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Tascam US-20x20, Reaper, USB-3, Behringer ADA8200

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Tascam US-20x20, Reaper, USB-3, Behringer ADA8200

Postby thefruitfarmer » Sat Jun 09, 2018 10:55 pm

Computer Upgrade…..

After 10 years use my M-Audio Delta 1010 and Delta 4 in 4 out PCI card audio interfaces are starting to get a little shaky in an even older PC – Pentium 4 with 1.5 Gb RAM.

I need to upgrade the PC – which is starting to get unstable – and by default I need to replace the audio interface.

My question is, which audio interface would best suit my needs?

I like to use a desk, A&H Mix Wizard 14:4;2, as I have insert effects and reverb / echo effects that I like to patch in using the desk. I am not keen on mixing everything in the box, although I will be making some sub mixes in the DAW. I like using the analogue desk, being able to turn the effects on and off using switches and faders rather than the mouse in software and I have some outboard compressors I use too.

Ideally I would like to be able to leave everything connected to its own input all the time and have outputs from the audio interface connected to the desk all the time. However, I am not sure how practical this actually is…..


The total number of inputs to the audio interface would, in an ideal situation, be

3 stereo synths and 2 mono synths = 8 inputs

Guitar amp sim + guitar clean in = 2 inputs

Bass amp sim = 2 inputs

2 mics = 2 inputs

Main LR from desk = 2 inputs

2 Drum machines = 4 inputs

Total inputs = 20


The total number of outputs from the audio interface to the desk would be

Mix out = 2 outputs

Lead and Backing Vocals = 2 outputs

Bass Guitar = 2 outputs

Guitar Buss = 2 outputs

Keys Buss = 2 outputs

Drums Buss = 2 outputs

Total outputs = 12



I am looking at a Tascam US-20x20…..

10 line outs on the back.

In practice, I do have a lot of the mix (apart from stereo keyboard effects) in mono anyway so I could probably use single output channels for the vocal and bass guitar, which would reduce the total output requirement to the 10. I can also send sub mixes to the stereo mix out buss to free up channels as necessary.


8 inputs on the front with a stereo line in on the back to take the LR mix from the desk..

I am thinking that I could send both drum machines to subs 1 and 2 on the desk and treating them as a single stereo pair.

The 8 inputs would then be enough.

2 for drums

2 for bass

2 for guitar

2 for mics

That then leaves the problem of the keys and synths with their 8 outputs. I could just patch them in as required as I won’t be recording more than one instrument at a time. However, I am finding it easier to write if I can just alternate between each instrument without having to repatch.

What I could do is connect all the synths permanently to a Behringer ADA8200 and connect that to the Tascam US-20x20 via ADAT.


Thanks for reading so far….

I want to use Reaper as the DAW and I don’t use many plug ins as yet, but I can see that changing as I finally move on from Cubase 3.1 to something with a better summing engine and better software effects.

Would this all actually work together?

Would the USB crumble under the strain of playing 10 tracks and recording 4 tracks at once? I have been reading about inherent latency problems with USB still but I expect that the latency is minimal and not a problem in practice, once everything is set up properly. The Tascam web site product page says they have this covered and the Reaper forums show some using the Tascam without issue so all looks good.

What spec of PC would I need?
It will have to be Windows 10 for the Tascam US-20x20 USB-3 drivers to work properly and it will need a USB-3 port and several USB-2 ports for keyboard, mouse and a midiman 4x2, with a midiman 2x2.

I am very much out of the loop with PC’s. I am thinking 2 SATA drives, one for software and a second for data; a processor capable of running all those audio tracks with some plugins too. How much RAM – 16Gb is banded about at the moment?

:)
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Re: Tascam US-20x20, Reaper, USB-3, Behringer ADA8200

Postby James Perrett » Sat Jun 09, 2018 11:47 pm

thefruitfarmer wrote:Would the USB crumble under the strain of playing 10 tracks and recording 4 tracks at once?

USB2 is more than fast enough for pretty high channel counts - RME do an interface with 32 input channels and 32 output channels on USB2.
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Re: Tascam US-20x20, Reaper, USB-3, Behringer ADA8200

Postby ef37a » Sun Jun 10, 2018 6:53 am

James Perrett wrote:
thefruitfarmer wrote:Would the USB crumble under the strain of playing 10 tracks and recording 4 tracks at once?

USB2 is more than fast enough for pretty high channel counts - RME do an interface with 32 input channels and 32 output channels on USB2.

Ah yes James but RME are pretty much out there on their own in extracting phenomenal performance from the USB protocol!

Not knocking Tascam in any way Fruitfarmer but if you possibly can run to RME I would do so. If really out of wallet range, I would at least raise the idea with Tascam technical and see if they can give assurances that your proposed setup will work?

My 2p'oth on the new PC? At least one SSD with OS and DAW on it.

Dave
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Re: Tascam US-20x20, Reaper, USB-3, Behringer ADA8200

Postby blinddrew » Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:59 am

I have a US 16x08 and use Reaper with no issues from a data flow* or general compatibility perspective, and that's on a fairly old and not particularly fast pc running w10.
I did run into some data flow recording 16 tracks simultaneously to a laptop where i had to set a massive buffer (hence very long latency), but that was heavily compounded by trying to run reaper from a separate usb rather than being properly installed on the laptop.

