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Rating and Reviews: Roland UA-55 Quad Capture

Put Roland quality on your desk. With two digitally controlled mic preamps plus 2 channels of digital I/O and MIDI I/O, this interface is a serious value.

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"Best interface in this price range!" submitted September 4, 2012

By Stephen B in Jackson, MS
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Musical Background: Recording, Piano, Vox, Guitar
Music Style: Jazz, Blues, Rock, Pop
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Overall: This beats the heck out of Centrance Mic Port Pro (my first interface, if you wanna call it that). The pre amps are better. Nice and quiet and transparent. The button that auto-adjusts the peaks of the instruments to -14 db is GREAT! I can't tell you how nice it is to be able to record all of your instruments at a semi even volume without a bunch of knob turning. Not that adding volume is hard to do in a DAW, but it just makes sure that you've got enough of a good signal going in, and is just one less thing to think about while being creative. A few things I don't like are that there's no headphone and speaker separation. If you have headphones and speakers plugged in, You'll be able to hear volume out of both. So to hear just the phones you have to unplug the speakers. Tedious in the mixing stage. But doesn't get in the way of recording. I also don't like the knobs on the front. they don't feel solid. But hey, you give some to lose some. The actual box itself is solid though. If the knobs broke I'd try to replace them, but I feel they'd be the only thing I'd have to worry about as the actual box is rock solid. I highly recommend this to anyone who wants a FAST nice interface that looks as good as it sounds. M-Audio and Presonus WISHES they made products like this.
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"First Purchase from zZound, Roland UA-55" submitted January 28, 2012

By Steve W in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
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Musical Background: Played in gigging band for 10 years as bass player and songwriter. Guitar, midi composition, song and lyrics in spare time
Music Style: Rock, folk rock, electronic, film score type compositions,
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SPOTLIGHT REVIEW
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Sound: Sound is excellent. Effect add ons were varied and sounded quite good in the included Sonar LE. Ive just began to experiment so I know Im just barely getting the tio of the iceberg here of what can be tweeked with the sound. The only thing I noticed, and maybe there is a way around it, but so far it seems that if youre running with live effects, the delay time (latency) will be too much to effectively record while on. However this doesnt pose a problem since the UA-55 has enough i/o options to easily get around live pc sound effects. Feature: The pre amps seem more than proficient at doing the job. I really like the auto adjusting input levels. Just plug in your instrument/ mic push a button, play for a few seconds and... perfect levels. Also the i/o options give you many different ways to set up your studio. Ease of Use: Like I said before, 5 - 10 min and I was recording. I read just enough to make sure I wasnt going to damage anything and I was off. Make sure you do read about the input settings as there are choices on what type of instrument or mic will be used and if it requires additional power. Sonar looks quite a bit more advanced than Audacity which I had used before, but if you dont want to use it, the device will work with other DAWs as well. Quality: Seems sturdy and well constructed. The thing I dont often hear in reviews on products like these is how well the item works in real world situations. Such as its ability to stay on a desk with cords and such plugged in and recording. The UA-55 passes with flying colors. Inputs are snug and wont pull out everytime you move either. Great all around device. Value: I did a lot of research and as far as audio input devices go, this is a perfect match of price vs performance if this is the amount of inputs you will need. Full bands would want to step up to a device that probably did have more but even then I would still recommend Roland. Manufacturer Support: No issues yet. But because of everything else, still giving perfect for benefit of the doubt. The Wow Factor: I came from using an old Soundblaster with the front panel interface, so this is science fiction in compairison :-) Overall: Having done recording before on the PC, I was at least familiar with the concept of what I needed. However years had passed and I felt rather newborn once again looking for current solutions. I liked zZounds site setup and their great prices on "blemished gear. Plus quite the catchy name. So after review, site, article and blog seemingly endless research I decided on the UA-55. It fit what I would need it for and more. Well after all that reading and decision making I wanted my little device now. Second day shipping slipped fairly easily in. Though Ive always been a bit leary doings so because of other companies lack of follow through, no excuses needed to be made as the audio interface arrived right on time and in great shape. Unfortunately the excitement had to be put off as my PC had given up the ghost before package arrival. Well last night with new computer on hand I finally got to enjoy the whole process for the first time. The device is exactly what I needed for a smaller home recording setup. The included Sonar LE will take a little getting used to, but I still within 5 to 10 min was able to put down a test guitar track and try out a bunch of effect add ons. Go to Sonars site for a bunch more free add ons to the LE edition software. This was not only the perfect product, but also the perfect purchase. I look forward to reviewing the additional $1500 of products Ive ordered from zZounds since this transaction :-)
16 of 17 people (94.12%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Best sub $300 interface you can buy." submitted October 21, 2011

