TASCAM UH-7000 Mic Pre-Amp/USB Audio Interface Review

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PROS: Professional design and sound; easy to use.
CONS: None.
PRICE: $599

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.

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.

FEATURES

  • Supports 24-bit/192kHz USB transmission and AD/DA conversion
  • Support for Mac and Windows operating systems
  • 4-in/4-out audio streaming from a PC connected via USB 2.0
  • Burr-Brown PCM4220 AD converter, PCM1795 DA converter
  • HDIA mic preamps: -128dB EIN
  • High audio quality film capacitors with low distortion
  • Low latency monitoring through the DSP mixer
  • DSP mixer can be switched between multitrack and stereo mix modes
  • Strong, highly durable aluminum body
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