Hands-On Review:Tascam US-2400
The first DAW controller with room to move
By Park James
The mouse revolutionized the way we use computers, but when it comes to music and audio, there's nothing like the feel of real sliders and knobs. Tascam addresses this with their new DAW controller, the US-2400. It's got lots of tactile control with a mixing section that can be played like a musical instrument in the hands of a producer or engineer. Save your mouse and keyboard for tasks like drawing waveforms and typing in song titles. This is the way to record music with lots of controls and a clear, logical, easy-to-grasp layout.
Control for your digital world
Until now there hasn't been a controller of sufficient size to include all the faders and tools that serious computer recordists need. The US-2400 controller has 24 touch-sensitive moving faders and a dedicated touch-sensitive motorized MASTER fader, each one with 10-bit resolution for precise level control. Each channel has an illuminated SELECT, SOLO, and MUTE control so you can tell what's happening at a glance.
In addition to the fader array on the US-2400, each channel has its own LED ring encoder providing PAN or AUX control (up to 6). There's even a FLIP button to mix these sends from the faders to create perfect monitor mixes or to fade in an effect. Tascam went even further to utilize all these encoders by implementing a CHAN button that turns all the rotary encoders into a "channel strip" giving the user control over 6 AUX sends and 4 bands of full parametric EQ for the selected channel!
Hit the METER button and the ringed LED displays around the encoders then become full-fledged signal and level indicators for the corresponding channel. It's like having a meter bridge built in to your controller! A BANK switch button makes accessing all your channels easy with designations for up to 192 channels. And the large, solid-feeling transport buttons are instantly familiar to anyone who has done any amount of recording?PLAY, RECORD, REWIND, FAST FORWARD, and STOP.
The large JOG/SHUTTLE wheel is super-functional for finding your way around tracks, and at a touch of the SCRUB button you can hone in on passages for precision editing. The US-2400 is the first universal DAW controller with a joystick to control panning, making complex surround sound positioning possible. With software like Digidesign's Pro Tools, you can instantly try a new surround position or shadow an on-screen action to follow it through the room.
Getting the US-2400 up and running is a breeze. It requires no driver, as your Mac or PC system automatically recognizes the US-2400 when it is installed. The board is fully mapped for the most popular software applications like Emagic Logic, MOTU DP, or Cakewalk Sonar that really come into their own when matched with a dedicated controller like the US-2400. And it also shines when used in tandem with gear like Digidesign's Digi 002R, the MOTU 828MKII, or Mackie HUI- compatible software.
Computer recording, whether live or in the studio, is simpler, faster, and more intuitive with the US-2400. Each fader is automatically mapped to one of your sequence channels, so every channel of every arrangement can be adjusted with a simple touch. Familiar SOLO, MUTE, PAN, AUX, and LEVEL controls are way easier and more efficient than having to memorize arcane keystrokes to run your software. A footswitch jack enables studio-style punch-ins or instant tempo changes.
Many will find it a must for controlling virtual instruments. With its 24-channel capability, the US-2400 has the right stuff to handle live and studio applications with ease. It's perfect hands-on control for your digital recording studio.
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