I’ve never quite been able to get CD-standard recordings out of my computer – until now! Yes it’s a new toy, a TASCAM US-122L – and I really wasn’t sure how it would go when I bought it based on internet reviews – via eBay. So what is this thing? It’s a device to plug your musical instrument or microphone into your computer via USB and it converts your analogue input into MIDI input.

TASCAM US-122L

Until now, I had been using a small four channel mixer into the mic input of the iMac. Previously, there has always been a bit of hiss or noise from the desk and effects pedal – always low, but present. This is the first time I have had truly clean signal input via the USB port with a two-channel midi interface.

In the box is the TASCAM US-122L unit, a USB cable (which powers the device as well as provides input-output) three CDs – one to install the driver, one to install Cubase lite and one to install GigaStudio3.0 – for windows machines. I was mainly interested to see how it would perform with Tracktion studio recording software – having just upgraded to Tracktion3.0.

After installing the driver on the mac, I plugged the TASCAM unit in and it lit up straight away. The device can take two inputs – and it has both jack and canon sockets. It also has a switch to provide phantom power for mics that would otherwise need a pre-amp.

There is also a headphone socket so you can hear either the input or the output to the computer – or a mix of the two. The device has almost zero lag or latency, and the sound is very clean – no noise or hiss at all!

The Tracktion studio recording software was able to take the midi input without difficulty and I was quickly able to get some nice clean recordings – so perhaps a CD is not out of the question now. Here is the whole recording studio!

TASCAM US-122L

Overall, the device is compact, and it performs its fairly simple function of taking your analogue instrument input and turning it into clean digital signal very well indeed.

Okay, don’t take my word for it – have a listen to my fairly average playing of Ashokan Farewell. I thoroughly recommend this device if you are thinking of recording sound on your computer.

Cheers
Jerry

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