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Rating and Reviews: Roland UA1010 OctaCapture

Take your home studio to the next level with Roland's next-generation USB 2.0 interface, featuring 10 inputs, 10 outputs and 8 premium mic preamps.

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"Roland Octa-Capture USB" submitted September 26, 2012

By Chris O in Brooklyn, NY
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Sound
Features
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Quality
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Musical Background: Produce music for CD's, work alone, play keyboards, some guitar & some percussion
Music Style: Very eclectic. I write for many genres.
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SPOTLIGHT REVIEW
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Overall: The Roland Octa-Capture USB has been pretty much rock solid as I have been using it for about 6 months now (I do not like to write reviews for things that I have not used for at least 6 months). I have not had any problems with it. There was a tricky update that required updating both the software on my computer and the firmware in the Octa-Capture unit itself. Once I understood that both were necessary, it was not too difficult to accomplish, but it was not abundantly clear that two types of updates were involved. I like the idea that now I can change sample rates without rebooting the computer or turning the external interface off as I used to have to do with my previous Roland FA-101. The Sound is very good but I do get occasional audio glitches every once in a great while. Now I have everything set to 48khz/24 bit, thought probably most program material is actually 44.1khz/16 bit anyway. Many of my VSTi's are able to run 48/24. The manual is difficult and cryptic and the design of the software is certainly not self-apparent, but most of my needs have been met. I usually do well with technical manuals, but this one could use some work. One thing that bugs me is that ONLY ONE major software can access the Octa-Capture at a time. Whichever one you use will preclude any other software audio device (unless you run a different driver model). I was able to run more than one software audio output from my computer into my previous FA-101, not so with the Octa-Capture. So that means that you can have 8 inputs AS LONG as they are external audio inputs. I tried the Steinberg Multi-Client application but my system popped, snapped and acted crazy, so I gave up on the Multi-Client. If you run Sonar, you cannot simultaneously run Band-in-a-Box. Even I cannot run Toby Bear's MiniHost and Xlutop's Chainer at the same time. One precludes the other (BTW, I have tried changing Window's settings, to no avail). Small simple audio software, however, can be run at the same time. I can listen to an YouTube video and WinAmp at the same time for instance (though that is not a spectacularly useful thing to do). Occasionally, an audio software application will crash or hang leaving behind a stub process or two on the machine. This locks the Octa-Capture and no subsequent audio application can access the Octa-Capture in that same driver mode (for me, usually ASIO). I am not sure what is going on, whether it is a Windows7 thing, a Toshiba thing or a Roland Octa-Capture thing. I usually have to reboot the machine; just turning off Octa-Capture does not do the trick. So although I have some reservations, I am overall happy with the Octa-Capture and its sound quality.
8 of 8 people (100%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"This should be at the top of your list!" submitted April 4, 2012

