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Product 583089

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

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The Tascam US-144MKII seamlessly continues the worldwide success of its predecessor US-144 offering better recording quality from a USB MIDI interfac...Click To Read More About This Product

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OVERVIEW

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!

SPECIFICATIONS

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

  • 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
Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
TASCAMUS-144MKII USB 2.0 4-channel Audio/MIDI Interface
 
3.9

(based on 32 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (13)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (10)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (2)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Good audio (10)
  • Easy to use (9)
  • Compact (6)
  • Durable (4)
  • Lightweight (4)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Amateur recording (10)
  • Home studio (10)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (5), Novice (4), Professional musician (4)

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 32 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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(12 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Good Low-end Alternative

By Sambi Katano

from Las Vegas, NV

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

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.

(7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

A GREAT LITTLE INTERFACE

By Hawgly

from Colorado

See all my reviews

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

I own this unit and have used it successfully on Windows XP Pro (SP2) 32 bit, and Windows Vista Ultimate 64 bit with no problems. As with any interface be sure to download the latest drivers for your OS. Because of the high speed data transfer required, be sure you plug the USB into it's own bus. Don't share that bus with another USB product . Most computers including laptops have more than one bus with two or more inputs each. For a more pro setup, get an external hard drive for your audio data files. Keeping your DAW program files and data files on separate drives will provide better performance and eliminate dropouts while recording. Great unit! Highly recommended!

(3 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

The Bad

By Dyl Sil

from Undisclosed

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

Ok, I read the previous reviews before buying this product. Do NOT purchase this audio interface unless you are running windows 7 32 or 64.. From the reviews this is what works. I have vista 64. No bueno. It just doesnt work. It clashes like the titans. My internet constantly crashes and the recording quality is scratchy as it can be. I went to Tascam and uploaded the new firmware and drivers and still the same issue occurs. Im sure this is a great product but if you arent running the right system, is just wont work properly. Let my experience save you the headaches. I give lows stars due to Tascam not fixing the driver issue with vista 64. Ill be upgrading to windows 7. Ill be back to let you know what happens.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great for an amateur

By Tommy077

from Upstate SC

About Me Novice

See all my reviews

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.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    2.0

    Broke after 2 months-Noise from left pre

    By Cameron

    from Lake Forest, CA

    See all my reviews

    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.

    (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    3.0

    Tascam interface

    By ryan ward

    from Houston

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

    Its hard to describe this item,
    First off the install software that came with the interface wouldnt install right, it wouldnt recognize the drivers, so you have to install the new drivers and firmware from tascam.com. And i dont know if it the interface or the audio recording software supplied but you cant record in stereo. Ok so now the about the audio recording software, it comes with Cubase LE 5, so when it works it well, and makes sence, but just about everytime i close the program you have to mess with the inputs and outputs (vst's) but just like every other program that lets you change and tweak most aspects its going to take a considerable time investment to get it all figured out. just to make the interface communicate with Cubase it took about 2 days.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Flawless sound

    By Unit_1

    from The Valley, San Fernando

    See all my reviews

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

    Running Win 7 Home edition 64bit Sony Vaio laptop. Not a single problem AFTER I downloaded the new drivers off the Tascam website. The stock disk it came told me I wasn't the admin and would not install. The drivers were very easy to find by just searching for "Tascam us144mkii 64bit drivers" on Yahoo.Input signal to noise was breathlessly quiet. I was awestruck by how good it was. Output was equally quiet - way better in fact than my HDTV which is plugged into the same mixer to Nady XA-1600 to JBL JRX125's. Didn't even bother loading up the light edition cubebase it comes with and just got Sony Acid Pro.I've read other reviewers complain about problems with this unit and I hate to say this but the two words "user error" come to mind.The manual clearly states that you need to UNPLUG all of your other USB devices before using or you'll end up with snaps and pops from the traffic on the USB channel. Note, this is a native problem with USB and NOT with Tascam. USB keyboards and mice are ok. Drives, printers, etc. are not.All in all I feel I have an extremely good product at a ridiculously low price. THANK YOU TASCAM!!!!

