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TASCAM US-1800 REVIEW

Posted on September 4, 2011 by Joe Stachowiak There have been 78 comment(s)

Tascam US-1800Purchasing an audio interface can often be a minefield, especially for the amateur. There are so many products out there that knowing which one is right for you is a near-impossible task without sufficient advice (click here to read my in-depth guide). However, if you are after an interface that offers the most amount of inputs for the least amount of money, you should definitely at least consider the Tascam US-1800

TASCAM US-1800 – WHAT IS IT?

The Tascam US-1800 is a USB 2.0 audio interface, packed with 16 inputs (8 mic pres with phantom power, 2 guitar/line inputs, 4 dedicated line inputs and stereo digital S/PDIF), 4 line outputs (with separate monitor output connections), digital S/PDIF out and MIDI In and Out connections. Plus, it also provides you with zero latency monitoring!

Just from reading the description, I can imagine that this product is a dream come true for small bands that are on a budget and may need the flexibility to mic and record a whole drum kit along with incorporating a couple of vocal mics and perhaps a couple of guitars and a synthesiser. Lovely stuff!

TASCAM US-1800 – STRAIGHT OUT OF THE BOX

I was very pleasantly surprised when I first lifted the Tascam US-1800 out of its box. Despite being what I would call a budget interface (considering the features that it gives you), the build of it seemed very professional. It had a nice weight to it, a metal casing and the dials felt nice and firm and didn’t wobble about at all when I turned them. Top marks here, as I would have expected Tascam to skimp on the build to allow them to keep the price so impressively low. I now just hope that the most important aspect of the interface, the sound quality, hasn’t been compromised instead. I will find out soon enough though…

So, what else do you get in the box with the Tascam US-1800? When you first open the box, you are greeted with a couple of plastic wallets, one containing a printed manual, the drivers DVD, a copy of Cubase LE 5 and a USB cable, and the other containing four handy screws, in case you want to rack-mount the unit. Packaged down the back of the box, you get the power cable in two parts.

Tascam US-1800

TASCAM US-1800 – SET-UP

The Tascam US-1800 is stated as being compatible with Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and with Mac OS X. On my Mac computer, the process of getting started was as simple as inserting the included driver DVD, performing a regular install, restarting the computer and then connecting the Tascam US-1800. Simple!

As it comes included, I also decided that I would install Cubase LE 5 and use it to make some recordings. Why not? :P

TASCAM US-1800 – RECORDING

Now, as I'm on my own, I’m not going to attempt to mic up and record a whole drum kit, so I will just perform a few test recordings:

1. A vocal recording using a SE Electronics SE2200A microphone,
2. An acoustic guitar recording using the same mic and my Washburn WD10S,
3. An electric guitar recording using a Yamaha Pacifica and,
4. A synth recording using a lovely analogue Dave Smith Instruments Mopho!

So, I took it in turns to record each device, using the USB 2.0 connection to my computer to transfer the audio information. It’s worth knowing that although I was only transmitting a maximum of 2 signals at any one time, the USB 2.0 connection of the Tascam US-1800 can actually transmit up to 16 simultaneous inputs and 4 simultaneous outputs at any one time.

My verdicts on the recordings? Actually, I was dead impressed! As I mentioned before, I had a sneaky suspicion that Tascam would have compromised the sound quality of the US-1800 due to the cost and the surprisingly good build, but I am happy to report that I was wrong! Now, I’m not saying that the Tascam US-1800 has the best pres in the world… they aren’t the most neutral, nor the most warm, but if you are looking to spend this type of money on an interface, then I imagine that you aren’t going to be producing platinum selling hits for stars that demand crystal clear perfection, so for the home studio user, these are ideal! All it means is that you may need to do a tiny bit more EQ work to bring out certain characteristics of a recording, but in all honesty, this is likely to be the case with most preamps, whether they are in a unit that costs £200 or £2000! The most important thing here is that the Tascam US-1800 pres offer an excellent sound quality for the price… in fact, if this unit only offered half the number of preamp inputs, I would still be recommending it as a product that offers an excellent price/quality compromise! Just to be complete, the line and guitar input recording also sounded excellent!

The Tascam US-1800 provides phantom power across all 8 microphone channels, which can be activated in groups of four, with dedicated ‘Phantom power on channels 1-4’ and ‘Phantom power on channels 5-8’ switches. You can turn on either one switch at a time, or both together, which will supply phantom power to all 8 channels.

Tascam US-1800 Back

For channels 9 and 10, you also get individual switches that allow you to turn on Hi-Z mode for recording electric guitars. It's all very straightforward.

TASCAM US-1800 – MORE CONTROLS

Another top feature of the Tascam US-1800 is that inputs 1-10 each have a dedicated gain level dial on the front panel, making balancing your levels an extremely quick and easy process. Plus, you also get a dedicated Monitor dial to control the monitor output level, a standard Mix dial (to control the output mix levels between the inputs and the sound from your computer), and a headphone level dial with a 1.4” jack headphone socket.

On the back of the Tascam US-1800 there are also switches for balanced Line inputs 11-12 and 13-14, to set the nominal level to either -10dBv or +4dBu.

TASCAM US-1800 – INCLUDED SOFTWARE

The Tascam US-1800 provides you with a Control Panel, which provides you with a summary of the current status of the unit, e.g. sample rate, digital input status, etc. From here, you can also set your digital input channels, the sample clock source and the digital output format.

Of course, the main bit of software that comes with the Tascam US-1800 is Cubase LE 5. This is essentially a stripped down version of the full Cubase software, offering 48 tracks and including features such as automation, plug-ins, mixing, editing and MIDI tracks. Now, I’m usually a Logic user so I can’t comment on the exact difference between this version of Cubase and the full version, but what I will say is that Cubase LE 5 is a perfect program for the beginner, or for simple projects. It allows you to do all the basic things, meaning that you have all the tools for creating professional projects, and it works seamlessly with the Tascam US-1800. If you don’t already own a DAW, then Cubase LE5 will serve you extremely well until you have the funds to upgrade.

