IK Multimedia IRig Pro Vs. Tascam Model 12: Compared And Rated

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 Model 12.

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 Model 12. 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 Model 12

The Tascam Model 12 is going to require you read the manual a few times, for sure! But once you get past the initial learning curve, you'll find it's a versatile machine, capable of multi-track recording, interfacing with a DAW, and even Bluetooth connectivity.


It's a great choice for those who need an all-in-one device. The Model 12 acts as a smaller sibling to the 16 and 24 channel versions, offering a good balance of functionality and size. Its dual inputs (1 – 10) that accept both XLR and 1/4 inch TRS are particularly handy.


When it comes to connectivity, USB hookups work best when connected directly to the motherboard USB 2.0 sockets, as recommended in the manual. Some users have reported issues when connecting to USB 3.0 ports, so it's something to be mindful of.

Sound Quality

The sound quality is a big plus for the Model 12, with users noting its clean output over headphones or monitors. The Midi In and Out are a great addition, expanding its utility for various setups.

Phantom Power

A slight downside is the global Phantom Power option, which could be more useful if managed by software for each channel. It's crucial to ensure the Phantom Power is off before powering a new unit to protect any connected mics that don't require it.

Software Integration

For those using DAWs, the Model 12 functions well as an interface, though it requires some initial setup. It leaves a lot of room for experimentation and finding a workflow that suits individual needs.

User Tips

Some user tips to consider: the Sub Button on each channel arms the Headphones bus, essential for monitoring. The effects only work if all the Solo buttons are disarmed. And remember, you don't need to press the Play button alongside the Record button when making a track, which is a departure from older tape-based systems.

Overall Impression

While the Tascam Model 12 might have a steep learning curve and some quirks, it's a solid piece of equipment offering great value. It's an excellent choice for anyone looking to step away from complete reliance on a DAW, offering a more hands-on approach to recording and mixing. Just be ready to spend some time with the manual to unlock its full potential.

Head 2 Head: IK Multimedia iRig Pro or Tascam Model 12

First Impressions

Well tie me to a metronome and call me Beethoven, the IK Multimedia iRig Pro is one sleek piece of kit. Lightweight yet sturdy, this puppy is a featherweight champion in the audio interface comparison stakes. I mean, who doesn't love gear that feels like it could survive being juggled by an over-caffeinated drummer? Not to mention its intuitive control surface which makes navigating through the settings smoother than a Barry White ballad.

Recording and Input Quality

Here's where the rubber meets the road, folks. The iRig Pro's recording capabilities are enough to make a grown man weep tears of joy. With crystal-clear recordings and zero lag, it's like having your own personal Abbey Road studio right in your backpack. And let's not forget its seamless integration with digital audio workstations (DAWs) like Logic – it was love at first sight for these two.

Build and Connectivity

You know what they say about not judging books by their covers? Well, whoever said that obviously never laid eyes on the iRig Pro. This thing is as rugged as they come with versatile connection options including USB, MIDI in/out, and high-end XLR output. It's perfect for both your portable recording setup and studio work. And Tascam Model 12? Well, let’s just say it’s quite the handsome devil as well. From its dual inputs that accept XLR and 1/4 inch TRS to its clean sound output over headphones or monitors, this bad boy is clearly no slouch in the connectivity department either.

Standalone Mixer Functionality

The iRig Pro may lack EQ controls on the surface, but boy does it deliver when it comes to sound output. It's like having a symphony orchestra nestled in your pocket. The same can't be said for the Model 12 though, with its global phantom power option raising a few eyebrows among users.

Portability and Power Efficiency

When it comes to portability, the iRig Pro is the Usain Bolt of audio interfaces – it's fast, efficient, and can run for days on battery power. Plus, its compatibility with mobile devices makes it an ideal choice for those on-the-go recording sessions.

The Final Verdict

It's been a tough-fought battle in this studio gear comparison, but we’ve got to crown a winner. So drumroll please… The winner of this audio interface comparison is…the IK Multimedia iRig Pro. On balance, its superior recording quality, intuitive design and impressive portability make it a standout choice in the crowded field of professional audio recording devices. That said, if you're someone who gets a kick out of reading manuals cover-to-cover (I'm looking at you, tech geeks) and enjoys a more hands-on approach to music production equipment setup with detailed customization options – you might find the Tascam Model 12 more up your alley. But for most folks looking for top-tier music recording interfaces that are versatile yet user-friendly, the iRig Pro takes home the gold. So there you have it folks – proof that sometimes size doesn’t matter after all! Now go forth and create some sweet music with your new USB audio interfaces!