Recently I had an opportunity to test drive Tascam’s new US 224. As a professional composer and videographer, my quest for fine tuning the artistic process with the efficiency of computers generally comes to a stand still when it comes to control surfaces. Having said that, as technology and users move forward I believe that our industry has made large strides toward this end. With more USB and MIDI based control surfaces coming to market the US 224 is a wonderful value and remarkably easy to use. While the US 224 doesn’t do away with the mouse, I found myself reaching less for the mouse in a few short hours.
While the US 224 ships with Steinberg’s Cubasis, I decided to give it a whirl with MOTU’s Digital Performer on a Macintosh G4/350. Getting Digital Performer to recognize the US 224 could not have been easier. The installation disk took care of the ASIO drivers and after making the adjustments in my Free MIDI setup I assigned the US 224 as my default Audio Hardware inside of Digital Performer and was off to the races. The US 224 does not have phantom power so I connected a Beta 58 into one of the two mic inputs, set the gain and began recording. Recording voice overs was fun. I used the US 224 to set markers and found myself playing with the transport control and banking between banks of four in the mixer window to set up preliminary mixes. I recorded and mixed my voice over session quickly and easily, and had a great time too.
For many home studios, videographers and artists on the go who need good, affordable audio input with a control surface the US 224 is a great value that hits the mark.