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Get the most from your gear The Zoom TAC-8 Thunderbolt Audio Converter

The rack-mountable TAC-8 audio interface is designed to act as the central hub in both professional and home environments. It provides 8 analog inputs and 10 analog outputs, 10 digital inputs and outputs (in both S/PDIF and ADAT Optical formats), and both Word Clock and MIDI I/O.

Whether you want to record large scale multi-channel 24-bit/192k sessions in your studio without worrying about latency or you want to bring your onstage performance to new heights, the TAC-8 allows you to take full advantage of today's latest technology.


With 8 analog inputs, 10 digital inputs, and the ability to record and play back 8 channels simultaneously, the TAC-8 allows you to record what you want, when you want. Lay down full backing tracks—drums, bass, guitar, keyboards, even vocals—at the same time, or go big with an 8-mic drum setup, or anything in-between. Thunderbolt's speed ensures you won’t have to deal with latency issues, and the TAC-8's built-in software mixer and flexible output options let you customize each session to your needs.

On Stage

Whether you're a one-man band with an epic onstage rig or your laptop is serving as the central hub for multiple musicians accessing software effects and virtual instruments, the TAC-8 allows you to fully customize your performance setup according to your needs. Simply connect it to your computer with a Thunderbolt cable and then connect the rear panel TRS outputs to your mixing board or PA system. Wherever you play, you can count on your TAC-8 to deliver the ultimate in high quality audio.

Thunderbolt Speed.
Revolutionary Recording.

Thunderbolt technology opens up new doors for creators. More than twice as fast as USB 3.0—not to mention twenty times faster than USB 2.0 and twelve times faster than Firewire 800—Thunderbolt is the interconnection technology of the future. Co-developed by Apple and Intel Labs, it allows signal to be transferred at an incredibly fast 10 gigabits per second, which means virtually no latency. Thunderbolt interfaces such as the TAC-8 are also unaffected by computer jitter (slight variations in timing).

Analog I/O

The TAC-8 provides a wide variety of both analog and digital connectors. Eight front panel combo XLR/TRS inputs accept mic- and line-level signals. Inputs 1 and 2 can also accept instrument-level signal from electric guitars and basses. Dedicated input gain controls and Clip LEDs make it easy to set optimum input levels, and a Phantom Power switch enables the use of condenser microphones.

Dual balanced analog ¼" TRS output jacks allow you to connect the TAC-8 to amplifiers or self-powered speakers, and there are also 8 discrete balanced TRS analog line outputs for multichannel monitoring or connection to external effects devices. A large front-panel Output knob offers fast control over output level, and there are two independent ¼" stereo headphone jacks, each with its own dedicated volume control, for private monitoring.

Digital I/O

The TAC-8 provides 10 channels of digital inputs and outputs, including 8 channels of I/O on ADAT Optical    connectors and an additional 2 channels on S/PDIF connectors. In addition, Word Clock I/O enables the TAC-8 to be easily integrated into any system.

In addition, MIDI In and Out allow electronic keyboards, sequencers, and drum machines to be connected to the TAC-8, with Thunderbolt speed ensuring precise audio and MIDI sync.

Additional features

In standalone mode, the TAC-8 can be used as an 8-channel mic preamp and analog-to-digital or digital-to-analog converter without being connected to a computer. The TAC-8 performs 4-times upsampling during both analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog conversion. In other words, when the sampling frequency is set to 44.1kHz or 48kHz, the signal is processed at high resolution 176.4kHz or 192kHz, respectively. For A/D conversion, this means less aliasing noise; for D/A conversion, this means increased clarity and fidelity.

Extend your capabilities with ZOOM software

TAC-8 MixEfx is a free Macintosh application designed specially by Zoom for the TAC-8. It provides a comprehensive onscreen mixer, with independent level, phase reversal, and panning control for each channel. 


TAC-8 MixEfx also allows you to freely route all inputs to all outputs and to create custom mixes for each pair of outputs. In addition, a variety of reverb and echo effects can be added on a per-channel / per-output basis. Complete mixes can then be stored in three different memory slots, allowing instant total recall.

Download TAC-8 MixEfx software now.

State of the art editing with every interface

The Zoom TAC-8 comes with a free download license for Sternberg’s Cubase LE music production software, providing not just the ability to capture incredible high-resolution / low-latency audio in every box, but to do spectacular things with it.

Take your recordings to a more professional level. Steinberg’s powerful and state-of-the-art audio software used by creators around the world now comes with every Zoom TAC-2, TAC-2R, and TAC-8 purchase.

Currently shipping with:
Cubase LE7 for Mac OS X 10.7, 10.8, 10.9 and Windows 7/8

For information on license activation and upgrades, visit our Steinberg Software support page.

