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Hardware/Software for Macintosh (M-Audio410 / Tascam fw1884)


I sent a similar message to this to Teac (Tascam). I own a Mac (Powermac latest one) with M-audio's FireWire 410. It has turned out to be insufficient since I want to be able to simultaneously record more than 4 line/mic inputs. M-audio says I should purchase a stereo mixer. But it seems the new Tascam Tascam fw1884 will be better...if so, I will consider buying it and selling the M-audio 410. Please, if anyone with more experience is able to confirm if this is what will serve my needs, I would appreciate it.

Mic inputs--->4
Guitar line-->2
keyboard line-->2

all into the Tascam mixer--->
Mixer---output left/right stereo out

into--->MAC (garage band, etc.)

(In which case I do not need to use software mixing).
(Nor do I need to worry about getting software that records more than one track at a time, since I am doing it on the hardware side.

Is the Tascam product right for me or is it overkill? Would it be better to just get an audio mixer premixing all the signals and sending to Firewire 410 by M-Audio?

M-Audio's solution seems a waste--two much hardware:

instruments and voice-
line/mic mixer
firewire 410

--> mac

So I am hoping the Tascam will solve my needs.


I am based much of the year in Japan, but right now am in the US. I will also be passing through the UK and Denmark before going back to Japan in a few weeks. If I buy it from a US or UK or Danish retailer and ship it is that preferable to Japan? I am wary of complicated Japanese manauls and want to make sure I can get it with English instructions with Japanese 100 voltage possibility.

Thanks very much and sorry to take your time.

Paul Arenson


Member for

51 years 5 months

arenson Mon, 01/31/2005 - 11:08


Correction to my earlier post.......

First, I meant the Tascam fw1882

Not the 1884

Which is a firewire piece of hardware with mixer...the best of both worlds since I am an analog person at heart and like doing the mix in real time on a piece of hardware.

Which is why I thought EITHER--> selling my M-Audio and getting the Tascam fw1082 as a stand alone product, OR getting a regular mixer and KEEPING my current M-audio.


I quote and add my further questions:

Thomas--->"you could get a mixer, but you do not need one--do not forget digi 002 and 002r--lately i hear alot good about RMEyou could get a mixer, but you do not need one--do not forget digi 002 and 002r--lately i hear alot good about RME"

Yes, they look good, that is another way....
Does the Pro Audio Digi 002 lock you into Pro-tools, or can you use it with Garage Band?

Ed State--->
TRY ""

This looks very much like my current M-Audio Firewire 410. I can't see how you can have more than 2 seems to say two MIC INPUTS, yet I see a third microphone.

But maybe I am misunderstanding.

I note they have a product in Japan which is like the M-Audio 410 but which seems to handle even more inputs....perhaps that is the one I should get--->


In any case, it seems my options are--->

(1) keep firewire410

and ADD MIXER (Which one is another question? I was told by someone in a music store to go for a Mackie rather than a cheaper Yamaha, but not sure I need a 500 dollar mixer)

(2) Get rid of the firewire 410 and replace with

a) fw1882 (Tascam)--a combo mixer and firewire interface


b) digi 002 and 002r (which seem to be something like the TAscam in functionality), if they are available in Japan.



c)Edirol FA66

Which seems to be unclear about how many mic sources I can plug in


d) Edirol fa 101
Which seems to be a competitopr with my M-audio firewire and yet offrer (maybe?) more mic inputs.

IN any case, I am leaning toward either the Pro-tools or Tascam simply because I think I can do the mixing on the machine with real faders...but not sure.

Would be interested in more opinions.



Member for

17 years 6 months
Profile picture for user maintiger

maintiger Mon, 01/31/2005 - 11:17

what model mac do you have? is it at least a G4, running os X? That will determine much of what you can and can not use as OS X is the great divide...

I don't know how far garage band can take you- If you want pro results you should get one the the pro daws, such as digital performer, logic, etc. Of course, for playing around garage band might be just fine...

