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TASCAM US-144MKII USB 2.0 4-channel Audio/MIDI Interface  

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Overview

  • Provides four audio inputs and four audio outputs (two analog, two digital) for a Windows or Macintosh computer
  • Two XLR mic inputs
  • Switchable phantom power (48 volt)
Description & Specs
  • MSRP:
    $269.00
  • Your Savings:
    - $119.01
  • Your Price:
    $14999
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TASCAM

Offers better performance in a smaller package.

The Tascam US-144MKII seamlessly continues the worldwide success of its predecessor US-144 offering better recording quality from a USB MIDI interface further reduced in size. Since it doesn't require an additional power supply, this portable audio interface is perfect for creating 4-channel recordings from analog and digital sources with a laptop computer.

Two XLR microphone inputs with switchable phantom power and high-quality preamps are the basis for good-sounding recordings, while input signals can be listened to by headphones with zero latency. Line-level and digital sources or an instrument can be connected as well. The Tascam USB MIDI interface has separate level controls for the line and headphones outputs, a mono switch, MIDI input and MIDI output, as well as a coaxial SPDIF output.

The US-144MKII interface supports sample rates up to 96 kHz at 24-bit resolution. While commercial audio CDs are produced at 44.1 kHz/16-bit, this interface offers you more than double the sample rate which means more detail for your recordings. (If you're fine with two audio channels and don't need a digital I/O, have a look at the Tascam US-122MKII.)

Features

  • Provides four audio inputs and four audio outputs (two analog, two digital) for a Windows or Macintosh computer
  • Two XLR mic inputs
  • Switchable phantom power (48 volt)
  • High-quality, low-noise mic preamps
  • Two analog line inputs (one switchable to high impedance for use with guitars, basses, etc.)
  • Stereo digital audio input and output (input: SPDIF, output: selectable SPDIF or AES/EBU)
  • MIDI input, MIDI output
  • Up to 96-kHz/24-bit for high quality recordings
  • Zero-latency hardware monitoring with level control and mono switch
  • Separate controls for output level and headphones volume
  • USB 2.0 equipped (also supports USB 1.1)
  • USB-powered, no AC adapter required
  • Solid aluminum side panels
  • Cubase LE4 included

Get a versatile, powerful Interface for your room!

 

US-144MKII USB 2.0 4-channel Audio/MIDI Interface Specifications:

