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Old November 24th, 2005, 10:30 AM   #1
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Tascam US-122 question (or recommend me a mixer/computer interface)

Does the Tascam US-122 have hardware pass-through?

I'm looking for cheap solution for the following problem: I have a Mac, active monitors, a video monitor and a cheap DV-camera used as deck. I need an interface between the Mac and the speakers because my MDDs line output is worthless. Second, I need an volume controller between my camera and the speakers while editing. The volume control on my camera doesn't control the line out, only the headphones.

Right now I have an M-audio Firewire 410 on a loan. This thing does what I need, except for the fact that it uses software to link the inputs to the outputs. Even the master volume control is implemented in software, and quite bad as it is. It routinely takes about 0.5 sec to change the volume (Mac OS X 10.3.9, latest M-audio drivers). This also means that I need the computer to be on all the time, even if I just want to play a tape.

Would the Tascam US-122 USB interface do what I want, or would you recommend me another solution? I have a 250 EURO budget.
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Old November 24th, 2005, 10:45 AM   #2
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If controlling the playback volume of your monitors is your primary goal, check out Mackie's "Big Knob." It connects betwwen the Audio Interface and the monitors and acts as a playback volume control and basic switching system.
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Last edited by Steve House; November 24th, 2005 at 12:41 PM.
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Old November 24th, 2005, 12:33 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben De Rydt
Does the Tascam US-122 have hardware pass-through?

I'm looking for cheap solution for the following problem: I have a Mac, active monitors, a video monitor and a cheap DV-camera used as deck. I need an interface between the Mac and the speakers because my MDDs line output is worthless. Second, I need an volume controller between my camera and the speakers while editing. The volume control on my camera doesn't control the line out, only the headphones.

Right now I have an M-audio Firewire 410 on a loan. This thing does what I need, except for the fact that it uses software to link the inputs to the outputs. Even the master volume control is implemented in software, and quite bad as it is. It routinely takes about 0.5 sec to change the volume (Mac OS X 10.3.9, latest M-audio drivers). This also means that I need the computer to be on all the time, even if I just want to play a tape.

Would the Tascam US-122 USB interface do what I want, or would you recommend me another solution? I have a 250 EURO budget.

I have one and the answer is yes, and no. It does have hardware pass-through but it is USB powered so the computer has to be on for it to work. You can look at the specs on Tascam's website.

-gb-
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Old November 28th, 2005, 07:27 PM   #4
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Try the Lexicon omega, its usb but DC powered so you can use it with the computer off. i use one for audio recording.
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Old November 29th, 2005, 04:47 AM   #5
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I've been looking around and these are my findings (based mostly on http://www.macmusic.org reports). Given my experience with this M-audio 410, I'm mostly interested in driver quality, as I recon that audio performance of these interfaces will be quite similar.

- M-audio Firewire 410 (firewire): moderate audio quality. Driver for 10.3.9 works but slow volume control. Driver for Tiger (10.4.x) is bad. Slow driver updates. Protools compatible. Needs computer.
- Tascam US-112 (USB): bad drivers for Tiger. Needs computer. Needs software for passthough?
- Presonus Firebox (Firewire): supported natively by Mac OS X. Good audio quality. Mixer app needed for hardware pass through.
- Digidesign MBox 2 (USB): supported by Protools only. Native OS X drivers aren't good.
- Lexicon Omega (USB): don't know anything about it. Doesn't need a computer for pass through?

Can anyone with a Mac confirm this?
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Old November 29th, 2005, 08:01 AM   #6
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These may be overkill for what you're looking for and are above the budget you mentioned, but Mackie's "Onyx" series of mixers has an add-in option of a Firewire audio interface built-in to the mixer. B&H lists the 12 channel Onyx 1220 for $599 and the Firewire add-in card is an additional $400. These have an excellent reputation.
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Old November 29th, 2005, 05:38 PM   #7
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Thanks, but that is well above my budget.

Can anyone confirm that the Lexicon Omega is a real mixer, i.e. it works without computer? Does it need special drivers or is it Mac OS X supported, i.e. is it a compliant USB audio device?

I might be cheaper off with a simple USB audio interface (two channel stereo in-out) and a cheap Behringer mixer. But, the only simple USB interface I can find is the iMic and that thing looks like it can fall apart any minute - I've seen some laying around for a while. Is this kind of cheaper going to get a whole lot worse?
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Old November 29th, 2005, 07:45 PM   #8
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I've been looking at interfaces too...

Have you looked at Alesis mixers, they have USB and Firewire models 8, 12 and 16 channels :

www.alesis.com

I sorry but I don't know any more than what is on the web site. Maybe somebody here has experience with this brand.

I too am concerned about poor quality drivers which has a lot to do with what I purchase.
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Old November 30th, 2005, 09:10 PM   #9
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The omega isnt a "real" mixer in a sense, but yes, you can use it with the computer off. I do all the time. It doesnt require any driver installation with OSX (i use it in 10.4.3 with garageband 1.1, logic express 7.0.1 and digital performer 4.6 with no issues). You can route the sound out of your mac to the device via usb, but you need to have 1/4" jacks on your monitors, as they are the only outs on the omega besides s/pdif(i did use 1/4 out of the omega headphone port to RCA ins on on monitors for a while) Check the website www.lexiconpro.com for the details. I got mine off of ebay for $200 (US). hope this helps.

P.S. as a note, I used to have the 122, its good to start, but the Omega is a definite improvment IMHO.
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Old December 6th, 2005, 02:36 PM   #10
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The Lexicon Omega is what it will be then. Thanks.
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Old December 6th, 2005, 09:32 PM   #11
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Edirol discontinued this USB model mixer, but I still use one and think you'll like the bhphoto bargain basement price on the Edirol M100FX of $179 - regular price was like $600 - I'd snap one up before they're all out.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont....x=0&image.y=0
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