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Tascam Model 12 midi features (or lack of) ? Anyone have one?

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Re: Tascam Model 12 midi features (or lack of) ? Anyone have one?

Postby James Perrett » Sat Jul 11, 2020 9:55 pm

johnr10 wrote:Can I check something. I'm currently writing out a long question about what I need (with all options on the table in theory from an analogue mixer and audio interface, to a digital mixer, to a control surface for Logic, or various combinations etc etc).

Just writing it is helping me think it through of course, but is this the sort of thing that is ok to post on the forum? It may be too long for *anyone* to have the time to read and give input, which I'd totally understand, but don't want to post it if it's not appropriate!


Sorry, I've only just seen this question addressed to me (as a moderator I assume). Yes, there's no problem creating a long post like that here. It might also be worth adding a summary at the start for those who don't have time to read the whole post.
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Re: Tascam Model 12 midi features (or lack of) ? Anyone have one?

Postby johnr10 » Sun Jul 12, 2020 7:38 am

James Perrett wrote:
johnr10 wrote:Can I check something. I'm currently writing out a long question about what I need (with all options on the table in theory from an analogue mixer and audio interface, to a digital mixer, to a control surface for Logic, or various combinations etc etc).

Just writing it is helping me think it through of course, but is this the sort of thing that is ok to post on the forum? It may be too long for *anyone* to have the time to read and give input, which I'd totally understand, but don't want to post it if it's not appropriate!


Sorry, I've only just seen this question addressed to me (as a moderator I assume). Yes, there's no problem creating a long post like that here. It might also be worth adding a summary at the start for those who don't have time to read the whole post.

Yes James, I was asking you as a mod. Thanks. If I do post it, I will add a summary at the start.
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Re: Tascam Model 12 midi features (or lack of) ? Anyone have one?

Postby johnr10 » Sun Jul 12, 2020 7:41 am

resistorman wrote:
johnr10 wrote:Just to be clear - although not sure how I could be misunderstanding you - there's no way to mute or turn the speakers down from the desk without it affecting the headphones?

Well, if you use the sub out for your speakers instead of the mains, that works. And the main fader doesn't affect the headphones when you're listening to the auxes or soloing channels. But if you're listening to the main buss, the headphones will track the main fader. It would be great if the mains mute button didn't mute the headphones too.

johnr10 wrote:I'm not keen on that at all :(

Yeah, weird. Though it might be fixable in a future software update?

johnr10 wrote:And on the 12/10 issue, again to clarify, you mean it can record 12 at once, but when you are using usb return, you can only playback 10 separate channels because the other 2 are used as the master output?

It's a 10 channel mixer. Each channel has its own send into the computer. The extra 2 of the 12 are the main mix.

You have to use any or all of the 10 channels for return from the computer. I would like to have another 2 channels that returned to the main section in case all the channels are plugged up. A 10 in 12 out interface would be better IMHO.

That aside, what this machine does it does very well. For mixing my synths and on the fly recording it's just great. I consider its AI and MIDI capabilities a huge bonus. On the plus side, the Windows ASIO drivers are very stable.

Thanks. It's really useful to hear from someone who has one. It's still on my shortlist but I'm now wondering if an analogue mixer and a control surface combination may make more sense. The Daw control on the Tascam Model 12 is quite limited.
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Re: Tascam Model 12 midi features (or lack of) ? Anyone have one?

Postby OneWorld » Sun Jul 12, 2020 11:15 am

johnr10 wrote:
resistorman wrote:
johnr10 wrote:Just to be clear - although not sure how I could be misunderstanding you - there's no way to mute or turn the speakers down from the desk without it affecting the headphones?

Well, if you use the sub out for your speakers instead of the mains, that works. And the main fader doesn't affect the headphones when you're listening to the auxes or soloing channels. But if you're listening to the main buss, the headphones will track the main fader. It would be great if the mains mute button didn't mute the headphones too.

johnr10 wrote:I'm not keen on that at all :(

Yeah, weird. Though it might be fixable in a future software update?

johnr10 wrote:And on the 12/10 issue, again to clarify, you mean it can record 12 at once, but when you are using usb return, you can only playback 10 separate channels because the other 2 are used as the master output?

It's a 10 channel mixer. Each channel has its own send into the computer. The extra 2 of the 12 are the main mix.

You have to use any or all of the 10 channels for return from the computer. I would like to have another 2 channels that returned to the main section in case all the channels are plugged up. A 10 in 12 out interface would be better IMHO.