  • Host computer compatibility:
  • Windows
  • Operating systems: Windows XP 32 bit SP2/SP3, Windows XP 64 bit SP2, Windows Vista 32 bit SP2, Windows Vista 64 bit SP2
  • or later
  • Computer: Windows compatible computer with a USB port (USB 2.0 is recommended)
  • CPU/clock: Pentium 4 1.4 GHz or faster
  • AMD Athlon 1.4 GHz or faster (or equivalent processor)
  • Memory: 512 MB or more for Windows XP 32-bit and Windows Vista 32-bit
  • 1 GB or more for Windows XP 64-bit and Windows Vista 64-bit
  • Macintosh
  • Operating systems: Mac OS X 10.4.11, Mac OS X 10.5.6, or later
  • Computer: Apple Macintosh series equipped with a USB port as standard equipment
  • CPU/clock: Power PC G4, 1 GHz or faster, or Intel processor
  • Memory: 512 MB or more
  • Analogue audio inputs and outputs
  • Mic input: XLR, balanced
  • Nominal input level
  • —58 dBu (INPUT control set to MIC), 14 dBu (INPUT control set to LINE)
  • Maximum input level: +2 dBu (INPUT control set to LINE)
  • Headroom: 16 dB
  • Input impedance: 2.2 kOhm
  • Line input: 6.3-mm jack, unbalanced
  • Nominal input level: —40 dBu (INPUT control set to MIC): +4 dBu (INPUT control set to LINE)
  • Maximum input level: +20 dBu (INPUT control set to LINE)
  • Headroom: 16 dB
  • Input impedance: 15 kOhm
  • Guitar input (LINE/GUITAR IN R, GUITAR position): 6.3-mm jack, unbalanced
  • Nominal input level: —51 dBu (INPUT control set to MIC)
  • 7 dBu (INPUT control set to LINE)
  • Maximum input level: +9 dBV (INPUT control set to LINE)
  • Headroom: 16 dB
  • Input impedance: 1 MOhm
  • Line output (LINE OUT): RCA, unbalanced
  • Nominal output level: —10 dBV
  • Maximum output level: +6 dBV
  • Output impedance: 200 Ohm
  • Phones output (PHONES): 6.3-mm stereo jack
  • Maximum output power: 18 mW + 18 mW (32 Ohm)
  • Digital audio input and output
  • Digital input (DIGITAL IN): RCA (coaxial)
  • Format: IEC 60958-3 (SPDIF)
  • Digital output (DIGITAL OUT): RCA (coaxial)
  • Format: IEC 60958-3 (SPDIF) or IEC 60958-4 (AES/EBU), selectable via the software control panel
  • Other inputs and outputs
  • MIDI IN and MIDI OUT: 5-pin DIN connector (conform to MIDI specification)
  • USB port: USB series B connector (4-pin)
  • Format: USB 2.0 High speed (480 MHz), USB 2.0 Full speed (12 MHz, USB 1.1 equivalent)
  • Audio performance
  • Sampling rate: 44.1 kHz / 48 kHz, 88.2 kHz / 96 kHz (USB 2.0, High-speed only)
  • Bit depth: 16/24 bit
  • Frequency response (MIC IN to LINE OUT), 44.1/48 kHz sampling rate: 20 Hz – 20 kHz, +0.5 dB/—1 dB
  • Frequency response (MIC IN to LINE OUT), 88.2/96 kHz sampling rate: 20 Hz – 40 kHz, +0.5/—1.5 dB
  • Signal-to-noise ratio (LINE IN to LINE OUT, INPUT control set to LINE, 20 kHz LPF), Through ADC and DAC: 98 dB(A)
  • Signal-to-noise ratio (LINE IN to LINE OUT, INPUT control set to LINE, 20 kHz LPF), Through direct monitor: 107 dB(A)
  • Total harmonic distortion (LINE IN to LINE OUT, INPUT control set to LINE, 1 kHz, +20 dBu input, 20 kHz LPF), Through ADC and DAC: 0.0045%
  • Total harmonic distortion (LINE IN to LINE OUT, INPUT control set to LINE, 1 kHz, +20 dBu input, 20 kHz LPF), Through direct monitor: 0.002%
  • Power supply and other specifications
  • Power supply: via USB (5 V, max. 500 mA)
  • Operating temperature: 5—35° C
  • Dimensions (L x W x H): 7.04" x 5.35" x 1.85" (179 x 136 x 47 mm)
  • Weight: 0.7 kg
  • Included accessories: USB cable, Cubase LE4
Customer Reviews
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Review Snapshot®

by PowerReviews
TASCAMUS-144MKII USB 2.0 4-channel Audio/MIDI Interface
 
3.7

(based on 27 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (10)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (8)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (2)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Good audio (7)
  • Easy to use (6)
  • Compact (4)
  • Lightweight (3)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Amateur recording (7)
    • Home studio (7)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Experienced (5), Novice (3)

    Most Liked Positive Review

     

    Good Low-end Alternative

    If you are on a budget, or just starting out, this interface will work well for you. Just keep in mind that the preamp is weak so it needs to be compensated.Read complete review

    If you are on a budget, or just starting out, this interface will work well for you. Just keep in mind that the preamp is weak so it needs to be compensated.
    This little gem provides a total of 4 inputs which can be used simultaneously. I currently use it as 2 stereo inputs rather than 4 mono inputs. It has a MIDI in and out which is very useful to compose an arrangement using a keyboard input and a sound module. Comes with CuBase LE 5 which also supports virtual instruments. Phantom power is adequate for most condenser mics, but the preamp on the input channels are weak. I recommend you use a small powered mixer or something similar to get a good signal, otherwise you could have some issues with noise on the gain by using the interface alone.