TASCAM US-1800 – SUMMARY

Wham, bam, this is an excellent product! It gives you a load of inputs, a solid build, excellent quality sound, a super fast USB 2.0 connection to your computer and Cubase LE 5. I’m actually a little lost for words at just how good this product is for the price!

however, I will try to summarise my thoughts on this product as clearly and concisely as possible. If you need the most amount of good quality inputs for the least amount of money, then this is the product for you… remember, you can even buy another unit for the same low price if you need to double up! In essence, the Tascam US-1800 product gives you the best compromise.

However, if you don’t need all these inputs and are on a similar budget, then I would recommend purchasing a product with a slightly higher preamp quality, such as a Focusrite Scarlett or MOTU Audio Express. However, the preamps on the Tascam are still good quality and certainly won’t let you down for home-studio projects.

I’m not sure what else I can really say about this product. I hope that I have managed to express just how impressed I was and at this price, it is really difficult to find any faults with it, as I really do think that you get more than you pay for with it, which is a rarity in itself!

For more information on the Tascam US-1800 or to buy one, click the link below:

Tascam US-1800 – More Info/Buy

Click Here To Buy Tascam US-1800

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This post was posted in Blog entries, Computer Music, In-Depth Reviews, Recording and was tagged with audio, interface, tascam, usb 2.0

78 Responses to TASCAM US-1800 REVIEW

  • Danny says:

    Hey, ive been using the tascam for a few days now to record my drums.
    One problem. i want to use all the xlr inputs, with only 2 used as overheads.
    The overheads require phantom power, yet the phantom power ability applies to 4 channels minimum. Is there anyway to work around this i wonder? i dont want to damage my mics by turning on phantom power when they dont need it

    Posted on June 14, 2012 at 2:40 pm

  • Hi Danny, I'm afraid that there isn't a way to change this with the US-1800. However, it shouldn't be a problem. Are you using dynamic mics in the other inputs? The chances of damaging a dynamic mic with phantom power is extremely minimal. If you're using a modern dynamic mic then you should be absolutely fine. If you're using ribbon mics then I would be a bit more cautious - again, most modern ribbon mics would still be fine, but there is a bit of a risk here. If you are using a ribbon mic then I would purchase another interface and aggregate them together so that your computer recognises them as one interface.

    Posted on June 15, 2012 at 9:43 am

  • Enry says:

    How do you chain 2 different units together? I already have a M-Audio Fast Track Ultra, is it possible to use these 2 units as one like you said? how do you make the connections?

    Posted on June 27, 2012 at 4:13 pm

  • Hi, are you using a Mac or a PC?

    Posted on June 27, 2012 at 4:20 pm

  • Enry says:

    no, a HP all-in-one, but i'll be buying a iMac/MacPro in the next couple months...

    Posted on June 27, 2012 at 4:25 pm

  • Here is how you can do it on a Mac: http://www.absolutemusic.co.uk/community/content/computer-music/mac-set-aggregate-audio-device/

    It's a bit more difficult on a PC I'm afraid. I've heard that it is now possible to do it with some devices, but not all devices will support it and it's a lot more fiddly. Search for 'aggregate audio device windows' in Google and that may give you some clues on how to do it. Otherwise wait until you get a Mac - it's quick and easy! :)

    Posted on June 27, 2012 at 4:32 pm

  • Enry says:

    alright, thanks!!

    Posted on June 27, 2012 at 4:39 pm

  • Zis says:

    Hi there thanks for this fantastic review, could you help me clear up a few things I'm struggling to understand, firstly "pres" or pre-amps I'm guessing these increase audio fidelity or something? What exactly do they do?? Are they super important i.e can they not just be accommodated for in post production?

    Secondly I've been looking at these interfaces and one of the things that's often unclear is how many simultaneous tracks can be send into a standard DAW often it will say "16 track simultaneous recording" and then you'll find later that this is over only 4 channels. Is this true 16x16? Also (sorry about the onslaught of questions) but why dont they just say "8 Stereo channels" as the "16 individual channels" thing is always a bit misleading... also...sorry....whats ure opinion on the mackie onyx blackbird???sorry if I'm sounding like a noob and thanks for the great article :D

    Zis

    Posted on June 29, 2012 at 1:29 am

  • Hi Zis, thanks for the questions. You are partly correct in that a preamp does indeed increase the quality of an audio signal, but it does this by boosting a signal to a specific level to reduce sonic artifacts such as noise and interference. However, not all preamps are the same and so a preamp will have an effect on the sound. Better quality preamps will tend not to colour a sound as much, whereas cheaper preamps will tend to boost certain frequencies or add other forms of mild distortion to a signal. When I talk about preamps I'm usually referring to microphone preamps, which help boost a microphone signal, and also have a great effect on the sound.

    When you ask if preamps are important, they certainly are! In fact, if you are doing any type of recording you will probably be using preamps without even knowing it! As I said, the quality of the preamp will have a great effect on your sound, so they are certainly worth choosing wisely - after all, it's much easier to make a clean recording and then use processing to degrade the quality, than to make a poor recording on poor preamps and make it sound better!

    The Tascam US-1800 can indeed transmit 16 simultaneous channels into a software DAW (e.g. input 1 routed to track 1, input 2 routed to track 2, etc, etc.), although of course it only has 4 physical outputs.

    I think that interfaces are advertised in terms of mono channels because lots of recordings take place in mono - think of recording a microphone or a direct guitar signal. Plus, '8 stereo inputs' sounds like there is only 8 physical connections, so it would be confusing as to whether you could connect 16 mono devices, or whether the interface only had 8 physical input slots. It's just the way that interfaces are advertised and you will soon get used to it :)

    The Mackie Blackbird is a great little interface as long as you don't need MIDI connectivity. Compared to the US-1800 I would say that it has better sounding and better quality mic preamps. If you have Firewire connectivity on your computer then it is a good choice - you may also want to check out the Focusrite Saffire 40, which I also think has great mic preamps for the price: http://www.absolutemusic.co.uk/store/computer-music-46/hardware-4612/firewire-interfaces-46122/focusrite-saffire-pro-40-firewire-audio-interface-3278

    Posted on July 4, 2012 at 11:33 am

  • Zis says:

    Fantastic stuff thanks dude, that tascam is really something for the price, but I had a look at the saffire 40 and i think i may end up going for it looks perfect for what we need may take a little longer to save up the cash though ... :( thanks for ure help again!

