Goin’ for the Gusto Studio Setup—3

Your Home Studio

Copyright 2006




LGM Productions

Guitars at Musician's Friend

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   Dynamics 101




      Equalization is controlled by a single EQ section that is slaved to whatever channel is selected as is compression and gating.  There are a total of 24 busses and 12 auxiliary sends. The 100 mm faders are motorized and touch sensitive and can be set up to work with just about any DAW software, including Pro-tools, Sonar, Cubase, etc. It also has 2 built in effects processors that can run the TC reverb programs and as in any digital mixer, any input can be routed to any channel and any channel can be routed to any output. 


     The TASCAM X-48 is a stand-alone 48 channel, hardware based, digital recorder. It combines the rock solid reliability of a hardware based system with the flexibility of software based DAW’s. You can hook up a monitor, keyboard and mouse to edit tracks just as you would on Pro-tools or any other software driven DAW. The connectivity to my choice in mixers is what sold me on it. It has 6 TDIF connectors for a total of 48 channels which will allow us (using the cascade function of the TASCAM DM-4800's ) to connect 2 of the DM-4800 mixers. It also has SMPTE I/O which will allow us to add another TASCAM X-48 should we decide to for a total of 96 channels. Another feature that I found interesting is that you can send tracks on a 10/100 Ethernet connection to any computer, so that if you wanted to you ,could track using the Tascam mixer/recorder package and then dump the tracks into the DAW of your choice for editing, effects, etc. It also allows you to input video to sync music to it.


     The TASCAM X-48 ’s specifications are as follows:


                 48 channels of 24 bit/96hz simultaneous recording

                 32-bit floating point audio file recording/playback with no loss of track count

                 Advanced integrated synchronization and machine control including HDTV tri-level sync

                 1—Firewire connection for additional hard drives        

                 4– USB connections

                 D-sub VGA connection for display monitor

                 RJ45 LAN connector for 10/100 Ethernet

                 PS/2 Keyboard connector

                 PS/2 Mouse connector

                 80GB hard drive

                 Built in DVD+RW for backups

                 4 VST plug - ins per channel


The TASCAM DM-4800 Digital Mixing Console is $4999.00 and the TASCAM X-48 runs $4499.99 so our total for 2 TASCAM DM-4800 Digital Mixing Console ’s and the TASCAM X-48 comes to $14,499.97 with the total so far for the entire project being $42,397.97—next month—Outboard processors



    I agonized on which direction to take with this segment of our no holds barred pro studio setup. The main issue was whether I should go the Pro-tools route, another software based solution or to use a completely hardware based system. Although I use Sonar in my own studio and I know that Pro-tools is the de-facto standard in most pro studios, I chose to go with an integrated system from Tascam.

They’ve been in the recording biz for ever and their products are well respected.


     The first link in the chain after preamps and signal processing is the mixer. I’ve chosen  the TASCAM DM-4800 Digital Mixing Console . It has 24 XLR inputs with adjustable input levels of 60dbu—4dbu and 40dbu—+16dbu (20db pad engaged). It also has 24 line-in inputs on balanced TRS jacks as well as 24 balanced inserts for outboard gear. Digital inputs include 24 TDIF channels of I/O on 3 TDIF connections, 2 S/PDIF I/O on RCA connections, 2 channels of AES/EBU I/O on XLR connectors amd 8 channels of ADAT I/O on 2 lightpipe connectors for a total of 36 channels of digital input.


    Other connections include word clock in, out/through, midi in, out, through/MTC, USB, SMPTE in on RCA, footswitch in (for punching in) and cascade (you can hook two of these together)