The What: TASCAM has introduced the Model 16 all-in-one mixing studio for live multi-track recording.
The What Else: The Model 16’s 14 inputs provide top panel access for microphones, line inputs, and instruments. Channels one through eight feature premium XLR mic inputs utilizing TASCAM’s Ultra-HDDA (High Definition Discrete Architecture) microphone preamplifiers with 48-volt Phantom power. This setup allows combinations of vocals, drums, miked instruments, and more to be connected along with direct output instruments such as keyboards, bass, or acoustic guitar, multi-effects, electronic drums, or any line sources.
Channels nine through 10 and 11-12 feature a single XLR mic input, each with stereo 1/4-inch line inputs. Channels 13-14 feature a stereo RCA and mini jack input. Or, alternatively an external Bluetooth device can be connected to the Model 16’s wireless channel for controlling streaming audio volume via the Channel 13-14 fader control.
The internal 16 track multi-track recorder records WAV files (up to 48kHz/24-bit) directly to SD, SDHC, and SDXC cards. Punch in/out is available for up to eight tracks simultaneously, a versatile feature for songwriters and solo artists alike.
The Model 16’s robust built-in USB Audio Interface can send/receive (16 in/14 out) audio data with up to 24-bit/48kHz recording quality—to and from a wide range of popular DAWs, including GarageBand and more. Via USB, external tracks can be summed to a single or stereo-paired Model 16 fader to control custom or stereo sub-mixes for drums, vocals, and more using one or two faders.
Using the onboard channel Mode switch, each channel (or stereo paired channels) can independently select the input source to fit the recording or mixing environment or setup. The input source for each channel can be selectable as live, internal multi-track recorder (MTR), or USB for increased flexibility in signal path processing and workflow.
Each channel strip features 60mm faders, a one-knob compressor for inputs one through eight, three-band EQ with a sweepable mid-range frequency and 100Hz Low-cut Filter (three-band only on channels nine through 14). Model 16 has a built-in effects processor with selectable and editable effects (reverb, delay, chorus, flange).
Three aux outputs are offered on each channel for flexibility in monitoring and effects routing—MON 1 [pre], MON 2 [pre/post], and FX [post]. Selectable mute, MAIN/SUB, and PFL switches are available on each input channel for versatile audio and signal routing options during recording or mixing.
Hi/lo shelf and wide/narrow-Q semi-parametric EQs (for main and monitor outputs) provide additional tweaking options for dialing in the perfect final mix. MAIN output via XLR balanced and SUB output via TRS balanced connectors, 12-segment L-R paired LED Output Level Meters and a Stereo Headphone Output round out the long list of versatile recording and mixing features and functions. The unit can also be rack mounted with an optional rack mount kit.
The Bottom Line: Designed to combine the ease and feel of an analog mixer but with the recording quality of a modern digital recorder, the Model 16 is a full-featured compact mixing console that fits comfortably in a rehearsal studio, house of worship, home studio, or any production environment where recording quality is paramount, and space is limited.