Tascam, creators of the home studio market with the now legendary Portastudio have created a new family of audio interfaces aimed at the new generation of home broadcasters rather than the music market. The Production Expert team know only to well that setting up a system for broadcast and recording at the same time can be an interesting challenge but with the new MiNiSTUDIO US-32 and US-42 Tascam has put some interesting tools and routing options at our fingertips.
More About The Tascam MiNiStudio US-32 & US-42
The Tascam MiNiSTUDIO Personal US-32 is designed to be an easily affordable solution for Internet broadcasting, supplying the key tools needed, together with excellent audio quality.
The MiNiSTUDIO Creator US-42 has all the podcasting features of the MiNiSTUDIO Personal and adds a number of features aimed at more advanced audio and video production.
Both Tascam MiNiSTUDIOs provide high-resolution recording up to 24-bit, 96 kHz and work with Windows and Mac computers. The interfaces connect via USB 2.0 and can be USB bus-powered. You can also connect them to iOS devices using an Apple Camera Kit (not included).
They are compatible with all major DAW software and work with all major streaming software and services. But connection is only half the story - effects can make the difference between a good podcast and a great one. Tascam MiNiSTUDIOs also enable you to easily add sound effects on-the-fly, thanks to three self-lighting PON pads that trigger audio files from the Mac or PC. Three sounds are included, but can be easily replaced with by a .wav or .mp3 file of your choosing. A cool Voice Effects feature lets you alter the sound of your singing or speech, as well; it's a fun effect that adds colour to your podcasts.
At showtime, an illuminated On Air button confirms that you're live on the air and busses audio to and from the computer by way of the MiNiSTUDIO's powerful Broadcast mode. This ensures that you are hearing everything your audience hears, and should make the MiNiSTUDIO an easy-to-use interface designed to let you focus on your podcast, rather than your equipment.
To complete the package, both models include free software for Mac, Windows, and iOS that provides control of the MiNiSTUDIO's features in one of two specially designed modes. In Easy mode, you get software control of most-used EQ, compression, and effects presets, while Expert mode lets you program the four-band parametric EQ, compressor and reverb parameters, as well as advanced parameters for triggered sounds.
The TASCAM MiNiSTUDIO Personal US-32 features a built-in microphone and a combo XLR mic/balanced ¼-inch TRS line input with mic preamp and 48V phantom power. A 1/8-inch input can connect to a smartphone, tablet, or other consumer audio device so you can play in pre-recorded music and dialog. Separate headphone and headset/mic connections are also available.
The MiNiSTUDIO Creator US-42 extends the features of the MiNiSTUDIO Personal by adding a set of tools for producing, as well as broadcasting your podcasts. Instead of the built-in mic, the MiNiSTUDIO Creator adds a second XLR/TRS mic input so you can mic yourself and a guest with external microphones. In addition to headphone outputs, the MiNiSTUDIO Creator offers stereo RCA line-level outputs with separate level controls for connection to powered monitors.
As well as supporting the Broadcast mode of the MiNiSTUDIO Personal US-32, the US-42 can be switched into the aptly named Creator mode. In this mode, the MiNiSTUDIO Creator behaves like most USB audio interfaces. This mode is recommended for production with a DAW or video editing software. The loopback feature is turned off, and the mic inputs are routed separately to the computer.
The MiNiSTUDIO Personal US-32 and MiNiSTUDIO Creator US-42 are available now at Tascam dealers at a street price of $129.99 and $179.99, respectively and as soon as one becomes available we will have a full review for you.