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Tapco Link.FireWire 4x6 Audio Interface
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Bus-powered, compact and providing the ultimate in connectivity, the Link.FireWire 4x6 Audio Interface is an ultra-portable and superb-sounding recor...Click To Read More About This Product
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Portable 24-bit/96 FireWire audio interface.
Bus-powered, compact and providing the ultimate in connectivity, the Link.FireWire 4x6 Audio Interface is an ultra-portable and superb-sounding recording solution for musicians, composers, and producers.
Superior Sound Quality
For the Link.FireWire 4x6, Tapco started with two of the best mic preamps available in any audio interface at this price range. These Mackie-designed preamps will capture the subtle nuances of any sound you throw at them. Any mic, line, or instrument input is connected via 2 Neutrik XLR/TRS combo connectors. This exceptional sound is preserved all the way to your computer thanks to modern 24-bit/96kHz digital audio converters. These same converters supply superb quality sound to both your headphones and S Series Active Studio Monitors.
4x6 I/O Explained
Along with the 2 Mackie-designed preamps, the Link.FireWire 4x6 provides stereo coaxial S/PDIF inputs and can stream 6 channels of audio from your DAW and route it through the Link.FireWire's monitor outputs — great for sending a cue mix to musicians for tracking — hence the 4x6 in the name. In normal operation, the stereo outputs of the Link.FireWire 4x6 mirror the inputs, which makes it a 2x2 analog interface; 4x2 if you combine analog and S/PDIF digital inputs; and 4x6 when you use the 6-channel streaming audio feature from your DAW.
Small . . . But Mighty
All that great sound potential is cleverly packed into a compact case less than 2" high and 8" long. Link.FireWire 4x6 audio interface tucks comfortably alongside your laptop when you're on the go, and connects with a single FireWire cable when you're ready to get busy. It's bus powered, meaning it draws its juice from your computer for no-sacrifice recording and mixing, no matter where you end up. And with a unique swivel-foot design, you can stand Tapco's Link.FireWire 4x6 on its side in tighter workspaces, then stow it when it's time to go.
Fully Functional Good Looks
The Link.FireWire interface sounds and looks great, and it's designed for complete roadworthiness and functionality. Its soft rubber side-cheeks protect it from accidental impact and keep it from sliding. Silver side rails act like tiny roll bars to protect its precious knobs from being sheared off while in transit. The Tapco Link.FireWire 4x6 is hard working, smart, and sexy.
Simple, Powerful, Tracktion
The Link.FireWire interface includes Mackie's Tracktion Music Production Software; the easiest program out there to get you started using your computer to record. And once you've mastered the basics, there's plenty of room to grow with Tracktion's truly professional feature set. It even comes bundled with a great assortment of plug-in effects, including Mackie's Dynamics Suite to help you keep the mix tight, plus Mackie's Final Mix CD mastering plug-in for when you're ready to share your music with the world.
Visit Tapco's website for information about drivers for this interface.
- Superior sound quality
- Mackie-designed high-headroom/low-noise mic preamps
- Dual combo mic/line/instrument inputs
- Main Line outputs
- Stereo Headphone output
- Stereo S/PDIF I/O
- Complete Front Panel control of all I/O
- Ultra-portable with FireWire bus power
- Includes 12V power supply for computers that don't have bus power
- Includes Tracktion Music Production Software
- Mac or PC compatible
- ASIO2, WDM, and Core Audio compatibility
- Kensington Lock Port
- Collapsible swivel-foot for easy transport
- 24-bit/96kHz operation
- 48V Phantom Power
Reviewed by 8 customers
Displaying reviews 1-8
The unit sounds very good, especially for the price. I needed it to play DP sequences live as well as to play virtual instruments live. It did this well with no noticeable latency (on a Macbook). The only hangup I experienced was setting it up for 6 discreet outs as advertised (I need a click track on the phones output and the live stereo tracks out the main outputs). This requires downloading a firmware "downgrade" and loading it into the unit. The firmware download was nowhere to be found on their website. A call to customer support got me a link to the un-officially released firmare fix and I was good to go. If you need this feature, keep in mind that this firmware download works only on a PC (with firewire) running XP. It did take a trip to the computer store to get a $38 firewire card for our office PC, but I believe that I still came out ahead.