That aside, what this machine does it does very well. For mixing my synths and on the fly recording it's just great. I consider its AI and MIDI capabilities a huge bonus. On the plus side, the Windows ASIO drivers are very stable.

Thanks. It's really useful to hear from someone who has one. It's still on my shortlist but I'm now wondering if an analogue mixer and a control surface combination may make more sense. The Daw control on the Tascam Model 12 is quite limited.

I am too am interested in one of the TASCAM Model products. And I have the same reservations, regarding MIDI control etc. The real clincher for me is the ability to record without turning the DAW on, to capture those moments of inspiration, admittedly rare occasions :-).

You mention get an analogue mixer and a control surface. But whey not use a control surface in conjunction with the Model 12?

On the subject of control surfaces, I am sold on them, there is an abundance of cheap ones, even those models that are discontinued work ideally. I got an ICON QCON for £200 of eBay, it works a treat.

I also use an ICON LITE and have assigned the fader to operate on any selected volume fader in the Cubase Mixer, to save the faff of keeping banking left and right in jumps of 8. Of course other similar products of a similar nature work just as well, I believe the Behringer and Presonus single fader controllers are very well made quality products.

I use Cubase and the 'learn' feature allows for a custom set up tailored to ones preferences, they are easy to set up, and with the macros you can assign several commands to a single button press
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Re: Tascam Model 12 midi features (or lack of) ? Anyone have one?

Postby johnr10 » Sun Jul 12, 2020 1:08 pm

OneWorld wrote:
johnr10 wrote:
resistorman wrote:
johnr10 wrote:Just to be clear - although not sure how I could be misunderstanding you - there's no way to mute or turn the speakers down from the desk without it affecting the headphones?

Well, if you use the sub out for your speakers instead of the mains, that works. And the main fader doesn't affect the headphones when you're listening to the auxes or soloing channels. But if you're listening to the main buss, the headphones will track the main fader. It would be great if the mains mute button didn't mute the headphones too.

johnr10 wrote:I'm not keen on that at all :(

Yeah, weird. Though it might be fixable in a future software update?

johnr10 wrote:And on the 12/10 issue, again to clarify, you mean it can record 12 at once, but when you are using usb return, you can only playback 10 separate channels because the other 2 are used as the master output?

It's a 10 channel mixer. Each channel has its own send into the computer. The extra 2 of the 12 are the main mix.

You have to use any or all of the 10 channels for return from the computer. I would like to have another 2 channels that returned to the main section in case all the channels are plugged up. A 10 in 12 out interface would be better IMHO.

That aside, what this machine does it does very well. For mixing my synths and on the fly recording it's just great. I consider its AI and MIDI capabilities a huge bonus. On the plus side, the Windows ASIO drivers are very stable.

Thanks. It's really useful to hear from someone who has one. It's still on my shortlist but I'm now wondering if an analogue mixer and a control surface combination may make more sense. The Daw control on the Tascam Model 12 is quite limited.

I am too am interested in one of the TASCAM Model products. And I have the same reservations, regarding MIDI control etc. The real clincher for me is the ability to record without turning the DAW on, to capture those moments of inspiration, admittedly rare occasions :-).

You mention get an analogue mixer and a control surface. But whey not use a control surface in conjunction with the Model 12?

On the subject of control surfaces, I am sold on them, there is an abundance of cheap ones, even those models that are discontinued work ideally. I got an ICON QCON for £200 of eBay, it works a treat.

I also use an ICON LITE and have assigned the fader to operate on any selected volume fader in the Cubase Mixer, to save the faff of keeping banking left and right in jumps of 8. Of course other similar products of a similar nature work just as well, I believe the Behringer and Presonus single fader controllers are very well made quality products.

I use Cubase and the 'learn' feature allows for a custom set up tailored to ones preferences, they are easy to set up, and with the macros you can assign several commands to a single button press

The reason I'm thinking of another mixer and control surface rather than the Tascam Model 12 and a control surface is because of a few reasons:

1) The Model 12 is digital, not analogue
2) I don't need the record feature (useful, but I have a Tascam 70D I can record to if I want)
3) Something like the Soundcraft MTK 12 is cheaper

The other alternative is a simple analogue mixer with great preamps and EQ - without an audio interface, then a separate audio interface, and a control surface.

I was looking at the Behringer X-Touch (the model with the jog wheel) last night but so far that's the only one I've looked at in detail so today I'm going to look at some more.

Too many options ;)
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Re: Tascam Model 12 midi features (or lack of) ? Anyone have one?

