TASCAM iU2 audio/MIDI interface for USB and iDevices: first test

As I recently posted a test recording of TASCAM’S iM2 digital stereo condenser microphone, I figured I should do something similar for the other recording product of theirs that I acquired around the same time: the iU2*. This is a USB Mac/PC audio/MIDI (recording) interface with a difference: an additional “dock” connector cable to give native support for apps on the Apple iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad (such as Garageband and Multitrack DAW).

Without further ado, here is my first test recording with the iU2, a multitracked acoustic guitar rendition of “Argiers”, a traditional tune probably best-known through Mike Oldfield’s 1976 arrangement (the B-side of the “Portsmouth” single outside the UK):

I posted fairly copious notes at the Soundcloud page for this recording, but here’s an excerpt:

“This acoustic guitar recording tests the two mike inputs on the iU2 – I used a matched pair of Behringer C2 “pencil” condenser mikes, set up in an X/Y configuration close to the guitar (about 20cm)… The iU2 here is connected to a 4th-generation iPod Touch via the dock connector (and a dock extension cable), running the Multitrack DAW app for the recording. There are three stereo tracks in this piece: 12-string (Seagull S12 – panned left); 6-string (Faith Saturn – panned right) and 6-string solo. I haven’t applied effects or EQ; this is more or less the raw recordings, warts and all (and I laid this down in a hurry, so there are plenty!).”

The iU2 deserves a pretty thorough review, and I’m currently assembling thoughts and impressions for a “short-term” one (hopefully to be followed by a “long-term” review in a few months’ time). In the meantime, hope you enjoy the recording, and that it gives you a first idea of what this unit is capable of.

* Note: I would like to link to TASCAM’s iU2 product Web page, but there’s a problem: the page no longer exists. I have scoured the Web for clues to what is going on; no firm details, but the “word on the street” is that TASCAM has withdrawn the iU2, possibly temporarily whilst bugs and issues are worked on. I suspect the chief reason may be that the iU2’s dock connector is the “old” 30-pin one—recently replaced by Apple with their new “Lightning” connector—and TASCAM have confirmed that the iU2 does not work with the new iDevices (iPhone 5, iPad mini, iPad “4”, iPod Touch 5th-gen), even with the 30-pin-Lightning adapter. One rumour suggests the iU2 may be revamped and relaunched at a later date—if this happens, please note that I own and review(ed) the “original” model!)

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