    My current setup uses outputs from a small mixer into the XLR inputs on the interface. Every instrument gets connected to the mixer to adjust levels before it goes into the interface. MIDI in has a keyboard connected to it, and the MIDI out has a sound module connected to it. the stereo outputs on the sound module goes into the 1/4 inch inputs on the interface.
    Nice sturdy construction, USB powered. Since the interface sits on its flat side, it takes up more room than I would care for. Nice and light, so it is very portable. I use a generic low-end PC with Win7 (64bit) and I can easily take them with me anywhere I go. It is not built to take much punishment, so I clean it for dust often and make sure I wrap it in a towel or something when I transport it.
    For the price, it's hard to beat. The included software has a slight learning curve, but works well with the interface. If you have a DAW you are using already, the interface will work with most other software as well. Headphones work well. The line outs are adequate. Overall I was pleased that this worked well with my setup.

    VS

    Most Liked Negative Review

     

    Great Low-budget interface, but...

    I have had this interface for almost 2 years now, and I have used it both in studio and for live applications, and it has held up wonderfully. The knobs feel a bit...Read complete review

    I have had this interface for almost 2 years now, and I have used it both in studio and for live applications, and it has held up wonderfully. The knobs feel a bit cheap, but they function just fine and haven't come loose or anything, even after being transported unprotected in a bag with other gear. Drivers were easy to find on tascam's support site, and I haven't had a single issue with the unit software-side (windows vista 32-bit, mac osx leopard)

    My biggest issue with the unit is that it appears to have very poor shielding between the components. When monitoring through headphones, especially at high volume, there is signal crosstalk that gets transmitted into the preamps, which results in my being able to hear the playback of a song in the recording. It's low level and hard to catch at normal gain levels, but if the gain is turned up to 3/4 full or higher, it becomes painfully noticeable. At max gain levels, the preamps actually feedback on themselves. REALLY awful design oversight, which is a shame because I love everything else about this little device. With the headphones level all the way down, everything comes through clear.

    I have also recently begun experiencing a hissing effect in the right preamp (which I use almost exclusively for recording guitar DI) and when run through a guitar amp simulation, it's simply unacceptable. This is a more recent development, and seems to be at least partly related to the phantom power being on (turning it off, closing my DAW and unplugging/replugging the device seems to fix the issue), and it may be another symptom of the poor shielding, or simply the preamp crapping out.

    If you're on a budget, this is usually the cheapest interface you will find, and since I had serious driver issues with the interface I replaced with it, the issues I have had have been manageable. But if you can afford it, you might consider other options that are out there.

    Reviewed by 27 customers

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    5.0

    Great for an amateur

    By Tommy077

    from Upstate SC

    About Me Novice

    Ask me a question

    Pros

    • Clear Sound
    • Compact
    • Easy To Use
    • Lightweight

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Amateur Recording

      Comments about TASCAM US-144MKII USB 2.0 4-channel Audio/MIDI Interface:

      Bought this from MF through their SDOTD a couple of weeks ago. It is so easy to set up you could show a child one time and the child could do it. Using it with Presonus Studio One 2 right now trying to learn how to use DAW software. Tried to set it up on an older laptop first and the drivers wouldn`t install. When I set it up on my newer laptop, it breezed through it. Studio One reconized it without a hitch.

      Made a couple of single track recordings straight from an aux from a Yamaha M7CL and found it to have great sound reproduction. Sound is clean, clear, and crisp.

      If you are looking for an inexpensive device to use for home use or beginner use, this is what you want to start with.