Postby resistorman » Sun Jul 12, 2020 4:19 pm

Johnr10, the Model 12 is an analog mixer with some digital features like USB and effects. The signal path is analog.
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Re: Tascam Model 12 midi features (or lack of) ? Anyone have one?

Postby johnr10 » Sun Jul 12, 2020 4:26 pm

resistorman wrote:Johnr10, the Model 12 is an analog mixer with some digital features like USB and effects. The signal path is analog.

[Ah, you edited your reply between me writing this. You said it was NOT digital. So my reply to that was...]

Sorry, but it is.

From the intro in the manual itself '10 input digital mixer with 10 line and 8 mic inputs ' (second feature on the Introduction page).

https://www.tascam.eu/en/docs/Model12_Manual.pdf

One the sound comes in, it goes through an ADC and after that, all eq and effects etc are purely digital.
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Re: Tascam Model 12 midi features (or lack of) ? Anyone have one?

Postby johnr10 » Sun Jul 12, 2020 4:29 pm

Look at the block diagram on page 65 of the manual. It only remains analogue as far as the gain, then it hits the ADCs. That's a digital mixer in my book, and in Tascam's.
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Re: Tascam Model 12 midi features (or lack of) ? Anyone have one?

Postby resistorman » Sun Jul 12, 2020 10:53 pm

Well I'll be dawggone!

TBH I just glanced at the manual a couple times because it's so simple. I assumed it was analog because of the lack of bells and whistles, no presets, and knob-per function. :bouncy:

In fact it sounded much better than my old analog Soundcraft with my synths. A true blind test LOL.

But get this, there's a reason I thought it was analog. Nowhere in any of the marketing I've seen is it explicitly called a digital mixer... if you look at websites selling it, the fact that it's a digital mixer is not mentioned at all. Look at its page on Zzounds.

https://www.zzounds.com/item--TASMODEL12

Sweetwater is a bit more forthcoming. On its page it mentions "analog style" a couple times. But read this:

The perfect analog front-end for your DAW

The Model 12 does way more than simply let you move recorded tracks to and from a DAW. Rather, it functions as a full-blown 12-in/10-out USB audio interface, complete with premium-quality preamps, onboard compression, and DAW and transport control. And when it's time to mix, you can either work in-the-box, or route tracks back through the Model 12 for 10 channels of hands-on control and genuine analog vibe.


The feature set was exactly what I needed, so analog vs digital wouldn't have entered into my calculations anyhow. But I have to say that this all seems rather misleading. Probably because people are hung up on that "analog vibe" and don't judge a device on its own merits and sound quality.

If you're recording music it will be converted to digital somewhere along the line unless you use all analog through tape to vinyl. What are your concerns about a digital mixer?
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Re: Tascam Model 12 midi features (or lack of) ? Anyone have one?

Postby resistorman » Sun Jul 12, 2020 11:10 pm

I bought mine from Sweetwater, and here's what it says at the top of the Model 12 page:

TASCAM Model 12 Mixer / Interface / Recorder / Controller

12-channel Multitrack Recorder/10-channel Analog Mixer with 12-in/10-out USB Audio Interface and Built-in Effects

Huh.
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Re: Tascam Model 12 midi features (or lack of) ? Anyone have one?

Postby johnr10 » Mon Jul 13, 2020 8:36 am

Yes, the way it is advertised in many places is misleading.

As to why I'm bothered - that's a really good question and it fits in with the longer question I was going to post.

You're totally right. I use Logic so everything becomes digital at some point but I guess the question is at what point(s).

I'm not a luddite, quite the opposite. But I do like analogue. I use a tube preamp on my turntable (and also any digital signals going in to my amp, like streaming or - rarely cd's). I have a 1950s German tube radio that I love the sound of even though it's not 'hifi'.

I like the warmth that analogue can add to a sound, especially tubes. But, yes, as you say, everything will be digital at the main stage.

I'm actually totally torn between what to get.

I'm pretty sold on a motorised daw controller - especially the Behringer x-touch. The idea of full control of the daw and effects, compared with just the transport/faders (basically) on the Tascam, is really attractive. Just having the faders automatically reset for each project alone is a big sell. I've never been overly keen on using a mouse/trackpad for music - especially effect and automation - and this feels like it will fulfil a need.

So then I ask myself, well, if I'm using Logic, and the X-touch, the only thing I need to improve is my mic (and maybe a cloudlifter or fethead if I get an SM7B) and an audio interface with more digital channels.

I have two needs.

