Tascam Launches US-HR Series of High-Resolution USB Audio Interfaces

November 11 2020, 00:25
With orders for simple USB audio interfaces with one or two microphone preamps skyrocketing due to home use requirements, Tascam decided to launch an update to its existing US series of audio interfaces, highlighting features that will be better appreciated by today's market, such as iOS compatibility, USB Type C connections, and the support for 24-bit up to 192kHz high-resolution audio. The bundled software also highlights usage in podcasting and webcasting, with zero-latency direct monitoring function (mono or stereo for each input pair).

The three new Tascam models – US-1x2HR, US-2x2HR, and US-4x4HR – all support 24-bit audio resolution at sample rates up to 192 kHz, featuring high signal-to-noise ratio (110 dB - mic to computer), very little distortion at 0.0013%, ultra-low latency with buffer sizes starting from four samples, Ultra-HDDA mic preamplifiers for superior sound quality with an equivalent input noise of -128 dBu, and a comprehensive suite of included software. All significant upgrades from the previous US series. 

All Tascam US-HR series models also highlight flexible features for single person operation and creative home studio recording, using the separate inputs for mic and instrument or line level sources, separate controls for line and headphones output, and included loopback function and support for Open Broadcaster Software (OBS Studio). All US-HR models also offer a unique dye-cast aluminum honeycomb structure on the side panels with a slight upward tilt. The design also provides just the right amount of weight so the interface won’t move when cables are connected or disconnected.

The series now opens with the US-1x2HR, with one microphone and one instrument input, an excellent choice also for feeding an amplifier system with music from a computer in high quality. Due to the recently updated Windows drivers, the Tascam interfaces are able to support ultra-low latency with a Windows buffer size starting at four samples. This lightweight interface could also be used for mobile recording and production using an iPhone or iPad with the included Cubasis LE app.

Next in the US-HR series is the US-2x2HR model with two mic/line/instrument switchable inputs and two balanced line outputs as well as MIDI I/O. This interface is ideal for music creation and home recording with high demands on simple operation and studio-quality sound, using Windows or Mac computers or simply an iPhone or iPad. The included loopback function also make it useful for podcast creation and live streaming.

Next-up is the four-channel US-4x4HR audio interface, an enhanced version of the popular Tascam US-4x4 with four mic/line inputs, two of which can alternatively be used for direct input of a guitar or bass, four balanced line outputs, two headphones connectors, and MIDI I/O. This interface is a better fit for home multitrack recording of two instruments and two vocalists, for instance, or multi-media production with high demands on simple operation and studio-quality sound.

All the US-HR series interfaces feature Tascam's Ultra-HDDA (High-Definition Discrete Architecture) microphone preamplifier circuits, based on carefully selected discrete components, a Darlington circuit and a constant-current power supply, allowing for the low –128 dBu EIN. The XLR mic inputs can provide 48-volts phantom power to condenser mics and offer enough gain (up to 57 dB) to cope even with less expensive dynamic mics. Instrument inputs used the HDIA instrumentation amplifier circuits with ultra-low noise characteristics, employed in the first stage of the microphone amplifier section, also delivering excellent EIN, S/N ratio, distortion ratio, and overall frequency response. This architecture provides a generous gain range and acoustic characteristics are maintained even when the gain is increased. Combined with a newly improved audio circuit and support for sampling rates up to 192 kHz, these preamps deliver superior results also in the digital domain.

And thanks to the update to USB-C connectors, these interfaces can be powered by USB. After being connected to a computer, the US-HR series interfaces are simply to configure, using the Settings Panel to define direct monitoring, adjust the balance between input and computer signals, or switch the hardware inputs on and off individually and set the Windows buffer size according to the working environment. For streaming applications, the US-HR series Loopback function can be adjusted here, with a software slider to adjust the final “broadcast” volume independently from the unit’s line output level setting.

Each of the interfaces comes with Steinberg Cubase LE (including Cubasis LE3) for recording and production, IK Multimedia Sample Tank SE 4 offering a massive 30-Gigabyte sound library, and a free 3-month subscription to Auto-Tune Unlimited from Antares.
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