The Roland UA series audio interfaces provide astonishing performance at affordable prices…
The Roland UA series of audio interfaces played a huge part in bringing the power of home recording to the masses. Whilst the names have changed somewhat- the cryptic codes are pushed to the background in favour of easier to understand names such as ‘Duo-Capture’, ‘Quad-Capture’ and ‘Octa-Capture’- and the devices are now branded as Roland rather than Edirol or Cakewalk, the devices themselves still hold true to the principles that made the UA-25 USB interface one of the most popular ever made.
The current range has upped the stakes, improving audio quality, preamp quality and performance, and with models closely tailored to different types of users. Here’s an overview of the current Roland UA audio interface range.
Roland Duo Capture
The smallest interface in the range, the Roland Duo Capture is a very capable, ludicrously affordable device. Providing a simple 2 input, and 2 output interface, with a switchable guitar/ mic input, or mini-jack stereo line-in with low latency drivers, this is a convenient unit for the singer/ songwriter.
The Roland Tri-Capture
The Roland Tri-Capture bears a passing visual resemblance to UA-interfaces of yesteryear, but packs in even more bang-for-the-buck. The unit is a 2 input, 2 output audio interface, with an XLR mic input with Phantom Power (allowing condenser mics to be hooked up with the minimum of fuss), guitar input and stereo aux input.
Balanced quarter inch jack outputs ensure that playback isn’t ruined by background noise and interference, and the interface is capable of 24-bit 96kHz operation. The ‘Tri’ part of the name refers to the fact that aside from the two physical inputs, the interface can ‘loop’ audio playback from the host computer and record it – ideal for grabbing audio from websites, DVDs etc.
The Roland Quad-Capture
The Roland Quad-Capture is (surprise, surprise…) a 4 input, 4 output USB 2.0 interface. The upgrade to USB 2.0 allows the device to record or playback more channels of audio at the same time. So, whereas a USB 1.0 interface is only capable of two tracks of playback whilst recording two tracks (i.e. stereo input and output), USB 2.0 is capable of far higher track counts.
Two combo XLR/ Jack inputs are equipped on the front, enabling microphones, guitars and line level sources to be connected. Phantom power is available when XLRs are connected. The Mic pre-amps are digitally controlled VS series designs, as found in Roland’s V-Studio 700 digital mixer, delivering transparent quality, with compression, low-cut filter and phase invert functionality if required. Auto-Sens automatically sets input gain levels at the push of a button.
The additional inputs and outputs are available via a coaxial digital in and out to the rear. A MIDI in and out allows synths, sound modules and other MIDI gear to be hooked up. All of this is delivered with Roland VS streaming technology, delivering minimum latency, low noise and sound quality to rival interfaces at much higher prices.
The Roland Octa-Capture
The Roland Octa-Capture is a more studio-focused addition to the Roland UA series. It packs a huge amount into a unit that is only a little more than half-rack sized. Capable of 10 input channels and ten output channels, the front and rear are equipped with four combo XLR-jack sockets each. These can be used as either microphone preamps (being the same VS series preamps as the Quad capture and VS 700), or line inputs, with input one and two equipped with a hi-z guitar level switch.
Like its little brother, the Quad-Capture, it also features auto-sens, for setting input gains at the touch of a button, and runs the same ultra stable VS streaming drivers. Whilst the Octa-Capture will provide ample channels for most recording scenarios, and has enough mic inputs to record, say, a drum kit, it can also be expanded by adding another Octo-Capture if required.
The ability to create four independent monitor mixes, an input meter display, and the inclusion of rack ears for mounting the unit in a 19” rack add further to the devices studio credentials. The Octa-Capture is ideal for anyone who intends to record a band or multiple audio sources simultaneously.
The Roland UA series of interfaces has grown into an incredibly versatile range with exceptional audio quality, even if the no longer bear the ‘UA’ name. If you’d like to have a Roland interface at the heart of your rig, call our stores of customer service team (01925 582420), or order online today.
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