Multi-channel recording using TASCAM US-20x20

Hi. :slight_smile:
I am new to this forum or with this technology.
I am working on acoustic signals for my thesis.
I need to record 5 microphones at the same time with 129k Hz sampling rate.
I bought TASCAM US-20x20 pre-amp recording device. It has 8 input channels. It allows USB 3 but, however, my PC (Lenovo thinkpad E540, Windows 8) cannot recognize the device when plugged in with USB 3 but works fine with USB 2. So I am using USB 2 currently! :open_mouth:
I can record mono or stereo MME with Audacity 2.1.2 (downloaded .exe). But cannot record more than that. I can see from my TASCAM that all the microphones are getting signals. :slight_smile:
If, I select Windows WASAPI in Audacity then I can select more microphones. But, then it gives the message… :frowning:
“Error while opening sound device. Please check the recording device settings and the project sample rate”
Can anyone help? :ugeek:
Thanks in advanced :slight_smile:

  • Wasapi is limited to 96/24.
  • MME is limited to 2 channels, 44.1 or 48 kHz.
  • DirectSound is output only. It can record too, in theory, but I’ve never seen a working setup and I don’t know any hardware supporting it.
  • Audacity doesn’t do ASIO.

That leaves WDM. Or rather GSIF (Tascam only). See:

http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Multichannel_Recording

I have no idea if your interface supports multi-channel on WDM-KS. These are almost always used with ASIO drivers on Windows. And now you understand why professionals don’t use Windows for audio…

There is some information about multi-channel recording with Audacity [u]here[/u]. I’ve never done it, and from what I understand there are some limitations.

You may have to get a [u]DAW[/u] application (Digital Audio Workstation). These are designed for multi-channel recording/mixing/processing, etc. But, they tend to be quite a bit more complicated than a “simple”
audio editor like Audacity.

And now you understand why professionals don’t use Windows for audio…

I’m not sure if that’s true anymore. Certainly, more home & semi-pro studios are running Windows applications and I believe Pro Tools runs on either platform.



P.S.

I am new to this forum or with this technology.
I am working on acoustic signals for my thesis.

If you find yourself bogged-down you might want to find someone in the music department to help you.

Let’s not get into turf wars…

Having several different audio systems seems like a waste to me. The fact that nobody seems to understand the differences makes for a lot of confusion a pro doesn’t need. And these limitations are all there just to overcome some error of the past. If Microsoft would decide to wipe the slate clean and start over, there would be a hell of a lot of applause from the makers and users of DAW’s and audio hardware.

To take Tascam as an example: drivers for their older gear are still available for OSX. For Windows they have been promised since november last year, but haven’t surfaced yet, because developers are unable to make one driver work on Win 7 tot Win 10. Pro’s tend to buy the expensive ones, so they need 2-4 years to amortize that gear. And it is always nice if older gear still works after 10 years.

Another example: Alesis. The older Alesis Multimix and I/O range are going out the window, because MS decided not to include a USB2 audio class compliant driver in Windows 10. I can understand that partly, because the USB2 audio class is a mess. Still, Linux, BSD and OSX have these drivers and they work fine.

I do use Windows, but not for audio and in a one-time-use virtual machine. No worries with malware or updates…

Every time I try something with audio on Windows I end up asking myself why people keep supporting this kind of torture. :laughing:

I was curious, so I tried to find a tool to do multi-channel recording on Windows. Most devs don’t even mention higher sample rates. Have a look at:

PlayRec
http://www.playrec.co.uk/
Fairly basic, all platforms, no limits in number of channels or sample rate. Trustworthy. Does require MatLab or Octave. But since this is for a thesis, these are accepted data processing environments and probably there is help for setting it up, incl. any licensing problems at your university?

Just like Audacity, it uses PortAudio for cross-platform development.

That leaves WavoSaur:
http://www.wavosaur.com/

or “Wave MP3 Editor PRO”:
http://www.code-it.com/

And “Power Sound Editor Free”, also called “Music Editor Free” are to absolutely avoid, since it comes today with a relatively unknown (12/57)trojan. Scan here:

https://www.virustotal.com/nl/file/abd10d53b9db0be3a1f4ca899308db9942b73a945d31797b4c1d8bbd684bf60a/analysis/1467822612/

!I only scanned the Mac version of the firstand suppose the Windows version will be trojaned too, as the windows version of the second was…

As generalities, all those statements are incorrect.


Gale

I changed your username to “shantobis” so removing the e-mail address. You should not expose your address on a public forum because spambots will harvest it.

Please log in with username “shantobis” and your existing password.


Gale

Could you please correct them, as precise info about Windows audio isn’t exactly easy to find as most of it seems obsolete.

Presumably you meant 192000 Hz? 129000 Hz is totally non-standard.

You cannot always record large numbers of channels at high sample rates. Sometimes the hardware imposes these restriction itself. Look at the Manuals available on http://tascam.com/product/us-20x20/downloads/.

For a start, have you installed the latest drivers and firmware from http://tascam.com/product/us-20x20/downloads/?

Note that you won’t get more than 96000 Hz using USB 2.0 according to http://tascam.com/product/us-20x20/specifications/.

What cyrano said about MME not recording more than two channels is correct.

As others have said, you may not get this to work in Audacity, because Audacity as shipped does not support ASIO.

The old 2.0.4 version of Audacity supported WDM-KS, which would then be another choice in the “Audio Host” box, but WDM-KS could crash the built-in sound devices on some computers.

You will get errors unless sample rates are made the same everywhere, in Audacity, Windows and in any control panel that Tascam has.

We can’t guarantee to get it working but if you need more help I suggest you ensure you have the latest drivers and firmware as above then post the information from Help > Audio Device Info… top right of Audacity.


Gale

Precise information is not easy to find, and may actually be wrong. It’s best not to make categorical statements if you are not sure.

MME is widely said to resample everything to 44100 Hz, but tests that a user did here https://forum.audacityteam.org/t/24-bit-recording-status/41884/40 showed that it could record up to 192000 Hz. MME is two channels maximum.

I don’t know what the WASAPI sample rate limits are offhand, but it can record stereo, 192000 Hz 24-bit (for example).

Of course DirectSound can record, though it could not originally in the days of Windows 95. With a few devices, choosing DirectSound host even enables multi-channel recording. DirectSound can record 24-bit, although Microsoft’s own documentation does not seem to mention this.


Gale

All I summarised, was in the context of this thread. Conclusions you seem to confirm, except for the Wasapi SR.

Could you give an example of a working Direct Sound recorder?

I remember we tried to get that working, years ago and couldn’t find any device. The support engineers from Macromedia told us there weren’t any and they didn’t expect to see any either.

Your statements were not presented contextually, cyrano. :wink:

My computer, for one.

Uwe’s bespoke recording device, for another.

I already said that a few people have reported they can record more than stereo using Windows DirectSound and an external device. I don’t recall which ones.

But as far as I know the following devices can record at least stereo using Windows DirectSound: http://wiki.audacityteam.org/wiki/Multichannel_Recording#Suggested_devices. Any WDM driver automatically provides DirectSound support.


Gale