By Billy D in Foxworth, MS
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
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Musical Background: Keys, recording engineer, active participant in band For Once Today.
Music Style: Metal, Metalcore/deathcore. Personally, electronic, rock, symphonic.
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Sound: Love the sound. Once I set it up, I wasn't around any equipment to test the inputs so the first thing I did was plug my headphones in and see if there was a difference. Everything was MUCH clearer and tighter than through my computer. I usually use DSP to make my music sound better, but once I listened through this and noted the fidelity and resolution I never noticed before, I turned them off. Monitoring and mixing with this is sure to produce precise results, as you hear everything. So when I got to my equipment and chilled with my bandmates, we plugged up to work on an EP. The first two imputs are Hi-Z, meaning higher headroom for extra dynamic instruments like guitars. Well, guitars sounded amazing. Clear, tight bass, tight high end, almost in HD. Now, since the preamps are grade A, they are simply designed... no crosstalk or colorization. Some people may think that this means that tracks "lose character", but when you're recording, you need this transparency... and trust me, it is worth it. Tracks are not muddy and they are just perfect. The "Auto-Sens" feature is very handy... have someone play their instrument and push the button and it sets input levels automatically. Very nice and failproof. Another thing I liked about this was the potential to route all instruments and mix them in realtime using the software, and then output them to the engineer's mixer, so I would use OUR effects and DSPs. Well, with most of my programs, from input to processing to output (aka a "round Trip" through the system), latency was an average of 7 ms. This is pretty damn good, sure latency is somewhat noticeable, but the monitor mixes (more on that later) were nearly latency-less. In brief: Sound suffers no colorization, making this unit suitable for any recording application. 8 In/Outs and flexible routing means a crazy level of usefulness both routing live and in the studio. Feature: Well, this thing is packed full of features for the price. The most useful is the Auto Sens, which I previously covered. Something else I like is the easy routing... one can create 4 mixes from scratch and route them to any of the 8 outputs. And from within your DAW or effects software, you can choose down to the single input and output to use to route stuff... most interfaces are not this simple and it works so seamlessly. Don't have a computer? You can use the things as a standalone mixer and add compression, gating, etc. Not the BEST quality effects, and accounting for volume changes (even with comp) can be a bit tricky... but it has this capability nonetheless. Ease of Use: Ease of use? I set it up in my sleep. Install the driver, plug it in, and you're done. And how it performs is even better. Communication, traditionally, between the DAW, effect software, and the interface required all three to sync to a 'clock' on the computer. This method is unstable due to operating system meltdowns that always happen behind the scenes (especially on Windows). This interface instead syncs to a very precise crystal on the device itself, therefore all communication and streaming is super efficient and stable. Sure, all systems can't get latencies as low as 48 samples, but 64 will satisfy virtually 96% of personal computers out there now (not counting vista) Using ASIO V2, I currently get an average of 2 to 4 ms of latency, even with everything else fully loaded. That is effin' amazing. Quality: The first thing I noticed was that the case was METAL (Yes, I was very surprised.) The nobs are solid, buttons are solid, everything. The adapter seems cheap though, so take care of it. I wrapped where the wires connect into the stub with electrical tape just to give it some extra support, since the wires never get hot I figured this was a safe thing to do. Value: For the money, this thing is unbeatable. Sure there are minor gripes, there always will be. But quality, SOUND quality, flexibility, features... it's just amazing. Manufacturer Support: Well, I have had issues with Roland before... they don't seem overly interested in helping you. So since this is about the MANUFACTURER, I'd say not excellent. Be prepared to request Level 2 support if the Level 1 rep is an idiot. The Wow Factor: It looks sleek and modern. Nothing that blew me away. But thats alright... The interface sits on top of my table with a sophisticated modesty that most other interfaces dont have. Overall: I bought this unit to do all the audio work for my band For Once Today, whom I play keyboard for. This interface is absolutely mind blowing. I will get to all the good stuff later, but I would like to address a few potential concerns with the equipment (small stuff, but potential end consumers may want to pay attention here): 1. This interface IS NOT bus powered. Since it packs 8 grade A pre-amps in it, it must run off of an AC outlet. So if you demand bus power, look elsewhere. 2. Windows Vista users frequently report significant latency issues, sometimes having to set buffer values as high as 1024 samples per second to reach a level of stability. As all music guys like me know, this is unacceptable due to latency, especially during live routing situations. Windows XP and 7 work just fine though (Buffer size on my system is set to 48 SPS with rock solid stability!!). 3. Phantom power can trigger low level noise (nothing a gate can't handle), and grounding the unit can remove this. That's it. Sure, it seems a bit pricy but if you are a serious musician/engineer/whatever, then it will be worth it entirely. Lets move on...
12 of 14 people (85.71%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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Roland UA1010 OctaCapture Customer Review submitted October 4, 2011

