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

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

Postby johnr10 » Sat Jul 11, 2020 1:46 pm

Hi all,

I was close to pulling the trigger on the Tascam Model 12 but there are few things holding me back. Having looked in to it more closely and looking at the manual, am I right in thinking it doesn't really have a full midi interface?

It doesn't seem to receive aftertouch, pitch bend, program change etc ?

The in-built midi was one of the things on the pro list, but if it's not fully-featured, then it needs to come off and my choice may change.

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

Postby James Perrett » Sat Jul 11, 2020 2:49 pm

As far as I can see it only uses MIDI for sync and remote control. It isn't a MIDI sequencer.
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Re: Tascam Model 12 midi features (or lack of) ? Anyone have one?

Postby johnr10 » Sat Jul 11, 2020 3:32 pm

James Perrett wrote:As far as I can see it only uses MIDI for sync and remote control. It isn't a MIDI sequencer.

Yes, thanks James, that's what I feared.

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!

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

Postby Sam Spoons » Sat Jul 11, 2020 4:41 pm

I can't recall ever having seen a standalone multirtracker that could record midi, I think I even discussed the subject of a midi interface that could record midi to a digital audio track in some form on here a few years ago. Again nobody was aware of such a device so I fear you may be out of luck.

Pretty much every computer based DAW does record midi though so it that is essential the computer is the only realistic option (running a standalone sequencer with a standalone recorder is possible but is likely to be troublesome).
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Re: Tascam Model 12 midi features (or lack of) ? Anyone have one?

Postby johnr10 » Sat Jul 11, 2020 4:54 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:I can't recall ever having seen a standalone multirtracker that could record midi, I think I even discussed the subject of a midi interface that could record midi to a digital audio track in some form on here a few years ago. Again nobody was aware of such a device so I fear you may be out of luck.

Pretty much every computer based DAW does record midi though so it that is essential the computer is the only realistic option (even running a standalone sequencer with a standalone recorder is likely to be troublesome.

Sorry, I don't want it to record midi, I just want it to pass it through via usb to the computer (logic in my case). The manual for the Tascam Model 12 seemed to suggest it doesn't pass everything through which I don't understand and I've found some other discussions online saying the same (from people who don't own it though - I've not found anyone say for sure either way).

I've just been back to the manual to get the relevant info to quote you and realised I had missed a column... It has columns for Transmit and Receive - and there are X's in various boxes such as aftertouch pitch bend etc...

BUT there is a column at the end that says Remarks, and every feature/line says 'Thru' so that makes a lot more sense.

I'd still rather someone who has one say for sure ;) but from all those's Thru remarks, and adding in common sense, that would suggest it does pass all midi commands received from a keyboard, for instance, to the daw, and all midi commands out of the daw to any external midi equipment.

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

Postby Sam Spoons » Sat Jul 11, 2020 5:04 pm

A quick email to Tascam might be in order asking if the Model 12 works as a midi interface in USB mode?
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Re: Tascam Model 12 midi features (or lack of) ? Anyone have one?

Postby johnr10 » Sat Jul 11, 2020 5:05 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:A quick email to Tascam might be in order asking if the Model 12 works as a midi interface in USB mode?

Yes, I can do that but you know what things are like with the virus, so many companies are understaffed and operating slowly (not all of course and I will email them).
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Re: Tascam Model 12 midi features (or lack of) ? Anyone have one?

Postby johnr10 » Sat Jul 11, 2020 5:09 pm

Actually, looking at the Tascam site, the blurb there says

'Standard MIDI input and output make it possible to use keyboards, drum machines, controllers, and other sources that employ MIDI technology with the Model 12. This also allows playback-start commands to be triggered or external multi-track recorders and other external MIDI devices to be synchronized with the Model 12.'

and in their list of features 'USB MIDI interface function' and 'MIDI input and output' so I think that settles it.
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Re: Tascam Model 12 midi features (or lack of) ? Anyone have one?

Postby Eddy Deegan » Sat Jul 11, 2020 5:16 pm

johnr10 wrote:I'd still rather someone who has one say for sure ;) but from all those's Thru remarks, and adding in common sense, that would suggest it does pass all midi commands received from a keyboard, for instance, to the daw, and all midi commands out of the daw to any external midi equipment.

The manual strongly suggests this is the case. In section 2 ("Names and Function of Parts") it says:

Tascam MOdel 12 manual wrote:MIDI OUT connector
This 5-pin DIN is a standard MIDI output connector. This outputs MIDI signals sent from the computer.

If the MIDI TIMECODE or MIDI CLOCK/SPP items are set to ON on the MIDI screen, those will also be output. (see “MIDI functions” on page 44)

MIDI IN connector
This 5-pin DIN is a standard MIDI input connector. MIDI signals input through this connector will be sent to the computer


There may or may not be some kind of limitation on the nature of the MIDI data passed through by the USB <--> DIN bridge but if the message types specified in the manual are enough for you then that that's the main thing.

