Slowly but gradually, the audio industry is evolving its designs to the most recent industry specifications, even at the most affordable equipment levels. Tascam - the professional audio division of TEAC Corporation, now part of Gibson Brands - just released a brand new recording interface, adopting the updated USB 3.0 specification (USB3.0 SuperSpeed (5Gbps), which enables users - even home recording studios - to work with 24-bit and 192kHz high-resolution digital audio.
The new Tascam Celesonic US-20x20 packs a total of 20 channels of analog and digital inputs and outputs into a single rackspace with eight great sounding preamps and USB 3.0/2.0 connectivity. USB 3.0 requires Windows 10 operating system or any recent Mac computer (OS X Yosemite(10.10) or later) with USB 3.0. Support for 192kHz / 24-bit audio is provided by the Audio4pro ADDA Converter by Asahi Kasei Microdevices (AKM) Corporation.
The number of simultaneous channels depends of the chosen sample rate. The US-20x20 provides a total of twenty simultaneous inputs when operating at 44.1kHz or 48kHz. When operating at 88.2kHz or 96Khz, up to (16) inputs and (16) outputs are possible and up to (12) inputs and (12) outputs are possible at 176.4kHz or 192Khz.
According to Tascam, the Celesonic US-20x20 is also the first USB 3.0 interface to use class-compliant drivers for future-proof use with computers and iOS devices. With current iOS devices, like the iPad, the Celesonic US-20x20 interface can be used as a USB 2.0 recording device or MIDI interface.
Eight Ultra-HDDA microphone preamps provide 56dB of gain and high headroom to make microphones sound their best. Up to ten channels of digital I/O are included on ADAT and stereo S/PDIF digital in and out connectors, with word clock also provided for use with external clocks like Tascam’s CG-1000. ADAT optical multichannel digital input and output supports S-MUX (8 ch @ 48k, 4 ch @ 96k, 2 ch @ 192kHz). There are two balanced line inputs, ten balanced line outputs and MIDI I/O for use with controllers and synthesizers.
The US-20x20 has three modes: audio interface, 8-channel digital mic preamp, and digital mixer. The built-in DSP mixer, powered by a 32-bit Analog Devices BlackFin processor, allows every input to have a 4-band EQ, compressor, and low-cut filter and also works as an output patch bay. The DSP mixer can store up to (10) snapshots as scenes - making it easy to recall mixer settings - and provides a stereo reverb send for monitor mixes. The DSP mixer can also be used as a 6-bus live mixer or submixer with computer control.
Similar in design to the previously released Tascam US-16x08 interface, which is only USB 2.0, the US-20x20 includes a pair of rack ears as well as bio-cell side panels to angle the interface off a desktop. In the front panel there are two 70mW/ch headphone outputs.
Tascam estimates the US-20x20 will be shipping end of September for $499.99 (estimated street price).