Zoom L12 vs Tascam Model 12

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Zoom L12 vs Tascam Model 12

Post by TomJack »

Has anybody compared these 2 mixers?

I’m looking for something that can record to SD card, work as an interface (for when I need more inputs than my EVO 4) and work as a live desk.

Both fit the bill and seem reasonably priced. The Zoom is a bit cheaper and seems a bit more intuitive to use and can record 2 more tracks.
The Tascam has midi, physical eq knobs and a few more useful features.

Main thing though it sound. I’ve been disappointed in the past with some units (many years ago moved from Tascam 564 to a Fostex machine and the sound quality was nowhere near).

I've also had interfaces that sounded pretty bad, but fortunately the little Audient Evo sounds great. So I’m not after anything high end sound wise just clean and transparent preamps with a bit of punch.

I would imagine both units achieve that nowadays but my perception in the Tascam would sound a bit better.

So any thoughts appreciated, mainly on the sound but also anything on user experience of either, advantages, limitations etc.
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Re: Zoom L12 vs Tascam Model 12

Post by Music Wolf »

I've only used the L-12, so I can't make comparisons. What I can say about the L-12 is that it’s a very capable unit but with that capability comes complexity. If you are mixing whilst playing it is very easy to loose track of which mix is being controlled by the faders (Main / Aux A / Aux B etc). The faders aren’t motorised so, when changing to a different bus, you have to bring the faders down and back up to the correct level (there’s an indicator LED at the side of the fader) before it becomes active. Fine if you are just mixing but not easy to do on the fly with a guitar in your hand. This is probably true of the Tascam.

A really nice feature of the Zoom is the way it automatically creates new folders for each take (unless you are in overdub mode). At the end of a take the Zoom stores the take, thinks for a couple of seconds, then you’re ready to go again in a new folder. Fantastic when you are playing and recording at the same time in a band.
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Re: Zoom L12 vs Tascam Model 12

Post by The Elf »

I also have the Zoom L-12, and am very happy with it. But there are other options, depending on requirements, and the Behringer XR-18 sees more use from me these days.

Can't comment on the Tascam.
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Re: Zoom L12 vs Tascam Model 12

Post by Music Wolf »

True. My L-12 was sold once I got the XR18.
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Re: Zoom L12 vs Tascam Model 12

Post by resistorman »

I bought the Model 12 for my composing area in the studio (synths, guitar, bass) and have been pleasantly surprised how good it sounds. I wanted to be able to record ideas without firing up the computer, but it works great as an interface too. Recently I took it out of the studio to record drums, acoustic guitar and vocals as basic tracks for a song and it sounded as good or better than any other interface I've used for this sort of thing. It has a lot of headroom, and one knob per function is a nice feature, it feels like an analog board. I've not seriously used the EQ for anything, but it sounds smooth enough. I haven't used the overdub function, EFX or mixdown features either.

Downsides are: it only has 8 XLR inputs. It's true you can have 2 stereo pairs (7-8, 9-10), but channels 8 and 10 are TRS, so OK for a stereo line signal, but that leaves you with 6 mono XLR inputs if used that way.

You have to use 2 channels to return a stereo mix from the computer, it would be better to have a master return to save switching.

As mentioned, the Zoom will make a new folder just by hitting record, the Model 12 needs a lot of button mashing before you can record.

I have to say that 18 months in the DSP board started going out. I had bought it through Sweetwater here in the States which gives an extended year past warranty. The DSP board was back-ordered for a few months due to the supply line mess, so Sweetwater sent me a new mixer. That's service!
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Re: Zoom L12 vs Tascam Model 12

Post by resistorman »

Yep, the XR18 is great, I use it all the time. You do have to use it with a computer, though it works flawlessly with my M1 Mac Air and Reaper, which is a lightweight and simple solution.
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Re: Zoom L12 vs Tascam Model 12

Post by TomJack »

Thanks for the replies. The Behringer XR18 looks great, but I think I want to go ipad / PC free, at least for the basic tracking parts. Tempting though so I’ll read up a bit more on them.

Not sure which way I’m leaning, nobody seems to say any bad words about either the Zoom or Tascam in sound quality so It’s just about which has the best features and is best value I guess.
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Re: Zoom L12 vs Tascam Model 12

Post by Bob Bickerton »

Just to add to the confusion, it's worth noting that the XR18 is solely reliable on being driven by a device. Fine if your connections and WiFi are secure - but if they're not you simply can't operate it! I sold my MR18 (same thing) after the WiFi crashed on a gig - really nice until it stopped working though!

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Re: Zoom L12 vs Tascam Model 12

Post by The Elf »

I was very wary of the XR18, due to it not having on-board controls, but in practice I've had no problem with mine. That said I would NEVER use wireless!
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Re: Zoom L12 vs Tascam Model 12

Post by TomJack »

Bob Bickerton wrote: Tue Feb 08, 2022 11:41 pm Just to add to the confusion, it's worth noting that the XR18 is solely reliable on being driven by a device. Fine if your connections and WiFi are secure - but if they're not you simply can't operate it! I sold my MR18 (same thing) after the WiFi crashed on a gig - really nice until it stopped working though!

Bob


Thanks Bob. I thought it was. Not a major issue, I have a decent laptop and Ipad Air.
However I want to limit tweaking options in the first instance to have a more spontaneous workflow. Record live but without the set up side of things. Then transport decent live takes to the DAW for basic mixing / production.

I like the idea of the Tascam being the swiss army knife that can do live desk duties but is almost always on record so if you have a great performance it’s all recorded.
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Re: Zoom L12 vs Tascam Model 12

Post by Bob Bickerton »

Fair enough.

I have the Sounddevices Mix-Pre 10 - lovely for location recording, but not so good for live sound mixing.

I've been tempted by the Tascam too, and would probably invest in one if I was doing regular tracking of bands on location.

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Re: Zoom L12 vs Tascam Model 12

Post by cullenbdavis@yahoo.com »

Hi, I've no experience with the L-12. But can say with certainty that the tascam sounds better than the xr18. The soundcraft ui24r is also a significant step up in quality from the xr18. Jury is out on which unit I prefer, soundcraft or tascam. To my ears, the soundcraft has a very clean and transparent quality and the tascam has a hint of warmth which translates well for rock band type music. Both sound great. I found the xr18 just lacking inspiration, and the interface was difficult to use. In fairness didn't spend much time learning it. I hope you find what you are looking for. All these products are very cool!
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