If you are looking for a device to give you clean, clear audio into your recording software, this is it. I'm sad to see it's been discontinued! If you can find it, I recommend getting it. Tapco has really done well and this product in my opinion, meets or exceeds some M-Audio devices.
I don't know if maybe I just received a dud or what! I couldn't get it to work correctly with 3 different computers. The Tapco website that is referred in the manual is a Tapco clothing site. I could not record and monitor myself at the same time. The latency was terrible. I sent this in for return over a week ago and maybe I will get the different item I ordered soon. Just take my word and get an M-Audio or something!
I settled on this after considering a wide range of both USB and Firewire competitors. I actually bought and tested the M-Audio USB Pre and M-Audio Firewire Solo against this Tapco unit. I recorded tests of silence and solo violin all in the same room under the same conditions, using the same microphone (Studio Projects B1).Running a high-resolution FFT frequency analysis of the recorded samples shows that the Tapco is very clearly superior. Self noise (from mic pre-amps plus A/D converters) is much less in the 10kHz range during quiet notes.The Tapco box is just as satisfactory as the M-Audio boxes as far as the front-panel controls and hardware connections. (That is, good and practical design). A couple advantages of the Tapco are the Neutrik (combined XLR-1/4") connectors, the handy foot for standing the box on its side, and that the signal-level LED indicators stay lit green for any medium-strength signal, whereas the M-Audio LEDs only light green for peak signals.So I sent the M-Audio units back and I'm keeping the Tapco.
For anyone who thinks you have to spend a lot to get a quality recording interface, think again. The Tapco 4x6 has everything you need to get a studio quality sound out of your home recordings.The preamplifiers are outstanding (however I do use a seperate tube preamp) and the Tracktion 2 software that comes bundled is user friendly with some very descent plug-ins, especially Final Mix.If you've been dreaming of Pro Tools but don't have the funds this unit is a great way to satisfy your needs and your budget. I recommend it.
I bought this from MF about 4 mos. ago. This device has opened many doors for my musical projects and needs. The sound is clean, and the pre amps are very musical. I use this unit for recording, and live performances where two mics are needed. I also use it for practicing along with tracks in GarageBand. And it really sweetens up the sound when listening to itunes.I run this unit on two Apple Powerbooks with OSX, and since its firewire, there's no need for a driver ever, it also isn't necessary to use the supplied power adapter since firewire will power it up, this is very useful when you bring it out to a gig. This is a great device, and has become very valuable and necessary for my music.
This and the Tapco S-5's or S-8's is fantastic. I tried normal computer analog with the Tapco S-8's and it was great. When i paired them with this though, the clarity started to shine through. The inputs all work well and the installation was the easiest thing I have ever done in my entire life with computers. (On XP) Put in the disk, go through some normal installation nexts, plug it in, finish and bam, works as windows sounds immediately. No tweaking with control panel was required to make these work for me.If you need it as a recording device, this is pretty much the best you can get for this price. The only thing that frustrates me is that the USB version is more expensive, doesn't have SPDIF connectors, and no power adapter (so its a no go if you need it just as a mic or line input). I couldn't understand why, since they both have almost exactly the same specs. So I recommend this version over the USB by a long shot.Though fantastic, the unit seems to run a bit warm after a while. I suggest that if it gets to be warm in the horizontal position that you put it vertically. I just hope that this warmth doesn't come back to bite me.Even so, the build quality is amazing, looks nice, and the vertical stand is very simple and functional (and sprung to the unit, so you can't lose it either).Overall, a price efficient unit if you want:- Powered Mic Lines- Line or Instrument Inputs- To avoid onboard sound cards
I seriously doubt there will be another firewire audio interface of this quality for a while. It is very basic - 2x2 as others have mentioned - but performance, sound, and noise are all very good. I have *2ms* total latency in Ableton using this interface. This is a great, cheap way for home recordists to step up to a firewire interface (booo USB!).