Tascam Model 24 Vs. Zoom LiveTrak L 8: 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 24 vs. Zoom LiveTrak L 8.

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 24 and Zoom LiveTrak L 8. 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 24

Classic Analog Feel with Modern Capabilities

The Tascam Model 24 really brings back that classic feel of a mixing desk, blending nostalgia with modern functionality. It's user-friendly, and the sound quality is top-notch. The integration with my Mac for DAW use was seamless, making the transfer of tracks a breeze. It's a great way to step back from a purely digital interface and enjoy the tactile experience of an analog mixer.

Old School Vibe Meets Modern Tech

The feeling of using this Tascam mixer is akin to the experience I had with my first 4-track cassette in the '80s, but with the added benefits of today's tech. It's an excellent blend of the past and present.

Sturdy and Reliable

In terms of build and reliability, I haven't encountered any issues during my use. It's a solid piece of equipment that feels like it can withstand regular use and the occasional rigors of transport.

Pros and Cons

On the upside, the mixer offers great sound quality and an easy learning curve. It's particularly appealing for those looking to combine the hands-on feel of traditional mixing with modern recording capabilities. The built-in audio interface, compressor, preamps, and equalizers are like getting multiple pieces of equipment in one.

However, there are a couple of limitations. It only has two monitor sends, and the instructions provided can be a bit lacking. Some users may find the need to rely on online resources or videos to fully grasp all its features.

Overall Impression

The Tascam Model 24 is a fantastic choice for musicians or engineers looking for an analog-style mixer with the conveniences of modern technology. It's particularly suitable for home studios or small live setups. While it may have a couple of shortcomings, they are outweighed by its overall functionality and performance. This mixer provides a unique and satisfying experience for those who appreciate the charm of analog with the benefits of digital technology.

Zoom LiveTrak L-8

Zoom LiveTrak L-8: The Portable Powerhouse

I got my hands on the Zoom LiveTrak L-8, and let me tell you, it's like having a field recorder on steroids. This thing's versatile and solid – despite some calling it cheap, my experience says otherwise. I've got two of these, and they've held up well.

Professional Features, Battery-Powered Convenience

The L-8 packs features you'd expect from a pro-level unit – backlighted buttons, effects, presets, recording options, and even a battery backup. After 12 months of use, not a single hiccup. It's got a very robust feel to it. Beginners, intermediates, pros – this mixer's a solid buy for all. David Shanhun on YouTube showcases its capabilities well, so check him out for some real-world usage.

Mac Compatibility and Customer Service Woes

Now, it's not all perfect. I've had issues with my Mac Mini M1 – the mixer doesn't always stay connected after a power cycle. Customer service hasn't been a great help either. Bypassing my USB hub with a direct connection seemed to improve things, though.

Pre-Amps and Recording Excellence

What really stands out are the six high-performance pre-amps, each with phantom power. It's tough finding a portable recorder with this quality. The board's layered menu-driven controls can be overwhelming at first, but they open up a world of great recording possibilities. Those 6 assignable Sound Pads with 13 preset sounds are a blast, adding an extra dimension, especially for podcasters.

Great for Podcasting and Mixing

It's not just for recording; the L-8 is a fantastic tool for podcasting and mixing. The phone integration is a nice touch too. As an audio interface, it's a winner – plug it into a USB power bank, and you're set for high-quality recordings anywhere.

Live Streaming and Solo Acts

For church livestreaming or solo acts, it's a breeze to use. It's got way more features than I've tapped into yet, but it's been smooth sailing so far. The effects are usable, unlike many other mixers I've encountered, which is a major plus for live performances.

Recording and Interface Capabilities

As an audio interface, it's top-notch. You can record at 48/32, which is a step up from most interfaces offering a fixed 24-bit rate. The digital recorder is simple to use – just record your gig, pop the SD card into your computer, and drag and drop the audio files into your DAW.
Final Verdict

This mixer is a dream device for podcasters and small bands. It combines mixing and recording in a portable package that runs on batteries or power banks. The preamps sound amazing, making mics like the Shure Beta 58 sound fuller and richer. The only downside? You can use only one effect for all tracks, so no combining effects or using different ones on different tracks. But overall, highly recommended!