1) Podcasting - in nearly every case it will involve remote interviewing, so guest audio coming in digitally over the internet (cleanfeed.net or similar) combined with video from skype/zoom etc (I have the video side covered). So the incoming audio is not going to be *great* to start with, no matter how good the system to transfer the audio is, most guests will not have good mics or setups. That said, I still want to do the best I can with it.

2) My own music as a hobby (something I've not done properly for a long time but want to get back in to).

I use a mac, and have Loopback V2, so that allows me great flexibility in internal routing to set up things like mix-minuses etc.

My current AI (the Rubix 24) would work for now as long as I didn't have an external mixer and only used logic - but if I wanted discreet channels to a mixer, it would have to be replaced.

I could use the Tascam Model 12, and then I wouldn't need a new audio interface (at least for now), it will have enough discreet channels for my current needs but at only 48 Khz (frankly, does a higher rate matter for my use? Not really).

Or I could get something like the UMC1820 with 18 discreet channels at 96 Khz. or, if I spent more, a Scar­lett 18i20 3rd Gen which would give me 18 discreet channels at 192 Khz.

But, without using ADAT (ie, more expense on converters), they both only give me 10 line-outs if I were to use a mixer too - so that leaves me no better off than using the Tascam Model 12.

However the daw control on the 12 is basic. Transport and faders are good (although the faders are only 60mm), but no recall, no motors, no ability to control effects etc... So I'd want to get a control surface too anyway.

So... (anyone still here?) if I have Logic on the mac, and I have a control surface with motorised faders, and I had an 18 channel AI with midi, and I have Loopback to route internally - what benefit to I get from the Tascam Model 12 over 1) an analogue mixer, and 2) no mixer at all.

At the least, I'd be paying twice for the daw control - why would I use the 12 as a daw control if I had an X-touch or similar? And I don't need the recording features of the 12 either. I have a Tascam 70D that I can use to record backups of interviews etc (ok, not as smooth an operation as having it on the desk, but still usable).

So if I am using it only as a mixer, the signal path and eq are all digital - what does it add apart from my space being taken up?

So that is what is putting me off the 12.

If I am going to run a mixing desk alongside an X-Touch, doesn't it make sense that I don't waste money on duplicated features?

And if I am using logic as daw, and the control surface with that, then what benefit does a mixer give me other than the extra warmth of an analogue desk (a good one, I'm not saying all analogue desks are naturally better than the 12, obviously) and the routing flexibility (that I may not even need)?

I started recording music in the 80s on a Tascam portastudio, then studied sound engineering about 90 or so (the college had some 'modern' equipment, we had Cubase and some samplers, but we still learned to splice tap etc). Never went into music professionally and never will, although I do use it for work related activities of my own.

But that background is what is tempting to towards the combination of a control surface, AI, and an analogue desk.

I know what I need for my immediate use (podcasting), but I already have that (a mic, an AI with XLR input, logic, loopback - not much I can't do with that combination).

But my dilemma is if I am going to invest in improving this system and getting a good system so I can start recording music as a hobby again, what is the best direction for me to go?

Ultimately I guess it's a fair point to say I don't know what I need and wont know for sure until I start recording and mixing music again. But I'm not good at selling on equipment, so I'd rather 1) get it right first time (ha ;) ) or 2) get things that I can build on rather than replace.

Look, I could go pickup a Tascam 12 right now (literally, there is one 20 minutes away and they have price matched Thomman) and it's sooooo tempting. But I'm trying to be sensible - or as sensible as I can be - and pick the right system for both my needs now, my wants now, and leave me with enough flexibility to expand.

Feel free to say 'you need to think more about what you want' - that's true, it's all I've been doing for the last week (and that's based on months of background thinking and years of on/off experience). And feel free to (politely) slap me and say 'Just get the 12 and shut up, it will do what you need and more' ;)

Phew. And that is just using some of the points from the longer question I wrote. I'm still thinking it over so depending on how this thread develops or not ;) I may post an amended version at some point if needed on a separate thread as there are more people likely to see it I guess.

Thanks for your help.
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Re: Tascam Model 12 midi features (or lack of) ? Anyone have one?

Postby blinddrew » Mon Jul 13, 2020 10:37 am

Personally i'd say ditch the mixer. Get a decent ai (the Scarlett you mention is a safe bet), and get a control surface if you like being hands on. I do, so i have, but it's always worth keeping an eye on the secondhand market because lots of people buy a control surface, never really use it, and finally move it on. Prices tend to be reasonably high for secondhand gear, but they've generally hardly been used.

P.s. analogue warmth isn't really a thing. It's just saturation/distortion and can easily be introduced in your DAW whenever you want it. ;)
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Re: Tascam Model 12 midi features (or lack of) ? Anyone have one?