Features at a glance

  • 18‐in/20‐out high speed Thunderbolt™ audio interface
  • Record and play back 8 tracks simultaneously
  • Standalone mode allows use as an 8-channel mic preamp and A/D or D/A converter without connection to a computer
  • Support for up to 24‐bit/192kHz high‐definition audio
  • Near-zero latency audio streaming
  • 8 combo balanced XLR/TRS analog input connectors accept both mic and line‐level signal
  • High‐performance mic preamps with up to +60dB of amplification
  • Hi‐Z switches allow direct connection of electric guitar or bass (INPUT1, INPUT2)
  • Independent gain controls and clip LEDs for each input
  • Switchable +48V phantom power (INPUTS 1‐4, INPUTS 5‐8)
  • 10 balanced TRS output jacks for connection to mixers, amplifiers, self‐powered speakers,
    or effects devices
  • Dual front-panel 1/4" headphone outputs with dedicated volume controls
  • Large knob output volume control
  • 4x upsampling during A/D and D/A conversion for reduced noise and enhanced fidelity
  • Asynchronous transfer system unaffected by computer jitter
  • S/PDIF IN/OUT: 2IN / 2OUT, up to 24‐bit/192kHz audio resolution
  • ADAT Optical IN/OUT: 2 IN / 2 OUT at 192/176.4kHz (S/MUX4 compatible), 4 IN/4 OUT at 96/88.2kHz
    (S/MUX compatible), 8 IN / 8 OUT at 48/44.1kHz
  • Word Clock in/out  
  • Clock source indicator
  • MIDI in/out
  • Rack-mountable (1U space)
  • Robust metal housing
  • Works with all Thunderbolt‐equipped Macintosh computers running OS X 10.8.5 or later


Here's what comes included with the TAC-8: 

  • Operation manual
  • AD-19 AC adapter
  • Steinberg Cubase LE software online download



ZOOM TAC-8 Product Video

The TAC-8 is designed to serve as the central hub in both professional and home environments. With its eight analog and ten digital inputs, and twenty analog and digital outputs, the TAC-8 allows you to do large scale multi-channel recording sessions with near zero-latency.

TAC-8 + TAC-2R overview at NAMM 2015

Sound on Sound magazine with a brief interview regarding the ZOOM TAC-8 and TAC-2R at NAMM 2015.


TAC-8 Application Example 1: 16 Channel Mic Input System
Sample Application 1

16 Channel Mic Input System

ZOOM TAC-8 Application Example 2: 18 Channel Input System
Sample Application 2

18 Channel Input System

ZOOM TAC-8 Application Example 3: DAW Front End
Sample Application 3

DAW Front End

ZOOM TAC-8 Application Example 4: "Digital Snake"
Sample Application 4

"Digital Snake"



XLR/TRS combo jacks
(XLR: 2 hot, TRS: TIP hot)

Input gain:

0–60 dB (1 dB steps)

Input impedance:

5 kΩ
1 MΩ (When IN1/IN2 Hi-Z on)

Maximum input level:

+13 dBu (XLR at 0 dBFS)
+21 dBu (TRS at 0 dBFS)

Phantom power:

+48 V

L/R Connectors:

TRS jacks (balanced)

Maximum output level:

+14 dBu (at 0 dBFS)

Output impedance:

150 Ω


Standard stereo phone jacks
20 mW × 2 (into 32 Ω load)

Maximum output level:

+10 dBu

Output impedance:

33 Ω


ADAT Optical (lightpipe)
8 IN/OUT: 44.1 kHz/48 kHz
4 IN/OUT: 88.2kHz/96kHz, S/MUX compatible
2 IN/OUT: 176.4kHz/192kHz, S/MUX4 compatible


RCA (coaxial)

Supported sampling frequencies:

44.1 / 48 / 88.2 / 96 / 176.4 / 192 kHz



Supported sampling frequencies:

44.1 / 48 / 88.2 / 96 / 176.4 / 192 kHz

Output impedance:

75 Ω

Frequency characteristics:

44.1 kHz: −1.0 dB, 20 Hz–20 kHz
96 kHz: −1.0 dB, 20 Hz–40 kHz
192 kHz: −1.0 dB, 20 Hz–60 kHz

Input conversion noise:

Measured EIN: 125 dB (IHF-A)
at 60dB, 150Ω input

Dynamic range:

AD: 120 dB typical (IHF-A)
DA: 120 dB typical (IHF-A)

Sampling frequencies:

192 kHz, 176.4 kHz, 96 kHz, 88.2 kHz, 48 kHz, 44.1 kHz

Bit depth:





5-pin DIN jacks

Power supply:

AD-19 DC12V 2A AC adapter

External dimensions:

6.2 in. (D) × 19 in. (W) ×  1.8 in. (H)
157.65 mm (D) × 482.6 mm (W) × 46.03 mm (H)

Weight (main unit only):

4.4 pounds / 2.01 kg

Note: 0dBm=0.775Vrms

Number of recording and playback channels
At 44.1 kHz and 48 kHz:

Recording: 18 channels (ANALOG: 8, S/PDIF: 2, ADAT Optical: 8)
Playback:   20 channels (ANALOG: 10, S/PDIF: 2, ADAT OPTICAL: 8)

At 88.2 kHz and 96 kHz:

Recording: 14 channels (ANALOG: 8, S/PDIF: 2, ADAT Optical: 4)
Playback:   16 channels (ANALOG: 10, S/PDIF: 2, ADAT OPTICAL: 4)

At 176.4 kHz and 192 kHz:

Recording: 12 channels (ANALOG: 8, S/PDIF: 2, ADAT Optical: 2)
Playback:   14 channels (ANALOG: 10, S/PDIF: 2, ADAT OPTICAL: 2)