By a customer from gmail.com
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Musical Background: active musician, pianist
Music Style: classical and electronic
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Sound: Amazing - blows the competition out of the water. Clear pure sounds on the mic preamps, and the low latency drivers worked right out of the box. Feature: wish it was usb 3.0, but I guess we gotta wait Ease of Use: a little tricky to figure out and set up, the screen is a little small, but once you use the computer software to change settings its a breeze Quality: was really impressed here. Solid feel. Overall: I need to record classical chamber groups and piano, and wanted something portable with a good clean sound. One thing I needed was at least 4 phantom powered mic inputs. I didn't want outdated firewire (and don't have a port on my machine anyway), and I didn't want to spend more than 500. SO I bought a zoom R24 a few weeks ago, spent the first week being excited about all the goodies (its a sampler! Its a drum machine! It's a piece of crap!!), then let down as more and more...noisy inputs, squealing when phantom power was engaged, timing drift, driver problems and audio cutting out...it was basically unusable for my purposes. Today I got the octa-capture in the mail, set it up. First impression was how sturdy and solid it felt, the knobs all rubberized (unlike the cheap plastic ones on the R24). Drivers were immediately installed and recognized accurately, all inputs were detected. First thing when I played music from my computer through this device, I was shocked at how clear and crisp every sound was. The R24 seemed to actually degrade the quality of sound! This was like night and day, I couln't believe how drastic the comparison was. The sound on the preamps for the mics are great as well, recorded singing and solo mbira playing this afternoon and was stunned at the quality. And the auto sense button really works, great for a quick setup. So glad I got this device, glad I shelled out the extra bucks for the quality. The integration of software and hardware is where this thing shines, and that is where music recording has been moving in the last 20 years. Buy it, you won't regret it.
22 of 27 people (81.48%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"The Roland Octa-Capture is an amazing interface. It's a beautiful interface, with animated level meters on the LCD, and multi-co" submitted November 12, 2010

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Student
Music Style: alternative, electronica, R&B, hip hop, rock, classical, indie, techno, world, drum and bass, jazz etc...
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Sound: Very clean, and crystal-clear. Feature: All the features are accessible through the front panel without being plugged into USB. As far as the computer mixer interface, it's a little minimalistic, and wish it had level meters, and was nice aesthetically. Ease of Use: Interface is very intuitive, and it is very easy to tweak the parameters without audible glitches, or artifacts. If you were mixing live, it would be better to use the computer interface, since using the LCD interface requires navigation in menus etc. Quality: The product looks awesome, love the glowing buttons, and the nice illuminated LCD. It feels very well-made and solid. The case is metal, and it looks really high-tech. Also nice is it has 4 of the inputs right on the front panel, instead of having to turn it around to access the inputs, or have to access it in a rackmount. Value: I love the product, it's beyond my expectations, and definitely with the times, as far as being able to interface with the computer and have a GUI mixer app, as well as knowing it's feature set can be accessed through both the interface and the mixer application. It's worth every penny, and the value/qualities go beyond any other interface with a similar feature set. The Wow Factor: I saw it for the first time and wanted it immediately;) Overall: It would take a very impressive interface to replace this one, and hope that this one sets the precedent for all future interfaces.
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"Best interface you never knew about." submitted November 2, 2011

By a customer from hotmail.com
Overall
Sound
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Active producer
Music Style: Rap, R&B, Island
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Sound: Sound quality is on par with a rme 9632 card i also own. Feature: It has plenty of features for the tweakers. Auto sense is is really handy. Ease of Use: No hard to learn at all if you just take a little time to read the manual. The patch bay software makes almost all things possible as far as routing goes. Quality: The octa Capture is very well made as far as I can tell. Value: Well i got mine for $599 but i noticed its now $699....lol.......glad I got mine when i did. Still would have bought the octa capture though. Manufacturer Support: Have not needed support so far. The Wow Factor: Lol....it's ok. I like lights and lit rings and it has a few but not as many as I'd like it to but none of that is really important now is it :) Overall: I like everything about this unit. I will never get rid of it as long as it still functions.
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