    Zis

    Posted on July 4, 2012 at 2:27 pm

  • No worries :) Yes, the US-1800 is the best interface I know in terms of number of inputs vs price. However, I think that you are making a wise decision by saving up for the Focusrite. You will definitely notice the difference in quality between these product so it's worth the extra money even if you are saving up for longer.

    Take it easy and if you've got any questions in future, you know where I am!

    Posted on July 4, 2012 at 2:39 pm

  • cody jr says:

    I purchased a defective unit, I cannot get any playback whatsoever. i contacted
    Tascam's customer support and i will be returning it tomorw, to have a new one shipped to me. i am a bit dissapoited but i will give tascam and zzsounds.com a chance to make it right

    Posted on July 19, 2012 at 4:51 am

  • Unfortunately, as with everything, you will occasionally get a faulty unit. Hopefully your next one serves you better though - the US-1800 is a good device so I would definitely recommend giving it another go!

    Posted on July 19, 2012 at 9:55 am

  • Hi, can this unit run only with USB power ?? I am planing to bring one of this from us but I live in Bangladesh and we run everything at 220 V. yes i can use a 220 to 110 v converter but not really sure if that is going to affect the sound quality. Can you please give me some info about that. Thanks.

    Posted on August 9, 2012 at 4:03 pm

  • Hi, as far as I'm aware, the US-1800 has to be powered using an AC adapter. If you are planning on buying one from abroad then I would recommend contacting Tascam to find out what power supply you need because using the wrong one will risk serious damage to your item and will invalidate warranty. I would recommend getting an interface from a country that uses the same voltage as you to avoid having to buy a separate adapter, but if you want to contact Tascam, you can send in your questions here: http://tascam.com/contact/pre-sales/

    Posted on August 9, 2012 at 4:16 pm

  • thanks for your help. ok ill contact tascam

    Posted on August 9, 2012 at 4:46 pm

  • jafet says:

    buen dia ! tengo la targeta tascam us-1800. la instale, pero resulta que cuando reprodusco sonido ya sea del media player, o de el sonar 8 el audio se traba y queda como un CD rayado. tengo que desconectar la targeta para que vuelva a la normalidad. mi windows es 7 procesador AMD athlon (tm) Dual-core QL-65 2.10 ghz
    MEMORY RAM DE 3 Y SISTEMA OPERATIVO DE 64 BITS Y DESCARGUE EL DRIVER DE LA PAGINA PARA 64 BITS. SI ALGUIEN ME PUEDE AYUDAR .SE LO AGRADECERIA ...FELIZ DIA....

    Posted on August 17, 2012 at 5:21 pm

  • Hi there, I'm really sorry but I don't speak Spanish so it may be difficult for me to help you. I would suggest contacting the company that you bought it off as hopefully they should be able to help you :)

    Posted on August 20, 2012 at 9:59 am

  • Scott says:

    Hi, ive just started looking into recording drums at home and was looking for a cheap interface but one i can still mic the whole kit with. However my kit is in my shed at the moment and the acoustics are quite bad. Would spending the money on the interface and mic's etc be a waste of time whilst the drums are still in the shed and not sounding great? Or would i be able to control the sound and produce decent recordings?

    Thanks for the great review, it really helped.

    Posted on August 30, 2012 at 10:11 pm

  • Hi Scott, that's difficult to say without hearing just how bad the acoustics are and it will also depend on your miking techniques. You'll get the best results by close miking everything with mics that reject a lot of the off-axis noise (that is, any noise that is coming from something that isn't the miked drum itself), because this will help focus the recordings on the drums and not any of the other nasty acoustic features that your space may have (e.g. reverberations). If the recording space is bad, I'd avoid using overhead mics to record, because these will pick up a lot of the acoustic artefacts caused by your recording environment.

    As a recording rule, you should always try and get the best possible sound from your recordings, rather than settle for something that doesn't sound good and tweak it later. However, if it's a case of recording in a bad environment or not recording at all, I'd say get recording! You may learn some valuable techniques that will help you when you move to a better recording environment :)

    Posted on August 31, 2012 at 11:18 am

  • Scott says:

    Thanks this really helped a lot. I think im going to look in to a bit more and decide whether it will be worth it for me at the moment, but i would like to start learning how to record and start it as a hobby as well as drumming.

    Thanks again for replying and explaining everything in detail for me! :)

    Posted on August 31, 2012 at 5:29 pm

  • No worries Scott, glad I could help and you know where I am if you have any more questions in future! Have fun recording!

    Posted on August 31, 2012 at 5:37 pm

  • I'm searching for an answer before I buy US-1800, will the drivers work with windows 8? I called Tascam customer service and the technician said it should, I pushed and said should I buy, and he left it up to me. Windows 8, 8 gig ram, 1 terabit memory.

    Posted on January 22, 2013 at 11:01 pm

  • Hi and thanks for the question. Not the most reassuring answer to receive from them is it? Unfortunately I can't guarantee that it will work either and Tascam will definitely have more information on the subject than me. Windows 8 is a new operating system and whenever a new operating system is released, there is always a period where old hardware/software can be a bit glitchy until the manufacturers catch up and fix all the bugs caused by the update. My advice to you would be to make sure that you download the latest Windows drivers from the Tascam website if you go for the Tascam US-1800 and keep checking back for updates because Tascam do release new drivers with bug fixes (click here to download the latest drivers). I know that I've not given you the definitive answer that you no doubt wanted but the honest answer is that I just don't know because I haven't tried it with Windows 8. The best I could do would be to call Tascam myself, but I would no doubt get exactly the same answer as you so I don't think that it's worth it at this stage. I have however spoken to our Support dept. and have been informed that this is not an issue that they have heard of. That's not confirmation that it will definitely work though.

