IK Multimedia iRig Pro Vs. Tascam DP 32SD : Head To Head Comparison – READ BEFORE YOU BUY!!

Choosing the right mixer when there are so many on the market these days isn't easy.
Especially when many of them are built for one specific need but being marketed as an all-rounder 🙄
But not to worry, I've got ya!
I have taken a deep dive into two beasts in the audio-mixing game and gone head to head with them: IK Multimedia iRig Pro vs. Tascam DP 32SD.

We're looking at things like:
  • Sound Quality: This is the heart of the matter, right? How each mixer holds up in delivering crisp, clear audio. Are we talking about a mixer that makes your tracks sound like they're live from the garage, or are we hitting studio-quality sound?
  • Ease of Use: Nobody wants to spend hours figuring out which button does what. I’ll break down the user interface of both IK Multimedia iRig Pro and Tascam DP 32SD. Are they plug-and-play easy, or will you need a PhD in mixology to use them?
  • Features and Functions: Ie. What's under the hood? Let's find out what sets them apart.
  • Durability: No matter your reason for buying, you want something that's gonna last, not fall apart after a few light sessions.
  • Price Point: Yep, money talks. When it comes to prices, we need to see which mixer gives us more bang for our buck. Is the higher price of one justified by its features, or is the other a hidden gem at a bargain price?
  • Customer Reviews and Feedback: What's the word on the street? Sometimes real-world use tells a different story than what the sales page says.

IK Multimedia iRig Pro

Unboxing and First Impressions

The IK Multimedia Quattro I/O is a compact yet feature-rich audio interface that stands out in its class. It's impressively lightweight and efficient, making it a versatile choice for musicians and audio engineers alike. When I first unpacked it, its intuitive control surface, reminiscent of other IK Multimedia devices, immediately struck a chord with me.

Recording and Input Quality

Crystal Clear Recordings with Zero Lag

My initial tests involved recording simple tracks into Logic using a microphone and guitar direct line. The input levels were a breeze to set, resulting in crystal clear recordings with no noticeable lag. The device was instantly recognized by Logic, offering seamless integration. The onboard phantom power efficiently powered my condenser mic, though it required some fine-tuning to achieve the perfect level.

Build and Connectivity

Sturdy Design with Versatile Connection Options

The build quality of the Quattro I/O feels durable, and its provision of MIDI in and out, high-end XLR output, and a variety of power options (battery or USB) add to its versatility. Its compatibility with computers and mobile devices is a significant advantage, making it a great choice for both studio and mobile use. The inclusion of all necessary cables and a tripod attachment is a thoughtful addition, enhancing its usability in live settings.

Standalone Mixer Functionality

Limited EQ Controls, but Stellar Sound Output

As a standalone mixer, the Quattro I/O performs admirably. While it lacks EQ controls on the surface, the quality of sound output when paired with external mic preamps or effect pedals is outstanding. This capability makes it a valuable tool for live performances.

Portability and Power Efficiency

Battery Life and Mobile Device Compatibility

The device's portability is enhanced by its ability to run on battery power when used standalone or with mobile devices. While I haven't fully tested the battery life limits, its performance in this mode has been reliable. The quick response from IK Multimedia support regarding a missing serial number/registration card was impressive and speaks volumes about their customer service.

Pros and Cons

Deep Feature Set with Room for Improvement

Pros: The Quattro I/O excels in its compact and lightweight design, making it easy to transport. Its deep feature set, including excellent mic pres, flexible input/output options, and compatibility across devices, sets it apart. Its functionality as a standalone mixer and inclusion of 48-volt phantom power are also noteworthy.
Cons: Despite its many strengths, there are some limitations, particularly for specific uses such as DJ'ing streaming, as some users have reported issues with sound quality and device freezing. Additionally, some users have found difficulties in processing effects on iPads.

Tascam DP-32SD Digital Portastudio

Now the Tascam DP-32SD, let me draw some comparisons to its cousin, the DP-24SD, and delve into what makes it stand out. The DP-32SD steps up the game with its enhanced preamps and 32-track recording capability, minus the hard drive noise, since it runs on an SDHC card.

Key Features:

First off, think of the DP-32SD as a 20-track recorder with 8 mono tracks and 12 additional stereo or mono tracks. The absence of MIDI and S/PDIF inputs (found in its predecessor, the Tascam 2488Neo) might limit some, but it's not a deal-breaker for those focused on analog inputs. Its punch-in and out functions are tight, and the layout of the menu and LED buttons has been thoughtfully improved from the Neo model.

