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PROS: Professional design and sound; easy to use.
When home recording meant tape-based, TASCAM stood above the rest in quality and performance. Unlike companies like Polaroid, they’ve made the transition to the digital world. And their UH-7000 is proof that they still stand above the rest.
Design-wise this is meant to be a solid basis for a studio. The look and feel is of an actual piece of audio gear, not a design concept to match a Macbook Pro’s aesthetic. The front panel has the two input control levels, as well as level meters and headphone output. The back is all business, with the usual 1/4” and XLR inputs, and the XLR outputs for monitors. The Digital inputs and outputs are also by way of XLR and USB connections. It supports phantom powered mic’s as well.▼ Article continues below ▼
There is one hidden thing, though: no software is in the box. Going to TASCAM’s site and downloading their driver software is essential (it also ensures the latest software is being used). It is a mixer on its own, controlling the inputs and outputs digitally, independent of the recording software being used. It includes a compressor, noise suppressor, de-esser, exciter, EQ, limiter, low cut frequency, and reverb. All of these effects are real easy to use, with a knob-like interface, and they really deliver a professional sound without having to study algorithms. It’s also compatible with most recording software such as Pro Tools, Cubase, Sonar and even GarageBand.
Sound-wise, it’s great. TASCAM has been the industry standard for a reason, and the preamps’ sound quality brings clarity to any project; even cranking the preamps doesn’t get that real digital distortion spikiness; so while it may not be a sound everyone is going for, it’s nice to know if it’s being pushed to the limit, it can handle it.
Overall this is a big step up for any home studio. With a $599 street price, it’s a little more than other interface/preamps, but within one session, the value will be instantly heard (and tactilely felt). For professional studios, this is a great addition for any application where only two inputs at a time are required, such as for a “B” room. It’s nice to see a piece of inexpensive recording gear that looks and performs like a piece of professional studio gear, and not some design concept that looks interesting but lacks the simplicity of function.