Tascam Celesonic US-20x20 USB Audio Interface - 10 Analog Inputs (Discontinued in America)
The Celesonic US-20x20 is a full-featured studio-ready interface with 8 XLR preamps and iOS compatibility.
It can function as an audio interface, a mic preamp, or even an iPad controlled mixer.
As such, it is gives you quite a lot for the money, which in turn catches the attention of many home studio owners who want a good value for money interface.
Speaking of versatility, it works with Windows, Mac and even iOS (iPad/iPhone), with up to 24-bit/192kHz resolution, and it supports USB 3.0 along with USB 2.0.
And it comes packed with 8 Ultra-HDDA mic preamps for plugging multiple mics, with hi-Z inputs on the first 2 channels for capturing bass or guitar direct.
There is also the convenience of dual headphone outputs, for monitoring flexibility.
Finally, it comes with built-in DSP for adding essential reverb, EQ and compression.
- A/D Resolution: 24-bit/192kHz
- Connectors: 8 x XLR, 2 x 1/4" TRS Ins, 2 x TRS headphones output, USB 3.0/2.0
- Simultaneous Channels: 12 Analog (Up to 30 via ADAT)
- Inputs:8 x XLR-1/4" combo (2 Mic/Instrument, 6 Mic/Line), 2 x 1/4" TRS, 1 x Coax (S/PDIF), 1 x Optical (S/MUX)
- Outputs: 10 x 1/4" TRS, 2 x 1/4" (headphones), 1 x Coax (S/PDIF), 1 x Optical (S/MUX)
- MIDI: I/O Built in
- Power: DC Power Supply
- Phantom Power: Yes
People who wrote reviews based on use with their mobile devices noted that using the US-20x20 was hassle-free. Recording with low buffer sizes did not introduce any dropouts. Lots of headroom from the preamps and enough power to drive most headphones. Versatility and value for money was the common denominator among many reviews. They are followed by positive comments about sound quality, which speaks of the quality of the mic preamps. Barry Watson of Sound on Sound agrees with the majority saying: "For a band wanting to track in a home studio, or someone who simply must have lots of line outputs, this sturdy interface is extremely worthy of consideration.
Due to the preamps being in front, the space for the knobs may be cramped. One reviewer noted that they wished it had a meter rather than just a single light to indicate signal. The power supply is external rather than internal and may be an issue for portability. It has limited phantom power control (you can't turn phantom power on/off per channel).
If you're looking to record a full band with several microphones on the go, and on a budget, the Tascam Celesonic US-20x20 is a great pick with only minor gripes.
Unfortunately this is no longer available new in North American stores but you can see highly rated alternatives in our guide to The Best iPad Compatible USB Audio Interfaces.