    If you buy from us then we do have a 7 day money back period if you wanted to test it. Just remember not to register anything and keep it all in a good condition with all original packaging and accessories. You would also need to pay the return cost, but that won't be too much for that item. It provides some reassurance that you won't end up with an item that you simply can't use if the worst case scenario occurs though.

    Posted on January 23, 2013 at 11:05 am

  • francis says:

    hi, I bought a us-1800, and I can't make it work with my Cubase 7 on pc, I'm under windows 8 which cause no problem to my cubase, I installed all drivers.. thank you for your help

    Posted on February 16, 2013 at 8:54 pm

  • Muss says:

    hey man,
    I bought the us1800 recently and followed the manual to install the drivers and device onto a windows 7 laptop (4gb,1t). All drivers were successfully installed however, the device will not be installed or found or even recognized by the laptop. I was wandering if you had any idea? I know, macs are much easier. got one but i dont want it to be the dedicated machine yet :D. thanks

    Posted on February 18, 2013 at 2:55 am

  • Hi Francis. Does it show up as a device in Cubase? Are you comfortable with setting up audio interfaces in Cubase? It could well be that there are some problems using it with Windows 8. (See my previous answer above). Windows 8 is still not listed as a compatible operating system on the official Tascam website although Tascam say that it 'should' work. I would advise getting in touch with the retailer that you bought it from if you're having real problems though as they may be able to advise you further or offer over-the-phone technical help. It's quite difficult for me to diagnose such a general problem over blog comments because it could take a number of steps to find out what the problem is. Sorry that I couldn't be more useful on this one but let me know if you need any help learning how to use an interface with Cubase.

    Posted on February 18, 2013 at 11:28 am

  • Hi Muss. Thanks for the question. What software are you trying to use it with? With general problems like this it is probably best to contact the retailer that you bought it from as they should hopefully be able to offer over-the-phone technical help. There's nothing specific that springs to mind if you've followed the manual to the letter I'm afraid. It could be a number of things but if you can get over-the-phone help from somewhere it should be much quicker to diagnose and fix. If this isn't possible then I can try and help but it may be a long process!

    Posted on February 18, 2013 at 11:35 am

  • Muss says:

    I was going to use it on cubase 5 (not the le5 package that came with it) because i already had it. however, i hadnt launched cubase during the installation. i just put the disk in, followed everything. ive been trying to research this, people are saying you have to be the admin and others are saying it just wont work on 7 :S. i am going to have ring them arent i :D. i mean if its gonna take a long time for it to be installed onto a windows machine, might as well use my mac and keep things simple but effective lol

    Posted on February 18, 2013 at 5:05 pm

  • Hi again Muss :) It should just be a case of installing the drivers. I'm not too sure about the admin thing but I wouldn't have thought it would make a huge difference. I'm a Mac user though and will confess that the Windows operating system is not my area of expertise. Yeh, I'd suggest giving them a call to get some tech help if you would rather use it on your Windows machine. If you learn of a quick fix then feel free to pop back and let us know as it may be able to help other people with your problem in the future. Thanks again for the comments and good luck with getting it sorted.

    Posted on February 19, 2013 at 11:35 am

  • Adrian says:

    Hey Joe!

    Impressive page. I've had the US -1800 since approximately August 2011 & have found it to be a fantastic piece of equipment for recording mine & friends bands/demos.

    Just wondering about the benefits of firewire over say USB 2.0. The US 1800 doesn't have a firewire output as you know, and all I can deduct is that firewire provides the ability to transfer more data? In an audio recording application; does it essentially allow the interface to send more signal to the computer, or eliminate potential latency issues?
    I'm looking at spending between $2-4000 on a custom PC as I think a laptop has too many shortfalls, but will upgrading my RAM etc be worthwhile with my US-1800 or should I 'upgrade' to a firewire interface as well?
    Thanks Joe, keep keeping it real!

    Posted on April 17, 2013 at 3:35 pm

  • John says:

    Hi there
    I am considering buying the Tascam US 1800 for mic pre's to record drums. I use Sonar Home Studio 7 and would prefer to keep using it. Are they compatable?
    I am not oppised to getting the latest version of Cubase but would like to be able to stay with Sonar.
    Any help would be appreciated, thx

    Posted on April 20, 2013 at 2:30 am

  • Hi Adrian, sorry for the late reply, I've been away for a couple of weeks. To be honest, I don't think that you're going to notice much difference between Firewire and USB 2.0. In fact, if you're using a PC as opposed to a Mac then I would recommend using USB as Firewire can potentially be glitchy with PCs. If you are planning on using Firewire with a PC then I would recommend upgrading to something like a Texas Instruments Firewire card.

    If you're getting into the speed of data transfer details of Firewire vs USB then USB 2.0 actually has a higher top-speed of data transfer compared to Firewire, but USB speeds tend to vary whereas Firewire speeds remain consistent. In layman's terms, Firewire data can also bypass parts of your computer, which helps speed up data transfer.

    To sum up, if you are using a Mac, Firewire will probably end up being faster than USB 2.0 but you're probably not going to be able to notice any huge differences as USB 2.0 can still shift a lot of data very quickly. If you are using a PC then I would recommend just using a USB 2.0 interface to safeguard against any problems that you may encounter with Firewire.

    I hope that helps and feel free to get in touch if you have any more questions :)

    Posted on April 29, 2013 at 11:37 am

  • Hi John, thanks for the question. Yes, the US-1800 should work with Sonar Home Studio 7. The only compatibility issues that could potentially arise will involve your computer and the interface. The US-1800 is Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Mac OS X compatible so please make sure that you are running one of these operating systems before buying and make sure that you have the latest drivers downloaded from the Tascam website (click here) if you buy it as the drivers that come with the interface on a disc may be outdated.

    Posted on April 29, 2013 at 11:58 am

  • Adrian says:

    Ah, too easy! Thanks for the explanation Joe.
    Without knowing that, I thought the USB2.0 connection disrupted the audio when recording say 10 channels of a drumkit and sending audio to monitors and headphones, but it must be RAM related. ..
    I'm upgrading my recording PC in the near future, I'll keep the US-1800 until I can save for something more professional.
    One more thing, please explain S/PDIF for me - how is that 2 ins when one is labelled out? I've asked friends to explain and I'm still here wondering haha.

