|The Tascam FW-1082 >>BUY ONE NOW!! by Harry Harrison|
8 out of 10 on the March 19, 2006
To be frank, this product is a bargain for what it is, does and offers to the user. The Tascam FW-1082 is not only a god-send for the home musician, but can also be employed into a professional studio setup.
Ok, lets have a very brief overview of the functions which caught MY attention...
It's an audio interface: The FW-1082 is a 10-in, 4-out audio interface for your computer. Four of the inputs are XLR mic ins, with phantom power for professional condenser microphones. Two of these include an insert jack, so you can plug in a compressor to keep dynamics under control and keep from distorting the recording. Adding to the four mic/line inputs are another four balanced analog line inputs for synths, effect returns or the line out from an guitar amp or modeling processor. You get a pair of balanced outputs for monitors, and S/PDIF stereo digital inputs and outputs for connecting digital recorders. There's even a headphone output with its own level control. The FW-1082 records atany sampling rate from 44.1kHz (CD quality) to 96kHz (DVD-Audio quality), at 24-bit resolution to capture every detail.
It's a MIDI interface: The FW-1082 gives you 2 MIDI inputs and 2 MIDI outputs for connecting synths, modules and effects. Even if you're making the move to soft synths, the MIDI inputs allow you to connect your favorite controller or synth to use as a master keyboard.
It's a mixer: The FW-1082 includes a built-in 10 x 2 digital mixer. You get level and pan controls over each input. Use this to submix synths and effects to reduce the processing load on your CPU, or use it as a stand-alone mixer in a pinch.
It's a control surface: Sure, you can mix your project by pushing the little virtual faders and knobs on your computer screen. But you'll be much more creative using the touch-sensitive motorized faders on the FW-1082. There are dedicated transport buttons (no more command-spacebar-key-combinations to remember) and knobs that can adjust panning, effect sends, EQ and soft synth parameters.
It's a software package: With the 48-track Cubase LE workstation software and GigaStudio 3 LE software sampling, you'll have everything you need to kick-start your computer-based studio.
All of these features
The look....Quite a simple layout, with buttons widely distributed around the front panel. This is one of the key reasons for why I liked the look of this audio interface. This being because I personally am not a needy person (at least I don't think I am!), so it isn't a big deal for me to have loads of control over my DAW.
Another evcellent feature is the DAW recording functions. The FW-1082 gives you an affordable way to add a high-quality audio/MIDI interface and a control surface with moving faders to your home studio. It has four high-quality microphone inputs, each with phantom power for adding professional condenser microphones. The FW-1082 records at up to 96kHz/24-bit resolution -- much better than CD quality -- so your tracks can capture every detail and nuance.
The control surface interface of the FW-1082 is what really turns your computer into a production powerhouse. Computers are designed to function as all things to all people, from office word processing machines to internet email servers. Adding an FW-1082 to your computer turns it into a music-making workstation and gives you a front-end you can be creative with. Use the touch-sensitive moving faders to mix your song, and use the bank buttons to access more channels eight at a time. And instead of clicking a mouse or memorizing keyboard combinations, you can press solid transport buttons or turn the shuttle wheel to locate anywhere within your song -- because no one wants to hit command-option-spacebar when the muse is about to strike.
Next, the three modes for which the FW-1082 can be used in (I find this reeeaally novel!) The FW-1082 has three modes for its control surface: Computer, MIDI Control and Monitor Mix. You can quickly switch between these three modes during a mix, and you'll see it's almost like having three control surfaces in your studio:
Computer Mode: This is the mode you'll usually stay in. Computer Mode is how you control your audio recording and sequencing software. The FW-1082 has three modes of control -- Native, Mackie Control Emulation and Mackie HUI emulation -- so it's compatible with just about any music software you can buy.
MIDI Control: In this mode, the FW-1082 acts as a MIDI fader controller. It sends MIDI controller data, either through the MIDI outputs or through the FireWire cable into your computer. Use this mode to control soft synths like Reason(R) or GigaStudio 3, or to edit effects processors or plug-ins.
Monitor Mix: This is where you control the FW-1082's built-in 10x2 mixer. You get level and pan controls for each channel. Using the buttons below the controller mode buttons, you can select whether the outputs are playing back just the computer output, just the internal mixer output, or a mix of the two.
Finally, live recording on this baby is a breeze; With the portable FW-1082 and a laptop, you have everything you need to take your studio on the road. Whether you want to sell CDs at your next gig, upload an MP3 of the show to your website or use the recording to audition for a bigger club gig, recording your live show can be the key to bigger and better things for your band.
The FW-1082 has four microphone inputs, so you can set your own mics onstage and in the audience. Four additional line ins are perfect for amp direct out jacks, guitar amp modelers or the line outs from a board feed. Insert jacks allow you to patch in a compressor/limiter, so that the recording doesn't distort when things get too loud. There's even a loud headphone amp for monitoring the recording during the show.
After the concert, you'll be able to mix rapidly using the touch-sensitive moving faders, dedicated select/solo/mute buttons, and assignable encoders for pan, aux sends and EQ control. A dedicated S/PDIF digital output can be connected to a CD burner like our CD-RW750 if you don't have one on your laptop. Work quickly enough and you might be able to sell CDs of that night's show before your audience catches a cab.
Overall, this product is a great investement, and for the price, given the excellent build quiality, wide range of functions, this MIDI/audio/firewire/digital kills many birds with one, affordable stone, eliminating the need for buying loads of equipment. You will often find that buying the Tascam FW-1082 instead of buying separate equipment(eg. audio interface, mixer, control surface etc.), it will often turn out much, much cheaper in the ong run (especially if you buy it from Dolphin Music!!)
Thank you for reading my review, and GET ONE OF THESE RIGHT NOW!!