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

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 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: Soundcraft Signature 22MTK or Tascam Model 16

Going Gaga Over the Soundcraft Signature 22MTK

The Soundcraft Signature 22MTK has turned out to be quite the audio mixer. It's like having a full recording console in a compact package, allowing my band and I to lay down live recordings with ease. The ability to record up to 22 tracks simultaneously is like a dream come true.

Sound Quality and Stellar Support

What really rocks is the warm, analog sound this mixing desk provides, giving our music that old-school, vintage vibe. And let's not forget those onboard effects buses — they're like having a mini-recording studio at your fingertips! The Soundcraft team deserves a shout-out too for their top-notch support before and after purchase.

A Bit of a Headache for Beginners

But let me tell you, setting up this bad boy wasn't exactly child's play. The manual might as well have been written in ancient hieroglyphs for all the help it provided. And trying to find useful setup tips online? Forget about it! It's clear that the Soundcraft 22MTK isn't for beginners — it's more an analog mixer for those who know their way around a mixing board.

First Impressions of the Soundcraft Signature

Despite some initial hiccups, I've been waxing lyrical about its routing capabilities and built-in Lexicon effects. Plus, being able to use DAW plugins during live play is nothing short of amazing. However, I'm still scratching my head over why there's no on/off switch or inserts.

A Few Niggles with the Soundcraft 22MTK

I have had some issues with channel one showing low gain and producing a hum, which is concerning given the mixer's limited usage. While it's generally a sturdy piece, these glitches have raised some eyebrows about its long-term reliability.

It's Got the Right Stuff

All things considered, this live sound mixer hits all the right notes for my specific needs. It's compact, versatile, and has built-in effects that make it ideal for creating unique sounds.

Onto the Tascam Model 16

Switching gears to the Tascam Model 16, I was impressed with the build quality of this digital mixer right out of the box. Even though it was used, it looked and performed like brand new.

Usability and Versatility of Tascam Model 16

This mixing board is incredibly user-friendly, blending old-school simplicity with modern versatility. It's perfect for those who prefer keeping their hands on knobs and faders rather than clicking around on a computer screen.

Sound Quality and Inputs

The Tascam Model 16 serves up some fantastic sound quality — both for recording and live sound — but I did feel a bit short-changed when I realized that channels 15/16 were “virtual” and there was a dedicated Bluetooth channel.

Recording Experience with Tascam Model 16

When it comes to recording, this audio mixer shines brighter than a disco ball at an '80s party. The analog summing and HDDA preamps give your recordings a warm, rich tone that'll make your ears do a happy dance.

Tascam Software and Connectivity Hiccups

However, where this recording console stumbles is on its software side. The absence of MIDI connectivity is like missing a beat, and the lack of FX return means having to sacrifice tracks if you want to use external effects.

Tascam Model 16: The Final Verdict

Despite these drawbacks, the Tascam Model 16 is a solid performer. It's perfect for those looking to record live performances or want an easy-to-use interface for home recording.

And the Winner Is…

Drumroll, please! After careful consideration, I'm giving my seal of approval to the Soundcraft Signature 22MTK. While both mixers have their strengths and weaknesses, it's the Soundcraft's superior sound quality, impressive functionality, and exceptional support that make it the clear winner. It might challenge beginners with its setup and documentation shortcomings, but once you get past those hurdles, it's a dream machine for any serious band or musician. So there you have it folks – may your music always be perfectly mixed!