    Thanks again Joe

    Posted on May 3, 2013 at 7:03 am

  • No worries Adrian. S/PDIF is a connection for carrying a digital audio signal as opposed to an analogue audio signal. As a very simplistic explanation, an analogue signal is represented by a voltage that varies over time to replicate the audio signal whereas a digital signal is represented by a load of 1s and 0s in binary. Whereas an analogue signal is continuous, with a digital signal, samples are taken of a piece of audio at specific intervals and are then played back really quickly so that it sounds like a continuous piece of sound.

    An S/PDIF connection can carry 2 channels of audio data, i.e. an audio channel to go to your left speaker and an audio channel to go to your right speaker. This allows you to either record or play a stereo sound with S/PDIF (i.e. one that has variations in both the left and right speaker). You will find that a lot of songs are made for stereo playback - just listen to some of your favourite tracks through headphones and you'll probably find that some elements of a track are louder in one ear that in the other and in some cases, sounds may appear in one ear and not in the other.

    So, in the case of S/PDIF, although there is only 1 physical input, if you connect an S/PDIF cable to it, it is actually capable of carrying 2 separate tracks of audio (which in most cases will be combined to make one song).

    S/PDIF is only used to record or send audio to another digital device like a digital recorder or player though so you won't need to worry about it if you are just working with mics and recording to your computer.

    I hope that helps and let me know if you need anything else clarifying :)

    Joe

    Posted on May 3, 2013 at 9:54 am

  • Adrian says:

    Thanks Joe, that's cleared things up slightly for me... So, in theory, if I can get a... preamp or recording device of some kind, I can have 2 mics in one/two channels (?) running through s/pdif, into two mono channels in cubase; essentially recording 2 different signals? I know that's not as clear as it could be, but let it be a window into my frazzled, frustrated mind ;)

    Posted on May 3, 2013 at 11:12 am

  • Haha! Yes, you are correct. However, the transmitting device will of course need to have a S/PDIF output as microphones cannot plug directly into an S/PDIF socket because mics work with analogue and S/PDIF is digital.

    Posted on May 3, 2013 at 2:29 pm

  • Adrian says:

    Yep, gotcha! Too easy. Thanks very much for clearing this up ;)

    Now, finally. In the US-1800 control panel, in the audio output option (not sure if that's the exact term, and my comp isn't registering the interface right now :/ so I can't find out - not important it'll sort itself out) there's an option for S/PDIF and AES/BUA or something like that. I only have the 2 options, and as you know, I'm connected through USB 2.0. I always select the AES option but I don't think this affects quality or sound in anyway. Can you explain please? This should be it for me ;)

    Thanks again Joe

    Posted on May 6, 2013 at 9:06 am

  • Hi Adrian. AES/EBU is just another standard for transmitting digital data between one device and another (e.g. for sending the audio from the US-1800 to a digital recorder). The digital output of the US-1800 can be set to either S/PDIF or AES/EBU depending on what sort of digital equipment you are working with. If you want to connect the US-1800 to another digital device and the second unit has a S/PDIF input then you will need to set the digital output of the US-1800 to 'S/PDIF'. If you want to connect the US-1800 to another digital device and the second unit has an AES/EBU input then you will need to set the digital output of the US-1800 to 'AES/EBU'. If you do not have the digital output of the US-1800 connected to anything then it won't matter what you have the digital output set as and it won't make any different to how the rest of the unit functions and sounds.

    Posted on May 7, 2013 at 9:57 am

  • Adrian says:

    Thanks again for your reply Joe.

    This dawned on me this morning, I realized my computer isn't a digital output when I opened cubase and the control panel registered the interface & displayed the correct terms.
    Thanks again for clearing up a concern! I really appreciate your prompt, insightful responses.
    Cheers mate!
    Adrian

    Posted on May 7, 2013 at 2:05 pm

  • No problems at all Adrian, I'm glad I could help. If you think of any more questions in the future then you know where I am :)

    Posted on May 7, 2013 at 5:07 pm

  • Benny says:

    Hi Joe, I just installed the US 1800 on my laptop (win 7 64 bit). How can I change the sample in the Tascam control panel from 44.1 kHz to 96 kHz?

    Posted on May 16, 2013 at 10:51 pm

  • Hi Benny, what software are you using it with? You usually just alter the sample rate in the Audio settings/preferences menu of your DAW software.

    Posted on May 17, 2013 at 5:52 pm

  • Benny says:

    Thanks Joe, I hadn't installed Sonar on my laptop when I installed the US 1800. I will try again after installing Sonar.

    Posted on May 17, 2013 at 10:59 pm

  • No problems Benny, let me know if you are still having problems once it is installed and I will be happy to try and help

    Posted on May 20, 2013 at 11:17 am

  • Benny says:

    Hi Joe, I have now managed to resolve the earlier problem - thanks again. However, whenever I switch ON the US 1800, I get a TBIA pop up message saying "The data is invalid". I have tried reinstalling the driver (Version 2.02) several times (from CD and internet) but am still having the same problem. My laptop is an ASUS N56 with Windows 7 64 bit. Would appreciate your help again.

    Posted on May 26, 2013 at 1:10 am

  • Benny says:

    Hi Joe, I dont know whether you got my earlier post but I've now managed to resolve sample rate issue - thanks again. However, whenever I switch on the US 1800, I still get a TBIA message on my laptop stating "The data is invalid". I have tried reinstalling the driver and emailing TEAC in USA and Germany but still haven't heard back from them. I would really appreciate your help again.

    Posted on May 29, 2013 at 10:36 pm

  • Hi Benny, apologies for the delayed reply. Does this message cause any problems or is it just the case that you can close the message when it pops up and everything works fine? Sounds like a driver issue but it should work fine on Windows 7 64 bit. Sounds like you've been trying the right sort of things by re-installing the driver. Let me know if the message causes any operational problems and I'll give Tascam a call to see if they have any ideas.