Postby The Elf » Mon Jul 13, 2020 11:12 am

blinddrew wrote:Personally i'd say ditch the mixer. Get a decent ai (the Scarlett you mention is a safe bet), and get a control surface if you like being hands on. I do, so i have, but it's always worth keeping an eye on the secondhand market because lots of people buy a control surface, never really use it, and finally move it on. Prices tend to be reasonably high for secondhand gear, but they've generally hardly been used.

P.s. analogue warmth isn't really a thing. It's just saturation/distortion and can easily be introduced in your DAW whenever you want it. ;)
A truer block of words has never been written. :clap:
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Re: Tascam Model 12 midi features (or lack of) ? Anyone have one?

Postby johnr10 » Mon Jul 13, 2020 1:15 pm

blinddrew wrote:Personally i'd say ditch the mixer. Get a decent ai (the Scarlett you mention is a safe bet), and get a control surface if you like being hands on. I do, so i have, but it's always worth keeping an eye on the secondhand market because lots of people buy a control surface, never really use it, and finally move it on. Prices tend to be reasonably high for secondhand gear, but they've generally hardly been used.

P.s. analogue warmth isn't really a thing. It's just saturation/distortion and can easily be introduced in your DAW whenever you want it. ;)

Well, on the last point, words like 'warmth' are just ways to describe things (although tubes get damn hot!) but I know *I* prefer the sound of my turntable - or any other source - when it's through the tube pre-amp than when it isn't. And the sound of my tube radio is much nicer than the sound of a modern digital radio. (Of course, if I did get an analogue desk it wouldn't be tube-based, I know).

And it's all personal preference and no point arguing about it.

But in reality, I also know I don't need an analogue desk for what I am doing and the final output source will be the internet where it will most likely be played on crap speakers or a phone. I guess I'm just trying to cling to the past and/or keep a bit of 'soul' in things.

From a workflow point of view a control surface and a desk does seem cumbersome and I can easily see I wouldn't use the desk for much apart from mic/guitars in for most things, so unless the preamps were *hugely* better than the inputs on a separate AI, it wouldn't make much sense. And I could always add one in the future if I felt I needed it without scraping any thing else.

So yes, as you suggest, I am leaning towards an AI and control surface. I do want to be hands on. I want faders, I want eq via knobs etc. And motorised faders is a dream (and very practical if only 8 faders on the control surface).

There is someone selling a 6-month old, allegedly perfect condition, x-touch control surface plus an extender locally for 600 euro (new price from Thomman would be 684). Maybe I could get that down a bit, it's been listed since March so either sold and not de-listed, or still available and ready for a price drop. That could be an option.

Combined with an AI - if I got the 600 euro control surface (16 motorised faders with the extender), the Scarlett blows my budget so it may have to be the UMC1820 - that combination would do want I need and more. I don't know what, if any, internal routing software the AIs come with but I have Loopback which can handle that if nothing suitable.

If I didn't spend so much on the mic (ie, instead of an sm7b with fethead, something like a Procaster + shockmount), I'd have more wiggle room and could get the Scarlett but obviously it's not as good a mic full stop and especially for instruments - although competent enough for podcasting obviously. But the mic is something I wouldn't want to rush to replace/upgrade.

I can't find the EIN of the UCM1820, but the 18i20 is -128db, so it may be a fethead or cloudlifter isn't needed for the sm7b, although that doesn't save too much (the fethead in a bundle with the mic adds 61 euros).

But the basic principle of a motorised fader control surface (whether 8, or 16 with the extender), an AI, and a new mic does seem to cover everything I *need*, as long as the AI has midi in which the ones I'm looking at do.

Now, does anyone disagree? ;)
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Re: Tascam Model 12 midi features (or lack of) ? Anyone have one?

Postby blinddrew » Mon Jul 13, 2020 2:56 pm

Not going to disagree, but I will lob in a couple more thoughts.
Firstly, I wouldn't compromise the mic for the sake of the AI.
But secondly, I wouldn't compromise the AI for the sake of the control surface! :)
The control surface can always be added later without any detriment to the sound in the meantime.
Consider also that your control surface is not going to give you that EQ-knobs-wiggling effect of a hands-on mixer. Unless you get hold of something like a BCR2000 and configure it to do that job. (Funnily enough, that's what I did. :) )

P.S. I'm not for a moment suggesting that you don't prefer the sound of your tube gear, just that it's not something magical that only exists in the analogue domain.
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