* i'm sure there is a correct term for this but we know what i'm talking about.
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Re: Tascam US-20x20, Reaper, USB-3, Behringer ADA8200

Postby thefruitfarmer » Sun Jun 10, 2018 10:19 am

ef37a wrote:
James Perrett wrote:
thefruitfarmer wrote:Would the USB crumble under the strain of playing 10 tracks and recording 4 tracks at once?

USB2 is more than fast enough for pretty high channel counts - RME do an interface with 32 input channels and 32 output channels on USB2.

Ah yes James but RME are pretty much out there on their own in extracting phenomenal performance from the USB protocol!

Not knocking Tascam in any way Fruitfarmer but if you possibly can run to RME I would do so. If really out of wallet range, I would at least raise the idea with Tascam technical and see if they can give assurances that your proposed setup will work?

My 2p'oth on the new PC? At least one SSD with OS and DAW on it.

Dave

Thanks Dave and thanks James.

I would n't be expecting the Tascam to handle more than 16 ins and 16 outs simultaneously so it is well within the capacity of USB-2, and the US-20x20 is actually USB-3...

Tascam's product page does, of course, suggest that it can record and playback from all the inputs and outputs at the same time...

http://tascam.com/product/us-20x20/

Good advice about contacting Tascam technical though, especially as I am using the ADA8200 in the proposed set up as well.

The Zoom UAC-8 is also on the shortlist at £517 with the Tascam US-20x20 at £380 and offering similar features. I want something with the inputs on the front.

The Tascam is getting good reviews

https://www.google.com/search?safe=off&client=ubuntu&hs=3Ae&channel=fs&ei=feUcW6aJK4uTgAblvrSYDw&q=tascam+us-20x20+review&oq=tascam+us-20x20+&gs_l=psy-ab.1.2.35i39k1l2j0l6.13148.15931.0.20657.8.7.1.0.0.0.192.752.4j3.7.0..3..0...1.1.64.psy-ab..0.8.767...0i67k1.0.OhSX3xNDe48

If I was to go RME or MOTU then it would break the bank lol
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Re: Tascam US-20x20, Reaper, USB-3, Behringer ADA8200

Postby thefruitfarmer » Sun Jun 10, 2018 10:27 am

blinddrew wrote:I have a US 16x08 and use Reaper with no issues from a data flow* or general compatibility perspective, and that's on a fairly old and not particularly fast pc running w10.
I did run into some data flow recording 16 tracks simultaneously to a laptop where i had to set a massive buffer (hence very long latency), but that was heavily compounded by trying to run reaper from a separate usb rather than being properly installed on the laptop.

* i'm sure there is a correct term for this but we know what i'm talking about.

Looking good, I gather the US-20x20 is similar enough to the 16x08 so it should be solid enough. In all honesty the number of tracks I would be recording at any one time is very unlikely to be more than 4, although that could be with 8 output tracks playing as well.
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Re: Tascam US-20x20, Reaper, USB-3, Behringer ADA8200

Postby thefruitfarmer » Sun Jun 10, 2018 10:44 am

ef37a wrote:
Not knocking Tascam in any way Fruitfarmer but if you possibly can run to RME I would do so. If really out of wallet range, I would at least raise the idea with Tascam technical and see if they can give assurances that your proposed setup will work?

My 2p'oth on the new PC? At least one SSD with OS and DAW on it.

Dave

Tascam technical contacted , so a reply is awaited.

I will ask the question on the Reaper forum too.
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Re: Tascam US-20x20, Reaper, USB-3, Behringer ADA8200

Postby thefruitfarmer » Wed Aug 01, 2018 5:05 pm

ef37a wrote:
Not knocking Tascam in any way Fruitfarmer but if you possibly can run to RME I would do so. If really out of wallet range, I would at least raise the idea with Tascam technical and see if they can give assurances that your proposed setup will work?

My 2p'oth on the new PC? At least one SSD with OS and DAW on it.

Dave

Am looking at SSD for OS and DAW with a couple of SATA drives for the samples and songs.

How much better would the RME actually be than say the Tascam, Zoom etc ?

I *could* get one of these

Image

at about £800 (double the cost of the Tascam) but I would need the rack ears and a Behringer ADD8200 to get enough ins and outs bringing the total up to £1k....

However, if the RME sounds really good, is more reliable, has better latency then it might be worth the extra dollar....

On another forum someone pointed out that a guitar, keyboard etc for £300/£400 would be regarded as a toy rather than a more professional tool so it might be a better purchase in the long run, if the same thinking applies to AI's.....
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Re: Tascam US-20x20, Reaper, USB-3, Behringer ADA8200

Postby James Perrett » Wed Aug 01, 2018 9:03 pm

thefruitfarmer wrote:However, if the RME sounds really good, is more reliable, has better latency then it might be worth the extra dollar....