    Posted on May 30, 2013 at 10:23 am

  • Kevin says:

    hello my question is i have a line 6 ux8 and a tascam us1800 but when i try doing an aggregate device in my mac i see the tascam us1800 but i cant add it with the line 6. i have tried the update also switching the sample rate but i still can't im currently using a mac ox 10.8.3

    Posted on June 6, 2013 at 3:36 pm

  • Hi Kevin,

    I've found a post on the Line 6 forums that specifies that the UX8 cannot be used as part of an aggregate device: click here.

    That post was from 2010 though so things may have changed - still, seems a bit strange that it isn't showing up. I would suggest contacting Line 6 directly on this one though (click here) as I'm afraid that I've never used the UX8 and am not sure what the problem is. If you do find a solution from Line 6 then please feel free to report back and post your findings though :) Sorry I couldn't be of more help on this one.

    Joe

    Posted on June 10, 2013 at 10:13 am

  • Hello, I'm just confused about something. Getting this interface used costs the same as a new ni komplete audio 6 interface. Is it the same kind of machine with just more inputs for the money?

    Posted on July 3, 2013 at 8:00 pm

  • Hey again. When playing back the recorded music from a MacBook Pro, while mixing or just using midi instruments, would it make a difference to have this interface as the output? Or would it be fine just to plug my laptop to the monitors? Just to save a little electricity, but if its ok if I should always use it.

    Posted on July 3, 2013 at 8:05 pm

  • Hi Carlos, yes, it's the same sort of thing. It does indeed have a lot more inputs although I would say that the converters are of a better quality on the Komplete Audio 6. That's not to say that the converters on the US-1800 are bad - it's a great interface for the money if you need lots of connectivity!

    Posted on July 4, 2013 at 10:18 am

  • Using an external audio interface should improve the quality of your audio. If you're just practicing or listening to tracks then it should be absolutely fine to plug your speakers directly to your computer's output though if you have the correct cable and can be fussed to keep switching the speakers between your interface and your computer.

    Posted on July 4, 2013 at 10:25 am

  • Scott says:

    Hi
    I commented nearly a year ago when i first started looking into recording my drums at home. I've finally decided to go for it! But had a question about the mics as I'm getting confused haha.
    What mics would be best to use for close miking... I was looking into buying a mic kit to start with as i want a relatively cheap option just to get started. But would it be better to use dynamic or condenser mics with phantom power or a mix of both? And would standard mic cables do for all the mics i would be using?

    Thanks again. Sorry about all the questions! haha :)

    Posted on July 24, 2013 at 10:56 pm

  • Hi Scott, glad you've decided to make the leap :) To be honest you can use either condenser or dynamic mics for close miking situations - it depends on the sound that you want so it's difficult to say which is 'best'. If you're going for a cheaper option then you'll probably find that most mics within your budget are dynamic. I used to be a fan of the Shure SM57 dynamic mic for many close-miking situations. I found that it worked well in lots of situations for snares, toms and hi-hats. However, there is no rule of thumb to what mic works best in every situation as different mics will give different results. I remember experimenting with a Sontronics Orpheus as a hi-hat mic once just because we had one lying around. It's a mic that I would normally choose to use with vocals or acoustic instruments but it ended up sounding great as a hi-hat mic and so we kept it for the track.

    It's all about experimentation but I would say that if you're on a tight budget, I would recommend going for a drum mic kit (e.g. the Shure PGDMK6). You're going to get the most mics for your money here and whilst it's nice to have a selection of mics for any recording situation, it's unrealistic to have access to a huge selection of mics all the time and you can still get great recordings with a small selection.

    I hope that helps! If you have a budget that stretches more then feel free to let me know and I will be happy to advise you on a different mic package :)

    Posted on July 25, 2013 at 10:16 am

  • Scott says:

    Hi
    Thanks a lot for the detailed answer again. The shure package looks very good, especially as it comes with the clips and cables too. However is there another one you could recommend that is slightly cheaper. Sorry, I've looked around but I don't know if I'll be sacrificing quality... Just don't want to spend too much getting started as I can always upgrade.
    If not then I'll probably go for the package you suggested, but I thought it would be worth seeing if there's another option.

    Thanks again. Last question I promise! haha :)

    Posted on July 25, 2013 at 11:32 am

  • Hi Scott! Ask as many questions as you like, I'm happy to answer them if I can! :)

    Yep, there are cheaper options out there!

    If you don't want to sacrifice the quality of the Shure mics then you can also purchase it as a 4-piece set - CLICK HERE! It all depends on how many mics you need though.

    If you need more than 4 mics then Samson do some decent little drum mic kits. CLICK HERE for the 7-piece kit or CLICK HERE for the 5-piece kit.

    As you rightly suspect, the less you spend, the more quality you will be sacrificing (e.g. the noisier and less detailed the mics will be), but it really all depends on your budget. If you really don't have much to spend, then there is absolutely nothing wrong with the Samson kits at all. They don't sound bad by any means.

    Posted on July 25, 2013 at 1:15 pm

  • Scott says:

    Hi again!
    Just thought I would let you know i went for the Tascam US 1800 and the Shure PGDMK4 as I dont think I will need the 2 overheads that come with the 6 piece, but if i do then i can expand.
    Look forward to testing it all out and learning, and I'll let you know how I get on!

    Thanks again for all the help Joe, appreciate the time taken to explain it all to someone completely new to recording... Wouldn't have made the decision to record with out your advise!

    Scott

    Posted on July 25, 2013 at 11:35 pm

  • No problems at all Scott, my pleasure :) If you've got any more questions in future then you know where I am. Also, if you ever get some of your recordings online, feel free to pop back and share them.

    Take care and have a great weekend!

    Joe

    Posted on July 26, 2013 at 9:41 am

  • Scott says:

    Hi Joe,

    I've been recording with the tascam and shure's for a while and they sound great. I've read a lot on how to eq and certain other techniques and tried moving the mics around. I was wondering if I could send you a short recording and see if you have any tips?

