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Old September 5th, 2006, 11:05 PM   #1
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TASCAM FW-1082 - anyone has this?

This unit almost seems to good to be true (for its price), so I am looking for feedback from someone who has worked with it.

What I am looking for is a FireWire mixer/interface with at least four mic inputs with decent pre-amps, and at least a couple of line-ins. I have been looking at something along the line of the ONYX 1220 (with the FireWire option), which seems like a very solid unit - for a price, of course.

Then I saw the TASCAM depicted in one of Jay Rose's books, shown as an example not of a mixer but a control surface. But it seems like the TASCAM is really both, for about half the price of the ONYX, and I am wondering how the TASCAM FW-1082 compares against the ONYX 1220. I don't really need the motorized faders at this time, but would certainly welcome them for use in Final Cut Pro.

What I intend to use this for is life recording of comedy shows, with up to four microphones as well as a direct connection to the sound system installed in the comedy club. Gain control is very important to me, having been burned in the past by lack of this and resulting clipping, and the lack of channel meters on the TASCAM (other than the OL lights) makes me wonder how I would set gain reasonably. Maybe the recording software shows that on the computer screen?

Looking forward to any thoughts and advise you can share with me!

- Martin
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Old September 6th, 2006, 07:10 AM   #2
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Also looks to have some interesting video editing features using the right software, I don't know enough about control surfaces to make any educated comments but reading this http://www.tascam.com/Products/FW-10..._video_bro.pdf makes it look like a good investment.
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Old September 6th, 2006, 11:14 AM   #3
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I've got the USB younger cousin of this...the tascam us-428. Works like a champ...I'd say go for it.
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Old September 6th, 2006, 12:38 PM   #4
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I own a 1082.

It may be somewhat overkill for what you describe.

However, it's a great unit. Low noise, good preamps, quality A/D conversion, motorized faders, are very good.

It has 8 analog ins and only 2 outs but has midi also.

And if you have other designs, like multi-track recording, Dolby, etc. it's a good investment.
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Old September 6th, 2006, 10:29 PM   #5
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Alright, I ordered one. Thanks for your comments, I feel much better about this purchase!

- Martin
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Old September 20th, 2006, 12:16 PM   #6
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Just thought I'd report what I learned. After I read the responses to my question here, I ordered an FW-1082. I have used it in one recording session so far, where I connected it to a Dell laptop to record five tracks (four of my mics, plus one channel for the stage mic from the club's sound system), using the Cubase LE software that came with the unit. I also recorded a stereo mix from the monitor output to my M-Audio MicroTrack recorder, really just as a backup in case something went wrong with the laptop. The quality of the individual tracks is as good as I had hoped - both the mic inputs and the line-in I used for the stage audio. The mic pre-amps are certainly a step up from what's in my MicroTrack.

I processed the audio tracks with SoundTrack pro on my Mac, and just started the mix yesterday. This is where I dicovered the beauty of the other side of the FW-1082: using it as a control surface for Soundtrack Pro (and later Final Cut). Moving real faders (as opposed to dragging simulated ones over the screen) really makes this a reasonable task for this 90-minute show. It's funny how something that two weeks ago I considered a fun gadget all of a sudden is a must-have component for me; I really had underestimated how the mix would become a much more important and demanding part of my workflow as the number of audio sources I record has grown.

Bottom line: I am very pleased with the TASCAM FW-1082; it does everything I hoped it would do (and some more). I have two more recording sessions planned for next week, so I'll give this unit more of a workout, and maybe I'll discover a few more interesting things. Thanks a lot for your encouraging feedback, which helped me make the purchase decision!

- Martin
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Old September 20th, 2006, 12:35 PM   #7
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I'd like to figure out how to get my tascam working with soundtrack (or even just the mixer in final cut)...that would be nice (I have final cut express...so no soundtrack pro - hoping to upgrade soon though).
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Old September 20th, 2006, 09:45 PM   #8
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Martin,

Thanks for the reply and feedback. The more you use it, the more you'll learn to like it.

I can use mine in Vegas. I've only tried it once. It seems my projects seem to have a deadline lately and I don't have time to take the time to learn to use it well in Vegas. But I will in the future.

I use mine with Cubase SX3 and I couldn't be happier with the software or the 1082. I have a 32 channel Eurodesk mixer with 8 bus outs which I feed directly into the 1082. I run everything I own into the Eurodesk, drum machines, synths, mics, keyboards, computer, CD Player, etc. and I love the results I get.
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