Deserving an award for the worst capitalised product name yet, Tascam’s latest introductions, the MiNiSTUDIOs (sic) promise to be a boon for Internet broadcasters.
Described as ‘personal audio interfaces’ the MiNiSTUDIO Personal US-32 and the more advanced MiNiSTUDIO Creator US-42 are designed to offer easy packages for users wanting to broadcast on the Internet.
Both MiNiSTUDIOs provide high-resolution recording up to 24-bit, 96 kHz with Windows and Mac computers. The interfaces connect via USB 2.0 and can be USB bus-powered. Users can also connect them to iOS devices using an Apple Camera Kit (not included). They are compatible with all major DAW software and work with all major streaming software and services.
Effects triggering is on offer, too as both MiNiSTUDIOs enable users to add sound effects on-the-fly, thanks to three self-lighting PON pads that trigger audio files from the Mac or PC. Three sounds are included but can be easily replaced with a .wav or .mp3 file of the user’s choosing. A Voice Effects feature allows users to alter the sound of singing or speech as well.
At showtime, an illuminated ‘On Air’ button confirms that broadcasts are live on the air. To complete the package, both models include free software for Mac, Windows and iOS that provide extensive control of the MiNiSTUDIO’s features in one of two specially designed modes. In Easy mode, users receive software control of most-used EQ, compression and effects presets, while Expert mode lets you dig in deep to program the four-band parametric EQ, compressor and reverb parameters, as well as advanced parameters for triggered sounds.
The TASCAM MiNiSTUDIO Personal US-32 features a built-in microphone and a combo XLR mic/balanced ¼-inch TRS line input with high-quality mic preamp and 48V phantom power. A 1/8-inch input can connect to a smartphone, tablet, or other consumer audio device to include pre-recorded music and dialogue. Separate headphone and headset/mic connections are also available.
The MiNiSTUDIO Creator US-42 extends the features of the MiNiSTUDIO Personal by adding tools for producing, as well as broadcasting, podcasts. Instead of the built-in mic, the MiNiSTUDIO Creator adds a second XLR/TRS mic input. In addition to headphone outputs, the MiNiSTUDIO Creator offers stereo RCA line-level outputs with separate level controls for connection to powered monitors.
In addition to supporting the Broadcast mode of the MiNiSTUDIO Personal US-32, the US-42 can be switched into Creator mode. In this mode, the MiNiSTUDIO Creator behaves like most USB audio interfaces. This mode is recommended for production with a DAW or video editing software. The loopback feature is turned off, and the mic inputs are routed separately to the computer.
The US-32 Personal is available now, priced at RRP £119. The US-42 Creator is priced at £159. Info: www.tascam.co.uk