Personally I'd use a separate MIDI interface altogether; something like the ESI M4U eX which is a really good bit of kit. The 16-port version was reviewed in Sound On Sound here but the 8-port works in exactly the same way (although confusingly called the M4U it actually has 8 ports, 4 on the front and 4 on the back).
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Re: Tascam Model 12 midi features (or lack of) ? Anyone have one?

Postby johnr10 » Sat Jul 11, 2020 5:48 pm

I'm just trying to work within my budget. My Rubix 24 already has midi in/out, and I have a usb/midi cable that works fine. I only have one keyboard controller, so I just need it for input. No other midi devices anymore. Actually, I think I have an old synth module somewhere but 1) God knows where, not in this house, and 2) nothing of any value that I can't do as good/better with samples.

If I get a desk with it built-in, it's just one less thing to plug in/power/fail, but if not, I can use one of my existing options for now.

I was pretty set on the Tascam Model 12 but the more I read, the more I think, the more I confuse myself, hence my question before to James asking if it's ok to post a long 'please help' post ;)

I've been writing, reading and re-writing it (in a small part by this midi question) for the last 2 hours. It's an incredibly useful way to think things through!

I'm almost back at the Tascam now... ;)

I might still need to post it, but I'll work on it more first so I am clearer in my questions and needs etc.
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Re: Tascam Model 12 midi features (or lack of) ? Anyone have one?

Postby resistorman » Sat Jul 11, 2020 7:34 pm

I have one, I’ll try it out and let you know. I don’t think it filters anything.
EDIT
Just came down to the studio and fired up Pigments with my Linnstrument in MPE mode. Works perfectly. So it's passing multichannel data including four finger pitch bends simultaneously. It would not make any sense at all to put in a limited midi interface.

I really love this mixer/ recorder/ interface. It's clean, quiet, has fine EQ and surprisingly useful compression. The EFX are serviceable. And it's features are well chosen and implemented. There are two things I don't like though:

1) You can't decouple the headphones from the main fader, which is just stupid. I have to turn my speakers off to just listen on headphones.

2) It's a 12 out/ 10 in interface, so you have to use channels for playback, there's no two channel return to master.

But considering it's a real Jack of All Trades, these are minor quibbles.
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Re: Tascam Model 12 midi features (or lack of) ? Anyone have one?

Postby johnr10 » Sat Jul 11, 2020 7:44 pm

resistorman wrote:I had one, I’ll try it out and let you know. I don’t think it filters anything.

Great thanks. When you say had one, you mean you don't now? How do/did you find it in general?
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Re: Tascam Model 12 midi features (or lack of) ? Anyone have one?

Postby resistorman » Sat Jul 11, 2020 7:54 pm

johnr10 wrote:
resistorman wrote:I had one, I’ll try it out and let you know. I don’t think it filters anything.

Great thanks. When you say had one, you mean you don't now? How do/did you find it in general?

That was an oops :oops: I actually have one. and it works fine. See the edited post.
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Re: Tascam Model 12 midi features (or lack of) ? Anyone have one?

Postby johnr10 » Sat Jul 11, 2020 8:03 pm

resistorman wrote:I have one, I’ll try it out and let you know. I don’t think it filters anything.
EDIT
Just came down to the studio and fired up Pigments with my Linnstrument in MPE mode. Works perfectly. So it's passing multichannel data including four finger pitch bends simultaneously. It would not make any sense at all to put in a limited midi interface.

I really love this mixer/ recorder/ interface. It's clean, quiet, has fine EQ and surprisingly useful compression. The EFX are serviceable. And it's features are well chosen and implemented. There are two things I don't like though:

1) You can't decouple the headphones from the main fader, which is just stupid. I have to turn my speakers off to just listen on headphones.

2) It's a 12 out/ 10 in interface, so you have to use channels for playback, there's no two channel return to master.

But considering it's a real Jack of All Trades, these are minor quibbles.

Great, thanks for that. It did seem crazy that it wouldn't pass all data, but some people have posted that - presumably based on the same mistake I made from reading the docs.

The headphone/speaker issue is very odd. Their site says

'The Model 12 offers two independant headphone busses with output jacks on the top panel to allow monitoring of two discrete mixes from AUX 1/2 and/or the main stereo bus simultaneously for performers and engineers alike.

Selectable PFL/AFL modes and solo-in-place (SIP) allow for flexible monitoring of individual channels, eliminating the need to mute each single channel when dialing in the perfect mix.'

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?

I'm not keen on that at all :(

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

Postby resistorman » Sat Jul 11, 2020 9:40 pm

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.
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