Soundcraft Signature 22MTK Vs. Tascam DP 24SD: 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: Soundcraft Signature 22MTK vs. Tascam DP 24SD.

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 Soundcraft Signature 22MTK and Tascam DP 24SD. 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.

Soundcraft Signature 22MTK

Everything The Product Sales Page Doesn't Tell You About The Soundcraft Signature 22MKT

I tested the Soundcraft Signature 22MKT for a couple of weeks. I know, not that long, but it's been a revelation every day.

I work with a local piece band and they've been able to lay down live recordings in one take, capturing everything onto separate tracks in the DAW.

The ability to record up to 22 tracks simultaneously has been a game-changer in this respect.

Sound Quality and Support

Warm, Analog Sound

The sound quality is exactly what we were looking for. The mixer provides a broad, balanced frequency range, delivering that warm, analog sound.

Plus, the onboard effects buses allow for creative mixing. Not to mention, the support from Soundcraft has been exceptional, both before and after purchase.

Who Is The 22MKT For? Not Beginners

Difficult Setup and Poor Documentation

I always have to give the good, bad and the ugly… so here it is:

It's not all smooth sailing. Setting up the mixer with Windows was a nightmare, with no useful online resources.

The manual was no help either. It's a great board for those who know what they're doing and know their way around boards, but I can definitely see how for a beginner, it would be a steep and frustrating learning curve.

Early Impressions ✅

Impressive Functionality

In the early days of testing out the 22MTK, I was impressed with its routing capabilities, especially to outboard gear.

The onboard Lexicon effects are a bonus, and the ability to use DAW plugins during live play is a huge plus. However, the lack of an on/off switch and inserts is a bit puzzling.

Channel Issues and Sturdiness

Some Quality Concerns

Unfortunately, I soon ran into issues with channel one having low gain and a hum. This was unexpected, especially considering the mixer hadn't seen much use.

While the mixer is generally sturdy, these issues do raise some concerns about its long-term reliability.

Perfect for Specific Needs

Ideal for Unique Applications

This mixer was perfect for running a mic through guitar pedals. Its small footprint and built-in effects make it versatile for creating unique sounds. It's a solid choice for those needing a compact mixer with good functionality.

Soundcraft 12MTK: A Better Choice For Beginners

I know I have kind of shifted between the 12 and the 22 and thats because they are pretty much the same thing, you either need the extra channels (22MTK) or oyu don't (12MTK).

But the like its big bro, the Soundcraft 12MTK offers good sound quality and is fairly lightweight. The preamps are notable, as is the mid-range EQ. However, there are significant design flaws, like the problematic gain ratio and the lack of an on/off switch, which can be frustrating. It's a good mixer overall but be prepared for some quirks.

Tascam DP-24SD Digital Portastudio

If you're looking for a sturdy powerhouse, this is it. The Tascam DP-24SD Digital Portastudio packs a punch with features and functionality that will impress anyone looking to delve into recording.

Recording Capabilities

This unit is a marvel for recording enthusiasts. It allows you to record up to 8 tracks quickly and efficiently. Its standalone nature means you can do everything from recording tracks to mixdown without needing a computer. The convenience of transferring the mixdown wave file from the SD card to a computer is a huge plus. The sound quality? It's studio-grade!

Intuitive Design

Despite its sophistication, the DP-24SD has a manageable learning curve. Especially with the wealth of YouTube tutorials available, it doesn't take long to get to grips with its features. It’s particularly ideal for home studio use or solo gigs, as you get professional-level results without a huge investment in time or money.

Build and User Interface

The build quality of the DP-24SD is solid and professional. The full-color display and 24 tracks with assignable inputs make it a versatile tool for various recording scenarios. However, some users might find the menu sequences a bit non-intuitive, requiring some practice to master.

Effects and Mastering

One of the standout features is its array of on-board effects. Although, it’s worth noting that the dynamic/compressor effects are only available for live recording, not for existing WAV/track files. This might limit its appeal for some users looking for more flexibility in post-production.

Overall Impression

For its price, the Tascam DP-24SD offers incredible capabilities. It's perfect for musicians who prefer a hands-on approach to recording and mixing, without getting bogged down in complex software. It's a dream machine for many, offering the most bang for the buck. However, be prepared for some firmware quirks and keep in mind the limitations regarding dynamic effects for pre-recorded tracks.
In summary, the Tascam DP-24SD is an excellent choice for those looking to create professional-quality recordings in a user-friendly, standalone device.

Head 2 Head: Soundcraft Signature 22MTK or Tascam DP 24SD

The Soundcraft Signature 22MTK: A Powerhouse of a Mixing Console

Channeling Your Inner Producer

The Soundcraft Signature 22MTK is like a sonic Swiss army knife. It's an audio interface and multitrack recorder rolled into one. With this beast, your 4-piece band can lay down tracks like a pro, capturing up to 22 tracks simultaneously. It's the kind of studio equipment that can turn your garage band into a group of rock gods… or at least sound like it on playback.

Sound Quality and Support: Warm, Analog Sound

The Sweet Sound of Success

The digital mixer serves up a deliciously warm, analog sound that even the most discerning audiophile would give a nod of approval. Additionally, it has onboard effects buses for all your creative mixing needs. But hold onto your headphones, because the support from Soundcraft is also top-notch.

A Word of Caution: Setup Woes

This Mixer Isn't for Newbies

Setting up this recording equipment with Windows may make you want to pull out your hair and scream into one of its microphones (which it'll duly record with crystal clear quality). The documentation reads like stereo instructions… in Klingon. It's definitely not for beginners.

Early Impressions: Functionality Galore!

Turning Knobs and Pushing Buttons

The ability to use DAW plugins during live play is music to my ears. However, the lack of an on/off switch makes me question what the designers were thinking. I mean, who designs an audio interface without an on/off switch? It's like creating a car without a steering wheel.

Channel Issues and Sturdiness

The One Channel Wonder

Channel one having low gain and a hum is a bit of a downer. Though it's just one channel, it's like having one bad apple in the barrel: it kind of ruins the whole batch.

Tascam DP-24SD: The Standalone Star

Fully Loaded Recording Capabilities

The Tascam DP-24SD Digital Portastudio is the Bruce Lee of digital recording equipment: small but mighty. This analog to digital converter can record up to 8 tracks in one fell swoop, no computer required. The sound quality is studio-grade, which means your tracks will sound like they were recorded in Abbey Road Studios (minus the Beatles).

User-Friendly Design and Solid Build Quality

The Friendly Beast

Its user interface is as intuitive as they come, with 24 tracks and assignable inputs for various recording scenarios. However, some users might find the menu sequences akin to solving a Rubik's cube.

Effects and Mastering: A Mixed Bag

A Limitation or Two…

It has onboard effects that would make any music producer smile… until they realize that dynamic/compressor effects are only available for live recording. So if you're looking for more flexibility in post-production, you might be left wanting.

In Summary…

And the Winner Is…

Both the Soundcraft Signature 22MTK and the Tascam DP-24SD are heavy hitters in their own right. But as we all know, there can be only one winner. After weighing the pros and cons, I hereby declare the Tascam DP-24SD Digital Portastudio as the undisputed champion of this face-off.

Despite its limitations in post-production effects, it offers incredible value for money. It's ideal for home studio use or solo gigs, offering professional-level results without requiring a huge investment. So if you're a musician who prefers a hands-on approach to recording and mixing, without getting lost in the labyrinth of complex software, then this is the multitrack recorder for you.

Remember though, every music producer has different needs and preferences. Ultimately, it's about finding the recording equipment that resonates with your unique style and workflow. Rock on!