TASCAM recently announced the Version 1.30 firmware update for the Model 12 Integrated Production Suite. As a desktop tool for music and multimedia creation, the Model 12 incorporates a mixer with I/O and analogue-style controls, multitrack recorder, a USB audio/MIDI interface, DAW control functions, and a wealth of podcasting capabilities including mix-minus and smartphone input capability. With the new V1.30 firmware update, this versatile production tool gains additional functions that further enhance its ability.
The V1.30 firmware update increases the Model 12’s DAW control surface integration. This latest update adds Studio One from PreSonus, Reaper from Cockos, Inc., and Cubasis 3.3 from Steinberg. This is in addition to existing support for Avid’s Pro Tools, Apple Logic, MOTU (Mark of the Unicorn) Digital Performer, Steinberg Cubase, Ableton Live, and Cakewalk by BandLab. Supported functions include basic external DAW control (Faders, Mutes, Pans, Solos, Record arm, Play, Record, Stop, FF/REW, and Jog) using integrated HUI/MCU protocol emulation for tactile control.
The ability to accurately monitor one’s work is crucial to successful production. In this regard, the Model 12’s dual headphone jacks that facilitate monitoring of two discrete headphone mixes simultaneously is an important feature. With the V1.30 update, this capability has been expanded to include Main Mix Pre to Phone Source selection in addition to Main Mix Post. Prior to V1.30, when working with headphones only, without producing sound from the speakers with Main Mix Post, the sound of the headphone output was muted when Main Mix was muted.
When working on podcasts or other streaming media projects, the ability to have clean, accurate sound delivered through one’s computer speakers is of paramount importance. The V1.30 firmware update also adds a level attenuation function with a range of 0-40dB for the Model 12’s Main and Sub outputs. Whereas a small PC speaker could easily be overloaded resulting in distorted sound without raising the Master fader much at all, V1.30 corrects this situation.
For Model 12 owners who have not updated their systems in a while, two important previous updates should be noted. For streaming media applications, an Output Delay for Synchronized Audio/Video Streaming was added in V1.20. The output delay (adjustable from 0 – 2000ms) creates stable sync between streamed audio and video for all networks and video systems. This easy to set-up function enables dual Audio Delay for both the USB and Main outputs (Main output can be selected On/Off). In addition, it is possible to monitor the output delay signal by headphones if the Main output on has been selected.
Equally noteworthy, a VAMP playback function was added with the V1.11 firmware update. The VAMP playback function provides seamless loop playback between two selected points in a song. In addition to being a valuable tool for individual practice or ensemble rehearsals, it can be used during live playback for extended solos/jams, or repeated playback of a selected track only. As many as ten VAMP points can be specified for an individual song.