    Thanks a lot
    Scott

    Posted on August 26, 2013 at 1:31 pm

  • Hi Scott, feel free to send it over to [email protected] and I would be happy to have a listen :)

    Posted on August 27, 2013 at 10:06 am

  • I dont know if this has been tackled already but i just happened to be reading this ...in order to make it so all inputs are able to be xlr or phantom powered . the way i found it easiest was running a mixer that has direct outputs per channel .. my personal mixer can do it post or pre fader(eq etc) ...so it can be done plus post fader adds the preamp as well to it ....thanks for your time Cheers

    Posted on November 12, 2013 at 9:33 pm

  • Kenny says:

    Hello, I was wondering if the tascam us 1800 will work with sonar 5 power studio? I have used this version for several years and am comfortable with it doing single artist recording but now groups are asking about being recorded & I need more inputs. Also I have used various tascam products in the past & like the quality, durability & price. Thanks, Kenny

    Posted on December 9, 2013 at 5:54 pm

  • Hi Kenny, I see no reason why it wouldn't work as long as your computer meets the minimum specs for running the US-1800.

    Posted on December 10, 2013 at 10:33 am

  • Kenny says:

    Thanks and God Bless!

    Posted on December 10, 2013 at 3:34 pm

  • Hi Joe, do you know if the us-1800 will work with Cool Edit Pro 2.0? Yes, I know it's a very old DAW but I know it inside and out and would love to be able to continue to use it. I'm an old dog and I don't like th thought of of having to learn a "new trick".
    Thanks, Dominick

    Posted on January 6, 2014 at 7:36 pm

  • Hi Dominick,

    It should depend more on your computer and which operating system you are running rather the software you are using it with. You can check out all the latest specs on the Tascam website HERE. I'm afraid that I've never used Cool Edit, but I'm guessing it has the facility to choose your soundcard from a list of installed drivers? If so and all the specs line up, then although I haven't tested it myself, I can't see any reason why it wouldn't work.

    Thanks for the question.

    Posted on January 7, 2014 at 9:54 am

  • Joe, thanks for your quick reply. CEP does allow you to choose which soundcard input so you might be right.
    Thanks again and have a good new year.

    Posted on January 8, 2014 at 4:13 am

  • Sam says:

    Hey Joe, I just read through all these comments and I am very impressed with your responses! I am very pleased that there are intelligent people like you around that are willing to answer anyone's questions. So thanks for that.

    Anyway, I am looking into purchasing a multi-track audio interface because I would like to have the capability of recording a full drum set. I'm pretty sure that I will be pleased with the 1800 because my current M-Audio Fast Track that I picked up off of the clearance rack for $20 won't record in stereo and definitely can't be as good of quality as something with higher level intended purposes such as the 1800. To be honest, I'm surprised it's even lasted me these past few years.

    Besides only being a single channel interface, my main problem with the current device is that it lags hard when I try to run a full project through it. I know there's always the easy fix of exporting the song and then recording along with the audio file rather than the intense amount of VST's, but this often takes up a lot of time, and so I am wondering how well the Tascam US-1800 works as a sound card. My projects typically have 10-20 synthesizer instances (usually Massive and FM8), plenty of loops and samples, and I use FL Studio for my DAW (My previous research indicates that the 1800 works fine for multi track recording within FL, please correct me if I am wrong...). Do you have any insight on how large of a load it can take? Does it have an adjustable latency in the settings?

    Also, I was wondering if you know of any affordable mixers that would pair up nicely with this interface? I'm looking for something with at least 16 channels (obviously). I also like to route some of my audio through a compressor (Alesis 3630) before getting to the digital conversion, so having insert capability would be great as well.

    Lastly, I'm just a bit curious as to the functionality of the Midi interface on this device.. Is it just for those who don't have a USB (Midi) controller? Or is there some higher purpose that I am overlooking?

    Thanks in advance!
    -Sam

    Posted on March 12, 2014 at 9:31 pm

  • Hi Sam and thanks for the questions and for your kind words :)

    I'm going to start by discussing the lag issues that you raise. I was just wondering, would it be possible to go into more detail about exactly when you are experiencing the lag? Is it a case that you are experiencing a delay in the headphones, or is it that your computer slows down?

    The speed of your software and how many plug-ins and simultaneous tracks it can run is determined by the specs of your computer (mainly the processor and amount of RAM), not the audio card, so if you're experiencing noticeably reduced performance levels with larger projects, then this would point to a computer issue rather than an audio interface issue. Your question about how large a load the US-1800 can take in terms of pug-ins therefore doesn't really make sense, because unless the interface has built-in processing (which the US-1800 doesn't), then the interface does not determine how many plug-ins you can run. However, a newer interface should improve overall sound processing speeds, especially if you're upgrading from a USB 1.1 device.

    In summary to that point, an upgrade to your interface should definitely help improve overall audio processing speeds, but please don't expect it to improve your computer's performance if you're running projects that are a significant burden on your computer's CPU. The US-1800 should work fine with FL Studio though, so you don't need to worry about compatibility.

    With the US-1800, you can adjust the buffer size in the software that comes with it, in order to find the best performance for your system, so this is where you will need to head in order to start adjusting latency values.

    When you say that you want a mixer with at least 16 channels to pair with it, are you just wanting to take the stereo output of the mixer into a stereo input of the US-1800? Are you just using the mixer to increase the number of tracks that you can records through the US-1800, or will you be using it for live work as well? If you're wanting to increase the track count then there may be better ways to do this as the mixer will combine all the signals before passing them to the US-1800, and so will not allow you to record mixer signals to separate tracks in your DAW, if this is what you require.

    As for MIDI connections on audio interfaces, these are great for if you're working with older MIDI gear, which does not connect directly to your computer via USB. You can, for example, connect an older synthesiser to the MIDI connections of the interface and sent MIDI clock messages to the synth (so that everything keeps in time) and MIDI automation messages from the synth back to your DAW. f you're not working with MIDI gear or have all your MIDI gear connected to your computer via USB, then you probably won't use the 5-pin connections.

    I hope that helps clear up some of your questions. Possibly speak again soon :)

    Joe

    Posted on March 13, 2014 at 11:37 am

  • Sam says:

    Joe! Thanks for the fast response, you've already helped more than you could imagine.