      Comment on this review

       
      4.0

      Just what I needed

      By Shanepa

      from tn

      About Me Experienced

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Clear Sound
      • Durable
      • Easy To Use
      • Lightweight

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Amateur Recording
        • Home Studio

        Comments about TASCAM US-144MKII USB 2.0 4-channel Audio/MIDI Interface:

        Always recorded with digital recorded, now trying to record on my computer and this is perfect for me to use with my old equipment

        Comment on this review

         
        5.0

        Incredible bargain

        By OneFourFive

        from Mount Airy, MD

        About Me Experienced

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Clear Sound
        • Compact
        • Easy To Use
        • Excellent Sound Quality
        • Versatile

        Cons

        • none

        Best Uses

        • Home Studio

        Comments about TASCAM US-144MKII USB 2.0 4-channel Audio/MIDI Interface:

        This was super easy to set up and worked with Reaper on Windows 7 out of the box. The driver setup worked without a hitch. I downloaded the drivers rather than using the CD. The sound quality is much better than my older 16 bit interface. Latencies are fine. This interface is steal on the SDOTD offer but well worth the normal sale price on MF. And as per usual MF got this to me in a hurry.

        Comment on this review

         
        3.0

        Simple and Inexpensive

        By El Don Almighty

        from Peoria, IL

        About Me Novice

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Clear Sound
        • Compact
        • Simple Controls

        Cons

        • Limited Functions
        • Slippery Knobs

        Best Uses

        • Amateur Recording
        • Home Studio
        • Interface To Garageband

        Comments about TASCAM US-144MKII USB 2.0 4-channel Audio/MIDI Interface:

        Downloaded the latest drivers and my Macbook recognized it immediately.

        No more driver issues

        Garageband sees the inputs and uses them easily.

        I can sing and play guitar onto my tracks and back them up with loops.

        The knobs could be just a little bit taller and they would be easier to grab with my fat fingers, but perhaps the problem really lies with my hand.

        When it's on sale, this is the lowest cost interface from a reliable brand and it works great for messing around with a computer based music system.

        Comment on this review

         
        5.0

        Solid low cost alternative.

        By DavidNJ

        from New Jersey

        About Me Experienced

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Decent Pre-amp
        • Low cost

        Cons

        • A Bit Big
        • Dated Software

        Best Uses

        • Amateur Recording
        • Home Studio

        Comments about TASCAM US-144MKII USB 2.0 4-channel Audio/MIDI Interface:

        It works pretty well recording 96kHz@24 bit into Adobe Audition. I'm using an MXL V63M although I have several other options.

        The drivers are dated a few years old but work. I don't always keep it connected; sometimes I've needed to plug it in, unplug, and plug it in again to work.

        This replaced by Roland Quad Capture that broke out of warranty. I also have a Tascam DR-680 (for multi-mic setups) and DR-40 (for run and gun shoots on a Canon 7D)

        Comment on this review

         
        5.0

        Great Little Interface

        By Jaderfunken

        from Ohio

        About Me Professional Musician

        Pros

        • Clear Sound
        • Compact
        • Durable
        • Easy To Use
        • Great Portable Studio
        • Lightweight
        • Versatile

        Cons

        • none

        Best Uses

        • Light And Poratable
        • Road Studio

        Comments about TASCAM US-144MKII USB 2.0 4-channel Audio/MIDI Interface:

        The 144MKII is exactly what I wanted for recording on the road with my laptop. The sound is great and I didn't have any of the problems that others mentioned.
        A lot of what you get is up to you and your own experience level.
        I had plenty of volume on guitar and mic, the pres are very clean and quiet.
        I'm using the same settings that I do on my home studio software so all of the bugs have been eliminated a long time ago.

        This interface is perfect for the musician who wants to be able to record on the fly. Whether it be jamming or writing, this is really a high quality useful little device and simple to use.

        PS,
        I got the stupid deal of the day on this one so I'm very happy!

