Portacapture X8 with MAC = no sound when playing recording (output problem)


New Member
Feb 11, 2024
Gear owned
TASCAM Portacapture X8
seems like lots of people are looking for this same answer so I try to be as much direct:

1. I use MAC + Tascam Portacapture X8 as an audio interface
2. I've plugged-in minijack headphones into the Tascam
3. I've plugged-in Tascam via USB to MAC.
4. I hear my voice coming through headphones
5. I record voice into the music program and it works fine
6. I try to playback what I have recorded - there is no sound coming through (potentiometers work but no sound).
7. There is also zero sound coming through headphones while trying play YouTube or some other files.

Both Mac and Tascam are updated.
There is no USB FS Mismatch between devices.
ok I think I got it - " in manual" screen in Tascam set INPUT USB. It worked for me
Hi Mike.
Thanks for response.
Follow what you've done here.
What Im trying to do is listen to the playback from the PCX8 on the Mac.

How I setup
I plug my headphone into the Mac headphone port
I plug my PCX8 via a USB c to USB A into the Mac USB port
On the Audio Midi App on the Mac create a Multi Output devices as per your other post.
I select the PCX8 and the External Headphone options as the Multi Output devices.
(The External Headphone option only shows in the Midi / Audio App on Mac after the headphones are plugged into the Mac)
The headphones show up in the Midi/Audio device app as a 32bit Float and I select 48000 option.
I ensure that the Rec Settings on the PCX8 show sample Rate at 48kHz and 32bit Float so PCX8 should match the Mac Audio/Midi App settings.
I ensure the Audio / Midi App settings have PCX8 selected as Audio Input device b(the mic icon) and the Multi-Output device is set as the Sound Output (speaker icon) device.

This should mean sound coming from the PCX8 will be played back to both the devices selected in the Multi Output device, in my case the PCX8 itself headphone output and the Mac headphone output.

I then play back a file on the PCX8 but get no sound from the headphones out on the Mac.

This seems to show I cannot output audio from the USB port on the Tascam.

If you can get output in this way then it appears to indicate my unit is faulty.

Can I ask if you see if you can route your audio in the way I have and get output.

Hi David,

I am not quite sure what you need so I will write what I do and perhaps it will help you:

1. I connect X8 to Mac via USB cable.
2. I open Garage Band (free Apple Music program)
3. I take x8 and on it's screen I choose MANUAL MODE
4. In Garage Band in settings I pick X8 as an input and output
5. I plug headphones into the minijack on X8 (not Mac)
6. I hear my voice speaking through headphones and see that potentiometers work fine
7. I do the recording
8. If I want to playback the recording I click on Tascam screen (being still in manual mode) INPUT - USB. (now I can hear all music going through Tascam)

So it just works just at it should to do the job nice, smooth and efficient.

If you would like to get playback through MAC speakers you would have to set them in Garage Band settings as an output and in MIDI APP in MAC I guess too.

question is why would you like to put headphones into the MAC while you can have same effect by plugging headphones into X8?

However I think that if you select output in MIDI and Garage Band (or other program) and then plug in the headphones into MAC minijack, sound should get through it.

is that what I wrote helps a bit?
I was only using the headphone in the Mac as a monitoring tools to prove I can get the audio out playing from the Tascam through the USB.
When you have your connections and GarageBand set up to record, can you then go to the launcher on the PCX8 and select Browse option then select a file to play and record that output in GarageBand.
OK, I guess I follow you:

Firstly, from my knowledge and what I have read in the manual, X8 cooperate with MAC only in the MANUAL mode and SD CARD READER MODE.

