Roland VR 1HD AV Vs. Tascam Model 12: 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 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 Roland VR 1HD AV 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.

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 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: Roland VR 1HD AV or Tascam Model 12

Hands-On with the Roland VR 1HD AV

Alright, so let's talk about this nifty piece of AV equipment, the Roland VR 1HD AV. This little dude, I mean video switcher and audio mixer combo, is like a Swiss Army knife for your live streaming and video production needs. On the setup front, it's not exactly plug-and-play. You're going to need some patience and maybe a couple of YouTube tutorials. But once you've got it running, you can hook up a DSLR, camcorder, or laptop to this little beast. Just remember you'll need an external storage device for your images and wave files – yep, we're going old-school with wave files here. HDMI Inputs Galore!

The HDMI inputs are flexible and accommodating. You may have to do some resizing with your BMP files, but hey – no pain, no gain! The strange part is the lack of internal storage or compatibility with larger storage devices. Just don't forget to buy that USB A to B 3.0 cable – it's not included.

Moving on to Tascam Model 12

Then there's the Tascam Model 12 – the audio mixer that requires an advanced degree in user manual interpretation! Jokes aside though; once you've cracked its code, it's quite a versatile tool. It's perfect for those who want an all-in-one solution without needing a separate room for their gear. It has dual XLR and 1/4 inch TRS inputs which are pretty handy in a multi-camera setup.

Connectivity and Sound Quality

The Model 12 makes friends best with USB 2.0 ports directly connected to the motherboard, as recommended. The sound quality is spot-on whether you're using headphones or monitors. It also has a global Phantom Power option, which could be useful if it was channel-specific.

Integration with DAWs

For those familiar with DAWs, integrating this into your workflow might take some time but it's worth it in the end. As for the audio routing, there's a bit of a learning curve but once you've got it down, you're golden.

The Verdict: Roland VR 1HD AV vs Tascam Model 12

Drumroll, please! After an intense face-off between these two titans of AV equipment, I'm going to have to give this one to the Roland VR 1HD AV. The video switcher functionality gives it an edge over Tascam Model 12 which is primarily an audio mixer. It makes live streaming and video production a breeze with its multi-camera setup capabilities. Sure, there's a learning curve and some quirks (hello, wave files!), but that's part of its charm. The Model 12 is still a solid piece of equipment that offers value for money. However, when we're talking about versatility and ease of use in both audio and video domains, the Roland VR 1HD AV takes the cake – after all, who doesn't like having their cake and eating it too?