Member for

51 years 5 months

arenson Tue, 02/08/2005 - 11:51

maintiger wrote: what model mac do you have? is it at least a G4, running os X? That will determine much of what you can and can not use as OS X is the great divide...

I don't know how far garage band can take you- If you want pro results you should get one the the pro daws, such as digital performer, logic, etc. Of course, for playing around garage band might be just fine...

Thanks for the reply. Have been in SPain, UK, Denmark and Iceland.....back home (Japan) next week. So did not see this message.

I have the latest powerbook G¤ Osx...Heard that GB has a new version that handles multiple tracks at the same time.....meaning I guess that one does not have to premix down to one or two channels or left and right (a la the Tascam product I was referring to) before ghetting sound into the computer. But point t aken about a better program. Am looking for one that is technophobe friendly.....

So that is one question....which may or may not be independent of the main question---what firewire product to get that will allow more than two micorphone inputs as well as multiple line inputs.

And then, whether to do the mixing within the program or, as in the case of the Tascam, in the mixer, effctively recording two channels )or or two tracks) at a time. I only lean toward that because I feel most comfortable with an external mixer, a that is what I used in the old reel to reel days when I had a Tascam 4 channel tape recorder and used a patch bay so that the two channel mixer I was using could record two channels at a time, then used that to play back and mix again into the mixer and a second taperecorder....



Member for

51 years 5 months

arenson Tue, 02/08/2005 - 12:41

more on digital performer

Hi again...took a look at Digital Performer and it looked familiar---about 5 years ago I used a midi prodcut of their called Free style, which I found easy to learn, though Midi is not my strong point or main interest. I liked how it compenated (to a degree) for bad timing on the part of the performer. So you have me interested.

The thing I have troubleunderstanding is..if I am recording multiple inputs at a time (a few mics--possibly 3) plus stereo keyboard, etc., do I want to record into the computer and keep those tracks separate or mix them down from the beginning? It seems the main point of the tascam is that it allows you to premix all the sounds (well up to the maximum amount of inputs), so in theory you get the same two outputs as in days of old for home recording.)

Otherwise, why the mixer-like interface design?
SEVERAL comptering products shown here.



I like the mixer interface...but am wondering....if I already have the firewire 410 with its limit of two mics, why not just get a regular audio mixer and mix down into the wirewire, or is there some
reason to get an firewire device that looks like a mixer if all I want to do is get a final two channels of audio....this is all very confusing.



Member for

51 years 5 months

arenson Wed, 02/09/2005 - 05:13

To Maintiger

I have re-read all the posts (mine and your response) and THINK I understand why one would have a firewire interface that looks like a mixer......Let me see if I am getting closer...

If one wants to have the convenience of the old time mixers, then we plug into the various inputs, and connect the computer to it. The computer display, I guess (if using a product like Digital Performer or perhaps the latest version of Garage Band) will simply mirror the tracks, so I do not have to use the mixer interface to mix down to 2 tracks..That can take place after I have the song on the computer. Am I getting it?

I saw that the Machie described above has some issues with Midi on OSX, and I guess I want to have Midi.

I really like the familiarity óf the Tascam, and from the pictures, the Digidesign, the Mackie.....and--assuming I can use any of these to input simultaneously, say 3 mics (none need phamtom power)--two for voice and one for guitar, 2 keyboard line outputs, possibly a guitar line output and midi, and do it mostly using the mixer interface, then mix down to two channels on the computer (can we still use the mixer controls for that if we want???), I will be happy.

Hope my understanding is getting closer.

Pleasze let me know any suggestions on which interface, cavetas, etc. I tend to be a ptechnophobe who learns best by exploring and feel most comfortable with the traditional mixers. Do not care if effects are in the mixer or in the software.

I only use digital delay (echo) for the most part to add presenceto music, which is acoustic. So Iwill not need all sorts of returns and patchs and things like that....

For me, simple is best.

Thanks in advance.