If you have done recordings in those automated presets (which are good) you can then put them in the form of Waves into the program. However, from my experience my producer don't want me to send him WAVE, he want's me to send him the project - and that is why I have to use Tascam as an audio interface.
Ok Thanks Mike.
I wonder if you could just look at one more thing for me on your Mac.
In the Midi/Audio app when you select the Portacapture for both input and output. when you look at the Format on the input and the choices in the drop down list, do you have any 16bit options offered? I only see 24 and 32bit options.
If I set the PCX8 to 44.1/16bit and have it connected by USB as soon as I turn it on I get the FS mismatch error pop up on the Tascam because my Mac doesn't have those 16bit options in the Audio/midi app . Does yours list it?
Hi David I will check this out in a while and let you know. But if I remember correctly there was no option 16 bit in Mac. Besides, standard register model if I am correct for music producers are 48hz 32bit or at least 41hz 24 bit. There is even no point going below that.
Thanks Mike. I tried to set up the GarageBand recording test exactly as per your earlier post but hit a problem with the loading of GarageBand switching the sample rates in the audio midi app which then mismatched those of the Tascam generating the FS mismatch error. Thats clearly related to Apple and their of working with core audio.

Could you advise the specific version of the OSX you were using in your setup. Also the Hardware HW and Firmware FW shown in the General settings of your PCX8. This info would be useful to help me in diagnosing my problem.

Currently my only objective at the moment is to prove my PCX8 does not have a hardware fault. I’m trying to avoid sending it back if possible.

Thanks again
Hello David - first of all my X8 didn’t work at start as well I had to update it - newest firmware is 1.33 -
It was easy to do - check up this update and let me know if it helped :D

you can download 1.33 firmware update from official Tascam web and there is also the procedure there how to do it
Hi Mike.
I did the FW update when I got the device and have tried repeating it in case it didn’t update correctly. My hardware and FW info is

F/W Version 1.32 Build 187
H/W Version 1.0 Build 010

Couldn’t see a 1.33 version on the Tascam website. I’ll take another look.

Thanks Mike
Update completed.

Now back to testing to see if any change.

Good luck David. You must also remember that Garage Band does not work in more than 24 bits if I remember correctly - to have those more „profesional” recordings you must either download other free software or buy something more pro :D
No luck with what I hoped the device would do which is to just playback a recording already made on the device through the USB to record the output at the computer. I can see the playback signal on the inputs 1 and 2 and that is set to USB so I assume it meant the signal would be an OUTPUT signal, if it is I can not record it on the computer with any software.
Isn't that just a basic function of an audio interface?
Surely that is a fault.

As you said that you got the Mac Multi output to work where the signal received from the PCX8 split to two output destinations it would seem to confirm output is being provided from the PCX8 over USB for your device.

The only thing which is still unclear is do you only get that signal when recording at the same time with the device. Can you do that if using Manual Mode to just play back a recording already made?

Hi David,

If I understand you correctly there is no option to do what you wish to do. X8 can serve as an audio interface or as a typical oldschool field recorder with it’s own SD card.
It works with computer only in Manual Mode or in SD card reader mode - each time you exit manual mode to select some other options in the Tascam menu it stops serving as a audio interface.

from my knowledge (I am amateur you know) typical audio interface has no SD card slot and possibility to record on it’s own, it just serves as a „conduit”.

hope that somehow solve your problem

Thanks Mike for your help on this.
Ive come to the same conclusion The device can act as a monitor or recorder for anything sent to it over USB but it cannot play back audio over USB back to the computer. It can only do that when acting as a recorder.

Im just amazed that Tascam support didn't just say that instead of just read the manual as a response which as others have observed, is less than clear on the subject. Wonder how they document this audio monitoring issue in their Mixer with the built in SD card recorder.

If you ever want to discuss or test issues relating to Mac and audio feel free to get in touch. I not up to speed with some of these online communication setup procedures but I assume this forum would allow personal messages via email for those who have been on here a while.

I do have high end audio programs Wavelab Pro 12, Logic 10.8.1, Fruity Loops and Cubase 13 in my arsenal as well as various audio interfaces. Music is a full time hobby for me. I also play and sing live although not so much these days. Just enjoy all of it, because you are always learning something new. Keeps the little guy cells active.

Thanks again
Hi David,

You are right, the manual in few moments is less than clear... sadly.

I am glad I could somehow assist you, thanks for our conversation and your being open to help with future problems :))

All best to you, good luck with your work and projects!

sincerely !


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