After Zoom gave me something to think about with their new Thunderbolt interface, the Japanese innovators hit me with the UAC-8 USB 3.0 interface. This new single spaced rack mounted audio interface puts Zoom at the very forefront of technological design in their price point with a class compliant design that works with iPad as well as PC and Mac. A sleek design, range of connections and super-fast data transfer makes this a very appealing concept for anyone wanting a new audio converter for their home recording setup.
READY, SET, RECORD
When it comes to drums, you really need to get eight microphones on the go to really capture the full sound. This is not always easy with many USB interfaces as they are often limited to two or four simultaneous inputs. What The UAC-8 offers is a range of connections to make this a very viable solution as a standalone unit, or as part of a greater system with additional hardware and peripherals. With eight combination XLR/TRS connections on the front panel, you can run eight microphones or line level inputs at once from this one unit. On the rear, eight line level outputs are supplied along with a main output pair for monitoring. If you need expansion, there is MIDI in and out, Word Clock, SP/DIF and ADAT connections too, making this a great base for building a larger setup.
IPAD, PC & MAC
Zoom have ensured that everyone can multi-track with the UAC-8 with just about any device. As well as using you desktop or laptop computer, you can also record with an iPad with the UAC-8. Working with my laptop, it delivered lightning fast audio transfer that sounded great and showed no audible latency issues. All this, running into a USB 2.0 connection, so it should only be better with a faster port on the computer. It shares the same sleek design as the TAC-2, with a large volume knob drawing your attention at first glance. It’s worth noting that the UAC8 isn’t the only unit in the USB friendly family. As is the case with their thunderbolt cousins, marching proudly alongside the UAC8 is the UAC2, a smaller and more portable configuration of the UAC8 for those that don’t require the full capability of the UAC8 but still require its power.
Hits and Misses
8 microphones preamps on one rack unit
MIDI, SP/DIF, ADAT and Word Clock all accounted for
iPad Class Compliant
Great latency response with high sampling rates
Touchy gain controls with delicate knobs
• Analogue Inputs: 8 x XLR/TRS combo inputs
• Analogue Outputs: 2 x 1/4” (main), 8 x 1/4” (line), 2 x 1/4” (headphones)
• Digital Inputs: 1 x coaxial, 1 x optical
• Digital Outputs: 1 x coaxial, 1 x optical
• Phantom Power: yes