Tascam DP 32SD Review

Recording Quality

The recording quality is a massive win for the DP-32SD. Users rave about the stellar job it does, especially in multi-musician setups. With its ability to record at 24bit 48kHz without clicks, pops, or stutters, it’s a reliable choice for those seeking to avoid the complexities of a DAW.

Usability and Workflow

In terms of workflow, this machine is a powerhouse. For those who prefer to record up to 8 tracks simultaneously without a PC or MAC and don’t need MIDI sync, the DP-32SD is your go-to. It’s great for live band recordings too, being easily portable and capable of handling numerous simultaneous inputs.

Learning Curve

There’s a learning curve, especially if you're transitioning from a simpler recorder or a different brand. However, with resources like YouTube tutorials, you can get up to speed relatively quickly.

Build Quality

The build quality of the DP-32SD is impressive. It feels heavy and sturdy, indicative of a machine built to last. Though some knobs might feel a bit flimsy, this doesn’t detract from the overall solid construction of the unit.

Integration with DAW

While it's primarily a standalone recorder, the ease of transferring files to a DAW for further editing and mixing is a major plus. It's an excellent solution for those looking to blend analog recording with digital editing.

Head 2 Head: IK Multimedia iRig Pro or Tascam DP 32SD

IK Multimedia iRig Pro – The Sweet and the Sour

So, let's take a gander at the IK Multimedia iRig Pro. Right off the bat, this audio interface is compact and lightweight, packed with features. It's like holding a pocket-sized mobile recording studio that's ready to rock and roll anytime, anywhere. Recording and Input Quality
When it comes to music production, the iRig Pro doesn't disappoint. It delivers crystal clear recordings without any lag. With seamless integration into Logic and efficient onboard phantom power, it's like having your personal sound guru with you every step of the way.

Build and Connectivity

This iOS recording interface is built to last with versatile connection options. Be it MIDI in/out, XLR output or USB power options; the iRig Pro has got you covered. Plus, its compatibility across devices makes this portable recording studio an ace for studio and mobile use.

Mixer Functionality without the Frills

While it lacks surface EQ controls as a standalone mixer, don't let that fool you. When paired with external mic preamps or effect pedals, this beast puts out some fantastic sound. Just imagine your live performances backed up by this little powerhouse!

Portability Powerhouse?

The portability of this device is amplified by its ability to run on battery power when used standalone or with mobile devices. I haven’t fully tested its battery life limits though. But hey, IK Multimedia has top-notch customer service that can help you out pronto if you ever lose your serial number or registration card. Now let’s talk about the not-so-sweet aspects of this multitrack recorder – some users have reported issues with sound quality while DJ'ing streaming and device freeze-ups. Also, processing effects on iPads can be a bit tricky for some users.

Tascam DP 32SD – The Bold and the Beautiful

Next up is the Tascam DP 32SD. This digital recorder takes things up a notch with enhanced preamps and 32-track recording capability, all while running on an SDHC card – talk about quiet operation! Key Features
The DP-32SD is essentially a 20-track recorder with 8 mono tracks and 12 additional stereo or mono tracks. It misses out on MIDI inputs, which might limit some, but it's still a compelling choice for those who primarily use analog inputs.

Recording Quality

This device shines when it comes to recording quality. With its ability to record at 24bit 48kHz without any hiccups, it's an excellent choice for those seeking simplicity away from the complexities of a DAW.

Usability and Workflow

If you are someone who prefers to record up to 8 tracks simultaneously without a PC or MAC and don’t need MIDI sync, then the DP-32SD is your ally. Its portability makes it great for live band recordings too.

Build Quality

The Tascam DP-32SD feels solid and sturdy; this thing was built to last! Some knobs might feel slightly flimsy, but overall, this unit screams durability.

Integration with DAW

While primarily a standalone recorder, the ease of transferring files to a DAW for further editing and mixing is a huge plus point. It's an ideal solution for those looking to blend analog recording with digital editing. Hear Ye! Hear Ye! The Winner Is…
Weighing up all these specs, I crown the Tascam DP 32SD as the winner of this face-off. While the IK Multimedia iRig Pro is a formidable contender with its compact design and impressive features, the Tascam DP-32SD takes the cake with its superior recording quality, workflow efficiency, and build quality. The Tascam DP-32SD is an excellent option for those who want a reliable, high-quality digital recorder without compromising on features or audio quality. Whether you're a music producer or a live performer, this machine can take your sound to the next level – making it a clear choice for all your audio recording needs.