Roland VR 1HD AV Vs. Tascam DP 32SD : 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: Roland VR 1HD AV 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 Roland VR 1HD AV 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.

Roland VR-1HD AV Streaming Mixer

I tested the Roland Video Switcher with audio capabilities for about a month, and here's my verdict: it's a compact powerhouse perfect for those tight on space but needing a robust video and audio solution.

Set-Up and Input Flexibility

Setting it up was a bit of a learning curve, but once I got the hang of it, the switcher's functionality was impressive. I connected a DSLR, a camcorder, and my laptop as input devices, alongside a 32GB storage device for still images and wave files. The lack of internal storage is a minor drawback, as all images and audio are stored on the external drive. Another minor hiccup is the need for images to be in Windows Bitmap File (.bmp) format, which requires a bit of extra work in conversion.

File Compatibility and Storage Tips

I encountered issues with a 128GB stick, but resizing BMP files to smaller than the maximum 1920 x 1200 pixels helped. Also, converting MP3 or MP4 files to wave format using Audacity or iTunes was necessary – a bit outdated, but manageable. It's a bit odd to still be using wave files in today's digital age, but overall, it didn't hamper the experience too much.

Streaming Capabilities and Support

A notable downside is that Roland doesn't include the USB A to B 3.0 cable needed for streaming, so be prepared to buy one separately. The setup is excellent for enhancing Zoom meetings or similar applications. However, don't expect to master it immediately – it requires some practice before using it for critical projects.

Reliability in Various Settings

The switcher has proven itself in different environments. From church services to educational settings, it's been reliable and easy to use. The build quality is solid, and the ease of streaming video and sound is commendable. However, there have been some issues post-software update, with the mixer crashing during live streams, which is something to watch out for.

Customer Support and Overall Satisfaction

When I faced connectivity issues with my iMac, product support was helpful in resolving them. Despite a few initial hurdles, I'm enjoying the switcher a lot. The ability to upload custom sound files and music adds a personal touch to the output.

Overall, this Roland Video Switcher is a great tool for anyone needing a compact, yet feature-rich, video and audio mixing solution. It's versatile, though it comes with a few quirks that require some workaround. But once you're past the learning curve, it opens up a world of creative possibilities.

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: Roland VR 1HD AV or Tascam DP 32SD

Getting Down to Business with the Roland VR-1HD AV Streaming Mixer

This Roland Video Switcher is practically an all-in-one studio in a box and is perfect for those who are tight on space. Despite its compact size, it's jam-packed with features to enhance your video production and live streaming capabilities. Setting it up can be a bit of a challenge – this isn't exactly a plug-and-play type of audio interface. But hey, anything worth having requires a bit of effort, right? Once you've got the hang of it though, the video switcher proves its worth. I hooked up my DSLR, camcorder, and laptop without a hitch and was able to utilize an external 32GB storage device for still images and wave files.

File Compatibility Quirks

Now here's where things get a little quirky. The switcher requires BMP format for images and wave format for audio files. Yes, you heard me correctly – wave files! It seems like we're stepping back into the digital dark ages here, but it's manageable with some elbow grease.

Streaming Made Simple…Almost

The Roland VR-1HD's streaming capabilities definitely deserve a shoutout. It's great for enhancing Zoom meetings or similar applications, but remember to get that USB A to B 3.0 cable (not included) before you plan on going live. After some practice runs, you'll be ready to take your video editing skills to new heights!

Roland VR-1HD In Action

I've tested this bad boy in various settings – from church services to classrooms – and it didn't disappoint! However, there were some minor hiccups post-software update with the mixer crashing during live streams.

A Word on Customer Support

When I faced connectivity issues with my iMac (yes, it happens to the best of us), Roland's product support was there to save the day. They helped me get up and running in no time.

Tascam DP-32SD Digital Portastudio: A Solid Contender

Now let's switch gears and look at the Tascam DP-32SD, a digital recorder that also means business. Compared to its predecessor, the DP-24SD, this baby comes equipped with enhanced preamps and 32-track recording capability – talk about a multi-track recording beast!

What's in the Box?

The DP-32SD is like a 20-track recorder on steroids – it boasts 8 mono tracks and 12 additional stereo or mono tracks. The absence of MIDI and S/PDIF inputs might irk some, but for those who focus on analog inputs, this won't be an issue.

Recording Quality & Usability

The recording quality of this machine is simply stellar, especially in multi-musician setups. It records at 24bit 48kHz without any hiccups – a dream come true for anyone looking to avoid the complexities of a DAW! Its workflow is smooth as butter and perfect for those who prefer SD card recording without needing a PC or MAC.

Build Quality

The build quality of the DP-32SD is solid – from its sturdy feel to its heavy weight, this machine was built to last. Despite some knobs feeling a bit flimsy, it doesn't detract from its overall robust construction.

Integration with DAW

While primarily designed as a standalone digital recorder, its ability to transfer files easily for further editing and mixing makes it an excellent choice for those blending analog recording with digital editing. Drumroll Please…The Winner Is…

After weighing the pros and cons, it's clear that the Tascam DP-32SD Digital Portastudio is the clear winner. Its superior recording capabilities, impressive build quality, smooth workflow, and easy integration with DAW make it a better choice for audio mixing and multi-track recording compared to the Roland VR-1HD AV Streaming Mixer. While the Roland VR-1HD has excellent video editing and HDMI input/output capabilities, its quirks with file compatibility and occasional crashes during live streaming tip the scales in favor of Tascam DP-32SD.