    (1 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

     
    1.0

    Meh..... I really wouldn't recommend.

    By Dillon Smith

    from New Mexico, USA

    See all my reviews

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

    Alright, so overall: I've used this with the Cubase software it came with and let me just say, it's a very hard program to understand and is poor quality. I upgraded to a MacBook and use garageband now. I've tried some really expensive mics as well as cheaper ones, and the quality seems to be bad no matter what. So, the only conclusion I have is that I must have a bad interface. This is the second one I've gone through. The guitar inputs are horrible and are scratchy and buzz whether it is VIA an amp or direct from a guitar. The XLR inputs are not very much better. They are either too quiet or you can bump up the imput volume all the way and get a buzzed scratched noise. I would NOT reccommend, seeing as I've tried all the variables and two different interfaces of this same model. You make the choice, but consider something else.
    Two inputs are nice, it also has phantom power, of course. It has an output for headphones and RCA.
    When I describe quality I'm talking about the build/durability. It is built nicely and seems strong and easily portible. Slim knobs that don't get stuck ot pulled off.
    Please, spend you money more wisely. Get a Shure pre-amp or other interface, Firewire if possible. This one has quite a lot of issues.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    BANG FOR BUCK! 64-BIT WORKS FINE!

    By Travis-2g6mO

    from Cedar City, UT

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

    Im using with Windows 7 64-bit and Mac OSX 64-bit and it works flawless. Does it have a ton of features? NO.... but i dont care. all i wanted was a USB input box to plug my midi controller, guitar, and microphone into. Sound quality is much better than my old mbox i used to record with. im very happy with the quality of my new songs.

     
    4.0

    does the job

    By Mike

    from KCKS

    About Me Professional Musician

    Pros

    • Clear Sound
    • Compact
    • Durable
    • Easy To Use
    • Lightweight

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Amateur Recording
      • Home Studio
      • Mobile DJ
      • Performances

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

      When I got this interface, it had already been discontiuned by Tascam. One of the reasons it had been discontinued was driver issues. Tascam addressed and fixed 99% of those. And, this unit was a replacement for another 144 interface that had been discontinued.

      I've had issues with the 32 bit driver, even after downloading and installing the latest from Tascam. I don't want to say the unit isn't working for me, because it is. Drivers are really software and they can have problems.

      And the driver issues might not be all Tascam's fault, because drivers are quarky and can be affected by hardware and operating systems. Sometimes the driver is blamed when the fault is really a combination of things.

      I have another Tascam unit that also had minor driver issues and I found out that it was a driver conflict with the motherboard USB chip. Installing a third party USB card fixed that problem, so while it's a common culprit, we can't always blame just a driver.

      The US-144MKII is a compact unit and it gets its power from the USB connection. That's cool for playing live, because there's no need for a power cord. Don't musicians already have enough of those? It also has MIDI as well as S/PDIF connections.

      My interface came with CuBase 5LE. This and my VSTi software allows me to have hundreds of sounds where without this combination, I'd only have about 30 internal keyboard sounds.

      Sure, other units would work as well as this 144, and maybe better, but I like the idea of having different package for live, so my studio stuff isn't moving around so much. The compact size and no power cord are two big pluses for the 144, in this setting.

      I had minor driver issues when I first got this US-144, but many times there's a small learning curve to get some digital things to work. That doesn't mean there's something wrong with any particular part of your system. I don't think I've purchased anything that didn't need some kind of minor driver tweaking.

      I can't recommend this unit, UNLESS you are aware that it's been discontinued. You should go into with the understanding that there are reasons things get discontinued. But, all things considered (discounted price, no power cord, small compact size, nice clean sound, MIDI and S/PDIF connections), I'm happy with my purchase.

      Displaying reviews 1-10

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