Looking for USB Audio Interface 4 Simulaneous tracks.

Hey my name is Harrison! How is everybody on the forum?

I am looking for a USB interface that will:

  • record at the same time, more than 2 mics seperately(so i can edit each mic). I will be either recording 2 acoustic guitars and 2 vocals, or 1 acoustic guitar and 3 vocals.
  • have good quality mic recording
  • be portable

The price range is quite wide and features of each look so different so I want some extra advice about the technical stuff. eg how can i tell if its a good preamp or not? Any common features I need to consider that I may be missing?

So far im interested in:

Tascam US600

M Audio Fast Track Ultra

Lexicon Omega

Some things i do notice which are interesting. May anyone try and explain to me these?

  • the tascam has 2 mic preamps and the front and back …is there a difference between front and back mic preamps? I ahve read some interfaces design in this way because they have different capabilities
  • the fast track ultra has 4 mic preamps but only two are hybrid …why did they do this for? furthermore would there be a difference if i plugged a mic in with a 1/4 inch or XLR female end?

I think that the front sockets are just for convenience as this unit is designed for rack mounting and most of the sockets would be difficult to get at (behind the rack). Does the manual say anything about them? I know someone that has one of these and they are great value for money and a well thought out design. I don’t know if it works with Audacity as he uses other software. The mic pre-amps are not the quietest in the world, but in this price range Tascam have crammed in a lot of bang for your buck.

Microphones should always be plugged in with XLR connectors. If a microphone has a jack plug on the end it is probably a cheap and shty mic. Hybrid sockets are frequently used to allow instruments to be plugged in directly.

See also:

When you eventually get a multi-channel device it would be great if you could post a review.