Better Than M Box 3 pro
You will never expect the quality until you hear the deference
You will never expect the quality until you hear the deference
I bought my Impact Twin about 3.5 years ago, after reading some great reviews of it. I will say that it has incredibly good sound quality, especially for the price. However, that only matters when it's working properly.
The first issue I noticed with it was that if you use any sample rate above 96 kHz, you lose the ability to configure the unit from the software control panel, and it only uses default settings. This means, among other things, that it's impossible to monitor audio at 192 kHz via the fixed-level outputs (line 3,4). Line outputs 1 and 2 are tied to the volume knob for the headphone jack. This was annoying, but workable. Then, after not too much use, the channel 2 mic jack got very noisy, eventually to the point that it wasn't usable, despite cleaning it. When the unit hit about two years old, it developed an annoying high-pitched whine. This didn't affect the audio signal, it was a sound that the unit was emitting all by itself. I wound up re-locating it under my desk so that the sound wouldn't bother me. After upgrading to Mac OS X Mavericks, there were some issues with the driver that TC never addressed. They keep saying that they can't reproduce the issue, even though multiple people are writing on their forums, all describing the same thing. I even signed up for their beta drivers and sent them diagnostic sample data of the issue (it's a repeated popping/skipping sound, especially when playing audio with lossy compression). Yet, despite multiple customers reporting exactly the same thing to them, they maintain that there is no issue.
Finally, yesterday, I came home, hooked up my computer, and was wondering why music was playing though my laptop's built-in speakers. I looked down, and the Impact Twin's front panel was dark. After a bit of troubleshooting, I found that the power adapter was working fine, and that the Impact Twin wouldn't power on. That's it - no warning signs. No intermittent power issues. It just stopped working completely for no reason. I've been very delicate and careful with the unit. As far as I'm concerned, a $400 audio interface ought to last longer than 3.5 years when it is taken care of properly.
Also, the fact that it is advertised as 14-in/14-out is questionable at best, because in order to use anything more than 4-in/4-out, you need to hook one or more external preamps via ADAT Lightpipe. In order to use more than 2 microphones, you need additional external preamps. So while it's technically possible, you'd need to spend a lot more on fancy digital preamps than you would on the Impact Twin just to be able to make use of the I/O capabilities that they advertise. In my opinion, it should be advertised as a 4-in/4-out plus ADAT I/O. If you do go the ADAT route, good luck getting everything to sync up, because the Impact Twin doesn't have a BNC connector for word clock - it only syncs clocks via the same optical cables it uses for audio I/O.
Contrary to what I posted before this is what I have to say o be more clear. The Impact Twin may be pricey but being the only intrerface I've ever had I still believe it's worth it. It sounds clear and precise. It has a very subtle smooth analog sound to it. The audio card i'm not sure about what kind it is but at 512 mb buffer I get about 22 ms latency round trip with a small amount of tracks.
The onboard EQ I found phenomenal. It is modeled after TC Electronics hardware which is semi VST. It is a mini version loaded into the Impact twin for standalone as well as DAW use. It also has onboard reverb of the same sort I believe (semi VST). The onboard compressor is in sevrl modes but it is not possible to change the attack and release however you may choose. There are modes for sax, guitar and vocal and such. The onboard reverb correct me if I wrong is only for listening to the recordings. So if you want reverb you'll probably need to do it after the Impact Twin.
My Impact Twin has firewire only so that is a problem at the moment with my Laptop which does not have firewire. Note, I cannot yet get my firewire to USB adapter or cable to work. I need a driver but i'm not sure they are made yet.
It's an expensive setup but to me it seems to do a professional job. Also the drivers are very stable on this contrary to what I've heard on older TC electronic equipment.
I've had this unit for a couple of years and now I think it's finally died. Same kind of issues others have talked of in forums. Sound would sometimes not appear - a gentle bang might bring it back as though there's a bad connection inside.