I'm still using a 16 year old RME interface which has been very reliable and offers low latency. If you look at Sam's review you'll see that you can bring the buffer size right down on the UC with reliable results

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/rme-fireface-uc

While the UC isn't mentioned in the DAWBench results, all the RME results are in the top half of the table at

http://www.dawbench.com/audio-int-lowlatency3.htm

One thing that people like about the newer RME interfaces is the software that goes with them. Things like Digicheck offer all kinds of metering and even basic recording. The Totalmix latency free mixer is also one of the best around.
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Re: Tascam US-20x20, Reaper, USB-3, Behringer ADA8200

Postby ef37a » Thu Aug 02, 2018 6:36 am

Yes, go RME. I read almost daily of one instance or another of a W10 update crashing people's audio systems. I have not as yet heard of that happening with any RME kit, not that they would be "immune" but I am sure they would be on the case quicker than any other manufacturer.

I have been "dabbling" with PC recording (with son ) for some 10+ years and over that time must have spent easily enough on odds and sods of kit to have bought an RME interface! If I was to get serious now, I would seriously bend the flexible friend.

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Re: Tascam US-20x20, Reaper, USB-3, Behringer ADA8200

Postby thefruitfarmer » Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:42 am

James Perrett wrote:
thefruitfarmer wrote:
I'm still using a 16 year old RME interface which has been very reliable and offers low latency. If you look at Sam's review you'll see that you can bring the buffer size right down on the UC with reliable results


Thanks James, I am guessing that is 16 years in a commercial studio with almost daily use?

My M-Audio Delta 1010 did last 10 years of weekend use at half the price so the RME is actually more cost effective in the long run.
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Re: Tascam US-20x20, Reaper, USB-3, Behringer ADA8200

Postby thefruitfarmer » Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:45 am

ef37a wrote:Yes, go RME. I read almost daily of one instance or another of a W10 update crashing people's audio systems. I have not as yet heard of that happening with any RME kit, not that they would be "immune" but I am sure they would be on the case quicker than any other manufacturer.

I have been "dabbling" with PC recording (with son ) for some 10+ years and over that time must have spent easily enough on odds and sods of kit to have bought an RME interface! If I was to get serious now, I would seriously bend the flexible friend.

Dave.

Thanks Dave, I think I am going to have to bite the bullet here and stump up the extra £400 for the AI plus a bit for the rack ears and the Berry ADA8200 for enough outputs.
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Re: Tascam US-20x20, Reaper, USB-3, Behringer ADA8200

Postby James Perrett » Thu Aug 02, 2018 6:07 pm

thefruitfarmer wrote:
James Perrett wrote:
I'm still using a 16 year old RME interface which has been very reliable and offers low latency. If you look at Sam's review you'll see that you can bring the buffer size right down on the UC with reliable results


Thanks James, I am guessing that is 16 years in a commercial studio with almost daily use?

Certainly in the early days it was but, now that the studio is in the garden and I do more childcare it probably gets used 2-3 days a week as some of the more mundane work is done on a laptop in the living room. Compared to other interfaces I've had, the RME just keeps doing what it is supposed to do with no fuss. I've used it with 3 different computers over that time but I suspect that, as it is a PCI card, I won't be able to use it in a future system.
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Re: Tascam US-20x20, Reaper, USB-3, Behringer ADA8200

Postby James Perrett » Thu Aug 02, 2018 6:48 pm

One other thought - have you thought about the RME Digiface USB with either 2 ADA8200's or one ADA8200 and a slightly better quality 8 input box? There are a few old firewire audio interfaces that can be used as 8 input preamp to ADAT convertors going cheap these days now that firewire is falling out of favour.
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Re: Tascam US-20x20, Reaper, USB-3, Behringer ADA8200

Postby thefruitfarmer » Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:22 pm

James Perrett wrote:One other thought - have you thought about the RME Digiface USB with either 2 ADA8200's or one ADA8200 and a slightly better quality 8 input box? There are a few old firewire audio interfaces that can be used as 8 input preamp to ADAT convertors going cheap these days now that firewire is falling out of favour.

Now that could save a few quid...

Thanks James
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Re: Tascam US-20x20, Reaper, USB-3, Behringer ADA8200

Postby CS70 » Fri Aug 03, 2018 9:13 am

thefruitfarmer wrote:
James Perrett wrote:
thefruitfarmer wrote:
I'm still using a 16 year old RME interface which has been very reliable and offers low latency. If you look at Sam's review you'll see that you can bring the buffer size right down on the UC with reliable results


Thanks James, I am guessing that is 16 years in a commercial studio with almost daily use?

My M-Audio Delta 1010 did last 10 years of weekend use at half the price so the RME is actually more cost effective in the long run.

I am sure that there's no problem at all using all the I/O of the Tascam - USB (even USB2) has way higher limits than that. USB is simply a non-issue in that sense.

However, +1 to an old RME, it's a very solid proposition if you need much I/O on the cheap.
In my home setup I currently use a 2001 Multiface (PCI) 10 since I enjoy using some outboard, it has 10 inputs and 10 outputs and works a charm with Windows 10.
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