Designed to be ultra-portable, the Tascam iXR apparently “offers possibilities for new styles of music creation”. I’m not entirely sure how musical style and portability are related but it does look like Tascam have put some thought into this new stereo USB audio interface.
Tascam iXR – slim and recessed
It’s very squat. The thickness of the interface is just enough to accommodate the height of an XLR socket. The case is smooth and made from rolled aluminium with no sharp edges. All the knobs and controls on the front panel are protected by being slightly recessed behind the edges of the case. The idea is that it can be stuffed it in a bag without worrying about knobs being knocked off or broken.
i is for iOS
The “i” in the “iXR”, of course, refers to the wonderful world of the Apple iPad. Tascam are pushing this as the ultimate iPad music studio device. The iXR has been certified by the MFi (Made for iPhone/iPad/iPod) program that Apple uses to certify accessories for the iOS device. As far as I can make out this means when you connect it via the Lighting-USB cable it doesn’t give an error message. That’s awesome development right there. It even has an iOS app for changing the settings which, wait for it, is free! There is some genuine good stuff here though. The Tascam provides both audio and MIDI into your iOS device which is rarer than you’d think. It also removes the license restrictions on the free demo version of Steinberg Cubasis LE DAW for iPad – that’s pretty cool.
Power is always an issue with iOS devices and when connected to an iPad the iXR requires AC power. This can be supplied by a regular iOS device AC adapter or you can plug in the rather natty Tascam BP-6AA external battery pack.
Back on the Desktop
As a bit of an after-thought it also works on OSX and Windows over USB2 and can be bus powered. And in the box there’s a download code for Cubase LE 8.
All the usual features
On the box are all the things to expect from a stereo in/out audio interface. Mic and line inputs and support for plugging a guitar directly in. Headphone output on a mini-jack and the very welcome MIDI interface.
The Tascam iXR is available now for €145 and more information can be found on the Tascam iXR product page.