Latency issues could also be a problem too once several virtual instruments were opened up. I will look for another manufacturer for the replacement.
Ive had my Imact twin for years now and have had little to no issues with it. The only quam I might have is that the included free vst plug-in for use in the DAW arn't 64 bit. (I use Jbridge and it seems to do the trick but maybe not for the Assimilator plug but it's not missed as it has high latency seemingly). Also, the low latency drivers that you can find work especially well on my Dell Xps 8500 although i don't use the low latency setting it is perfectly stable within the normal mode i use.
The preamps are real clean and the plugs are too. A total upgrade to my ABleton lIve reverb is the included reverb. It has 3 modes, Hall, Room and Plate. All sound good and are adjustable. Amazing sounds.
The saturator button on the ResFilter is subtle and smooth. A little ways away from perfect but with is damp and messing with its drive it sound well worth quality to me. These plugs sound amazing and are included.
This is an unbeatable setup for cleanliness as well as the plugs. Just that the plugs aren't 64 bit, but hey they're included for this great price.
The TC Electronic Impact Twin interface has excellent converters that sound wonderful and the software drivers are rock solid. It works immediately every time I plug it into my laptop (Mac). The compression and reverb plugins sound great, and the mid-side monitoring feature is especially useful for auditioning a mix. The enclosure not only looks cool but is helpful in protecting the knobs if you decide to carry it in a backpack. I've been using TC Electronic gear (mainly their reverb units) for years for recording and mixing. The sound quality from TC equipment is outstanding and the Twin Impact is no exception.
It seems I received a defective unit, with intermittent connections (even in stand alone mode). When I could get it to work for a minute or two, it sounded great. But one look at the TC user forums revealed lots of unhappy customers. In addition to an obvious lack of driver development, there are complaints of the unit dying, pots going bad, etc. The unit has only been on the market for 2 years! I should have checked out the user forum before buying. I decided to exchange the unit for a Saffire Pro 14 and could not be happier. Glad I dealt with Sweetwater, because they made the return and exhange easy. Good luck.
I was using the PreSonus Audiobox USB and was in search of a FW800 unit to reduce latency, and also wanted to solve the problem I was having with the Audiobox's notoriously hot output, which was creating a lot of noise in Guitar Rig, Amplitube, and in recorded vocal tracks. I liked that the Impact Twin also allowed several options above the Audiobox's 44.1khz sample rate, which meant the possibility of higher headroom and even lower latency with the same buffer size.
First thing I noticed when the Impact Twin (IT) arrived was that the FW outputs are not FW800, they are legacy FW400, as is the included FW cable (it includes an adapter to hook it into the computer's FW800 port). I can only assume this means the IT is not true FW800.
THE PROS: Rugged case, feels durable. Knobs feel solid and I like that they are oval rather than round, so you can grab them without looking and get a good idea by feel where they are pointing. Preamps sound really good when I choose to use them on their own, and it works with my outboard preamp a lot better than the old Audiobox did (accepts higher output from the preamp without clipping). It has effectively solved the problem I had with Guitar Rig/Amplitube/live mics being noisy due to the Audioboxís overhyped output signal. The ITís internal "confidence reverb" is a nice feature and sounds pretty good, more importantly, the insert comp and EQ sound good enough to use -- I leave them on pretty much all the time -- and the de-esser is modestly helpful; I sometimes use it as well (though I still use the UA Precision De-Esser on mixdown). The factory presets are mostly useful in selecting comp/EQ settings. The ability to listen to your raw input signal latency-free by twisting the second dial from the right (the lone round one) is not a unique feature, but it works well on the IT. The rest of the features are convenient to access from the front panel, and there are several i/o options on the back, plus I personally like the two different headphone jacks on the front, one which mutes your speakers and one which doesn't (since I mostly record solo, I use the muting jack most frequently). If your computer's FW bus will allow it, the IT can be bus powered, which is nice for two reasons: it frees up an outlet somewhere plus it powers up/down your IT in sync with your computer, so you don't have to remember to manually turn it on and off.
