Tascam Model 12 Vs. Yamaha TF1: 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: Tascam Model 12 vs. Yamaha TF1.

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 Tascam Model 12 and Yamaha TF1. 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.

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.

Yamaha TF1 Digital Mixing Console

I've been using the Yamaha TF1 on and off for about 4 years now, and I've got a pretty solid grasp on what it brings to the table. Let's dive into the good, the bad, and the, well, kind of ugly.

Initial Impressions and Learning Curve

When I first got the TF1, I was pretty stoked. It's a Yamaha, after all. But it's important to note that this isn't built by the same folks who make the more professional QL/CL consoles. It's more of a consumer-level product. The user interface feels a bit like a game on a smartphone. It's intuitive for newbies, but for a pro, it's a bit too simplistic. There's a learning curve, sure, but it's not as steep as with some other consoles.

Limited Functionality and Routing

Here's where the TF1 might let you down. The routing options are pretty limited, especially when it comes to Dante routing. And you're stuck with the Dugan auto-mixer on the first bank of channels, with no option to reassign it. This lack of flexibility can be a bit frustrating if you're used to more control.

Performance: Pros and Cons

The TF1 is pretty solid for its price point. It competes well with mixers like the X32 or the Soundcraft Impact. The sound quality is decent, and it's pretty reliable for live music or corporate events. However, if you're an experienced sound engineer, you might find it a bit too basic.

User Experience: Mixed Feelings

The interface… let's just say it's a bit of a love-hate situation. If you're comfortable with tablet-style controls, you might like it. But if you're more of a knobs-and-buttons person, it can be frustrating. The output patching, especially with a TIO involved, is not the most user-friendly.

On the plus side, the price is attractive. It's a decent console for someone on a budget. It does the job, and from the audience's perspective, it sounds fine.

Final Thoughts

So, after using the Yamaha TF1 for a significant amount of time, I've got to say – it's okay. It's not going to blow your mind, but it's not going to disappoint you too much either. It's great for settings where you've got volunteers running the show, thanks to its simplicity. But if you're looking for something with more depth, more flexibility, you might want to look elsewhere.
If you're considering the TF1, my advice is to really think about what you need from your mixer. If you're okay with the limitations and are looking for something easy to use, it's a solid choice. But if you're after more advanced features, you might want to explore other options in the same price range.

Head 2 Head: Tascam Model 12 or Yamaha TF1

In the red corner weighing in with multi-track recording, DAW interfacing, and Bluetooth connectivity is the Tascam Model 12. And in the blue corner, we've got the Yamaha TF1, a decent contender that's been in my arsenal for about four years. Let's get ready to rumble!

The Tascam Model 12 – Jack of All Trades

This sound mixing console is a Swiss Army knife of studio recording equipment. Yes, it's like that mysterious relative who seems to have an uncanny ability for everything from cooking a gourmet meal to fixing your car. Its versatility is admirable, acting as an audio interface and an analog-to-digital converter with dual inputs accepting both XLR and 1/4 inch TRS.

Connectivity with Tascam Model 12

It gets along best with USB 2.0 sockets directly hooked up to the motherboard. It’s a bit like my grandma using her rotary phone – it works great if you stick to the old-school methods. Some users have reported issues when hooking up to USB 3.0 ports, so just keep that in mind. Now Let's Talk Sound Quality

The Model 12 doesn’t just talk; it sings! Users can't stop praising its clean output over headphones or monitors. Its Midi In and Out are like cherries on top of this live sound production equipment.

Phantom Power?

Here's where things get a bit tricky! The Phantom Power option is global and needs careful handling (like handling nitroglycerin). Make sure it’s off before powering up to protect any connected mics not requiring phantom power. How about Software Integration?

Fear not, DAW users! The Model 12 plays well with others, though it does require a bit of setup. It's like a new roommate; give it some time to adjust, and you'll both get along just fine.

Here’s the Inside Scoop on Tascam Model 12

There are some user tips you might find handy. For instance, the Sub Button on each channel arms the Headphones bus essential for monitoring. Remember, the effects only work if all the Solo buttons are disarmed. And don’t think like an old-timer – you don't need to press Play along with Record when making a track. Overall Takeaway

Despite some quirks and a steep learning curve (think of it as climbing Everest), the Tascam Model 12 is a solid piece of equipment offering great value. It's perfect for those looking to take a hands-on approach to recording and mixing.

Moving on to Yamaha TF1

Like its competitor, Yamaha TF1 is intuitive but leans more on the side of simplicity – think playing Candy Crush versus Chess. It’s great for beginners but may leave pros wanting more. Limited Functionality and Routing?

The TF1 does have some limitations when it comes to routing options (especially Dante routing) and fixed Dugan auto-mixer assignments which can be frustrating for those used to having more control.

The Performance Factor

The TF1 holds up pretty well against competitors like X32 or Soundcraft Impact, especially considering its price point. It’s decent for live music or corporate events but may leave experienced sound engineers craving more. A Love-Hate User Experience?

If you’re comfortable with tablet-style controls, you’ll enjoy using this digital mixer. But if you’re more of a knobs-and-buttons person, brace yourself for possible frustration. On the plus side, it’s a budget-friendly option that does the job and sounds pretty good to the audience.

Final Thoughts on Yamaha TF1

The Yamaha TF1 is just… okay. It’s not going to rock your world, but it won’t be a letdown either. It’s suitable for settings where volunteers are running the show, thanks to its simplicity. After this intense match-up, I have to declare the Tascam Model 12 as our champion! Despite its learning curve, it offers more flexibility and features than the Yamaha TF1. It's an excellent choice for those yearning for a hands-on approach to their recording and mixing needs. So, go ahead and add this champ to your studio recording equipment collection!