The most popular item shown by Tascam both at NAMM 2019 and ISE 2019 shows was the retro-looking Model 24 Recorder/Mixer, which also signalled the return of the brand to its core values and represents a touch of nostalgia from a time when home studios revolutionized the music industry. The Model 24 Recorder/Mixer can be considered like a very nice physical interface for current computer-based recording and music product systems, featuring nice preamps, among many other interesting features.
The part that Tascam should have looked more carefully for the Model 24 was the choice of USB 2.0 for the computer interface, these days completely obsolete and unnecessary. Instead, or at least simultaneously, Tascam should have offered a network connection, enabling the use with its ML-16D/ML-32D Dante/AES67 multi-channel audio interfaces. That would clearly be something else.
But at least for other applications areas, Tascam is offering an expanded range of Dante-enabled solutions, starting with new Zone Mixers and the Dante/AES67 enabled stereo SS-R250N and 64 channel DA-6400 audio recorder/players. Tascam also offers the new VS-R264 & VS-R265, 4K / HD streaming and recording video devices in a compact 1U half rack size.
Sharing the same compact format, the new Tascam Dante Compact Processor series comprises seven half-rack Dante audio converters featuring onboard digital matrix mixers with signal processing. Excellent choices for a wide variety of public facilities, broadcast applications, recording and post production studios, sound-reinforcement systems, corporate boardrooms, and more, these Dante-enabled input/output endpoints deliver up to 24-bit, 96 kHz audio conversion.
Dante Compact Processors can be freely combined to create custom systems and are easily installed under desks or on walls with the included surface rack-mount angles or rack-mounted with the optional AK-RS1 rack shelf.
All models offer the flexible routing of Audinate's user-friendly Dante controller, and are compatible with Dante AES67 mode and Dante Domain Manager. They offer remote control via GPI, Dante, and either of two free Tascam control software applications, one for integrators and one for end users.
The new Dante Compact Processors can be powered over Ethernet (PoE), via a Euroblock DC In/Out connector for power cascading, and using an optional AC adapter for a redundant power supply or when using the second Dante data port for daisy chaining. All models feature LAN/Dante status and sample rate indicators. The models with analog audio input or output also have audio signal indicators, including input overload LEDs.
The MM-4D/In provides four mic/line input channels with studio-quality mic preamps that offer remote gain control from Tascam's free control software or from external controllers. Each channel has individually switched, +48V phantom power. Built-in input processing includes a compressor, four-band parametric EQ, level control, polarity reverse, and mute. The MM-4D/In's built-in eight-in, four-out matrix mixer combines the four analog inputs with four Dante inputs (up to 48 kHz) and feeds four Dante outputs. The mixer offers level control and muting, as well as auto level ducking for making announcements over ambient music and an ambient noise compensator that detects input source level and automatically configures the level of the selected channel. The MM-4D/In is available with either XLR or Euroblock audio connectors.
The equivalent ML-4D/Out accepts four channels of up to 96 kHz Dante input and provides four line-level outputs, available on either XLR or Euroblock connectors. The onboard 4x4 matrix mixer includes level control, ducking, ambient noise compensation, and muting. Each output has a 10-band EQ, delay, level control, limiter, polarity reverse, and muting.
The MM-2D model features two channels of mic/line input with studio-grade preamps, including +48V phantom power, and two channels of line output, available on either XLR or Euroblock connectors. An onboard 6-in, 4-out matrix mixer with the same mixer processing as in the MM-4D/In and ML-4D/Out enables combining the two channels of analog input with four channels of Dante input and routing to two analog and four Dante output channels. Input processing is the same as in the MM-4D/In, and output processing is the same as on the ML-4D/Out.
Finally, the AE-4D provides four channels of AES/EBU input with SRC and four channels of AES/EBU output on XLR connectors. It converts directly to and from four channels of Dante audio, without needing an internal mixer. The AE-4D offers level control and muting on both inputs and outputs.
All seven Dante Compact Processors can be remote controlled using either of two free Tascam software applications for macOS, Windows, iOS, and Android. Tascam MX Connect software provides system integrators/managers with in-depth control of input/output configuration, matrix mixing, output routing, and signal processing. End users can enjoy quick, easy control of a variety of settings using the EZ Connect software to manage mic/line input switching, mute, and fader levels.