By a customer from gmail.com
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Musical Background: Professional Musician
Music Style: Hip Hop to Rock
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Sound: The mic pre amp's are the same as the VS-700 and they sound crystal clear. Extremely transparent so your tracks can be manipulated by your plugins without any coloration. Feature: One feature makes this better than the competition: Auto Sens. Basically plug in your guitar, press the auto sense button, play your guitar at the level you plan on playing, and then adjust your sensitivity accordingly. No clipping whatsoever. The one things I wish it did have was an on/off switch and separate headphone / director monitor output levels. Ease of Use: Took 2 minutes to have it up and running smoothly with Sonar X1. Quality: Excellent housing. Seems like it will last a long time. Drivers were great too. I plan on taking this with me through my traveling. Value: Compared to other units in the same range, this one is much better. I tried the Mbox 3 mini as well as the Focusrite Scarlett 8i6 and those had numerous issues which are well documented on other sites. The quad capture is a must buy. The Wow Factor: Looks great, feels great, and the features are excellent. Overall: I bought this to replace an Emu 0404 which was great, and I must say I am glad that I did because the sound coming out of this is perfect.
18 of 20 people (90%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"BEST VALUE IN A BUDGET priced interface.....if your looking for a WHOLE LOT for very little....DON'T PASS THIS UP!!" submitted January 2, 2012