    The lag that I was talking about is not from lack of computing power, I have a quad core i5 with 8 gigs of ram. When I use the regular ASIO4ALL drivers, it works plenty fine up until I throw Ozone vst on the master (I should probably be exporting the raw and then mastering in a new project anyway. Just had previous issues with not getting the same sound quality like that, but I still have plenty of experimenting to do to solve that problem.).. I realized that my lag issue came from selecting the interface as my audio driver, which I did because I was unaware that you could select the device through the ASIO4ALL control panel. Oh the time I've wasted haha... Anyways, I'm sure it will be the same way with the 1800 and that works just fine, so thanks a ton for helping me figure that out.

    As for the mixer, I'm not trying to use it to expand channels or anything, I just run all of my audio devices through it so it's basically the central station for all of my audio (currently using every channel on a Behringer Xenyx 802). I'm pretty sure that with the 1800 alone, you are able to adjust levels properly so that you could record a full drum set without the need for a mixer, but as I mentioned, I would like to be able to use sends for easy routing through my compressor. Also, there are a few other percs that I like about using a mixer such as being able to pan and EQ audio output and other default mixer stuff like that.

    So basically what I'm looking for a 16 channel mixer that also has an output for each channel. I guess you could technically say that I just want to use the mixer as a routing device for my audio input and then as a mixer for my output.

    Thanks again for the response, you definitely cured my lag issue as well as reassuring what I thought the midi connections are for (I won't be using that feature any time soon).

    Looking forward to hearing back from you,
    -Sam

    Posted on March 13, 2014 at 10:25 pm

  • Hi Sam,

    Apologies for the delayed response. I got your other message as well, but do not get chance to check blog comments everyday, so comments do not always get approved right away.

    As for your mixer question, it's completely fine to work in the way that you suggest. Just remember that if you're purely concerned about sound quality though, the more devices you send your audio through, the more noise and distortion you will be introducing into your signal. Also, your audio quality is only as good as the weakest link in your signal chain, so even if you're using the best gear in the world, if you then route everything through a cheaper mixer, you're going to degrade your audio before the sound is captured. It's probably not going to be too much of a concern if you're just adding one mixer to the signal path in a home studio, but I just thought that I would mention it anyway. If you compare a mixer and an audio interface of the same price, the audio interface will usually have significantly better preamps and converters, because a mixer manufacturer also has to factor in additional features and controls to the build budget, whereas the simpler design of an interface allows the manufacturer to spend more on better quality sound-components. If you need something that allows you to adjust controls such as EQ and pan positions without using software, then a mixer is definitely the way to go though.

    With regards to routing audio through a compressor, you can still achieve this using interfaces, using software to send signals to certain interface outputs, through a compressor and then back into the interface. Of course, mixers with built-in sends and returns do allow for you to do this without any set-up, but I just thought that I would let you know that it is still possible with some interfaces.

    As for requiring a 16 channel mixer that has an output per channel, I'm really not too sure of one that exists I'm afraid. Most mixers just have a main and sub output, possibly along with a selection of sends and returns. I'm still a little confused about why you require an output per channel, as if it's just for routing your audio through a compressor, one send and return should be fine for the, as the mixer will have controls to allow you to specify how much of each channel signal to send to the compressor.

    Or, is the idea that the mixer goes before the Tascam in the signal chain, so you want to be able to adjust the EQ and pan of each mixer channel individually and then take an individual output from each channel of the mixer and feed each into a separate input on the interface?

    Joe

    Posted on March 18, 2014 at 11:29 am

  • Sam says:

    Hey Joe, sorry for the dual messages there, never messaged on these boards before and wasn't sure how the moderating thing worked (or if you were a mod yourself).

    Anyway, you nailed it right at the end there. I'm looking to be able to adjust eq, panning, levels, and inserts before it turns digital, but also still be able to process every track individually after (or as) it is recorded.

    And after hours and hours of research, i think I have found my solution. The new Allen & Heath WZ4 16:2 mixer not only has direct outputs, but also has the capability to upgrade to 16 channel USB multi-track recording. So instead of routing my mixer into the interface, I will just use the mixer as the interface aha.

    So there it is, I guess you've helped answer all my questions!
    I thank you very much, kind sir.

    Posted on March 19, 2014 at 12:44 am

  • No problems! Given your response, I was going to suggest that you go for a mixer that also has a built-in interface, as this will allow you to do what you want without the meed of an additional interface and cables. You're completely right about the WZ4 16:2 though - it does indeed have direct outputs per channel! I'll make a mental note of that one in case anyone asks me again in future.

    Looks like it could be the one to go for given your needs then, although as I said, I would recommend connecting it to your computer via USB to avoid having to purchase additional gear and extend your signal chain. Allen & Heath make good quality stuff so that one should serve you well.

    Thanks again for getting in tough and if you have any more questions in future then you know where I am and I will do my best to help :)

    If you do decide to go for a WZ4 16:2, then feel free to give us a shout. We do our best to price match if you see it cheaper anywhere else, you can collect loyalty points for money off future purchases and we offer a 3 year warranty if you sign up to our free VIP Club!

    Take care and possibly speak again in the future.

    Posted on March 19, 2014 at 9:56 am

  • Hi there, Old post but I need help..: according to the Tascam us-1800 control panel help page: ' If the Sample Clock Source Menu is set to "internal", the digital input status will report "unavailable" because the digital input cannot be used when the device is using its internal digital audio clock. ' Conclusion: I need an external sample clock source to use the digital inputs, adding up to 16 inputs in total. I have a Lexicon mx200 with spdif but I can't find the problem why my tascam doesn't receive digital signal from the Lexicon... Is this even possible? What about this internal external clock stuff? Any advice? Thanks!

    Posted on August 10, 2018 at 3:22 am

  • Hi Neil. It sounds like the only way is to set the Tascam Clock Source to 'external' so that it can latch onto the clock sent out by the Lexicon. Try that if you haven't already.

    Posted on August 10, 2018 at 11:07 am

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