THE CONS: Besides apparently not being true FW800, the IT doesn't really have any inherent problems, but I have struggled with some compatibility issues having to do with the FireWire interface, ironically. Firewire is "dead tech" on most modern Windows machines. As such, most new motherboards don't include a FW port, and Win7 can be finicky when it comes to FW drivers (FireWire is an Apple construct, remember). I went through a lot of gyrations getting the IT to work properly with my own computer -- no fault of the box itself, it is all brought about by my own computer's apparent dislike of FireWire. Bus power is out of the question (I almost fried a Neumann TLM-193 learning that) and I have to disengage my network adapter and all my anti-virus and anti-malware software to get the IT to run at any sample rate or buffer size without game-ending dropouts and hangs. I state again, this is not reflective of the IT itself; these are commonly required measures for tweaking a Win7 system for audio production, albeit usually required for lower power systems. My computer has a lot of horsepower (it's more powerful than any of the ones sold on this site), but Win7's quirkiness when it comes to FireWire still requires me to take these steps to use the IT (but not the Audiobox USB). So just be aware of that. Also, if you are comparing this to the SAFFIRE series, as I did, and are wowed by the fact this box has sample rates up to 192khz at this price, keep in mind two things: first, the ADAT ports can only provide eight channels at 48kHz or below. S/MUX is supported, so you can use the ADAT port as a four-channel 96kHz port (but not as a two-channel, 192kHz port). Second, if you collaborate with other musicians by swapping files back and forth (like I do), you may find yourself stuck working in 44.1khz for compatibility reasons anyway. If that's going to be the case, you might want to give other features more weight when making your decision (though I think this unit compares favorably to the Focusrites regardless). I'll counter my own argument by saying that having 192khz support at least makes this unit a bit more future-proof, perhaps.
Summary: once I got my computer to agree to play nice with it, the Impact Twin has been an effective upgrade to my Audiobox USB, and I've seen lots of reviews around the web -- standalone and comparing this unit to specific competitors in the same price range -- and all of them really love the Impact Twin.
It does what it promises. The sound of the converters are great. It's solid and heavy. The added plug-ins are great sounding. . . really good reveb. I don't have much of a use for the TC Near Control Pannel application or the compressor thats built in to the unit. (I'd rather just compress in my DAW, but they both work great. All in all it's an amazing box at a price that's way less then what it's worth.
I purchased this for the ADC to use in my hifi system with PureVinyl for recording LPs to the MacMini. The unexpected benefit is the superb DAC for music playback with PureMusic. I previously used a Musical Fidelity M1 DAC and a Cambridge Audio DacMagic in my system. Excellent value.
This a a superb sounding, easy to use interface. I had no problems setting it up and getting it running. No glitches or pops. The preamps do sound full and just generally high-end to me. The conversion is crystal clear, detailed and warm, and to my ears really strike some very pleasant harmonics. I don't have to use qualifiers like "for the price" or "in it's price range" when I describe it...the Impact Twin from TC Electronic is the bomb!!! And I have spent thousands on gear in the past and am rebuilding my project studio, but I cannot recall all my expensive gear sounding any better than this!
(No Lie!!!) I mainly work with hardware music equipment, Akai mpc, Roland keyboards, etc... and every audio interface I have tried has changed the sound of my equipment either they sucked the life out of the low end, or the highs and mids was over hyped. The interfaces I tried goes as follows: M-audio 2496, E-mu 1616m, Presonus Firebox, Echo Audiofire Pre8, Focusrite Saffire Pro 40, Steinberg MR816 X, and believe it or not the Rme Fireface 800, I returned some and resold some on Ebay, anyway people and sale guys kept telling me the more I spend the better the Ad/Da and mic pres would get, so I was about to say forget it, then I came across this Impact Twin. I ordered it then I said to myself "I had an Rme so this can't sound any better", so I said that I would refuse the order; but I wasn't home when it was delivered. So since I had it, I tried it and it was MAGIC!!!! My keyboards, akia, and sound modules sounds incredible this is that sound I have been looking for and finally my vocals have come to life.