By a customer from hotmail.com
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Musical Background: Songwriter, Guitarist, Engineer - 35 years
Music Style: Classic Rock, Progressive Rock, Christian Rock, Easy Listening
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Sound: I was leery about buying this...I've owned the V-Studio 100, which is AWESOME, but had to downgrade. I"m HAPPY to say that the sound quality is the same as the V-Studio 100. Same preamps - VS Preamps. They are the cleanest I've used, and I've owned M-Box 2, M-Box 3, CI-2, FastTrack, etc...I also have a POD HD500...and the VS Pre's from Roland are BY FAR the cleanest and best out there...unless your plan on spending thousands on an interface....AND there are very few Interfaces that have 24 bit, 96 Khz recording capabilty - let alone 24 bit, 192 Khz capability....that makes this unit a STEAL!!! Feature: I gave this a 10 because, for the money....you SIMPLY will not find a BETTER interface on the planet...while more features is ALWAYS nice...you can't expect everything in a unit at this price. Digitally controlled VS Preamps, the same found in the VS-700, which costs several thousand dollars, AUTOSENSE Level setting, for those who don't want to take the take the time to set levels manually, and Compression on each input channel....that's a lot for the money...and the housing is sturdy aluminum...the level LED's around the Sensitivity knobs are bright and awesome...just a WHOLE LOT for so little...BEST YOU CAN BUY FOR THE MONEY!! I just can't believe all the Avid / Protools /Mbox users keep hanging on to a dead horse....that they pay UP THE WAZOO for....for half the sound quality. I used Cubase for years, then moved to Protools. When Sonar X1 came out I figured i would try it out....VERY HAPPY I DID!!! BEST DAW - NO CONTEST!! That's why AVID released a NEW version of Protools LESS then a YEAR after releasing version 9...and Protools is STILL only 32 bit!!! They are in FEAR!!! Steinberg did the same thing and immediately released Cubase 6. Sonar X1 has the INDUSTRY FIRST 64 bit duel floating point Audio Engine...and WHAT A DIFFERENCE!!! Add this interface to Sonar X1 and watch AND HEAR the magic begin!!! Add to that BOTH 2 CHANNEL SPDIF in and out AND MIDI in and out!!! Ease of Use: Windows 7 - Install the drivers - plug it in - ready to go...it's THAT easy. When you want to use the PC to adjust the settings, simply go to the Windows Control Panel and double click the QUAD-CAPTURE Icon....ready to go....OR just create a shortcut on the Desktop - very simple to use. And the manual is quite detailed for those who are not familiar with set up of devices like this. ( I didn't even open the manual!!! - I just KNOW Roland) Quality: Housing is solid aluminum with hex bolts on the preamps. Feels rock solid, looks awesome, and sounds OUTSTANDING for a device in this price range....use it with Sonar X1 Producer and HEAR the difference!!! Value: BEST VALUE IN AN INTERFACE UNDER $1500!!! Granted there are other sub $1500 interfaces that have more features, but also cost TWICE to THREE times as much and DON'T have as the same CLEAN, UNCOLORED, sound quality of the Roland Units...The only thing I miss about my V-Studio 100 is the Control Surface and the fact that is was a standalone SD Recorder..this has the same sound quality and some of the same features...and ONE that the V-Studio 100 doesn't have...AUTOSENSE Level setting! Manufacturer Support: Roland support has always been ROCK SOLID!!! The Wow Factor: EVERY PERSON LOOKING FOR A LOW PRICED INTERFACE....Look no FURTHER!!! This is THE UNIT!!!! Overall: I will be satisfied until they come out with the next thing I can't live without...LOL
15 of 17 people (88.24%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Great-sounding 1st interface" submitted February 5, 2012

By Dave L in San Francisco, CA
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Musical Background: Guitar/Synth lifer laying down tracks in a home studio.
Music Style: Ambient, krautwave, dark new age
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Overall: The Roland Quad Capture is a great place to start if you're getting into digital recording with your home computer. Having recorded with interfaces since the 90s, I have to say I am very happy with the sound quality I get from this interface considering its price. I use analog synths, an SM57-mic'ed tube amp for guitar, a vintage mixing board and no additional preamps or compressors, and the Quad Capture provides a nice, clear, warm sound--not thin or digital sounding at all. I record at 96 kHz and the latency isn't noticeable. The inputs seem to have plenty of gain available for running direct into the interface. It's basically stereo-in/stereo-out unless you're using digital ins and outs (which I am not), so the routing options are fairly limited. If you're trying to record more than 2 mono instruments simultaneously (or 1 in stereo), you're going to have to get your levels perfect first because you won't be able to fix them in the mix. For laying down stereo tracks and doing overdubs, however, this interface is perfect. The build quality is very solid. I am a Roland devotee and this device does not disappoint. The manual is very straightforward, and the simplicity of the design makes this a good entry-level interface. The bundled Sonar X1 LE is very powerful and easy to learn, so you'll have everything you need to start recording. As far as cons, I'd have to say that I'd prefer more analog ins and outs over the digital ones, although I may end up needing those someday. There may be too much gain on the preamps, because driving my mixer at proper levels with the interface's gain set to minimum results in peaking. The preamps on the Quad Capture do not seem to color the sound much, however. I just keep the mixer's levels a bit lower than I normally would. I am running balanced XLRs from the mixer to the interface, if that matters. Using Sonar on Windows 7 64, I have gotten a few Blue Screen crashes and the occasional audio engine dropout, but nothing devastating so far. Since I'm new at recording on my system it could very well be operator error. I researched all the entry-level (below $300) USB interfaces available in early 2012 and opted for dependability and great sound over units with more ins and outs that made sacrifices in sound quality or driver quality. Specifically, it came down to the Quad Capture and The Focusrite 18i6, and based on reviews and forum discussions of the Focusrite compared to my mostly trouble-free experience with the Quad Capture, I think I made the right choice.
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"Recently purchased Quad-Capture and very satisfied with it." submitted December 23, 2011

