They have already been called "the hottest products of 1998" and rightfully so. Digital mixers set a new standard of performance with absolutely pristine audio quality and flexible automation that used to cost mega-bucks. Yet despite their awesome capabilities, you can add one to your own studio for as little as $999! That's actually less than the cost of many comparable analog boards. So what is all the excitement about? Is this just the latest "gimmick" or are these things as awesome as they seem?
A perfect place to start is with the TASCAM TM-D8000 (list price $9999) pictured above, since it was the first of these high end units to arrive at our warehouse. With its plethora of faders, full function meter bridge and brilliant LCD display, this is one impressive machine. The TM-D8000 is an 8-bus, fully automated mixer with 48 channel faders and up to 40 TDIF (DA-98/DA-88/DA-38) inputs on mixdown. In addition to the integral meter bridge, standard features include 4-band fully parametric EQ on each input channel and tape returns; 8 channels of assignable dynamics processing; six analog aux sends (two of which are switchable to AES/EBU digital aux sends); six analog returns (one of which is switchable to AES/EBU); plus 24 tracks of TDIF tape returns. There are 16 analog ins (line or mic with phantom power) which can also be switched to function as 16 additional TDIF ins (or eight TDIF and eight AES/EBU or eight TDIF and four each S/PDIF and AES/EBU).
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