        Comment on this review

         
        3.0

        Great Low-budget interface, but...

        By FraG

        from Portland, OR

        About Me Experienced

        Pros

        • Great Features
        • Price
        • Very Portable

        Cons

        • Poor Signal Shielding

        Best Uses

        • Amateur Recording
        • Home Studio
        • Performances

        Comments about TASCAM US-144MKII USB 2.0 4-channel Audio/MIDI Interface:

        I have had this interface for almost 2 years now, and I have used it both in studio and for live applications, and it has held up wonderfully. The knobs feel a bit cheap, but they function just fine and haven't come loose or anything, even after being transported unprotected in a bag with other gear. Drivers were easy to find on tascam's support site, and I haven't had a single issue with the unit software-side (windows vista 32-bit, mac osx leopard)

        My biggest issue with the unit is that it appears to have very poor shielding between the components. When monitoring through headphones, especially at high volume, there is signal crosstalk that gets transmitted into the preamps, which results in my being able to hear the playback of a song in the recording. It's low level and hard to catch at normal gain levels, but if the gain is turned up to 3/4 full or higher, it becomes painfully noticeable. At max gain levels, the preamps actually feedback on themselves. REALLY awful design oversight, which is a shame because I love everything else about this little device. With the headphones level all the way down, everything comes through clear.

        I have also recently begun experiencing a hissing effect in the right preamp (which I use almost exclusively for recording guitar DI) and when run through a guitar amp simulation, it's simply unacceptable. This is a more recent development, and seems to be at least partly related to the phantom power being on (turning it off, closing my DAW and unplugging/replugging the device seems to fix the issue), and it may be another symptom of the poor shielding, or simply the preamp crapping out.

        If you're on a budget, this is usually the cheapest interface you will find, and since I had serious driver issues with the interface I replaced with it, the issues I have had have been manageable. But if you can afford it, you might consider other options that are out there.

        Comment on this review

         
        4.0

        A good Buy

        By buckwic

        from Pineola,North Carolina

        About Me Novice

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Clear Sound
        • Easy To Use

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Amateur Recording
          • Home Studio

          Comments about TASCAM US-144MKII USB 2.0 4-channel Audio/MIDI Interface:

          I bought the interface because I have bought Tascam equipment before. I was not disappointed. Worked like a champ right out of the box. The only downside is the steep learning curve with the Cbase software that came with it and the hurdles that need to be jumped to register the software. Cbase though allows two channel recording and I am looking forward to being able to do that. I am using Mixcraft 5 with the interface now and it recognized the interface and I have used it with no problems.

          Comment on this review

           
          4.0

          Good unit-good software

          By Thijs Uitenbosch

          from Belleville, IL

          About Me Experienced

          Ask me a question

          Pros

          • Clear Sound
          • Easy To Use

          Cons

          • Bulky/Heavy

          Best Uses

          • Amateur Recording
          • Home Studio

          Comments about TASCAM US-144MKII USB 2.0 4-channel Audio/MIDI Interface:

          Got this a few weeks ago, seems like a good piece of equipment. The sound quality is really good for me (I used to record through the line-in input on my computer). The Cubase LE5 that comes with it work great too, some setup issues that Google could solve pretty easily. Also works fine with Reaper, but nothing beats Cubase's drum-editor.
          I only use this to DI-record my guitars, so I can't comment on the microphone-jacks on there.

          Comment on this review

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          2.0

          Broke after 2 months-Noise from left pre

          By Cameron

          from Lake Forest, CA

          Comments about TASCAM US-144MKII USB 2.0 4-channel Audio/MIDI Interface:

          Small amounts of digital-sounding feedback, and after 2 months the left preamp started producing huge amounts of noise and hiss.
          I wouldn't recommend this; there are other products in this price range that are probably more reliable. I'm thinking of getting the Xenyx 1202, for example.

          Comment on this review

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