The MiNiSTUDIO Personal US-32 is a natty looking USB audio interface. It actually boasts to be a complete desktop broadcast studio.
Let’s see if it can live up to that very boast shall we?
US-32 MiNiSTUDIO design
The US-32 is a very compact affair.
It actually only measures 5.11- x 5.9- x 1.57-inches (DxWxH) and tips the scales at a mere 0.84 lbs.
On the top of the unit you’ll find a mic input (XLR) as well as a built-in omni mic. There’s a digital meter and below those is an imput selector switch, input gain and reverb level. I love the nice touch of an ‘ON AIR’ button which is effectively a mute button when not lit.
There is also a headphone level dial. The next three pads are for the PON (I shall freely admit to not knowing what PON stands for, if anything). These three buttons trigger sound effects. The defaults are a bell, buzzer and applause.
The final button is for voice effects.
Along the front edge are more inputs. These are for regular stereo headphones and then a minijack headphone socket. There’s also another mic input (TS mini) and then an external input jack. This is to line in for a tablet or similar.
I have to say, even though it packs a load in, it doesn’t look scary. In fact, this is the most friendly-looking audio interface I have seen.
US-32 MiNiSTUDIO performance
Just because it looks friendly does not mean it isn’t packing some serious tech. You get simultaneous I/O 4 x 4 and a sampling frequency of 44.1k/48k/88.2k/96kHz, if you like that kind of thing.
The US-32 is fitted with an excellent mic preamp and onboard sound effects.
It’s ready to go straight out of the box, even if you don’t own a mic yet thanks to that built-in omnidirectional microphone.
Through the software package you get access to two levels of tweakage.
You can go the easy route…
The SOUND, EFFECT and REVERB are all preset and it’s really down to you and what you need as to how useful these are. To be honest, most podcasts or gamecasts will probably have them set as above.
Here you can fiddle with a 4-band parametric EQ and mess with compression as well as still having access to the reverb and mic effects. The difference being you can now trim them to suit.
Here you get a , compression, and reverb in order to make you sound like a professional.
In true Gadgety style, the instructions stayed in the box as I plugged the US-32 in to my computer. I dug out the TASCAM TM-80 mic, my boom stand, a shock mount and a pop-shield and I was good to go.
Why the rush? Well, this was a Wednesday evening and that’s when we record the podcast. I only decided that I’d test the MiNiSTUDIO out a few minutes before air time. Genius.
Ignoring the whirring of my partner’s PC fan in the background, the results can be heard on the podcast below.
This was without really sorting levels or EQ out either. Simply plugging in and hitting that ON AIR button.
To me this sums the US-32 up pretty well. You don’t really need any experience with interfaces, soundcards and microphones to get up and started. But, as you learn and understand more, then the US-32 can grow with you.
MiNiSTUDIO Personal US-32 review conclusion
As I said above, this is truly a plug-n-play get on air device.
The US-32 itself looks friendly enough for any beginner to approach. The fact that the software can be used in Easy or Expert modes opens the MiNiSTUDIO up to everyone.
Its compact size will not require much desk real estate and the unit seems to be well put together.
Everything is labelled clearly and pretty much self-explainatory. Having an in-built mic is a real nice touch.
I have no qualms in recommending the TASCAM MiNiSTUDIO US-32 to anyone looking to podcast or gamecast
MiNiSTUDIO Personal US-32 price and availability
You can bag a US-32 for £110 on Amazon right now.