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Sound: It compares (quality of sound) with the Aardvark I have owned for many years. I bought the Quad-Capture to upgrade my recording equipment to Windows 7. Feature: It seems I cannot turn the volume up as loud as I could using the Aardvark. Ease of Use: It was very easy to get used to the equipment. I upgraded my Sonar 6 to Sonar X1 recording software and it works flawlessly with the Quad-Capture. Quality: I dropped the Quad-Capture on the floor when I first got it, but it is working fine. Value: This piece of equipment may not be as good as much more expensive equipment, but I wouldn't know since I don't own that expensive equipment. What I can say is the Quad-Capture costs roughly $280. I am very satisified with the quality of sound I get from it. Especially at that low price! Manufacturer Support: I have not contacted Roland, so can't answer this question. The Wow Factor: Now that is a weird question. But the answer has to be NO. I don't care what the appeal is. If it works and works well, then I want it!! Overall: As long as Roland keeps writing drivers to keep up with the Windows versions I plan on using the Quad-Capture as my audio interface.
8 of 11 people (72.73%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Its Decent But Not Great." submitted August 24, 2012

By Mike D in Los Angeles, CA
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Musical Background: Live Sound Engineer, Mix Engineer
Music Style: Gospel, Rock, Hip Hop, Pop, R&B,
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Sound: The Preamps are clean and have a lot of gain on them. The outputs give a nice and transparent sound. The volume knob is tripping me out though, I have to turn it up to 12 o'clock to get a decent audible level. Anywhere below 12 o'clock your gonna have problems hearing your signal coming out. The headphone output is weak as well, i have to turn the knob all the way up; and I mean all the way up. Feature: WOW. I thought this was gonna be great!! But the autosense is only good for setting levels on instruments not vocals. I tracked vocals after setting the auto sense feature and the vocals were so low I could barely see the waveforms in nuendo. Ive seen a few videos demonstrating people using autosense on guitars and bass with no issues. Ease of Use: Fairly easy up and running in no time. I had issues at first personally because I don't use interfaces the same way they promote them. I don't use direct monitor. I have to configure my system to allow me to record real time with efx through my daw. Requires a lot of buffer and sample rates to be changed as well as playing with optional drivers. Quality: Ehhh. Feels sturdy. Knobs are smooth but im afraid they will break off if not careful. Value: I feel this unit should be $199.99. Its not really worth what it is priced at. I feel cheated. I would look into another unit like the Komplete audio 6 interface. Feels a lot better and looks better than the Roland. Manufacturer Support: Im going to email and ask why the drivers they include aren't as good as ASIO4All drivers. The Wow Factor: The only wow is the preamp quality and the fact it has a 192khz capability. Other than that you can find a similar interface at a lower price. Overall: Here is the Issue. The drivers are stable but I had to use ASIO4All paired with the Roland to get about 2ms latency going in 24bit 48k sample rate at 64 sample buffer. The Roland drivers are okay but couldn't accomplish the task. Roland goes low as 64 samples but has a 5ms latency. Disappointment. I used to own a Audiobox 22vsl and it worked as good as the Roland with ASIO4all and is almost $100 cheaper. Mind you I'm recording through my daw with plugins activated on my vocal channel and hearing them processed real time. Soooo... Most of you will want to record guitar with VST amp racks and effects real time, not a dry direct input signal, food for thought. PC Laptop, running Nuendo 4 Waves Complete 82.3 Ghz Intel Pentium dual core4gb ram windows 7
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