Soundcraft Signature 22MTK 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: Soundcraft Signature 22MTK 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 Soundcraft Signature 22MTK 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.

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-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: Soundcraft Signature 22MTK or Tascam DP 32SD

Getting Down and Dirty with Soundcraft Signature 22MTK

Our friend, the Soundcraft Signature 22MTK here has been throwing its weight around my studio for a couple of weeks now. With the band, we've been recording live sessions straight to our PC-based DAW. The audio interface capability of this digital mixer enables us to record up to 22 tracks simultaneously. Yeah, you heard it right, 22 tracks! It's like we're running a full-fledged recording console in our garage.

The Scoop on Sound Quality and Support

The Soundcraft Signature Series isn't just about slinging out tons of tracks. This beast delivers a warm, analog sound that gets us all gooey inside. The onboard effects processor is the cherry on top – allowing for some truly creative mixing. And hey, Soundcraft support has been more helpful than my GPS on a road trip.

The Learning Curve: Not for the Faint-hearted

Now let's be real here. This ain't your granny's knitting tutorial. Setting up this mixer with Windows felt like trying to solve a Rubik's Cube blindfolded while riding a unicycle. The manual? Yeah, more like a cryptic puzzle than instructions.

Early Days: All Grit and Grind

Despite the learning curve, this multitrack recorder does have some impressive routing capabilities – especially when it comes to outboard gear integration. And those onboard Lexicon effects are sweeter than grandma’s peach pie! Plus, being able to use DAW plugins during live play? Big win! But what gives with no on/off switch or inserts? A bit of an oversight if you ask me.

Channel Quirks and Durability Questions

Here’s where things get dicey. Channel one has been acting up with low gain and a hum. Not exactly what you want from your studio recording equipment, right? While the mixer feels solid, this raises eyebrows about its long-term reliability.

Soundcraft Signature 22MTK: Built for Peculiar Needs

But hey, if you're into running a mic through guitar pedals (and who isn't?), this mixer is a dream come true. Its small footprint and built-in effects make it versatile for creating unique sounds.

Entering the Ring: Tascam DP-32SD Digital Portastudio

Now let's talk about the Tascam DP-32SD, a powerhouse in the Tascam DP series. This bad boy steps things up with enhanced preamps and 32-track recording capability – all without that pesky hard drive noise, thanks to its SDHC card-based operation.

Key Features of Tascam DP-32SD

Think of the DP-32SD as a 20-track recorder with 8 mono tracks and 12 extra stereo or mono tracks. Sure, it lacks MIDI and S/PDIF inputs – not a big concern if you're all about analog inputs. Its punch-in and out functions are slicker than ice, and the layout of the menu and LED buttons? Improved from its predecessor.

Recording Quality: A Clear Winner

The recording quality on this multitrack recorder is stellar! It records at 24bit 48kHz without any annoying clicks, pops or stutters making it an ideal choice for those wanting to skip complicated DAW setups.

A Workflow Powerhouse

When it comes to workflow, this machine is like an energy drink on steroids! You can record up to eight tracks simultaneously without needing a PC or Mac. Live band recording? No problem! It's easily portable and handles numerous simultaneous inputs like a champ.

Learning Curve: Not as Steep

Yes, there’s a learning curve but buddy, YouTube tutorials are your best friend here. With some patience and persistence, you'll be up and running in no time.

Build Quality: Built to Last

The Tascam DP-32SD feels solid as a rock. Some knobs might feel a tad light, but that doesn’t distract from its overall sturdy construction.

Integration with DAW: Seamless

While it shines as a standalone recorder, transferring files to a DAW for further editing and mixing is as smooth as butter on hot toast. For those who like their analog recording with a side of digital editing, this one's for you. And drum roll please… the winner is… the Tascam DP-32SD Digital Portastudio! Despite the steep learning curve of the Soundcraft Signature 22MTK and its impressive capabilities, the Tascam DP-32SD takes the throne due to its superior recording quality, foolproof workflow, sturdy build quality and seamless integration with DAWs. It's an ideal choice for those who want to record multiple tracks simultaneously without getting tangled in complex software setups. Whether you're rocking out in your garage or at an underground gig – this bad boy won't let you down!