA8000, N-Track DAW, & Ikea
The Interface, The
Headphone Amp and the Daw !
A good interface is the heart and soul
of any home recording studio and the Tascam US16x08 promises to be just that. I previously
had a Tascam US600 (And a Tascam 144 cassette 4-track 20 odd years ago) and the company’s
reputation plus my experience with their products, together
with the best priced interface in its segment, lured me towards
the US16x08 for my new home studio.
The 16x08 is just that, as implied by
the model name, an interface with 16 input channels and 8
output channels as well. The first eight channels are equipped
with XLR connectors and high quality HDDA low noise mike preamps
so you can plug your favourite microphones or signals coming
from DI boxes straight into the unit. Phantom power is also
provided and that works well with condenser microphones and
The unit is housed is a sturdy metal
casing with a slight tilt back for easy visualisation of the
faders and connectors. The metal “ears” can be removed for
installation in a regular 19” rack with other outboard equipment.
Setup is just a case of downloading
the USB drivers from the Tascam
website, installing these and plugging in the interface via
a standard USB cable. The unit is powered by a standard DC
adapter and also it is useful to note that it can be used
as a standalone microphone preamp/mixer without been plugged
into a computer. Class compliant drivers
also allows portable use with tablets.
I have now been using the interface
for a few months for original music and backing track production
for my band. I use the N-Track DAW which is
both powerful and easy to use and the interface works well
with this. I do need to get a second screen shortly however
as the input 16 - VU meters occupy half my 22 inch screen.
The unit is quite forgiving and I haven’t experienced any
digital artefacts/noise/ or latency with recordings, even
when laying down several simultaneous tracks.
The unit as mentioned before has eight
separate outputs, of which at the moment I am using two for
the main stereo output to a Tapco
(By Mackie) mixer which, has my Alesis
studio monitors and another to a Behringer
eight channel headphone amplifier which together with the
output on the Tascam gives me nine
individually controllable headphone outputs. The Behringer by the way features two source inputs which can
be selected individually at each headphone channel a very
The 19” duo are housed in a DIY Rack,
made from a “Rast”
bedside table from Ikea. This was
simply assembled, varnished with a dark stain and a pair of
19” rack strips added to make an effective and low cost six
rack unit. The unit is placed onto of a similarly built “Rast”
chest of drawers to give it a good working height and storage
space for cables, headphones, and other recording paraphernalia.
All this together with a good microphone,
quality headphones and a guitar modelling amplifier make for
a good all purpose mini studio which
would be adequate for most types of recording tasks.
For further information or the full
specifications and documentation please visit the relevant
By Ernest H Slade
|IKEA Rast Nightstand Hack into 19"