Thanks Tc Electronics for putting the best of the best in this small box and not charging a redicalas price like some other companies. ( Don't Believe the more you spend the better) And Oh' Yeah the drivers are ROCK SOLID.
WOW ! I'm not an expert by any stretch; but I've owned two other pro audio interfaces, and neither one of them even came close to this box. Simply put... All the claims on this unit are true! Rare quality these days. The pre-amps and presets are clean and well put together. With the EQ and compressor and the front end. Lush reverbs in the monitor chain, as well as with the included plugins. Rugged box design. And expandable. I would have to say that the patch-bay included with the TC near software takes a bit to understand at first. but other than that - this is a very user-friendly unit. True PLUG-N-PLAY, I was up and running after the install with updates in less then an hour after opening the thing.
This unit is EVERYTHING it claims to be. Finally!
It Rocks! I wanna get a t-shirt made with this unit on the front!
Amazing quality on this. Crystal clear sound on the pres. Software very easy to use and very useful for routing and mixing.
Very happy with it, finaly i have found the best mobile interface, you can take it with you everywhere you want with a laptop pc. Quality is very good as all TC products , no problems , just instaled drivers software and connect it to a PC ( i use it with Windows 7 Ultimate and no problems ).Sound quality is very good , preamps give very nice warm tone with my Neumann TLM 102. Preamps for headphones are very loud and give clear sound at high power too, use it with Beyerdynamic DTX 910, i highly recomend it to all who want a good interface for a resonable price , very impresed with it!!!!
This interface has been awesome, to put it simply. Yeah, so it only has 2 mic pre's; well, it's also got not only ADAT In, but also ADAT OUT, which is very rare in an interface this size. I've got a Focusrite OctoPre MkII running straight into the Twin and it works perfect. If you have a DigiMax FS, or something like it, you could send out ADAT from the Twin and have an extra 8 channels of monitoring, fx sends, or whatever you want. Honestly, this feature was a big factor in my purchasing this over, say, the Focusrite Saffire Pro's. It saved me money at the front so that I could easily expand later.
This isn't the only thing I love about this device, though. The drivers have been absolutely rock solid. Not a single glitch, not once, since I've owned it. This has been such a relief, as previous interfaces have left me wanting more stability from the drivers. There's a software control panel that you can control with your mouse, or, with the knobs right on the front of the Twin. The knobs don't control every option, but they do cover all the main ones.
And perhaps the most important feature of the Twin: the sound is fantastic. Everything comes through nice and clean, yet without that dry, digital feel. It's a little hard to explain, but when you hear it, you know it. It's got monitor/DAW mix, which I use all the time, monitor reverb, and built in compression.
I've used it for recording to a desktop and laptop, and it's run perfectly either way. I just feel confident it's always going to work and that's such peace of mind. You won't be disappointed with this interface.
I've been trying to upgrade my Firebox on my PC (XP OS), so I ordered a Presonus Firestudio Mobile . . . but it was incompatible with my computer. Then I tried the E-mu 0404, but the USB speed was too slow. Then I tried a 1616M, but it was old and wouldn't work. Finally, I tried the Impact Twin, and no problems! What's more, I've had the Impact Twin for only a short time, but the sound is fantastic. It records so clear that it makes my previous recordings (before the impact twin) sound like they were recorded underwater. Drivers are rock solid. I've also been able to get fairly low midi-in latency. I coudn't be happier with this purchase.
Sweetwater's Sales Engineers are regarded as the most experienced and knowledgeable professionals in the music industry, with extensive music backgrounds and intense training on the latest products and technologies. They are available to offer you personalized product advice any time you need it.