Head 2 Head: Tascam Model 24 or Zoom LiveTrak L 8

The Tascam Model 24: Vintage Vibes with a Tech Twist

The Tascam Model 24 really knows how to pull at those nostalgia heartstrings, doesn't it? It's like hopping into a time machine back to the 80s, but with the added bonus of today’s tech. It's an audio mixer that gives you that old school charm combined with modern capabilities. The sound quality? Top-tier. The integration with Mac for DAW use is as smooth as butter on hot toast – making track transfer feel like a walk in the park. This digital mixing console offers an old-school tactile experience that many of us have been yearning for in our increasingly digital world.

Built Like a Tank

This multi-track recorder is not just all about nostalgia and charm; it's also about durability. The Tascam Model 24 handles regular use and transport like a champ – no signs of wear or tear on my end after months of use. Pros and Cons

As with everything in life, there are upsides and downsides. On the plus side, this studio recording equipment offers superb sound quality and isn't afraid to show off its easy learning curve. It's perfect for those who love the hands-on feel of traditional mixing mixed (pun intended) with modern recording capabilities. However, it's not all unicorns and rainbows here. With only two monitor sends, it can be limiting for some users. And let's be real – the instructions could definitely use some sprucing up.

A Classic Reimagined

All in all, the Tascam Model 24 is ideal for musicians or engineers seeking an analog-style mixer supplemented by modern technology perks. If you're setting up a home studio or a small live setup, this could be your new best friend.

Zoom LiveTrak L-8: The Little Mixer That Could

On the other side of the audio mixer comparison, we have the Zoom LiveTrak L-8. This portable recording mixer is like a field recorder that's been hitting the gym – it's packed with power and ready to flex.

Pro Features in a Compact Package

Despite its size, the L-8 isn't afraid to show off its professional features. Backlit buttons, effects, presets—you name it. And did I mention it's battery-powered? This live sound recording equipment has got your back even during power outages. However, be prepared for some hiccups if you're using a Mac Mini M1. The connection can be temperamental after power cycling. But hey, no one's perfect!

Pre-Amps and Recording Prowess

The six high-performance pre-amps on this digital mixing console are truly something to write home about. It's like finding a unicorn in the world of portable recorders. The board's menu-driven controls may take some getting used to, but once you do, you'll be rewarded with fantastic recording possibilities.

A Podcaster’s Dream

The Zoom LiveTrak L-8 isn't just for recording; it also excels in podcasting and mixing. With phone integration and battery-powered convenience, it’s an excellent tool for high-quality recordings on-the-go.

Built for Livestreaming and Solo Acts

Church livestreams? Solo gigs? The Zoom LiveTrak L-8 handles them effortlessly. Its effects are actually usable (a rarity, I know), giving your live performances that extra oomph.

Recording and Interface Capabilities

As an audio interface, it's top-of-the-line. You can record at 48/32, which sets it apart from most interfaces with a fixed 24-bit rate. The digital recorder is a breeze to use – just record, pop the SD card into your computer, and voila! Final Thoughts

The Zoom LiveTrak L-8 is a dream come true for podcasters and small bands. It's a portable package that combines mixing and recording capabilities, which makes it an excellent choice for on-the-go recording sessions. The only downside? You can only use one effect for all tracks.

And the Winner Is…

So who takes the cake in this audio mixer comparison? After a tough battle between these two studio recording equipment titans, the crown goes to… drumroll please… the Tascam Model 24. Its blend of classic analog feel with modern tech capabilities gives you an experience that's hard to beat. It’s like enjoying your favorite vintage wine in a high-tech wine glass – you get the best of both worlds. While both mixers have their strengths and weaknesses, the Tascam Model 24 offers more versatility for a wider range of users. Whether you're setting up your home studio or getting ready for live sound recording sessions, this digital mixing console has got your back.