QSC TouchMix 8 Vs. Tascam Model 16: Reviewed & Compared

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: QSC TouchMix 8 vs. Tascam Model 16.

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 QSC TouchMix 8 and Tascam Model 16. 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.

QSC TouchMix-8

I Got My Hands on the QSC TouchMix-8: Still Impressed

I got my hands on the QSC TouchMix-8 when it first came out, and man, it's still a game-changer. This little beast replaces racks of EQs, compressors, and gates. The best part? Everything's super easy to access. You don't need a cheat sheet for menus because there's no annoying digging through sub-menus. Plus, the noise level? Ridiculously low, perfect for on-location gigs or filming.

Power and Portability

If you're thinking of going mobile with this mixer, keep in mind the AC adaptor is proprietary, supplying several different voltages. While you won't need a gas generator, rigging an outboard battery means getting a 12-volt, 17-amp AGM battery and a mini sine wave inverter. Trust me, this board's powerful enough to lay down all your tracks on an optional SSD drive for processing through your favorite DAW.

Touch Screen: A Mixed Bag

Now, let's talk touch screen. The sensitivity can be a bit frustrating at times, and the graphics could use a higher resolution, especially for the RTA. An LED screen update would be nice, particularly for outdoor gigs.

Reliability Issues

One thing to note – there have been a few issues with the aux sends and the board freezing up. I've also noticed some lag when moving the virtual faders on the built-in touch screen, which can be pretty annoying. But remember, no mixer is perfect.

Sound Quality and Effects

The sound quality? Spot on. The effects are top-notch, easily rivaling other portable digital consoles in this range. The mic pres are good, and the compressor lets you dial in precisely. It’s a bit bright, but the dynamics are stellar.

Overall Verdict

Despite its few quirks, the QSC TouchMix-8 is a fantastic, powerful mixer in a compact package. It's got big power and a small footprint, making it a solid choice for those needing a robust feature set in a portable design. Just be prepared to deal with that touch screen and keep an eye on those aux sends.

Tascam Model 16

I picked up one of these used to review for a few hundred. Here's the lowdown:

Initial Impressions

Right out of the box, the Tascam Model 16 felt like a good deal. Even though I got it ‘Used-Acceptable', it appeared brand new and functioned perfectly, saving me a significant amount. It's a testament to Tascam's build quality that a used unit can still perform like a fresh piece.

Usability and Versatility

The Model 16 is incredibly user-friendly. Its intuitive design blends low-tech ease with high-tech versatility. For someone who finds computer software a flow-breaker while recording, this Tascam is a dream. It allows recording directly to an internal SD card and then mixing on a computer, offering the best of both worlds.

Quality of Sound and Inputs

The sound quality is fantastic, making it perfect for both recording and live sound. However, I was initially taken aback by the “virtual” tracks 15/16 and the designated Bluetooth channel, limiting its effective input channels. It's a minor issue but something that should be clearer in the product description.

Recording and Playback Experience

When it comes to recording, the Model 16 shines. The process is straightforward, and playback quality is impressive. I especially appreciated the analog summing and HDDA preamps, which add a warm, rich tone to the recordings. The unit’s simplicity in recording makes it ideal for capturing live performances.

Software and Connectivity

A drawback is the mixer's limited software side. Unlike its smaller sibling, the Model 12, the 16 lacks MIDI connectivity, making time syncing with external gear a bit of a hassle. Additionally, the absence of FX return means using external effects requires sacrificing tracks, which can be limiting.

Overall Performance

Overall, the Tascam Model 16 is a solid performer with great sound and build quality. Its drawbacks are mostly in the finer details of software and input/output flexibility. It's a great piece of gear for those looking to record live performances or who want an easy-to-use interface for home recording. Despite its limitations, the Model 16 offers enough features and quality to justify its price.

Head 2 Head: QSC TouchMix 8 or Tascam Model 16

QSC TouchMix-8: The Pocket-Sized Powerhouse

When it comes to the QSC TouchMix-8, it's not hard to see why this compact beast has a cult following. Its power and portability are second to none, making it an excellent choice for on-the-go gigs. However, don't be fooled by its petite size – this mixer is strong enough to replace a rack of EQs, compressors, and gates. If you're into DIY sound engineering or on-location gigs, the low noise level will make you as giddy as a kid in a candy store.

But oh boy, the touch screen. It can be as frustrating as figuring out why your Wi-Fi isn't working when all the cables are plugged in! And let's not even get started on the graphics resolution – it could definitely use some polish.

On the flip side, the sound quality is impressive. The effects are top-notch and easily rival those of other portable digital consoles in this range. The mic pres are good, and that compressor will let you dial in with precision.

Tascam Model 16: The Recording Whiz

Now onto the Tascam Model 16. This mixer is like that reliable friend who always shows up when you need them – even when they've been through some rough times (aka ‘Used-Acceptable' condition).

The Tascam Model 16 makes recording seem like a breeze. With its user-friendly design, it's like riding a bike – easy once you get the hang of it! It beautifully blends low-tech ease with high-tech versatility, making it perfect for those of us who find computer software a total mood killer during recording sessions.

However, the Model 16 does have its quirks. With limited effective input channels and the absence of FX return, you might find yourself missing out on some much-needed flexibility. And let's not forget about the missing MIDI connectivity – a bit of a bummer if you're planning to sync with external gear.

The Winner: QSC TouchMix-8

And so, the time has come to crown our winner. Drum roll, please… It's the QSC TouchMix-8! This compact powerhouse takes the cake for its unrivaled power and portability. Despite its touch screen quirks and occasional reliability issues, it's like a Swiss Army Knife of mixers – small but mighty.

The Tascam Model 16 put up a good fight with its solid sound quality and ease of use. However, it falls short in terms of software capability and input/output flexibility.

In conclusion, while both mixers have their strengths and weaknesses, the QSC TouchMix-8 emerges as our champion. It's perfect for those who need robust features in a portable design. And remember folks – size isn't everything when it comes to mixers!