Podcasting is still a thing right? Perhaps the live broadcast via Periscope, Facebook or Twitch is a bit more on-trend these days. In either case the setup and capture of decent quality for streaming onto the internet can be annoyingly complicated. Tascam may have the perfect solution in their new MiNiSTUDIO interfaces for personal production and online broadcasting.
The key to successful podcasting is speed and minimal post production. This is even more important (obviously) when doing live streaming. It needs to be off-the-cuff and on-the-hoof, it’s all done in the moment. The annoyingly capitalised MiNiSTUDIO has a handful of features that could be very useful.
First of all it’s a high quality audio interface for OSX, Windows and iOS. It allows you to plug in a microphone and instrument and record or stream directly onto your computer. Nothing new there. What is new is the row of pads on the top. The first three are pad triggers referred to as “PON” (no, I don’t know what PON means either). They appear to trigger three sound effect samples. By default these are a bell, a buzzer and some applause. They can be replaced with anything you like. I can imagine using a musical ident, jingle or interlude between segments of your broadcast.
The fourth pad is used to enable the oh-so-hilarious vocal effects that no one in their right mind would ever actually use. Pitch shift, wobble, echo and walkie-talkie are examples of things you would never turn on. Such fun!
Behind the scenes there are some more serious tools in the software driven EQ, reverb and compression.
There are two versions of the MiNiSTUDIO. The MiNiSTUIDO Personal US-32 has just the one mic input and no instrument support. The MiniSTUDIO Creator US-42 has the two mic and instrument inputs and also has a second mode which transforms it into a fully fledged regular audio interface. In the original mode the US-42 (fixed in the US-32) operates as a broadcast device where everything going through the box is output in a single stream. Hit the big red “On Air” button and you’re off.
It’s an interesting and useful idea for people wanting to live stream or podcast with the minimum of fuss. They look pretty dodgy and some of the features may seem a bit Micky Mouse to us more professional music tech snobs, but I can’t deny that the MiNiSTUDIO may well make the life of the next budding internet sensation that bit easier.
The MiNiSTUDIO Personal US-32 and Creator US-42 are available now for $129.99 and $179.99 respectively.
More information on the Tascam MiNiSTUDIO product page.